May 15, 2000
The following news tip is based on abstracts or posters presented at the joint meeting of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, held May 14-17 in Chicago.
To prevent organ rejection, children who receive kidney transplants must take medications to suppress the body's immune system. To learn whether common childhood vaccinations – which play an integral role in immunity – are effective when given to children with kidney transplants, pediatric nephrologist Alicia Neu, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center measured antibody levels in 19 pediatric kidney patients after pneumococcal vaccine. Six received the vaccine after kidney transplant, while on immunosuppressive drugs, and 13 were vaccinated prior to transplant. Most of the patients had protective levels of antibody as long as five years after immunization.