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  • Author or Editor: L. Réthy x
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For lack of relevant data of the literature, the tetanus immunisation results obtained in the two sexes were compared in an animal model. Complete immunisation series of weaned, adult and aged guinea-pigs (20–25 animals/group) were performed with aluminium phosphate (AlPO4) adsorbed purified tetanus toxoid (PTAP) as well as with typhoid-tetanus vaccine (TY-TE) containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Both vaccines contained 5.0 Lf (limes flocculans, Ramon) per single dose of tetanus toxoid, purity degree: 1500 Lf/mg protein nitrogen (PN). Tetanus antitoxin titres (TAT) were measured after the first shot, and subsequently before and after booster. Compared to TAT of male animals, significantly lower titres were found in female animals after basic immunisation with PTAP in all the three age groups: 1.03 vs. 0.57, 8.75 vs. 5.64, and 0.27 vs. 0.15 IU (international units, related to the Copenhagen International Standard) per ml (sex-chromosome-dependent differences?), as well as in adult animals immunised with TY-TE, before booster: 0.07 vs. 0.02 IU/ml (hormone-dependent differences?). In the latter case the TAT results after booster were 14.49 vs. 12.89 IU/ml. Thus, the lower female prebooster titres were counterbalanced by a quick and effective increase of titres following booster. These results are in accordance with our previous observations in humans (Réthy and Réthy, 1986). From our observations with tetanus immunisation series on guinea-pigs it can be concluded that TAT may be influenced by the effects of sex chromosomes as well as of sexual hormones. During active anti-tetanus immunisation with LPS-containing vaccine (TY-TE) the lower adult female prebooster titres are presumably counterbalanced by the better functionality of the female immune memory.

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