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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1997 Sep;4(5):499-503.

Poliovirus-specific immunoglobulin A in persons vaccinated with inactivated poliovirus vaccine in The Netherlands.

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Research Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


In The Netherlands the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is used for protection against poliomyelitis. It is not clear if parenteral vaccination with IPV can lead to priming of the mucosal immune system. We developed and evaluated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of poliovirus serotype-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) and secretory IgA antibodies. Using these assays we examined the kinetics of the IgA response in sequential serum samples from 15 poliomyelitis patients after natural infection with serotype 3 poliovirus. In 36% of the patients IgA remained present for up to 5 months postinfection. Furthermore, we examined, in an IPV-vaccinated population, the presence of IgA antibodies in sera from young children (4 to 12 years of age; n = 177), sera from older children (between 13 and 15 years of age; n = 123), sera from healthy blood donors (n = 66), and sera from naturally immune elderly persons (n = 54). The seroprevalence of IgA to all three serotypes was low in young vaccinated children (5 to 7%), and the seroprevalence of IgA types 2 and 3 was low in older vaccinated children (2 to 3%). The seroprevalence of antibodies to type 1 was significantly higher (18%) in older children than in younger children. This higher seroprevalence is most likely explained by the persistence of IgA following infection with the serotype 1 wild-type poliovirus strain during the 1978 epidemic. In healthy adults, the seroprevalence of type 1- and type 2-specific IgA was significantly higher than that in young children. These results suggest that at least part of the IgA found in the older population is induced by infections unrelated to the IPV vaccination schedule. Finally, we found that parenteral vaccination with IPV was able to boost secretory IgA responses in 74 to 87% of a naturally exposed elderly population (n = 54). While the presence of secretory IgA in IPV-vaccinated persons has been documented previously, our findings suggest that mucosal priming with live virus is necessary to obtain an IgA response after IPV booster vaccination.

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