Immunity and immunization of children against diphtheria in Sweden

  • A. Mark
  • B. Christenson
  • M. Granström
  • A. Strandell
  • B. Wickbom
  • M. Böttiger


The level of immunity to diphtheria and the effect of vaccination with different doses of diphtheria toxoid was investigated. The 457 study children, 6, 10 and 16 years of age, had as infants received routine primary vaccination with three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-toxoid or diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, and the 16 year-olds also had received a booster dose of tetanus with a small dose of diphtheria at the age of ten. Prior to the study booster, 15 % of the 6-year-olds had antitoxin levels against diphtheria <0.01 IU/ml, the given minimum level for protection. Of the 10-year-olds, 48 % had titres <0.01 IU/ml, while the corresponding figure for the 16-year-olds was 24 %. After a booster injection of 0.1, 0.25 or 0.5 ml of diphtheria-tetanus vaccine, more than 97 % of the children showed titre levels ⩾0.1 IU/ml, while levels of ⩾1 IU/ml, indicating titres sufficient for long-term protection, were attained by 23–96 %. Systemic reactions were few and moderate. Local reactions were of little clinical significance. In a group of 5-years-olds given diphtheria-tetanus primary vaccinations over wider intervals, only 1.4 % had antitoxin titres <0.01 IU/ml. The results show a need for serologic monitoring of vaccination programmes.


Systemic Reaction Tetanus Minimum Level Small Dose Diphtheria 
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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Mark
    • 1
  • B. Christenson
    • 2
  • M. Granström
    • 3
  • A. Strandell
    • 4
  • B. Wickbom
    • 5
  • M. Böttiger
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Child HealthJonköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyNational Bacteriological LaboratoryStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Vaccine ProductionNational Bacteriological LaboratoryStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Intional Board of EducationStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Paediatric Out-patient ClinicSaltsjö-BooSweden

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