To determine the quantitative and qualitative antibody responses to a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PnCV) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-exposed infected and uninfected children.
Children were randomized to receive either a PnCV or placebo at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age. PnCV serotype-specific antibody concentrations were measured by a standard enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a 22F modified EIA (22F EIA) on single serum samples drawn at 21–42 days post-dose 3. Functional activities of the serotype-specific antibody to serotypes 6B, 19F and 23F were measured with an opsonophagocytic assay (OPA).
The geometric mean antibody concentrations (GMC) were similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected PnCV recipients for 7 of the 9 vaccine serotypes. In placebo recipients, the GMCs were significantly higher in HIV-infected than in uninfected children for 7 of the serotypes. In HIV-infected PnCV recipients, the GMCs were lower for 5 of the serotypes in children with severe acquired immunodeficiency syndrome than in children who were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV-infected PnCV recipients were less likely to have measurable functional antibody (OPA titer ≥1/8) to all 3 studied serotypes (6B, 19F and 23F) than in HIV-uninfected children. HIV-infected children required a higher concentration of anticapsular antibody to achieve 50% of the maximum uptake of labeled Streptococcus pneumoniae in the OPA assay than HIV-uninfected children for 2 of the 3 serotypes, although this was significant only for serotype 6B (P = 0.0005).
HIV-infected children have similar quantitative antibody responses but poorer qualitative antibody responses to the PnCV.