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Mumps - Diagnostic Serology
Specimen Type:

​Serum or plasma
Acute: Collect the acute sample within 7 days after the onset of symptoms.
Convalescent: Collect the convalescent sample 7 to 10 days after the acute.


​Blood, clotted - vacutainer tubes (SST) 

Collection information:

To order Collection Kits or other PHOL Supplies complete the Requisition for Containers and Supplies. The form should be faxed to the Public Health Ontario Laboratory, Toronto at 416-235-5753 or your local PHOL.​

Minimum volume required:

​5.0 ml whole blood or 1.0 ml serum or plasma


​Complete all fields of the General Test Requisition Form. Please ensure the following fields are completed if diagnostic testing is requested:

• Symptoms
• Onset date

This information assists in providing the correct interpretation of results.


​Hemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated sera or plasma are not recommended for testing

Preparation prior to transport:

​Centrifuge if using SST. Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.

Special Instructions:

​Instructions for using SST tubes are found in the document titled: LAB-SD-008, Blood Collection Using Serum Separator Tubes.


​The Mumps IgM and IgG tests are performed using ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) test kits manufactured by Euroimmun Diagnostics (Germany). The IgM and IgG ELISA tests measure human antibodies of the IgM and IgG classes against mumps virus in serum or plasma. Test results are reported qualitatively together with a clinical interpretation based on the status of both IgM and IgG.

After a primary infection, both IgM and IgG antibodies develop within 3-7days after onset of mumps specific symptoms. Both antibodies subsequently increase reaching a plateau 2-3 weeks later.

Antibody levels may be reported as Non-Reactive (no detectable antibody), Indeterminate (the level of antibody detected is considered borderline reactive or equivocal) or Reactive (antibody is detectable within the positive range of the assay).

Non-Reactive and Indeterminate levels of both IgM and IgG antibodies may be observed in the acute stage of infection rising to reactive levels in subsequent weeks.
In the absence of acute infection indeterminate levels of IgG may represent very low levels of antibody many years after initial infection or vaccination whereas indeterminate levels of IGM may be due to declining levels of IGM several months post infection or occasionally due to assay non-specificity.

If the acute blood sample shows low reactive, indeterminate or non reactive IgG result and/or IgM result, a convalescent sample should be collected. Recent infection is confirmed if a significant rise in antibody levels is observed between acute and convalescent sera.

For more information concerning the interpretation of diagnostic IgM and IgG serology refer to the document titled: LAB-SD-044, Diagnostic Interpretation of Viral Specific IgM and IgG Serology


​When Mumps infection is suspected - Contact your local Public Health Ontario Laboratory to ensure that appropriate testing is requested and inform your local Public Health Unit of all probable or suspect cases of mumps.


​Mumps Diagnostic IgM and IgG serology is performed daily Monday to Saturday.

The TAT for test results is up to 5 days.  


​Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for Mumps are to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 16/06/2016 9:09 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion