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15 Nov 2012

Haemophilus influenzae serotype B (Hib) seroprevalence in England and Wales in 2009 (Euro Surveill., abstract, edited)

[Source: Eurosurveillance, full text: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Eurosurveillance, Volume 17, Issue 46, 15 November 2012

Surveillance and outbreak reports

Haemophilus influenzae serotype B (Hib) seroprevalence in England and Wales in 2009

S N Ladhani ()1, M. E.B. Ramsay1, J S Flood1, H Campbell1, M P Slack1, R Pebody1, J Findlow2, E Newton2, M Wilding2, R Warrington2, H Crawford2, S Y Min2, K Gray2, S Martin2, S Frankland2, N Bokuvha2, G Laher2, R Borrow2

  1. Health Protection Agency Colindale, London, United Kingdom
  2. Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Health Protection Agency, Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom

Citation style for this article: Ladhani SN, Ramsay ME, Flood JS, Campbell H, Slack MP, Pebody R, Findlow J, Newton E, Wilding M, Warrington R, Crawford H, Min SY, Gray K, Martin S, Frankland S, Bokuvha N, Laher G, Borrow R. Haemophilus influenzae serotype B (Hib) seroprevalence in England and Wales in 2009 . Euro Surveill. 2012;17(46):pii=20313. Available online:
Date of submission: 19 April 2012

A national seroprevalence study was performed to determine the prevalence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) antibodies in England and Wales in 2009, when Hib disease incidence was the lowest ever recorded. A total of 2,693 anonymised residual sera from routine diagnostic testing submitted by participating National Health Service hospital laboratories were tested for Hib anti-polyribosyl-ribitol phosphate (PRP) IgG antibodies using a fluorescent bead assay. Median anti-PRP IgG concentrations were highest in toddlers aged 1–4 years (2.65 µg/ml), followed by children aged 5–9 years (1.95 µg/ml). Antibody concentrations were significantly lower after this age, but were still significantly higher among 10–19 year-olds (0.54 µg/ml) compared with adults aged >20 years (0.16 µg/ml; p<0.0001). Half of the adults (51%) did not have Hib antibody concentrations ≥0.15 µg/ml, the level considered to confer short-term protection. Thus, the current excellent Hib control appears to be the result of high anti-PRP antibody concentrations in children aged up to 10 years, achieved through the various childhood vaccination campaigns offering booster immunisation. The lack of seroprotection in adults emphasises the importance of maintaining control of the disease and, most probably carriage, in children, therefore raising the question as to whether long-term routine boosting of either pre-school children or adolescents may be required.