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Diagnosis of Celiac disease

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where the lining of the small intestine is damaged by exposure to gluten (a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats) in genetically predisposed children and adults. The reaction to gluten causes inflammation and atrophy of intestinal lining, which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and related health issues. The diagnosis of Celiac disease is classically based on a combination of findings from a patient’s clinical history, serologic testing and duodenal biopsies. SEROLOGY TEST: Serologic tests are for screening purposes and do not confirm the diagnosis of coeliac disease. Serologic tests for celiac disease include anti-transglutaminase IgA & IgG antibody, anti-endomysium IgA antibody, and Deamidated Gliadin Peptide IgA & IgG antibodies.  The serologic tests that check for IgA antibodies are more sensitive for celiac disease than the tests for IgG antibodies. However, in people who have IgA deficiency, IgG tests ma
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Hepatitis Markers

  Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It is commonly the result of a viral infection (hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E), but there are other possible causes of hepatitis like autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary to medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Hepatitis markers (Antigens, Antibodies & PCR) are useful for determining diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and vaccination status and for monitoring treatment.  Viral Hepatitis Markers: Hepatitis A virus-IgM Antibodies (anti-HAV IgM) : Serum IgM antibody to the hepatitis A virus (antiHAV) appears at about four weeks after initial infection and usually persists for 2-6 months as the initial phase of the immune response. (Test code H018) Hepatitis A virus-IgG Antibodies (anti-HAV IgG) : Serum IgG antibody to HAV generally persists for lifetime, conferring immunity to further HAV infection. (Test code H017) Hepatitis A virus-Total Antibodies (Anti-HAV-Total Ab) : The total HAV antibody test detect

Sterile Pyuria: a diagnostic challenge

Pyuria is the pathological finding of the presence of leucocytes or white blood cells, commonly referred to as pus cells, in the urine. It may be indicative of various health conditions, but it is most commonly associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI).   Sterile pyuria can be defined as the presence of leucocytes in the urine but absence of infection with standard culture techniques.  Sterile pyuria is misleading term, as commonest cause for the finding is undoubtedly infection of some sort.  It is a relatively common problem, with a wide range of causes.  It could be infectious or non-infectious, depending on conditions.  Sterile pyuria may be due to a partially treated urinary tract infection (even one dose of antibiotic before urine collection), a recently treated UTI (pyuria often remains for one-two weeks after clearing infection), a UTI with fastidious or slow growing atypical organisms that fail to grow during standard laboratory culture. Other infectious causes of ster

Celiac Disease, Wheat Allergy and Gluten Intolerance: What's the Difference?

Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergy are the three major disorders that are known to trigger unpleasant symptoms following intake of foods made using wheat . Although the three conditions share similar symptoms, their pathogenic mechanism, diagnosis and treatment are quite different. Coeliac disease is permanent, whereas allergies and intolerances can come and go during a person’s life.  Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disorder that occurs in reaction to the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The reaction to gluten causes inflammation and atrophy of intestinal lining, which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and related health issues. The diagnosis of Celiac disease is classically based on a combination of findings from a patient’s clinical history, serologic testing (anti-transglutaminase IgA antibody, anti-endomysium antibody, Deamidated Gliadin Peptide) and duodenal biopsies. Wheat allergy is an immune reaction (IgE mediate

Mucorales RT-PCR: A potential game changer in diagnosis of Mucormycosis

Mucormycosis refers to severe infectious diseases that are caused by filamentous fungi of the Mucorales order that primarily affect immunocompromised patients and patients with diabetes mellitus. Recently, an increasing incidence has been reported among COVID-19 patients in India. The most common genera in invasive mucormycosis are Rhizopus, Rhizomucor, Lichtheimia and Mucor, accounting for 90% of all cases. Clinically and radiographically, mucormycosis is often indistinguishable from other invasive fungal infections such as aspergillosis and remains difficult to diagnose. A definitive diagnosis of mucormycosis typically requires histopathological evidence or positive fungal culture from a specimen from the site of infection, which may be difficult to obtain in some patients. A molecular diagnostic approach, detecting circulating DNA of Mucorales (by PCR) in serum of patients, may help to diagnose invasive mucormycosis more quickly and to introduce directed therapy earlier and eventual

