Pneumonia

Pneumonia Lab Tests and health information

Do you think you've got pneumonia? 

Ulta Lab Tests offers pneumonia tests to confirm an infection and identify the type of organism causing the infection, with results available in 24 to 48 hours.

Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The symptoms include fever and chills, cough with phlegm (sputum), shortness of breath, and chest pain when breathing in deeply. If you think you might have pneumonia, order our lab tests today to confirm an infection and identify the type of organism causing the infection.

It can be challenging to diagnose because symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis or asthma. If left untreated, pneumonia can lead to complications like lung abscesses or septic shock. Our lab tests will help you, and your doctor determine whether you have pneumonia and which type of organism is causing it so they can prescribe the proper treatment for you!

If you want to learn more about pneumonia and lab testing that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

Don’t let an illness go untreated – order our lab tests today. We offer discounted lab tests online with 2,000 locations nationally with quick, convenient local testing and results from Quest Diagnostics in just 24 to 48 hours for most tests. We provide the accurate test results you need to keep your health on track. Plus, our low prices are guaranteed - so you can get the quality care you deserve without breaking the bank.

Test quickly and confidently with Ulta Lab Tests!

Order your pneumonia lab tests from the list below to take charge of your health.

 


Name Matches

IgM antibody testing is valuable for early diagnosis in children; in adults, paired sera for specific IgG and IgM are generally required together with PCR. Specific IgM antibodies are often absent in reinfections; specific IgA might be quite useful in this circumstance.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae Antibody (IgG)

 

Clinical Significance

Mycoplasma are the smallest of the free-living organisms. M. pneumoniae causes approximately 10-20% of all cases of pneumonia. These pneumonias that can affect otherwise healthy individuals, are commonly referred to as "walking" and "aypical" pneumonias.

 


Mycoplasma pneumoniae Antibody (IgM)

Clinical Significance

Mycoplasma is the smallest of the free-living organisms. M. pneumoniae causes approximately 10-20% of all cases of pneumonia. These pneumonias that can affect otherwise healthy individuals, are commonly referred to as "walking" and "atypical" pneumonias.

Reference Range(s)

  • Negative<770 U/mL
  • Low Positive770-950 U/mL
  • Positive>950 U/mL

Alternative Name(s)

pneumoniae IgM ,Mycoplasma IgM


Legionella urinary antigen is useful in conjunction with other laboratory tests in the diagnosis of Legionnaire's Disease. Legionella urinary antigen may be identified for months after recovery

Legionellae are ubiquitous in environmental water sources and may cause sporadic as well as epidemic cases of atypical pneumonia after inhalation of contaminated water droplets. This assay detects and differentiates legionella pneumophila and non-pneumophila legionella species in patient respiratory specimens.

Description: A blood culture test is a blood used to identify illness causing bacteria and fungus in a patients blood.

Also Known As: Blood Culture Test, Blood Fungus Test, Blood Bacteria Test, Bacterial Blood Test, Fungal Blood Test, Blood Fungi Test, Sepsis Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: No preparation required

Important: Aerobic culture, anaerobic culture. If culture is positive, identification will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87076 or 87106 or 87077 or 87140 or 87143 or 87147 or 87149).
Antibiotic susceptibilities are only performed when appropriate (CPT code(s): 87181 or 87184 or 87185 or 87186).

When is a Blood Culture test ordered?

When a patient exhibits sepsis symptoms, which show that bacteria, fungus, or their toxic byproducts are harming the body, a healthcare professional may order blood cultures.

Drawing blood cultures might be suitable when symptoms are present in patients who are at a higher risk of developing a systemic infection due to previous infections, surgeries, prosthetic heart valve replacements, or immunosuppressive medication. Blood cultures are taken more frequently from babies and young children since they may have an infection but not always display the classic sepsis symptoms.

What does a Blood Culture test check for?

Blood cultures are techniques used to find the source of an illness in the blood and detect it. Although viruses, yeasts, and other fungi as well as bacteria can potentially cause bloodstream infections, they are less prevalent. This article concentrates on the use of blood cultures to find and identify bacteria and fungus in the blood, though blood can also be used to test for viruses.

When a person has a serious infection and/or the immune system is unable to contain it at its source, a blood infection often develops from another specific spot within the body. For instance, a urinary tract infection may spread from the bladder and/or kidneys into the circulation, travel throughout the body, infect other organs, and result in a serious and occasionally fatal systemic infection. Sometimes, the terms septicemia and sepsis are used synonymously to refer to this condition. While sepsis is the body's acute, overpowering, and occasionally lethal response to infection, septicemia refers to an infection of the blood. This ailment frequently need for quick and vigorous care, usually in a hospital's critical care unit.

The infection of the blood can lead to more severe consequences. A bloodstream infection may lead to endocarditis, an inflammation and infection of the heart's lining and/or heart valves. Although these infections are uncommon, patients with artificial heart valves or joints are more likely to develop systemic infections after surgery.

Blood infections are more common in people whose immune systems are compromised by underlying illnesses like leukemia or HIV/AIDS or by immunosuppressive medications used in chemotherapy. These people are more likely to contract blood infections because their immune systems are less able to destroy the microorganisms that occasionally enter the blood. Through the use of intravenous drugs, intravenous catheters, or surgical drains, bacteria and yeasts can also enter the circulation directly.

Before they are declared as negative, blood cultures are cultured for a number of days. If originally present in low numbers, some species of bacteria and fungi may develop more slowly than others and/or take longer to be discovered.

