Long-term complications and risk of other serious infections following invasive Haemophilus influenzae serotype b disease in vaccinated children.
Ladhani S., Heath PT., Aibara RJ., Ramsay ME., Slack MPE., Hibberd ML., Pollard AJ., Moxon ER., Booy R.
This study describes the long-term complications in children with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccine failure and to determine their risk of other serious infections. The families of 323 children with invasive Hib disease after appropriate vaccination (i.e. vaccine failure) were contacted to complete a questionnaire relating to their health and 260 (80.5%) completed the questionnaire. Of the 124 children with meningitis, 18.5% reported serious long-term sequelae and a further 12.1% of parents attributed other problems to Hib meningitis. Overall, 14% (32/231 cases) of otherwise healthy children and 59% (17/29 cases) of children with an underlying condition developed at least one other serious infection requiring hospital admission. In a Poisson regression model, the risk of another serious infection was independently associated with the presence of an underlying medical condition (incidence risk ratio (IRR) 7.6, 95% CI 4.8-12.1; p<0.0001), both parents having had a serious infection (IRR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6-10.3; p=0.003), requirement of more than two antibiotic courses per year (IRR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.6; p=0.001) and the presence of a long-term complication after Hib infection (IRR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.1; p=0.03). Thus, rates of long-term sequelae in children with vaccine failure who developed Hib meningitis are similar to those in unvaccinated children in the pre-vaccine era. One in seven otherwise healthy children (14%) with Hib vaccine failure will go on to suffer another serious infection requiring hospital admission in childhood, which is higher than would be expected for the UK paediatric population.