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J Immunotoxicol. 2016;13(2):270-3. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2015.1067259. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Antibody response to booster vaccination with tetanus and diphtheria in adults exposed to perfluorinated alkylates.

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a Institute for Inflammation Research, Department of Rheumatology .
b Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine , and.
c Department of Clinical Immunology , Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet , Copenhagen , Denmark .
d Department of Environmental Medicine , University of Southern Denmark , Odense , Denmark .
e Department of Environmental Health , Harvard Chan School of Public Health , Boston , MA , USA , and.
f Department of Biostatistics , School of Public Health, University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen , Denmark.


Recent studies suggest that exposure to perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) may induce immunosuppression in humans and animal models. In this exploratory study, 12 healthy adult volunteers were recruited. With each subject, serum-PFAS concentrations were measured and their antibody responses prospectively followed for 30 days after a booster vaccination with diphtheria and tetanus. The results indicated that serum-PFAS concentrations were positively correlated and positively associated with age and male sex. The specific antibody concentrations in serum were increased from Day 4 to Day 10 post-booster, after which a constant concentration was reached. Serum PFAS concentrations showed significant negative associations with the rate of increase in the antibody responses. Interestingly, this effect was particularly strong for the longer-chain PFASs. All significant associations remained significant after adjustment for sex and age. Although the study involved a small number of subjects, these findings of a PFAS-associated reduction of the early humoral immune response to booster vaccination in healthy adults supported previous findings of PFAS immunosuppression in larger cohorts. Furthermore, the results suggested that cellular mechanisms right after antigen exposure should be investigated more closely to identify possible mechanisms of immunosuppression from PFAS.


Antibodies; immunotoxicity; perfluorinated alkylate substances; prospective study; vaccinations

[Available on 2017-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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