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J Infect Dis. 1993 May;167(5):1212-6.

Decline in meningococcal antibody levels in African children 5 years after vaccination and the lack of an effect of booster immunization.

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Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, Banjul, The Gambia.


Antibodies to group A meningococcal polysaccharide were measured by hemagglutination (HA) and by ELISA in sera obtained from Gambian children before vaccination and 3 weeks, 2 years, and 5 years after vaccination with a group A + group C meningococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine. Children were 1-4 years old at the time of vaccination. Most showed a good initial response to vaccination, including those aged 1-2 years. However, antibody titers declined progressively during follow-up, and 5 years after vaccination, antibody titers measured by both HA and ELISA had returned to prevaccination levels. This decline was not influenced significantly by a booster dose of vaccine given 2 years after initial immunization. Administration of malaria chemoprophylaxis reduced the rate at which antibody levels fell after initial immunization. Sustained protection of children against group A meningococcal disease will require the development of vaccines that are immunogenic in infants and that can induce T cell memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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