Functional Candida Testing: ELISA Blood and Saliva Tests

As outlined by several specialists, the ELISA candida fungus examination signifies by far the most trustworthy method of revealing candida albicans over-proliferation at this stage in time.

Once the candida yeast infection starts to cause disease in your body, it will begin to provoke an immune response, and one of the main effects of such a response will be the production of elevated levels of specific antibodies to candida.

Your white blood cells begin to make antibodies specific against the candida infection, and these antibody levels are measured by way of this test. Some say that it is not a good way to determine if you have an active and/or current candida infection, as the antibody levels can remain elevated for some time (in some cases, months or even years) after a bout of candida, and in some people, evan the slightest exposure can increase the antibody levels. Others say this does not really matter, because if your levels are high right now, it means that you still have an immune system which is very much being affected by candida. As the activity drops off, so should the level of antibody activity, but for some people they can remain high for several years.

The technique used to determine these antibody levels in the blood is called ELISA (enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay), which is a very powerful and sensitive tool for the measurement of antibody levels in a person’s blood or saliva. The way this test is performed is that a small sample of the patient’s serum or saliva is coated onto a special plastic plate. The patient sample is diluted and anything in that blood or saliva sample is then grown on this plate.

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If any antibodies that recognise the candida are present in the sample they will strongly bind to the candida; all remaining sample that is not bound can then be washed away and a special substrate is added. This is a colourless solution that will cause to produce a coloured sample. This colour can then be very accurately measured by something called a “spectro-photometer”. If an exact known level of candida antibodies is accurately determined, then the colour that this produces can be used to produce a standard curve. A computer can then analyse the test sample’s colour to give an exact value of how many candida-specific antibodies were in the original sample, now how clever is that!

The Three Main Antigens – Delayed and Immediate Immune Markers

It is worth pointing out that there are three antigens which can potentially tag the candida specific antibodies in your blood; they are immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin A (IgA) as well immunoglobulin E (IgE). Your body produces these three antibodies in order to fight the different strains of candida. Don’t confuse this Candida Antibody Test with the IgE/IgG ELISA Food Allergy Test, I’ll talk a lot more about food allergy testing in chapter 7, section 1, Understanding Diet And Nutrition.

The importance of this is that the IgG-type antibodies tend to reflect a long-term or an older, more established candida yeast infection. IgG can also reveal that your candida infection may be a lot more severe if this marker is elevated at the same time as the other two.

The IgE antibody represents a present or a more recent candida yeast infection. And an elevated serum (blood) IgA level indicates a more superficial infection, especially if the IgG and IgE levels are low to normal. An elevated IgA on its own will also tell you if the exposure is mainly limited to the mucus membranes (digestive tract, vagina and/or skin) and if you do a stool test (in the case of a CDSA as you will see in a minute) it will reveal a heightened immune response inside your digestive system, generally a food allergy, inflammation or even point potentially towards inflammatory bowel disease if the inflammatory markers are elevated in this stool sample as well.
So, if you can do an IgG/IgA/IgE candida antibody test than please do it. You will then know a lot about not only the direction the yeast infection is going in your body, but will also be able to gauge the severity of the response.

For example, was it bad a while ago (IgG) and now more recently your candida symptoms are not as bad? (IgE). The good thing about doing this test up front is that you will have established a baseline as well, meaning, a starting point for treatment.

Be Careful When Interpreting Allergy Test Results

I have read in the scientific literature that there have been occasions where IgA class antibody levels have been found in excess of one hundred times that seen in a normal population, particularly in those with a history of long-term antibiotic use and in those with recurrent and chronic bacterial or fungal infections. Having a strong family history of allergies can also make a person more likely to have a heightened level of the IgA class of antibodies in particular so careful case-taking is necessary when performing this test to uncover such a history.

One of the major drawbacks of relying solely on a blood test to diagnose candida is that in a small percentage of candida cases there may actually be evidence of an IgA deficiency in a patient, which could lead to a falsely lowered reading or a negative result. This problem may be compounded by the fact that such patients are more likely to suffer from recurrent bacterial or fungal infections of the very nature that are being tested. You should not rely solely on the outcome of any one single test, and it is best you verify a candida yeast infection by looking at several ways to assess your condition.

The same goes for many different complaints you may suffer from, regardless of any form of testing, as you may now understand that are many unknown variables which can account for a false positive or a false negative test result.

Mucosal Antigen Levels Versus Serum Antigen Levels

You can determine candida antibodies by either the blood, the stool or by the person’s saliva. Always remember that candida is in essence an infection of the mucosal surfaces of the body (mouth, digestive system, vagina, etc) and that saliva in this regard therefore represents a more suitable medium for the detection of these types of infections than blood samples.

Blood-based antigen levels will tell us that the infection is more systemic, meaning more widespread throughout the body, and can literally travel anywhere the blood can go, and high serum antibody levels are therefore much more indicative of major systemic infections. Now you can see why I recommend the serum antibody levels over the saliva levels for the reasons mentioned above.

ELISA (Blood) Test or Saliva Test Collection Requirements

Be sure to avoid all non-essential medications and ALL dietary nutritional supplements for at least a week before the blood is drawn (or saliva produced) before you complete this test. I am surprised how many patients I have seen over the years who take supplements and drugs and even antibiotics right up until they complete the food allergy (or any) test, what a waste of money. In addition, I would prefer that you eat and drink all the foods and beverages you desire. Yes, that’s right; eat what you feel like eating for a seven day period before this test, and the reason for this is to establish the true level of antigens in your body based on your cravings and desires. This instinctive diet will reveal what is really going on inside your body and will accurately reveal the antibody level based on the diet which your body is screaming out for.

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Your candida antibody levels will be a reflection of what “taste’s good” to you, and those with candida generally like or crave the sweeter foods. Every person’s treats are a little different, so eat what you really want to eat for seven days and then complete the test.

Unless you feel absolutely terrible for eating the foods you desire, just eat what you want to eat for about a week and then perform the test. As soon as you have completed the test then go back to the anti-candida diet you were before.

About Eric Bakker N.D.

Eric Bakker ND has completed almost ten years of study and has almost almost 25 years of clinical experience in natural and integrative forms of medicine, and has pursued continuous post-graduate study in Australia, America, India as well as in New Zealand.

Eric is the past Vice President of the NZ Natural Medicine Association and is currently on their editorial advisory board.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Functional Candida Testing: ELISA Blood and Saliva Tests”

  1. I had a candida antibody screen done
    Can you help me with the results please
    IgG IgM IgA

    14.1 2.0 9.8

    Normal range “”
    0.0-30.0 0.0-10.0 0.0- 10.0

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