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Immune amnesia: Another reason why measles is a serious illness

Two new studies, this time finding immune amnesia due to measles, show why measles is serious and you should vaccinate your children. That’s right, contrary to antivax claims, “natural infection” with measles doesn’t “boost the immune system.” Quite the contrary!

Basically everyone, even the antivaccine movement, concedes that the measles vaccine is highly effective at preventing the measles. (Actually, there are a few who try to deny this, but the efficacy of the MMR vaccine at preventing measles is such that they come off sounding ridiculous more than anything else.) That’s why what most antivaxers do is simply try to argue that measles isn’t a big deal, that it isn’t deadly, that it’s a harmless childhood disease, and that therefore the fantastical “risks” ascribed to the vaccine by antivaxers (autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, etc.) outweigh the benefits of presenting measles. It’s the kind of misinformation that led antivaxers to point to a 50-year-old episode of The Brady Bunch as “evidence” that people back then didn’t think the measles were a big deal because a sitcom played measles for laughs. I suppose that, by that “logic,” Hogan’s Heroes must also mean that life in Nazi prisoner of war camps wasn’t that bad. Be that as it may, the point is that the main benefit of vaccinating for measles has generally been believed to be the not-insignificant benefit of preventing the measles and its attendant complications, including the most dreaded SSPE. However, a new body of evidence is developing that the benefits of preventing measles go beyond just preventing measles and its known complications. In fact, it turns out that vaccinating against measles lowers all-cause mortality among children. The past and present rebuke antivaccinationists who claim measles is “benign.” Now, a new study suggest why the benefits of vaccinating against measles go beyond just preventing measles: Immune amnesia.

Let’s step back a minute. It’s basically been shown in a number of studies that the measles virus somehow damages the immune system, leading to immunosuppression, a phenomenon notices in developing countries where, after introduction of the MMR vaccine, mortality from all infectious diseases, including pneumonia and infectious diarrhea. More recent work suggests that it can last three years. Last Friday, two papers were published, one in Science (yes, that Science) and one in another Science journal, Science Immunology, that for the first time provided evidence for a potential mechanism by which immune amnesia due to measles infection occurs. The first is by a group led by Michael J. Mina at Harvard (whom we’ve met before) and Stephen Elledge, also at Harvard. Let’s take a look at it first.

The authors note in the introduction:

Immunosuppression was first documented when children with measles showed negative cutaneous tuberculin reactions after previously testing positive (5). Subsequent studies have shown decreased interferon signaling, skewed cytokine responses, lymphopenia, and suppression of lymphocyte proliferation shortly after infection (6). The MV receptor CD150/SLAMF1 (signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family member 1) is highly expressed on memory T, B, and plasma cells, resulting in their infection and depletion without an effect on total immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels (7–12). Recovery of the functional immune response, including resolution of lymphopenia, occurs 2 to 4 weeks after viral clearance (6, 10, 13, 14). However, MV replication in immune cells has been hypothesized to impair immune memory, potentially causing “immunological amnesia” (10, 15, 16).

And:

Epidemiological evidence has associated MV infections with increases in morbidity and mortality for as long as 5 years (15, 23) and suggests that in the pre-vaccine era, MV may have been associated with up to 50% of all childhood deaths from infectious diseases, mostly from non-MV infections (15). This phenomenon might be explained by immune amnesia. However, to date, no study has successfully resolved whether measles-induced immune amnesia—a reduction in the diversity of the immune memory repertoire after measles infections—indeed exists. To address this issue, we have studied paired blood samples collected before and after MV infection using a seroprofiling tool that allows the detection of thousands of pathogen-specific antibodies.

To study the effects of the measles virus on the immune system, the investigators studied a Dutch Orthodox Protestant Community in the Netherlands that refuses vaccines on religious grounds. As is often the case in such communities, in 2013 there was a measles outbreak, with more than 2600 cases reported, and it’s a community that has been studied before. An observational cohort study was performed during that measles outbreak, in which unvaccinated children 4 to 17 years of age at the time of sampling, without a history of natural measles, were recruited from schools with low vaccination coverage. Plasma was collected before and after laboratory-confirmed measles infection from 77 unimmunized children with a mean age of 9 years plus five unimmunized children who were lucky enough not to become infected during the study. Of the 77 children, 34 had mild cases and 42 severe cases. The mean time between sample collections was ten weeks, with the mean time after collection being 7 weeks. Elledge’s group used VirScan to measure antibody diversity before and after infection in these children. What is VirScan? The authors explain:

To measure the diversity and magnitude of the epitope-specific antibody repertoires in these children and controls, we used VirScan (25), a phage-display immunoprecipitation and sequencing (PhIP-Seq) technology (26) developed for virome-wide detection of antibodies against viral epitopes. VirScan primarily detects antibodies to short contiguous epitopes as opposed to conformational epitopes. The cells producing antibodies to all epitopes are phenotypically similar, aside from their antibody product. Thus, changes in the antibody repertoire detected by VirScan represent changes across the spectrum of antibodies, and these include neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. For this study, we generated an expanded VirScan library that encodes the full proteomes of most known human pathogenic viruses (~400 species and strains) plus many bacterial proteins. For each sample, we obtained a comprehensive measure of the individual’s antipathogen antibody repertoire diversity (i.e., the total epitope hits across all pathogen peptides). We also derived an antibody epitope binding signal (EBS), which is a relative measure of antibody titer for each epitope.

I’ll translate. VirScan is a tool that Elledge and and Tomasz Kula, a PhD student in the Elledge Lab, developed in 2015. It detects antiviral and antibacterial antibodies in the blood that result from current or past encounters with viruses and bacteria, providing overall “snapshot” of the immune system at a given time. For those who can understand some of the more jargon-filled text above, PhIP-Seq uses oligonucleotide library synthesis to encode peptide libraries that can encompass an entire proteome (the entire number of proteins made by the body) for display on bacteriophage. These libraries are then immunoprecipitated using an individual’s antibodies for subsequent analysis by high-throughput DNA sequencing. How does that identify anything? Well, the DNA is “bar-coded,” so that each phage has a unique short DNA tag. It’s hard to explain if you don’t know how these systems work, but I found a nifty video that (I thought) explains the process pretty well. It’s not from the Elledge laboratory, but it is from the laboratory of one of the co-authors of this study:

All I can say after a video like this is: Damn! Science is cool! It can now in essence provide an immune profile listing every relevant antibody to every known pathogen to which a given person has been exposed, plus antibodies to self-antigens. In this case, the authors looked at antibodies to most known pathogenic viruses and many bacterial proteins. The authors also looked at paired samples from four control cohorts (n=119) from:

  • Approximately age-matched controls sampled at similar intervals (~3 months) as the measles cohorts (control A; n = 28 paired specimens)
  • Age-matched controls with samples collected ~1 year apart (control B; n = 31)
  • Adult controls with collection intervals similar to the measles-infected individuals (control C; n = 22)
  • Young children before and after their first measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination (MMR vaccinated; n = 33)
  • Unvaccinated children from the same community as the MV cases but who remained seronegative for MV (MV negative; n = 5)

Control cohorts A, B, and C were individuals with no known exposure to MV.

