An increase in Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in British children has been linked to the widespread use of a diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis combination vaccine (DTaP-Hib). We measured anti-polyribosyl-ribitol phosphate antibody concentration and avidity before and after a Hib booster in 176 children 2-4 years of age who had received 3 doses of DTP-Hib (either DT whole cell pertussis-Hib or DTaP-Hib) combination vaccine in infancy. We also measured pharyngeal carriage of Hib. Antibody concentrations before and avidity indices after vaccination were low (geometric mean concentration 0.46 mug/mL, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36-0.58; geometric mean avidity index 0.16, 95% CI 0.14-0.18) and inversely related to the number of previous doses of DTaP-Hib (p = 0.02 and p<0.001, respectively). Hib was found in 2.1% (95% CI 0.7%-6.0%) of study participants. Our data support an association between DTaP-Hib vaccine combinations and clinical Hib disease through an effect on antibody concentration and avidity.


Journal article


Emerg Infect Dis

Publication Date





937 - 941


Antibodies, Viral, Antibody Affinity, Bacterial Capsules, Child, Preschool, Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines, Haemophilus Infections, Haemophilus Vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Humans, Immunization, Pharynx, Polysaccharides, Bacterial, Statistics, Nonparametric, United Kingdom, Vaccines, Conjugate