In some diseases it’s not possible to identify the bacteria or virus that is causing an infection, instead, the antibodies produced by the immune response are investigated. The scientists working in serology examine blood serum for antibodies to infections such as colds and flu, Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), rubella (measles) and Ross River fever. Allergies are also tested in this way. One of the most common tasks performed in the serology lab is to measure levels of antibodies to find out if a patient has had a recent infection, a past infection, or a response to a vaccination. In some cases, antibody tests can help monitor a patient’s treatment to see if it is being effective.