Reported are the effects of elevated levels of anti-tetanus antibodies on the safety and immune response to Haemophilus influenzae type b polyribosylphosphate (PRP)-tetanus toxoid conjugate (PRP-T) vaccine. A group of Thai infants (n = 177) born to women immunized against tetanus during pregnancy were vaccinated with either a combined diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) PRP-T vaccine or DTP and a PRP-conjugate vaccine using Neisseria meningitidis group B outer-membrane proteins as a carrier (PedVax HIB). Although most infants possessed high titers (1 IU/ml) of anti-tetanus antibodies, the DTP-PRP-T combined vaccine engendered an excellent antibody response to all vaccine components. In both vaccine groups, 98% of infants attained anti-PRP antibody titers of 0.15 mcg/ml or higher. The geometric mean anti-PRP antibody titers were 5.41 mcg/ml and 2.1 mcg/ml for infants immunized with 3 doses of PRP-T vs. 2 doses of PedVax HIB vaccines, respectively (P 0.005). Similarly, the proportion of infants who achieved titers of 1 mcg/ml or higher was greater in the PRP-T group (87.8%) than in the group immunized with PedVax HIB (74.2%) (P = 0.036). A group analysis showed that there was no significant difference in the anti-PRP antibody response for infants exhibiting either less than 1 IU/ml of anti-tetanus antibody or 1 or more IU/ml at baseline. These findings indicate that pre-existing anti-carrier antibody does not diminish the immune response to the PRP moiety. All infants possessed protective levels of anti-D and anti-T levels after immunization.