Measles infection may erase immune memory and increase infections risk
Measles virus is directly responsible for more than 100,000 deaths yearly. In addition to this Measles is associated with increased morbidity and mortality for years after infection. Many of the deaths are caused by secondary infections because the virus infects and functionally impairs immune cells. The researchers have tried to analyse the reason and tried to find whether measles infection causes long-term damage to immune memory or not.
During a measles outbreak in the Netherlands, researchers measured antibodies against common viruses among 77 unvaccinated children both before and 2 months after they were infected with measles. After severe cases of measles, patients lost a median of 40% of their preexisting pathogen-specific antibody repertoires. Children with mild cases lost 33%.
Controls who didn't develop measles retained about 90% of their repertoires. In addition, children who had been vaccinated against measles-mumps-rubella actually saw increases in their antibody diversity.