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Measles Serology & PCR


Test Usage

Detection of antibodies to Measles for IgG (past infection) or IgM (current or recent infection).

Please state date of contact with measles if this is an investigation of rash in pregnancy.


Serology – Blood sample (serum)

PCR – Oral fluid (Buccal swab)

Specimen container


Gold top clotted (5ml)



Buccal kit from UKHSA South West HPT (tel: 0300 303 8162)

or Red or Green topped viral swab (see below) if sending from RDUH (internally)








To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘Measles Mumps or Rubella Serology / PCR‘ or test code ‘O1230211‘ – select the appropriate test

Special Instructions

Testing for measles immunity pre-vaccination is not recommended.

Measles is initially diagnosed based on the clinical triad of rash for 3 days, coryza & fever, with consideration given to the vaccination history and epidemiological contacts. All suspect cases should be managed as such and urgent contact with the on-call microbiologists. Testing will be discussed then.

IgM is generally detectable 3 days after rash onset.


Local test

Processing Time

2-5 days

Urgent Specimen Instructions

Please contact the laboratory to discuss urgent testing



Specimen Labelling Procedure
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