Background. Immunization of healthy women before pregnancy is a potential approach to providing increased levels of maternal antibody to newborns to protect them from infections occurring during the perinatal period and first months of life. Methods. Healthy nonpregnant Pima Indian women of childbearing age were randomized to receive one of two Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines [HbOC or Hib-meningococcal outer membrane protein complex (OMP)] or a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PnPs). Infants received Hib-OMP vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. Vaccine safety and immunogenicity was evaluated in the women and their infants. Results. Anti-polyribose ribitol phosphate antibody titers were significantly higher in women in both Hib conjugate vaccine groups than in the pneumococcal vaccine group throughout the 37-month observation period. Antibody responses to HbOC vaccine were significantly higher than those to Hib-OMP. A subsequent booster dose of each Hib conjugate vaccine induced reactions and antibody responses similar to those of the first dose. Infants born to mothers immunized with Hib vaccines compared with PnPs had significantly higher polyribose ribitol phosphate-specific IgG antibody titers at birth and 2 months of age but lower antibody responses to Hib-OMP at 6 months and similar titers before and after boosting with Hib-OMP at 1 year of age. By contrast women immunized with PnPs did not have significantly elevated concentrations of pneumococcal-specific antibody at delivery, and their infants had pneumococcal antibody titers similar to those of infants born to mothers who did not receive pneumococcal vaccine before pregnancy. Conclusion. Hib conjugate vaccine given to women before pregnancy significantly increased the proportion of infants who had protective Hib antibody levels at birth and 2 months of age.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
- Prepregnancy vaccination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases