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IgM antibodies chicken pox

IgM antibodies chicken pox

Discover the importance of IgM antibodies in Varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox, shingles) diagnosis and monitoring. Read about complications, vaccinations and why IgM analysis is essential for early identification of ongoing VZV infections. Understand the immune response by measuring IgM levels and how they temporarily indicate recent infections.

IgM antibodies, Varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox, shingles)

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the causative agent of chickenpox infection, a highly contagious disease that manifests itself with fever and a characteristic vesicular rash. After the initial infection, the virus remains dormant in the neural ganglia and, upon reactivation, can give rise to shingles (herpes zoster).

This complex pathogen has the potential to cause various complications such as meningitis/encephalitis, eye infection (herpes zoster opthalmicus), pneumonitis and congenital varicella syndrome. The risk of serious complications increases especially for newborns and people with a weakened immune system.

Although immunity is usually lifelong after an overcome chickenpox infection, secondary infections occur in rare cases. To reduce the risk of the disease and its complications, vaccination against both chickenpox and shingles is available. In order to gain more knowledge about your immune response, we can use a blood test to measure the concentration of Immunoglobulin M (IgM).

Chickenpox and Immunoglobulin M (IgM)

IgM is the first type of antibody produced in response to a new infection and its presence indicates an early immune response to the Varicella-zoster virus. The production of IgM usually occurs within the first few days after a person has been infected.

Diagnostic significance

Tests that measure IgM antibody levels are primarily used to diagnose ongoing VZV infections. High levels of IgM suggest ongoing or recent infection, and this is particularly useful in the early stages of the disease course. Detection of IgM antibodies is thus strong evidence of acute VZV infection and helps to exclude previous infection or vaccination as the cause of positive results.

Temporary presence of IgM antibodies?

IgM antibodies are present in the blood for a limited period of time, usually a few weeks to months, making them particularly useful for confirming a recent infection.

Why are IgM antibodies analyzed for chickenpox?

The analysis of chickenpox IgM antibodies is essential for early and correct diagnosis of ongoing infections. This type of antibody is produced quickly in response to a recent infection and thus confirms an acute chickenpox infection. Its use also enables discrimination between natural infection and vaccination response as well as monitoring of epidemiological patterns and infection control measures. In addition to supporting diagnosis, the analysis of IgM antibodies helps to guide treatment and preventive measures and to evaluate the immune response after vaccination against varicella.

What can a high value of IgM antibodies indicate?

A high level of IgM antibodies may indicate an ongoing or recent infection with the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox.

What can a low value of IgM antibodies indicate?

A low IgM value may indicate that there has been no recent infection. This may be relevant in the context of chickenpox, where IgM antibodies are initially produced in response to a recent infection.


IgM antibodies play a critical role in the diagnosis and monitoring of Varicella-zoster virus infections, especially in the early stages of the disease course. Detection of IgM provides valuable information for determining an ongoing or recent VZV infection and thereby guides healthcare professionals in taking appropriate measures for treatment and prevention.

Tests containing the marker IgM antibodies chicken pox

Other health tests

Other health tests

Chickenpox and shingles
Antibodies to the varicella zoster virus

Chickenpox and shingles

  • Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antibody test.
  • Analysis of antibodies against the varicella-zoster virus.
  • Varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
  • Indication of your immune system.

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Symptoms related to IgM antibodies chicken pox