Measles virus vaccine attenuation: Suboptimal infection of lymphatic tissue and tropism alteration

Cristian Condack, Jean Charles Grivel, Patricia Devaux, Leonid Margolis, Roberto Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The mechanisms of measles virus (MV) vaccine attenuation are insufficiently characterized. Because the Edmonston vaccine strain can enter cells through CD46 in addition to the primary MV receptor signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM or CD150), we asked whether and how its tropism is altered. In human tonsillar tissue, this vaccine strain infects naive (CD45RA +CD62L+) T lymphocytes, which express SLAM very infrequently, with much higher efficiency than do wild-type strains. By contrast, it infects B lymphocytes, macrophages, and NK cells with significantly lower efficiencies than those of wild-type strains. Infection levels by wild-type strains correlate with the frequency of SLAM expression and are highest in B cells, which are 40%-55% infected. SLAM-expressing T cells are more readily infected by all MV strains than are SLAM-expressing B cells. Thus, vaccine attenuation may be caused by tropism alteration in combination with suboptimal replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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