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Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) - IgG

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 (ISO/IEC 17025)

Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Detection of IgG antibodies to Bartonella quintana by IFA.

Test Category:
Bartonella quintana
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Trench fever
  • Bacillary angiomatosis

Fresh human serum.

Minimum volume required is 0.25 mL.

Hyperlipaemic, haemolysed or contaminated sera may yield erroneous results.

Collection Method:

Collect blood in serum separator tubes.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Transfer an aliquot of serum to a 1.5 mL screw-top vial with O-ring (Sarstedt vial). Store specimen refrigerated up to five days or store frozen until shipped for testing. Ship frozen on dry ice or with freezer packs.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.


Patient Criteria:

Infection with B. quintana (Trench fever) is characterized by fever, which may be present as a single bout or bouts of recurrent fever, headache, rash and bone pain mainly in the shins neck and back.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed ‘Requisition for Diagnostic Testing for Selected Zoonotic Agents - Serology’. If possible, include the clinical history and lab results performed at local or provincial laboratories.


Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume or are not accompanied by relevant patient information or clinical history.

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Commercial IFA kit. Human sera are screened for IgG antibodies to B. henselae and B. quintana at a dilution of 1:64. Samples reactive at the screening dilution are titrated to determine end-point titre.

An IgG endpoint greater than 1:64 may be considered evidence of past exposure to Bartonella however; an IgG endpoint titre > 1:256 on a single sample, or a four-fold increase in IgG titres between two serum samples drawn at least two weeks apart, is considered presumptive evidence of a recent or current infection.

There is extensive cross-reactivity between Bartonella species; therefore the serological differentiation between B. henselae and B. quintana may not be possible. Results should be interpreted in conjunction with clinical history and symptoms.

Initiation of antibiotic treatment prior to testing may result in decreased antibody production which will affect the outcome of serological testing.

Turnaround Time:

21 calendar days.

Phone #: (204) 789-6068
Fax: (204) 789-2082
  1. Chomel B, Boulouis HJ, Maruyama S, Breitschwerdt EB. Bartonella spp. in pets and effect on human health. (2006) Emerg. Infect. Dis. (12):389-394.
  2. Raoult D. From cat scratch disease to Bartonella henselae infection. (2007) Clin. Infect. Dis. (45):1541-1542.
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