The authors observed that measles resulted in the elimination of 11% to 73% of the antibody repertoire across individuals. Notably, these effects were not observed in children vaccinated with the MMR but were observed in macaque monkeys intentionally infected with the measles virus. Recovery of these antibody populations only occur after reexposure to the pathogens that provoked the immune response in the first place. The authors suggested that this reduction in humoral immune memory after measles infection is what generates vulnerability to future infections.

But how does this immune amnesia happen? The cells that make antibodies are called B-lymphocytes. During an initial infection resulting in a primary immune response, naive follicular B-cells are activated by the immune system and undergo expansion to produce clones B cells producing antibodies specific for the antigen. Most of these cells differentiate into effector B cells, also known as plasma cells, which synthesize protective antibodies in order to fight and clear the infection. However, after the infection is cleared, a small fraction remain as “memory cells” that persist long-term and allow for a much more rapid second immune response when the same antigens are encountered again, as in a second exposure to the same pathogen. Yes, this is a simple (maybe simplistic) explanation, but it’s good enough for a lay person to understand what’s happening here. Somehow the measles virus attacks these memory cells, eliminating the cells that serve as the basis of a rapid secondary antibody response. Basically, for the relevant pathogens, it becomes as if the immune system had never seen that pathogen at all.

The authors explain further:

Using VirScan, we quantified the effects of measles on antipathogen antibody repertoires in plasma obtained before and after natural and experimental MV infections. We found that measles is associated with large reductions in both the diversity of the antibody repertoire and magnitude of the binding signal, likely reflecting reduced antibody titers resulting from diminished numbers of cells producing the respective antibody. The reduction of diversity may be greater than we report because even if particular antibody-producing cells have been eliminated, an antibody half-life of ~3 weeks (35) means that residual antibodies were still detectable at the time of sampling. Our findings show that after recovery from MV infections, individuals enter a state in which immune functionality is restored, but memory cell elimination induced by measles may alter previously acquired memory.

And:

Given the variation in the degree of immune repertoire modulation we observed, we anticipate that future risk of morbidity and mortality after measles would not be homogeneous but would be skewed toward individuals with the most severe elimination of immunological memory. These findings underscore the crucial need for continued widespread vaccination. More than 7 million people are estimated to have been infected with measles in 2018 (1–3). Comprehensive coverage with MV vaccine would not only help prevent the >120,000 deaths that will be directly attributed to measles this year, but, by preventing MV immune amnesia and thus preserving immunity, MV vaccines could also avert potentially hundreds of thousands of additional deaths attributable to the lasting damage to the immune system. The WHO recently reported that between 2000 and 2017, MV vaccines have prevented more than 21 million deaths directly attributable to measles (41). These findings suggest that the number of deaths averted might be much greater, and they attest to the immense public health value of the measles vaccine.

Elsewhere, it’s been noted that the conclusion that the immune amnesia lasting up to five years after a measles infection could be due to depletion of specific clones of memory cells is plausible, as that’s how long the immune system takes to reconstitute itself after administration of the powerful immunosuppressive drug rituximab, which depletes the same cells and is used to treat certain types of cancer.

That’s where the second study comes in, from Colin Russell at the University of Amsterdam, who published the second paper. He and his colleagues sequenced the DNA from the immune cells of 20 of the 77 children that Mina examined, allowing them to look at not just the cells producing antibodies but their naive precursors before exposure to antigen. To sum up a long study, they found that measles kills primarily the mature, differentiated, memory cells. As Russell himself says:

In our first few years of life, these naive cells mature, diversifying so they will rapidly recognise particular types of molecules on different pathogens. Russell’s team found that measles kills the mature cells. “It’s as if our immune system is reset back to infancy.”

That means, he says, that those who have had measles may need to be re-exposed to diseases multiple times to rebuild their antibody repertoire.

As a correlative study, Russell did an experiment in ferrets, in which the animals were infected with a virus similar to measles, morbillivirus. These animals had been vaccinated against the flu. The result? The animals infected with morbillivirus got repeated bouts of the flu after they recovered; the control group (not infected) did not. Immune amnesia strikes again.

Together these two studies are yet more evidence that, contrary to the claims of antivaxers pointing to 50 and 60 year old episodes of various sitcoms in which measles infections were made light of, measles is serious. It produces immune amnesia, which is why the benefits of vaccination against measles go beyond just protecting against measles. Let’s just put it this way, contrary to what antivaxers claim, “natural infection” with measles does not “boost the immune system”—quite the contrary.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

117 replies on “Immune amnesia: Another reason why measles is a serious illness”

Its the antivaxxers that are still going and going and going and going, till eternity.
Vaccine preventable diseases are downplayed and lies are spread about vaccinations.
Anti-vaxxers who rather see dead children than vaccinated ones will never be convinced, but the people who are sitting on the fence and who still can be convinced by evidence, might change their opinion. For the sake of the vunerable children, fighting for vaccines still is a good course.

Is the argument that scientists should not follow up something like immune amnesia and study if it’s real? Why not? Just because antivaccine activists would rather not know the risks of measles?

@ Dorit Reiss
I hope you reacted at Greg’s post and not mine. I’m in favor of everything that might convince people to vaccinate their children, because it’s what responsible parents should do.

Well, as long as antivax liars keep coming, and coming, and coming, I suspect Orac will keep going, and going, and going after them. Why leave antivax liars alone to spread lies that harm and kill the next generation.

<

blockquote>The authors observed that measles resulted in the elimination of 11% to 73% of the antibody repertoire across individuals.M/blockquote>
In other words, in the worst case scenario, unvaccinated measles sufferers can lose their immunity to almost three quarters of diseases they’re immune to.
Yikes.

Well… #Pedantic – 3/4 of the antibody repertoire. We don’t know how many diseases that represents; you could have a very diverse polyclonal response to a single pathogen.

Regardless, it’s Not A Good Thing for the kids.

And yet, with all this evidence piling up, the western world is suffering through a resurgence in vaccine preventable diseases. I’m starting to agree with Dilbert’s assertion that Dark Matter is stupidity. Maybe since human’s no longer have any predators there’s a genetic imperative to try and self-limit our population via idiotic decision making.

