Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exposure To PCBs May Reduce The Effectiveness Of Vaccines In Children

Date:
August 22, 2006
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
New epidemiological evidence suggests that exposure to environmental pollutants may have an adverse impact on immune responses to childhood vaccinations. The research appears in the Aug. 22, 2006, online edition of Public Library of Science Medicine.

New epidemiological evidence suggests that exposure to environmental pollutants may have an adverse impact on immune responses to childhood vaccinations. The research appears in the Aug. 22, 2006, online edition of Public Library of Science Medicine.

The study looked at two groups of children in the Faroe Islands, which are located in the North Atlantic and where traditional diets may include whale blubber contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Blood and milk samples taken during pregnancy from the mothers were analyzed to determine the children's prenatal PCB exposure. After routine childhood vaccinations against tetanus and diphtheria, the two groups of children were examined at age 18 months and 7 years, and blood samples were examined for tetanus and diphtheria antibodies.

The findings showed an association between increased PCB contamination and lowered antibody response to the vaccines. At 18 months, the diphtheria antibody concentration decreased by 24 percent for each doubling of the PCB exposure. At 7 years, the tetanus antibody response showed the strongest response and decreased by 16 percent for each doubling of the prenatal exposure.

"Our study raises concern that exposure to PCB and similar compounds may make childhood vaccinations less efficient," said Philippe Grandjean , adjunct professor at Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the paper. Exposed children may also be more susceptible to infections in general, he said.

There were some limitations to the study, including the relatively small numbers of children who were examined and the time intervals between collection of blood samples. PCB is present in fatty fish worldwide and is known from laboratory studies to affect the development of the immune system. The evidence that PCB exposure may have adverse effects on the immune function in children therefore suggests that vaccine effectiveness may be an additional reason to prevent exposures to PCBs and other environmental pollutants.

Carsten Heilmann of National University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, was lead author of the study. The Faroese cohorts were established by Chief Physician Pál Weihe in the Faroe Islands, in cooperation with Dr. Grandjean.

The work was supported by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Danish Medical Research Council and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "Exposure To PCBs May Reduce The Effectiveness Of Vaccines In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822121151.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2006, August 22). Exposure To PCBs May Reduce The Effectiveness Of Vaccines In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822121151.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "Exposure To PCBs May Reduce The Effectiveness Of Vaccines In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822121151.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins