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Vaccine. 2003 Dec 12;22(2):287-92.

Long-term persistence of immunity after immunisation with Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine.

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National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300, Helsinki, Finland.


Although Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines, after licensure in 1987, are now recommended for world-wide use, the duration of protective immunity afforded by them is not known. We therefore assessed the immunogenity at 9-10 years of age in 37 children who had received the first Hib conjugate, PRP-D, in infancy (the Hib-conjugate group) and were now given a dose of Hib polysaccharide (PS) as a test vaccine. The anti-Hib PS antibodies (Hib-ab) were measured before and after this test vaccination, and the values compared to those in 37 control children who had not previously received any Hib vaccine and in 13 children who had received Hib PS vaccine in infancy (the Hib-PS group). Prior to the test vaccination, the Hib-ab concentrations in the Hib-conjugate group were 3.6-fold higher than in the control group. After the test vaccination, the Hib-conjugate group had higher total Hib-ab concentrations, higher proportion of IgG and higher avidity of Hib-ab than the control or the Hib-PS group, suggesting persisting immunological memory in a Hib-c group. A mathematical model, including memory, predicted accurately the Hib-ab concentrations, which are maintained through anamnestic responses to intervening stimuli (Hib or cross-reacting bacteria).

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