There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.”

Ew. Einstein was gross.

Did you know he married his first cousin – both sides? Elsa’s and Albert’s mothers were sisters, which made Elsa and Albert maternal first cousins, and their fathers were first cousins. He was at least smart enough to not have kids. He was also a philanderer.

I’ve stopped quoting him.

[Einstein] was at least smart enough to not have kids.

Not even five seconds of googling confirmed that Einstein had children. How do you expect us to take you at all seriously when you get such basic facts wrong?

… 50 and 60 year old episodes of various sitcoms in which measles infections were made light of …

To antivaxxers and other denizens of the Alternative Universe, a 60-year-old sitcom probably counts as ‘ancient wisdom’ by now.

More ancient stupidity, if you ask me. A sitcom is never a good argument. They are made to make people laugh and not to provide them with good information.

I hate sitcoms for exactly that reason: the ‘comedy’ bit appears to arise from people acting obviously stupid – I don’t think that stupidity is something to laugh about, even if it is only acting(*). I’m a big fan of people using their brains in an intelligent manner.
This is also a major reason why I don’t much like antivaxxers and alternative believers.

*: Even The Big Bang Theory doesn’t really appeal to me, even though the makers take the trouble to get the actual science right.

I agree with Richard. I, too, rarely find sitcoms to be funny, and I think a major reason for this is that they tend to rely on idiot plots. An idiot plot is a story line that could be easily avoided if any of several characters were not acting like a complete idiot. Pulling off a convincing idiot plot is not impossible, but is a lot harder than most writers think.

It occurs to me that many of Orac’s posts involve real-life situations that would be considered idiot plots in fiction. The recent anti-vax confab in Harlem would be an example. But fiction has to be plausible in ways that the real world often is not.

I used to cringe at I Love Lucy. It was on a lot in afternoon reruns when I was little. I read someone describing it as feminist because every week Lucy struggles to have some sort of life outside of her husband. And proves each week that women are too stupid to be left alone for even a single day.

The irony of course is that Lucille Ball was one of the inventors of television, developing techniques like the live audience and the three video camera filming technique which are still used in almost every sitcom even though the technology now allows for any filming technique.

My people! I’ve found you! I always thought I was a freak for not liking sitcoms. (The Simpsons was OK because they’re cartoons.)

And Big Bang Theory is impossible. I know those kinds of people, super smart PhD students. They’re not like that at all. Watching people badly mimic my friends for laughs is just not something I can do.

I agree. I dislike most sitcoms and I Love Lucy made me want to hide under the furniture out of embarrassment. In general, I don’t like anything that is reliant on characters rather than a good story. The only character I can think of whom I quite like is Sister Monica-Joan in Call the Midwife. (The doc in that series, in response to someone saying their child just had measles replied “It’s never just measles.” – the whole series is rather unsubtle about supporting science based medicine.)

If you like argument by popular culture, read Poirot’s last case, The Curtain. The couple there is a pair of medical researchers. They are a bit ivorytowerish, meaning that they are interested of tropical diseases nobody has, instead looking for cure of sequelae of measles.

Doing something intentionally stupid? You mean like faking your death? Believing the prophesies of witches? Dithering about what to do about your father’s killer? What could possibly go wrong?

Pulling off a convincing idiot plot is not impossible, but is a lot harder than most writers think.

If one grants that all Three Stooges episodes are idiot plots, I think that Mutts to You and a few others succeed — not as “convincing,” but as humor.

I can’r wholeheartedly condemn all sitcoms. There’s a lot to put down – total absence of black people in “The Andy Griffith Show’s” Mayberry*, or that on “Gomer Pyle, USMC” no one ever said the name”Vietnam.”.
On the other hand, Diahann Carroll’s “Julia” openly brought race issues to TV, even if it was gently. .”All in the Family” broached controversial issues and broke taboos by the dozens. They got into race, homophobia, religion, female sexuality, and more. It was taken for granted that people actually had sex AND actually slept two to a bed. It was also the first TV show that had the sound of a toilet flushing. None of the dramas of the time could have gone where it went and still be palatable to the general audience. And “The Addams Family” featured an assortment of weird characters that bent any expectations of a “normal” sitcom, even if they didn’t take it as far as it could have gone..
Also, despite its general dopiness, I have a soft spot for “Gilligan’s Island”. Not only did I have a serious crush on Dawn Wells, but Russell Johnson was my first man crush, or at least the first where I had some idea of what I was wishing for.
I don’t know if the Blackadder series counts as a sitcom, but it mixed history, anachronism, and plain silliness like no other..It was comedy until the last scene, which was touching and shocking, and made its point as well or better than more serious shows.

For a darker Andy Griffith, and I don’t mean skin tone, try the movie “A Face in the Crowd.”

Yesterday there was an article on the CBC website about concern that vaccination rates in a number of Toronto-area alternative schools is low enough to allow measles outbreaks. This brought out a majority of comments in favor of vaccination and a a small contingent of anti-vaxxers.

One of the anti-vaxxers asserted several bizarre things about measles. One was that it s never measles that kills, always something else – e.g. death from measles pneumonia isn’t death from measles it is death from pneumonia, even when the pneumonia is directly caused by measles virus. He also asserted that measles infection was not only totally benign but actually “tuned up” the immune system making it better able to respond to other pathogens.

There were a couple who insisted that measles isn’t a disease it’s merely an infection, one who dumped numerous gobs of copypasta from some anti-vax document from a chiropractic organization, one who claims to have been “researching” for 11 years but clearly understands, at most, nothing. The papers Orac talks about here were mentioned by some pro-vax commenters but dismissed as being bad due to declared conflicts of interest of the researchers. By and large, the anti-vaxxers that show up at the CBC are a dismal lot. Not a single one has shown any evidence of any understanding of the biology.

“insisted that measles isn’t a disease it’s merely an infection”
I heard the exact same thing from Gary Null and had no idea what it meant: infections aren’t diseases?

@ Dorit Reiss:

That makes sense ( not intellectually but via the connection) because Dr Tenpenny is a reliable performer on Null’s shows and in his ( so-called) documentaries.

That it came from Tenpenny makes sense. She is often cited as a brave maverick doctor who goes against the sheeple in thrall of Big Pharma. None of the anti-vaxxers in the comments on CBC articles show any evidence of actually being able to do anything but parrot what they’ve picked up. None can actually explain what the mean when they make statements like “measles isn’t a disease.” I asked one to explain is remarks that amounted to “too many too soon” – he simply replied that he’d have to write paragraphs and I wouldn’t read it anyway, so why should he bother. Uh huh. Sure.

