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J Infect Dis. 2009 Oct 1;200(7):1031-8. doi: 10.1086/605648.

HIV-1 infection in Zambian children impairs the development and avidity maturation of measles virus-specific immunoglobulin G after vaccination and infection.

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  • 1W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



Endemic transmission of measles continues in many countries that have a high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) burden. The effects that HIV infection has on immune responses to measles and to measles vaccine can impact measles elimination efforts. Assays to measure antibody include the enzyme immunoassay (EIA), which measures immunoglobulin G (IgG) to all measles virus (MV) proteins, and the plaque reduction neutralization (PRN) assay, which measures antibody to the hemagglutinin and correlates with protection. Antibody avidity may affect neutralizing capacity.


HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Zambian children were studied after measles vaccination (n=44) or MV infection (n=57). Laboratory or wild-type MV strains were used to infect Vero or Vero/signaling lymphocyte-activation molecule (SLAM) cells in PRN assays. IgG to MV was measured by EIA, and avidity was determined by ammonium thiocyanate dissociation.


HIV infection impaired EIA IgG responses after vaccination and measles but not PRN responses measured using laboratory-adapted MV. Avidity was lower among HIV-infected children 3 months after vaccination and 1 and 3 months after measles. Neutralization of wild-type MV infection of Vero/SLAM cells correlated with IgG avidity.


Lower antibody quality and quantity in HIV-infected children after measles vaccination raise challenges for assuring the long-term protection of these children. Antibody quality in children receiving antiretroviral therapy requires assessment.

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