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Vaccine. 2013 Jan 11;31(4):711-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.11.031. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Kinetics of antibody and memory B cell responses after MMR immunization in children and young adults.

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Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The persistence of antigen-specific memory B-cells (MBCs) in children and young adults long time after vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is not known. Here we have looked at the Swedish immunization program and examined children 1-10 years after the first MMR dose in early childhood, as well as young adults 7-18 years after the second dose of MMR. We show that Ab titers and MBCs against measles and rubella have different kinetics, indicating that the MBC pool and the corresponding Ab titers are regulated independently. These data fit well with other findings that continuous IgG secretion comes from long-lived plasma cells and not MBCs. We also demonstrate that individuals with low post-vaccination Ab titers might have an adequate MBC response. It remains to be shown if memory B-cells provide the same protection as specific antibodies, but our data is a valuable complement to the incomplete knowledge about correlates of protection after vaccination.

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