Measles limits immune system’s ability to fight off other infections, studies suggest
The measles virus has not only made a devastating resurgence worldwide, but it may also cripple the immune system’s ability to fight off other infections in the long term, two new studies suggest.
The highly contagious measles virus causes coughing, rashes and fever and can lead to serious complications. Last month, the World Health Organization said reported cases rose 300 per cent globally in the first three months of this year compared with same period in 2018 .
A two-dose vaccine has helped to slash measles cases since 2000, saving an estimated 21.1 million lives between 2000 and 2017, WHO said.
But the rise of anti-vaccination campaigns, non-vaccinating religious communities and other factors have led to outbreaks causing tens of thousands infections in Congo, Madagascar, the Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, among other countries, according to WHO.
Now researchers say measles vaccination not only controls measles, but it also protects the immune system from losing its ability to suppress other infections.
Stephen Elledge, a geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a co-author of one of the papers presenting evidence that the measles virus destroys part of the immune system, compared the damage to a head injury.
Sadarangani called it “incredible” how measles infection profoundly affects parts of the immune system similar to powerful immunosuppressive drugs.
Sadarangani said when he speaks to parents who have concerns about measles, some ask about complications that mostly occur in the few days after measles infections.
“This adds a whole new dimension,” he said. “It makes the argument to my mind of vaccinating much more powerful because you’re now preventing not just measles but all of these knock-on complications that may be related to measles.”
The researchers said limitations of their work include the small number of subjects from just one population. Some of the authors also serve as advisers to vaccine makers. – CBC
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The researchers said limitations of their work include the small number of subjects from just one population. Some of the authors also serve as advisers to vaccine makers.
Soooo….I would call these big problems with the study. What we have here is a lack of credibility. The study results are not credible because of the small sample size. The study itself lacks credibility because of the strong ties between some of the authors and the vaccine companies.
Had the study shown the opposite results, we never would have heard about it.
I am not anti-vaccine. What I am is someone who wants vaccines to be treated like every other drug. They need to be rigorously tested and people injected with vaccines need to be monitored for for side effects their entire lives. That is the only way we can know for sure if vaccines are safe.
We need to know exactly what is in the vaccine. Knowledge is power. We need to know what is being injected into our bodies.
I want vaccine manufacturers to be held fully responsible for their products. I want testing to be done by people who are not working for the vaccine companies. Impartial.
I am pro choice. I do not want vaccination to be mandatory. People need to be able to make that decision on their own.