08 May 2015

Not just from measles

Measles vaccine saves from other diseases as well

Polit.<url> based on AAAS News: Measures vaccine protects against other deadly diseases

A new epidemiological study has confirmed that children who received the measles vaccine have a reduced incidence of other diseases, while children who have had measles remain more vulnerable to other infections for 2.5 years. Researchers have long noticed that measles suppresses the immune system, but they believed that this effect softened after a few months.

The explanation of the effect of measles on immunity was proposed in 2012 by Rik de Swart from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. He conducted observations on monkeys recovering from measles and found out that the virus destroys a large number of memory cells that store information about pathogens that previously entered the body and provide a rapid immune response in case of their re-detection. As a result, measles causes a kind of "immune amnesia".

To test the long-term effect of measles on immunity, de Swart and colleagues analyzed data on the number of measles cases and deaths from other infectious diseases in the USA, Denmark and parts of the UK. Measles vaccination began in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1960s, and in Denmark in the 1980s. The researchers had statistical data before and after the introduction of mass vaccination. They found that the number of deaths from infectious diseases for a certain year correlates with the number of measles cases in the previous two and a half years. If the suppression of immunity was short-term, then the correlation would be observed only for a year. For additional verification, the scientists calculated a similar correlation for cases of whooping cough, which does not suppress the immune system. As expected, there was no correlation.

This confirms that the measles vaccine is useful not only because it does not prevent measles, but also because it provides protection against other diseases. The study was published in the journal Science (Mina et al., Long-term measures-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality).

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru08.05.2015

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