Serology is the scientific study of blood serum. In practice, the term usually refers to the
diagnosticidentification of antibodies in the serum.cite book | author = Ryan KJ, Ray CG (editors) | title = Sherris Medical Microbiology | edition = 4th ed. | pages = 247–9 |publisher = McGraw Hill | year = 2004 | isbn = 0838585299 ] Such antibodies are typically formed in response to an infection (against a given microorganism)cite book | author = Washington JA | title = Principles of Diagnosis: Serodiagnosis. "in:" Baron's Medical Microbiology "(Baron S "et al", eds.)| edition = 4th ed. | publisher = Univ of Texas Medical Branch | year = 1996 | url = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=mmed.section.5462 | isbn = 0-9631172-1-1 ] , against other foreign proteins (in response, for example, to a mismatched blood transfusion), or to one's own proteins (in instances of autoimmune disease).
Serological tests may be performed for diagnostic purposes when an
infectionis suspected, in rheumatic illnesses, and in many other situations, such as checking an individual's blood type. Serology blood tests help to diagnose patients with certain immune deficiencies associated with the lack of antibodies, such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia. In such cases, tests for antibodies will be consistently negative.
Some serological tests are not limited to blood serum, but can also be performed on other bodily fluids such as
semenand saliva, which have (roughly) similar properties to serum.
Serological tests may also be used forensically, generally to link a perpetrator to a piece of evidence (e.g., linking a rapist to a semen sample).
* [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003511.htm Serology] -
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