Impaired Haemophilus influenzae type b transplacental antibody transmission and declining antibody avidity through the first year of life represent potential vulnerabilities for HIV-exposed but-uninfected infants

James T. Gaensbauer, Jeremy T. Rakhola, Carolyne Onyango-Makumbi, Michael Mubiru, Jamie E. Westcott, Nancy F. Krebs, Edwin J. Asturias, Mary Glenn Fowler, Elizabeth McFarland, Edward N. Janoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine whether immune function is impaired among HIV-exposed but-uninfected (HEU) infants born to HIV-infected mothers and to identify potential vulnerabilities to vaccine-preventable infection, we characterized the mother-to-infant placental transfer of Haemophilus influenzae type b-specific IgG (Hib-IgG) and its levels and avidity after vaccination in Ugandan HEU infants and in HIV-unexposed U.S. infants. Hib-IgG was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 57 Ugandan HIVinfected mothers prenatally and in their vaccinated HEU infants and 14 HIV-unexposed U.S. infants at birth and 12, 24, and 48 weeks of age. Antibody avidity at birth and 48 weeks of age was determined with 1Mammonium thiocyanate. A median of 43% of maternal Hib-IgG was transferred to HEU infants. Although its level was lower in HEU infants than in U.S. infants at birth (P<0.001), Hib-IgG was present at protective levels (>1.0 μg/ml) at birth in 90% of HEU infants and all U.S. infants. HEU infants had robust Hib-IgG responses to a primary vaccination. Although Hib-IgG levels declined from 24 to 48 weeks of age in HEU infants, they were higher than those in U.S. infants (P=0.002). Antibody avidity, comparable at birth, declined by 48 weeks of age in both populations. Early vaccination of HEU infants may limit an initial vulnerability to Hib disease resulting from impaired transplacental antibody transfer. While initial Hib vaccine responses appeared adequate, the confluence of lower antibody avidity and declining Hib-IgG levels in HEU infants by 12 months support Hib booster vaccination at 1 year. Potential immunologic impairments of HEU infants should be considered in the development of vaccine platforms for populations with high maternal HIV prevalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1667
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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