The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Avian antibodies

Avian antibodies

For the following tests, please send serum (300 µl minimum) or 3mL clotted blood in a plain tube; EDTA blood is not suitable.

Please note this test is provided by the Immunology Department. Clinical advice is available from the Mycology Clinical Scientists


Detection of antibodies to pigeon serum or budgerigar antigens for diagnosis of Bird Fanciers’ Lung.


Determination of the presence and levels of IgG antibodies to pigeon serum or budgerigar antigen mix (serum, feathers, droppings). The method used is a commercial automated Fluorescent Immuno Enzyme Assay (ImmunoCAP).


Results are returned as mg Antibody per litre (mgA/L) and range from <2.0 to >200.


It has been shown that IgG antibody levels to pigeon serum > 10mgA/L are clinically significant and correlate well with significant exposure to both pigeon and other bird antigens. In symptomatic patients such levels are highly likely to indicate Bird Fancier's Lung. Similarly, it has been shown that serum IgG antibody levels to Budgie mix antignes >8mgA/L are likely to indicate sensitivity to that antigen source in symptomatic patients.

Note :

The uncertainty of measurement of this assay has been characterised in the following way, a positive control sample at the approximate level the same as the cutoff for a positive result (10mg/L), tested over 8 months yielded a mean of 16.45 mg/L and a standard deviation of 1.21, thus we estimate that 95% of all samples at this level will have a range from + or - 2.38 mg/L.

Link to further information