A blood culture that is positive identifies the exact bacteria that is infecting the patient, and susceptibility testing is done to determine which drugs are most likely to be helpful in treating the illness.

The blood culture testing procedure is automated, and devices continuously check the samples for bacterial or fungal development. This enables prompt results reporting and enables the medical professional to target antimicrobial medication specifically at the particular bacteria found in the blood. While awaiting the results of a blood culture, broad-spectrum antimicrobials are typically administered intravenously because therapy must be started as soon as feasible in situations of sepsis. Once the bacteria responsible for the infection is discovered, antimicrobial medication may be switched out for a more focused antibiotic therapy.

Lab Tests often ordered with a Blood Culture test:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Urine Culture
  • Susceptibility Testing

Conditions where a Blood Culture test is recommended:

  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Skin Infection
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Encephalitis
  • Sepsis
  • Fungal Infection
  • Staph Infection
  • Septic Arthritis
  • Food and Waterborne Illness

How is this test used by my health care provider?

Blood cultures are used to determine the type of bacteria or fungi present, detect their presence in the blood, and direct treatment. A blood infection that can cause sepsis, a dangerous and potentially fatal consequence, is detected by testing. Testing is frequently carried out in a hospital setting because patients with suspected blood infections are frequently treated in intensive care units.

This article concentrates on the use of blood cultures to identify and detect bacteria and fungus, while blood samples may be used to detect viruses as well.

Additional related tests that might be carried out include:

Gram stain, a fast test for determining the sort of bacteria in question,

Testing for susceptibility identifies the medication that might be most successful at treating the infection.

The blood culture is frequently followed by a request for a complete blood count to see if the patient has an elevated white blood cell count, a sign of a possible infection. Sometimes additional testing is carried out, such as a chemistry panel to assess an individual's organ condition or a urine culture to assist in determining the origin of the initial illness. This is especially true if a person exhibits signs of a meningitis, pneumonia, or urinary tract infection.

What do my Blood Culture test results mean?

The presence of the same bacteria or fungi in two or more blood cultures indicates that the person being examined most likely has a blood infection with that microbe. The exact bacteria or fungi that are causing the infection are usually identified in the results.

Blood infections are dangerous conditions that require prompt treatment, frequently in a hospital. Sepsis is a complication that poses a serious risk to life, particularly in those with compromised immune systems. While awaiting the results of the blood culture or susceptibility testing, medical professionals who suspect sepsis may start patients on intravenous broad spectrum antibiotics that are efficient against a variety of bacteria. A more targeted antimicrobial agent for the bacteria or fungi found in the blood cultures may be used as treatment once the results are available.

A skin contaminant or infection may be present if one blood culture set is positive and the other is negative. Before making a diagnosis, the medical professional will take into account the patient's clinical condition and the type of bacteria or fungi discovered. In this instance, more testing might also be necessary.

After several days, blood culture sets that are negative indicate that there is a low likelihood that the patient has a blood illness brought on by bacteria or fungi. Additional testing, however, might be necessary if symptoms linger, including a fever that won't go away. Symptoms may persist despite negative blood culture results for a number of reasons, including

It may be necessary to perform additional blood cultures using specialized nutrient media in order to attempt and grow and identify the pathogen because some microorganisms are more difficult to grow in culture.

Blood culture bottles made to grow bacteria cannot be used to detect viruses. Additional laboratory testing would need to be carried out if the medical professional believes that the patient's symptoms could be due to a viral infection. Depending on the patient's clinical symptoms and the type of virus the doctor believes is the cause of the illness, certain tests may be prescribed.

Even though blood cultures are negative, sepsis may still be present based on the results of further tests that may be performed in conjunction with blood cultures. Some of them could be:

  • thorough blood count. An infection may be indicated by an elevated white blood cell count.
  • Complement. The concentration of C3 can rise.
  • An infection source that may have moved to the blood may be identified by a positive urine or sputum culture.

An examination of the CSF could point to the infection's origin.

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


Fungi can infect the cerebral spinal fluid, other body fluids, and tissues. These infections occur more commonly among patients who are immunocompromised. Early diagnosis and effective treatment can reduce the likelihood of severe sequalae.

If culture is positive identification will be performed at an additional charge


Rapidly growing mycobacteria and Nocardia/aerobic Actinomycetes can cause a variety of serious infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Resistance, toxicity, intolerance, and therapeutic failures may occur with traditional empiric treatment with drugs of choice. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, especially with newer agents, may help to guide appropriate therapeutic choices.

This test is used to determine the presence of respiratory virus RNA/DNA in a patient's specimen. PCR provides more rapid results than other methods, including culture. The use of a panel for virus detection provides a useful differential diagnosis.

This test is used to determine the presence of influenza A or B viral RNA in a patient's specimen, and to differentiate among possible influenza A virus subtypes.

Aid in the detection and differentiation of seasonal influenza A virus infection and infection by the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus

Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

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

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of sodium in your blood's serum. Sodium is a vital mineral for nerve and muscle cell function.

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

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

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Description: A Basic Metabolic Panel is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease.  

Also Known As: BMP, Chemistry Panel, Chemistry Screen, Chem 7, Chem 11, BMP Test, SMA 7, SMAC7, Basic Metabolic Test, Chem Test, Chem Panel Test 

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Serum 

Test Preparation: 9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Basic Metabolic Panel test ordered?  

A BMP may be requested as part of a standard physical examination. 

