Response to conjugate Haemophilus influenzae B vaccine among infants in Niamey, Niger

Centre de Recherche sur les Meningites et les Schistosomoses, Niamey, Niger.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.7). 11/1998; 59(5):837-42.
Source: PubMed


Despite near elimination of Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) meningitis from several industrialized countries following introduction of conjugate Hib vaccines into infant immunization schedules, Hib remains a major cause of meningitis and pneumonia in resource-poor countries. In Niger, Hib causes nearly 200 cases of meningitis per 100,000 children < one year of age, and > 40% of cases are fatal. We evaluated the immunogenicity of Hib polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (PRP-T) administered in the same syringe as diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine among infants in Niger. Infants were randomized into group 1 (PRP-T at six, 10, and 14 weeks), group 2 (PRP-T at 10 and 14 weeks), or a control group (meningococcal A/C polysaccharide vaccine). By 14 weeks of age, all subjects in groups land 2 had > or = 0.15 microg/ml of anti-PRP antibody, and 82% versus 76% had > or = 1.0 microg/ml of antibody (P=not significant). By nine months of age the proportion of infants with > or = 0.15 and > or = 1.0 microg/ml was group I=97% and 76%; group 2=93% and 67%; controls=10% and 2.6%. Four weeks after the first, second, and third doses of PRP-T, infants in group 1 showed geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 0.19, 3.97, and 6.09 microg/ml while infants in group 2 had GMTs of 2.40 and 4.41 microg/ml four weeks after the delayed first and second doses. Both PRP-T groups had significantly higher GMTs at 18 weeks and nine months of age than infants in the control group. The Hib PRP-T vaccine was immunogenic in infants in Niger. The strong response after PRP-T was initiated one month after the first DTP vaccination may reflect carrier priming. Two dose schedules of PRP-T should be given serious consideration, particularly if their reduced cost permits vaccine introduction that would be otherwise unaffordable.

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    • "In a RCT in Niger, infants given DTP at 6 weeks of age followed by HibV-TT at 10 and 14 weeks had greater anti-PRP antibody levels than infants given a three dose schedule of concomitant HibV-TT with DTP at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age. The GMC following the first dose of HibV-TT administered at 10 weeks of age was (2.40 ␮g/ml), more than double and significantly higher than the GMC of the 6 weeks dose of HibV-TT [35]. Although some of the differences reported may reflect improved immune response in infants vaccinated at an older age, the more pronounced immune response may also reflect carrier priming with TT four weeks prior to the administration of HibV-TT. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the African meningitis belt the importance of endemic meningitis is not as well recognized as that of epidemics of meningococcal meningitis that occur from time to time. Using retrospective surveillance, we identified a total of 7078 cases of laboratory-diagnosed bacterial meningitis in Niamey, Niger, from 1981 to 1996. The majority (57.7%) were caused by Neisseria meningitidis, followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (13.2%) and Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) (9.5%). The mean annual incidence of bacterial meningitis was 101 per 100,000 population (70 per 100,000 during 11 non-epidemic years) and the average annual mortality rate was 17 deaths per 100,000. Over a 7-year period (including one major epidemic year) for which data were available, S. pneumoniae and Hib together caused more meningitis deaths than N. meningitidis. Meningitis cases were more common among males and occurred mostly during the dry season. Serogroup A caused 85.6% of meningococcal meningitis cases during the period investigated; three-quarters of these occurred among children aged < 15 years, and over 40% among under-5-year-olds. Both incidence and mortality rates were highest among infants aged < 1 year. In this age group, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, followed by S. pneumoniae. The predominant cause of meningitis in persons aged 1-40 years was N. meningitidis. Use of the available vaccines against meningitis due to N. meningitidis, S. pneumoniae, and Hib could prevent substantial endemic illness and deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, and potentially prevent recurrent meningococcal epidemics.
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