Immunisation against varicella in end stage and pre-end stage renal failure. Trans-Pennine Paediatric Nephrology Study Group

Archives of Disease in Childhood
N J WebbG Corbitt

Abstract

To investigate the seroconversion rate and duration of persistence of protective antibody titres after varicella immunisation in children with renal failure. 32 children (25 end stage and 7 pre-end stage renal failure) were immunised using 2 x 2,000 plaque forming unit doses of varicella vaccine 3 months apart. Varicella antibody titres were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. All children initially seroconverted after immunisation. At a mean follow up of 20.3 months, 23 of 28 had protective antibody titres, 4 children having died of unrelated causes. Two children required a third booster dose. 11 children underwent renal transplantation; 10 had protective titres at the time of transplantation and, at a mean of 23.4 months after immunisation, 6 currently have protective titres. Minor side effects occurred after 11 vaccine doses in 9 children. No child developed varicella, despite 10 clear episodes of exposure to the wild-type virus. Varicella immunisation in children with end stage and pre-end stage renal failure results in a high rate of seroconversion and persistence of protective antibody titres. More widespread use of the vaccine before renal transplantation is recommended.

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