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J Infect Dis. 2001 Feb 15;183(4):532-8. Epub 2001 Jan 18.

Prolonged measles virus shedding in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children, detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


A reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay was used to detect measles virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, urine, and nasopharyngeal specimens from Zambian children during hospitalization and approximately 1-2 months after discharge. Of 47 children, 29 (61.7%) had prolonged measles virus shedding, as defined by detection of measles virus RNA in > or =1 specimen obtained 30-61 days after rash onset. Ten (90.9%) of 11 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children had prolonged measles virus shedding, compared with 19 (52.8%) of 36 HIV-uninfected children (P=.02). Prolonged measles virus shedding did not correlate with levels of measles virus-specific antibody. HIV-infected children with measles may have a prolonged infectious period that potentially enhances measles virus transmission and hinders measles control.

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