Ankylosing Spondylitis

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Test Type: Kit Based, Buccal Swab


Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is one of the major forms of chronic inflammatory arthritis and is the prototypical example of the spondyloarthropathies, a group of chronic autoimmune joint diseases.

Ankylosing Spondylitis has a global distribution, though rarer in Africans. It is characterized by arthritis affecting the spine and pelvis. It specifically involves the sacroiliac joint and initially causes pain and reversible stiffness (stiffness in the mornings that goes away later in the day with exercise) but leads to progressive joint fusion with irreversible stiffness and deformity in a number of cases.

Clinical Utility

There is a strong association with the HLA class I molecule HLA-B27, found in upwards of 90% of patients. Association of AS to B27 is amongst the strongest genetic associations with a common disease, although the mechanism of action remains uncertain.  The strong association of HLA-B27 with AS makes B27 testing a useful component of the diagnostic work up which includes a physical examination, use of X-rays, MRI, and a check for family history of AS. The value of B27 testing is that it allows a presumptive diagnosis and early treatment in patients showing some of the symptoms and before the damage to joints would already have happened.

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

1. Please fill out all sections of the requisition form provided in your kit.

2. Rinse your mouth with cold water before you begin collecting your sample and then swallow to remove excess saliva.

3. Open one swab at a time and collect the sample by rubbing the swab on the inside of your cheek about 20 times or for 15-20 seconds in a circular motion. Swab firmly so that the cheek is pushed outward.

4. Dry the swab by shaking it in the air for 10-20 seconds.

5. Place the dried swab back in its original sleeve.

6. Use the other cheek for the next swabs. Repeat the same process for the rest of the swabs.  Collect sample on all 3 swabs.

6. Place the swab sleeves containing the dry swabs and Requisition Form in the Kashi paper envelope included in the kit.

7. [Important] Sign and fill in your name and date of sample collection on the envelope.


8. Ship the test kit back to the laboratory using the shipping mailer provided.