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Can Commun Dis Rep. 2018 Sep 6;44(9):226-230. doi: 10.14745/ccdr.v44i09a07. eCollection 2018 Sep 6.

Updated NACI recommendations for measles post-exposure prophylaxis.

Author information

Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases, Ottawa, ON.
NACI Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella Working Group Chair, London, ON.
NACI Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella Working Group Vice Chair, Toronto, ON.



Human immune globulin (Ig) products are currently recommended as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for measles in certain susceptible groups. However, successful measles vaccination programs in North America have led to low circulation of measles virus and most blood donors now have vaccine-derived immunity. Concurrently, the concentrations of anti-measles antibodies in human Ig products have shown trends of gradual decline and previously recommended doses and routes of administration may no longer be optimally protective.


To review the literature and update recommendations on post-exposure prophylaxis for measles, including dosing and route of administration, for measles Ig PEP in susceptible infants and in individuals who are immunocompromised or pregnant, in order to prevent severe disease.


The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella Working Group reviewed key literature, international practices, and product information for current Ig products pertaining to the optimal dosage and routes of Ig administration for measles PEP. It then proposed evidence-based changes to the PEP recommendations that were considered and approved by NACI.


NACI continues to recommend that susceptible immunocompetent individuals six months of age and older, who are exposed to measles and who have no contraindications be given measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine within 72 hours of the exposure. NACI recommends that for susceptible infants younger than six months of age, if injection volume is not a major concern, intramuscular immunoglobulin (IMIg) should be provided at a concentration of 0.5 mL/kg, to a maximum dose of 15 mL administered over multiple injection sites. Susceptible infants six to 12 months old who are identified after 72 hours and within six days of measles exposure should receive IMIg (0.5 mL/kg) if injection volume is not a major concern. For susceptible contacts who are pregnant or immunocompromised, if injection volume is not a concern, IMIg can be provided at a concentration of 0.5 mL/kg understanding that recipients 30 kg or more will not receive the measles antibody concentrations that are considered to be fully protective. Alternatively, in cases where injection volume is a major concern or for recipients 30 kg or more, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) can be provided at a dose of 400 mg/kg.NACI does not recommend that susceptible immunocompetent individuals older than 12 months of age receive Ig PEP for measles exposure due to the low risk of disease complications and the practical challenges of administration for case and contact management.


NACI has updated the recommendations for measles PEP to reflect current evidence and best practices in order to prevent severe disease in Canada. Consistent with recommendations in other countries, this includes consideration of off-label use of IVIg in some instances.


Canada; NACI recommendations; intramuscular immunoglobulin; intravenous immunoglobulin; measles outbreak; measles vaccine; post-exposure prophylaxis

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: None. NACI members and liaison members conduct themselves within the context of PHAC’s Policy on Conflict of Interest, including yearly declaration of potential conflict of interest.

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