Allam, Mohamed F.
Editor/esPacini editore (Pisa)
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Measles is known as one of the most infections and persistent of human viral diseases. Its distribution is worldwide and it causes disease in any climate and under any condition provided that enough susceptible human beings are brought together to enable its spread. Measles in developing countries occurs at a much younger age compared with developed countries. In developed countries measles epidemics are closely tied to the school years, building up to a peak in the late spring and ceasing abruptly after the summer has begun. Live attenuated measles virus vaccine is usually administrated before the age of 1 year. This vaccine is heat and light sensitive and this constitute the major problem, particularly in less developed countries where maintenance of a reliable cold chain is often difficult. Measles maternal antibody persists in the infant for most of the first year of life. This antibody interferes with the response to measles vaccine. Failure to seroconvert could be due to primary vaccine failure which is generally attributed to neutralisation of the attenuated vaccine virus by persistent maternal antibody in infants younger than 12 months of age or to inadequate immunisation as a consequence of bad storage conditions and handling or secondary vaccine failure which refers to the development of clinically apparent measles infection despite an immune response to initial vaccination. Early two-dose measles vaccination was associated with improved coverage and a comparably high level of humoral immunity and clinical protection as a single dose at age >= 12 months.