Recent studies in the United States and Europe have shown that Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines can induce protective antibody levels in young infants, but it was not clear that this would be the case in African infants, to whom H influenzae vaccines must be given at a very early age to prevent disease caused by H influenzae. Therefore, antibody responses to an H influenzae type b polysaccharide-Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane protein conjugate vaccine were measured in very young Gambian infants. In the first group (n = 85), to whom the vaccine was given at the ages of 1 and 3 months, the geometric mean antibody level rose from a prevaccination level of 0.23 µg/mL to a postvaccination level of 1.27 µg/mL, and in the second group (n = 56), vaccinated at the ages of 2 and 4 months, the prevaccination level of 0.16 µg/mL rose to a postvaccination level of 1.59 µg/mL. These two final postvaccination levels did not differ significantly, and interpolation suggests that similar antibody levels were present in both groups of infants at the age of 3 months. This is the age by which protection would need to be achieved to protect against H influenzae meningitis in The Gambia and in other countries where the infection has similar epidemiologic characteristics. No significant side effects of vaccination were noted.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.