Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibody test is a blood test that measures the levels of antibodies (immunoglobulins) the body makes after an infection with RSV.
A blood sample is needed.
No special preparation is needed.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.
This test is done to identify someone who has been infected by RSV recently or in the past.
This test does not detect the virus itself. If the body has produced antibodies against RSV, then either a current or past infection has occurred.
In infants, RSV antibodies that have been passed from mother to baby may also be detected.
A negative test means the person does not have antibodies to RSV in their blood. This means the person has never had an RSV infection.
A positive test means the person has antibodies to RSV in their blood. These antibodies may be present because:
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.