Blood for serology


Test indications

  • Investigation of bacterial and viral infections for which serological diagnosis is available.
  • Screening to exclude infection or identify existing immunity from past infection or immunisation.

Test information

For diagnosis of acute infections, paired acute (at onset of symptoms) and convalescent (10-14 days later) sera are preferable to show a rising antibody titre. A single convalescent sample may be sent for retrospective diagnosis.

State relevant symptoms, their duration and infection(s) suspected.

Date of onset is essential.

For screening tests supply previous infection / immunisation history.

See virology and microbiological serology for more details and use the A to Z index or search function for individual tests.

Samples required

5 mL clotted blood. Smaller tubes are available for paediatric samples.

Turnaround time*

2-5 working days

If combinations of tests are requested necessitating sequential testing on a single sample, reports may not be issued until all tests are completed.



* Quoted turnaround times are the time from receipt of specimen into the laboratory to 90% of reports leaving the laboratory. Stated times are based on normal working hours, Monday to Friday, excluding statutory bank and public holidays.