The panel is frequently ordered in hospital emergency rooms because its components provide vital information regarding a person's renal state, electrolyte and acid/base balance, blood glucose, and calcium levels. Significant changes in these test results can suggest serious issues such as renal failure, insulin shock or diabetic coma, respiratory distress, or abnormalities in heart rhythm. 

What does a Basic Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a 9-test panel that provides essential information to a health practitioner about a person's current metabolic status, including kidney health, blood glucose level, electrolyte and acid/base balance. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the BMP test: 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. Calcium is also used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Basic Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Insulin
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Basic Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Kidney Disease 
  • Liver Disease 

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Basic Metabolic Panel test? 

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is used to evaluate a person's kidney function, electrolyte, acid/base balance, and blood glucose level, all of which are linked to their metabolism. It can also be used to keep track of hospitalized patients and persons with known illnesses like hypertension and hypokalemia. 

If a health practitioner wants to track two or more separate BMP components, the full BMP might be ordered because it contains more information. Alternatively, when monitoring, the healthcare provider may order specific tests, such as a follow-up glucose, potassium, or calcium test, or an electrolyte panel to track sodium, potassium, chloride, and CO2. If a doctor needs further information, he or she can request a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), which is a collection of 21 tests that includes the BMP. 

What do my Basic Metabolic Panel results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the BMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. 

Out-of-range results on any of the BMP's tests can be caused by a number of things, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related consequences. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

The results of the BMP components can be influenced by a range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide them with a thorough medical history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

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

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 



Description: The cytomegalovirus antibodies test is used to detect antibodies to cytomegalovirus in the blood’s serum from a recent or past infection.

Also Known As: CMV Test, CMV Antibodies Test, CMV IgG IgM Test, Cytomegalovirus Test, Cytomegalovirus IgG IgM Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cytomegalovirus Antibodies test ordered?

When a younger person, a pregnant woman, or an immune-compromised individual exhibits flu- or mono-like signs and symptoms, CMV tests, as well as tests for influenza, mononucleosis, and EBV, may be requested.

When a health care provider is assessing the effectiveness of antiviral therapy, one or more CMV tests might be requested at regular intervals.

CMV antibody testing may be requested as a screening test to discover if a person has been exposed to CMV in the past when they are a candidate for an organ or marrow transplant.

What does a Cytomegalovirus Antibodies blood test check for?

Cytomegalovirus is a widespread virus that is found all over the world but only rarely causes symptoms. CMV infection affects between 50 and 85 percent of individuals in the United States. The majority of persons get infected as children or young adults and have no noticeable symptoms or health problems.

CMV testing entails measuring CMV antibodies, immunological proteins produced in response to CMV infection, or detecting the virus itself. Culturing CMV or detecting the virus's genetic material in a fluid or tissue sample might be used to identify the virus during an active infection.

During an active infection, CMV can be discovered in a variety of body fluids, including saliva, urine, blood, breast milk, sperm, vaginal secretions, and cerebrospinal fluid. Close personal touch or interaction with infected materials, like as diapers or toys, makes it easy to spread to others. CMV, like other members of the herpes family, becomes dormant or latent after the initial "primary" infection has cured. Unless a person's immune system is considerably impaired, cytomegalovirus can live in them for the rest of their lives without creating any symptoms. The virus may reactivate if this occurs.

In three scenarios, CMV can cause serious health problems:

  • Primary CMV infection in young adults can induce a flu-like or mononucleosis-like disease. Extreme weariness, fever, chills, body pains, and/or headaches are common symptoms of this ailment, which normally goes away in a few weeks.
  • Primary CMV infection in babies can result in major physical and developmental issues. This happens when a pregnant woman becomes infected for the first time and then distributes the infection to her unborn child through the placenta. Most infected neonates appear healthy at birth, but within a few months, they may develop hearing or vision abnormalities, pneumonia, convulsions, and/or impaired mental development. Some babies are stillborn, while others show signs including jaundice, anemia, an enlarged spleen or liver, and a small head when they are born.
  • CMV can cause significant disease and death in people who have weaker immune systems. This includes those living with HIV/AIDS, people who have undergone organ or bone marrow transplants, and people who are receiving cancer chemotherapy. People with weakened immune systems who become infected for the first time may have the most severe symptoms, and their CMV infection may be active for a long time. Those who have previously been exposed to CMV may experience reactivation of their infection. Their eyes, digestive tract, lungs, and brain could all be affected. Spleen and liver problems are also possible, and people who have had organ or bone marrow transplants may have some rejection. Active CMV also weakens the immune system, making it easier for secondary infections like fungal infections to develop.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cytomegalovirus antibodies test:

  • Epstein Barr Virus Antibodies
  • Herpes 1 and 2
  • Varicella Zoster Virus

Conditions where a Cytomegalovirus antibodies test is recommended:

  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • Chicken Pox and Shingles

How does my health care provider use a Cytomegalovirus antibodies test?

Cytomegalovirus testing is performed to see if someone has an active CMV infection based on their signs and symptoms. It's sometimes ordered to see if someone has ever been infected with CMV before.

CMV is a widespread virus that affects a large percentage of the population but rarely produces symptoms or serious health concerns. In neonates and persons with weaker immune systems, such as transplant recipients, cancer patients, people taking immunosuppressive medicines, and people living with HIV, primary CMV infection can cause serious sickness and consequences.

Antibody testing on blood samples can be used to detect if someone has been exposed recently or previously. IgM and IgG are the two types of CMV antibodies produced in response to a CMV infection, and one or both might be seen in the blood.

