The main thrust of this paper (1) was the first description of an unexpected intestinal lesion in the children reported. Further evidence has been forthcoming in studies from the Royal Free Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology and other groups to support and extend these findings. (2,3) While much uncertainty remains about the nature of these changes, we believe it important that such work continues, as autistic children can potentially be helped by recognition and treatment of gastrointestinal problems.
We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent. (4)
We were unable to contact John Linnell.
*Simon H Murch, Andrew Anthony, David H Casson, Mohsin Malik, Mark Berelowitz, Amar P Dhillon, Michael A Thomson, Alan Valentine, Susan E Davies, John A Walker-Smith, Centre for Paediatric Gastronenterology (SHM, MAT, JAW-S); and Departments of Histopathology (AA, APD), Child Psychiatry (MB), and Radiology (AV), Royal Free and University College Medical School, Royal Free Campus, London NW3 2PF, UK; Institute of Child Health, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Liverpool (DHC); Department of Paediatrics, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, Margate, Kent
Contact: Joe Santangelo