Immunization and MS: a summary of published evidence and recommendations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To review the risk of MS exacerbations after infectious episodes potentially preventable by vaccination, and the risks and benefits of immunizing patients with MS. METHODS: The authors searched MEDLINE (1966 to January 2001; U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD), HealthSTAR, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database (Cinahl Information Systems, Glendale, CA) for English-language articles. Each study was summarized and rated for quality of evidence. Then feasible data were pooled and analyzed in meta-analysis. RESULTS: The risk of contracting common infectious diseases in patients with MS is not well established. There is strong evidence for an increased risk of MS exacerbations during weeks around an infectious episode. There is strong evidence against an increased risk of MS exacerbation after influenza immunization. There is no evidence that hepatitis B, varicella, tetanus, or Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccines increase the risk of MS exacerbations. Insufficient evidence was found for other vaccines. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence supports 1) strategies to minimize the risk of acquiring infectious diseases that may trigger exacerbations of MS; and 2) the safety of using influenza, hepatitis B, varicella, tetanus, and Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccines in patients with MS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rutschmann, OT; McCrory, DC; Matchar, DB; Immunization Panel of the Multiple Sclerosis Council for Clinical Practice Guidelines,

Published Date

  • December 24, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1837 - 1843

PubMed ID

  • 12499473

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-3878

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1212/wnl.59.12.1837


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States