Measles Virus Antibody, IgG and IgM   

IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459 for further clarification.


Test: Measles Virus Antibody, IgG and IgM 
Order in NUlirt or complete NPHL Test Order Form with following forms: 
  1. Vaccine Preventable Disease form
  2. ADD NPHL LINK CDC 50.34 Specimen Submission Form including date of onset, date of specimen collection, date(s) of MMR vaccination (if known) and travel history. Provide any preliminary results available.
Synonym: Measles Virus Serology, Rubeola Antibody  
Collection Device: Serum separator tube.
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and requires 2 patient identifiers and specimen source on container.  
Volume: 1-4mL blood (1mL serum minimum)  

Prior to shipment: Separate serum ASAP and transfer to clean tube. Refrigerate at 2-8°C. Freeze after 72h. 
Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Seal tubes with Parafilm™ or tape and place in biohazard bag with absorbent material.
Place specimen inside leak proof secondary container (biohazard bag and if transporting by air, use Tyvek™ Envelope) with adsorbent material. The secondary container must be packed inside an approved Category B shipping container filled with frozen gel-packs to keep specimen refrigerated or dry ice to keep specimen frozen. Position NUlirt packing list or NPHL Test Order form between secondary container and box lid. Seal with tape.  Label outer box as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Transport by NPHL ground courier. If courier not available, ship by FedEx, UPS, or USPS (1st Class, Priority or Express Mail). Follow appropriate DOT/IATA Regulation Guidelines.  For assistance, call NPHL State Training Coordinator at (402) 559-3590.  
See instructions and shipping address:

NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.

Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-activated serum; frozen specimens. XXXX(according to the VPD paperwork?)XXXXXX  
Specimen Stability: After separation from cells: ambient, <8 hours; refrigerated
(2-8°C) for 72h. Frozen, 1 month  
Reference Interval: NEGATIVE - No significant level of detectable IgM antibody to measles virus.
EQUIVOCAL - Borderline levels of IgM antibody to measles virus. (Repeat testing in 10-14 days recommended).
POSITIVE - IgM antibody to measles virus detected   
Reportable Disease: A positive IgM result is reportable or a four-fold rise in IgG between acute and convalescent sera 
Report all positive results as an Arbovirus infection within 7d under Title 173. Refer to Nebraska DHHS Title 173, Communicable Diseases.  
Comments: IgM positive may not occur until 4 days post-rash onset.  While the presence of IgM antibodies suggests current or recent measles infection, low levels of IgM antibodies may occasionally persist for >12 months post-infection or immunization Serum specimens WILL NOT be accepted for serology testing without the simultaneous submission of a specimen appropriate for Measles PCR.
NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.
Test performed at CDC.  
Revised: 6/11/2021 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.