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J Adolesc Health. 1991 May;12(3):273-8.

Serological response to measles revaccination in a highly immunized military dependent adolescent population.

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Department of Clinical Investigation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas 79920-5001.


In the spring of 1986, there was a measles outbreak in the city of El Paso, Texas, with 92 cases reported to the City-County Health Department. Of those 92 cases, 31 (32%) occurred within a public high school's student population of 2524. A mass measles vaccination program was undertaken at that high school in order to limit the outbreak. The student enrollment included a military dependent population of 368 students. Despite documented histories of prior measles immunizations in this military dependent subgroup, three individuals contracted the disease. Since this subgroup of students represented a highly immunized adolescent population, it was of interest to serologically determine their immune status prior to and following reimmunization with the expectation that such a study would provide information relating to the level of "protective" immunity. Prevaccination and postvaccination sera were obtained from 95 students. Results of measuring anti-measles antibody activity by ELISA indicate that 13 (14%) students responded to revaccination and experienced a fourfold or greater rise in IgG antibody levels. There were no detectable IgM responses. All of the students who responded to revaccination produced an anamnestic response (IgG boost only). Since most of these individuals had received first immunizations at 15 months of age or older, these findings suggest that secondary vaccine failure (waning immunity) was responsible for the putative "lowered" immunity in these individuals, instead of primary vaccine failure (maternal antibody suppression). These findings support current recommendations for measles booster revaccination of school-age children and adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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