Test Code: MEASG Preferred Name Measles antibodies

3 hours (see notes)
3 hours (M-F, 8am-4pm)
Medicare Item

Test Tubes

ImageSpecimen TypeSpecimen VolumeTube Type
Blood (adult)5 mLSST with gel 8.5 mL (Dark Yellow Top)
Blood (paediatric)2 mL4x SST with gel 600 uL Paed (Red or Yellow top)
CSF0.5 mlBlack top tubes (kit contains 3 tubes; sterile)


--No collection notes--


Routine testing turn around time: 3 hours (Monday to Friday 8am-4pm)
Please contact Medical Microbiologist to discuss urgent test requests outside these hours.

If immune status only is required, please request Measles IgG.

Laboratory Diagnosis of Measles

<=7 Days Post-Onset of Rash
PCR on Throat/Nasopharyngeal Swab (use viral transport media)or urine

> 7 Days Post-Onset of Rash
IgM Measles Serology

1. Acute Measles Infection
Antibodies may not be present in an early acute phase specimen and a serum collection after 7 days may be required for serolgical diagnosis. Measles is rare in our population and notifiable to the Queensland Public Health units.

2. Subacute Sclerosing Pan Encephalitis (SSPE)
In SSPE the Serum and CSF Measles antibody titres are both elevated with intrathecally synthesized IgG oligoclonal bands detected in the CSF.

SSPE is caused by a persistent CNS infection by the rubeola (measles) virus, affecting neurons and glia.  The pathogenesis is related to defective maturation of the virus in neural cells with aberrant M (matrix) proteins as well as other envelope proteins such that the virus remains in an intracellular form and spreads by cell to cell contact (Lin & Thormar 1980, Billeter et al. 1994; reviewed in Bradley 2000).  The intrathecally synthesized IgG oligoclonal bands in SSPE have been shown in multiple studies to represent an antibody response to fragments of the nucleocapsid protein of measles virus.  It has also been suggested that some antibodies mask the surface antigens of infected cells, so that cytotoxic T-cells are unable to recognize them (Gascon, 1996).

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