A Titer is a blood test that checks your immune status to vaccinations or diseases you may have received in the past. There are two types of immunity a person can have:
1. Active Immunity
2. Passive Immunity
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. The Hepatitis A titer is used to check immunity from previous infection or vaccination.
A Titer for Hepatitis A can be used in specific circumstances to reduce the costs of vaccination people who are already immune to Hepatitis A, such as:
The Vaccine Center and Travel Medicine Clinic offers a test to determine if a person has a recently acquired Hepatitis A infection called Hepatitis A Igm Antibody; or a test to determine if immunity is present due to previous vaccination or infection called Hepatitis A Total Antibody Test.
Hepatitis B Virus is an infection that is an established cause of acute and chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitis B is spread through contaminated blood and bodily fluids. The Hepatitis B Antibody titer is used to check immunity from previous vaccination for persons who are at increased risk of exposure to Hepatitis B.
The Hepatitis B test used to check immunity following Hepatitis B vaccine or previous Hepatitis B infection is called Hepatitis B surface Antibody Titer. This blood test measures the level of immunity and determines if the results indicate a protective level of immunity or indicate the need for booster doses of Hepatitis B vaccine.
Testing for immunity following vaccination should be considered for persons who may be at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B infection such as:
An MMR Titer is a blood test to check immunity for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Infection with any of the 3 diseases may have serious implications to a person’s health. The vaccine for MMR has been given routinely in the United States since 1971. It was not until 1989 that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended 2 doses of MMR for each individual. There was a large increase in Measles cases in the US in 2008 due to importation of Measles from other countries and from unvaccinated individuals.
Due to the potential likelihood of inadequate vaccine coverage and risk of disease transmission and outbreaks, many schools and employers require persons to show proof of 2 MMR Vaccines or proof of immunity to MMR for safety reasons. Colleges and post-high school educational institutions are potential high-risk areas for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella infection due to the large concentrations of susceptible persons. An MMR titer may prove immunity due to previous infection or previous MMR vaccination. All persons who work in medical facilities are at a higher risk of exposure and should have evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella or 2 doses of live MMR vaccines.
Persons who travel internationally are also at increased risk of exposure to measles. All travelers should have either adequate vaccination or evidence of immunity through an MMR titer.
Varicella (Chicken Pox) is a member of the herpes virus group. The primary infection results in Chicken Pox. Later in life, recurrent infection may emerge as Shingles. It is important for all individuals to know his/her status of immunity against the Varicella virus to protect those individuals form the higher risk of complications from acquired Varicella. A Varicella Titer will detect whether a person is immune to Varicella due to previous infection or immunization.
Varicella Titer testing should be performed for:
Rabies is a progressive fatal disease caused by a virus spread through rabid mammal. Laboratory testing can be used to evaluate the immune response to rabies antigen found in the vaccine. This laboratory test, called a Rabies Titer, is generally used for persons who have an occupational risk of rabies virus exposure, such as veterinarians or rabies virus laboratory workers.
The laboratory test may also be used for persons concerned about his/her immune status or have a deviation from the recommended vaccine schedule. Rabies titer testing should be performed after completing vaccine series for the following persons:
If the titer result is >0.05 IU/mL, the person is considered immune. If the result is <0.05 IU/mL the level of immunity is inadequate and the person is recommended to have further vaccination and serologic testing.