Learn more about the MMR titer from experts.
MMR is an abbreviation for 3 different infections - Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
An MMR titer is a blood test that checks your antibody titer levels to Measles, Mumps and Rubella. It is performed by a laboratory. An MMR titer test is not an injection, shot, or vaccination. If you want to skip reading and just need an MMR titer, we would recommend ordering from Accesa Labs:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once your blood is drawn, the results for most MMR titers should be back in 3-4 business days.
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.
For a great example of a PDF sample report of an MMR titer, you can CLICK HERE.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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. To learn more about the Varicella titer, you can CLICK HERE.
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.
Depending on where you go, an MMR titer can cost hundreds of dollars. We would recommend ordering through Accesa Labs for a more affordable MMR titer:
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.
CPT codes that have been used for the MMR titer previously include 86765, 86735 and 86762.
In the US, the MMR vaccine is made by Merck.