Mumps virus antibodies

Last updated: Sunday, 21, May, 2006

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Item Process
Specimen

5-10 mL blood in plain tube (acute and convalescent specimens); 2-5 mL CSF.

Method

HAI, CF, EIA.

Application

Diagnosis of infection with mumps virus, including meningitis.

Determination of immune status (EIA only).

Interpretation

A four-fold rise in titre between acute and convalescent specimens is suggestive in the presence of an appropriate clinical picture.

IgM assays have better specificity and sensitivity than do IgG assays, but both false positives and false negatives occur.

IgM is usually positive within one week of the onset of the illness and persists for at least 6 weeks.

The presence of specific IgG in CSF confirms the diagnosis of mumps meningitis, although levels may be low for 2-3 days after the onset of disease.

Reference

Waner JL and Swierkosz EM. In: Murray PR et al eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 8th ed. ASM Press 2003.