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Vaccine. 2010 Mar 2;28(10):2195-200. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.12.057. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Long-term complications and risk of other serious infections following invasive Haemophilus influenzae serotype b disease in vaccinated children.

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  • 1Academic Unit of Paediatrics, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom.


This study describes the long-term complications in children with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccine failure and to determine their risk of other serious infections. The families of 323 children with invasive Hib disease after appropriate vaccination (i.e. vaccine failure) were contacted to complete a questionnaire relating to their health and 260 (80.5%) completed the questionnaire. Of the 124 children with meningitis, 18.5% reported serious long-term sequelae and a further 12.1% of parents attributed other problems to Hib meningitis. Overall, 14% (32/231 cases) of otherwise healthy children and 59% (17/29 cases) of children with an underlying condition developed at least one other serious infection requiring hospital admission. In a Poisson regression model, the risk of another serious infection was independently associated with the presence of an underlying medical condition (incidence risk ratio (IRR) 7.6, 95% CI 4.8-12.1; p<0.0001), both parents having had a serious infection (IRR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6-10.3; p=0.003), requirement of more than two antibiotic courses per year (IRR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.6; p=0.001) and the presence of a long-term complication after Hib infection (IRR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.1; p=0.03). Thus, rates of long-term sequelae in children with vaccine failure who developed Hib meningitis are similar to those in unvaccinated children in the pre-vaccine era. One in seven otherwise healthy children (14%) with Hib vaccine failure will go on to suffer another serious infection requiring hospital admission in childhood, which is higher than would be expected for the UK paediatric population.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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