No Link Between Measles Vaccination and Autism

February 5, 2008

Autistic children vaccinated against measles have no differences in circulating measles virus or measles antibody compared with special needs or normally developing children, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Autistic children vaccinated against measles have no differences in circulating measles virus or measles antibody compared with special needs or normally developing children, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Gillian Baird, Ph.D., from Guy's & St. Thomas' Hospital in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues tested for measles virus and measles antibodies in British children aged 10 to 12 years who had been vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Three groups were compared: 98 children with autism spectrum disorders, 52 children with special needs but no autism, and 90 typically developing children.

The researchers found that there were no differences in circulating measles virus genome or measles antibody between the children with autism and controls. There was also no evidence of an altered persisting immunological response in autism with or without regression. Only one possible case of enterocolitis was observed, which occurred in a control group. Fewer children received the second vaccination after diagnosis of a developmental problem.

"No association between measles vaccination and autism spectrum disorders was shown," Baird and colleagues conclude.

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