Measles is not a harmless childhood disease. In the worst case, an infection can be fatal. So much is known. But scientists from the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), in collaboration with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands, have now discovered that measles virus erases some of their immunological memory over the years.
This means that affected individuals are more susceptible to infections with other pathogens after surviving the disease.
In Germany, vaccination against measles is mandatory from 2020 onwards. Then Kita children, students and some adults must prove that they have been vaccinated. Not without reason – because infections are increasing, although measles should have been eradicated long ago.
For example, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) talks about a resuscitation of measles in Europe. Five countries, including Germany, where transfers are still endemic ̵
Measles can be fatal
Measurements infections can be fatal in severe cases. In addition, the virus weakens the immune system of the patient to other pathogens. For example, a measles infection is more likely to lead to other infections such as bacterial lung or middle ear infections.
A measles cohort study in the United Kingdom also found that ten to fifteen percent of children still have symptoms five years after a measles infection had a significant impairment of the immune system. This in turn led to an increased incidence of further infections.
Measles vaccine also protects against other infectious diseases
Measles is anything but a reason for the parties. "Measles vaccine is not only important for protecting against measles virus but also protects against the onset or serious development of other infectious diseases," emphasizes Professor Klaus Cichutek, chair of the Paul Ehrlich Institute. It protects the immune memory, which can be severely impaired in measles infections.
According to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the results obtained now confirm that the immune system, after a measles infection, has practically forgotten what pathogens it had previously come into contact with.  For this, animals (ferrets) were first immunized against influenza (influenza) and some animals were infected with a mutant dog-disrupting virus related to the measles virus. According to the report, animals infected with canine virus lost most of the antibodies to influenza and had a more serious course of disease compared to animals not previously infected with the virus when infected with influenza virus at a later date.
IM VIDEO | Everything you need to know about measles