Long term impact of high titer Edmonston-Zagreb measles vaccine on T lymphocyte subsets

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Abstract

Several trials of high titer measles vaccine (>104.7 plaque-forming unit) have found female recipients of Edmonston-Zagreb (EZ) vaccine to have lower survival than female recipients of standard measles vaccine. Two trials with medium and high titer EZ vaccine from the age of 4 months were conducted in Guinea-Bissau. To test for possible long term impact on the immune system, an investigation of T cell subsets was conducted among all children still residing in the community at 3 to 5 years of age. No differences were found between recipients of medium titer vaccine and controls. In the second trial, however, recipients of high titer had lower CD4:CD8 ratios than controls and had significantly higher CD8 percentages and lower CD4:CD8 ratios than recipients of medium titer EZ. When analyzed by sex, differences were found only among the girls. However, these differences were small and seemed unlikely to explain the reduced survival which has been associated with high titer EZ measles vaccination. In the 2 years after the investigation of T cell subsets, there was no increased mortality for recipients of EZ vaccine. Hence it is unlikely that high titer vaccine has an persistent adverse effect on survival after 3 years of age.

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