Serum Galactomannan: A diagnostic tool for Aspergillosis

  Aspergillus is a filamentous fungus known as a common mold (White Fungus). Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores daily with no ill effects. However, people with compromised immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing aspergillosis due to aspergillus. Several recent reports describe COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis. Aspergillus fumigatus was the most common species causing co-infection in COVID-19 patients, followed by Aspergillus flavus.  Aspergillosis is broadly classified into different categories based on the site of infection and recurrence rates- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis Aspergilloma/fungus ball Cutaneous aspergillosis Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis Invasive aspergillosis Diagnosis of aspergillosis is often difficult due to several factors such as delay in clinical suspicion and the lack of specific clinical findings. Conventional diagnosis of Aspergillosis is dependent on fungal culture and hi

Why Regular Health Check-up are Necessary?

“Health is wealth.” It is an old axiom, but most commonly neglected, because of the fast- paced life, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and stress. People are becoming more and more vulnerable to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart diseases and various cancers. We pay attention to these factors only when we’ve run out of time. However, the concept of regular/ annual health check-ups for healthy individuals is increasing day by day. Precautionary healthcare is becoming a part of our routine as people are more educated and aware of their health. But, still, majority of the public and health care professionals are speculative regarding the degree if its utility and using these services in a cost-effective manner. Many organizations, all around the world, have made regular health check- ups mandatory for their employees to ensure their workforce stays fit and healthy, working more efficiently and adding to the overall gain

Falsely Elevated Interleukin-6 (IL-6): The facts

The interleukin-6 (1L-6) is a multifunctional pleiotropic cytokine, and is also known as interferon-ß2 (IFN-ß2), 26 kDa protein, B-cell stimulatory factor-2 (BSF-2), hybridoma/ plasmacytoma growth factor, hepatocyte stimulating factor and macrophage-granulocyte inducing factor 2A (MGI-2A). IL-6 is released by a variety of cell types such as, T cells, B cells, monocytes, fibroblasts, vascular endothelial cells, cardiac myxomas, bladder cell carcinomas, myelomas, astrocytoma and glioblastomas. It has a major role in the mediation of inflammatory and immune response initiated by infection or injury. IL-6 can be elevated with inflammation, infection, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers also. In few of the cases it has been associated with an increased risk of disease development or worsening prognosis. As the levels of IL-6 are associated with medical diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis, monitoring the fluctuation of its levels may reflect the progression or regre

Ways To Maintain A Health in Rainy Season

Rainy (Monsoon) season are known to make the climate pleasant and adds scenic beauty to the environment. It gives a new life to the earth. However, monsoon also brings along numerous diseases (esp. food borne and mosquito-borne diseases) due to harmful viruses, bacteria and fungus. Common cold, Flu, Stomach Infection, Diarrhoea, Malaria, Dengue, Typhoid, Chikungunya, Viral fever and Allergy are some of the diseases which make it to the top of the list. The common victims are children and people with low immunity.   Enjoy the monsoon rains the healthy way by eating good food and following certain following precautionary measures.   Eat a healthy, balanced diet to keep you fit. Avoid junk food, street food and pre-cut fruits, especially from the roadside stalls. Eat steamed salads instead of raw vegetables. Thoroughly scrub fruits and vegetables under running water before consuming. Better to avoid milk, and chose other milk-products like yogurt, curd, etc. Include more Vitamin-C rich

Clinical significance of NLR, PLR & LMR in COVID-19

The clinical presentation of COVID-19, varies from no symptoms to severe symptoms with complications like acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, metabolic acidosis, coagulopathy, and septic shock. A full blood count is a routine, inexpensive and easy test that provides information about formed blood contents. Patients with severe COVID-19 disease present with increased leucocytosis, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, eosinopenia and thrombocytopenia than those with non-severe disease. Recently, reports on the feasibility of few new haematological parameters like, Neutrophil to Lymphocyte ratio (NLR) , Lymphocyte to Monocyte ratio (LMR) and Platelet to Lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in predicting prognosis in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection have been published. The current study shows that these parameters may be a rapid, cost-effective, widely available, useful prognostic factor in the early screening of critical illness in patients with confirmed COVID-19. These parame

