Measles More Dangerous Than Experts Had Thought
Measles may be even more dangerous than doctors had thought. Researchers reported last week that the disease destroys immunity that the victim has developed to fight off other infections.
The researchers' findings help to explain why children often catch other infectious diseases after having measles. The findings also show the dangers of growing resistance to childhood vaccination in some countries.
Two studies have similar results
Two recent studies showed for the first time how measles resets the body's natural defenses against disease.
Velislava Petrova is with Cambridge University in England and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, a not-for-profit research center. She also was a co-leader of one of the measles studies.
"This ... is a direct demonstration in humans of ‘immunological amnesia', where the immune system forgets how to respond to infections encountered before," she said.
Geneticist and researcher Stephen Elledge was a co-leader of the second study. He said the results showed "really strong evidence that the measles virus is actually destroying the immune system."
Elledge is with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the United States.
The findings are important for public health efforts worldwide. A decrease in vaccination rates is leading to measles outbreaks in some areas. The spread of measles can lead to a return of other dangerous diseases, such as influenza, diphtheria and tuberculosis.
Importance of vaccines
Two injections of a vaccine can prevent measles. The treatment is safe and effective, and has been in use since the 1960s.
But World Health Organization, or WHO, experts warned last month of an "alarming upsurge" of cases among unvaccinated people all over the world.
In the first three months of this year, the number of cases jumped 300 percent from the same period in 2018, WHO reports show.
"The (measles) virus is much more deleterious than we realized, which means the vaccine is that much more valuable," noted Elledge.
For this research, the two teams studied a group of unvaccinated people in the Netherlands to find out what measles does to the immune system.
In one study, researchers examined antibody genes from 26 children. Then they compared the genes to another sample taken 40 to 50 days after measles infected the children. The researchers found that specific antibodies that had been built up against other diseases had disappeared from the children's blood.
Results from the second study found that measles infection destroyed between 11% and 73% of the children's protective antibodies. These antibodies are blood proteins that "remember" past contacts with viruses and help the body avoid repeat infections.
I'm John Russell.
1.fight off 击退；排斥
He felt pleasantly drowsy and had to fight off the urge to sleep.
2.built up 建立
He built up a reputation as a tough businessman.
3.find out 发现
I hope we can find out about it.
4.a group of 一组
Suddenly the door opened and a group of children burst in.
5.But World Health Organization, or WHO, experts warned last month of an "alarming upsurge" of cases among unvaccinated people all over the world.
all over the world 全世界
Though paper was invented by Chinese, you can see it all over the world.
The civilization of attracts tourists from all over the world.
6.Two recent studies showed for the first time how measles resets the body's natural defenses against disease.
for the first time 第一次
For the first time in my career, I was failing.
Now I use a false name if I'm meeting people for the first time
麻疹可能比医生们想象的还要危险 。研究人员上周报告称，这种疾病破坏了患者抵抗其他感染的免疫力 。
研究人员的发现有助于解释为什么儿童在得麻疹后经常感染其他传染病 。研究结果还显示了一些国家对儿童疫苗接种产生越来越大的抵抗力的危险 。
薇丽萨娃·佩特洛娃（Velislava Petrova）就职于英国剑桥大学和非营利研究中心桑格学院研究所 。她还是麻疹研究之一的联合负责人 。
遗传学家和研究员斯蒂芬·埃利奇（Stephen Elledge）是第二项研究的共同负责人 。他说，研究结果显示“确实有力的证据表明麻疹病毒实际上正在破坏免疫系统 。”
这些发现对全球的公共卫生工作具有重要意义 。疫苗接种率的下降导致了一些地区的麻疹疫情爆发 。麻疹的传播可能导致其它危险疾病的复发，如流感、白喉和结核病 。
两次注射疫苗可以预防麻疹 。这种治疗安全且有效，自1960年代就开始使用 。
在一项研究中，研究人员检查了26名儿童的抗体基因 。然后他们将这些基因与麻疹感染儿童后40至50天采集的另一份样本进行了比较 。研究人员发现，针对其他疾病而建立的特异性抗体已经从孩子的血液中消失了 。
第二项研究的结果发现，麻疹感染破坏了11％至73％的儿童保护性抗体 。这些抗体是一种血液蛋白，可以“记住”与病毒的接触，并帮助身体避免重复感染 。