Children less than 24 months of age respond poorly to immunization with the capsular polysaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae type b. Because human antibodies to polysaccharide antigens are relatively restricted to IgG2, a late-maturing subclass, we examined the relationship between serum subclass concentrations and anticapsular antibody responses of 41 healthy children, 9 to 38 months of age, following immunization with type b polysaccharide mixed with pertussis vaccine. Both total and IgG anticapsular antibody responses correlated significantly with preimmune serum concentrations of IgG2 but not with those if IgG1. This correlation was age dependent, however, and after the effect of age was removed by partial correlation, the correlation between anticapsular antibody responses and serum IgG2 concentrations was no longer significant. These findings indicate that the ability to respond to this vaccine coincides with maturation of the ability to secrete immunoglobulin of the IgG2 subclass; however, individual variation in IgG2 that is independent of age does not correlate with antibody response to the type b polysaccharide.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b antibody
- Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
- Immunoglobulin subclass