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Whooping cough help - IgG, IgA and IgM confusion

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#1 ~~~

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

Hi All,
Well, I have just been diagnosed with my third bout of whooping cough in 12mths......  sad.gif
Yes, I've had the booster about 3yrs ago and I'm now more than a bit concerned about what is going on.

I'm also 6mths pregnant and this is my second time this pregnancy that I need to take stronger antibiotics due to WC diagnosis.

My question is, what is the difference between the IgG, IgA and IgM serologies? My OB wanted to know what my IgM was but it wasn't done in this blood test - they only did IgA and IgG (both of which are showing "detected" as the result).

Any immunologists or microbiologists out there that can help clarify?

Its not like I have been coughing for 12mths straight, and after ABs, the symptoms do eventually go. I am just confused as to whether the serology results are because of previous exposures/infections or if I am being treated unnecessarily (basically). I don't want to risk passing this nasty disease on to anyone else.


Edited by ~~~, 24 November 2012 - 12:02 PM.

#2 nen-c

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

Doesn't sound like a good situation OP - there is more info at the following sites - the 2nd site claims to be peer reviewed and appears professional, but I've no idea if that is actually the case or not.

I hope you feel better soon.


and here


#3 ~~~

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

Thanks nen-c, I had seen that second site.

With further reading, I guess its more a specific question of how long would IgA be detectable after infection? If its only detectable in the first few weeks, not months, then this would be a new infection, rather than just a viral or other infection.

I've just had the nasal swab done today to see if it is positive as well. Last one I had was negative for the swab and positive/equivocal for the bloods.

Edited by ~~~, 24 November 2012 - 12:25 PM.

#4 Duck-o-lah

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

Pretty graph from this article.

Having a quick scroll through, seems the thinking is that using IgA and IgG to diagnose BP is not much more useful than using IgG alone, although this is controversial. Where I work we used to test for IgA however we now use an immunoassay for IgG only. I'm really not sure about IgM. I'll see if I can remember to ask my boss for more details on Monday.

Poor you, I hope they can clarify things for you quickly original.gif

Edited by duck-o-lah, 24 November 2012 - 03:52 PM.

#5 niggles

Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

My immunology doesn't get used much these days so I'm a little rusty but for what it's worth.

IgA, IgG and IgM are different forms of antibodies.

Some types of antibodies, like IgG, are present all the time in your blood after you have been exposed to that particular microbe either through infection or vaccination. Testing for this can tell you whether someone is immune to a disease, or at least that they've been exposed to it at some stage.

IgM tends to be present following a current or recent infection and then it drops off again.

My guess is your OB wants to know whether you have had a recent exposure to the disease, or have an active infection as opposed to your current status of immunity against the diesase.

I'm not too sure on the diagnostic relevance of IgA here. It's usual role is in secretions like mucous and saliva.

#6 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

What niggles said

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