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Prusa A.-R.,Intensive Care and Neuropaediatry | Wiedermann U.,Center for Pathophysiology | Kasper D.C.,Medical University of Vienna | Hayde M.,Intensive Care and Neuropaediatry | And 3 more authors.
Neonatology | Year: 2011

Objective: In consideration of comprehensive and well-established vaccination programmes in industrialized countries, it is expected that immunity against tetanus among expectant mothers and their offspring is complete. Our study evaluated seroprotection against tetanus among newborns in Austria, who may gain passive immunity by transplacental transfer of maternal tetanus antibody. Methods: Cord blood samples from 99 deliveries were analyzed for antibody concentration against tetanus toxoid by standardized ELISA. Results: 85/99 (85.8%) individuals presented with levels of tetanus immunity having a protective antibody concentration ≥0.1 IU/ml. 9/99 (9.1%) samples showed low seropositivity, while in 5/99 (5.1%) samples no tetanus antibodies could be detected. The median antibody concentration was 0.95 IU/ml. Conclusions: Our data provide evidence for a lack of adequate tetanus immunity in 14.2% of newborns delivered in an Austrian University Hospital. This investigation is emphasizing the importance of stringent regimens concerning prenatal vaccination care, even in countries with generalized immunization programs. If indicated, maternal immunization during pregnancy should be initiated for protection of newborns. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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