Incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b disease in The Gambia 14 years after introduction of routine Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine immunization

Claire Oluwalana, Stephen R C Howie, Ousman Secka, Readon C Ideh, Bernard Ebruke, Sana Sambou, James Erskine, Yamundow Lowe, Tumani Corrah, Richard A Adegbola
Journal of Pediatrics 2013, 163 (1 Suppl): S4-7

OBJECTIVE: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine was first introduced in Africa in The Gambia in 1997 as a primary 3-dose course in infancy with no booster, and was followed by the disappearance of invasive Hib disease by 2002. A cluster of cases detected non-systematically in post-infant children in 2005-2006 raised the question of the need for a booster dose. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of invasive Hib disease in Gambian children 14 years after the introduction of Hib conjugate vaccine.

STUDY DESIGN: This hospital-based clinical and microbiological Hib disease surveillance in 3 hospitals in the western region of The Gambia was undertaken between October 2007 and December 2010 applying the same methods used in a previous Hib vaccine effectiveness study in 1997-2002.

RESULTS: The annual incidences of Hib meningitis and all invasive Hib disease in children aged <5 years remained below 5 cases per 100,000 children during 2008-2010. The median age of patients with any invasive Hib disease was 5 months.

CONCLUSION: Hib conjugate vaccination as a primary 3-dose course in The Gambia remains highly effective in controlling invasive Hib disease, and current data do not support the introduction of a booster dose.

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