Rapid evaluation of tetanus immunity by a haemagglutination test in the injured at a hospital emergency unit

Biomed Pharmacother. 1989;43(8):621-5. doi: 10.1016/0753-3322(89)90041-3.


A turkey red blood cell haemagglutination assay (TRBC HA) allowing rapid measurement of the antibodies against tetanus has been set recently. Its feasibility was evaluated in injured patients admitted into an emergency unit during summer 1987. TRBC HA was performed by the same physician who questioned the patient on his/her previous vaccinations and evaluated his/her immunization status. The rapid HA test practiced in emergency was controlled by TRBC HA and ELISA measurement of antibodies carried out in the laboratory. Each method was compared to the others: the results were fitted and no significant difference was found. The preventive procedures which would have followed the antibody measurement by immediate TRBC HA were compared to the decision resulting from clinical evaluation. The immunoprophylactic attitude would have been the same in 82% of cases. TRBC HA is a reliable test, and feasible in an emergency: it could help in making the appropriate decision for immunoprophylaxis to be applied to the injured and other patients at risk of tetanus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Clostridium tetani / immunology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • France
  • Hemagglutination Tests / methods
  • Humans
  • Tetanus / immunology*
  • Tetanus / prevention & control
  • Turkeys / blood*
  • Wounds and Injuries / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial