Group A and group C meningoccal polysaccharide vaccines were evaluated in infants. No significant local or systemic reactions were observed with 908 doses of vaccine given to 396 infants between 3 and 12 mo of age. The antibody response varied with the age of the infant, vaccine dose, molecular weight of vaccine, prior immunization with vaccine, and prior exposure to naturally occurring cross-reactive antigens. Only 7% of 3-mo-old infants had detectable antibody responses to primary immunization with 5-200 mug of A vaccine, presumably because of suppressive effects of high concentrations of maternal anti-A. More than 90% of 7- and 12-mo-old infants responded to A vaccine, achieving geometric mean anti-A concentrations of 0.38 and 0.98 mug/ml, respectively. The dose-response curve was flat between 10 and 200 mug of A vaccine. Geometric mean anti-A concentrations of 2.51 and 4.00 mug/ml were induced in 7- and 12-mo-old infants by booster injections of A vaccine. Approximately 90% of 3-mo-old infants had detectable antibody responses to primary immunization with C vaccine. The 100-mug dose appeared to be optimal, resulting in geometric mean anti-C concentrations of 0.49, 1.55, and 2.64 mug/ml in 3-, 7-, and 12-mo-old infants, respectively. Significant booster responses were not observed with C vaccine. Indeed, except for the 10-mug dose, booster injections of C vaccine in 7- and 12-mo-old infants resulted in lower anti-C concentrations than did primary immunizations.
R Gold, M L Lepow, I Goldschneider, T L Draper, E C Gotschlich