TORCH stands for

These are collectively called TORCH infections and tests to detect them as TORCH test.

All of these are maternal infections that affect fetus in pregnant women. They either spread to the fetus through placenta or directly affect the baby at the time of birth during normal vaginal delivery.

Most of these are silent, relatively without symptoms and do not have any dramatic presentation in adults. But they result in abortions, congenital anomalies, blindness, deafness, mental retardation and stillbirths. This makes the diagnosis very important both for treatment or the decision to abort. Only the detection is not enough but it is also important to know whether the fetus is affected or not?


  1. Women with previous history of abortion(s)
  2. Non pregnant women so that she can be easily treated, in case of an infection, to prepare for safe pregnancy and delivery.

While asking for TORCH tests the doctor will ask for IgM & IgG and both give valuable information.

Significance of IgM

IgM is the first antibody produced as the result of body’s immune response, which lasts for a very short time (1-3 weeks). Presence of IgM indicates acute/recent/ongoing infection.

Significance of IgG

In an immune response, IgM is followed by IgG. It remains in the serum for a longer period of time and its presence indicates chronic infection. In case of Rubella and Toxoplasma, presence of IgG confers lasting immunity to the patient for the respective infection.

These infections are suspected if the patients presents with one or more of the following clinical features

  1. Infant is small for date.
  2. Early jaundice with increased direct bilirubin.
  3. Bleeding spots.
  4. Enlarged Liver and spleen
  5. Problems with eyes (Chorioretinitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis, cataracts, retinopathies and microphthalmia) leading blindness
  6. Other congenital anomalies.
  7. Anaemia with evidence of destruction of red cells, low platelets and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC).