Measles: Immune suppression and immune responses

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that remains the leading vaccine-preventable cause of child mortality worldwide. Deaths from measles are due largely to an increased susceptibility to secondary bacterial and viral infections, attributed to a prolonged state of immune suppression. Several abnormalities of the immune system have been described, including changes in lymphocyte number and function, shifts in cytokine responses, immunomodulatory effects of interleukin-10, down regulation of interleukin-12, impaired antigen presentation, and altered interferon α/β signaling pathways. Although the current vaccine is very effective, knowledge of the molecular basis of the immune responses to measles virus could contribute to the development of a safer, more immunogenic measles vaccine. However, the safety of new measles vaccines must be carefully investigated, as two measles vaccines have resulted in unintended immunologic consequences: atypical measles following administration of the formalin-inactivated measles vaccine and increased mortality in girls following administration of high-titer measles vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1380-1385
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Immunity
  • Immunosuppression
  • Measles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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