Previous exposure to measles, mumps, and rubella--but not vaccination during adolescence--correlates to the prevalence of pancreatic and thyroid autoantibodies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine whether a relationship exists between previous exposure to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) by natural infection or vaccination or by new immunization with MMR vaccine, and either the presence or levels of autoantibodies against thyroid cell and pancreatic beta-cell antigens. METHODS: Antibodies against MMR and autoantibodies against thyroglobulin, thyroid peroxidase, pancreas islet cells (ICA), islet cell surface, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65k autoantibodies, and insulin were studied before, and 3 months after, vaccination with combined MMR vaccine in 386 school children between 11 and 13 years of age. RESULTS: The vaccination changed neither the prevalence nor the level of autoantibodies. Children with rubella antibodies before vaccination had higher levels of ICA than did the rubella seronegative children. In contrast, thyroid autoantibody levels and prevalence were lower in children with antibodies against measles, mumps, or both before vaccination than in children without those antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Previous natural infection or vaccination against measles, mumps, or both seemed to have an inhibitory effect on the development of thyroid autoantibodies. In contrast, children with previous exposure to rubella had higher levels of ICA. No evidence was found that MMR vaccination during adolescence may trigger autoimmunity.


External organisations
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch