The seroprotection rate of the hepatitis B and measles vaccines was reduced in some diabetic children, according to a new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is thought to impair immunological responses to vaccines. Researchers aimed to evaluate the presence of certain antibodies against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and measles in diabetic children. A total of 341 children were prospectively evaluated for the study: 201 were diabetic and 140 were healthy controls. All children had been immunized according to the standard national calendar of immunization. 

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The researchers identified antibodies against hepatitis B (anti-HBs) and measles in all individuals. The onset and duration of T1DM, diabetes-related antibodies, and mean HbA1c levels were also noted.

Results showed that 72.6% of diabetics and 82.1% of controls had anti-HBs (+) (P=0.04). In diabetic children with anti-HBs (-), the efficacy of the measles vaccination was reduced (P=0.009), despite there being no significant difference between both the study and control groups. Disease onset was also earlier in the anti-HBs (-) diabetic group vs. the control group (P=0.038).

Sudy authors call for further studies including a larger number of individuals in order confirm their findings of vaccine efficacy among children with diabetes, and to uncover possible pathogenic mechanisms.

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