Test Catalog

Test Id : MEASR

Measles Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR, Throat

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Identifying measles virus infection using throat swab specimens

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Measles Virus PCR, Throat

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching


Measles virus



Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Ordering Guidance

Polymerase chain reaction testing (this test) is recommended as the first-line test if a patient has symptoms of measles (ie, cough, fever, conjunctivitis, rash).


If serology has been performed and IgM-class antibodies against measles are detected (ROGM / Measles (Rubeola) Virus Antibody, IgM and IgG, Serum), this test should be ordered to confirm measles infection.

Shipping Instructions

Specimens should be transported as soon as possible.

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Specimen Type: Throat Swab

Supplies: Culturette (BBL Culture Swab) (T092)

Container/Tube: Sterile container with transport media

Specimen Volume: Entire collection

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect specimen by swabbing back and forth over mucosal surface to maximize recovery of cells.

2. Swab must be placed into viral transport media (eg, M4-RT, M4, M5, Bartels FlexTrans Transport Media, Jiangsu Transport Media)

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.3 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

E-swab, calcium alginate-tipped swab, wood swab, dry swab, or transport swab containing gel or charcoal additive Reject

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
Frozen 7 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Identifying measles virus infection using throat swab specimens

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.


Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A positive result indicates the presence of measles virus RNA in the specimen.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Supportive Data

The following validation data support the use of this assay for clinical testing.



Accuracy studies were performed by testing negative and positive (near the limit of detection) urine and upper respiratory swab samples. Urine yielded 88% positive agreement and 100% negative agreement with expected results. Upper respiratory swabs yielded 100% positive and 100% negative agreement with expected results.

Analytical Sensitivity/Limit of Detection:

The lower limit of detection of this assay is 2 genome copies/mcL for urine and 1 copy/mcL for throat swabs.



Inter-assay and intra-assay precisions were 100%.



No sequences were identified that would result in cross-reactivity with the assay by in silico analysis. No cross-reactivity was detected in experiments testing a panel of nucleic acid extracts from greater than 50 bacterial, fungal, and viral organisms causing similar disease or commonly found in urine or throat swabs.


Reportable Range:

This is a qualitative assay, and the results are reported as either "negative" or "positive" for the measles virus target.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measles (Rubeola): For Healthcare Providers. CDC. Updated November 5, 2020. Accessed September 7, 2022. Available at: www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp

2. Moss WJ. Measles. Lancet. 2017 Dec;390(10111):2490-2502

3. Porter A, Goldfarb J. Measles: a dangerous vaccine-preventable disease returns. Cleve Clin J Med. 2019 Jun;86(6):393-398

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

The measles virus laboratory-developed reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay is designed for the qualitative detection of measles virus RNA from urine and throat swabs of patients with suspected infection. Measles virus RNA in clinical specimens is first extracted using the NucliSENS easyMag/EMAG (bioMerieux) instruments according to manufacturer instructions. As a component of extraction, a lysis buffer is first added to clinical specimens in a class II biosafety cabinet (BSC). At this step, any measles virus present in the sample is inactivated, rendering it noninfectious. Following the addition of lysis buffer, specimens are safe to remove from the BSC and placed onto an instrument for automated extraction. A sample input of 200 mcL will be extracted with an elution volume of 50 mcL.


This assay employs a reverse transcription reaction to convert RNA to complementary DNA. Oligonucleotide forward and reverse primers specific to the nucleoprotein (N) gene region of the measles virus amplify the target sequence. A TaqMan probe labeled with the fluorophore FAM and specific to the target region of measles virus RNA binds to amplified measles RNA virus product. Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is used as an internal control. Oligonucleotide forward and reverse primers specific to the p30 subunit of RNase P amplify the internal control target sequence. A TaqMan probe labeled with fluorophore Cy5 and specific to RNase P bind to the amplified RNase P product. The dye-labeled TaqMan probes allow for the detection of the target and internal control in the corresponding channels of the Roche LightCycler 480 II (LC480) instrument. Detection of the target N gene region indicates the presence of measles virus RNA in the specimen. The clinical validity of RT-PCR for the detection of the N gene of measles virus RNA in urine and throat swabs is well documented in peer-reviewed literature.(Unpublished Mayo method)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Friday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

1 to 3 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

1 week

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their account representative. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
MEASR Measles Virus PCR, Throat 91077-8
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
617821 Measles Virus PCR, Throat 91077-8

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports

Test Update Resources

Change Type Effective Date
New Test 2022-12-13