Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:

Serology

Test Name:

MEASLES ANTIBODY, IGG & IGM

General Information

Lab Order Codes:

MGMS

Synonyms:

Rubeola Serology

CPT Codes:

86765 – Rubeola

Test Includes:

Measles IgM and Measles IgG antibody reported as positive or negative.

Note: In accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the MDH lab routinely tests for both measles and rubella when specimens are submitted for either disease.

Logistics

Test Indications:

Measles is a highly infectious disease. Although it is no longer endemic in the U.S., an imported case can spread rapidly. Suspected measles cases should be immediately reported to MDH to facilitate case confirmation and ensure a rapid public health response. Case confirmation is based on clinical presentation, epidemiologic factors, and laboratory test results.

Measles may be tested by one or more of the following methods in order of preference:
● Detection of the virus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
● A positive viral culture for measles
● A positive measles-specific IgM antibody*(*False positive or negative results can occur and further interpretation or testing may be needed.
● A significant rise in IgG antibody between acute and convalescent paired sera (not commonly done).

Draw blood for IgM antibody testing as soon as possible. Occasionally, false negative measles with IgM results occur when blood specimens are collected within 72 hours after rash onset. A second blood sample, collected 72 hours after rash onset, should be tested in this situation.

Obtain acute and convalescent serum specimens for measles specific IgG antibody to confirm a measles diagnosis. Draw blood for acute IgG as early as possible when measles infection is suspected. For convenience, the blood draw for measles IgM antibody testing may be used for the acute IgG also.

Lab Testing Sections:

Serology- Sendouts

Referred to:

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)

Phone Number:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-229-6550

Test Availability:

Specimens accepted daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

Results within 2 weeks

Special Instructions:

Draw blood for IgM antibody testing as soon as possible. Occasionally, false-negative measles IgM results occur when blood specimens are collected within 72 hours after rash onset. A second blood sample, collected 72 hours after rash onset should be tested in this situation.

Draw acute IgG as early as possible when measles infection is suspected. For convenience, the blood drawn for measles IgM antibody testing may be used for the acute IgG also.

Draw blood for convalescent IgG approximately 2 weeks after blood was drawn for acute IgG.

Specimen

Specimen Type:

Blood

Container:

Red top tube

Draw Volume:

3 mL (Minimum: 1 mL) blood

Processed Volume:

0.8 mL (Minimum: 0.3 mL) serum

Collection:

Routine venipuncture

Special Processing:

Lab Staff: Allow specimen to clot. Centrifuge specimen and aliquot serum into a screw-capped plastic vial. Store and ship at refrigerated temperatures.

Sample Rejection:

Mislabeled or unlabeled specimens; improper storage

Interpretive

Reference Range:

Negative

Note: A positive serologic test result for measles IgM antibody indicates recent infection or recent vaccination.

Possible interpretations of a single positive measles IgG antibody result include:
● Current infection to which the individual is developing immunity.
● Immunity due to either a past infection or vaccination
● Presence of maternal antibody (in infants <15 months)
● The earlier that blood is drawn for measles IgG antibody following the onset of symptoms, the more likely a positive result is due to past infection or vaccination.

Critical Values:

N/A

Limitations:

Measles serology may give false-positive or false-negative results. Contact an MDH epidemiologist to discuss serology testing and interpretation.

Methodology:

Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)

References:

Minnesota Department of Health March 2013



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