Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Shows Measles Immunization May Prevent Fatal Brain Infection

Date:
October 30, 2005
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
A new study has found wild-type measles virus in tissues from patients who died of a fatal brain infection, providing evidence against the notion that the strain of virus in the measles vaccine caused the infection. The study, in the November 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, also concludes that vaccination against measles could prevent many more cases of the disease, known as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, or SSPE, than previously thought.

A new study has found wild-type measles virus in tissues from patients who died of a fatal brain infection, providing evidence against the notion that the strain of virus in the measles vaccine caused the infection. The study, in the November 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, also concludes that vaccination against measles could prevent many more cases of the disease, known as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, or SSPE, than previously thought.

Related Articles


Because persons have apparently contracted SSPE without ever knowingly having had measles, it could not be ruled out that the measles vaccine strain caused the infection. William Bellini, PhD, and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sought to evaluate that notion.

Brain tissue specimens from 11 patients suspected of having SSPE were examined. Five of the 11 patients with samples and 7 additional SSPE patients identified in case reports were related to infections during the resurgence of measles in the United States during a drop in measles vaccination rates between 1989 and 1991. The ages of the patients ranged from 5 to 36 years, with a mean of 14.

The researchers discovered wild-type measles virus in brain tissues from individuals with SSPE who had no previous diagnosis of measles and had been vaccinated. Case histories and demographics, when available, suggested that most of the individuals had very likely contracted measles prior to being vaccinated.

The fact that 12 SSPE patients identified in the study had measles between 1989 and 1991 raises the incidence of measles-induced SSPE to a level approximately 10 times higher than the statistic often cited. That figure, based on data available in 1982, estimated that 8.5 in 1 million persons contracted SSPE, a rate grossly underestimating the risk, now thought to be between 7 and 11 per 100,000.

The higher incidence could be due to an underreporting of diagnosed measles cases, despite clinical guidelines on reporting infections. Other possibilities include a higher incidence of measles during the 1989-1991 resurgence in the population with the highest risk for SSPE, namely children under the age of five, or because wild-type viruses of the genotype identified are more likely to cause SSPE.

The measles vaccine is known to be highly effective. Two doses provide immunity to 99 percent of those vaccinated. Since the risk of SSPE was much higher than originally estimated, and since the vaccine had not caused SSPE in the cases studied, the researchers concluded that measles vaccination programs prevent many more of the fatal brain infections than previously thought.

In an accompanying editorial, Samuel L Katz, MD, of Duke University, who was part of the team that developed the measles vaccine, strongly urged support for global efforts to reduce measles mortality through immunization programs. Despite recent reductions in the worldwide toll of measles, he noted, the disease still accounts for almost half of the 1.6 million annual childhood deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "New Study Shows Measles Immunization May Prevent Fatal Brain Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051029095551.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2005, October 30). New Study Shows Measles Immunization May Prevent Fatal Brain Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051029095551.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "New Study Shows Measles Immunization May Prevent Fatal Brain Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051029095551.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins