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Laboratory diagnosis

TORCH Test In Medicine - Purpose and Method -


Torch Test is used to detect antibodies against various infectious agents and their concentration in blood. antibodies are the protein molecules that the body produces in response to an infectious agent. These antibodies help to kill or eradicate the infectious agent out of the body.
Torch test is sometimes referred to as torch panel. Its name Torch Test is derived from the names of five infectious agents.
1. Toxoplasma gondi
2. Other infectious agents
3. Rubella
4. Cytomegalovirus
5. Herpes simplex virus.

Other infections which are tested usually include:
Hepatitis B, Syphilis, Epstein bar virus, Coxsackie virus, Varicella zoster virus and human parvovirus.

TORCH Test is a screening test. Its purpose is to find out whether the newborn has got an infection from either of the above mention organisms or not.
Usually, a blood sample is taken to measure the concentration of antibodies. But sometimes other specimens (e.g urine, CSF or tissue )  are taken to confirm the diagnosis of a specific infection.
CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is tested to confirm the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis, rubella or syphilis in special cases.
In case of cytomegalovirus infection, diagnosis is confirmed by culturing organism in the sample of infant's urine.
In the case of Herpes simplex virus infection, Tissue culture is the best method to confirm the diagnosis.
Its method has become very simple. only a single drop of serum is placed on TORCH kit and results are noticed.
TORCH Test is important because the infectious agent may cause TORCH SYNDROME in newborns.

Levin, Myron J. "Infections: Viral & Rickettsial." In Current Pediatric Diagnosis & Treatment, edited by William W. Hay Jr., et al. Stamford: Appleton & Lange,

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