Prospective study of the magnitude and duration of changes in tuberculin reactivity during uncomplicated and complicated measles

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1987 May;6(5):451-4. doi: 10.1097/00006454-198705000-00007.


The suppression of cellular immune responses during measles is thought to contribute to the development of secondary infections which often complicate this disease. To determine whether there was a difference in the altered cellular immune responses of children with and without complications we performed a prospective study of purified protein derivative skin test reactivity in children with natural measles virus infections who had received Bacillus Calmette-Guerin as infants. Twenty-five tuberculin-positive children who developed measles (13 uncomplicated and 12 complicated) were skin-tested weekly beginning 1 to 2 weeks before and ending 2 to 7 weeks after the onset of the rash. All children became anergic during the acute phase of measles. Children with complications remained unreactive for a significantly longer period of time after the rash (mean, 4 weeks) than did children without complications (mean, 2.3 weeks, P less than 0.001).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Measles / complications
  • Measles / immunology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tuberculin Test