In some sense, there are infections that aren’t/don’t lead to diseases. That would be a plausible way of describing infections with no measurable symptoms, because the immune system fought them off effectively. I had a blood donor card that identified me as CMV negative, because 90 percent of available donors had cytomegalovirus in their blood, and receiving that blood could be dangerous for immune-suppressed people. Most of that 90 percent didn’t know that they’d been infected, because they had either no symptoms, or symptoms too mild for them to notice. But that doesn’t mean CMV “doesn’t cause a disease,” just that not everyone who becomes infected gets sick because of it.

If you don’t need a lab test to tell whether you’ve been infected, it’s a disease.

Why do these people think scientists spend so much time, energy, and money developing vaccines to things that “aren’t diseases”?

Oh, that’s where the “infection, not a disease” idea comes from. I’d wondered, because some of our local NZ plague enthusiasts push that line from time to time.

Along with the equally stupid one that vaccination is what causes the measles…

The researchers describe a scenario that certainly exists:
kids get measles and for a few years afterward, are more vulnerable to infections in general ** .
Since anti-vaxxers seem to place more weight on parental anecdotes rather than carefully done research, perhaps if we gathered stories about how sick kids get in the years following measles- or maybe have a sitcom/ television show writer have a go at it- they might finally be convinced.
I’m only partially joking.

** and wow! they can tell exactly which infections

re anecdotes:
my mother made an appointment for me to get the new measles vaccine but I got the measles in the interim- although I remember little of the episode ( except being forbidden to do much and having to stay in a darkened room), my two much older cousins say that I missed 3 or 4 weeks of school and that the adults were very worried about me; my grandmother even hired a man to drive her to see me ( she usually only visited on holidays with her son and daughter).
I have no idea if this affected me in other ways- I usually didn’t get sick much although perhaps 4 years later, I did have a really bad case of what my parents assumed was the flu, causing my aunt to be very concerned about my recovery.
I also missed school for two weeks or so.
One year in grade school, we had an extremely low level of class attendance because of illness ( maybe 1/2 the class was out- I was fine though). Yes! The good old days, when kids had great natural health!

These studies are a direct refutation of the ignorant “selective vaccination” doctors and their made up schedules such as Sears, Gordon, and Thomas.
If the poor misled parents follow their advice and skip the MMR then all the other childhood vaccines may be for naught if the poor victim child catches measles.
They may lose their immunity to HepB, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, Polio, Varicella, etc. until they catch them.
Wonderful advice these sleazy, ignorant quacks are dispensing.
There oughta’ be a law…

Perhaps someone in the New York Health Dept is tracking the health of those who caught measles in the Brooklyn (654) and Rockland County (312) to further drive home this point–though fair number of those who caught measles may have been completely unvaccinated–thanks to the efforts of another anti-vaccine quack pediatrician Lawrence Palevsky.

Hell, an anti-vax mom who lets her precious child suffer through whooping cough to get ‘natural immunity’ could wipe that right out.

Or maybe that would make her twice the Warrior Mom, to have her kid catch a VPD twice… ugh, there’s no bottom with these folk.

We need a brain study of antivaxers suffering from infectious disease amnesia (the subclass that has apparently forgotten what “benign” childhood diseases actually were like).

Anti-vaxxers, like woo-believers, struggle to maintain the illusion of control:

( to them) if you avoid vaccination, your children will never be diagnosed with ASDs or chronic illness.
If you avoid GMO foods/ non-organics/ meat, dairy or gluten, you’ll never get cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or be obese etc.
In reality, this study shows that their children are left unprotected from many ills: very little control there.

They cling to this illusion because they haven’t accepted their lack of power over events so of course they need to see VPDs as benign- a few supplements will fix them! Green juices cure cancer, niacin schizophrenia etc. Omnipotence is easy.

That’s really interesting research. (And a great video!)
I wonder if this study population would be willing to do it again so that the researchers can look at T cells, especially memory T-cells vs helper T cells vs killer T cells?
Because that would be really interesting as well. (I mostly work with T cells so obviously that’s going to be my personal focus.)

I wonder if I could convince my coworkers to revive journal club for this?

Argh, I was having similar thoughts – these are great studies, but I really wish they could have done immunophenotying in these kids too! I know it’s hard to get enough blood from a paed to do flow, but what a set of samples… jealous

Agree on the whole sitcom thing. I hate laughtracks with a fiery burning passion, and the plots are usually predictable. At this point I only like one comedy show, and its not remotely what Id call a sitcom.

This is a really cool explanation of what immunity amnesia is. It;s kind of chilling that a microscopic entity can just reset someone;s whole immune system. Eek.

Apologies for radio silence. My computer and net collection are borked right now, so working from a tablet.

Some of the former cast members of the Brady Bunch as well as the son of the writer of the 1969 episode (“Is There a Doctor in the House”) have spoken out against what they see as misuse of the old episode to bolster anti-vaccination. Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady in the TV show denounced the use of the episode by anti-vaxxers, saying: “Having the measles was not a fun thing. I remember it spread through my family.” Lloyd J. Schwartz, the son of the late Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011) also denounced the misuse of the episode, saying: “Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/28/717595757/brady-bunch-episode-fuels-campaigns-against-vaccines-and-marcia-s-miffed

Back in 1969 when the episode first aired, the measles vaccine had just been invented, and there were plenty of far worse diseases still circulating, like smallpox and polio, so measles seemed like a lesser threat.

I wound up getting the measles myself when I was six months old, too young to be vaccinated. My mother used to tell me how they had an IV drip in my forehead at the time… The fact that I’m still here 43 years later means I kinda dodged the SSPE bullet.

In the comments on the CBC article I mentioned above was one that gave me a good chuckle. It is very dark humor and perhaps I’m the only one who hasn’t heard it before. It went like this:

What do you call it when an anti-vaxxer’s two year old has a tantrum?
A midlife crisis.

And the anti-vaxxers hear that and then claim prejudice, racism, sexism, misogyny, whatever. It violates their civil rights.
I swear. Around Halloween, they cried “hate crimes” because a woman dressed up as a baby with measles. Or kids dressed as skeletons were “children of anti-vaxxers” ( AoA). Oh, the Horror! I watch a few of them @ twitter: you wouldn’t believe it- well, probably you can imagine.

The cells that make antibodies are called B-lymphocytes. During an initial infection resulting in a primary immune response, naive follicular B-cells are activated by the immune system and undergo expansion to produce clones B cells producing antibodies specific for the antigen. Most of these cells differentiate into effector B cells, also known as plasma cells, which synthesize protective antibodies in order to fight and clear the infection. However, after the infection is cleared, a small fraction remain as “memory cells” that persist long-term and allow for a much more rapid second immune response when the same antigens are encountered again, as in a second exposure to the same pathogen.

