The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Farmers lung antibodies

Farmers lung 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

Clotted Blood plain tube




Detection of antibodies to Micropolyspora faeni also known as Saccharopolyspora rectivirgul and Thermoactinomyces vulgaris to diagnose Farmers' Lung


Determination of the presence of IgG antibodies to M. faeni and T. vulgaris in serum using a commercial automated Fluorescent Immuno Enzyme Assay (ImmunoCAP).


Concentration of IgG antibodies to M. faeni and T. vulgaris in mg/L. Positive results with IgG to either M. faeni or T. vulgaris antigens >39.9mg/L is likely to indicate that thermophilic actinomycets are the cause of the patients HP. Levels of IgG to M faeni between 36-39.9mg/L or to T. vulgaris between 22 and 39.9mg/L indicate HP may relate to actinomycete antigen exposure and further testing and/or antigen avoidance may be advised and results will be liaised.


The uncertainty of measurement of this assay has been characterised in the following way, a positive control sample at a similar level the same as the cutoff for a positive result (M. faeni 22mg/L, T. vulgaris 36mg/L), tested over 2 months yielded a mean of 35.6 mg/L (M. faeni) 36.3 (T. vulgaris) and we estimate that 95% of all samples at this level will have a range from + or - 4.5 mg/L (M. faeni) and 6.6 (T. vulgaris).

Out of scope of ISO 15189:2012 accreditation