Impaired Antigen-Specific Immune Response to Vaccines in Children with Antibody Production Defects

Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2015 Aug;22(8):875-82. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00148-15. Epub 2015 May 27.


The impaired synthesis of antigen-specific antibodies, which is indispensable for an adaptive immune response to infections, is a fundamental pathomechanism that leads to clinical manifestations in children with antibody production defects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the synthesis of antigen-specific antibodies following immunization in relation to peripheral blood B cell subsets in young children with hypogammaglobulinemia. Twenty-two children, aged from 8 to 61 months, with a deficiency in one or more major immunoglobulin classes participated in the study. Postvaccination antibodies against tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus, and the capsular Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide antigen were assessed along with an immunophenotypic evaluation of peripheral blood B lymph cell maturation. A deficiency of antibodies against the tetanus toxoid was assessed in 73% of cases and that against the diphtheria toxoid was assessed in 68% of cases, whereas a deficiency of antibodies against the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus was revealed in 59% of the children included in the study. A defective response to immunization with a conjugate vaccine with the Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide antigen was demonstrated in 55% of hypogammaglobulinemic patients. Increased proportions of transitional B lymph cells and an accumulation of plasmablasts accompanied antibody deficiencies. The defective response to vaccine protein and polysaccharide antigens is a predominating disorder of humoral immunity in children with hypogammaglobulinemia and may result from a dysfunctional state of the cellular elements of the immune system.

MeSH terms

  • Agammaglobulinemia*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Infant
  • Male


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines