Antibody response to pneumococcal vaccine in children receiving bone marrow transplantation

Maria Antonietta Avanzini, Anna Maria Carra, Rita Maccario, Marco Zecca, Patrizia Pignatti, Massimo Marconi, Patrizia Comoli, Federico Bonetti, Piero De Stefano, Franco Locatelli

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Fifty-three pediatric patients given an allogeneic or an autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) were immunized with a polyvalent pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax II). Vaccine was administered six months or more after BMT and the pneumococcal IgM, total IgG, and IgG subclasses levels were evaluated before and three weeks after immunization. Immunization promoted a significant rise in antibody serum levels (P < 0.000001), and all children vaccinated more than two years after transplantation responded to pneumococcal polysaccharides, whereas only 20-30% and 50% of patients given BMT between six months and one year and one and two years, respectively, mounted an effective antibody production (P < 0.0001). In univariate analysis, lapse of time from BMT to vaccination, chronic graft-versus-host disease occurrence, and female sex influenced the response rate. However, in multivariate analysis, only time between marrow transplant and immunization was a powerful predictor of response, Interestingly, four of 11 patients with IgG2 deficiency before immunization normalized serum levels of this IgG subclass after the pneumococcal antigenic challenge. Our study suggests that time after transplant is the major factor influencing the recovery of immune reactivity to polysaccharide antigens. This seems to confirm the hypothesis that ontogeny of the B-cell repertoire follows a predetermined sequential program in which polysaccharide antigens are some of the last to evoke an antibody response.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)137-144
Numero di pagine8
RivistaJournal of Clinical Immunology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1995




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