And now that all the genuflecting (thanks for teaching me that word Narad) about the study seems to be dying down, perhaps I can slip this honest query in…

If measles infection harms immune memory cells why is a bout of measles so excellent at conferring lifelong immunity? AS measles run its course, why is it not also destroying those especially vulnerable developing memory B cells for the measles virus?

Full Disclosure: Regardless of my query, I am not so disposed to challenge the cred of these studies. I am more concerned about how effective they’re at mitigating the devastation of the autism epidemic.

I am not so disposed to challenge the cred of these studies. I am more concerned about how effective they’re at mitigating the devastation of the autism epidemic.

It’s unfortunate that you elected to follow up a sensible question with complete gibberish.

I am answering Greg’s question for the edification of all, since Greg has already stated that he’s not interested in the answer.

“To sum up a long study, they found that measles kills primarily the mature, differentiated, memory cells.”
The measles virus is targeting mature B cells preferentially to the naive B cells. The naive B cells (and T cells) are the ones that will “learn” the measles virus, differentiate, fight the infection and then eventually differentiate into memory B cells.
So the reason that the body can build long-lived immunity to the measles is because that immunity is build after the infection is over/ mostly over, and the measles virus doesn’t seem to target the B cells that are not yet specific to a pathogen. Immune memory takes time to develop after the immune system is exposed to the pathogen (or antigen and accompanying co-stimulation signals).

Basically, the memory B cells against the measles haven’t developed yet while the measles virus is still circulating and killing cells.

The measles virus is targeting mature B cells preferentially to the naive B cells.

Thanks JT, so measles is very discriminatory in which cells it decides to ‘pick on’? Another full disclosure — I have hunch I am being fed BS. Don’t know it’s source though — you or Mina and Elledge. Anyway, as I mentioned, the credibility of these studies is of little concern.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the credibility of these studies is of little concern.

Given you didn’t even know the answer to your question that is easily found, who the hell do you think you are to question the credibility of these studies? You don’t even understand them.

“Thanks JT, so measles is very discriminatory in which cells it decides to ‘pick on’?”
Yes, Greg. Believe it or not (clearly not, but let’s enjoy the teaching moment), the markers on the surface of cells change as the cells mature. These markers often end up acting as binding sites for other parts of the immune system, or the circulatory system, or some times are used by pathogens.

Since you don’t seem to like my answers, why don’t you take some time to read up on the immune system in general? I’d suggest Janeway’s Immunobiology (you can find many editions on Amazon for not too expensive, or maybe at your local library). Maybe after you learn how utterly bizarre the immune system is you’ll stop calling everyone liars for telling you facts.

@ JustaTech

I was wondering, could there be a race effect as well between the measles virus and the measles-specific B-cells?
I mean, at some point the measles-specific B-cells have been triggered into multiplying. So while the virus is busy invading and killing some, the others are busy dividing and replacing their sisters. And fighting the virus.
Conversely, the memory B-cells which are not measles-specific have no reason to multiply. So they are, in effect, sitting ducks.

As an autistic person, I resent being tagged as having a disorder, or it being said that someone “has autism”.
I much prefer the term “autism spectrum condition”, because I and many others of us don’t feel that it is a disorder that sets us apart. As for the other, autism isn’t a thing you have, like a book, or a measles infection.
Now, if we could only come up with a term to replace the name of Hans (Murdering Nazi Scumbag) Asperger.

@ Dr. Dave – So why did you rail on me when I said, “I’m starting to suspect many of you are on the spectrum”? I didn’t mean it as an insult. I made an observation, did some homework and drew conclusions based on patterns and info from the posts.

At a certain level, homework might involve a sheet of paper and a box of crayons, but what is drawn are not conclusions.

As many people in the fields of both mental and physiologic health will tell you, long-distance diagnoses ain’t worth shit.
Further,, if you didn’t mean it as an insult, a deprecation, or an attempt to invalidate our views, why mention it at all? What makes you think it is relevant to the validity of our posts?
Short answers: First question – it was a gratuitous comment clearly intended as a slur.
Second question – it’s a complete non sequitur and you had no other reason to make the comment other than as a slur.

@ Old Rockin Dave.

I and many others of us don’t feel that it is a disorder that sets us apart

Well how lucky are YOU!

You probably don’t have a disorder that sets you apart. You are probably a natural-born BAP (broad autistic phenotype) & did not sustain enough injury from the immune-mediation of vaccines to have transitioned to being permanently, pathologically autistic.

Other’s are not so lucky. Please do not continue to vaccinate. Alzheimer’s is Autism’s etiological twin.

Before you say it, I completely fail to see your point.
“Well how lucky are YOU!” What makes you think that gratuitous sarcasm enhances the point you are trying and miserably failing to make?
“did not sustain enough injury from the immune-mediation of vaccines to have transitioned to being permanently, pathologically autistic” Here is where your train of thought derails into the cornfield, killing all on board. I have been on the autism spectrum for 66 out of my 66 years and I don’t expect a “cure” in the remainder of my lifetime. Is that permanent enough for you? Do you think that I woke up one fine morning and said “Gosh, I’m not autistic anymore, I guess that it wasn’t permanent after all.” As to what “permanently, pathologically autistic” is supposed to mean, I am baffled. Are you commenting on the pathology or natural history of autism? Or are you using “pathologic” in the common meaning implying unpleasant or dangerous mental illness? In any case that whole sentence makes no sense at all,
And what is your mention of “transitioning” supposed to convey? Do you honestly think that people suddenly become autistic, just as you somehow think they can stop? Should we hold the presses?
I think you are overdue for a tin of Shinola.

@Julian – Thanks for noticing. I was unclear. He had 3 children with his first wife. First child was born out of wedlock. He cheated on first wife with his first cousin. Then he married the cousin who became his second wife. He didn’t have children with the second wife.

All of which has what to do with his scientific abilities? Also, cousin marriage was viewed rather differently in Europe than in the U.S. (where it is legal in 19 states).

I support the Measles vax; it conferrers positive, non-specific effects, including increased resistance to other pathogens. It should be given earlier than 15 months but the Tdap/DTP should not be started for six months after the MV.

Unfortunately, the Measles only vax is not available in the U,S. & the Tdap/DTP will never be rescheduled so vaccines (or rather policy & program) remain unsafe. Sucks.

@ Sciece Mom;

Uhh … research?

Early MV was associated with a large survival advantage. The current policy to increase vaccination age, when measles control improves, may not optimize the impact of MV on child survival
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5866-y

Randomized trials have also shown that MV or BCG administered shortly after DTP may reduce the negative effect of DTP and lower mortality
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868131/

Hey, I’m trying to jet my two-stroke for the colder weather, and I’m hoping to get better mid-range out of it, too. Can you tell me what pilot and main I should go to? Since you just know all the things.

