Lancet. 2008 Mar 15;371(9616):932-44. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60419-5.


Mumps is a common childhood infection caused by the mumps virus. The hallmark of infection is swelling of the parotid gland. Aseptic meningitis and encephalitis are common complications of mumps together with orchitis and oophoritis, which can arise in adult men and women, respectively; other complications include deafness and pancreatitis. Clinical diagnosis can be based on the classic parotid swelling; however, this feature is not present in all cases of mumps and can also occur in various other disorders. Laboratory diagnosis is based on isolation of virus, detection of viral nucleic acid, or serological confirmation (generally presence of IgM mumps antibodies). Mumps is vaccine-preventable, and one dose of mumps vaccine is about 80% effective against the disease. Routine vaccination has proven highly effective in reducing the incidence of mumps, and is presently used by most developed countries; however, there have been outbreaks of disease in vaccinated populations. In 2005, a large epidemic peaked in the UK, and in 2006 the American midwest had several outbreaks. In both countries, the largest proportion of cases was in young adults. In the UK, susceptible cohorts too old to have been vaccinated and too young to have been exposed to natural infections were the primary cause of the mumps epidemic. In the USA, effectiveness and uptake in combination appear not to have been sufficient to obtain herd immunity for mumps in populations such as college students.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mumps Vaccine*
  • Mumps virus* / isolation & purification
  • Mumps virus* / pathogenicity
  • Mumps virus* / physiology
  • Mumps* / complications
  • Mumps* / physiopathology
  • Mumps* / prevention & control
  • Orchitis / etiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Mumps Vaccine