In February 2012, BPFMR changed the way that levels are reported. Please see below.
We have, until now, always reported the basic results of the pigeon antibody test direct to all fanciers.
However, what many people do not understand is that measurement of changes in any biological system can vary by up to +/-15%. This means that a value that is reported can show a change of up or down by 15% without really meaning that the level measured has actually changed at all.
Any small changes in levels that are reported may not, therefore, truly reflect any alteration of clinical importance. For instance, at high levels of antibody, changes of up to 15 - 20 would not be significant.
This clearly is a cause of real worry for some fanciers who can misinterpret the significance of their results if they do not understand this problem.
For this reason, we have decided to try to make the test results more useful and relevant for pigeon fanciers by grouping the levels of reaction together into a smaller scale, thus taking into account the natural variability of the results obtained on each occasion whilst clearly indicating any important variation in levels that the fancier can respond to.
We shall, therefore, no longer report results using basic figures from the test but rather by using this more clinically realistic 'scale of sensitisation'.
This would mean that a change in the reported 'level of sensitisation', for instance from level 4 to 3, would represent a meaningful clinically important change - in this case, for the better. Conversely, a change from say 2 - 3 would suggest an overall deterioration in the response and the fancier could react accordingly.
It is very important to realise that the results of the tests measure the intensity of the body's internal reaction to pigeons but they do not give the full picture of the clinical problem that individual fanciers might complain about at any particular time.
The following is a breakdown of the levels that we provide as results for our blood tests. The level is the degree of sensitisation to pigeon protein found in the blood sample.
To view the categories, please view the faq relating to blood tests here