Haemophilus influenzae type b combination vaccines and atopic disorders: a prospective cohort study

J Formos Med Assoc. 2012 Dec;111(12):711-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2011.09.022. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


Background/purpose: Epidemiologic evidence for an association between vaccinations and atopy development is inconsistent. We evaluated the influence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) combination vaccines in 6-month-old infants on the prevalence of atopic disorders in 18-month-old children.

Methods: We used multistage, stratified systematic sampling to recruit 24,200 mother-newborn pairs from the Taiwan national birth registration in 2005. Vaccination status was ascertained through official vaccine cards, while risk factors for atopic disorders were gathered by questionnaires at 6 months of age. Information about development of atopic dermatitis (AD) and recurrent wheezing was collected at 18 months of age. The relationship between atopic disorders and Hib combination vaccines, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus-Hib and oral poliomyelitis vaccines (DPT-Hib&OPV) and DPT-Hib-inactivated poliomyelitis vaccines (DPT-Hib-IPV), were estimated by multiple logistic regression.

Results: A total of 19,968 children completed the follow-up and participated in the study. AD was noted in 1584 (7.9%) infants while recurrent wheezing was found in 1220 (6.1%) infants. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (95% CI) for the development of AD in the DPT-Hib&OPV and DPT-Hib-IPV vaccination groups were given as 1.38 (1.15-1.65) and 1.49 (1.29-1.72), compared to those without Hib vaccination (DTP&OPV vaccination). However, the association between DPT-Hib&OPV and DPT-Hib-IPV vaccinations and recurrent wheezing failed to reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: There is a potential risk for AD after receiving Hib combination vaccines. Hib vaccination is important to the public health, and therefore the observation requires further investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine*
  • Female
  • Haemophilus Vaccines*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-haemophilus b conjugate vaccine