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J Immunol. 2008 Feb 15;180(4):2165-73.

The magnitude of the antibody and memory B cell responses during priming with a protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccine in human infants is associated with the persistence of antibody and the intensity of booster response.

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Oxford Vaccine Group, Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Immunol. 2011 May 15;186(10):6064.


Rapid waning of anti-polysaccharide bactericidal Ab and vaccine effectiveness is observed following infant immunization with the serogroup C meningococcal (MenC) glycoconjugate vaccine. This is despite the demonstrable presence of immunological memory. Persistence of functional Ab, therefore, appears to be the key determinant of MenC conjugate vaccine effectiveness. Ab persistence is thought to depend in the short term on the survival of plasma cells generated during priming and in the longer term on the production of new Ab secreting cells from memory B cells. In this study, we found a strong association between the level of MenC-specific Ab and the frequency of memory B cells measured at 5 mo of age (1 mo after 3-dose primary immunization with MenC conjugate vaccine), and the persistence of functional Ab at one year of age. These findings suggest that these two parameters are good markers of B cell responses to priming and can be used as predictors of long term humoral immunity induced by glycoconjugate vaccines received in early infancy.

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