Immune response to polio vaccination in bone marrow transplant recipients

D. Engelhard, R. Handsher, E. Naparstek, I. Hardan, N. Strauss, M. Aker, R. H. Or Baciu, S. Slavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following a small outbreak of poliomyelitis which occurred in the summer of 1988 in Israel, two sequential doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) were administered to 42 bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients (aged 2-50 years) who were 6-96 months (median 16 months) after transplantation. Prior to vaccination, only 68-80% patients (n = 42) had protective (≥ 4) antibody levels against the three serotypes of poliovirus, compared with 92-96% (n = 25) before BMT (p = 0.02 for types 1 and 3). After the second dose of IPV, 89-98% (n = 27) of the recipients had protective antibody levels. The pre-vaccination antibody titers were lower than before BMT (p = 0.006, 0.0007 and 0.0008 for types 1,2 and 3, respectively). After the first dose of IPV, antibody titers rose in the 42 patients (p = 0.002, 0.043 and 0.002 for types 1, 2 and 3, respectively) and following the second dose, a further increase in antibody levels was noted. Regression analysis revealed that graft-versus-host disease, pre-BMT polio antibody titers, age and type of transplantation (allogeneic versus autologous) were significant explanatory variables for the specific antibody levels, while the time lapse between BMT and vaccination, and primary disease proved of no significance. Vaccination against poliovirus after BMT is advocated, as it reinstates and raises the lost specific humoral immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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