IgG avidity to distinguish secondary from primary measles vaccination failures: prospects for a more effective global measles elimination strategy

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Aug;4(8):1215-25. doi: 10.1517/14656566.4.8.1215.


The nearly 40-year long debate on the relevance of secondary measles vaccination failure has been inconclusive because a feasible method for the assessment of the duration of immunity has been lacking. Even if a two-dose measles vaccination policy is now universally endorsed, WHO still officially adheres to the view that a single successful measles vaccination, without natural boosters, induces a lifelong immunity and deems secondary failures epidemiologically irrelevant - in the belief that the latter are rare and do not participate in the transmission chain. A recently published study on measles-IgG avidity, which allows for separation of secondary from primary vaccination failures, tentatively showed that the official view does not necessarily hold true. The results may have wide implications on global measles eradication efforts. The potential of IgG avidity measurement in complex postvaccination measles epidemiology is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Affinity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • International Cooperation
  • Measles / immunology*
  • Measles / prevention & control*
  • Measles Vaccine / therapeutic use*
  • Public Policy
  • Treatment Failure
  • Vaccination


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Measles Vaccine