Passive immunization with immune globulin may be indicated for some patients exposed to active measles.


Product: immune globulin intravenous (a specific hyperimmune globulin is not available for measles)


Candidates for passive immunization with immune globulin:

(1) immunocompromised patient with no history of clinical measles, following exposure to active measles (includes AIDS, therapy for cancer, etc.)

(2) newborn infant delivered to mother with active measles

(3) healthy or immunocompromised infant less than 1 year of age who has been exposed to active measles



Dose of Immunoglobulin


0.25 mL per kg IM

older child or adult

0.5 mL per kg IM up to maximum of 15 mL (>= 30 kg)


Passive immunization should be given within 6 days of the exposure. If given later it may be effective in modifying the course of the disease.


Additional comments:

(1) An immunocompromised patient should receive immune globulin after an exposure to active measles even if previously vaccinated.

(2) A passively immunized healthy infant should receive the live measles vaccine at 15 months.

(3) An immunocompetent child or adult without a history of measles or measles vaccination can be treated with the live measles vaccine (incubation period 7 days for vaccine virus vs 10 days for wild strain)

(4) Ribavirin therapy may be helpful in an adult (Clin Infect Dis. 1994; 19: 454-462).


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