Study: Measles Wipes Out the Body’s Immune Memory

A new study from Harvard Medical School, US, finds that measles wipes out the body's immune memory, or, if more precisely, 20 to 50% of antibodies fighting the array of viruses and bacteria, depleting a person’s previous immunity. After measles, the immune system has to “learn” to protect the body against infections once again.Study Measles Wipes Out the Body’s Immune Memory

In their study, the scientists demonstrated that the measles virus wipes out 11 to 73% of the various antibodies that protect against viral and bacterial strains a human was previously immune to. That might be anything from flu and herpesvirus to bacteria that cause pneumonia and skin infections.

Senior author Stephen Elledge, the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and of Medicine in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, comments: “The threat measles poses to people is much greater than we previously imagined. We now understand the mechanism is a prolonged danger due to erasure of the immune memory, demonstrating that the measles vaccine is of even greater benefit than we knew.”


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