Serum perfluoroalkyl substances, vaccine responses, and morbidity in a cohort of guinea-bissau children

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  • Clara Amalie Gade Timmermann
  • Kristoffer Jarlov Jensen
  • Flemming Nielsen
  • Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben
  • Fiona van der Klis
  • Christine Stabell Benn
  • Philippe Grandjean
  • Ane Bærent Fisker

BACKGROUND: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of widely used persistent chemicals with suspected immunotoxic effects. OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to examine the association between infant PFAS exposure and antibody responses to measles vaccination as well as morbidity in a low-income country. METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial, children from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, were followed from inclusion (4–7 months of age) through 2 years of age. Half the children received two measles vaccinations (at inclusion and at 9 months of age), and the other half received only one (at 9 months of age). In a subset of 237 children, six PFAS were quantified in serum at inclusion, and measles antibody concentrations were assessed at inclusion and at approximately 9 months and 2 years of age. At inclusion and at the 9-month visit, mothers were interviewed about infant morbidity. RESULTS: All but one child had detectable serum concentrations of all six PFAS, although levels were lower than seen elsewhere. A doubling in perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) were associated with 21% (95% CI: 2, 37%) and 25% (95% CI: 1, 43%), respectively, lower measles antibody concentrations at the 9-month visit among the children who had received a measles vaccine at inclusion. Elevated serum PFAS concentrations were also associated with reduced prevaccination measles antibody concentrations and increased morbidity. DISCUSSION: The present study documents that PFAS exposure has reached West Africa and that infants show PFAS-associated increases in morbidity and decreases in measles-specific antibody concentrations before and after vaccination. These findings support the evidence on PFAS immunotoxicity at comparatively low serum concentrations.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Udgave nummer8
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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