The first antibodies produced by the body in response to a CMV infection are IgM antibodies. Within a week or two of the initial exposure, they are present in the majority of people. Antibody production of IgM increases for a brief period before declining. CMV IgM antibody levels frequently decline below detectable levels after many months. When latent CMV is triggered, more IgM antibodies are generated.

The body produces IgG antibodies several weeks after the original CMV infection, which defend against secondary infections. IgG levels rise during active infection, then level off as the CMV infection fades and the virus becomes dormant. After being exposed to CMV, a person's blood will contain quantifiable amounts of CMV IgG antibodies for the rest of their lives. Along with IgM testing, CMV IgG antibody testing can be used to establish the existence of a current or previous CMV infection.

CMV antibody testing can be used to determine immunity to primary CMV infections in people who are awaiting organ or bone marrow transplantation, as well as in HIV/AIDS patients. CMV infection is common and causes minimal difficulties in those with healthy immune systems, hence general population screening is uncommon.

What do my CMV IgG and IgM test results mean?

When interpreting the findings of CMV testing, caution is advised. The results are compared to clinical data, such as signs and symptoms, by a health professional. It's not always easy to tell the difference between a latent, active, or reactivated CMV infection. This is attributable to a number of factors, including:

A healthy individual who has been infected with CMV will carry the virus for the rest of their lives. CMV can reactivate on a regular basis, frequently in a subclinical manner, shedding small amounts of virus into body fluids but causing no symptoms.

Even if the individual has an active case of CMV, an immune-compromised person may not have a significant antibody response to the infection; the person's IgM and IgG levels may be lower than predicted.

It's possible that the virus isn't present in large enough numbers in the fluid or tissue being analyzed to be detected.

A symptomatic person with positive CMV IgG and IgM has most likely been exposed to CMV for the first time or has had a previous CMV infection reactivated. IgG levels can be measured again 2 or 3 weeks later to confirm this. A high IgG level is less essential than an increasing level. If the IgG level in the first and second samples differs by fourfold, the person is infected with CMV.

A positive CMV IgM and negative IgG indicates that the person was infected recently.

In someone who is symptomatic, a negative IgG and/or IgM or low levels of antibodies may indicate that the person has a problem other than CMV or that their immune system is not responding correctly.

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


CMV infections are common and usually asymptomatic. In patients who are immunocompromised, CMV may cause disseminated, severe disease. CMV may cause birth defects in a minority of infected newborns. Antibody IgG may represent prior exposure or recent infection if there is a significant change in titer between acute and convalescent specimens.

CMV infections are common and usually asymptomatic. In patients who are immunocompromised, CMV may cause disseminated, severe disease. CMV may cause birth defects in a minority of infected newborns.

Haemophilus influenzae is a gram-negative bacteria that is present in approximately three-quarters of children and adults. In infants and young children, haemophilus influenzae, especially type B, may cause bacteremias and meningitis. In children and older individuals haemophilus influenzae may cause respiratory tract infections.

Support the clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Clinical Significance

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Evaluation - Support the clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.


Allergy

Description: The Measles Antibodies IgG IgM test is used to measure the blood’s serum for measles antibodies, which may be present because of a current or previous infection or a vaccination.

Also Known As: Rubeola Test, Measles Virus Test, Measles Titer test, Measles Infection Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Measles Antibodies test ordered?

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

When a person has measles-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 measles, IgM and IgG antibody testing may be requested.  These tests are usually ordered early in the infection's progress.

Measles symptoms usually appear 7 to 18 days after exposure and include one or more of the following:

  • A common rash that begins on the face and progresses down the body to the trunk and legs
  • Fever that is very high
  • Coughing that is dry
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Inside the mouth, there are tiny white dots

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 Measles Antibodies 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.

Rubeola, often known as measles, is a highly contagious viral infection spread through respiratory secretions. The virus infects cells in the lungs and back of the throat, causing symptoms such as a high fever, dry cough, red eyes, light sensitivity, a runny nose, sore throat, tiny white spots inside the mouth, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads down the body to the trunk and legs after a 1 to 2 week incubation period.

The majority of patients recover in a few weeks, but up to 20% of them experience consequences such as ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, or, in rare cases, encephalitis or blindness. People who are malnourished, deficient in vitamin A, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected. Women who are pregnant and infected with measles are more likely to have a miscarriage or go into labor prematurely.

Vaccination has greatly reduced the number of persons infected with measles in the United States and many other countries of the world, but the World Health Organization still considers measles to be a top cause of mortality in children under the age of five. Measles killed roughly 145,700 individuals worldwide in 2013, according to their estimates, the majority of whom were youngsters under the age of five.

The outcome of the immunization campaign In the United States, endemic measles was declared eradicated in 2000. Small outbreaks, however, continue to occur on a yearly basis. The majority of cases occur in people who are either unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown, and most outbreaks are linked to travel to locations where measles outbreaks are happening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 911 cases of measles were reported from 63 outbreaks between 2001 and 2011. With almost 600 cases recorded in 2014, the United States experienced the greatest number of measles cases in 20 years. Many were linked to visitors who had visited the Philippines, where there had been an unusually significant outbreak of over 50,000 cases.

The CDC, as well as the medical communities in the United States and around the world, remain worried and watchful. Measles is still endemic in many parts of the world, there is always the possibility of travelers spreading the disease, and small percentages of the population remain unvaccinated.

