Circulating immunoglobulin E (IgE) is one of the characteristics of human allergic diseases including allergic asthma. We recently showed that infection of human B cells with rhinovirus or measles virus could lead to the initial steps of IgE class switching. Since many viral vaccines are live viruses, we speculated that live virus vaccines may also induce IgE class switching in human B cells. To examine this possibility, we selected the commonly used live attenuated measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine. Here, we show that infection of a human IgM(+) B cell line with MMR resulted in the expression of germline epsilon transcript. In addition, infection of freshly prepared human PBLs with this vaccine resulted in the expression of mature IgE mRNA transcript. Our data suggest that a potential side effect of vaccination with live attenuated viruses may be an increase in the expression of IgE.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.