That brings back an old memory of one time when a college friend decided to rebuild a carb in his dorm room to trick out his (dad’s) car.

@ Roadsterguy,

If I cared enough about the topic & invested some time or effort then yes; I probably could.

But I don’t, so I can’t, therefore I won’t.

Why?
Why should children have to wait around 6 months, vulnerable to lockjaw, whopping cough, and the strangling angel?
And why aren’t they being protected against mumps? That can leave you blind or sterile. And why are they being protected against rubella (German measles)? Aren’t we morally obligated to prevent birth defects?

@ JustaTech,

Why should children have to wait around 6 months, vulnerable to lockjaw, whopping cough, and the strangling angel

Because we have these things called antibiotics, supplemental O2 & IVF & the DTP causes higher rates of … death?

You can vaccinate at at any time but you can never unvaccinate. Children should be vulnerable to what we can treat, rather than to what we cannot.

Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis can be treated. Death from the DTP & ancillary concoctions cannot.

Given the threat from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis and the less-effective acellular pertussis vaccine used in many countries, it is understandable that there has been reluctance in accepting that DTP could have negative effects for overall health in low-income countries. However, the studies from low-income countries have been consistent in showing deleterious effect of DTP
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868131/

Children should be vulnerable to what we can treat, rather than to what we cannot.

Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis can be treated.

So can childhood leukemia. Maybe kids these days aren’t getting enough ionizing radiation. And car seats? Feh! They’ll patch ’em right up after an accident.

And what is the fucking point in your delusional world of getting pertussis, which doesn’t even confer lasting immunity?

christine kincaid:

Have you got a couple of hundred thousand dollar lying around for a ICU/PICU stay for each of these diseases? How is one little shot better than intubation? What if the patient is allergic to the antibiotics used to treat the infection? What about the terror of a serious, painful illness? What about all the life-long impacts, the damage to organ systems? What about the risk of brain damage from these diseases?

What about the risk of death?

What about the suffering? Why do you think children should suffer because of your fears?

And for the love of all that is sane and good in the world – Developing countries are not developed countries when it comes to population health and medical care and would you please stop with the simplistic comparisons?

As Narad said:

And what is the fucking point in your delusional world of getting pertussis, which doesn’t even confer lasting immunity?

Tetanus is the same, no immunity after an infection.
And I’m not sure I would call diphtheria something easily treatable, either.

Also, antibiotics are not as good as you think at treating infections by toxin-producing bacteria: these bacteria tend to accumulate their toxins before releasing them. Guess what happens if you introduce a bactericide in this situation? The simultaneous release of a huge amount of highly-efficient poisonous molecules.
Well, that’s why we prefer to use some antibiotics which are bacteri-static instead of -cide in this type of situation.

Your idea to rely even more on antibiotics in a context where antibiotic resistance in on the rise is not as smart as you think.
Especially since one bonus of vaccination against bacterial infections is that it tends to reduce antibiotic resistance among these bacteria.

The death rate from diptheria is currently 10%. Are you seriously going to claim that modern medicine makes it okay to leave children vulnerable to it? How stupid are you?

Greg: “Thanks JT, so measles is very discriminatory in which cells it decides to ‘pick on’? Another full disclosure — I have hunch I am being fed BS.”

Of course he does, because he has zero knowledge of the immune system. Naive B-cells vs unswitched B-cells vs switched B-cells vs plasmablasts vs plasma cells are very different in their gene expression and surface markers.

If you read the second paper, it looks like there are two different mechanisms affecting naive BCR diversity and the B-cell memory pool. It’s quite a nifty paper.

In answer to his question about how measles can confer post-infection immunity in those fortunate enough to (eventually) clear the virus, see: Viruses. 2016 Oct; 8(10): 282 for a quick, high-level overview.

The second paper essentially talked about hits to quality of naive cells and hits to quantity of memory cells from measles infection. It did not address my question relating to timing.

Naive cells differentiation into memory B cells is going on over the same time period has measles infection. If the proposal is true, it’s fair to assume some measles memory cells would also be killed. We should then be seeing more patchy measles immuntiy after infection, not the excellent lifelong coverage.

If the proposal is true, it’s fair to assume some measles memory cells would also be killed. We should then be seeing more patchy measles immuntiy after infection, not the excellent lifelong coverage.

Should’ve stopped at “some” or, really…. Well, I’m disappointed that I can’t find a certain image of a fat guy sporting breast pumps or something that played “well” back when Disqustink was a thing.

Virus will enter to cell by abusing a receptor meant for useful purposes. A naive and mature B cells have different receptors and/or different form of same receptor. Measles virus use mature ones, or these are more effective for transporting.
Damage of immune memory will cause vulnerability to all diseases, not just measles. And immune memory will recover, though it takes some time.

Actually measles damages memory cells during infection. When it is over, remaining memory cells confer immunity to measles.

Actually measles damages memory cells during infection. When it is over, remaining memory cells confer immunity to measles

Thanks for agreeing Aarno the measles infection would be operating during the same window that plasma and memory cells are produced, and some memory cells would be expected to get killed. I noticed that JT in his initial response to me tried to push memory cells production outside the infection window with…….

Basically, the memory B cells against the measles haven’t developed yet while the measles virus is still circulating and killing cells.

Still Aarno, you are also contending that it is the remaining memory cells that confer immunity to measles, yet the second paper is agreeing with me:that even ‘some’ depletion of memory cells would be expected to yield poorer immunity, or as I explained. ‘patchy’ immunity. Yet, after a bout of measles, we find just about everyone is immune for life. What gives? Is there some weight to Tetyana ‘s claim that reduction in antibodies don’t tell the whole story?

Again, as I explained, these papers are just a curiosity thing for me. Even if they’re gospel, I fail to see their value in mitigating the devastation of the autism epidemic.

Therefore, we do not expect that the reduction in relative abundance of clones present before infection to be simply a result of repopulation of B memory pools with newly expanded clones. Because the B cell population in the blood cannot grow indefinitely, the fact that the relative frequency of previously generated immune memory is reduced in peripheral blood would mean that upon reexposure to an antigen, the probability of encounter of a specific B memory cell and efficient generation of a recall response will be lower even if not all previously generated B memory clones are lost

What gives?

Easy. You still don’t understand what is being explained to you even though it makes perfect sense but you’re so intent on clinging to your pre-conceived notions, in addition to being completely inept at anything biology, that you can’t grok it.

