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Delayed adaptive immunity is related to higher MMR vaccine-induced antibody titers 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
ISSN 2050-0068
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1038/cti.2016.20
Keywords regulatory t-cells, b-cell, responses, infants, foxp3(+), blood, suppression, proportions, protection, childhood, Immunology
Subject categories Immunology in the medical area

Abstract

There are notable inter-individual variations in vaccine-specific antibody responses in vaccinated children. The aim of our study was to investigate whether early-life environmental factors and adaptive immune maturation prior and close to measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunization relate to magnitudes of vaccine-specific antibody titers. In the FARMFLORA birth cohort, including both farming and non-farming families, children were immunized with the MMR vaccine at 18 months of age. MMR vaccine-induced antibody titers were measured in plasma samples obtained at 36 months of age. Infants' blood samples obtained at birth, 3-5 days and at 4 and 18 months of age were analyzed for T- and B-cell numbers, proportions of naive and memory T and B cells, and fractions of putative regulatory T cells. Multivariate factor analyses show that higher anti-MMR antibody titers were associated with a lower degree of adaptive immune maturation, that is, lower proportions of memory T cells and a lower capacity of mononuclear cells to produce cytokines, but with higher proportions of putative regulatory T cells. Further, children born by cesarean section (CS) had significantly higher anti-measles titers than vaginally-born children; and CS was found to be associated with delayed adaptive immunity. Also, girls presented with significantly higher anti-mumps and anti-rubella antibody levels than boys at 36 months of age. These results indicate that delayed adaptive immune maturation before and in close proximity to immunization seems to be advantageous for the ability of children to respond with higher anti-MMR antibody levels after vaccination.

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