DOROTHY M. HORSTMANN, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Long-term effectiveness of rubella vaccination in childhood is of particular importance because the ultimate goal of immunization is the prevention of infection during pregnancy. To determine how well vaccine-induced immunity persists in comparison to that acquired naturally, several hundred susceptible children who seroconverted after receiving HPV77DE5 vaccine were followed serologically over a 3-to-5-year period. The results indicate that vaccine-induced antibodies are less stable than those acquired through natural infection, and their persistence is closely related to the original response to immunization. Thus children who responded with a broad range of antibody types and who had brisk postvaccinal hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody titers of ≥ 1:64, maintained such levels without significant decline. In contrast, among the children who had feeble hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody responses initially and failed to develop complement-fixing or precipitating antibodies, a significant proportion lost detectable hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody levels after 3 to 5 years. The current and future immunity of such children is therefore in doubt, unless natural reinfection with wild rubella virus or revaccination with a more effective vaccine corrects their antibody deficiencies.
HORSTMANN DM. Controlling Rubella: Problems and Perspectives. Ann Intern Med. 1975;83:412–417. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-83-3-412
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(3):412-417.
Infectious Disease, Prevention/Screening.
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