Rubella Test

This blood test checks for both of the antibodies that protect the body from the rubella virus.

This blood test checks for both of the antibodies that protect the body from the rubella virus.

This blood test checks for the two types of rubella antibodies. These antibodies protect the body from the rubella virus, which causes German measles. The two types of rubella antibodies are IgM and IgG.

  • IgM is the first antibody appearing in the blood after exposure to the rubella virus. The IgM level rises and peaks in seven to ten days. It gradually falls off over the next few weeks. (The levels can be detected in a newborn for up to a year.) The IgM rubella test is the standard test for the rapid diagnosis of rubella.
  • IgG antibody takes longer to show up in the blood. Its presence indicates someone has either had a rubella infection or received the rubella vaccine. Once the IgG level rises, it stays in the bloodstream for life and protects the body against re-infection. This protection is known as immunity.

Your healthcare provider will ask about your vaccination history and potential exposure to the rubella virus. Testing for rubella antibodies may be recommended:

  • When there is a need to verify a recent rubella infection
  • When there are concerns about a rubella infection during pregnancy and birth defects
  • When there is a need to confirm immunity to the rubella virus
  • Before you get pregnant or at the beginning of a pregnancy (to verify immunity)
  • If a pregnant woman has symptoms of rubella, such as fever and rash
  • When a newborn has some of the birth defects that can occur if a mom has a rubella infection during pregnancy

In an adult, the blood sample is taken by placing a needle in a vein in the arm.

  • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking.
  • Some medications can interfere with the test.

This care path's costs do not include the charge to draw blood from a vein (venipuncture). There will only be one charge to draw blood, even if multiple tests are being performed on the samples that are taken.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • What are the risk factors for a pregnant woman with rubella?


Also known as:

Rubella Test
Laboratory Work
Rubella Blood Test
German Measles
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