Serology is the scientific study of blood serum. In practice, the term usually refers to the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum.Such antibodies are typically formed in response to an infection (against a given microorganism), against other foreign proteins (in response, for example, to a mismatched blood transfusion), or to one’s own proteins (in instances of autoimmune disease).
Serological tests may be performed for diagnostic purposes when an infection is suspected, in rheumatic illnesses, and in many other situations, such as checking an individual’s blood type. Serology blood tests help to diagnose patients with certain immune deficiencies associated with the lack of antibodies, such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia. In such cases, tests for antibodies will be consistently negative.
Serological tests may also be used forensically, generally to link a perpetrator to a piece of evidence (e.g., linking a rapist to a semen sample).