Immunological impact of an additional early measles vaccine in Gambian children: Responses to a boost at 3 years

Jainaba Njie-jobe, Samuel Nyamweya, David J C Miles, Marianne van der Sande, Syed Zaman, Ebrima Touray, Safayet Hossin, Jane U. Adetifa, Melba Palmero, Sarah Burl, David Jeffries, Sarah L Rowland-Jones, Katie Flanagan, Assan B Jaye, Hilton C Whittle

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Measles vaccine in early infancy followed by a dose at 9 months of age protects against measles and enhances child survival through non-specific effects. Little is known of immune responses in the short or long term after booster doses. Methods: Infants were randomized to receive measles vaccine at 9 months of age (group 1) or 4 and 9 months of age (group 2). Both groups received a boost at 36 months of age. T-cell effector and memory responses using IFN-γ ELIspot and cytokine assays and antibody titres using a haemagglutination-inhibition assay were compared at various times. Results: Vaccination at 4 months of age elicited antibody and CD4 T-cell mediated immune responses .Two weeks after vaccination at 9 months of age group 2 had much higher antibody titres than group1 infants; cell-mediated effector responses were similar. At 36 months of age group 2 antibody titres exceeded protective levels but were 4-fold lower than group 1; effector and cytokine responses were similar. Re-vaccination resulted in similar rapid and high antibody titres in both groups (median 512); cellular immunity changed little. At 48 months of age group 2 antibody concentrations remained well above protective levels though 2-fold lower than group 1; T-cell memory was readily detectable and similar in both groups. Conclusions: An additional early measles vaccine given to children at 4 months of age induced a predominant CD4 T-cell response at 9 months and rapid development of high antibody concentrations after booster doses. However, antibody decayed faster in these children than in the group given primary vaccination at 9 months of age. Cellular responses after 9 months were generally insignificantly different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2543-2550
Number of pages8
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody
  • Booster dose
  • Cellular immunity
  • Measles vaccine
  • Two-dose schedule

Cite this

Njie-jobe, J., Nyamweya, S., Miles, D. J. C., van der Sande, M., Zaman, S., Touray, E., Hossin, S., Adetifa, J. U., Palmero, M., Burl, S., Jeffries, D., Rowland-Jones, S. L., Flanagan, K., Jaye, A. B., & Whittle, H. C. (2012). Immunological impact of an additional early measles vaccine in Gambian children: Responses to a boost at 3 years. Vaccine, 30(15), 2543-2550.