Effects on the anti-ABO titers of military blood donors from a predeployment vaccination program

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BACKGROUNDThe use of blood group O as “universal blood” for emergency whole blood transfusions carries the risk for a hemolytic transfusion reaction mediated by incompatible A/B antibodies. This risk can be minimized by assuring that the donor has a low titer of anti-A and anti-B. The level of these naturally occurring antibodies has been shown to be increased by vaccination with most biologically derived vaccines. This boostering effect has been investigated for the new generation of vaccines.METHODSThe 120 crew members of a Swedish naval ship deployed for 7 months to the Indian Ocean were tested for anti-A and anti-B before their predeployment vaccination program and after returning to Sweden. The vaccination program contained vaccines against cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, influenza, measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, TBE virus, tetanus, typhus and yellow fever. Paired antibody titrations were performed for both IgM and IgG using microtube gelcards (Diamed GMBH).RESULTSNo crew member, including the six belonging to the “high titer” group, showed a sign of a booster effect by any of the used vaccines.CONCLUSIONThe earlier reported boostering effects mediated by different vaccines cannot be replicated with the new vaccines of today. This is probably a result of the new manufacturing techniques resulting in much purer vaccines.LEVEL OF EVIDENCETherapeutic/care management study, level II.

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