Rubella Antibodies (IgG, IgM)

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: Rubella Antibodies IgG IgM


Rubella Antibody (IgM)

*Important Information on Lab Test Processing Times: Ulta Lab Tests is committed to informing you about the processing times for your lab tests processed through Quest Diagnostics. Please note that the estimated processing time for each test, indicated in business days, is based on data from the past 30 days across the 13 Quest Diagnostics laboratories for each test. These estimates are intended to serve as a guide and are not guarantees. Factors such as laboratory workload, weather conditions, holidays, and the need for additional testing or maintenance can influence actual processing times. We aim to offer estimates to help you plan accordingly. Please understand that these times may vary, and processing times are not guaranteed. Thank you for choosing Ulta Lab Tests for your laboratory needs.

The Rubella Antibodies (IgG, IgM) test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test is a blood test aimed at detecting and differentiating the antibodies produced in response to the rubella virus. Rubella, often referred to as German measles, is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash. The body produces two primary types of antibodies against this virus: IgM and IgG. While IgM is the first antibody produced in response to an infection, IgG is produced later and persists for life, typically providing immunity against reinfection.

Also Known As: German Measles test, 3 Day Measles Test, Three Day Measles Test, Rubella Titer Test, Rubella Infections test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Rubella Antibodies test ordered?

When a woman is pregnant or planning to become pregnant, an IgG rubella test is ordered. It is required anytime a check for rubella immunity is required. When a pregnant woman exhibits signs and symptoms that could indicate a rubella infection, IgM and IgG rubella tests may be conducted.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • A pink rash that starts on the face and extends downhill to the body, legs, and arms; once the rash goes to the body, it may disappear from the face.
  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Eyes that be red or inflamed
  • Joints that hurt
  • Lymph nodes swollen

A health practitioner will need to request the tests to confirm the diagnosis because numerous illnesses can cause identical symptoms.

IgM and IgG tests may be ordered for a newborn if the mother was diagnosed with rubella during pregnancy and/or if the newborn is born with congenital rubella syndrome-related birth abnormalities such as hearing loss, heart defects, or clouded lens of the eyes.

Because antibodies to rubella take time to form after infection, the tests may be repeated after day 5 of sickness onset and 7-21 days following the initial samples to examine if antibody levels have become detectable and to see if they are rising or dropping over time.

This test is still necessary for women in some states as part of the blood testing required to acquire a marriage license.

What does a Rubella Antibodies test check for?

The rubella test detects antibodies in the blood that form as a result of a rubella infection or immunization. Rubella testing can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Ascertain that you are protected against the rubella virus.
  • Find out if you've had an infection recently or in the past.
  • Determine who has not been exposed to the virus and who has not received a vaccine.
  • Check to see if all pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant have enough rubella antibodies to prevent infection.

Rubella is a viral infection that normally causes a slight fever and rash that lasts two to three days. The infection normally goes away on its own. Rubella, on the other hand, can cause major difficulties in the developing infant if a pregnant woman acquires it for the first time during the first three months of her pregnancy.

A rubella test may be ordered for anyone, pregnant or not, who is experiencing symptoms that a doctor believes are caused by a rubella infection. It may also be ordered for a newborn who is suspected of contracting rubella during pregnancy or who has congenital birth abnormalities that a doctor suspects are caused by the illness.

IgM and IgG antibodies are the two types of rubella antibodies that lab tests can detect:

The IgM rubella antibody is the first to develop in the blood following exposure. Except in an infected infant, where it may be observed for several months to a year, the level of this protein rises and peaks in the blood within about 7 to 10 days after infection and then tapers off over the next few weeks.

The IgG rubella antibody takes a little longer to surface than the IgM, but once it does, it stays in the bloodstream for the rest of the patient's life, protecting them from re-infection. IgM rubella antibodies in the blood indicate a recent infection, whereas IgG antibodies can indicate a current or past rubella infection, or that a rubella vaccine was given and is giving appropriate protection.

The IgM rubella test is the gold standard for a fast rubella laboratory diagnosis. The presence of an increase in IgG rubella in blood samples taken when a person is sick and later as they recover can be used to confirm infection. Antibody testing differ between laboratories, and the state health agency can advise on available laboratory services and recommended tests.

