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Vaccines, Immunization and Biologicals

Mumps vaccine


The Mumps Vaccine

A killed mumps virus vaccine was licensed in the USA in 1948 and used from 1950 through 1978. The vaccine's use was poorly accepted because it induced only short-term (less than one year) immunity, required revaccination, and had a relatively low protective efficacy against clinical mumps in susceptible individuals. Live virus mumps vaccines, containing attenuated virus strains have since been developed in the USA, Japan, USSR, and Switzerland.

Mumps virus strains used for vaccine

At least 10 strains of the mumps virus are in use throughout the world for live attenuated vaccine. The first vaccine strain to be developed, and that most often used, is the Jeryl Lynn strain which was named after the child from whom the virus was isolated. It was developed in the USA by passaging seven times in embryonated hen's eggs and ten times in chick embryo cell cultures At the initial level of attenuation, lower than that used in the final vaccine, the Jeryl Lynn strain produced parotid swelling in some vaccinees what was the indicating that the vaccine strain was not suffficiently attenuated. This parotid swelling was not seen after additional passages at the B level of attenuation. Since December 1967, a live attenuated Jeryl Lynn vaccine has been manufactured and distributed by an American company. It induces seroconversion in at least 97% of children and 93% of adults, whether used alone or in combination with measles and rubella vaccines.

In the USSR in the 1950s, the Leningrad-3 strain was developed by Smrodintsev and Klyachko in guinea pig kidney cell culture, with further passages in Japanese quail embryo cultures. Vaccines based on this strain have been used in the former Soviet Union and other countries.

Leningrad-3 mumps virus was further attenuated in Croatia by adaptation and passages on chick embryo fibroblast cell culture. The new mumps strain has been designated L-Zagreb. This strain is used in Croatia and India.

The Urabe strain of live mumps vaccine was first licensed in Japan and thereafter in Belgium, France, and Italy. It is produced either in the amnion of embryonated hen's eggs or in chick-embryo cell cultures and has been used successfully in Japan and other countries. Its immunogenic properties are similar to those of the Jeryl Lynn strain.

The other strains are used to produce vaccines on a limited local scale. Hoshino, Torii and NKM - 46 strains are said to have characteristics similar to those of the Urabe strain. Mumps vaccine strains have been attenuated on different cell-culture systems and it was originally thought that they are were equally capable of inducing high levels of immunity. Recent observations, however, suggest that some vaccines based on the Rubini strain, approved in 1985 in Switzerland, have lower efficacy than those based on the Jeryl Lynn or Urabe strains. One possible explanation for a low protective efficacy of the Rubini strain may be the high number ( > 30) of passages attained during its attenuation process. Vaccines prepared from various strains may differ in their capacity to cause adverse events; meningitis associated with MMR vaccine containing Urabe strains has led to the withdrawal of Urabe-containing vaccine from several countries.

Forms of live vaccine

Live mumps vaccine are available in monovalent vaccine and in combination with other vaccines. The most popular forms are a trivalent vaccine, (MMR), containing measles, mumps and rubella components, and a bivalent vaccine containing measles and mumps vaccines. Monovalent vaccine is used in Russia and other Newly Independent States. WHO requirements do not specify the minimum amount of vaccine virus that one human dose should contain. Rather this is determined by the National Control Authority. Most countries use at least 1000 CCID50 per dose, but many vaccines often contain higher amounts of the mumps virus. Sorbitol and hydrolized gelatin are used as stabilizers and neomycin is added as a preservative.

Vaccine potency and stability

The assays used for assessing mumps vaccine potency are subject to inter-laboratory variability. A collaborative study, involving 10 European laboratories, assessed the variability of estimates of the potency of all three components of MMR vaccines prepared from different mumps virus strain. While the assay-to assay variation within laboratories was small, overall median variation in potency between laboratories was large. Potency estimates for the mumps component of MMR vaccines showed the greatest variability.

The stability of mumps vaccine at 40 C, 230 C, 370C and 450 C is similar to that of measles vaccine. At 370 C the degradation rates are about 0.01 log10 per day for both components. Half lives are also similar: 4.7 and 5.4 days for measles and mumps components at 450 C, 12 and 13 days at 370 C and 71 and 65 days at 230 C, respectively.


Mumps Disease



  Written March 1998


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