The Measles Virus Laboratory at CDC

The Measles Virus Laboratory operates within the Viral Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch (VVPDB), Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

National reference laboratory

The Measles Virus Laboratory provides serologic testing for measles as a national reference laboratory and provides technical assistance to state public health laboratories for the collection and shipment of clinical specimens for molecular diagnostics and genetic analysis. The Measles Virus Laboratory Team works closely with the Epidemiology Team to coordinate laboratory support for local and state public health laboratories during outbreaks and investigations of suspected spread cases following an importation of measles.

Please contact Dr. Paul RotaDr. Bettina Bankamp, or Dr. Stephen Crooke for any questions related to specimens for virus isolation or genetic analysis, serology testing, or technical questions related to laboratory testing in general.

Role as a World Health Organization Regional Reference Laboratory and Global Specialized Laboratory

The Measles Virus Laboratory acts both as a Regional Reference Laboratory within the laboratory network in the Region of the Americas (Pan American Health Organization) and as a Global Specialized Laboratory.

Methods and protocols for measles and rubella diagnosis and viral surveillance have been developed for the Laboratories in the WHO Global Laboratory Network.


  1. Mulders MN, Rota PA, Icenogle JP, Brown KE, Takeda M, Rey GJ et al. Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network support for elimination goals, 2010-2015. MMWR. 2016;65:438-442.
Page last reviewed: February 10, 2022