Babies born to HIV-positive mothers have increased risk for measles

A recently released study indicates that infants without HIV who are born to mothers with the virus need to be vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible.

The research, published in the monthly journal Acta Paediatrica, found that, despite being born without HIV, babies born to infected mothers are more susceptible to measles, according to

"The eradication of measles is high on the agendas of the World Health Organization and other international agencies and it is important to define and target any new group of susceptible infants," Dr. Lars Smedman, a pediatrician from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, said, reports.

Smedman and his team compared blood serum samples from 10 babies born to HIV-positive mothers who had not contracted the infection to 10 healthy babies with HIV-negative mothers.

"This found statistically significant differences between the maternal antibodies received by the two sets of babies and showed that the non-infected babies born to HIV positive mothers had weaker protection," Smedman said, according to "This was because the antibodies normally produced by the mother to help protect her baby from measles had lost their sharp edge due to her HIV positive status."

The study concluded that babies born to HIV-infected mothers do not have the same capability to successfully neutralize the measles virus, resulting in an increased loss of protection.