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Study firmly shows no connection between measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism
Date:9/4/2008

nd 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls) by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for the presence of measles virus RNA. Samples were analyzed in three laboratories blinded to diagnosis, including one wherein the original findings suggesting a link between measles virus and autism had been reported.

"Our results are inconsistent with a causal role for MMR vaccine as a trigger or exacerbator of either GI difficulties or autism," states Mady Hornig, associate professor of Epidemiology and director of translational research in the Center for Infection and Immunity in the Mailman School, and co-corresponding author of the study. "The work reported here eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that autism with GI complaints is related to MMR vaccine exposure. We found no relationship between the timing of MMR vaccine and the onset of either GI complaints or autism."

Analysis in all three laboratories found two biopsy samples with measles virus RNA, one from a boy in the autism/GI group and the other from a boy in the control group, showing that the presence of measles virus sequences was not associated with an autism diagnosis (autism/GI group, 4%; control, 8%).

The temporal order of onset of GI episodes and autism relative to timing of MMR vaccine administration was examined as well. If MMR is causally related to either GI disturbances or autism it should precede their onset. Analysis indicated no role for MMR vaccine in either the pathogenesis of autism or GI dysfunction. Only five of 25 subjects (20%) had received MMR vaccine before the onset of GI complaints and had also had onset of GI episodes before the onset of autism.

"Over 20 epidemiologic studies have reported no temporal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism, however, no published studies from other research groups have addressed whether measles virus RNA is present in bowel of autistic children with GI disturbances. Here we report results
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Contact: Randee Sacks Levine
rs363@columbia.edu
212-305-8044
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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