Objective.—Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines are effective in preventing Haemophilus disease in most children. The reasons why the vaccination fails in some children are unknown. This study investigated host factors in children who developed the disease despite conjugate vaccination. Design, Patients, Outcome Measures.—A convenience sample of 23 patients in whom Hib disease developed 14 days or more after conjugate vaccination was investigated for the presence of subnormal serum immunoglobulin concentrations and anticapsular antibody responses to Hib disease. We also investigated expression of the Hib idiotype 1 (Hibld-1), a serological marker of a VKII chain that comprises a major portion of the normal variable region repertoire of the antibody response to Hib polysaccharide. The results were compared with those of 149 patients in whom the unconjugated Hib polysaccharide vaccine failed and of 90 unvaccinated patients who developed the disease. Results.—Compared with children in whom the unconjugated polysaccharide vaccination failed, the relative risk of a subnormal serum concentration of IgM, IgA, IgG, and/or IgG2 in the children in whom the conjugate vaccination failed was 4.9 (95% confidence interval [Cl], 1.8 to 14; P<.003) and of IgG2 was 22 (95% Cl, 3.5 to 146; P<.001). With the exception of the children with subnormal serum immunoglobulin concentrations, most of the children with conjugate vaccination failure showed normal or high anticapsular antibody responses to the disease, whereas the children with polysaccharide vaccination failure showed impaired responses. The Hibld-1 was expressed by the majority of the children in both vaccination failure groups and of the unvaccinated patients. Conclusions.—In most patients, vaccination failure is not attributable to lack of expression of the variable region gene encoding Hibld-1. However, children in whom conjugate vaccination has failed frequently have subnormal serum immunoglobulin concentrations and should be evaluated for immunodeficiency.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association|
|State||Published - Oct 9 1991|