Skip to main content

Fever Evaluation Tests

Fever Evaluation Tests

Definition

Fever evaluation tests, better known as febrile agglutinins tests, are performed to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood that are sensitive to temperature changes. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to specific infectious agents, such as viruses or bateria. Febrile agglutinins are antibodies that cause red blood cells to clump, but only when the blood is warmed to temperatures higher than the average body temperature of 98.6 °F (37 °C).

Purpose

The febrile agglutinins test is used to confirm the diagonsis of certain infectious diseases that stimulate the body to produce febrile agglutinins. The disease most commonly diagnosed by this test is brucellosis, a infection caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Brucella and characterized by intermittent fever, sweating, chills, aches, and mental depression. The test is also used to diagnose certain other infectious diseases: salmonellosis, caused by Salmonella bacteria and marked by nausea and severe diarrhea ; rickettsial infections, a group of diseases caused by the bacteria Rickettsia ; and tularemia, also called rabbit fever, a bacterial infection characterized by a high fever and swollen lymph nodes. The febrile agglutinins test can also be used to confirm the presence of two types of cancer, leukemia and lymphoma; however, doctors rarely use the test for this purpose, since other diagnostic tests are more reliable.

Description

A febrile agglutinins test can be performed at a doctor's office or a hospital. A nurse or technician will collect a few drops of blood (about 7ml) in a small tube that has been cooled slightly. The specimen is then taken to a laboratory where it heated and examined for clumping. If the cells clump after warming and unclump as they cool, a febrile agglutinin titer (concentration) of greater than 1:80 is present.

Normal results

The results of febrile agglutinins tests require a doctor's interpretation. In general, however, a normal value is lower than 1:32.

Abnormal results

An value higher than 1:80 suggests a diagnosis for brucellosis or one of the other conditions indicated by this test.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fever Evaluation Tests." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fever Evaluation Tests." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fever-evaluation-tests

"Fever Evaluation Tests." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fever-evaluation-tests

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.