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Vaccine. 2008 Jul 4;26(29-30):3690-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.04.067. Epub 2008 May 15.

Cellular and humoral responses to tetanus vaccination in Gabonese children.

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Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Protection to tetanus is often not optimal in developing countries due to incomplete vaccination schemes, or decreased efficacy of vaccination. In this study we investigated the immunological response to tetanus booster vaccination in school children living in a semi-urban or in a rural area of Gabon. Tetanus-specific total IgG as well as antibody subclasses of the IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 isotype and the avidity of the dominating IgG1 subclass were determined both before and 1 month after the booster vaccination. In addition, tetanus-specific cytokine responses were determined. We found a polarization towards a T helper 1 (Th1) profile in the semi-urban children, whereas the cytokine responses of the rural children showed a T helper 2 (Th2) skewed response. Furthermore, tetanus-specific antibodies of the different IgG subclasses were all increased upon a tetanus booster vaccination and levels of IgG1 and IgG3 were higher in the rural children. In conclusion, a tetanus booster vaccination induced a stronger Th2 over Th1 cytokine profile to tetanus toxoid (TT) in rural children who showed the highest levels of IgG1 and IgG3 anti-TT antibody responses.

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