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Vaccine. 2014 Mar 26;32(15):1641-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.034. Epub 2014 Feb 9.

The effect of early measles vaccination on thymic size. A randomized study from Guinea-Bissau.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark. Electronic address: lonedamkjaer@yahoo.dk.
  • 2Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark; Department of Clinical Microbiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark. Electronic address: h.eriksen@bandim.org.
  • 3Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark; Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Electronic address: s.biering@bandim.org.
  • 4Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Electronic address: c.bale@bandim.org.
  • 5Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark. Electronic address: vu_ando@yahoo.dk.
  • 6Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark. Electronic address: aae@ssi.dk.
  • 7Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Electronic address: c.martins@bandim.org.
  • 8Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark; Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Electronic address: msodemann@health.sdu.dk.
  • 9Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark; Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Electronic address: p.aaby@bandim.org.
  • 10Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institute, Denmark; Bandim Health Project, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau; OPEN, Institute for Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital, Denmark. Electronic address: cb@ssi.dk.

Abstract

In low-income countries early measles vaccine (MV) is associated with reduced child mortality which cannot be explained by prevention of measles. A large thymus gland in infancy is also associated with reduced mortality. We hypothesized that early MV is associated with increased thymic size. Within a randomized trial providing MV at age 4.5 and 9 months or MV only at age 9 months, thymic size was assessed by ultrasound at age 4.5 months, before randomization to early MV or no early MV, and 4 weeks later. Among 656 children, there was no effect of early MV on thymic size, the geometric mean size ratio being 0.99 (95% CI: 0.96-1.02). In a post hoc analysis early MV was associated with a negative effect in healthy children but a positive effect in ill children. In conclusion, early MV at age 4.5 months had no overall effect on thymus size 4 weeks later.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

http://clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01486355.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Measles vaccination; Non-specific effects; Thymic size; Ultrasound

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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