It is a very simple investigation that measures the presence or absence of immunity against Rubella by checking for the presence of Rubella antibody in an individual’s blood. Once a person is immunized against the virus from previous vaccination e.g. (MMR vaccine) or from previous infection, the body produces chemicals known as antibodies that fight any new or future Rubella infection. This antibdy is exactly what the investigation checks in our blood. Rubella infection is a very common viral infection that has affected over half of the World population at one time or the other, especially during child hood. It usually presents as a mild generalized itchy body rash that starts from the face and gradually spreads to the body, associated with low grade fever, sore throat and fatigue along with swelling of some lymph nodes in the body. In many people it may go unnoticed. It is highly contagious and when picked in pregnancy, it causes a very serious infection in the unborn baby that may lead to miscarriages, still births and severe malformations in many organs of the unborn baby including the brain, the ears, eyes and the heart. This infection and resulting malformations are grouped together and referred to as Congenital Rubella Syndrome. This is the one of the sole reason we advocate the use of the vaccine (e.g. MMR) in all children and in all young women who are yet to be immunized.
Therefore, this test is necessary in all women who have never had the vaccine and is unsure of any previous rubella infection in order to immunize them and prevent a possible infection during pregnancy that can result in Congenital Rubella Syndrome.