The aim of this practical guide for serological diagnostics is a proper use of serology for diagnosis and to improve consistency in the interpretation of results. There are no existing national or international guidelines in this regard.
Serology concerns the detection of antigens from and antibodies against (potentially) pathogenic micro-organisms. It is frequently used to demonstrate a recent / actual infection or to demonstrate immunity following infection or vaccination. Interpretation of serology always depends on clinical presentation, underlying diseases / immunity and epidemiology, and therefore the same test results may lead to a different conclusion in different patients, different disease stages, different countries, etc. This digital practical serology guide provides guidelines for correct interpretation of serological results and how to deal with the challenges of serological diagnostics.
In time, the website will be expanded by the Serology Education Foundation with the addition of pathogen specific chapters and general chapters including topics as immunology, validation, general pitfalls, as well as general clinical entities such as rash, lymphadenopathy, encephalitis, and so on.
In this guide, the pathogens are divided into four groups. Pathogens belonging to the different groups can be recognised by the different colours: