Bisher AKIL, MD

Archive for November 5th, 2019|Daily archive page

Get Measles, Lose Immunity

In Immune System on November 5, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Measles infection appears to deplete a significant proportion of a person’s antibodies, thereby increasing susceptibility to other infections, according to a study in Science.

During a measles outbreak in the Netherlands, researchers measured antibodies against common viruses among 77 un-vaccinated children both before and 2 months after they were infected with measles. After severe cases of measles, patients lost a median of 40% of their preexisting pathogen-specific antibody repertoires. Children with mild cases lost 33%.

Controls who didn’t develop measles retained about 90% of their repertoires. In addition, children who had been vaccinated against measles-mumps-rubella actually saw increases in their antibody diversity.

The authors say that the antibodies begin to rebuild soon after measles infection. In experiments in monkeys, the depletion lasted for at least 5 months, and the authors say some of the loss may be permanent.

The authors conclude: “These findings underscore the crucial need for continued widespread vaccination.”

Source: Science article (free)

Background: NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases coverage of measles infection despite evidence of immunity – Friday 11/1/2-019

Comments: A strong argument for vaccination, in case another one is needed-BA