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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988 Jun;81(6):1175-9.

Selective defect in the antibody response to Haemophilus influenzae type b in children with recurrent infections and normal serum IgG subclass levels.

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Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


We studied 15 children with recurrent infections and normal serum IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgG-subclass levels. After immunization, the geometric mean serum IgG antibody concentration to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was eightfold lower than that of age-matched control subjects (p = 0.002). The patients also had a lower geometric mean concentration of serum IgM and IgA directed to Hib, although these differences did not reach significance. However, the groups did not differ in their response to diphtheria toxoid and pneumococcal polysaccharides. To confirm these findings, an additional 11 patients were identified and immunized. The geometric mean serum IgG anti-Hib concentration for this group of patients was also significantly lower than of normal subjects (p = 0.004). We propose that the defect in the antibody response to Hib may be a marker for a poor antibody response to a variety of bacterial and viral antigens that results in an increased propensity to recurrent infections. The defect was not associated with IgG-subclass deficiency. The identification of children with selective antibody deficiency and recurrent infections is important for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons.

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