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Vaccine. 2013 Jan 11;31(4):647-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.11.049. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Vaccine specific immune response to an inactivated oral cholera vaccine and EPI vaccines in a high and low arsenic area in Bangladeshi children.

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Centre for Vaccine Sciences, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh.



Immune responses to the inactivated oral whole cell cholera toxin B (CTB) subunit cholera vaccine, Dukoral(®), as well as three childhood vaccines in the national immunization system were compared in children living in high and low arsenic contaminated areas in Bangladesh. In addition, serum complement factors C3 and C4 levels were evaluated among children in the two areas. VACCINATIONS: Toddlers (2-5 years) were orally immunized with two doses of Dukoral 14 days apart. Study participants had also received diphtheria, tetanus and measles vaccines according to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in Bangladesh.


The mean level of arsenic in the urine specimens in the children of the high arsenic area (HAA, Shahrasti, Chandpur) was 291.8μg/L while the level was 6.60μg/L in the low arsenic area (LAA, Mirpur, Dhaka). Cholera specific vibriocidal antibody responses were significantly increased in the HAA (87%, P<0.001) and the LAA (75%, P<0.001) children after vaccination with Dukoral, but no differences were found between the two groups. Levels of CTB specific IgA and IgG antibodies were comparable between the two groups, whereas LPS specific IgA and IgG were higher in the LAA group, although response rates were comparable. Diphtheria and tetanus vaccine specific IgG responses were significantly higher in the HAA compared to the LAA group (P<0.001, P=0.048 respectively), whereas there were no differences in the measles specific IgG responses between the groups. Complement C3 and C4 levels in sera were higher in participants from the HAA than the LAA groups (P<0.001, P=0.049 respectively).


The study demonstrates that the oral cholera vaccine as well as the EPI vaccines studied are immunogenic in children in high and low arsenic areas in Bangladesh. The results are encouraging for the potential use of cholera vaccines as well as the EPI vaccines in arsenic endemic areas.

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