A relapse of systemic type juvenile idiopathic arthritis after a rubella vaccination in a patient during a long-term remission period

Vaccine. 2009 Aug 13;27(37):5041-2. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.06.052. Epub 2009 Jul 2.


An 11-year-old female patient, whose systemic type juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) had maintained in remission for the previous 4 years while taking only a small amounts of ibuprofen, showed an abrupt 2nd relapse with congestive heart failure five days after receiving a live-attenuated rubella vaccine, which was a primary immunization. Her serum levels of anti-rubella IgM and IgG antibodies increased, and her laboratory findings such as a leukocytosis, elevated serum levels of CRP, IL-6 and other inflammatory cytokine profiles were similar to the findings observed during her previous JIA active stage. After being administration of co-therapy with steroid pulse, ibuprofen, methotrexate and phosphodiesterase inhibitor gradually improved her clinical symptoms such as spiky fever, heart failure and arthralgia. Her intermittent fever and increased serum levels of CRP and IL-6, however, have been sustained for more than 2 years, and this prolonged active clinical course therefore differed from her previous JIA active stage.This abrupt relapse only five days after vaccination was suggested not to be directly related with rubella infection, but instead to be related with the molecular mimicry between rubella and JIA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Juvenile / complications
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / immunology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Rubella Vaccine / adverse effects*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / adverse effects


  • Rubella Vaccine
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Ibuprofen
  • Methotrexate