Serological testing for immunity to measles is not routinely recommended before or after receiving measles-containing vaccine
Serological testing for immunity to measles (and mumps, rubella and varicella) is not recommended before or after routine administration of the 2-dose childhood schedule of these vaccines.
However, serological testing for measles immunity can be done:
- if it is uncertain whether the person has a history of natural immunity
- if it is uncertain whether the person has received 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine
- if a woman is planning pregnancy (see also Rubella, Varicella and Vaccination for women who are planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding)
Alternatively, these people can receive MMR vaccine without serological testing. There is no known increase in adverse events from vaccinating people with pre-existing immunity to one or more of the vaccine antigens. See Adverse events.
Serological tests for immunity to measles can detect antibody produced by both previous natural infection and vaccination. Sensitivity varies by assay and clinical setting (including time since vaccination).1
When interpreting serological testing results, it may be useful to discuss the results with the laboratory that performed the test, to ensure that decisions are based on all relevant clinical information.