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Immunogenicity of routine vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b in Asian infants born in the United Kingdom
  1. R Booy1,
  2. E A Haworth2,
  3. K A Ali1,
  4. H M Chapel3,
  5. E R Moxon4
  1. 1Research Centre for Child Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  2. 2Health Protection Agency, South East England, Colindale, London NW9, UK
  3. 3Department of Immunology, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
  4. 4Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Robert Booy
    Research Centre for Child Health, 1st Floor Luckes House, Royal London Hospital, Stepney Way, London E1 1BB, UK;


Aim: To determine the immunogenicity of routine vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in Asian infants born in the UK, and whether maternal antibody suppression occurs.

Methods: A cohort study with 80% power, within 95% confidence limits, to show that 80% or fewer Asian infants would respond with an anti-PRP antibody concentration >0.15 μg/ml. Infants of South Asian origin born in Berkshire were enrolled at two general practices in Reading: 41 Asian families sequentially asked to participate within 2 weeks of birth; 36 infants were enrolled and 34 completed the study. Main outcome measures were: antibody concentration against diphtheria, tetanus, and Hib expressed as geometric mean titres (GMT) and proportion of infants about a threshold protective antibody concentration.

Results: Median age for completing primary vaccination course was 5 months. All 34 achieved anti-PRP antibody concentration of >0.15 μg/ml, 33 were >1.0 μg/ml, and the GMT was 15.0 μg/ml. All infants developed protective antibody concentration >0.1 IU/ml for tetanus and diphtheria; the respective GMTs were 1.94 and 5.57 IU/ml. Infants with high (>0.25 IU/ml) antibody concentrations against diphtheria and tetanus at 2 months achieved lower antibody concentrations after their three dose course than those with low concentrations (<0.1 IU/ml) (p = 0.06 and 0.03, respectively).

Conclusions: Despite evidence for maternal antibody suppression of the response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccination, excellent antibody responses were achieved by routine vaccination according to the accelerated schedule. High vaccine coverage should be encouraged to provide protection against the possibility of imported infection.

  • GMT, geometric mean titre
  • Hib, Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • PRP, polyribosylribitol phosphate
  • vaccination
  • immunogenicity
  • Asian infant

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  • Competing interests: Prof R Booy has acted as a paid consultant for vaccine companies, for example, Wyeth, Aventis Pasteur, and GSK.