Laboratory diagnosis of Measles Virus
- Demonstration of clinical form i.e koplik’s spots.
- Microscopy – demonstration of multinucleated giant cells measuring 100n min diameter obtained from nasopharyngeal secretion and stained with Giemsa stain.
- Measles virus can be isolated from a variety of sources, e.g. throat or conjunctival washings, sputum, urinary sediment cells and lymphocytes.
- Primary human kidney cell line can be used for isolation of virus.
- Continuous cell line like vero cell line can be used.
- Cytopathic effect can be seen in between 2 -15 days and consists of either a broad syncytium or a stellate form with inclusion bodies.
- Measles virus antigen detection is done by direct and indirect immunofluoresence from NPS specimens.
- Detection of antibody titres which rises by 4 fold between the acute and the convalescent phase or detection of measles-specific IgM.
- Antibody detection is done by HAI, CF, neutralization and ELISA tests.
- In case of SSPE, the presence of measles specific antibodies in the CSF is the most reliable means of laboratory diagnosis.
- Molecular diagnosis – It accounts for identification of measles virus RNA from a clinical specimen by PCR.
Treatment of Measles
- There is no prescribed medication for measles, however acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches, vitamin A supplements are given to patients and are suggested to drink plenty of water.
- Administration of human anti measles gammaglobulin is recommended.
Prevention and Control of Measles
- Measles vaccine is most commonly administered as part of a combination of live attenuated vaccines that includes measles, mumps, rubella or measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMR or MMRV).
- The MMR vaccine is a three-in-one vaccination that protect individuals from the measles, mumps, and rubella.
- Children 12 months of age or older should have 2 doses, separated by at least 28 days.
- Two doses of MMR (measles, mumps & rubella) vaccine is nearly 100% effective at preventing measles.
- Practicing hygiene and cleanliness such as washing hands with soap and water or sanitizer, covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.
Measles Virus- Laboratory Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Control
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