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Vaccine. 2004 Mar 29;22(11-12):1509-14.

Placental transfer of measles antibodies: effect of gestational age and maternal vaccination status.

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Department of Neonatology, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tivka.


Despite nationwide measles vaccination coverage in Israel of over 90%, repeated outbreaks of measles have spread from isolated communities with poor immunization uptake. Some severely affected individuals were children under 1 year of age, including premature infants. We evaluated the serological status of 195 newborn infants and their 161 mothers divided into four groups: vaccinated mothers (VMs) and premature infants, VM and full term infants, naturally immunized mothers (NIMs) and premature infants, NIM and full term infants. Maternal and cord blood measles antibody titers were determined by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test and microneutralization test (mNT). Fewer than 40% of preterm infants of VM and less then 70% of preterm infants of NIM had protective titers at birth. The results of this study may aid in formulating new measles vaccination recommendations for preterm infants.

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