Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality

Abstract

Immunosuppression after measles is known to predispose people to opportunistic infections for a period of several weeks to months. Using population-level data, we show that measles has a more prolonged effect on host resistance, extending over 2 to 3 years. We find that nonmeasles infectious disease mortality in high-income countries is tightly coupled to measles incidence at this lag, in both the pre- and post-vaccine eras. We conclude that long-term immunologic sequelae of measles drive interannual fluctuations in nonmeasles deaths. This is consistent with recent experimental work that attributes the immunosuppressive effects of measles to depletion of B and T lymphocytes. Our data provide an explanation for the long-term benefits of measles vaccination in preventing all-cause infectious disease. By preventing measles-associated immune memory loss, vaccination protects polymicrobial herd immunity.

About

Type Journal article
Language English
Country Not Specified
PubMed URL http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6235/694
Journal Science
Volume 348
Year 2015
Disease , Measles
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Added on 6 June 2017 07:33:51
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