What is Weil Felix Test? Why is the Test Done?

October 24, 2018 No Comment

Do you suspect rickettsial infection? Rickettsial infection is the kind of infection transmitted through certain kinds of arthropods like fleas, lice, chigger and others. Rickettsia is non-spore forming pleomorphic bacteria which may be present in the form of cocci. They are pathogens that may cause a variety of fevers including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rickettsialpox, tick typhus, etc. To diagnose Rickettsial infection, there is Weil Felix Test which is performed. The test is agglutination test which helps to diagnose any infection of Rickettsial. The test is employed on a global scale that detects anti-rickettsial antibody in the serum of the patient. This test is based on the cross-reactions taking place between the several antibodies being produced in case of rickettsial infection.

Any sensitivity or specificity resulting from the test is not found. Only rarely it may occur. The test is very valuable from the point that it helps to test convalescent phase sample or acute phase sample. It can help to detect any rise in the antibody titre. Owing to low sensitivity of the test, the test may give false negative result. It is even more common in the case like Scrub Typhus.

Can the test be done at home?

Whether it is Widal test, Rickettsial test, they may all be done at home. The test is important as it helps to detect certain rickettsial infection and typhus. There is the entire series of diseases that may be caused due to bacteria, rickettsial. The test is vital and is recommended for initial screening of bacteria. Along with this particular test, other tests may also be prescribed. They are ELISA or Western Blot. Within 24 or 30 hours of testing, the results will be out. The test helps to assess any infection due to rickettsial but it does not specify the species involved.

When should you take the test?

If you show the initial symptoms of Rickettsial fever or infection like nausea, vomiting, headache, lack of appetite, joint pain, abdominal pain, muscular ache, acute headache, backache, skin rashes along with other specific symptoms of the infection, the test will be prescribed. There is no need for fasting. No such preparation is needed.

Rickettsia is diagnosed with agglutination test called Weil Felix. In the past few years, the test is used extensively to diagnose infection due to Rickettsia. The serum sample can include anti-rickettsial antibody.

How to interpret the test result?

Are you clueless how to interpret the report for Weil Felix? You should know how to interpret the test result. If the report reads >1:320, the result is positive. Well, the result of the test relies on agglutination reaction occurring. Know about the basis of this test. There can be cross reaction between Proteus spp and Rickettsia spp, and this is the principle or the base of the test. The sample serum is collected and is tested for this reaction only.

When it comes to the test procedure, it is quite easy. The blood sample will be collected and sent for analysis. In the lab, the test may be conducted with two procedures, namely, the tube method and the slide method. No such risk is associated with the test. There won’t be skin issues resulting from it.

Almost all the tests may be performed at your home including the sperm count test. Make sure you are not under the effect of alcohol when taking the test. The test is an important tool to find out rickettsial infection.

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