Lab tests often ordered with a Measles Antibodies test:

  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Varicella Zoster Virus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Conditions where a Measles Antibodies test is recommended:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningitis
  • Travelers’ Diseases
  • Pancreatitis
  • Infertility
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy

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

Antibody tests for measles can be used to:

  • Confirm if a person is virus-free due to previous infections or vaccinations.
  • Diagnosis of a measles 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 measles 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 Measles Antibody test results mean?

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

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

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


Description: The Measles Antibody IgG test is used to measure the blood’s serum for measles antibodies, which may be present because of a previous infection or a vaccination.

Also Known As: Rubeola Test, Measles Virus Test, Measles Titer test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Measles Antibody IgG test ordered?

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

When a person has measles-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 measles, IgM and IgG antibody testing may be requested.  These tests are usually ordered early in the infection's progress.

Measles symptoms usually appear 7 to 18 days after exposure and include at least one of the following:

  • A common rash that begins on the face and progresses down the body to the trunk and legs
  • Fever that is very high
  • Coughing that is dry
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Inside the mouth, there are tiny white dots

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 a Measles 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.

Rubeola, often known as measles, is a highly contagious viral infection spread through respiratory secretions. The virus infects cells in the lungs and back of the throat, causing symptoms such as a fever that is high, red eyes, a dry cough, sensitivity to light, a sore throat, runny nose tiny white spots inside the mouth, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body after 1 to 2 weeks.

The majority of patients recover in a few weeks, but up to 20% of them experience consequences such as ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, or, in rare cases, encephalitis or blindness. People who are malnourished, deficient in vitamin A, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected. Women who are pregnant and infected with measles are more likely to have a miscarriage or go into labor prematurely.

Vaccination has greatly reduced the number of persons infected with measles in the United States and many other countries of the world, but the World Health Organization (WHO) still considers measles to be a top cause of mortality in children under the age of five. Measles killed roughly 145,700 individuals worldwide in 2013, according to their estimates, the majority of whom were youngsters under the age of five.

The outcome of the immunization campaign In the United States, endemic measles was declared eradicated in 2000. Small outbreaks, however, continue to occur on a yearly basis. The majority of cases occur in people who are either unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown, and most outbreaks are linked to travel to locations where measles outbreaks are happening.

According to the CDC, 911 cases of measles were reported from 63 outbreaks between 2001 and 2011. With almost 600 cases recorded in 2014, the United States experienced the greatest number of measles cases in 20 years. Many were linked to visitors who had visited the Philippines, where there had been an unusually significant outbreak of over 50,000 cases.

The CDC, as well as the medical communities in the United States and around the world, remain worried and watchful. Measles is still endemic in many parts of the world, there is always the possibility of travelers spreading the disease, and small percentages of the population remain unvaccinated.

Lab tests often ordered with a Measles Antibody IgG test:

  • Measles Antibody IgM
  • Mumps Antibody tests
  • Rubella Antibody tests
  • Varicella Zoster Virus Antibody tests
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Conditions where a Measles Antibody IgG test is recommended:

  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningitis
  • Travelers’ Diseases
  • Pancreatitis
  • Infertility
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy

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

Antibody tests for measles can be used to:

  • Confirm if a person is virus-free due to previous infections or vaccinations.
  • Diagnosis of a measles 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 measles 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 Measles IgG Antibody test results mean?

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

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

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


Description: The Measles Antibody IgM test is used to measure the blood’s serum for measles antibodies, which may be present because of an active infection.

Also Known As: Rubeola Test, Measles Virus Test, Measles Infection Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Measles Antibody IgM test ordered?

When a person has measles-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 measles, IgM and IgG antibody testing may be requested.  These tests are usually ordered early in the infection's progress.

Measles symptoms usually appear 7 to 18 days after exposure and include at least one of the following:

  • A common rash that begins on the face and progresses down the body to the trunk and legs
  • Fever that is very high
  • Coughing that is dry
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Inside the mouth, there are tiny white dots

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 Measles Antibody IgM 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.

Rubeola, often known as measles, is a highly contagious viral infection spread through respiratory secretions. The virus infects cells in the lungs and back of the throat, causing symptoms such as a fever that is high, red eyes, a dry cough, sensitivity to light, a sore throat, runny nose tiny white spots inside the mouth, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body after 1 to 2 weeks.

The majority of patients recover in a few weeks, but up to 20% of them experience consequences such as ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, or, in rare cases, encephalitis or blindness. People who are malnourished, deficient in vitamin A, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected. Women who are pregnant and infected with measles are more likely to have a miscarriage or go into labor prematurely.

Vaccination has greatly reduced the number of persons infected with measles in the United States and many other countries of the world, but the World Health Organization (WHO) still considers measles to be a top cause of mortality in children under the age of five. Measles killed roughly 145,700 individuals worldwide in 2013, according to their estimates, the majority of whom were youngsters under the age of five.

The outcome of the immunization campaign In the United States, endemic measles was declared eradicated in 2000. Small outbreaks, however, continue to occur on a yearly basis. The majority of cases occur in people who are either unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown, and most outbreaks are linked to travel to locations where measles outbreaks are happening.

According to the CDC, 911 cases of measles were reported from 63 outbreaks between 2001 and 2011. With almost 600 cases recorded in 2014, the United States experienced the greatest number of measles cases in 20 years. Many were linked to visitors who had visited the Philippines, where there had been an unusually significant outbreak of over 50,000 cases.

The CDC, as well as the medical communities in the United States and around the world, remain worried and watchful. Measles is still endemic in many parts of the world, there is always the possibility of travelers spreading the disease, and small percentages of the population remain unvaccinated.

