Mumps Virus Antibody (IgG)

The Mumps Virus Antibody (IgG) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test is a serological blood test used to detect the presence of IgG antibodies against the mumps virus. These antibodies are typically produced by the immune system in response to a past mumps infection or as a result of vaccination against mumps.

Also Known As: Mumps Virus Test, Mumps Antibody test, Mumps Titer Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Mumps Antibody IgG test ordered?

An IgG antibody test for mumps may be conducted if a health care provider wants to see if a patient is immune to one or both viruses, either from a past infection or vaccination.

When a person has mumps-like signs and symptoms, or has been exposed to someone who has the virus and now has a fever and some symptoms that could be attributable to mumps, IgM and IgG antibody testing may be requested.  These tests are usually ordered early in the infection's progress.

Mumps signs and symptoms appear after a 2 to 3 week incubation period and are commonly mistaken for flu symptoms, such as:

  • Headache
  • Fever 
  • Muscle aches

These are followed by parotitis, which is a swelling of the salivary glands beneath one or both ears.

When numerous persons have been exposed and show the signs and symptoms indicated above, testing may be required during a suspected or confirmed outbreak.

What does a Mumps Antibody IgG blood test check for?

The viruses that cause measles and mumps belong to the Paramyxoviridae family. They both induce infections that normally go away within a few days, but in rare situations, they might lead to significant problems. Both can be avoided by being vaccinated. Antibodies developed in response to infection may be detected in the blood during measles and mumps testing. In addition, employing culture or a molecular approach such as polymerase chain reaction, the virus or its genetic material can be detected directly in a sample. These techniques can be used to a wide range of samples.

The number of instances of measles and mumps infections in the United States has dropped from several hundred thousand to a few hundred per year. Comprehensive measles and mumps immunization campaigns are to blame for the declines. While vaccines exist for each virus, combination vaccines, such as MMR, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella all at once, are commonly used. In recent years, the majority of new cases in the United States have occurred in rare outbreaks, mostly among persons who have not been vaccinated, particularly those who have gone to places of the world where measles or mumps are more common.

Mumps is a viral infection spread through saliva or respiratory secretions. An infected person often gets flu-like symptoms such as a headache, muscle aches, and fever after a 2 to 3 week incubation period, followed by parotitis. Mumps is usually a mild, self-limiting condition, but some patients can develop problems like temporary or permanent deafness, testicular or ovarian inflammation, pancreatitis, meningitis, or encephalitis.

Mumps, a milder condition than measles, is no longer as frequent as it once was, although it is still endemic in many regions of the world. Mumps cases in the United States range from 200 to 2,000 every year, according to the CDC. Outbreaks can happen in places where people interact frequently, such as classrooms, sports teams, or college dorms. Several tiny outbreaks occurred on college campuses in California, Maryland, and Virginia between 2011 and 2013, for example, although their spread was limited.

Lab tests often ordered with a Mumps Antibody IgG test:

When a Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of immune status or investigation of viral infection. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Mumps Virus IgM Antibody Test:

    • Purpose: To detect a current or recent mumps infection.
    • Why Is It Ordered: IgM antibodies are produced soon after infection. Testing for IgM alongside IgG can help distinguish between a new and past infection.
  2. Measles IgG and Rubella IgG Antibody Tests:

    • Purpose: To assess immunity against measles and rubella, which are part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate comprehensive immunity status, especially in the context of vaccination or potential exposure to these viruses.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To identify signs of infection or other hematological abnormalities that might be associated with a viral infection.
  4. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Mumps can sometimes affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzymes.
  5. Other Viral Serologies:

    • Purpose: To test for other viruses that can cause similar symptoms to mumps, such as parvovirus B19 or Epstein-Barr virus.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To rule out other causes of the patient’s symptoms or parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands).
  6. Immunoglobulin Levels (IgG, IgM, IgA):

    • Purpose: To measure the levels of various immunoglobulins.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate the immune system's function, particularly in cases of suspected immunodeficiency or when the response to vaccination is in question.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s immune status against mumps and related viruses. They are crucial for confirming immunity, diagnosing acute mumps infection, and assessing overall immune function. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s vaccination history, symptoms, clinical presentation, and medical history.

