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Antibody response to accelerated Hib immunisation in preterm infants receiving dexamethasone for chronic lung disease
  1. M J Robinsona,
  2. F Campbella,
  3. P Powellb,
  4. D Simsc,
  5. C Thorntond
  1. aNeonatal Department, Hope Hospital, Salford, bNeonatal Department, Bolton General Hospital, Bolton, cNeonatal Department, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, dCentre for Applied Microbiological Research, Porton Down
  1. Dr M J Robinson, Department of Paediatrics, Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, Eccles Old Road, Salford M6 8HD.


AIM To study the effect of dexamethasone on the routine immunisation of preterm infants with chronic lung disease.

METHODS Serum samples were obtained before and after immunisation from an unselected cohort of 59 preterm infants.Haemophilus influenzae antibodies were measured using an ELISA method and differences in the geometric mean values between the two groups of babies analysed.

RESULTS Sixteen infants received no dexamethasone. Before and after immunisation antibody titres for those receiving no dexamethasone were 0.16 and 4.63 mcg IgG/ml. Corresponding values for those receiving dexamethasone were 0.10 and 0.51 mcg IgG/ml, respectively.

CONCLUSION Dexamethasone used in the treatment of chronic lung disease seems to significantly affect the antibody response of preterm infants to immunisation againstHaemophilus influenzae.

  • Hib immunisation
  • chronic lung disease
  • dexamethasone

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