What is the role of IgM antibody assays in the workup of measles?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The measles virus sandwich-capture IgM antibody assay, offered through many local health departments and through the CDC, is the quickest method of confirming acute measles. Because IgM may not be detectable during the first 2 days of rash, obtain blood for measles-specific IgM on the third day of the rash or on any subsequent day up to 1 month after onset to avoid a false-negative IgM result.


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