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Cytomegalovirus Antibody CMV IGG

Also known as: CMV blood test, CMV IgG, CMV serum test, cytomegalovirus serologic test, CMV antibody test

What Is A Cytomegalovirus Antibody (IgG) Test?

The cytomegalovirus antibodies test aids in the diagnosis of acute or past infection with CMV or cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus or CMV is a commonly occurring virus that only leads to mild illness or no symptoms at all. This test detects the antibodies in your blood produced in response to the infection caused by the virus directly. Most people get affected with CMV as children or as young adults only. Still, most of them remain unaware as the virus does not cause noticeable symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals. 

You may have non-specific signs and symptoms like flu-like illness and those similar to mononucleosis. The virus is detectable in many body fluids during the active phases, such as urine, saliva, blood, and breast milk. It can easily spread from one person to another through close contact or by coming in contact with contaminated objects in body fluids such as diapers and toys. Once infected with the virus, CMV remains in your system forever without causing any evident symptoms. The virus can become latent and cause severe illnesses even after initial treatment.

What Is The Test Used For?

Cytomegalovirus can cause some serious health issues in the following conditions:

Pregnant women who are infected during pregnancy can pass the virus or infection to the developing fetus through the placenta. It can lead to some serious developmental and physical problems in the baby. 90% of the newborns infected with cytomegalovirus have hearing or vision problems, pneumonia, delayed mental development, and seizures.
This virus can also cause serious illnesses and cessation in individuals with weak immune systems. People with AIDS, transplant recipients, and cancer can experience the most severe symptoms, for example, blindness, digestive tract issues and abdominal pain, encephalitis, pneumonia, shortness of breath, spleen or liver issues, and organ transplant rejection.

This test is not for everyone with cytomegalovirus infection. Many doctors and physicians use it to diagnose an active, reactivated, or past CMV infection in:

  • Pregnant women with signs and symptoms
  • Immunocompromised individuals with signs and symptoms
  • People receiving organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Newborns with congenital abnormalities

The Cytomegalovirus Antibodies (IgG) test detects antibodies produced in response to the CMV infection.

The IgG antibodies are produced several weeks after the initial infection. The levels are outrageous during active infection, then become stable as the virus resolves and becomes inactive. Once you are exposed to the cytomegalovirus, you will have some extent of CMV IgG antibodies in your blood for the rest of your life.

Why And When Do You Need A Cytomegalovirus Antibodies (IgG) Test?

Your doctor or health care provider can ask you to undergo this test if you have a weak immune system or if you are pregnant with the following symptoms:

  • Severe headaches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat and fever
  • Unexplained weakness
  • Fatigue and tiredness

Your kid or baby may need to take the test if they have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Jaundice [a condition that leads to the yellow coloring of skin and eyes]
  • Small head
  • Low birth weight
  • Hearing or vision problems

What Kind Of Sample Is Required For The Test?

A blood test is the most common way to test kids and adults for cytomegalovirus. During the test, a lab technician or health care professional takes a blood sample from a vein in your arms through a small needle. Once the needle is inserted, the recommended amount of blood is collected in a test tube or vial and then sent to the laboratory for further testing.

Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?

You don't need to prepare anything special before a blood test. There are also no preparations required for an infant test.

Are There Any Risks To This Test?

Standard blood test procedures carry little to almost no risks. You might experience slight pain and bruise at the injection site and may experience lightheadedness or dizziness, but the symptoms are mild and usually go away quickly.

What Do The Test Results Mean?

The test results may vary depending upon your gender, age, the severity of the symptoms, health history, and testing method. They do not always mean you have a problem, so it is better to consult a doctor or a physician to interpret the test results accurately.

The results will be evaluated with reference to both types of antibodies, i.e., Immunoglobulin M and Immunoglobulin G. The test results are positive if the IgM antibodies are present. It means that you have been infected with the cytomegalovirus at some point in your life. If both your IgM and IgG levels are high, it means that you already have the infection. After receiving positive results, your doctor is likely to perform the test again in two weeks to confirm the diagnosis and make a treatment plan. If your IgG levels rise during the first and the second test, it means that you have an active infection going on. This increment also shows that your immune system is busy fighting off the infection and that the related antibodies and not just there from an earlier fight.

People with even higher results are suspected of having connective tissue autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Related Tests: Cerebrospinal Fluid Test (CSF Test), Complete Blood Count or CBC Blood test, Mononucleosis or Epstein - Barr virus Test, Chickenpox and Shingles Tests, Genital and Oral Herpes Testing, Mononucleosis (Mono) Test

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