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Tacrolimus ointment does not affect the immediate response to vaccination, the generation of immune memory, or humoral and cell-mediated immunity in children.

Author(s): Hofman T, Cranswick N, Kuna P, Boznanski A, Latos T, Gold M, Murrell DF, Gebauer K, Behre U, Machura E, Olafsson J, Szalai Z, International Tacrolimus Ointment Study Group

Affiliation(s): Allergy Centre, Poznan, Poland. T.Hofman@interia.pl

Publication date & source: 2006-11, Arch Dis Child., 91(11):905-10. Epub 2006 Jun 23.

BACKGROUND: Concern exists that the prolonged application of immunomodulators to treat atopic dermatitis may cause systemic immunosuppression. AIMS: In a 7-month, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial, we investigated the equivalence of response to vaccination against meningococcal serogroup C disease with a protein-conjugate vaccine in children (2-11 years) with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, by applying either 0.03% tacrolimus ointment (TAC-O; n = 21) or a hydrocortisone ointment regimen (HC-O; n = 111). METHODS: TAC-O was applied twice daily (bid) for 3 weeks, and thereafter daily until clearance. 1% hydrocortisone acetate (HA) for head/neck and 0.1% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment for trunk/limbs was applied bid for 2 weeks; thereafter HA was applied bid to all affected areas. At week 1, patients were vaccinated with protein-conjugate vaccine against meningococcal serogroup C, and challenged at month 6 with low dose meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine. The control group (44 non-atopic dermatitis children) received the primary vaccination and challenge dose. Assessments were made at baseline, weeks 1 and 5, and months 6 and 7. The primary end point was the percentage of patients with a serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) titre > or = 8 at the week 5 visit. RESULTS: The response rate (patients with SBA titre > or = 8) was 97.5% (confidence interval (CI) approximately 97.3 to 100), 99.1% (94.8 to 100) and 97.7% (93.3 to 100) in the TAC-O, HC-O and control groups, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The immune response to vaccination against meningococcal serogroup C in children with atopic dermatitis applying either 0.03% TAC-O or HC is equivalent. Ointment application does not affect the immediate response to vaccination, generation of immune memory or humoral and cell-mediated immunity.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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