Journal Club - Antibiotics in children below 2 years to cause low vaccine response
The majority of children are given antibiotics in the first 2 years of life when vaccine-induced immunity develops. Previous studies have shown a negative association of antibiotic use with vaccine-induced immunity in adults, but there is a lack of data on children.
According to a recent study published in thejournal Pediatrics, antibiotic use in children aged 6 to 24 months is associated with reduced vaccine-induced antibody levels to several vaccines. A concurrent retrospective, unplanned secondary analysis of the medical record regarding antibiotic prescriptions and vaccine antibody measurements was undertaken and was observed in children aged 6 to 24 months.
The researchers performed antibody measurements relative to diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP), inactivated polio (IPV), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and pneumococcal conjugate (PCV) vaccines.
It was found that out of a total of 560 children 342 with and 218 without antibiotic prescriptions, vaccine-induced antibody levels to several diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis and pneumococcal conjugate antigens were lower in children who were given antibiotics.
A higher frequency of vaccine-induced antibodies below protective levels in children given antibiotics occurred at 9 and 12 months of age. Hence, it was concluded that Antibiotic use in children less than 2 years of age is associated with lower vaccine-induced antibody levels to several vaccines. Therefore, there should be caution about overprescribing antibiotics because an adverse effect seems to extend to a reduction in vaccine responses.
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)