Tetanus self-test


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What does the tetanus test self-test do?

Tetanus is a serious disease that leads to long-term hospitalisation with consequences that can lead to death. This infectious disease develops due to the exotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani. This bacillus is occasionally present in the intestinal tract of animals, remains in animal excrement and in the soil in a very resistant form. In case of an injury it penetrates into the body. Next, tetanus toxin blocks the release of neurotransmitters, resulting in muscle contractions and cramps. Because the disease does not confer immunity, vaccination is the only prevention. The immune protection was detected by measuring the anti-tetanus antibody concentration. The tetanus self-test specifically detects the tetanus antibodies in the blood when they are present.


For whom is the tetanus test self-test suitable?

The test may be used under normal conditions to test whether the tetanus protection is still effective after a previous vaccination (i.e., a few years ago) or in the immediate hours following a puncture or animal bites.


How does the tetanus test work?

The test specifically detects the tetanus antibodies in the blood, if they are present.

The color and intensity of the lines does not affect the interpretation of the results. The lines should only be homogeneous and clearly visible. The test is then positive regardless of the color intensity of the test line.


Tetanus is a life-threatening disease that threatens people of all ages. The main pathogens can multiply due to injuries in the skin and produce a pathogenic poison. Muscle cramps characterise the usually very serious clinical picture and can lead to asphyxiation by a paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Despite modern treatments, the death toll in unvaccinated tetanus patients is over 30 percent.


Elderly people are particularly at risk of developing tetanus. They do not have adequate protection against the pathogens due to vaccines. In the old federal states, 70 percent of women and 45 percent of men over 60 have too little immunity to tetanus. In the new federal states, about ten percent of senior citizens have no immunity.


In Germany, tetanus cases have been registered in recent years, especially in the elderly. Typically, they become infected with tetanus bacteria during gardening because they have minor injuries or other wounds that often occur in old age, such as an “open leg” or poorly healing wounds due to diabetes.


The only safe protection against tetanus is the preventative vaccine. Even if you survive the disease, it offers no protection. You can always get tetanus again.


Children receive the vaccine against tetanus in 4 doses before the first birthday. Four- and nine-year-olds get another vaccine. If you have received all tetanus vaccinations as a child under the National Immunisation Program vaccination schedule, you will receive at least 10 years of protection. The vaccines do not protect you for the rest of your life. Should a vaccine be repeated if it is older than ten years? For good and lifelong protection, the tetanus vaccine should be repeated every 10 to 20 years. This is particularly useful when it comes to adventurous travel or a job with a greater risk of injury. For more information, we advise you to consult your doctor. For example, if you’re traveling and want to know if your vaccine still provides protection against tetanus, test yourself with the tetanus self-test.


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