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OBJECTIVES: To assess the persistence of serum Haemophilus influenzae type b antibodies and the prevalence of H influenzae type b carriage in a group of preschool age children previously vaccinated in infancy. DESIGN: Names were randomly selected from immunisation records. Families were visited on five occasions over a period of 12 months and throat swabs were taken from all family members present, with blood obtained from children at the first and last visits. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty three children at a median age of 3.6 years had a geometric mean titre (GMT) of 1.06 micrograms/ml (95% CI 0.80 to 1.38). Eight per cent had an undetectable antibody concentration, received a booster dose of plain PRP vaccine, and responded with concentrations > 2 micrograms/ml. GMT at 4.5 years of age was 0.89 microgram/ml (0.69 to 1.16). Twelve children who had been exposed to H influenzae had a GMT of 4.7 v 0.8 micrograms/ml for those without exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Accelerated immunisation against H influenzae without a second year booster results in persistence of satisfactory serum concentrations of antibody to 4.5 years of age. In those with undetectable antibody, immunological memory may still be present.


Journal article


Arch Dis Child

Publication Date





488 - 492


Antibodies, Bacterial, Carrier State, Child, Preschool, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine, Haemophilus Vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Humans, Immunization, Secondary, Pharynx, Tetanus Toxoid, Vaccines, Conjugate