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Immunologic Response, Virus Excretion, and Joint Reactions with Rubella Vaccine: A Study of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Given Live Attenuated Virus Vaccine (HPV-77:DE-5)

STEPHEN J. LERMAN, M.D.; GEORGE A. NANKERVIS, Ph.D., M.D.; ALFRED D. HEGGIE, M.D.; and ELI GOLD, M.D.
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Supported in part by U.S. Public Health Service contract PH-43-67-1167, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Eli Gold, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, 3395 Scranton Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44109


Cleveland, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia


Ann Intern Med. 1971;74(1):67-73. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-74-1-67
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A controlled double-blind field trial of rubella vaccine (HPV-77:DE-5) was conducted in 150 young, postpuberal females. Arthralgia or arthritis occurred in 39% of the susceptible subjects given vaccine, in 12% of the immune subjects who received vaccine, and in 10% of the placebo recipients. There was no correlation between the occurrence of joint reactions and age (range, 15 to 26 years). One girl had recurrences of joint symptoms for a year after immunization. Seroconversion occurred in 100% of susceptibles but with a mean antibody titer one seventh as high as was observed after natural rubella infection. Subjects with both arthralgia or arthritis and virus excretion developed a significantly higher mean antibody titer than those without either joint reactions or virus excretion. Immune subjects who were given vaccine had neither antibody titer boosts nor virus excretion. The use of rubella vaccine in susceptible postpuberal females entails the risk of joint reactions that may be prolonged.

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