MMR Titer Information

Learn more about the MMR titer from experts.


Updated October 19, 2017 By

Thanks for visiting our MMR titer test resource page. We hope that you will get a better understanding of what an MMR titer is and options for getting this blood test after reading this information.

What is an MMR titer?

An MMR titer is a blood test that checks your antibody titer levels to MMR. It is performed by a laboratory. An MMR titer test is not an injection, shot, or vaccination.

What is MMR?

MMR is an abbreviation for 3 different infections - Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

What does it mean if I have MMR antibodies in my blood?

If you have MMR antibodies in your blood, it means that your immune system has "seen" an MMR infection before and has the capability to respond to an MMR infection if you are exposed again. Generally speaking, one is thought to be immune to MMR if they have a certain threshhold of antibodies circulating in their blood at the time they are measured using a blood test.

Can I get MMR antibodies in my blood from an infection?

Yes. One way to get MMR antibodies in your blood is through something thought of as natural exposure to MMR. More specifically, if you were infected by Measles, Mumps, or Rubella when you were younger, you probably had symptoms and felt sick for a while. In most cases, after you recover, your immune system forms a "memory" to the MMR-related infections that infected you. The next time you are exposed to the same infection, your immune system will remember what it's like to be infected and can easily produce an immune response using antibodies in your blood to help you fight off the infection.

Are there other ways to get MMR antibodies in my blood?

Another way to get MMR antibodies is through getting an MMR vaccination. The MMR vaccine is a special vaccine that contains weakened live versions of Measles, Mumps and Rubella. When you get immunized with the MMR vaccine, you are voluntarily exposing yourself to a mild form of the MMR infection so that your immune system can see it and form a memory of it through the process of fighting it. Said another way, an MMR vaccine is designed to simulate a natural MMR infection. The immune system responds to the MMR vaccine-induced infection by producing antibodies to MMR to protect you against future infections.

Getting An MMR Titer Test Done

Where can I get an MMR titer?

Some people have a regular doctor who can order an MMR titer test for them and sometimes even draw their blood. In this age of high-deductibles and less insurance coverage, however, the costs of doing that way can be quite high at times. In contrast, it is now possible to order an MMR titer online and pay an affordable and, more importantly, guaranteed price for your testing. For a good option to get an MMR titer in this way, check out Accesa Labs.

What is the procedure for getting an MMR titer test?

The MMR titer is a laboratory test. First, you need to get an order from your doctor or medical provider to get your blood drawn for the MMR titer. Then, you go to a laboratory or a medical office and get your blood drawn and analyzed.

How do I get MMR titer test results?

By law, the results of your MMR titer test will be sent to the medical provider who ordered your test. The medical provider will then release them to you.

How long does it take to get MMR titer results?

Once your blood is drawn, the results for most MMR titers should be back in 3-4 business days.

What's the difference between "Qualitative" and "Quantitative" results?

MMR titer test results can be reported as both qualitative or quantitative. "Qualitative" means that your results will be either Positive or Negative, without a numerical result. "Quantitative" means that your results will be reported as a number. The number can be compared against the Reference Interval on your lab report.

How do I interpret MMR titer results?

An MMR titer test report will show a result that represents your titer level for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Accompanying your titer result will be a reference range (sometimes called a value or index) that shows titer ranges with different interpretations. If your results are negative or equivocal, it typically meaans that you are not immune. If you results are positive, it means that you are considered immune by generally accepted standards. Here is a helpful video on how to understand your titer test report:

What are the next steps if my MMR results are negative or equivocal?

If your titer results are negative or equivocal, it means that you have to undergo the MMR vaccine series again to try and rebuild your immune system's memory to MMR if you wish to be immune (or if your school / employer requires it).

I'm not negative on all of the titer levels. Can I just get individual vaccines for the ones that I need?

Unfortunately, individual vaccines to Measles, Mumps and Rubella are no longer made. To be considered immune after a negative titer, one needs to receive the entire MMR vaccine again.

Why does my job or school need an MMR titer?

MMR titers are used as a measure of immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella. People who work in certain settings, such as hospitals or medical clinics, are at an increased risk for being exposed to certain diseases. As a result, many institutions want proof of a certain antibody level or vaccination for diseases such as Measles, Mumps and Rubella prior to stepping into those settings.

How long is an MMR titer good for?

It really depends who is asking for the titer result. For personal reasons, MMR titer results may be good indefinitely assuming that one doesn't plan on being exposed to MMR. For school or employment reasons, an MMR titer may be required every year or every time one starts a new position.

My paperwork says that I need an MMR titer and a Varicella titer. What does that mean?

A Varicella titer is a different test that looks for immunity to Varicella, or chickenpox. The MMR titer and Varicella titer are frequently ordered together.

Will my health insurance pay for my MMR titer?

It depends on the type of health insurance that you have. Some insurance plans will cover it but many will not. Additionally, in order to use your health insurance, you will have to find a medical provider who accepts your health insurance and can order the tests for you.

MMR Titer - Other FAQs

What's an Antibody?

An antibody is a component of the immune system. Sometimes, it is known as an immunoglobulin. The immune system uses antibodies as the initial defenders against biological invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Specific antibodies create a lock-and-key fit with components (also called antigens) on the bacteria and viruses that they protect against.

If my insurance does cover it, what CPT codes are typically used for the MMR titer?

CPT codes that have been used for the MMR titer previously include 86765, 86735 and 86762.

Who makes the MMR vaccine?

In the US, the MMR vaccine is made by Merck.

Can you recommend any other titer test resources?

This resource has more information about titer testing in general and some other information about specific types of titers.