So again: at the first infection, there would be no measles memory cells, only naive cells. Measles virus will infect existing memory cells, no of them would be targeted against measles. After infection, measles memory cells would be generated. So even if some measles memory cells would be killed, there would be only few of them.

I understand from.naive activation to differentiation into memory cells, it can take as little as 7 days. Measles infection can last several weeks. What is your grounds for say only a ‘few’ measles memory cells would get killed, if any?

They body continues to mount an immune response. So even if some memory B cells were made during the active measles infection and subsequently killed by the measles virus, that doesn’t mean that more memory B cells can’t be made. So more are made to make up for the ones that are killed.

Three explanations, each contradicting each other to some extent, yet I am considered ‘inept’ at biology for questioning them; oh! — and Tetyana is also a lying ignoramus for positing an alternative explanation — antibody levels don’t tell the whole story. Let’s do the count…

First, measles memory cells are there during measles infection and do get killed, but are replaced and thereby conferring immunity.

Second, measles memory cells are there during infection and do get killed and are not replaced, but it’s the surviving cells that confer immunity.

Third, measles memory cells are not there during infection and do not get killed, and this is how immunity is conferred.

Some memory cells are killed, and replaced. There are no memory cells for measles before fist infection (My first statement was misleading).

I forgot to mention this brilliant bit of neuroscience: “Alzheimer’s is Autism’s etiological twin.”
Are you f**king kidding me!? Do you really believe that two entirely different conditions share the same cause? You apparently don’t know the meaning of “etiology”. Before you spout nonsensical use of technical terminology, don’t you think that you might use one of the very fine search engines available to all for free and make sure of the meaning of those words? Do you have any actual evidence, scientific, empirical, or even anecdotal, to back up your entirely ludicrous assertion? (Hint: Late night AM radio call-in shows do not count as sources of veracity.)

Actually there are connections to Alzheimer’s and autism,one is at 15q11.2-q13.
https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/molecular-mechanisms-alzheimers-protein-linked-to-autism/

Another is mutations in the ADNP gene.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/tau-team-discovers-genetic-link-between-autism-and-alzheimers/

There are others,but these are two of the big ones.Aluminum does not cause Alzheimer’s either.That was disproven many years ago.

These connections have been known for years.ADNP Syndrome has been known known for years to include autism as part of the clinical picture.Now,there are those who argue those who have a genetic disorder,like ADNP Syndrome,with a known genetic cause,and multiple comorbidities shouldn’t be counted among those with autism.I totally agree.If autism was limited to strictly the diagnostic criteria,listed in the DSM,there would be a lot fewer diagnoses than there are now,and most would be at the milder end of the spectrum.Perhaps something should have been done years ago,about including a sentence in the DSM section on autism,that if there are other medical,neurological,or developmental issues besides the basic ASD diagnostic criteria,other diagnoses should be considered,and an extensive workup undertaken to rule out other disorders.Autism is often a diagnosis applied by lazy clinicians,or less well educated ones,who do not know enough to pursue other causes.

I was wondering, could there be a race effect as well between the measles virus and the measles-specific B-cells?
I mean, at some point the measles-specific B-cells have been triggered into multiplying. So while the virus is busy invading and killing some, the others are busy dividing and replacing their sisters. And fighting the virus.
Conversely, the memory B-cells which are not measles-specific have no reason to multiply. So they are, in effect, sitting ducks.

And the problem that this layperson sees with this thinking is the assumption that clones getting killed during infection would automatically trigger more production. Yet, if the initial production is sufficient in resolving the threat,why would more clones be produced, and even if some get killed?

Greg – open a fricking book on immunology, instead of wasting our time.

Yet, if the initial production is sufficient in resolving the threat

Who get to decide that “the initial production is sufficient”? How the feck do you think the body can figure out that “the initial production is sufficient”?
There isn’t some daemon sitting on your shoulder and telling the lymph nodes – “oh, just send 20 B-cells, that ought to be enough”.

It should be obvious, even to naive laypeople, that the body is reacting to the presence of bugs. As long as specific bugs can be detected, signals for “production” will be sent; it’s not until the threat is truly over that signals to stop “production” will be sent.
And if I remember correctly my immunology lessons, it’s a that point, when the signals to stop the immune response are sent, that the B-cells and T-cells involved in fighting the infection will make the transition into memory cells. IOW, after the virus has been wiped out.

It should be obvious, even to naive laypeople, that the body is reacting to the presence of bugs. As long as specific bugs can be detected, signals for “production” will be sent; it’s not until the threat is truly over that signals to stop “production” will be sent.

Yes, and there is no certainty that whatever number of clones are sent to fight the measles infection and with some getting killed, that will necessitate their equal replacement. You seem to be implying a 1:1 relationship — 1 gets killed, 1 replaced. Perhaps on the rarest occasions that may be the case, but it is more realistic to assume a situation where the measles infection gets killed by the clones but it also takes some out, and even with extra production the net consequence being we’re left with less clones in comparison to any other infections that don’t specifically target them. And, with that event, relatively speaking, measles should confer weaker immunity, not the excellent lifelong one that we find for just about everyone that survives a bout of it.

You seem to be implying a 1:1 relationship — 1 gets killed, 1 replaced.

Were you always this obtusely stupid, or is it a recent development?

For a start, upon re-reading the OP, I realized the virus is attacking the memory cells, so my musing about effector B-cells is misplaced. Until active B-cells start their transition into memory cells, they are safe from the virus.

But even with the assumption that effector immune cells are being killed, you seem to forget a few possibilities with your usual narrow-mindness.
To use your terminology, if the ratio is below, or even exactly at 1:1, the cells are being killed faster than replaced, and the bugs are winning (aka the patient is going to die).
If the ratio is above 1:1, the cells are expanding in number and should eventually overwhelm the bugs.
That’s why I was talking about race. Or we could use the word ‘attrition’. I like that word.

It’s infection 101. Heck, its warfare 101. I shouldn’t have to explain it.

Perhaps on the rarest occasions that may be the case, but it is more realistic to assume a situation where the measles infection gets killed by the clones but it also takes some out,

You should stop watching romantic war stories with Pyrrhus victories and Arthur and Mordred killing each other at the end.
Why would you believe it’s more realistic?

You are just admitting of not knowing the first thing about virus infection.
Do you know how a virus kill a cell? By entering into it, subverting its inner machinery, replicating into the infected cell, and finally bursting ouf of the cell in the form of a few hundred thousands more virions.
IOW, any virus which successfully kill a cell is a virus which keep the infection on-going.

Even if the other immune cells catch the infected cell and kill it before the chest-buster alien – I mean the virions – get out, that will still count as a positive infection status for our immune system. Among others signals, there will be all these bits of dead cell and unfinished virions floating around.
As long as there are signals of infection, the concerned cells will multiply.

