As validated improvements or alternative methodologies become available for measles and rubella diagnostics, updates will be posted to the GMRLN website. Types of assays or techniques that show promise for expanding throughput or have specific utility in the field are described below:

Point of Contact Test (PoCT) for Measles IgM

Rapid (less than 30 minutes) tests based on Lateral flow technology are widely used for HIV and hepatitis diagnosis and screening. Recently an assay for detecting measles IgM has been described which has good sensitivity and specificity [18, 19]. These assays are designed to be read visually either in a clinic or by surveillance teams and as such give subjective results. Before they are implemented for measles diagnosis it is essential that training is provided and QA systems are established to monitor accuracy of the results produced. At the time of this writing, the assay is not yet commercially available.

Novel platforms for seroprevalence studies

The GMRLN has been investigating the use of platforms other than EIA for seroprevalence and vaccination studies. These novel platforms allow high throughput testing for multiple antigens at reduced overall running costs. In particular, multiplex bead assays (MBA) have the ability to simultaneously detect IgG antibodies to measles and rubella in very small volumes of serum [20-22]. MBA assays are being developed for use in GMRLN laboratories to improve the uniformity of serologic testing for seroprevalence studies. Research assays using microfluidic systems have been described for measles, but had not reached the implementation stage for measles diagnostic services at the time of the manual preparation.