Lab tests often ordered with a Measles Antibody IgM test:

  • Measles Antibody IgG
  • Mumps Antibody tests
  • Rubella Antibody tests
  • Varicella Zoster Virus Antibody tests
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Conditions where a Measles Antibody IgM test is recommended:

  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningitis
  • Travelers’ Diseases
  • Pancreatitis
  • Infertility
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy

How does my health care provider use a Measles Antibody IgM test?

Antibody tests for measles can be used to:

  • Confirm if a person is virus-free due to previous infections or vaccinations.
  • Diagnosis of a measles 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 measles 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 Measles Antibody test results mean?

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

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



Pneumonia is a type of infection that occurs in the lower respiratory tract. It is caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This infection may cause symptoms that range from moderate all the way up to life-threatening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) reports that over one million adults and children in the United States are admitted into a hospital every year for pneumonia. The World Health Organization reports that worldwide, 2.7 million people per year are killed by pneumonia, which is more than all other infectious diseases, and it is the leading cause of death for children younger than 5 years old. Although pneumonia occurs at all times of the year, the highest numbers of cases are seasonal during the flu (influenza) season, which typically runs from the late fall through to early springtime.  

Although people of all ages can get pneumonia, it develops most often in people who have weakened immune systems (immune-compromised), individuals over 65 years old, and very young children. Women who are pregnant, and individuals who have underlying conditions like damaged lungs due to smoking or cystic fibrosis are at higher risk to develop pneumonia as well. That includes people who have had an organ donation and those who have undergone chemotherapy or are on mechanical ventilation. Individuals with AIDS are highly susceptible to getting pneumonia.  

Fungi, viruses, and bacteria are microbes that may cause lower respiratory tract infections. Most often, pneumonia is caused by microbes that have gotten past the immune defenses of the body and are residing deep inside the lungs in alveolar sacs, which are tiny structures. The second most common cause of pneumonia is viruses, and the most common is bacteria.  

Bacteria 

In adults, the most common cause of pneumonia is bacteria, but in young children it is uncommon. Pneumonia can be caused by many different kinds of bacteria, while some are more common than other ones. At times, people, especially those who have health problems or who are elderly, will get bacterial pneumonia after they have had a viral respiratory infection.   

Those microbes can be spread to other people via microscopic respiratory secretion droplets that become airborne whenever an infected individual sneezes or coughs. Airborne drops settle onto surfaces like phone receivers, keyboards, and countertops in the area or inhaled directly by another person. The microbe gets spread whenever someone touches a surface that is contaminated and then touches her or his mouth or eyes or some of their other mucous membranes. Pneumonia may also be caused by normal bacteria in food, saliva, or vomit whenever an individual gags or chokes and breathes their own fluids in accidentally.  

To cause pneumonia, it takes more than just being exposed to a potential pathogen. Microbes are constantly present within the environment, and sources of infection are encountered by people every day. The lungs are able to handle these assaults in most cases. There are various layers of immune defense in the respiratory system, beginning with the hair-like structures and mucous that trap and eliminate numerous pathogens out of the airways. Pathogens that are able to make it past those initial defense systems then get subjected to an attack of a range of immune system cells that find and engulf pathogens that are identified as being foreign to the human body. Pneumonia takes place whenever these defenses are damaged or weakened or whenever the invading pathogens are severe enough to evade or overcome them.  

A broad range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi (less commonly) may cause pneumonia. However, most cases are caused by just a few of them. The microbes that are most likely to cause a specific pneumonia case will depend on the health status and age of the affected individual as well as the time of year to some degree. People who have weakened immune systems, and individuals who have traveled to certain parts of the world, might develop pneumonia due to the microbes being more unusual. 

The following familiar terms describe some of the general types of pneumonia:  

Double pneumonia is a type of infection where both lungs are affected.  

Lobar pneumonia is a type of disease that affects a part of a lung (lobe). 

Walking pneumonia is a mild type of the disease that usually doesn’t require any bed rest. This is often caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae (a virus).  

Aspiration pneumonia is a type of pneumonia that is caused by a person inhaling food particles or gastric juices and can be harder to treat. In these cases, it might be more challenging to identify the pathogens causing the infection. Therefore, health practitioners might need to do additional testing to be able to prescribe the right antibiotic. Individuals who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD) or people who have difficulties swallowing from other circumstances have a higher risk of this kind of pneumonia. Sometimes aspiration pneumonia is referred to as anaerobic pneumonia since the bacteria that cause it normally is beneficial bacteria living in the digestive tract, and oxygen is not required for them to live.  

The place where pneumonia is acquired determines the most likely cause of pneumonia, the most effective way of spreading the infection, and helps to guide the proper treatment.  

Healthcare-associated and hospital-acquired microbes are more likely to be able to resist first-line antimicrobials. It is also more likely for community-acquired pneumonia to occur due to the fact that bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics that are commonly prescribed or seasonal viruses where antimicrobial drugs are not the right treatment.  

Healthcare-associated pneumonia – whenever an individual is infected while they are in a healthcare-associated environment, like a dialysis clinic or nursing home.  

Ventilator-acquired pneumonia – takes place when an individual is connected up with a ventilator machine.  

Hospital-acquired pneumonia – occurs when a person develops an infection while in the hospital for a different illness.  

Community-acquired pneumonia – occurs whenever an individual becomes infected outside of a healthcare setting during daily activities.     

