Impaired immunity against tetanus in type 2 diabetes

Med Sci Monit. 2005 Dec;11(12):CR580-4. Epub 2005 Nov 24.


Background: The aim of this study was to compare serum levels of tetanus antibody in diabetic patients over 50 years of age with those of age- and sex-matched non-diabetic controls.

Material/methods: The study population consisted of 115 type 2 diabetic patients and 115 age- and sex-matched non-diabetic patients. Serum levels of tetanus IgG were measured by a commercial ELISA kit, and levels over 0.1 IU/ml were considered protective.

Results: Mean serum levels of tetanus antibody in the diabetic and control groups were 0.164+/-0.140 IU/ml vs. 0.374+/-0.534 IU/ml, respectively (p<0.001). Mean serum levels of tetanus antibody in the diabetics vs. controls aged 50-64 years were 0.172+/-0.141 IU/ml vs. 0.568+/-0.653 IU/ml and in those p<0.001, p=1.000). Among patients aged 50-64 years, 38 (55.9%) cases in the diabetic and 45 (73.8%) in the control group demonstrated protective levels of tetanus antibodies (p=0.034). Of patients p=0.298).

Conclusions: Serum levels of tetanus antibody decreased in diabetic patients older than 50 years of age, whereas this period of time is prolonged to 65 years in healthy individuals. All individuals over 65 years should be vaccinated against tetanus; however, vaccination over 50 years of age might be considered for diabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Clostridium tetani / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tetanus / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial