The rationale for the use of measles post-exposure prophylaxis in pregnant women: A review

G. Manikkavasagan*, Mary Ramsay

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Summary A review of published literature was undertaken to investigate the maternal and fetal effects of measles infection in pregnancy and to inform the need for post-exposure prophylaxis. There is no evidence to support an association between measles in pregnancy and congenital defects. However, the need for effective post-exposure protection is supported by studies suggesting a high risk of severe maternal morbidity, fetal loss and prematurity. Measles in late pregnancy can also lead to perinatal infection in the infant, which may be associated with a high mortality and the risk of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. UK guidance recommends using human normal immunoglobulin for susceptible pregnant women exposed to measles. Although there is no direct evidence that this will reduce the complications of measles in pregnancy, it may attenuate disease and therefore reduce the rate of complications. Measures to identify women likely to be susceptible include assessment of age, vaccination history, and/or antibody testing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)572-575
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Immunoglobulin
    • Measles
    • Post-exposure prophylaxis
    • Pregnancy


    Dive into the research topics of 'The rationale for the use of measles post-exposure prophylaxis in pregnant women: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this