Measles attack the immune system and weaken it in the long term

Measles are often seen as a harmless disease, the should have made the kids “by”. How wrong – and dangerous – this assumption is, show two studies published in the professional Science “and” Science Immunology “leaves”. The Work demonstrates the influence of measles on the immune system is: A measles-disease destroyed many, in the course of life formed antibodies. The body can no longer fight off certain pathogens and must be post-infections again. Parts of the immune memory will be wiped out by the disease to a certain extent – the immune system, unfortunately, under a sort of “amnesia”.

For some time, it is known that measles virus weaken the immune system. The two groups of researchers have now studied the mechanism of this “immune amnesia” is based. In the centre of the studies, blood samples were available from 77 unvaccinated children. A team of researchers from Boston analyzed the antibody Repertoire in the samples – both before and after a measles infection. A British team of researchers was devoted to the surface receptors of B-cells. B-cells are a type of leukocyte, white blood cells called. They play an important role in the human immune system to form antibodies. Both of these teams of experts come to the same conclusion: A measles infection reduces the diversity of the antibody against various pathogens dramatically.

Immune system for months or years, weakened

“Superficially, our immune system is recovering after a measles infection after a few weeks”, says Klaus Überla, Director of the Virology Institute at the University hospital of Erlangen, who was not involved in the study. “The new studies now indicate that the injury suffered months of stop up to years and lead to a generally increased risk of infection could. This explains why children who have measles by means of, for up to five years, a higher incidence and risk of death.”

After a measles infection the totality of the immune cells recover quickly, says Johannes Trück, head of the research group in immunology at the University children’s hospital Zurich. The composition was changed. “Parts of the former by vaccination, or by making the diseases stronger immune memory have been wiped out and must be rebuilt.”

The findings show the importance of a consistent Maserimpfschutz was so Trück. Such a protection does not prevent only direct, by the measles virus complications solved, but also the consequences of indirectly caused immune weakness.

The vaccination is carried out with live, weakened measles virus. A immune weakness was not to be expected due to the vaccine itself but to the expert is more. “There is neither epidemiological nor immunological evidence that measles vaccine affected the immune system.”

Experts advise to measles vaccination

Richard Neher, leader of the research group in viruses and bacteria at the University of Basel stresses the importance of Vaccination was: “This Work is to underline once more, that measles is a dangerous disease that weakens even in the case of an uncomplicated course of the immune system over the years. The vaccination is safe and effective. To not vaccinate children for ideological reasons against measles is irresponsible.”

European Immunization Week

Fact check about vaccinations: "You have to make measles through?"

Measles caused by measles virus, which are transmitted, for example, by coughing, Sneezing or Talking. Measles are considered highly contagious. The symptoms include high fever, reddened eyes and cough first. On the mucous membranes of small whitish spots, called “Koplik’s spots” form. Shortly thereafter, the typical skin rash on the face that spreads over the whole body follows.

Measles can lead to secondary infections, such as Bronchitis or pneumonia. Dreaded complications of measles an inflammation of the brain or the so-called SSPE (subacute sclerosing Panencephalitis) are. It occurs in the Mediterranean seven years after the disease. In the case of the SSPE to be progressively cells of the brain’s nerves is destroyed. Four to eleven of 100,000 measles cases suffer from it.

“A measles infection is so different than often supposed-not a ‘harmless childhood disease’,” writes the Federal Ministry of health. “The best protection against measles is vaccination offer. They provide life-long immunity.” The vaccination was well tolerated, writes the Federal centre for health education (BZgA). Serious side effects are very rare. The injection site redness and pain could be. In two to five out of 100 Vaccinated one to four weeks after vaccination, so-called “vaccination could form measles”. You are not contagious.

The Cabinet of Ministers on 17. July, the so-called “measles protection law” on the way. The draft law provides, inter alia, that children must be vaccinated upon entry into the Kindergarten or the school is completely against measles. Impfverweigerern a day-care centre prohibition or high fines. The law will be implemented starting from March 2020.

More to the draft law, read here

In 2018, Germany 544 measles cases. 2019 registered until mid-June, approximately 429 cases.

Sources: Science Media Center (SMC) / Federal centre for health education (BZgA) and the Federal Ministry of health

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