Some lab tests (especially antibody and antigen tests) report
results in titers. A titer is a measure of how much the sample can be diluted
before the antibodies or antigens can no longer be detected.
titer of 1 to 8 (1:8) means that antibodies or antigens can still be found when
1 part of the blood sample is diluted by 8 parts of a salt solution (saline),
but they can no longer be found at a dilution of 1 to 16 (1:16). A larger
second number means there are more antibodies or antigens in the sample. So a
titer of 1 to 128 (1:128) means more antibodies or antigens in the sample than
a titer of 1 to 32 (1:32).
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine
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