Non-infected babies born to HIV mothers have reduced immunity to measles

October 18, 2012

Non-infected babies born to HIV positive mothers should be vaccinated early against measles, to avoid them acquiring the virus or passing it on to others.

A study published in the November issue of Acta Paediatrica found that even if babies are born without HIV, their maternally derived protection against measles may be impaired by their mother's positive .

"The eradication of measles is high on the agendas of the and other international agencies and it is important to define and target any new group of susceptible infants" says Dr Lars Smedman from the Department of Paediatrics at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

According to the World Health Organization, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children. Complications of this highly contagious, serious disease can include , blindness, destructive ear infections, severe diarrhoea and related dehydration.

In 2010 there were 139,300 deaths globally, which equates to 380 a day or 15 an hour. However, in 1980, before widespread immunisation, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths a year. Immunisations have risen by 72% since 2000 and in 2010 about 85 per cent of the World's children received one dose of the by their first birthday.

Dr Smedman and colleagues compared samples from ten babies aged one to four months who were born to HIV mothers, but had not acquired the infection, to ten healthy babies born to mothers without HIV.

The mothers ranged from 26 to 35 years of age, were all immigrants and originated from Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Kenya and Thailand. Their ranged from less than 20 to 8,870 and their CD4 cell counts from 237 to 754.

Nine gave birth by planned or emergency caesarean, with only one , and the of the babies ranged from 32 to 41 weeks.

"We used a new cell ELISA technique to demonstrate how the serum samples drawn from the infants would inactivate the measles virus" explains Dr Smedman.

"This found statistically significant differences between the maternal antibodies received by the two sets of babies and showed that the non-infected babies born to HIV positive mothers had weaker protection. This was because the antibodies normally produced by the mother to help protect her baby from measles had lost their sharp edge due to her HIV positive status.

"The results suggest that babies born to HIV mothers would not be able to neutralise the measles virus as effectively and would loose protection sooner than babies born to healthy mothers. These babies would therefore be much more likely to succumb to measles and, or, pass the virus on to other children, making their early immunisation vital."

Explore further: South Africa reports new success in saving newborns from HIV

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 012.02793.x/abstract

Related Stories

South Africa reports new success in saving newborns from HIV

July 19, 2012
About 117,000 babies were saved from HIV infection last year under South Africa's scheme to prevent mothers from passing on the disease during childbirth, health official said Thursday.

Drug combo much better than AZT alone at preventing mother-to-infant HIV transmission

June 20, 2012
Non-breastfed babies born to HIV-positive mothers who didn't receive antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy are routinely given zidovudine, commonly known as AZT, shortly after birth to prevent mother-to-child transmission ...

Recommended for you

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

August 3, 2017
Intramuscularly administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be as effective for HIV treatment as current oral therapies. This is the main conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 research centers around ...

Research finds home-based kit would increase HIV testing

July 31, 2017
Research led by William Robinson, PhD, Associate Research Professor of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, has found that 86% of heterosexuals who are at high risk for ...

Scientists divulge latest in HIV prevention

July 25, 2017
A far cry from the 1990s "ABC" campaign promoting abstinence and monogamy as HIV protection, scientists reported on new approaches Tuesday allowing people to have all the safe sex they want.

Girl's HIV infection seems under control without AIDS drugs

July 24, 2017
A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for more than eight years after stopping anti-HIV medicines—more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, ...

Meds by monthly injection might revolutionize HIV care (Update)

July 24, 2017
Getting a shot of medication to control HIV every month or two instead of having to take pills every day could transform the way the virus is kept at bay.

Candidate AIDS vaccine passes early test

July 24, 2017
The three-decade-old quest for an AIDS vaccine received a shot of hope Monday when developers announced that a prototype triggered the immune system in an early phase of human trials.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.