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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2004 Feb;3(1):19-22.

MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence.

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  • 1National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop E61, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


An hypothesis published in 1998 suggested that measles-mumps-rubella vaccine may cause autism as a result of persistent measles virus infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Results of early studies were not supportive and in 2001 a review by the Institute of Medicine concluded that the evidence favors the rejection of a causal relationship at the population level between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder. Studies published since the Institute of Medicine report have continued not to find an increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder associated with measles-mumps-rubella. The vaccine also has not been found to be associated with a unique syndrome of developmental regression and gastrointestinal disorders. The evidence now is convincing that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism or any particular subtypes of autistic spectrum disorder.

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