The Test Sample
What is being tested?
Antideoxyribonuclease-B antibody (anti-DNase B) is one of the most common of several antibodies that are produced by the body's immune system in response to a strep infection with group A Streptococcus. This test measures the amount of antibody to one of the streptococcal antigens (anti-DNase B) in the blood. It may be done with or following an antistreptolysin O (ASO) test, another test to detect antibody to a streptococcal antigen.
Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), is the bacterium responsible for causing strep throat and a variety of other infections, including skin infections (pyoderma, impetigo, cellulitis). In most cases, strep infections are identified and treated with antibiotics, and the infections resolve.
When a strep infection does not cause identifiable symptoms, goes untreated, or is treated ineffectively, however, complications (sequelae), namely rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis, can sometimes develop, especially in young children. These secondary conditions have become much less prevalent in the U.S. because of routine strep testing, but they still do occur. These conditions can cause serious complications, such as damage to the heart, acute kidney dysfunction, tissue swelling (edema), and high blood pressure (hypertension). Anti-DNase B and ASO tests can be used to help determine if these are due to a recent group A strep infection.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.