Pathology Handbook

Measles antibody (IgM)

Clinical Indications

Suspected measles

Test Includes

Detection of IgM antibodies to Measles virus as appropriate, according to the clinical information given

Request Form 

Request via ICE


On request during working hours; reference laboratory test (Colindale)

Specific Criteria

Please give detailed clinical information including date of onset/contact with the suspected infection.

Please note that patients born between 1981 and 1986 do NOT need laboratory confirmation of measles. If advice is required please contact the Health Protection Agency on 01376 302282
This test is not routinely available for confirmation of immunity / vaccine uptake. If there is no history of vaccination or past infection MMR should be offered in preference

Turnaround Time

7-10 days


Serum, red or gold top (SST) tube


7 ml


Vacutainer red top


Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled / inadequately labelled sample 
Insufficient clinical information given 
See specific criteria above

Lab Handling

Aliquot and store at 4ºC prior to testing; Send to reference laboratory (Colindale). Store second aliquot at -40ºC for 3 months following testing