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J Infect Dis. 2008 Jun 15;197(12):1669-75. doi: 10.1086/588195.

Immune responses to mumps vaccine in adults who were vaccinated in childhood.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5208, USA.



In a mumps outbreak in the United States, many infected individuals were adults who had received 2 doses of mumps vaccine. The persistence of cellular immunity to mumps vaccine has not been defined.


This was an observational, nonrandomized cohort study evaluating cell-mediated and humoral immunity to mumps in 10 vaccinated and 10 naturally immune adults. Mumps-specific T cell activation and interferon (IFN)-gamma production were measured using lymphoproliferative and flow cytometry assays, and mumps immunoglobulin (Ig) G was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


T cell immunity to mumps was high in both groups; 70% of vaccinated and 80% of naturally immune individuals had a positive (> or =3) stimulation index (SI) (P = 1.0). The mean percentages of mumps-specific CD4+ T cells that expressed CD69 and produced IFN-gamma were equivalent in the 2 groups: 0.06% and 0.12%, respectively (P = .11). The mean SIs in the groups were also equivalent, although IFN-gamma concentrations from cultures stimulated with mumps antigen were higher in naturally immune adults than in vaccinated adults (P < or = .01). All adults were positive for mumps IgG.


T and B cell immunity to mumps was detected in adults at least 10 years after immunization. Except for IFN-gamma release, responses in vaccinated adults paralleled those observed in naturally immune individuals.

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