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Mumps Antibody Blood Test

Last updated June 11, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The Mumps Antibody Blood Test helps detect antibodies specific to the mumps virus, which can indicate that an individual has been infected by the virus.

What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Mumps Ab Blood Test

What is Mumps Antibody Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Mumps, also called infectious parotitis, is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread through saliva, respiratory secretions, and aerosolized droplets of respiratory secretions. An individual may be infected with mumps for 2-3 weeks before symptoms appear. This is called the incubation period
  • The recovery period may last several weeks. During this time, the immune system controls the virus and the infection becomes self-limiting. Antibodies are produced that target viral antigens and help rid mumps from the body. This also establishes future immunity
  • Complications of mumps include inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), ovaries (oophoritis), and the meninges of the brain (meningitis). However, individuals who have received the measles, mumps, and rubeola (MMR) vaccine are less susceptible to infection by mumps
  • The Mumps Antibody Blood Test helps detect antibodies specific to the mumps virus, which can indicate that an individual has been infected by the virus
  • The test is performed by making dilutions of a blood sample – for example, 2-fold, 4-fold, 8-fold, and so on – and mixing each diluted sample with the mumps antigens
  • Subsequent steps allow for the visualization of possible interactions between the antibodies and antigen through a reaction (such as by emission of light, color change, etc.) The highest dilution in which a reaction takes place is called the titer. The titers of the antibodies help in the diagnosis and monitoring of mumps

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Mumps Antibody Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indicators for performing the Mumps Antibody Blood Test:

  • Determining resistance to measles or mumps
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body rash
  • Tenderness and pain in the testicles
  • Gray-white patches on the tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite

How is the Specimen Collected for Mumps Antibody Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Mumps Antibody Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood 

Process of obtaining a blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Mumps Antibody Blood Test Result?

A positive value for the Mumps Antibody Blood Test may point to a diagnosis of mumps.

  • The value for the test is in the form of a titer
  • A titer of more than 1:8 (meaning that at most an 8-fold dilution of an individual’s blood is sufficient to create a reaction) is interpreted as a positive result

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information:


Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 6, 2016
Last updated: June 11, 2019