Whole-cell pertussis vaccine induces low antibody levels in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstract : The WHO recommendations for the immunization of children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) differ slightly from the guidelines for uninfected children. The introduction of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected infants should considerably prolong their life expectancy. The question of the response to the whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccine should now be addressed, particularly in countries in which pertussis remains endemic. To evaluate the persistence of antibodies to the wP vaccine in HIV-infected and uninfected children who had previously received this vaccine in routine clinical practice, we conducted a cross-sectional study of children aged 18 to 36 months, born to HIV-infected mothers and living in Cameroon or the Central African Republic. We tested blood samples for antibodies to the wP vaccine and for antibodies to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (D and T, respectively) in the context of the use of a combined DTwP vaccine. We enrolled 50 HIV-infected children and 78 uninfected, HIV-exposed children in the study. A lower proportion of HIV-infected children than uninfected children had antibodies against the antigens tested for all valences of the DTwP vaccine. Agglutinin levels were substantially lower in HIV-infected than in HIV-exposed but uninfected children (30.0% versus 55.1%, respectively; P = 0.005). We also observed a high risk of low antibody levels in response to the DTwP vaccine in HIV-infected children with severe immunodeficiency (CD4 T-cell level, <25%). The concentrations of antibodies induced by the DTwP vaccine were lower in HIV-infected children than in uninfected children. This study supports the need for a booster dose of the DTwP vaccine in order to maintain high antibody levels in HIV-infected children.
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Mathurin C. Tejiokem, Elisabeth Njamkepo, Ionela Gouandjika, Dominique Rousset, Lydie Béniguel, et al.. Whole-cell pertussis vaccine induces low antibody levels in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children living in sub-Saharan Africa.. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, American Society for Microbiology, 2009, 16 (4), pp.479-83. ⟨10.1128/CVI.00312-08⟩. ⟨pasteur-00540484⟩

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