Safety and immunogenicity of a new equine tetanus immunoglobulin associated with tetanus-diphtheria vaccine.

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  • 1 Aventis Pasteur, Lyon, France.

In a single-center double-blind, randomized trial in West Africa, we evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a new pasteurized, pepsin-digested equine tetanus immunoglobulin (heat-treated equine tetanus immunoglobulin [HT-ETIG]) in the post-exposure prophylaxis of tetanus compared with the reference product, equine tetanus immunoglobulin (ETIG). A total of 134 adults presenting to Garoua Hospital, Cameroon with a tetanus-prone wound were randomized to receive a 3,000 international units (IU) intramuscular injection (deltoid) of either HT-ETIG or ETIG, simultaneously with a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine. No serious adverse reactions were reported. The incidences of local and systemic reactions were similar in the two groups. Repeated measures of equine tetanus-antibody levels measured from Day 0 to Day 28 showed that titers were significantly higher in the HT-ETIG group (P = 0.017). At Day 7, a higher percentage of subjects in the HT-ETIG group had equine antibody levels > or = 0.1 IU/ml (80.4% versus 37.9%; P < 0.0001). No cases of tetanus occurred during the follow-up, attesting to the efficacy of the combined prophylactic treatment.

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