The Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM test is used to help determine if a person has a recent or active CMV infection. IgM antibodies usually develop within 1-2 weeks after initial infection and are no longer detectable after several months. IgG antibodies typically begin to develop several weeks after infection and remain present for the life of the person. After an initial infection, the virus will normally become inactive but may reactivate later in a person's life. Additional IgM antibodies are produced when a latent infection becomes active.
CMV belongs to the Herpes virus family which also includes the viruses which cause chicken pox and mononucleosis. CMV is spread through close contact with blood or bodily fluids including through sexual contact. Infection with CMV is very common and most people in the United States will have been exposed by the time they turn 40. Most healthy adults experience no health issues from CMV. Some may experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and muscle aches which pass after a couple weeks. However, in very young children or people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, CMV can cause serious health complications.
This test is typically ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms which may indicate an active CMV infection. CMV testing is also typically ordered by pregnant women, due to the risk of passing the virus to their infants, and by people who have been diagnosed with HIV or other conditions which affect the immune system.
The CMV IgM test will only detect antibodies which indicate a recent or active infection. A Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgG test can be used to determine if someone has been exposed to CMV in the past or has a latent infection.
The Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM test typically sees results in 1-2 business days.
IgM antibodies are usually detectable 1-2 weeks after initial exposure and may be detectable sooner in some people. Normally IgM antibodies will drop below detectable levels after several months. In the event that a latent infection becomes active, IgM antibodies will rise to detectable levels again.
The Cytomegalovirus (CMV) test, IgM has no fasting requirements.