Are there altered antibody responses to measles, mumps, or rubella viruses in autism?

J Neurovirol. 2007 Jun;13(3):252-9. doi: 10.1080/13550280701278462.


The role that virus infections play in autism is not known. Others have reported that antibodies against measles virus are higher in the sera/plasma of children with autism versus controls. The authors investigated antibody titers to measles, mumps, and rubella viruses and diphtheria toxoid in children with autism, both classic onset (33) and regressive onset (26) forms, controls (25, healthy age- and gender-matched) and individuals with Tourette's syndrome (24) via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. No significant differences in antibody titers to measles, mumps, and rubella viruses and diphtheria toxoid were found among the four groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences between the four groups for total immunoglobulin (Ig)G or IgM. Interestingly, the authors did find a significant number (15/59) of autism subjects (classic and regressive onset combined) who had a very low or no antibody titer against rubella virus, compared to a combine control/Tourette's group (2/49).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Autistic Disorder / immunology*
  • Autistic Disorder / virology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphtheria Toxoid / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Measles / immunology
  • Mumps / immunology
  • RNA Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Rubella / immunology
  • Tourette Syndrome / immunology
  • Tourette Syndrome / virology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Diphtheria Toxoid