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Earlier infantile immune maturation is related to higher DTP vaccine responses in children

Journal article
Authors Anna Strömbeck
Anna-Carin Lundell
Inger Nordström
Kerstin Andersson
Ingegerd Adlerberth
Agnes E Wold
Anna Rudin
Published in Clinical & Translational Immunology
Volume 5
Pages e65
ISSN 2050-0068
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages e65
Language en
Keywords regulatory t-cells, lymphocyte subpopulations, pertussis-vaccine, blood, childhood, bacterial, exposure, antigen, memory, immunogenicity, Immunology
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


There are large inter-individual variations in vaccine-specific antibody responses in children. We sought to investigate whether early-life environmental factors and/or adaptive immune maturation were related to diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine-specific antibody levels at 18 months of age. In the prospective FARMFLORA birth-cohort, including both farming and non-farming families, children were immunized with DTP vaccine at 3, 5 and 12 months of age. DTP vaccine-induced antibody levels were measured in plasma at 18 months of age. Infants' blood samples obtained at birth, 3-5 days, 4, 18 and 36 months and at 8 years of age were analyzed for total CD4(+) T- and B-cell counts, proportions of naive and memory T and B cells, and fractions of putative regulatory T cells by flow cytometry. Multivariate factor analysis was used to examine associations between immune variables and vaccine responses. The most apparent multivariate pattern was that higher anti-DTP antibody titers at 18 months of age were associated with lower infantile total counts of T and B cells in the blood. Furthermore, lower infantile total T-and B-cell blood counts were associated with higher proportions of circulating CD45RO(+) memory T cells and to lower proportions of alpha 4 beta 7(+) naive T cells later in childhood. The multivariate findings were corroborated in univariate correlation analyses. Sex, delivery mode and dairy farm exposure were unrelated to the magnitude of DTP-specific antibody responses. Our results thus suggest that children with a more mature/activated infantile adaptive immunity respond with higher vaccine-induced anti-DTP antibody levels at 18 months of age.

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