MeaNS - Measles Nucleotide Surveillance
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Photo Courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The aim of this initiative is to develop a web-accessible and quality-controlled nucleotide database for the WHO Measles Laboratory Network. This database is used as a tool to track measles sequence diversity and monitor elimination of virus strains.
This database currently (Sat, 29 Jan 2022 05:12:15 +0000) has 58509 sample records and 59549 viral sequences.

Click here for more details on the current data.
The quality of all submitted sequences is checked before depositing in the database. We also provide tools:

  • To search any combination of fields in the MeaNS database,
  • To find identical or similar Measles sequences
  • To genotype Measles strains (based on Measles N genes)

Accessing the database

To access the data and to use the analytical tools, you are required to register. Registration for academic use is free.
If you have any questions about the database, please email the curators (Means-AT-phe.gov.uk)
You can also view or download a MeaNS training video or look at the MeaNS FAQ


The latest WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record discussing means can be read here: WER May 2016

Citing MeaNS

Please cite means using the following publication:
J. Infect. Dis. 2011 Jul;204 Suppl 1:S514-23. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir118. Global distribution of measles genotypes and measles molecular epidemiology. Rota PA et al

This web database development is funded, curated and hosted by Public Health England.

More on Measles

Measles remains a leading cause of death among young children, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for the past 40 years. An estimated 345 000 people, the majority of them children, died from measles in 2005 (the latest year for which figures are available).

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known. Almost all non-immune children contract measles if exposed to the virus. Measles is an acute viral illness caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family. As a respiratory disease, measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs. Measles is a human disease with no known animal reservoir.

Vaccination has had a major impact on measles deaths. From 2000 to 2005, more than 360 million children globally received measles vaccine through supplementary immunization activities. Moreover, improvements have been made in routine immunization over this period. These accelerated activities have resulted in a significant reduction in estimated global measles deaths. Overall, global measles mortality decreased by 60% between 1999 and 2005. The largest gains occurred in Africa where measles cases and deaths decreased by nearly 75%.

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