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Vaccine. 2012 Jul 6;30(32):4842-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 May 18.

Early-life and contemporaneous nutritional and environmental predictors of antibody response to vaccination in young Gambian adults.

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MRC Keneba, Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, Gambia.


Recent research links nutritional exposures early in life with alterations in functional immunity that persist beyond childhood. Here we investigate predictors of antibody response to polysaccharide vaccines in a cohort of Gambian adults with detailed records from birth and early infancy available. 320 adults were given a single dose of a Vi polysaccharide vaccine for Salmonella typhi and a 23-valent capsular polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine. Anti-Vi antibody levels and antibodies against 4 pneumococcal serotypes (1, 5, 14 and 23F) were measured in serum samples collected at baseline and then 14 days following vaccination and compared to data available from birth and early infancy. Post-vaccination antibody titres to serotype 14 of the pneumococcal vaccine were negatively associated with rate of growth from birth to three months of age, infant weight at 12 months of age and season of birth, but no other associations were observed with early-life exposures. The strongest predictor of antibody levels was pre-vaccination antibody titres, with adult height and serum neopterin levels at time of vaccination also implicated. The current study does not support the hypothesis that nutritional exposures early in life consistently compromise antibody response to polysaccharide vaccines administered in young adulthood.

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