Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No Connection Between Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine And Autism, Study Suggests

Date:
September 5, 2008
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
In a case-control study, the presence of measles virus RNA was no more likely in children with autism and GI disturbances than in children with only GI disturbances. Furthermore, GI symptom and autism onset were unrelated to MMR vaccine timing.

In a case-control study, the presence of measles virus RNA was no more likely in children with autism and GI disturbances than in children with only GI disturbances. Furthermore, GI symptom and autism onset were unrelated to MMR vaccine timing.

Prior to the implementation of measles vaccines in 1963, three to four million people were newly infected each year, 400-500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis. From January 1 through July 2008 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received 131 reports of confirmed measles virus infection in the U.S., the highest number for the same time period since 1996. Of these 131 cases, 91% occurred in individuals who had not been vaccinated or had unknown vaccination status.

In 1998, a report of the presence of measles virus RNA in intestinal tissue from children with autism spectrum disorders and GI disturbances (Wakefield et al.) resulted in public concern over the safety of MMR vaccine. Although epidemiological investigations found no associations between MMR vaccine and autism, no subsequent studies tested for the presence of viral RNA in GI tissues of children with autism and GI disturbances or examined the temporal relationship of MMR, GI disturbances, and autism. Failure to have done so may have contributed to persistent concerns that have influenced vaccine acceptance rates, resulting in outbreaks of measles.

Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Center for Infection and Immunity and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Trinity College Dublin, evaluated bowel tissues from 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls) by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for the presence of measles virus RNA. Samples were analyzed in three laboratories blinded to diagnosis, including one wherein the original findings suggesting a link between measles virus and autism had been reported.

"Our results are inconsistent with a causal role for MMR vaccine as a trigger or exacerbator of either GI difficulties or autism," states Mady Hornig, associate professor of Epidemiology and director of translational research in the Center for Infection and Immunity in the Mailman School, and co-corresponding author of the study. "The work reported here eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that autism with GI complaints is related to MMR vaccine exposure. We found no relationship between the timing of MMR vaccine and the onset of either GI complaints or autism."

Analysis in all three laboratories found two biopsy samples with measles virus RNA, one from a boy in the autism/GI group and the other from a boy in the control group, showing that the presence of measles virus sequences was not associated with an autism diagnosis (autism/GI group, 4%; control, 8%).

The temporal order of onset of GI episodes and autism relative to timing of MMR vaccine administration was examined as well. If MMR is causally related to either GI disturbances or autism it should precede their onset. Analysis indicated no role for MMR vaccine in either the pathogenesis of autism or GI dysfunction. Only five of 25 subjects (20%) had received MMR vaccine before the onset of GI complaints and had also had onset of GI episodes before the onset of autism.

"Over 20 epidemiologic studies have reported no temporal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism, however, no published studies from other research groups have addressed whether measles virus RNA is present in bowel of autistic children with GI disturbances. Here we report results of independent, blinded testing in this particular subgroup for the presence of measles virus RNA in bowel tissues," says corresponding author W. Ian Lipkin, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Mailman School's Center for Infection and Immunity.

He adds, "The study design process was a critical piece for us, as there is still so much public concern over the safety of the MMR vaccine. For this reason, we involved the autism parent/advocacy community as we designed the study to ensure that all issues were being addressed. We are hopeful that this process of community engagement will build important partnerships among members of the autism community, physicians, public health agencies, and clinical researchers; serve as a paradigm for the conduct of future studies to understand the causes of this disorder; and facilitate the rapid communication of clinically relevant scientific findings to the broader community."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "No Connection Between Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine And Autism, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904145218.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2008, September 5). No Connection Between Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine And Autism, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904145218.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "No Connection Between Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine And Autism, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904145218.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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