Measles virus antibodies - serum or CSF

Last updated: Friday, 07, September, 2007

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5-10 mL blood in plain tube.

2 mL CSF in plain tube.




Serum: Investigation of suspected measles when diagnosis is uncertain.

CSF: Investigation of suspected SSPE.


Raised IgG titre is consistent with previous infection or vaccination.

A four-fold rise in titre between acute and convalescent sera is diagnostic of recent infection with measles virus, as is positive IgM.

IgM may be negative during the first 3 days of the rash. It remains positive for 4-6 weeks.

An increasing IgG titre is not usually apparent until 14 days.

In SSPE, measles virus antibodies (IgG) are detected in the CSF.


Bellini WJ and Icenogle JP. In: Murray PR et al eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 8th ed. ASM Press 2003.