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Vaccine. 2013 May 7;31(20):2417-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.035. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Impaired cellular immune response to tetanus toxoid but not to cytomegalovirus in effectively HAART-treated HIV-infected children.

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Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu-Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Despite of highly active antiretroviral therapy, the response to vaccines in HIV-infected children is poor and short-lived, probably due to a defect in cellular immune responses. We compared the cellular immune response (assessed in terms of IFN-γ production) to tetanus toxoid and to cytomegalovirus in a series of 13 HIV-perinatally-infected children and adolescents with optimal immunovirological response to first line antiretroviral therapy, implemented during chronic infection. A stronger cellular response to cytomegalovirus (11 out of 13 patients) was observed, as compared to tetanus toxoid (1 out of 13; p=0.003). These results suggest that the repeated exposition to CMV, as opposed to the past exposition to TT, is able to maintain an effective antigen-specific immune response in stable HIV-infected pediatric patients and strengthen current recommendations on immunization practices in these children.

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