(redirected from serologic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


The division of biological science concerned with antigen-antibody reactions in serum. It properly encompasses any of these reactions, but is often used in a limited sense to denote laboratory diagnostic tests, especially for syphilis. The techniques of blood grouping have come from the study of antigen-antibody reactions in serum, as have techniques for identification of genetic polymorphism and quantitation of numerous serum proteins. With these advances came the means for developing transfusion therapy with cells and plasma. In addition, these techniques led to identification of antibodies involved in incompatibility reactions, such as in erythroblastosis fetalis, and the development of effective measures to prevent their occurrence. Further, extension of these techniques to identification of antigens on white cells led to effective methods of histocompatibility typing, facilitating organ transplantation. See Transplantation biology



the study of the properties of blood serum; the term “serology” is usually applied to the branch of immunology that studies serum antibody-antigen interactions.

Serologic reactions may be direct (two-component), for example, agglutination, passive hemagglutination, and precipitation, or they may be indirect (three-component), for example, microbial neutralization and hemagglutination retardation. Several simple reactions may constitute complex serologic reactions, including bacteriolysis and complement fixation. Immunofluorescence, which is based on the staining of antibodies (antigens) with fluorochromes, is also widely used. A special type of serologic reaction is the immobilization of motile microorganisms, for example, the immobilization of Treponema pallidum during syphilis. Certain serologic studies are not carried out in vitro but are administered directly to experimental animals; for example, the animals are given immune serum in serial dilutions and a lethal dose of microbes.

Serologic reactions are used for scientific and diagnostic purposes in infectious and noninfectious immunology, for example, in the transfusion of blood, in the determination of blood groups, and in the establishment of generic and individual protein specificity. Serologic investigations are also employed in epidemiology and epizootiology in identifying the source of an infection, the method of the transmission of an infection, the state of immunity in humans and animals, and the effectiveness of vaccination. The antigen-antibody reaction constitutes the basis of seroprophylaxis and serotherapy. Today, serology is concerned with highly specific diagnostic and therapeutic serums—with the development of methods for their production, with the evaluation of their activity, and with the clarification of their action.


Reznikova, L. S., R. V. Epshtein-Litvak, and M. I. Levi. Serologicheskie metodv issledovaniiapri diagnostike infeklsionnykh boleznei. Moscow, 1962.
Handbook of Experimental Immunology. Oxford, 1967.



The branch of science dealing with the properties and reactions of blood sera.
References in periodicals archive ?
Each participant should have had serologic results from 4 periods, and results were expected to correlate with each other.
New-generation finger-stick whole-blood H pylori antibody testing can be simple, inexpensive, and CLIA-exempt, and has a sensitivity and specificity comparable with that of quantitative serologic tests.
The serologic status of 2 workers (T3 and T42) was compatible with ongoing chronic Q fever as assessed by IFA and ELISA (Table).
But as demonstrated in this case, serologic testing of tumor markers followed by immunohistologic re-examination might in fact lead to a diagnosis that requires an entirely different therapeutic strategy.
Outcomes measured The outcome examined in the decision analysis was estimated cost to the Army, including the cost of serologic testing, venipuncture, vaccine dosage and administration, hospital and outpatient charges, and training costs per case.
In practice, latent syphilis is classified as EL with evidence that a person acquired infection during the previous 12 months based on 1) a nonreactive serologic test for syphilis or a fourfold rise in titer from a previous serologic test for syphilis during the previous 12 months; 2) a history of symptoms consistent with primary or secondary syphilis without a history of treatment in the previous 12 months; or 3) a history of sexual exposure to a partner with confirmed or presumptive primary, secondary, or early latent syphilis and no history of treatment during the previous 12 months.
However, literature references to VLM imported by immigrants are scarce (5), and the disease may be underdiagnosed in the immigrant population, partly because of nonspecific symptoms and the limitations of serologic diagnosis.
The new genetic test for HLA genes DQ2 and DQ8 can obviate repeated serologic testing and biopsies in at-risk individuals, not by confirming the diagnosis of celiac disease but by ruling it out, explained Dr.
The best way to avoid missing the diagnosis is to be aware of its signs and symptoms, recognize them, and proceed to serologic testing.
Until recently, when research-based serologic tests (1,2) were developed to test for antibody to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV), no serologic test was available to identify HEV infection, and diagnosis depended on a history of exposure in an appropriate epidemiologic setting and the exclusion of other causes of viral hepatitis.
cultures, serologic analysis, radiographs) on the basis of clinical symptoms and signs as part of routine procedures at each hospital.