What is the TORCH screen test

The TORCH screen is a group of blood tests looking for a variety of illnesses in newborn babies. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis, rubella cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV. It may also contain other neonatal illnesses.

Why is the Test Performed?

When a pregnant mother becomes infected with certain bacteria, the baby in the womb may also become infected. The fetus is more vulnerable to infection during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy.

This test is used to detect TORCH infections in babies. The importance of these infections is that they can cause the following issues in the baby:

  • Birth defects
  • Growth delay
  • Brain and nervous system problems

Who should get the TORCH test done?

Pregnant women who have been exposed to any of the viruses should be tested. This is a screening test to verify the health of the fetus.

If any of the following symptoms arise during pregnancy, a TORCH-13 test should be performed:

If any of the symptoms mentioned above are present, one should get the TORCH-13 test done as soon as possible. Early identification and treatment are critical in preventing any future difficulties in the pregnancy.

A well experienced gynecologist familiar with such early monitoring procedures, aids in the frequent monitoring of the fetus throughout the pregnancy's several trimesters. The first trimester has been shown to be the most dangerous.

How is the test conducted

A small area must be cleaned by the health care practitioner (usually the finger) and pierce it using a lancet, a tiny needle. Blood can be drawn from a tiny glass tube, a slide, a test strip, or a small container. If there is any bleeding, apply cotton or a bandage to the puncture site.

How to get ready for the exam

The consultant doctor will provide information on preparation ahead of the test, if special preparations are needed.

What happens during the test?

During this test, you may feel a prick and a stinging sensation while the blood sample is drawn. This may take only a few minutes, and the stinging or bruising sensation will go away easily.

Understanding the results

The TORCH screen findings indicate if you have an infectious disease or have recently had one. It will also reveal if any protection has been achieved against certain infections, such as Rubella, due to prior vaccination.

Normal Results

A positive test indicates the presence of IgG or IgM antibodies for one or more of the illnesses covered by the screening. When the test is positive, it might imply that you have the disease now, or had it in the past, or have been previously immunized against it. Your doctor will go through the test findings with you and explain what they all signify.

Abnormal Results

A negative test result implies that no antibodies were found. It is typically regarded as normal unless it is for a disease against which you should be immunized and that there is no present or previous infection.

In case of a current or recent infection, IgM antibodies are present. If a baby tests positive for these antibodies, the most likely reason is a present illness. If both IgG and IgM antibodies are discovered in a newborn, further testing will be performed to determine whether the infant is infected.

In case of a positive test for IgM antibodies while pregnant, you will be subjected to further testing to confirm an infection.

IgG antibodies in a pregnant woman generally imply a previous illness or immunity. If active infection is suspected, a second blood test is conducted a few weeks later to compare antibody levels. If levels rise, it might indicate that the infection is recent or ongoing.

If an infection is discovered, your doctor will work with you to develop a pregnancy-specific treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a TORCH test?

The TORCH screen is a group of blood tests. These tests look for a variety of illnesses in newborns. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis, rubella cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV. It may, however, contain other neonatal illnesses.

2. Can TORCH infections cause pregnancy complications?

Yes, TORCH infections can result in pregnancy issues such as early delivery, growth problems, or miscarriage. It may sometimes result in stillbirth, which means the loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks.

3. Why is the TORCH test performed during pregnancy?

The TORCH panel test is used to aid in diagnosing illnesses that may affect the unborn child during pregnancy.

4. What is the normal range of the TORCH IgM Test?

The normal range for the Torch IgM Test is 0.0-0.9 IU/mL.

5. Is fasting required for the TORCH test?

The TORCH test does not require any fasting or other preparations.

6. How long do TORCH test results take?

TORCH testing results may take around 1 - 3 days.

7. Is the TORCH test safe for the baby?

The TORCH test is absolutely safe and there is no risk to the fetus by undergoing this test.

8. What illnesses is the TORCH panel used to screen for?

The TORCH test looks for the following infections:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Rubella
  • Congenital infections
  • Herpes simplex virus infections
  • Other microbial infections such as Hepatitis and Syphilis.

9. What is the cost of the TORCH test?

The average pricing of the TORCH test is around Rs. 1500 to Rs.2000. However, it may vary from place to place.

10. Where can I get the TORCH test?

You can get a TORCH test at Medicover Hospitals.