News & Articles

Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine and Autism Studies

Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism

May 21, 2015

Jain et al. JAMA

To report ASD occurrence by MMR vaccine status in a large sample of US children who have older siblings with and without ASD the authors did a retrospective cohort study using an administrative claims database associated with a large commercial health plan. Participants included children continuously enrolled in the health plan from birth to at least 5 years of age during 2001-2012 who also had an older sibling continuously enrolled for at least 6 months between 1997 and 2012.

Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review.

August 1, 2014

Maglione et al. Pediatrics

Concerns about vaccine safety have led some parents to decline recommended vaccination of their children, leading to the resurgence of diseases. Reassurance of vaccine safety remains critical for population health. This study systematically reviewed the literature on the safety of routine vaccines recommended for children in the United States.

Lack of Association Between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study

September 1, 2008

Hornig M et al. PLoS One

The presence of measles virus (MV) RNA in bowel tissue from children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances was reported in 1998. Subsequent investigations found no associations between MV exposure and ASD but did not test for the presence of MV RNA in bowel or focus on children with ASD and GI disturbances. Failure to replicate the original study design may contribute to continued public concern with respect to the safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The objective of this case-control study was to determine whether children with GI disturbances and autism are more likely than children with GI disturbances alone to have MV RNA and/or inflammation in bowel tissues and if autism and/or GI episode onset relate temporally to receipt of MMR.

Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders

March 1, 2008

Baird et al. Archives of Disease in Childhood

The objective of this study was 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 .

Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations

August 1, 2006

Fombonne et al. Pediatrics

The purpose of this work was to estimate the pervasive developmental disorder prevalence in Montreal, Canada, in cohorts born from 1987 to 1998 and evaluate the relationship of trends in pervasive developmental disorder rates with: (1) changes in cumulative exposure to ethylmercury (thimerosal) occurring through modifications in the immunization schedule of young children and (2) trends in measles-mumps-rubella vaccination use rates and the introduction of a 2-measles-mumps-rubella dosing schedule during the study period.

MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study

October 11, 2004

Smeeth et al. Lancet

Concern that measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination might cause autism has led to a fall in vaccine coverage. We investigated whether MMR vaccination is associated with an increased risk of autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. The authors did a matched case-control study using the UK General Practice Research Database. Cases were people born in 1973 or later who had first recorded diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder while registered with a contributing general practice between 1987 and 2001. Controls were matched on age, sex, and general practice.

Association of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine

July 1, 2003

Wilson et al. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence for and against the existence of an association between autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Neurologic Disorders After Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination

November 1, 2002

Makela et al. Pediatrics

The possibility of adverse neurologic events has fueled much concern about the safety of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations. The available evidence concerning several of the postulated complications is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess whether an association prevails between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, and autism.

No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism

October 1, 2001

Fombonne and Chakrabarti. Pediatrics

A link has been postulated between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and a form of autism that is a combination of developmental regression and gastrointestinal symptoms that occur shortly after immunization. This hypothesis has involved 3 separate claims: 1) that there is new phenotype of autism involving regression and gastrointestinal symptoms, 2) that this new variant is responsible for the alleged rise of autism rates, and 3) that this phenotype is associated with biological findings suggestive of the persistence of measles infection. We tested the first of these claims. If this new “autistic enterocolitis” syndrome had some validity, then 1 or several of the following 6 predictions should be supported by empirical data: 1) childhood disintegrative disorder has become more frequent, 2) the mean age of first parental concern for autistic children who are exposed to MMR is closer to the mean immunization age than in children who are not exposed to MMR, 3) regression in the development of children with autism has become more common in MMR-vaccinated children, 4) the age of onset for autistic children with regression clusters around the MMR immunization date and is different from that of autistic children without regression, 5) children with regressive autism have distinct symptom and severity profiles, and 6) regressive autism is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms and/or inflammatory bowel disorder.