What is C-reactive Protein (CRP) and How to Use C-reactive Protein (CRP) Rapid Test Kit?
Thanks to its rapid surge during inflammatory processes, C-reactive Protein (CRP) has quickly become a reliable and widely used biomarker to assist in the diagnosis, monitoring, and management of various acute and chronic conditions associated with inflammation. Throughout recent years, C-reactive Protein (CRP) rapid test kits have become available and revolutionized the field of diagnostics. Offering accurate, convenient, and rapid results at various point-of-care settings, these test kits enable early, quick, and sensitive detection for prompt medical assessment and decision-making. Read along to learn more about C-reactive Protein (CRP), its regulation pathway in the human body, its significance in medical diagnostics, and how C-reactive Protein (CRP) rapid test kits are employed for the quick determination of the C-reactive Protein (CRP) level in clinical settings.
What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
C-reactive Protein (CRP) is an acute-phase protein that is primarily produced by hepatocytes in the liver under the influence of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. During inflammation, immune cells such as macrophages and monocytes produce interleukin-6 (IL-6) to contribute to the overall immune response. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) binds to its receptors on hepatocytes, which initiates a signaling cascade that induces the synthesis and release of C-reactive Protein (CRP).
The production pathway of CRP starts with the activation of IL-6 signaling. This activates the specific genes responsible for the synthesis of C-reactive Protein (CRP), and the activated genes direct the hepatocytes to produce CRP mRNA. The produced mRNA is subsequently translated into C-reactive Protein (CRP) within the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocytes, and the newly synthesized CRP molecules are transported to the Golgi apparatus, where they go through post-translational transformations and packaging into vesicles. The vesicles containing C-reactive Protein (CRP) are then released into the bloodstream via exocytosis.
When its levels are elevated, C-reactive Protein (CRP) enhances its function in the immune system. It functions as an opsonin to support the recognition and phagocytosis of pathogens by immune cells. Moreover, It activates the complement system, which refers to a group of proteins that enhances the overall immune response against pathogens. Given its rapid synthesis and release in reaction to inflammation, C-reactive Protein (CRP) constitutes a valuable biomarker for assessing the presence and severity of inflammation in the body. It is also an efficient biomarker to screen the development of acute inflammatory conditions due to its relatively short half-life.
Which Diseases Are Most Commonly Associated with C-reactive Protein (CRP)?
Various medical conditions can underlie an observed elevation in the C-reactive Protein (CRP) levels. Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections trigger the immune system of the host, induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and result in the release of C-reactive Protein (CRP). Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease cause chronic inflammation, which triggers persistent C-reactive Protein (CRP) production. Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke elevate C-reactive Protein (CRP) levels by leading to chronic low-grade inflammation. Chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma can result in an elevation in C-reactive Protein (CRP) levels as a result of ongoing inflammation in the lungs. Likewise, surgical procedures and tissue trauma induce the release of C-reactive Protein (CRP) by activating an immune response in the body. Finally, various types of cancer, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer, may lead to elevated levels of C-reactive Protein (CRP) due to the inflammatory processes linked to tumor growth and metastasis.
What is the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Rapid Test Kit?
C-reactive Protein (CRP) rapid test kits are rapid chromatographic immunoassays designed for the in vitro qualitative detection of C-reactive Protein (CRP) in human serum, plasma, and whole blood samples. Utilizing lateral flow assay technology, these kits reduce the turnaround time to minutes, eliminate the need for centralized laboratories and highly trained personnel, facilitate point-of-care testing, and enhance overall healthcare efficiency. As such, they offer various unique advantages over traditional laboratory-based testing methods in emergency situations, point-of-care settings, and in resource-limited/ remote areas.
How to Use C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Rapid Test Kit?
The C-reactive Protein (CRP) rapid test kits typically require the collection of a serum, plasma, or whole blood sample. If the test is not performed with a whole blood sample, the collected whole blood sample can be centrifuged to obtain a serum sample or placed into a tube with anticoagulants to obtain a plasma sample. When the required sample is ready, a sufficient volume of the collected serum, plasma, or whole blood sample is transferred to the test tube containing buffer solution or sample diluent. Next, the tube is shaken thoroughly to ensure that the collected sample has mixed well with the solution within the tube. Finally, the test strip is removed from its sealed package and inserted into the processed sample. The results should be read within the period specified in the instructions manual, which may range from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the particular device used for the procedure. The results are interpreted by examining the test strip for the presence or absence of colored lines. The presence of the test line (T) indicates the detection of elevated levels of C-reactive Protein (CRP). The presence of the control line (C), on the other hand, confirms the validity of the results. If the control line (C) is absent at the end of the specified reaction time, the results are considered invalid, and the test procedure should be repeated with a new test kit.