Measles Virus Antibody, 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, IgM  
Synonym: Measles Virus Serology, Rubeola Antibody 
Method: CDC capture IgM, Commercial indirect IgG  
Availability: Monday - Friday. Turn-around time 2-7 days  
Specimen: Blood  
Collection Device: One 6.0 mL SST (Gold) tube or one 6.0 mL Clot (Red) tube  
Volume: 0.5 - 2.0 mL serum  
Storage/Transport: Separate serum ASAP and transfer to clean tube. Refrigerate at 2-8°C. Sender should contact the NPHL by email or phone before shipping. Ship specimen Monday -Thursday overnight to avoid weekend deliveries. Refrigerated specimen should be shipped on cold packs. Package and ship as Category B, Biological Substance, UN3373. See instructions and shipping address at  
Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-activated serum; multiple freeze thaw cycles, specimens stored at <-40°C  
Specimen Stability: After separation from cells: ambient, < 8 hours; refrigerated (2-8°C), 72 hours; frozen (≥ -40°C), 1 year  
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 result is reportable 
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. Test performed at CDC.

Pre-Approval needed from state or local health department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444
Revised: 2/24/2015 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.