Measles-derived vaccines to prevent emerging viral diseases

Microbes Infect. Oct-Nov 2018;20(9-10):493-500. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2018.01.005. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


Infectious disease epidemics match wars and natural disasters in their capacity to threaten lives and damage economies. Like SARS previously and Zika recently, the Ebola crisis in 2015 showed how vulnerable the world is to these epidemics, with over 11,000 people dying in the outbreak. In addition to causing immense human suffering, these epidemics particularly affect low- and middle-income countries. Many of these deadly infectious diseases that have epidemic potential can become global health emergencies in the absence of effective vaccines. But very few vaccines against these threats have been developed to create proven medical products. The measles vaccine is an efficient, live attenuated, replicating virus that has been safely administered to 2 billion children over the last 40 years, affording life-long protection after a single dose. Taking advantage of these characteristics, this attenuated virus was transformed into a versatile chimeric or recombinant vaccine vector with demonstrated proof-of-principle in humans and a preclinical track record of rapid adaptability and effectiveness for a variety of pathogens. Clinical trials have shown the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine platform in individuals with preexisting immunity to measles. This review describes the potential of this platform to develop new vaccines against emerging viral diseases.

Keywords: Emerging diseases; Measles vector; Vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / prevention & control
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Measles Vaccine / genetics*
  • Measles Vaccine / immunology
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / genetics
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Viruses / immunology*


  • Measles Vaccine
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Vaccines