Immunogenicity and Efficacy of Different Haemophilus influenzae type b Vaccines



Haemophilus influenzae, a major cause of meningitis in young children leading to death and other neurological sequelae. The disease leaves 15 to 35% of the survivors with permanent disabilities, such as, mental retardation or deafness. Despite the availability of new and more powerful antibiotics children with Hib meningitis still suffer from high mortality or morbidity. The emergence of multiresistant Hib strains causes increasing difficulties in selecting proper antibiotics for the treatment. Since 1970, the capsular polysaccharide polyribosylribitol phosphate (PRP) in H. influenzae b has been the target for vaccine development. The first Hib polysaccharide vaccine licensed in 1985, proved immunogenic in human adults, but failed to elicit an immune response in children under 2 years of age who were at greatest risk of developing the invasive Hib infection. These factors led to one of the most exciting advances in pediatrics, the development of Hib conjugate vaccines. Unlike most other vaccines for preventing a particular disease which are generally similar for all types, the specific characteristics of the available Hib conjugate vaccines licensed vary from each other in structure and immunological properties. In this review the immunogenicity and efficacy of Hib vaccines including a) PRP vaccine; b) Conjugate vaccines; and c) Combination vaccines is evaluated.