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J Nutr. 1999 Dec;129(12):2192-5.

Simultaneous vitamin A administration at routine immunization contact enhances antibody response to diphtheria vaccine in infants younger than six months.

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  • 1ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh Society for Applied Research, Calcutta, India.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of simultaneous vitamin A supplementation and diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccination on the antibody levels. Infants aged 6-17 wk (n = 56) were randomly given 15 mg oral vitamin A or placebo at the time of their DPT immunization. Three such doses were given at monthly intervals. Immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus were assayed on enrollment and 1 mo after the third dose. Baseline antibody concentrations to diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus did not differ between the vitamin A-supplemented and placebo-treated groups. The postdose antibody to diphtheria level was significantly greater in the vitamin A than in the placebo-treated group. The geometric mean +/- SEM antibody levels (mg/L) were 22.9 +/- 1.2 and 11.0 +/- 1.3 in the vitamin A and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.029). The postsupplementation concentrations of antibodies to pertussis and tetanus did not differ between the two groups. These results suggest that antibody response to diphtheria vaccination was potentiated by simultaneous vitamin A administration and DPT immunization.

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