The research, published in Science Immunology, also has implications for public health, as falling vaccination rates and resulting in rising cases of measles, which could also cause an increase in cases of other risky infections such as flu, diphtheria or tuberculosis, even in people who were previously immune.
Specific immune memory cells that had been built up against other diseases, and were present before the measles virus infection, had disappeared from the children's blood, scientists found. That protection would decrease further if some of the lost organisms are potent defenses known as neutralizing antibodies.
The creators of the Science Immunology study analyzed the youngsters' white platelets, in particular, a sort of white platelet called a B-cell.
By comparing the children's antibody repertoire before and after a measles infection using Virscan, the researchers could clearly see whether their immunology memory was being damaged.
The findings have implications for public health globally, since a decline in trust in vaccines, and so in vaccination rates, is leading to outbreaks of measles - which in turn can allow a resurgence of other unsafe diseases such as flu, diphtheria and tuberculosis. Inoculated kids, just as unvaccinated individuals who didn't get measles, held about 90% of their immune response collection over a similar period.More news: Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka land HBO series
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about the measles. The research has great implications for public health, as falling vaccination rates are resulting in rising cases of measles, which could also cause an increase in cases of other unsafe infections such as flu, diphtheria or tuberculosis, even in people who were previously immune.
Researchers also found that the measles virus resets the immune system to an immature state which can only make a limited repertoire of antibodies against disease.
Some researchers have suggested that the vaccine gives a general boost to the immune system. "So, he said, 'Can we collect a little bit of blood from your children now, and if they happen to get infected with measles, can we come back?'" Epidemiological studies have linked measles infections with higher chances of mortality in subsequent years.
"Ironically" the immune memory made against measles is "fantastic" - you're likely protected against getting the illness again - but you're increasingly vulnerable against a host of other illnesses, she said. Measles remodeled some patient immune systems to look more like those of an infant, says study co-author Colin Russell, a biologist at the University of Amsterdam.More news: Jury selected for longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone's trial
One of the key features of our immune system is that it keeps track of the infectious agents we've encountered and uses that memory to prevent reinfection.
Future research, Petrova says, will focus on learning how, exactly, measles-"an immunological paradox"-manages this feat". When researchers predicted an outbreak was about to hit the group, they took blood samples from 26 children, then re-sampled just after they got sick.
The effect resembled what Mina had hypothesized could drive measles-induced immune amnesia.
"Not only does natural infection expose the children to the potentially devastating consequences of measles infection, but also as highlighted here, will weaken rather than strengthen their immune systems, so that even if they are lucky enough to escape serious consequences of the primary infection, they are still left prone to catching other infections due to the long-term immune suppression mediated by the primary infection", says Petrovsky, who did not work on this current research. For most of the population, this erasure is temporary, and after a few months, people recover lost antibodies. "With only a single drop of blood, you can measure thousands or tens of thousands of antibodies, which represent somebody's whole immunological history - the history of infectious diseases they've seen". Trillions of antibodies can be found in every 3 ounces (1 microliter) of blood, Mina said. This test was repeated in macaque monkeys before and up to five months after infection. "Think of the measles like an accident you can prevent in a parallel way", he says. The vaccine equips the body with an arsenal of anti-measles antibodies, just as the virus itself would, he said.More news: Target Releases Black Friday Deals