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Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Feb 15;48(4):456-61. doi: 10.1086/596476.

Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4399, USA. offit@email.chop.edu

Abstract

Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that vaccines might cause autism. Three specific hypotheses have been proposed: (1) the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining, which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins; (2) thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system; and (3) the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system. We will discuss the genesis of each of these theories and review the relevant epidemiological evidence.

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PMID:
19128068
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2908388
Free PMC Article
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