This article has a correction

Please see: Arch Dis Child 2008;93:1079

Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/adc.2007.122937

Measles vaccination and antibody response in autism spectrum disorders

  1. Gillian Baird (gillian.baird{at}
  1. Newcomen Centre, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust, United Kingdom
    1. Andrew Pickles
    1. University of Manchester, United Kingdom
      1. Emily Simonoff
      1. Insitute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom
        1. Tony Charman
        1. University College London Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
          1. Peter Sullivan
          1. John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford, United Kingdom
            1. Susie Chandler
            1. Newcomen Centre, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust, United Kingdom
              1. Tom Loucas
              1. University of Reading, United Kingdom
                1. David Meldrum
                1. Chatswood Assessment Centre, Sydney, Australia
                  1. Muhammed Afzal
                  1. National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, United Kingdom
                    1. Brenda Thomas
                    1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
                      1. Li Jin
                      1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
                        1. David Brown
                        1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
                          • Published Online First 5 February 2008


                          Objective: To test the hypothesis that measles vaccination was involved in the pathogenesis of ASD as evidenced by signs of a persistent measles infection or abnormally persistent immune response shown by circulating measles virus or raised antibody titres in MMR vaccinated children with ASD compared with controls .

                          Design: Case-control study community based

                          Methods: A community sample of vaccinated children aged 10-12 years in the UK with ASD (N=98) and two control groups of similar age, one with special educational needs but no ASD (N=52) and one typically developing group (N=90), were tested for measles virus and antibody response to measles in serum.

                          Results: No difference was found between cases and controls for measles antibody response. There was no dose response relationship between autism symptoms and antibody levels. Measles virus nucleic acid was amplified by RT-PCR in PMBC from one case with autism and two typically developing children. There was no evidence of a differential response to measles virus or the measles component of the MMR in children with ASD, with or without regression, and controls who had either one or two doses of MMR. Only one child from the control group had clinical symptoms of a possible enterocolitis.