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Antibody waning after immunosuppressive chemotherapy and immunomodulators, re-immunization considerations in pediatric patients with malignancy and chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura

BMC Infect Dis. 2022 Jul 28;22(1):657. doi: 10.1186/s12879-022-07647-1.


INTRODUCTION: Immunosuppressive chemotherapy increase the risk of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in children; nevertheless, chemotherapy may result in delay or miss updated immunization schedules. The predictable antibody waning after incomplete primary immunization series may be intensified at the end of chemotherapy. This study aimed to investigate post-chemotherapy vaccine immunity waning at the end of immunosuppressive therapy in children with malignancy and hematologic disorders.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Children with malignancies and hematologic disorders including chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) younger than 18 years old were enrolled from September 2015 to August 2019. Eligible patients who completed their treatment protocol for at least 6 months were recruited. The patient information, including sex, age at the date of diagnosis, number of chemotherapy sessions, underlying disease, and vaccination history, was taken by chart review using predefined questionnaires. The patient’s blood samples were obtained, and serum IgG antibody titer checked against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B virus (HBV), mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: 110 children receiving immunosuppressive chemotherapy were recruited. Forty-four (40%) of the children tested were girls and 66 (60%) were boys. The mean age of patients was 5.5 years with a range of 2 to 13 years. Of 110 studied children, 27.3% were seronegative for all antibodies. On average, patients undergo 19 episodes of chemotherapy. The mean chemotherapy sessions were significantly greater in children who were seronegative for all tested antibodies (mean: 36.2, 95% CI 33.16 to 39.24, p-value < 0.001). No statistically significant differences were observed regarding the patient’s sex and age between the seropositive and seronegative groups (p-value 0.513 and 0.060, respectively). Based on Poisson regression model analysis, the female gender was associated with 37% lower odds of seronegativity (incidence rate ratio (IIR): 0.63; [95% conf. interval: 0.39 to 1.01, p-value: 0.55]), while chemotherapy sessions 30 or more was associated with significant odds of seronegativity for all tested vaccines (IIR: 25.41; [95% conf. interval: 6.42 to 100.57, p-value < 0.001]).

CONCLUSION: Our results reemphasized planned catchup immunization in children undergoing immunosuppressive chemotherapy for malignancy, especially against tetanus, diphtheria, and hepatitis B at least 6 months after the end of chemotherapy sessions.

PMID:35902837 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-022-07647-1

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