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      Safety and Immunogenicity of Measles Vaccination in HIV-Infected and HIV-Exposed Uninfected Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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          HIV-infected and HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children have an increased risk of measles that may be due to altered immune responses or suboptimal timing of measles vaccination. We aimed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of measles vaccination in HIV-infected and HEU children.


          For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Global Health Library and IndMED on May 9, 2018. Studies were included if they reported on safety or seroresponse (either seroprotection/seropositivity/seroconversion) after measles vaccination in HIV-infected or HEU children. We calculated pooled estimates to compare immunogenicity outcomes between HIV-infected, HEU and HIV-unexposed children, using risk ratios [RRs] (with 95%CIs). PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017057411.


          Seventy-one studies met the inclusion criteria (15,363 children). Twenty-eight studies reported on safety; vaccine-associated adverse events and deaths were uncommon. Sixty-two studies reported on immunogenicity, 27 were included in the meta-analysis. HIV-infected children had lower seroresponse rates after primary vaccination compared with HIV-unexposed (RR 0.74; 95%CI: 0.61–0.90, I 2  = 85.9%) and HEU children (0.78; 0.69–0.88, I 2  = 77.1%), which was mitigated by antiretroviral therapy and time interval between vaccination and serology. HEU and HIV-unexposed children had similar seroresponses. Vaccination at 6-months resulted in similar proportions of HIV-infected children having seroresponse compared with HIV-unexposed (0.96; 0.77–1.19) and HEU children (1.00; 0.73–1.37, I 2  = 63.7%).


          Primary measles vaccination at 6-months of age may provide protection against measles during early infancy in settings with high prevalence of maternal HIV-infection, however, further studies are needed to evaluate this strategy in HEU children and HIV-infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy.


          South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation in Vaccine Preventable Diseases; Medical Research Council: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit.

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          Timing of HAART defines the integrity of memory B cells and the longevity of humoral responses in HIV-1 vertically-infected children.

          HIV-1 infection induces a progressive disruption of the B cell compartment impairing long-term immune responses to routine immunizations. Depletion of specific memory B cell pools occurs during the 1st stages of the infection and cannot be reestablished by antiretroviral treatment. We reasoned that an early control of viral replication through treatment could preserve the normal development of the memory B cell compartment and responses to routine childhood vaccines. Accordingly, we evaluated the effects of different highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) schedules in 70 HIV-1 vertically-infected pediatric subjects by B cell phenotypic analyses, antigen-specific B cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot) and ELISA for common vaccination and HIV-1 antigens. Initiation of HAART within the 1st year of life permits the normal development and maintenance of the memory B cell compartment. On the contrary, memory B cells from patients treated later in time are remarkably reduced and their function is compromised regardless of viral control. A cause for concern is that both late-treated HIV-1 controllers and noncontrollers loose protective antibody titers against common vaccination antigens. Timing of HAART initiation is the major factor predicting the longevity of B cell responses in vaccinated HIV-1-infected children.
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            HIV-exposed uninfected infants are at increased risk for severe infections in the first year of life.

            HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants have higher infectious morbidity than HIV-unexposed uninfected (HUU) infants. We present the clinical outcomes from a pilot cohort study of 27 HEU and 28 HUU infants. In the absence of infant malnutrition or advanced maternal HIV, HEU infants experienced a 2.74 (0.85-8.78) times greater risk of hospitalization in the first year.
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              Antibody responses to vaccination among South African HIV-exposed and unexposed uninfected infants during the first 2 years of life.

              HIV-exposed but uninfected (HEU) infants born to HIV-infected mothers from areas in the world with a high burden of infectious disease suffer higher infectious morbidity and mortality than their HIV unexposed uninfected (HUU) peers. Vaccination provides protection from infection. The possibility exists that altered response to vaccination contributes to the higher rate of infection in HEU than in HUU infants. While short-term, cross-sectional studies support this notion, it is unclear whether or not HEU infants develop long-term protective immune responses following the WHO extended program on immunization (EPI). Vaccine-specific antibody responses were compared between HEU and HUU infants from 2 weeks until 2 years of age in a longitudinal South African cohort. Total IgG and antibodies specific for Bordetella pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), tetanus toxoid, hepatitis B virus (HepB), and measles virus were measured at multiple time points throughout the first 2 years of life. Prevaccine antibodies (maternal antibodies passively acquired) specific for tetanus were lower in HEU than in HUU infants, while prevaccine antibodies to HepB were higher in HEU than in HUU infants. Both groups responded similarly to tetanus, Hib, and HepB vaccination. HEU demonstrated stronger pertussis vaccine responses, developing protective titers 1 year earlier than HUU patients, and maintained higher anti-tetanus titers at 24 months of age. Vaccine-induced antibodies to measles virus were similar in both groups at all time points. Our results suggest that the current EPI vaccination program as practiced in South Africa leads to the development of vaccine-specific antibody responses that are equivalent in HEU and HUU infants. However, our data also suggest that a large fraction of both HEU and HUU South African infants have antibody titers for several infectious threats that remain below the level of protection for much of their first 2 years of life.

                Author and article information

                02 July 2018
                July 2018
                02 July 2018
                : 1
                : 28-42
                [a ]Medical Research Council, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [b ]Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation, Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [c ]Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [d ]Julius Global Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
                [e ]Clinical Epidemiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Medical Research Council, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2013, South Africa. madhis@ 123456rmpru.co.za

                Contributed equally.

                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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