Immunology

Infants usually have a passive immunity to rubella because of maternal antibodies acquired transplacental^ from immune mothers. This passive immunity protects the infant from infection for 6 to 9 months, depending on the amount of maternal antibody acquired.

Rubella infection in both clinically apparent and inapparent cases induces a lifelong immunity. Because a significant percentage of rubella infections are clinically inapparent, persons may develop im munity without recognizing that they have been infected. Several serologic tests for confirming infection or immunity have been developed, and it is also possible to isolate the virus from patients during the acute phase of the disease.

A single dose of live attenuated rubella virus vaccine confers long-term, probably lifelong, immunity in approximately 95 percent of susceptible individuals.

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