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Posted by ,margaret on June 20, 2000 at 19:16:18:

[Reuters Health.]

Japanese and UK-based scientists have detected measles virus sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells
(PBMCs) from patients with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and autistic enterocolitis — the recently described
syndrome purportedly associated with measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Dr. Hisashi Kawashima from Tokyo
Medical University and colleagues there and in London explain that previous studies have suggested that measles virus
may be present in the intestine of Crohn's disease patients. They also allude to the reported association between
measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination and some cases of autistic enterocolitis, a syndrome of gastrointestinal
symptoms and developmental regression in children leading to autism. Numerous other reports, however, have
discounted that association. In the present study, the authors examined PBMCs from patients with these disorders, in
order to determine whether any detected measles viruses were derived from wild-type or vaccine strains. The study
team reports in the April issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, that "one of eight patients with Crohn's disease,
one of three patients with ulcerative colitis and three of nine patents with autism, were positive [for measles virus
sequences]." In contrast, measles virus was not detected in any control patients. According to the paper, measles
sequences isolated from Crohn's patients were characteristic of wild-type strains, whereas those from patients with
ulcerative colitis and autism had characteristics of vaccine strains. The study investigators note that these "results
were concordant with the exposure history of patients." In an interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Kawashima said that
"because measles vaccine and sporadic strains were detected in several immunologic diseases, the implications of
our study are uncertain." He added that "whilst the detection of measles viruses in Crohn's disease are not important, if
further cases of autistic enterocolitis are detected after MMR vaccination, our study will be very significant." At an April
hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, the National Network for Immunization Information stated that
there is no scientific evidence to suggest that autism is associated with childhood vaccination. Dig Dis Sci

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