There is some bacterial pneumonia that is fairly rare but might be found in some geographic areas and in certain populations. People who immigrated from certain countries and travelers might be infected with bacteria that are not as common in the United States. Also, people who have pre-existing conditions like weakened immune systems or decreased lung function might be more vulnerable to kinds of bacteria that are not present within the general population.  

The following is the most common bacterial pneumonia cause that is contracted outside of a healthcare or hospital setting (community-acquired): 

Streptococcus pneumoniae pn-eumococcal pneumonia can be caused by these bacteria, which are spread easily through regular social contact. S. pneumoniae has many serotypes so you could get repeat infections from various kinds. There is a vaccine that is available for the most common S. pneumoniae serotypes to help prevent pneumonia as well as other types of serious infections, including blood infections (septicemia) and meningitis. 

Some of the other less common causes can include the following:  

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Those who have reduced lung function from cystic fibrosis are often affected 
  • Streptococcus agalactiae (also called Group B strep) – The female vagina may be colonized with it, and it may be passed to a baby from a pregnant mother during childbirth.  
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae – This can cause pneumonia in individuals who are weakened by disease, commonly within a hospital setting.  
  • Staphylococcus aureus – Recently, this has become more common within hospital settings from drug-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (or MRSA) or after influenza (flu) infection.  
  • Moraxella catarrhalis – his is more commonly a middle ear infection source in children  
  • Haemophilus influenzae (type B Hib) – Causes pneumonia most often but also can cause other types of invasive infections like septicemia and meningitis. Hib vaccinations have made infections less common. However, infections might occur with other kinds of H. influenzae bacteria that the Hib vaccine does not cover.   

Atypical pneumonias are a type of bacterial lung infection. They do not respond to many antibiotics that are commonly prescribed.

Examples include: 

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis – Causes tuberculosis (or TB), as well as nontuberculous Mycobacteria (M. kansasii, M. avium-intracellulare, and other mycobacteria species), are not as common in the United States but can be found in people with AIDS, prison populations, and in travelers, among others.  
  • Legionella pneumophila – this causes Legionnaires’ disease; an infection can occur whenever a person inhales airborne droplets, mist, or steam that is contaminated with the bacteria. This infection doesn’t spread from one individual to the next. Legionella infections frequently require hospitalization, and the death rate is significant.  
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae – This causes around 10% of all community-acquired types of pneumonia. It occurs most commonly in people 65 to 79 years old.  
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae – This commonly causes upper respiratory infection. Every year in the U.S., there are around 2 million cases, and they are responsible for 15% to 20% of community-acquired pneumonia cases. It causes “walking pneumonia,” which is a less serious infection. Typically, people under 40 years are affected.   

Viruses 

In the United States, around one-third of the total pneumonia cases every year are caused by viruses infecting the respiratory system. They are the most common cause of pneumonia in babies and account for around 90% of lower respiratory infections. Fewer than 20% of pneumonia is viral in adults under 60 years old. Viral causes are becoming increasingly common in people over 60-65 years old.   

Viral pneumonia is frequently mild, and only supportive care is required. However, hospitalization might be required for more serious cases. After a primary viral infection, secondary bacterial pneumonia sometimes can develop.  

The most common viral pneumonia causes are:  

  • Adenoviruses – these are common viruses that frequently cause respiratory illness. The infections are usually not serious. However, for people who have weakened immune systems, they can be serious.  
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV) – in children under one-year-old, this is the most common cause of pneumonia. 
  • Parainfluenza virus– this often causes respiratory infections in young children and infants. It can progress into pneumonia.  
  • Influenza virus – in adults, this is the most common viral pneumonia cause. 

The following are some other less common causes:  

  • Rhinoviruses – these viruses cause the common cold in adults and children. It might infect the lower respiratory tract occasionally and cause pneumonia in the elderly and young children. 
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – this is caused by a varicella-zoster virus (or VZV) infection, which belongs to the herpes virus family. A majority of cases resolve without any serious complications. An uncommon complication is pneumonia.  
  • Measles – or rubeola, is a highly contagious viral infection transmitted via respiratory secretion. A majority of individuals recover within a few weeks. However, up to 20% of people can develop complications, including pneumonia.  
  • Cytomegalovirus (or CMV) – can cause serious developmental and physical problems whenever women are infected for the very first time (primary infection) while they are pregnant and pass the infection on across the placenta to their developing baby.  
  • Human metapneumovirus – in 2001, the virus was initially identified. It is believed to cause around 5% to 15% of hospitalizations for lung infections. 
  • Adenoviruses – these are common viruses that frequently cause respiratory illness. However, they normally are not serious.  

Fungi 

Pneumonia that is caused by fungi is fairly rare. Some fungi do cause pneumonia in individuals with weakened immune systems. Those people include those who have AIDS, individuals on chemotherapy regimens, and organ transplant recipients taking immunosuppressive drugs.

They are referred to as “opportunistic” fungi and include the following:  

  • Cryptococcus neoformans – can infect anyone, but in the U.S. the highest prevalence is with individuals who have HIV/AIDS.  
  • Candida species – yeasts that are part of regular human flora. Within the body’s moist mucous membranes, infections can occur. 
  • Aspergillus species – may cause fungal masses and aspergillosis in the lungs and sinuses. 
  • Pneumocystis jiroveci – in the U.S., it is most common in individuals with AIDS. It was called P. carinii formerly. Pneumonia that this organism cause is still sometimes referred to as PCP or Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. 

