The Association Between Fecal Biomarkers of Environmental Enteropathy and Rotavirus Vaccine Response in Nicaraguan Infants

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Abstract

Background:

Environmental enteropathy (EE) is a common intestinal condition among children living in low- and middle-income countries and is associated with diminished enteric immunity to gastrointestinal pathogens, and possibly to oral vaccine antigens. The goal of this study was to examine associations between biomarkers of EE and immunogenicity to the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5).

Methods:

Infants were recruited 1 day before their first RV5 immunization in León, Nicaragua, from public health rosters. Infants provided a preimmunization blood and stool sample, and a second blood sample 1 month after receipt of RV5. We measured immunoglobin A (IgA) seroconversion to the first dose of RV5 and concentrations of 4 previously identified fecal biomarkers of EE (alpha-1 antitrypsin, neopterin, myeloperoxidase and calprotectin). We then assessed associations between concentrations of these biomarkers, both individually and as combined scores, and seroconversion to the first dose of RV5.

Results:

Of the 43 enrolled infants, 24 (56%) seroconverted after the first dose of RV5. As compared with infants who seroconverted, those who did not seroconvert had higher median concentrations of both myeloperoxidase (3.1 vs. 1.1 µg/mL, P = 0.002) and calprotectin (199.1 vs. 156.2 µg/mL, P = 0.03). Further, those who did not seroconvert had a higher median combined score of the 4 biomarkers as compared with those who seroconverted (6.5 vs. 4.5, P = 0.017).

Conclusions:

We found an association between biomarkers of EE and seroconversion to the first dose of RV5. It is possible that interventions that prevent or ameliorate EE may also improve oral rotavirus vaccine response.

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