Conditions where a Mumps Antibody IgG test is recommended:

  • Mumps: An acute viral illness that can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and swollen and tender salivary glands.

  • Orchitis or Oophoritis: Inflammation of the testes or ovaries respectively, which can sometimes be complications of a mumps infection.

How does my health care provider use a Mumps Antibody IgG test?

Antibody tests for mumps can be used to:

  • Confirm if a person is virus-free due to previous infections or vaccinations.
  • Diagnosis of a mumps outbreak
  • In order to protect the public's health, epidemics must be detected, monitored, and tracked.

Antibody analysis

Antibody testing can be used to confirm immunity, identify a current infection, or follow outbreaks. Antibodies to the mumps viruses are viral-specific proteins produced by the immune system in response to infection with the virus or immunization. IgM and IgG antibodies are the two types of antibodies generated. IgM antibodies are the first to emerge in the blood after exposure or immunization. IgM antibody levels rise over several days to a peak, then gradually decline over the next few weeks. IgG antibodies take a little longer to develop, but once they do, they remain positive for the rest of your life, protecting you from re-infection. By comparing the levels of antibody in two blood samples taken weeks apart, it is sometimes possible to distinguish between an active and past infection.

What do my Mumps Antibody IgG test results mean?

When IgM antibodies to mumps are present in someone who hasn't been vaccinated recently, it's likely that they have a current mumps infection. When both IgM and IgG antibodies are present, or there is a fourfold increase in concentrations between acute and convalescent IgG antibody testing, it is likely that the person is now infected or has recently been infected with mumps.

When a person who has been vaccinated and/or is not currently ill possesses mumps IgG antibodies, that individual is protected from infection. A person is not deemed immune to the virus if they do not have mumps IgG antibodies. This could be due to the fact that the person hasn't been exposed to the virus, the IgG hasn't had enough time to mature, or the person doesn't have a typical antibody response.

Most Common Questions About the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications for the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody Test

What is the primary purpose of the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test?

The Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test is used to determine if an individual has been previously exposed to the mumps virus and has developed immunity, either from past infection or vaccination. It measures the presence and amount of IgG antibodies specific to the mumps virus in the blood.

Why might a healthcare provider recommend the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test?

A healthcare provider might recommend the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test in cases where an individual's immunity status is unclear, especially before traveling to areas where mumps is prevalent, or during outbreaks in communities or institutions to determine susceptibility.

Interpretation of Results

How are the results of the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test interpreted?

The presence of mumps-specific IgG antibodies typically indicates past exposure to the mumps virus, either through natural infection or vaccination. If the antibodies are detected, the person is usually considered immune to mumps. Absence of these antibodies suggests that the individual has not been exposed to the virus and might be susceptible to mumps infection.

What does a positive Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test result mean?

A positive result means that IgG antibodies against the mumps virus were found in the blood sample, indicating previous exposure to the virus or successful vaccination. This typically means the individual has immunity against mumps.

Implications and Medical Management

If a person tests negative for Mumps Virus IgG Antibody, what might be the subsequent medical recommendations?

If someone tests negative, it means they do not have detectable mumps-specific IgG antibodies and may be susceptible to mumps. Depending on the individual's circumstances, such as their age, health status, and exposure risk, a healthcare provider might recommend vaccination against mumps to confer immunity.

Test Specifics

How is the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test different from the mumps IgM test?

While both tests detect antibodies to the mumps virus, they serve different purposes. The Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test detects IgG antibodies, which are long-lasting and indicate past exposure and immunity. In contrast, the mumps IgM test detects IgM antibodies, which appear shortly after infection and indicate a recent or active mumps infection.

Are there conditions or factors that might influence the results of the Mumps Virus IgG Antibody test?

Yes, individuals who have recently received intravenous immunoglobulin or blood products might test positive due to passive transfer of antibodies. Additionally, individuals with immunodeficiency disorders might not produce a typical amount of antibodies, which could influence the results.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Mumps Virus Antibody IgG

Mumps Virus

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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