Since the licensure and generalization of an effective measles virus (MV) vaccine 41 years ago, antibody levels have been used as correlates of immunity. The long-lived MV-specific antibody response has been studied intensely, but the dynamics of MV-specific T cell immunity over time have not been well characterized. We thus characterized the profiles of MV vaccine-induced antigen-specific T cells over time since vaccination. In a cross-sectional study of healthy subjects with a history of MV vaccination, we found that MV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells could be detected up to 34 years after vaccination. The levels of MV-specific CD8 T cells and MV-specific IgG remained stable, whereas the level of MV-specific CD4 T cells decreased significantly in subjects who had been vaccinated >21 years earlier. These results show that MV-specific T cell immunity after vaccination is long lasting and reveal different dynamics between CD4 and CD8 cells after vaccination.
Copyright 2004 Infectious Diseases Society of America