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Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Oct;122(1):16-9.

Atopic eczema is associated with delayed maturation of the antibody response to pneumococcal vaccine.

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University Department of Child Health, Booth Hall Children's Hospital, and Immunology Department, Hope Hospital, Manchester, UK.


The aim of this study was to investigate a previously undocumented observation, that children with atopic eczema under 9 years of age tended to have a poor antibody response to Pneumococcal vaccination. Thirty-five children (mean age 8.8 years, range 3-16 years) with moderate to severe atopic eczema but no history of systemic infection were studied retrospectively. Pneumococcal antibody responses after immunization with Pneumovax II were compared with a hospital control group consisting of 36 children (mean age 6.0 years, range 3-16 years) with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Only 17% of children with atopic eczema aged 3-8 years responded to Pneumovax. This response was significantly poorer than that of the controls (57%) (odds ratio 0.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05-0.84, P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in the levels of total IgG2, the component of IgG associated with protective antibody responses to Pneumococcus between the two groups. Delay in maturation of the total IgG and IgG2 antibody response to Pneumococcus is a feature in this group of children with moderately severe atopic eczema.

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