CFT Full Form, Complement Fixation Test
The Complement Fixation Test (CFT), indicated by its full form, is a significant diagnostic method in the realm of medical serology. Originating in 1909 through Wasserman’s efforts, the CFT has been a crucial tool in the diagnosis of various infectious diseases. Its historical prominence is notable, especially in the early years when it was extensively employed for syphilis serology. This article delves into the principles and applications of the Complement Fixation Test, elucidating its functioning and highlighting its merits in the diagnosis of diseases.
Principles of the Complement Fixation Test
The principles of the Complement Fixation Test (CFT) include:
- Complement as a Key Player: CFT relies on a protein called complement, which is naturally present in blood serum. The complement plays a crucial role in the body’s immune response. It has the ability to bind to immune complexes formed during an antigen-antibody reaction.
- Complex Formation and Fixation: When an antigen-antibody (Ag-Ab) immune complex is formed, the complement can fix or attach itself to this complex. This fixation of the complement to the Ag-Ab complex is the basis of the CFT.
- Cellular Lysis: Once the complement is fixed to the complex, it triggers the lysis (destruction) of the cells on which the Ag-Ab complex is located. This can occur on various types of cells, including bacteria and red blood cells.
- Measuring Hemolysis: In the case of CFT, red blood cells are commonly used as the target cells. When the complement fixes to the Ag-Ab complex on the surface of these cells, the terminal elements of the complement cause damage to the cell membranes, leading to cell lysis. The extent of this lysis is assessed by the release of free hemoglobin.
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Applications of CFT in Disease Diagnosis
The Complement Fixation Test (CFT) is used to diagnose various infectious diseases. It is particularly in cases where specific antibodies are expected to be present in the blood serum in response to an infectious agent. Here is how CFT is applied in disease diagnosis:
- Detecting Specific Antibodies: CFT is utilized to determine the presence of specific antibodies in a patient’s blood serum. When specific antibodies are found and react with the infectious agent, the complement is attached to the Ag-Ab complex, preventing further complement from reacting with antibodies belonging to the erythrocytes (red blood cells). As a result, there is no hemolysis.
- Indicating Disease Presence: Lack of hemolysis in the CFT suggests the existence of particular antibodies in the blood serum. In other words, if hemolysis occurs, it indicates that specific antibodies are not present.
Advantages of CFT
The Complement Fixation Test offers several advantages in disease diagnosis:
- Broad Spectrum Detection: CFT can simultaneously detect a wide range of viral and bacterial infections. It is a versatile diagnostic tool that can be applied to different pathogens.
- Cost-Effective Analysis: CFT is a cost-effective diagnostic method, making it accessible and suitable for large-scale screenings and diagnostic purposes.