Mumps-specific IgG, IgG subclasses and neutralization titres to the vaccine and outbreak mumps strains differ in vaccinated healthy controls, breakthrough mumps infection cases and naturally infected individuals

J Clin Virol. 2022 Dec:157:105296. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2022.105296. Epub 2022 Sep 21.


Background: Despite widespread use of the mumps vaccine resulting in significant reduction in the incidence of symptomatic mumps infection, large outbreaks continue to occur in highly vaccinated populations.

Objectives: We examined the mumps-specific IgG, IgG subclasses and neutralization titres to the outbreak Genotype G5 and Jeryl Lynn vaccine (Genotype A) mumps strains.

Study design: Sera from 207 individuals were classified into five distinct cohorts: healthy controls and mumps cases of 5-17 years and 18-25 years, and naturally infected individuals of 50+ years. Mumps specific IgG and IgG subclass levels were measured using modified ELISA assays with lysates and nucleoprotein antigens from both the mumps vaccine and circulating Genotype G5 strains. All sera were investigated for in vitro neutralizing antibody titres (GMT) using focus reduction neutralization assays. Data was analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis test and pairwise Wilcoxon tests.

Results: Mumps cases had higher mumps IgG levels compared to controls, to both the vaccine and outbreak strains, however levels decreased with age. Mumps IgG3 levels were significantly raised in mumps cases (p < 0.001). Neutralization titres were lower to the outbreak strain in all cohorts with titres markedly lower in the mumps cohorts compared to healthy controls. Mean GMT to the vaccine strain increased with age. The naturally infected group displayed the highest GMT to the JL vaccine and the lowest GMT to the outbreak strain.

Conclusions: Antigenic differences between mumps vaccine strain and circulating mumps viruses decrease the cross-neutralization capacity of vaccine-induced antibodies which may play a role in breakthrough infection.

Keywords: Age; Genotype G5 outbreak strain; Jeryl Lynn vaccine; Mumps outbreaks; Mumps-specific IgG subclasses; Neutralization titres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Mumps Vaccine
  • Mumps virus / genetics
  • Mumps* / epidemiology
  • Mumps* / prevention & control
  • Neutralization Tests


  • Mumps Vaccine
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G