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Immunology Laboratory

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Intrinsic Factor Antibodies

Also known as: IFAb

Pernicious Anaemia is a clinical manifestation of autoimmune gastritis and is associated with the presence of intrinsic factor antibodies. There are two types of intrinsic factor antibody: type 1 binds to the vitamin B12 binding site and type 2 hinders the binding site by binding to structures nearby. Intrinsic factor antibodies are only performed in patients who are positive for gastric parietal cell antibodies.

New Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cobalamin and folate disorders

  1. All patients with anaemia, neuropathy or glossitis, and suspected of having pernicious anaemia, should be tested for anti-IFAB regardless of cobalamin levels (Grade 1A).
  2. Patients found to have a low serum cobalamin level in the absence of anaemia and who do not have food malabsorption or other causes of deficiency, should be tested for IFAB to clarify whether they have an early/latent presentation of pernicious anaemia (Grade 2A).
  3. Anti-GPC antibody testing for diagnosing pernicious anaemia is not recommended (Grade 1A).

Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cobalamin and folate disorders Vinod Devalia, Malcolm S. Hamilton, and Anne M. Molloy on behalf of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology. British Journal of Haematology, 2014, 166, 496-513.

Specimen requirements

Serum 1ml


Price on application

Laboratory turnaround time

10 days

Laboratory method


Reference range/units

Not applicable

Associated tests

Autoantibody screen routinely performed in first instances

Sample stability

2 months at 2-8ÂșC

Shipping and storage

UK and Ireland

Ambient temperature and first class post. Hays DX users please enquire via email below.


Ambient temperature if courier will deliver within 72 hours otherwise consider refrigerated transport. Freezing is not a requirement.

Ensure delivery Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:30.

Further information and contact details

For further information, email

Last reviewed:09 October 2023