The kit is shipped at ambient temperature and should be stored at 2-8°C. Keep away from heat or direct sun light. The storage and stability of specimen and prepared reagents is stated in the corresponding chapters.
The microtiter strips are stable up to 3 months after the first opening when stored at 2-8°C in the tightly closed bag.
Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is an infection disease caused by the toxin from Gram-positive bacteria Clostridium tetani. Spores of this bacterium are introduced into the body through puncture wound. Under these anaerobic conditions the bacteria grow and produce toxins (tetanospasmin, tetanolysin), which cause the typical muscle spasms in the jaw and elsewhere in the body.
The outcome of this avoidable infectious disease is so dangerous (lethality 50 %) that a wide prophylaxis through better hygienic conditions and an individual protection by antibodies (vaccination) is required. Vaccine recommendations across the lifespan, including both primary series and booster doses are given by the medical societies (WHO, RKI) and are often country-specific. Sufficient protection is achieved by vaccination and following booster injections. In children under the age of seven, the tetanus vaccine is administered as a combined vaccine, which also includes vaccines against diphtheria and pertussis (DPT). Immunity is generally achieved by three lifetime doses of the vaccine; booster shots of the vaccine are recommended every ten years to maintain immunity. For adults and children over seven also combined vaccines of tetanus and diphtheria (DT, DTaP) are commonly used.
There is only a very low vaccination risk and only limited side effects to these vaccines. Nevertheless it is advisable to detect the immunity with a qualified test before boostering especially for older patients or patients with immunodeficiencies.
Serological determination of tetanus toxoid antibodies indicate whether a basic immunization or a booster is necessary ("vaccination management"). This enables the physician to match immune status and active immunization for each patient individually. Several methods like RIA, FIA, ELISA or neutralisation test are used to determine the antibody titer. ELISA kits have been found to be some of the most effective diagnostic tools to determine tetanus antitoxins in human serum because of their high sensitivity, easy handling and excellent automatization.