[Long term persistence of yellow fever neutralising antibodies in elderly persons].Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2011 Oct; 104(4):260-5.BS
The activity of the yellow fever virus is reemerging in areas without recent transmission history, such as northern Argentina and Paraguay, and persists in an epidemic mode in other countries in Africa and Latin America. Thus more and more travelers are at risk of being exposed to this disease. The population is becoming older, sometimes suffering from multiple pathologies. Moreover, the risk of serious adverse events associated with live-attenuated YF17D vaccine, such as multiple organ failure (YEL-AVD), reaches 1/50,000 vaccines in people over 65 versus 1/200,000 in the general population. We analyzed, in a retrospective study, the results of neutralizing antibody titers against yellow fever in people aged 60 and older, who had been previously vaccinated against yellow fever and had visited the International Vaccination Centre of the Institut Pasteur between January 2005 and February 2009. In this population of 84 persons (median age 69 years), the date of the last vaccination was always more than 10 years: it was precisely known in 68 subjects and alleged in 16 subjects. The median time since the previous vaccination was 14 years, with a maximum of 60 years. The indications of serology were: immunosuppressive therapy (19% of cases), cancer (32%), hemopathy (10.7%), HIV infection (3.6%), chronic hepatitis/chronic renal failure/dialysis (2.4%), autoimmune diseases (2.4%), and in 29.8% of cases, age alone was the indication of serology. The antibody titer was at a protective level in 95.2% of cases. The four individuals with negative serology had no formal documented proof of a previous vaccination against yellow fever. This serological study was able to show a persistent protective antibody titer, after a previous vaccination, even going back 60 years, allowing patients to travel in a yellow-fever endemic area despite a contraindication, and without requiring any vaccine booster.