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Article
March 1962

Measles Virus: Historical Review, Isolation, and Behavior in Various Systems

Author Affiliations

BOSTON
John F. Enders, Ph.D., Chief, Research Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston.; Chief, Research Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Professor of Bacteriology and Immunology at the Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):282-287. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020294021
Abstract

Introduction  Measles as a clinical entity was defined by Rhazes, the Arabian physician, about 900 a.d. Only 7 years ago were techniques found whereby consistent propagation of the causative agent of this disease is assured. These techniques have permitted systematic studies of the nature and behavior of the measles virus. In turn, the knowledge thus gained has provided the means for a new approach to the old problem of active immunization against the disease.As a contribution to the background for contemporary investigations on immunization which are to be summarized in later sessions, I shall review the principal landmarks in the modern history of the virus and then comment briefly on its isolation from patients and its behavior in cell systems.

Historical Summary  Perhaps an expeditious way to summarize the history of the measles agent is to consider what had been established regarding its nature by the year 1939. At

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