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?
TORCH TESTS ARE GENERALLY ASKED FOR
- Women with previous history of abortion(s)
- 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 bodys immune
response, which lasts for a very short time (1-3 weeks). Presence of IgM indicates
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
- Infant is small for date.
- Early jaundice with increased direct bilirubin.
- Bleeding spots.
- Enlarged Liver and spleen
- Problems with eyes (Chorioretinitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis, cataracts, retinopathies
and microphthalmia) leading blindness
- Other congenital anomalies.
- Anaemia with evidence of destruction of red cells, low
platelets and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC).