• Complete panel for the detection of the Measles infection (Measles IgG, Measles IgM)
  • Cartridge optimized for laboratory routine testing
  • High specificity and sensitivity of the IgG and IgM kits

The Measles IgM test is an immunological chemiluminescent (CLIA) test for the quantity determination of the specific IgM class antibodies against the measles virus in serum and plasma (K3-EDTA, heparin sodium and sodium citrate) samples, using IDS automated analyzers.

This dosage is used as a diagnostic aid in the assessment of the immune status of the patient with reference to infection by the measles virus.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute systemic pathology of viral aetiology marked by high temperature, cough, conjunctivitis, generalised maculo-papular rash(1) and immunosuppression. Although an effective live vaccine is available, measles is still responsible for 4% of deaths among children under 5 years of age(2). The aetiological agent of the pathology is an RNA virus (non-sense single-stranded) belonging to the Morbillivirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family(3).

The measles virus is easily transmitted by breathing through the drops of saliva(4) or direct contact with nasal and other types of secretions of affected individuals. The measles virus is one of the most contagious viruses(5) but the absence of reinfections or animal hosts make eradication possible. The virus is transmitted from the 4 days preceding the 4 days after the onset of the rash.

The premonitory stage of measles, marked by high temperature, cough, cold, acute rhinitis and possible conjunctivitis, starts 8-12 days after contracting the infection(6). In normal circumstances, the appearance of the prodromal symptoms, particularly Koplik’s spots, highly specific and pathognomonic, is sufficient for clinical diagnosis. About 30% of the cases of measles develop one or more complications, including pneumonia, mumps, diarrhoea and secondary bacterial infections.

However, since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963, the incidence of the pathology is greatly reduced.

Laboratory diagnosis is essential for the assessment of the immune status in general and if there is a suspicion of modified or atypical measles(8).

Measles virus antibodies start to appear with the development of the rash. A temporary response of the IgM antibody (3-6 weeks) may appear first or in conjunction with the IgG antibodies. The peak of IgG antibodies in 2-6 weeks gradually declines in six months and then remains relatively stable. Antibodies can be detected 11-14 days after inoculation following the administration of the vital but weakened measles vaccine. Subclinical reinfection may occur in people with natural or vaccine-induced immunity giving rise to an increase in the titre of IgG specific for measles after 90-110 days.

Uninfected individuals should be negative to the IgM test and negative or positive to the IgG, according to their previous infection/vaccination history. A positive result for IgG antibodies in a single sample of serum usually indicates either a past infection or vaccination against measles but does not guarantee protection from re-infections.

  1. Rima, B. K. et al. (2006). Morbilliviruses and human disease. J Pathol 208, 199–214
  2. Bryce, J. et (2005). Who estimates of the causes of death in children. Lancet 365, 1147–1152
  3. Griffin, D. E. et al (2001). Measles virus. In Fields Virology, 4th edn, pp. 1401–1441. Edited by D. M. Knipe, P. M. Howley, D. E. Griffin,R. A. Lamb, M. A. Martin, B. Roizman & S. E. Straus. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  4. Gershon, AA. Chickenpox, measles, and mumps. In: Remington, JS.; Klein, JO.; Wilson, CB., et al., editors. Infectious Diseases of the Fetus and Newborn Infant. 7th ed.. Elsevier; Philadelphia: 2011. p. 661-705
  5. Edmunds W. J., et al. (2000). The pre-vaccination epidemiology of measles, mumps and rubella in Europe: implications for modelling studies. Epidemiol.Infect. 125:635- 650.
  6. Atkinson, W.; et al. (2011) Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 12th ed.. Public Health Foundation; Washington, DC: p. 173-192
  7. Moss WJ, Global measles elimination. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006; 4:900–908
  8. Manual for the Laboratory Diagnosis of Measles and Rubella Virus Infection, 2nd edition, August 2007 from the World Health Organization (WHO)