Pre-vaccination evolution of antibodies among infants 0, 3 and 6months of age: A longitudinal analysis of measles, enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus 16.


In 2013-2014, we collected sera at ages 0, 3 and 6months from infants. We assayed for levels of measles IgG antibody (717, 233 and 75 sample sera tested at months 0, 3 and 6, respectively), and neutralizing antibodies for EV71 and CoxA16 (225, 217, and 72). Demographic and health information were collected, and a linear mixed model (LMM) was used to describe antibody levels over time.

Due to waning levels of maternal antibodies (measles; enterovirus 71, EV71; and coxsackievirus A16, CoxA16), some infants may lose protection against infection prior to vaccination. Using a longitudinal design, we examine how maternal antibody levels evolve over time in infants prior to vaccination.

Further modifications of vaccination strategies for measles, earlier vaccination for EV71 infection, and deployment of a CoxA16 vaccine need to be considered to limit infection among the very young.

Pre-vaccination monotonic antibody decreases were observed for measles (1410, 195 and 22mIU/ml, p<0.001), EV71 (1:19.9, 6.3 and 4.5, p<0.001) and CoxA16 (1:16.3, 5.9, and 4.5, p<0.001). At 6months of age, only 2.7% (95%CI, 0.6-8.3), 6.8% (95%CI, 2.7-14.4) and 5.6% (95%CI, 1.9-12.7) of infants were antibody positive for measles, EV71 and CoxA16, respectively. LMM findings indicated that infants with higher antibody titers at birth experienced a greater loss of antibody level. An infection rate of 1.3% (95%CI, 0.1-6.1) was reported for both EV71 and CoxA16.

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