Measles future or investigational therapies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: João André Alves Silva, M.D. [2]


Despite the impact of primary prevention with vaccination in the incidence of measles there is still no specific antiviral treatment for the disease once it develops. Most developing countries are still severely affected by the high incidence of this conditions, in part due to the absence of an adequate vaccination system. Therefore, it is essential the role of research in developing a more adequate approach to the disease, once it is established. Also, the development of easier and less expensive ways of bringing the vaccine to populations in developing countries would greatly contribute to a potential eradication of measles.

Future or Investigational Therapies

Current Investigations

Currently there are several studies undergoing, in order to try to address some of the issues faced nowadays, some of these studies include:

  • Different approaches for the insertion of the genes of the measles virus, within other viruses.
  • Alternatives modes of administration, such as oral immunization or aerosol. The administration through aerosol would bring great benefit for the primary prevention of the disease since it would facilitate the administration of the vaccine in major campaigns, diminishing not only the time for administration, but also the need for specialized personnel for administration of the vaccine and at the same time minimization of medical waste.[1]

Future Needs

The ideal outcome of the investigation, prevention and treatment of measles would be its eradication. In order to achieve such goal, research studies in areas such as biologicals and operations should progress further. Attending to the current state of knowledge, future research needs include:[1][2][3]

  • Development of better surveillance systems in order con monitor the evolution, epidemics and progression of the disease.
  • Development of diagnostic test that would allow a rapid and on-local diagnosis of biological samples, in order to ensure access to diagnosis and treatment of all the populations, independently from the country and area of residence.
  • Improvement of current knowledge, regarding the pathogenesis of the disease, including the host cells, mechanism of infection, viral clearance, immunosupression, in order to be able to provide better therapeutics and the development of a prolonged immunity.
  • Improvement in understanding the factors responsible to the increased susceptibility in certain clusters of individuals.
  • Improvement of current methods to diagnose and respond to the threat of measles, particularly in challenging conditions, such as situations of high migration, increased birth rate or deficient primary care assistance.
  • At the same time, there is a need for development of a better vaccine, not only in terms of efficacy, but also in terms of availability, cost, durability and mode of administration, such as through an aerosol.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Moss, William J; Griffin, Diane E (2012). "Measles". The Lancet. 379 (9811): 153–164. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62352-5. ISSN 0140-6736.
  2. Griffin DE, Pan CH, Moss WJ (2008). "Measles vaccines". Front Biosci. 13: 1352–70. PMID 17981635.
  3. Glass K, Kappey K, Grenfell BT (2004). "The effect of heterogeneity in measles vaccination on population immunity". Epidemiol Infect. 132 (4): 675–83. PMC 2870148. PMID 15310169.

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