Sivagamasundari Venugopal1, Rajesh Nagaraj Thangaraj2, John Matthai3
Infants are protected against measles infection by passive transfer of maternal anti-measles antibodies. Studies from the West have shown a steady decline in these antibody titers over increasing age.
This study is aimed to determine the maternal measles antibody titers (MMAT) at various ages in infants below nine months of age.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Cord blood of thirty babies consecutively born at term and peripheral blood of 24, 27 and 36 infants at 4, 6 and 9 months of age respectively were assayed for MMAT using standardised lab methods.
Eighty three percent of babies at term had MMAT in the protective range. But subsequently there is a steady decline in MMAT and none of the infants in the study had protective levels of MMAT at 9 months of age.
With such rapid decline in MMAT during infancy, the position of measles vaccine at nine months in national immunisation schedule needs to be revisited.