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dsDNA Antibody


Also Known As: Antibody to ds-DNA Native double-stranded DNA Antibody anti-DNA Double-stranded DNA Antibody, Anti-Double Stranded DNA, Native DNA, Anti-DNA


What Is A DNA (ds) Antibody Test?


The DNA (ds) Antibody Test is a blood test that helps look for antibodies to the double-stranded DNA. It is considered one of the most crucial tests a doctor recommends diagnosing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as these antibodies are not present in any other kind of autoimmune disorder. A strongly positive result makes it very likely that you have SLE.


SLE is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disorder that affects tissues and organs like joints, kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, skin, heart, and even brain. This test, along with other related procedures, can easily establish a diagnosis of SLE and differentiate it from other autoimmune diseases.


Ds antibodies are a kind of autoantibody, which means they are antibodies generated by the immune system to target things made of the body's tissues. The anti-ds DNA attacks DNA, i.e., deoxyribonucleic acid, the basic building block responsible for making chromosomes.


What Is The Test Used For?


The DNA (ds) Antibody Test can help diagnose SLE in people with a positive ANA test with clinical signs and symptoms suggesting the medical condition. This test is relatively explicit to SLE, but only 60% of people may be positive with lupus. If you have a positive ANA test, the DNA (ds) Antibody Test will be used to differentiate SLE from other autoimmune disorders with similar symptoms.


The test is also suggested to assess the disease activity in people already battling SLE. People with this condition often experience flare-ups in which symptoms get worse and then diminish on their own. An increase in the antibodies can be seen before and during the flare-up episodes. Many doctors also use the DNA (ds) Antibody Test to monitor another medical condition called lupus nephritis, a complication of lupus that leads to inflammation and kidney damage. It happens with antibodies that bind to the antigens set down in the kidneys.


Why And When Do You Need A DNA (Ds) Antibody Test?


Your doctor, physician, or health care provider can ask you to undergo this test if you show SLE symptoms and have a positive ANA test result. Examples of some concerning signs and symptoms include:


  • Arthritis like pain in one or more joints (little or no joint damage)
  • Muscular pain
  • Red color rash that resembles a butterfly across the cheek and nose areas called a malar rash
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Extreme weakness
  • Low-grade fever
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Skin sensitivity to light
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Inflammation and damage to tissues and organs like heart, kidneys, lungs, central nervous system, the lining of heart and blood vessels


The DNA (ds) Antibody Test can also be recommended periodically to monitor the status of your disease and flare-ups if you have already been diagnosed with lupus. The doctor can repeat the test if the initial results are negative, but clinical signs and symptoms are present.


What Kind Of Sample Is Required For The Test?


To carry out the DNA (ds) Antibody Test, a doctor or lab technician usually draws blood from a vein in your arm. After inserting the needle, they will collect a small amount of blood in a test tube or vial. Once they have adequate blood as per the doctor's recommendations, they will send it to the laboratory for further testing. The test only takes a few minutes, and the overall process is very smooth and harmless.


Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?


You don't need to prepare anything special for the test. If your doctor recommends any other test along with DNA (ds) Antibody Test, you might need to fast for at least 8-10 hours. Also, you must let your doctor know about the use of certain medications, supplements, and vitamins to make sure they don't hinder or alter the appropriate test results.


Are There Any Risks To This Test?


A blood test carries little to no risks. In some cases, people may experience slight pain and bruising at the injection site. However, the symptoms are always mild and usually disappear almost instantly! Some other risks and complications of the test include injection site infection, fainting, and hematoma (accumulation of blood under the skin).


What Do The Test Results Mean?


The overall results of the test are often considered together with your medical history, obvious signs and symptoms, and results of autoantibody test, i.e., ANA test. A high level of DNA (ds) Antibody Test in the body is strongly linked with lupus and is significantly more before or during the flare-ups. If your DNA (ds) Antibody Test is positive, and you have other clinical signs and symptoms linked to SLE, it means that you are likely to have lupus. This is especially true in cases where you also have a positive anti-Sm test.


Low levels of DNA (ds) Antibody Test are considered normal but do not rule out the chances of systemic lupus erythematosus. Low to moderate levels are seen with other autoimmune disorders like Sjogren syndrome and MCTD, i.e., mixed connective tissue disease.


Related Tests: Anti-Nuclear Antibody Test (ANA Test), Histone Antibodies, ENA Panel


Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on June 04, 2023. 


Anti-double stranded DNA antibodies: A rational diagnostic approach in limited-resource settings - PMC (

Anti-dsDNA antibodies as a classification criterion and a diagnostic marker for systemic lupus erythematosus: critical remarks | Clinical and Experimental Immunology | Oxford Academic



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