There are some fungi that are pathogenic. This means they may cause pneumonia in individuals no matter what their health status is. Individuals become infected by breathing in fungal spores. Usually, these types are only found in certain parts of the world and/or the U.S.: 

  • Blastomyces dermatididis – this is found in the midwestern, southeastern, and south-central US.in decaying leaves and wood as well as moist soil. 
  • Coccidioides immitis – this causes Valley Fever or coccidioidomycosis, also called Valley Fever; it is often found in parts of California and in Arizona. 
  • Histoplasma capsulatum – this causes histoplasmosis. It is found in soil that has been contaminated with bird or bat droppings. It is commonly found in Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. 

Complications, Symptoms, and Signs  

Pneumonia symptoms can vary widely, depending on the health status and age of the affected person and which microbe has caused the infection. The elderly might experience confusion. Very young babies might be lethargic and irritable, breathe rapidly, wheeze, and grunt. Bacterial pneumonia can emerge after a viral infection and might be view as a worsening or lingering bout of flu or a cold.  

The following are some of the most common symptoms of pneumonia:  

  • Feeling worse after the flu or a cold  
  • Vomiting and nausea 
  • Chest pain 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Headache 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fatigue 
  • Chills and fever 
  • Cough  
  • Complications 

Some of the complications that may arise with pneumonia include sepsis, respiratory failure, lung tissue scarring (which could result in recurrent infections), fluid buildup inside the lungs, and rarely, lung abscesses (pus pockets inside the lung tissue).

When it comes to testing, the goals are determining which microbe is causing pneumonia, limiting its spread to other individuals, determining how severe the pneumonia is, and to help guide treatment. In many cases, determining acute pneumonia’s exact cause is not possible. Treatment will be based on the person’s medical history and clinical presentation, the experience of a health practitioner, microorganisms that are likely present within the community, like influenza, and on guidelines that have been established for caring for lower respiratory infections. If the symptoms of a person do not resolve, then other tests might need to be conducted to help diagnose the causes of pneumonia that are less common.  

Laboratory Tests 

There are a number of different laboratory tests that might be performed to make a diagnosis depending on the affected individual’s medical history as well as the symptoms and signs that are present during the physical exam.  

General laboratory tests can include the following:  

Blood gases – these tests measure the carbon dioxide (or CO2), oxygen (or O2), and pH present in a blood sample. Usually taken from an artery to evaluate lung function. 

Basic metabolic panel (or BMP) – blood tests for potassium, sodium, as well as other chemistries in order to determine how severe the illness is.  

Complete blood count (or CBC) – evaluates the number and type of white blood cells. Test results can indicate whether or not there is an infection. 

Suspected bacterial pneumonia tests include the following:  

Legionella testing – this is a molecular or culture test for diagnosing a suspected Legionella infection or blood test for a certain antigen. 

Mycoplasma testing – this is a special culture or blood test for diagnosing a mycoplasma infection. 

Blood culture – used for detecting septicemia whenever it is suspected that an infection has spread to the blood from the lungs or from the lungs to the blood.  

AFB testing - These tests are ordered when a nontuberculous or tuberculous mycobacteria infection is suspected.  

Susceptibility testing – this is conducted on pathogenic bacteria that are grown within a culture. Testing is used to identify it and is used for guiding treatment. 

Gram stain and bacterial sputum culture — these are primary tests that are ordered and used for detecting and identifying bacterial pneumonia causes.  

Tests that are used when viral pneumonia is suspected include the following:  

Viral culture – used for growing a number of different viruses that might cause infections  

RSV testing – these tests are conducted throughout the RSV season in order to help with diagnosing the infection in individuals with lower respiratory tract involvement and moderate or severe symptoms. The tests are mainly ordered for the elderly, infants (six months to two years old), and people who have compromised immune systems like those with an organ transplant or with pre-existing lung disease.  

Influenza tests – these tests are used to help with diagnosing an influenza infection and to help with documenting influenza present in a community at times. Testing might also be used for identifying the strain and/or type of influenza that is causing an infection.  

Fungal tests – these tests might be ordered for a suspected fungal infection. Examples include the following:  

Fungal cultures – These are used for identifying specific fungi. Fungi are often slow-growing, so to get results can take weeks. Susceptibility testing that is conducted on fungi that are isolated from the culture can help with determining which is the best antifungal to use as a treatment. 

Tests for fungal antibodies and antigens – used for determining if a person has, or recently had a certain fungal infection. Compared to fungal cultures, these are more rapid. However, they test only for a certain fungal species. Therefore, healthcare practitioners need to know which fungal organism needs to be tested for. Since many individuals have fungal antibodies from being exposed to a fungus in the past, a single antibody test might not confirm a current infection or presence of the fungus. Blood samples are sometimes collected 2-3 weeks apart (convalescent and acute samples) and then tested to find out whether the antibody levels (titers) have changed. It can take several weeks to evaluate the results.  

Molecular tests – Used for identifying the presence of viruses, fungi, and/or bacterial within a respiratory sample through detecting the microbes’ genetic material (RNA, DNA). Usually, these kinds of tests are very specific and sensitive and especially helpful in detecting microorganisms that are hard to culture.  

There are some tests that look for a specific microbe like Mycoplasma pneumoniae. PCR (or polymerase chain reaction) is a common method.  

There are newer methods that can test simultaneously for several viruses, fungi, and/or bacterial. Those methods include DNA microarrays and multiplexed PCR.  

Pleural fluid analysis – when there is an accumulation of fluid in the space between the chest wall and lung, the fluid might be tested so that the cause of the infection can be determined.