MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2004 Feb;3(1):19-22. doi: 10.1586/14760584.3.1.19.


An hypothesis published in 1998 suggested that measles-mumps-rubella vaccine may cause autism as a result of persistent measles virus infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Results of early studies were not supportive and in 2001 a review by the Institute of Medicine concluded that the evidence favors the rejection of a causal relationship at the population level between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder. Studies published since the Institute of Medicine report have continued not to find an increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder associated with measles-mumps-rubella. The vaccine also has not been found to be associated with a unique syndrome of developmental regression and gastrointestinal disorders. The evidence now is convincing that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism or any particular subtypes of autistic spectrum disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / chemically induced*
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Enterocolitis / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / adverse effects*


  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine