Cold Agglutinin Titer
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To identify and confirm the presence of viral infections such as found in atypical pneumonia.
Serum collected in a red-top tube. The tube must be placed in a water bath or heat block at 37°C for 1 hr and allowed to clot before the serum is separated from the red blood cells (RBCs).
(Method: Patient serum containing autoantibodies titered against type O RBCs at 2°C to 8°C. Type O cells are used because they have no antigens on the cell membrane surface. Agglutination with patient sera would not occur because of reaction between RBC blood type antigens and patient blood type antibodies.) Negative: Single titer less than 1:32 or less than a fourfold increase in titer over serial samples. High titers may appear spontaneously in older adult patients and persist for many years.