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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2007 Oct;14(10):1328-33. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

Immunogenicity of a fourth dose of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine and antibody persistence in young children from the United Kingdom who were primed with acellular or whole-cell pertussis component-containing Hib combinations in infancy.

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  • 1Immunisation Department, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London NW9 5EQ, United Kingdom.


In response to the rising incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease in the United Kingdom, a national campaign to give a booster dose of single-antigen Hib conjugate vaccine to children aged 6 months to 4 years was undertaken in 2003. Children (n = 386) eligible for Hib vaccine in the campaign were recruited. Hib antibody concentrations were measured before boost and at 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after boost and were analyzed according to children's ages at booster dose and whether a Hib combination vaccine containing acellular pertussis (aP) or whole-cell pertussis (wP) components was given in infancy. The geometric mean antibody concentrations (GMCs) before the booster declined as the time since primary immunization increased (P < 0.001), and GMCs were threefold higher in recipients of wP-Hib than aP-Hib combination vaccines (P < 0.001). GMCs 1 month after the booster increased with age (P < 0.001) as follows: 6 to 11 months; 30 microg/ml (95% confidence interval [CI], 22 to 40); 12 to 17 months, 68 microg/ml (95% CI, 38 to 124); and 2 to 4 years, 182 microg/ml (151 to 220), with no difference according to the type of priming vaccine received. Antibody levels declined after the booster, but 2 years later, GMCs were more than 1.0 microg/ml for all age groups. By extrapolating data for the decline in antibody levels, we found the GMCs 4 years after boosting were predicted to be 0.6, 1.4, and 2.6 microg/ml for those boosted at 6 to 11 months, 12 to 17 months, and 2 to 4 years, respectively, with levels of at least 0.15 microg/ml in about 90% of individuals. A booster dose of Hib vaccine given after the first year of life should provide long-lasting protection.

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