But I wrote that already.

Another way of explaining things…

After every infection we have left over clones and some will go on to become memory cells. Is it reasonable to assume we would have more, equal, or less clones after infections that particularly target them. ‘Less’ for me is the fair assumption.

You should separate immune memory before infection and new memory cells created during the infection. First one is actually limited, second one grows as long as infection lasts.

T cells are not B cells. This study looked at B cells, not T cells, so a video about T cells is not relevant to the conversation at hand.

The video is extensively about the immune system and how it works. Yes, it talks at great lengths about B-cells.

Furthermore, the varicella (chickenpox) virus does exactly the same thing as the measles virus – infects memory lymphocytes – as reported by another research paper published in PLoS Pathogens in 2013: “During viremia the virus preferentially infected memory T-cells, initially central memory T-cells and subsequently effector memory T-cells.”

Yet, no one is screaming from rooftops that chickenpox will make you die from the next common cold you contract, because that would be too obvious a lie to the current generation of chickenpox survivors who do not remember suffering from any type of immune-suppression, despite the fact that the varicella virus infected their memory T cells.

And why didn’t Orac address that from Tetyana?

Athaic, I’ll close this discussion of whether measles memory cells are targeted during measles infection with this summary: It all boils down to when those memory cells are produced, at what stage in the infection. Some of the articles I have come across suggested they are a distinct class and are produced right after the naive B-cell is activated, along with the other class of effector cells. If this is the case, it’s fair to assume that they would be as much of sitting ducks as other memory cells, and perhaps even more considering that they have the antigen receptors to attract the virus. Also being that they are not like effector cells and are more passive in the fight, I don’t see why their loss would necessarily trigger more clones production.

If it is the case that measles memory cells come at the end of the infection, then of course they wouldn’t be lost. Some articles seem to be suggesting they are essentially the later stage development of effector cells, and which live longer. Again, it wasn’t my intention to pursue this discussion. I was just struck by the paradox of measles infection conferring such excellent long-term immunity, yet it is being reported as killing memory cells.

During viremia the virus preferentially infected memory T-cells, initially central memory T-cells and subsequently effector memory T-cells

Wow!! How did I fail to grasp the significance of that quote that Tetyana shared?! It suggested with that chicken pox study, the chicken pox memory T-cells and effector cells were two distinct classes of cells, and the T-memory cells were present during the infection. Not only that — they were also getting killed by the chicken pox virus.

Generalizing these findings to Petrova, Athaic, again, if the measles virus is not just killing memory cells in general but also measles memory cells, how is lasting immunity from a bout of measles possible?

” initially central memory T-cells and subsequently effector memory T-cells”. You notice that central memory T cells are preferred. In addtion, number of central memory T cells is limited, number of effector cells depends on seriousness of the infection

@ Old Rockin’ Dave,

You have not been autistic for 66 out of your 66 years. You can’t developmentally regress until you have developmentally developed & the synapses responsible for social awareness don’t even start to develop until after the age of 2.

I am 51 & I have been autistic since the age of 2; my first autistic symptom being that of Hyperlexia.

We were both likely born with BAP; the broad autistic phenotype. BAP does not = autistic (it’s likely a superior phenotype that evolved as humans entered the technological era). Autism is a multifactorial genetic disorder. You must have the genes PLUS exposure to an immune mediating agent that causes an atypical immune response which disables the microglia cells & the invokes the abnormal synaptic pruning.

BAP is the non-pathological requiem for autism. Pathological as in disabling towards dysfunction.

You ARE lucky; you are higher-functioning than I. I am also lucky; I am higher-functioning than my son. My son is luckier than some; he was in diapers until the age of 8, as opposed to other autistic 15 year old children who are still in diapers.

BAP is a questionnaire to score family members who may be near to but not qualifying for a diagnosis of ASD.

How do you know what Dsve scored or was diagnosed as?

I noticed that being in diapers is something really retarded. However, older people can have incontinence problems without being retarded.

“”Autism is a multifactorial genetic disorder. You must have the genes PLUS exposure to an immune mediating agent that causes an atypical immune response which disables the microglia cells & the invokes the abnormal synaptic pruning. BAP is the non-pathological requiem for autism. Pathological as in disabling towards dysfunction” Signs of autism can be detected in the first year of life.Researchers are looking for markers that can be detected prenatally, and feel that they are getting close. This nonsense of an “atypical immune response ” being somehow necessary to cause autism is pure moonshine. I’ll believe in it when someone gets a Nobel or a Lasker for it. It sounds more like a science-y rationalization. BAP is NOT required (“requiem” is a strange, possibly revealing, word choice.). It is a tool for assessment, not a cause or consequence,
“synapses responsible for social awareness don’t even start to develop until after the age of 2.” So how do you account for social behavior in infants? Or don’t they exhibit any?
Regression of one sort or another is a feature of a number of conditions, including Tay-Sachs, variant-Creutzfeld-Jakob disease,and other manifestations that are expressed in, and caused by, several different conditions.
And yes, I am indeed autistic. I was diagnosed by a recognized expert and assisted by another. This being a little before the consolidation into a single category, they both called it (Fucking murdering Nazi scumbag) Asperger’s syndrome. I fit the bill very nicely and neatly. As is nearly always the case,long-distance diagnosis is a worthless exercise, a total waste of everything going into the making of it, starting with oxygen and ATP.
You need to find that tin of Shinola urgently.

@ ORD:

Thank you, Dave for neatly consolidating thoughts that many of us have had. Frequently. You rock, as usual.

As you may know, I have tried to present various early indicators of autism** – including brain waves, gaze, videos of movement patterns, head size, physiognomic / intra- facial dimensions, genes. AFAIK, one of the major brain differences in people with autism involves how cells are arranged in the PFC which develops prior to birth
Researchers show MRI images of brain structural differences in NT and ASD people. One remarked that internal differences are often echoed ( not directly of course) in facial differences. I think that the late ( and lamented ) Lilady referred to this situation. Chris often links to a lecture she attended that illustrates some of the external differences associated with various genetic patterns of ASD. It’s hard for me to imagine how vaccines could transform head size or facial characteristics as well as brain structures just like that. It’s not for nothing that doctors measure infants’ heads at 6 months or so and that certain numbers signal concern.

** someone ( not me) should list ALL these indicators for readers. I know that anti-vaxxers will not learn anything but they are not our audience.

@Denice Walter: Thanks for your kind words. I make no claim to expertise much beyond my personal experience, but I am capable of the occasional fit of logic, and I do have a retentive memory, although I often remember conclusions without remembering the source.
I’m reminded of the old punchline: “That’s all I want -recognition.”

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