Antibodies - None Detected ... HELP

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Hi All,

I'm really confused, and I need your scientific help!

My doctor called VIP today, and they said I was negative for the serology but my culture was still PENDING.

That wouldn't have raised any eyebrows, per say, but when I got tested - we went ahead and re-tested for viruses I had previously been positive for. Since 2000, I have had chronic re-activated EBV (had a mono infection in 1998) M.Pneumonia and HHV6A -- all usually between 300%-1200% above normal levels - and a Candida infection.

However, VIP's latest testing came back and that I had NO ANTIBODIES detected to EBV and M.Pneumonia on the latest test... though, I was still positive for HV6-D.

How is this possible? Can antibodies disappear? HELP!
 

alex3619

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Hi JAXintheCity, antibodies are proteins with a limited life. They are produced from B cells, and remembered for decades (usually not for life, at least not effectively remembered) - but only produced while there are active B cells producing them. These cells may have quieted down, become deactivated, or they might have died. If they went quiet, it is because they cannot find the virus to keep them active. They might also have been deactivated by whatever is going on in CFS, possibly XMRV. If they died, this is again probably CFS related. I wouldn't worry about it. It is also possible that your antibody levels are just too low to be picked up reliably by the test. Again, this is nothing to worry about. The culture test - I am presuming for XMRV - is probably more reliable anyway. Bye, Alex
 
Messages
97
Likes
1
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Hi JAXintheCity, antibodies are proteins with a limited life. They are produced from B cells, and remembered for decades (usually not for life, at least not effectively remembered) - but only produced while there are active B cells producing them. These cells may have quieted down, become deactivated, or they might have died. If they went quiet, it is because they cannot find the virus to keep them active. They might also have been deactivated by whatever is going on in CFS, possibly XMRV. If they died, this is again probably CFS related. I wouldn't worry about it. It is also possible that your antibody levels are just too low to be picked up reliably by the test. Again, this is nothing to worry about. The culture test - I am presuming for XMRV - is probably more reliable anyway. Bye, Alex

Hi Alex,

Thank you!

So, a quick question -- does this mean I am more susceptible to these viruses? IE., if EBV disappeared - can I be infected with EBV again, or Mono again?

Is this a bad sign, or a good sign, or no sign for the immune system?

Thank you again!

Jean
 

alex3619

Senior Member
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So, a quick question -- does this mean I am more susceptible to these viruses? IE., if EBV disappeared - can I be infected with EBV again, or Mono again?

Is this a bad sign, or a good sign, or no sign for the immune system?
Hi Jean

It might mean you are as vulnerable as someone who hasn't had the virus before. On the other hand, some memory cells probably remain so I suspect you might be actually less vulnerable than someone who has never had it, but more vulnerable than someone with a complete antibody response. It all depends on how many memory B cells are left. If the antibodies are not being produced because there is no virus your immune system can detect, you might have as much immunity as anyone - which is never total.

Several days ago I had a flu - kind of. Some of my relatives had it and neglected to tell me prior to a very rare get together - from their perspective its not like I have an immune deficiency, they don't get it no matter what I tell them. I did come down with a mild cough, but nothing like they had. The body's ability to remember means that antibody defenses kick-start faster, it doesn't give total immunity, but it shortens the length and severity of the infection. This means I either had this strain of flu before, or it was similar enough that my immune system could stomp it anyway.

EBV is special though. It lurks for a decade or so. If it doesn't reactivate in that time, you might be free of it, but usually it reactivates periodically and you will always be at risk any time your immune system is compromised, such as after a flu etc.

Bye
Alex