Frequent failure of adolescent booster responses to tetanus toxoid despite infant immunization: waning of infancy-induced immune memory?

Vaccine. 2010 Jun 17;28(27):4356-61. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.04.060. Epub 2010 May 4.


To define the capacity of a tetanus toxoid booster to reactivate infant-triggered immunity, anti-tetanus antibodies were assessed before and after boosting 162 adolescents and 219 children from Mfou (Cameroon). Among 63 adolescents with 3 recorded dose of infant DTP, 29/63 (46%) responded with a > or =4-fold increase of antibody titers, 35/63 (55%) reaching the 0.10UI/ml threshold. Response rates were slightly higher (62%) in children aged 10-11 years. Responders and non-responders only differed significantly in their baseline anti-tetanus antibodies. Thus, early life immune immaturity may limit the persistence of infant-induced immunity and subsequent boosters may be required for sustained protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Immunization, Secondary*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Tetanus Toxoid / administration & dosage*
  • Tetanus Toxoid / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Tetanus Toxoid