Amendment of the maternity guidelines with regard to the documentation of rubella immunity in the maternity record

Rubella testing in the maternity guidelines
The process of updating the maternity guidelines has resulted in the following changes being made to the review of immunity to rubella:

  • Testing for rubella antibodies can be dispensed with for women who have had two documented rubella vaccinations.
  • Testing for rubella antibodies may be carried out with every approved rubella antibody test. The rubella HAI test (haemagglutination inhibition test) is no longer mandatory.

These amendments were proposed by the technical committee „Virus Infections and Pregnancy” of the German Association for Virology (DVV), since the requirements of the maternity guidelines did not reflect the current state of science and technology. The changes involve the implementation of the vaccination guideline regarding testing for rubella antibodies and determining the immunity status.

We have not performed any rubella HAI tests since the middle of October 2011. Instead, we test for rubella IgG and IgM antibodies.

Test material
1 ml of serum

Reference range

Rubella virus antibodies, IgG < 5 IU/ml negative, no immunity
< 5-9 IU/ml questionable, immunity is questionable
≥ 10 IU/ml positive, immunity is assumed
Rubella virus antibody IgM index < 1.20 indexnon-reactive
1.20-1.59 indexborderline
≥ 1.60 indexreactive

Literature and source
Guidelines of the German Federal Committee of Physicians and Health Insurers on Medical Care during Pregnancy and after Childbirth („Maternity Guidelines”), 19 August 2011.

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