Health Opinion

Why measles is so contagious?

How the measles virus leaves an infected organism to infect another? Researchers at INSERM have identified a key receptor – the nectin-4 – located in the trachea and allowing the virus to spread very quickly by air.

This virus is one of the most contagious human pathogens and can cause serious complications, sometimes fatal. It is transmitted from host to host mainly by air (postilions, sneezing …).

An international collaboration involving researchers from such unit INSERM 891 (Centre for Research on Cancer Marseille) has highlighted the role of a receiver in the process of contagion. “The virus generally uses cellular receptors to initiate and spread infection throughout the body,” says INSERM. “This is the case for measles virus that infects the immune cells in the lungs to enter and spread in the body. It leaves its host using another receiver: the nectin-4. The latter is specifically localized to the trachea, an anatomical site ‘privileged’ to facilitate the contagion by air. ”

It is simple to protect themselves. The vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is perfectly effective. It is well tolerated and does not weaken children or adults. For more information, please ask your doctor.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS