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Infectious agent antigen detection by immunofluorescent technique, polyvalent for multiple organisms, each polyvalent antiserum

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Infectious Agent Antigen Detection by Immunofluorescent Technique, Polyvalent for Multiple Organisms, Each Polyvalent Antiserum


This procedure detects multiple types of infectious agents in a patient's sample using a technique called immunofluorescence. It involves applying a special dye that binds to antibodies targeting different organisms, which makes them glow under a microscope.


This test is used to identify the presence of infectious agents causing diseases. The goal is to quickly and accurately detect pathogens to guide appropriate treatment plans.


  • Unexplained infections with fever or other symptoms
  • Persistent or chronic infections not identified by other methods
  • Conditions like respiratory infections, meningitis, or urinary tract infections where multiple pathogens might be involved


  • No specific fasting or dietary restrictions required
  • Inform the healthcare provider of any current medications or allergies
  • Possibly undergoing preliminary diagnostic tests such as blood or urine culture

Procedure Description

  1. A sample is collected from the patient, which could be blood, sputum, urine, or tissue.
  2. The sample is placed on a slide.
  3. Polyvalent antisera, containing antibodies for multiple organisms, is added to the sample.
  4. A fluorescent dye is added, which binds to the antibodies.
  5. The slide is observed under a fluorescence microscope to look for glowing areas indicating the presence of antigens from infectious agents.


The procedure itself is quick, taking about 30 to 60 minutes. However, preparation and observation may take additional time.


This test is typically performed in a hospital laboratory or specialized diagnostic center.


  • Medical technologists or laboratory technicians
  • Pathologists may review and interpret the results

Risks and Complications

  • Minimal risk associated with the sample collection
  • Rarely, reactions to sample collection such as bruising, infection at the collection site
  • Laboratory errors if protocol is not followed


  • Rapid and appropriate identification of infectious agents
  • Guiding targeted treatment regimens
  • Reduction in the severity or spread of an infection


  • No specific recovery required for this procedure
  • Normal activities can usually be resumed immediately after sample collection
  • Follow-up may include discussing results with the healthcare provider


  • Culture-based methods: Longer duration but useful for detailed analysis
  • Molecular tests: PCR assays for specific pathogen detection
  • Pros: Immunofluorescence is rapid and can detect multiple targets simultaneously. Cultures provide detailed antibiotic resistance, PCR is highly specific.
  • Cons: Immunofluorescence requires specialized equipment and expertise.

Patient Experience

  • Sample collection might involve some discomfort, especially if blood is drawn or a biopsy is needed.
  • The actual immunofluorescence test is not experienced by the patient directly.
  • Any discomfort from sample collection is generally minimal and short-lived.

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