Low cord blood pneumococcal antibody concentrations predict more episodes of otitis media

Eric T. Becken, Kathleen A. Daly, Bruce R. Lindgren, Mary H. Meland, G. Scott Giebink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if cord blood anticapsular polysaccharide pneumococcal IgG antibody concentration was related to the number of otitis media (OM) and acute OM episodes during the first year of life. Design: Prospective study following infants from birth to 24 months. Setting: Health maintenance organization. Patients: The study population consisted of 415 infants whose mothers volunteered for the study during pregnancy. Cord blood samples were collected and infants were followed up for OM in the health maintenance organization. Ninety-seven percent of the infants were white, 49% male, 3% from households with annual incomes of less than $20000, and 30% from households with annual incomes of more than $60000. Main Outcome Measure: Number of physician-diagnosed OM episodes, including both OM with effusion and acute OM, and acute OM episodes from birth to 12 months. Results: With univariate analysis, low cord blood antibody concentrations against serotypes 3 and 19F predicted more acute OM episodes (P = .04 and P = .05, respectively), and low antibody concentrations against serotypes 19F and 23F predicted more OM episodes (P = .04 and P = .05, respectively) over the first year of life. With Poisson regression, which adjusted for variables related to the recurrence of OM and having low cord blood antibody concentrations, serotype 19F remained significantly related to the number of OM episodes (relative risk for lowest quartiles vs upper 3 quartiles 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.50; P = .03). Conclusions: Low cord blood antibody concentrations to serotype 19F predicted more OM episodes over the first 12 months of life. These results suggest the potential benefit of maternal immunization to raise neonatal antipolysaccharide pneumococcal antibody concentration and delay the onset and reduce the number of OM episodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2001


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