COVID-19 IgG (SARS-CoV-2 IgG) Antibody Test for Sero-surveillance

The SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody (COVID-19 IgG) test is intended for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human blood. The SARS-CoV-2 IgG test is intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating prior infection. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection. They are found in the blood. SARS-CoV-2 IgG Test may help identify if you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and, if so, whether or not your body has developed antibodies. Although having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection, there is a lack of evidence on whether having antibodies means you are protected against reinfection with COVID-19 in future.  This antibody develops in most patients at around two weeks after infection and remains in the blood after you have recovered although we do not presently know how long it may persist. Resul

Can Cervical Cancer Be Prevented?

Yes, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.  Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, that is the narrow opening into the uterus from the vagina. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women in worldwide and second most common in India. The current estimates indicate approximately 1,00,000 new cases diagnosed and 60,000 deaths annually in India.   Cervical cancer is mainly caused by  Human Papillomavirus  (HPV) infection, a sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 100 types of HPV and of these about 15 high-risk types cause most of the cases of cervical cancer, two of these types (16 and 18) are responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancer in India.  Because of slow develops, cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancer.  Cervical cancer can often be prevented by having regular screenings (Pap smear or/ and HPV detection) to find any pre-cancers and treat them, as well as receiving the HPV vac

Allergy Blood Test: The Facts

An Allergy is an immune system response to a substance that is not typically harmful to our body. These substances are called allergens . The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces a chemical, histamine that causes allergy symptoms, mild to a life-threatening reaction (known as anaphylaxis ). Approx 20% population will suffer from allergy at sometime in their life.  Symptom: The symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from mild to severe.  • Skin rashes • Itching • Nasal congestion  • Sore throat • Watery or itchy eyes • Abdominal cramping or pain • Difficulty in swallowing • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea • Difficulty in breathing • Wheezing or cough • Dizziness • Anxiety • Flushing or swelling of the face or eye • Weakness • Unconsciousness Sometime severe and sudden allergic reaction can develop within seconds after exposure to an allergen. This type of reaction is known as anaphylactic reaction and

Tips to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution

Air pollution is becoming a major health problem that affects millions of people world-wide. Air Pollution is an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of air. Air pollution mainly affects respiratory system causing breathing difficulties and lung diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and lung cancer. As air pollution levels rise, people with lung conditions are at higher risk of becoming ill and needing treatment. If you have a lung condition, high levels of pollution can also cause an exacerbation of your symptoms, such as an asthma attack or a COPD flare-up. Here are some simple, effective tips for protecting you and your family from the dangers of air pollution- Avoid morning walks, garden exercises and outdoor activities when pollution levels are high. Keep doing your exercise indoors in a well-ventilated room or gym. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy. Use of anti-pollu

Can CA-125 be used to screen asymptomatic women for ovarian cancer?

The Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125) is a tumor marker or biomarker that is best known as a marker for ovarian cancer, But CA-125 has limited specificity for ovarian cancer because elevated CA-125 levels can be found in individuals without ovarian cancer. Hence this assay, regardless of level, should not be interpreted as absolute evidence for the presence or absence of malignant disease. The assay value should be used in conjunction with findings from clinical evaluation and other diagnostic procedures. This test is not recommended to screen Ovarian cancer in the general population. The CA-125 is used to monitor therapy during treatment for ovarian cancer. CA-125 is also used to detect relapse of cancer after treatment is complete. It may also be elevated in other malignant cancers, including those originating in the endometrium, Fallopian tubes, lungs, breast and gastrointestinal tract. A number of normal and noncancerous conditions can cause an elevated CA 125 level, includin