Measles limits immune system's ability to fight off other infections, studies suggest

Measles Wipes Your Immune System's Memory, Increasing Vulnerability To Other Dangerous Diseases

Measles has a stealth side effect: New research shows it erases much of the immune system's memory of how to fight other germs, so children recover only to be left more vulnerable to bugs like flu or strep.

The two studies used blood samples collected from 77 unvaccinated children in an Orthodox Protestant community in the Netherlands, before and after the children contracted the measles virus during a local outbreak.

Normally, when we're exposed to an infection, the immune system's antibody factory kicks into high gear to recognize, remember and defend against a pathogen if it comes along again by making lots of fighter cells.

This means a child may be more vulnerable to illnesses they had previously developed an immunity to following infection with the measles virus.

The study was published simultaneously with a paper by a separate team in Science Immunology that reached complementary conclusions by measuring changes in B cells caused by the measles virus.

Measles isn't just deadly - the disease also can cause long-term damage to a person's immune system, according to research published this week in journal Science Immunology.

These findings reinforce the importance of vaccination against measles, Elledge said.

Mina and Elledge both suggested doctors may want to consider re-vaccinating children and perhaps even adults who have been infected with measles.

As such, geneticist Stephen Elledge of Harvard Medical School told NPR we should think of the measles vaccine "like a seat belt for your immune system".

This year saw the largest outbreak of measles in the US since 1994, with 1,250 cases reported as of October 3, largely driven by families choosing not to vaccinate their kids.

Antonio Brown Quits NFL Again, 'Treat Black People the Worse'
Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said there are "a few teams that are very interested in signing Antonio once this process is over". If he's on that list, Brown would be paid by his team but would be ineligible to participate in practices or attend games.

In the first three months of this year, the number of cases quadrupled from the same period in 2018, World Health Organization data show.

Scientists have been aware of the hypothetical notion of immune amnesia for several years now, particularly in relation to early childhood measles infections.

Michael Mina, research assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, stresses that "so far this is the best evidence that there is an immune amnesia that impacts the memory of the immune system in the long term".

"You have this really rapid [antibody] decline with measles, and then a slow increase", he said.

"For the first time, we see that measles resets the immune system and it becomes more baby-like, limiting how well it can respond to new infections". The vaccine's emergence cut measles cases by 80% between 2000 and 2017 and is credited with saving 21.1 million lives.

Future research, Petrova says, will focus on learning how, exactly, measles-"an immunological paradox"-manages this feat. And that generates a situation which is 'immune amnesia'".

In the related Science study, researchers analyzed the kids' antibody activity before and after measles infection, and found that, two months after recovery, they had lost up to 73% of their antibody diversity.

In one study, they sequenced antibody genes from 26 children, before and then 40 to 50 days after measles infection, and found that specific antibodies that had been built up against other diseases had disappeared from the children's blood.

'This finding emphasizes how the MMR vaccine protects against more than just measles, ' says Velislava Petrova, an immunologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, who led the Science Immunology study. "Because it was observed that there was less incidence of other viral and bacterial pathologies", explains Ruth Figueroa belonging to the OSI Bilbao-Basurto Microbiology and Infection Control Service of the Basque Country and president of theVaccine Working Group of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Seimc). And while the total number of antibodies circulating in the blood did not decrease, the range of diseases those antibodies could detect dwindled. A new analysis of 77 unvaccinated children from the Netherlands carried out by an global team of researchers led by scientists at Harvard has found that the virus erases the body's memory of previous pathogens - effectively wiping its immunity memory. "Hopefully these families will be willing to continue to be involved with the researchers", he says. In other words, while measles survivors struggle to defend themselves against other pathogens, their bodies can fend off a repeat attack by the measles virus itself. "But kids on the edge-such as those with severe measles infection or immune deficiencies or those who are malnourished-will be in serious trouble". "We show that measles directly causes the loss of protection to other infectious diseases".

Related News:

Most liked

Load management is spoiling a potential NBA Finals preview
Leonard returned to play October 31, in a victory against San Antonio, just as he is expected to play Thursday against Portland. Last season's roster thrived by dominating bench minutes, but that hasn't been the case so far this year.

Former Attorney General Sessions enters U.S. Senate race in Alabama
Candidates already contending for the nomination include former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and Rep. Have I said a cross word about our president? Sessions was senator until becoming Trump's first attorney general in 2017.

Italy making climate change courses mandatory for schools
At the start of this school year, he said students would be excused from missing class to participate in Fridays for Future climate change protests.

A.J. Green will make season debut Sunday vs. Ravens
It's all about make sure I'm taking care of myself first. "I can't go out there when I'm not 100 per cent". Taylor said he found out about Green's lack of availability minutes before the team started drills.

'E.T.' & 'Haunting of Hill House' Actor Henry Thomas Arrested for DUI
He played Father Tom Hogan in the horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil and played "Tom" in the Netflix movie "Gerald's Game". He was released from custody Tuesday morning on his own recognisance, according to a Washington County Jail spokesperson.

John Bolton fails to appear before impeachment investigators
Setting the stage for the public hearings, lawmakers have been making public transcripts of the closed-door depositions this week. Even as Bolton was a no-show, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence came to the Capitol to speak with impeachment investigators.

Chelsea stars called up for England Euro 2020 qualifiers
A point at Wembley against Montenegro in the 1,000th worldwide match for the men's team would be enough to guarantee qualification.

Best Amazon Black Friday 2019 deals
Online Black Friday deals are likely to be available on Walmart .com starting from November 27, the day before Thanksgiving . After all saving money is a good thing, especially if you're not frivolously spending money on stuff you didn't want before.

Donald Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million for Misuse of Charitable Funds
The case is tied to a televised fundraiser for veterans held by Trump in Iowa when he was running for president in January 2016. Instead, he held a rally at the same time as the debate at which he called on people to donate to veterans' charities.

India win toss, bowl in 2nd Bangladesh T20
Both teams named the same XIs that took the field for the first T20I in Delhi, which Bangladesh won by seven wickets . India are a formidable outfit at home and across the world.

Crude Build Puts Oil Prices Modestly Higher
Brent for January settlement fell 35 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $62.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. Gasoline and distillate supplies fell, while stockpiles stored at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub rose 1.7 million barrels.

All 39 Essex lorry victims have been formally identified, police say
The container travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Grays, Essex in a refrigerated lorry trailer that originated in Co Monaghan. Essex Police said they have started extradition proceedings to bring him to the face charges of manslaughter in the case.

We are experiencing brain death of NATO, Macron warns Europe
He praised the stance on the issue of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban - criticised by many in Europe for being authoritarian and close to the Kremlin.

Liverpool take control of their group after victory over Genk
Jurgen Klopp and his opposite number Felice Mazzu came out for the second half unchanged from the first spell. We had really big chances that we usually use but we don't do that.

Republicans eye whistleblower for public testimony in impeachment hearings
Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the leader of the impeachment inquiry, should call the person to testify. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he doesn't know the identity of the whistleblower but said Rep.