Serum IgM testing is needed in all cases of suspected measles

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7051.231 (Published 27 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:231
  1. M Cohen,
  2. B Cohen,
  3. D Brown
  1. Consultant epidemiologist Clinical scientist Consultant virologist PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London NW9 5EQ

    EDITOR,—We agree with Laura Ryall and colleagues that testing for virus specific IgM, in either a saliva specimen or a serum sample, is the appropriate initial method for diagnosing measles.1 The main advantage of IgM testing, given the current epidemiology of measles in England and Wales, is its high specificity.

    Currently measles infections are rare, and less than 1% of notified cases have been confirmed by IgM assay of saliva in the past six months.2 In this context, even a test that was 99% …

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