The association of class I HLA alleles and antibody levels after a single dose of measles vaccine

Robert M. Jacobson, Gregory A. Poland, Robert A. Vierkant, V. Shane Pankratz, Daniel J. Schaid, Steven J. Jacobsen, Jennifer St. Sauver, S. Breanndan Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Despite the success of the current measles vaccine in controlling disease in industrialized countries, the importance of vaccine failure has become increasingly apparent. Our objective was to determine if associations exist between seronegativity after measles vaccination and class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles. We undertook a cross-sectional observational study in Rochester, Minnesota, with 242 school-age children previously recruited from a communitywide seroprevalence study. We studied two groups of subjects: 72 were seronegative (EIA ≤0.8 after a single dose of measles vaccine) and 170 were seropositive (enzyme immunoassy [EIA] ≥1.0 after one dose). We used the resources of Mayo Clinic's tissue typing laboratory for serotyping class I HLA-A and HLA-B alleles via microlymphocytotoxicity assays. We found no statistically significant associations with class I HLA-A but did find associations with class I HLA-B, which includes alleles associated with seronegativity (B8, B13, and B44) and those associated with seropositivity (B7 and B51). Elucidation of the specific peptide-HLA complex interactions that lead to varying or failed immune responses may provide fertile groundwork for improved vaccines that can overcome limitations of the current live, attenuated measles vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Antibody formation
  • Genes
  • MHC class I
  • Measles vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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