Lab tests often ordered with a Rubella Antibodies test:

When a Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of immune status or investigation of a possible rubella infection. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Measles and Mumps IgG and IgM Antibodies:

    • Purpose: To assess immunity or diagnose recent infections with measles and mumps.
    • Why Is It Ordered: These tests are often performed as part of a panel for immunity status, especially in pregnant women, individuals in healthcare settings, or during outbreaks.
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of infection or other hematological abnormalities that can accompany viral infections.
  3. TORCH Panel:

    • Purpose: To screen for a group of infections (Toxoplasmosis, Other [like syphilis], Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes Simplex Virus) that can cause congenital conditions if a woman is infected during pregnancy.
    • Why Is It Ordered: In pregnant women, to assess the risk of fetal infection and its potential complications.
  4. Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) Antibodies, IgG and IgM:

    • Purpose: To assess immunity or recent infection with the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Often included in immunity status evaluations, particularly in healthcare workers or in pregnancy.
  5. Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Hepatitis B Surface Antibody:

    • Purpose: To screen for hepatitis B infection or immunity.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Part of routine prenatal screening or immunity checks in healthcare settings.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test, provide a comprehensive assessment of immune status against common viral infections and are particularly important in the context of pregnancy, healthcare settings, and suspected acute viral infections. They help in diagnosing recent infections, confirming immunity, and assessing the risk of potential congenital infections. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s clinical context, exposure history, and specific symptoms or concerns.

Conditions where a Rubella Antibodies test is recommended:

  • Rubella Infection: To confirm an active or recent rubella infection.
  • Pregnancy: To check immunity status against rubella due to the severe consequences of infection during pregnancy.

How does my health care provider use a Rubella Antibodies test?

Antibody tests for Rubella can be used to:

  • Confirm if a person is virus-free due to previous infections or vaccinations.
  • Diagnosis of a rubella 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 rubella 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 Rubella antibodies test results mean?

When IgM antibodies to rubella are present in someone who hasn't been vaccinated recently, it's likely that they have a current rubella 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 rubella.

When a person who has been vaccinated and/or is not currently ill possesses rubella IgG antibodies, that individual is protected from infection. A person is not deemed immune to the virus if they do not have rubella 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 Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test:

Purpose and Indications for the Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies Test

Why is the Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test ordered?

The Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test is primarily ordered to determine if an individual has immunity to rubella (from a past infection or vaccination) or if they have a current, recent, or past rubella infection.

What does the Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test diagnose?

The test diagnoses either a current/recent rubella infection (indicated by IgM antibodies) or past exposure/immunity to rubella (indicated by IgG antibodies).

Interpreting the Results

What does a positive Rubella IgG test result mean?

A positive Rubella IgG result indicates that an individual has immunity to rubella, either due to a previous infection or vaccination. This immunity is generally lifelong.

What does a positive Rubella IgM test result mean?

A positive Rubella IgM result suggests a current or recent rubella infection. This is especially significant in pregnant women because of the risks of congenital rubella syndrome in the unborn baby.

Implications and Management

If I have positive Rubella IgG antibodies, do I need a rubella vaccine?

No, a positive Rubella IgG result indicates that you have immunity to rubella. You don't need to be vaccinated if you have evidence of immunity.

Why is the Rubella IgG IgM Antibodies test significant for pregnant women?

Rubella infection during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, can lead to congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which can cause serious complications, including birth defects in the baby. Knowing a pregnant woman's immunity status can guide healthcare recommendations.

Test Mechanisms and Specifics

What's the difference between Rubella IgG and IgM antibodies?

IgM antibodies are typically produced by the immune system shortly after an infection begins and are usually detectable before the onset of the clinical disease. Their presence usually indicates a current or recent infection. IgG antibodies are produced in response to an infection and provide long-term protection. Their presence indicates past exposure to the virus or successful vaccination.

Additional Information

How does rubella spread, and why is it concerning?

Rubella, also known as German measles, is a contagious viral infection that spreads through respiratory droplets. While rubella is generally mild in children and adults, it can have severe consequences if contracted by pregnant women, leading to miscarriages or congenital rubella syndrome in the newborn.

Are there any symptoms to watch for if one suspects a rubella infection?

Common symptoms include a mild fever, swollen glands, joint pain, and a red rash. However, many people with rubella may have mild symptoms or none at all, making testing critical in certain situations.

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

Customer Reviews