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Effect of neonatal immunization with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids on antibody responses toHaemophilus influenzaetype b conjugate vaccines

The Journal of Pediatrics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3476(95)70545-7
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract We randomly assigned 150 newborn infants to receive diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (DT) or Hib oligosaccharide conjugate (HbOC) at birth to determine whether exposure to the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines' carrier proteins would enhance immune responses to subsequent administrations of HbOC or PRP-tetanus toxoid conjugate (PRP-T) at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Their antibody responses were compared with those of 100 children immunized with HbOC or PRP-T beginning at 2 months of age. No serious adverse reactions were associated with neonatal vaccination. Administration of HbOC at birth did not lead to earlier or higher antibody levels. Newborn immunization with DT did not prime children for enhanced antibody responses. Moreover, Hib antibody levels were lower in DT-primed children than in children immunized beginning at 2 months of age. Diphtheria antibody levels, but not tetanus antibody levels, were also lower in children immunized with DT at birth. We conclude that neonatal immunization with Hib conjugate vaccines is not a means to provide earlier protection against invasive Hib disease. Newborn DT administration does not enhance subsequent antibody responses to Hib conjugate vaccines, and may lead to suppression of Hib and diphtheria antibody responses. (J P EDIATR 1995;126:198-205)

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