Serum Vaccine Antibody Concentrations in Adolescents Exposed to Perfluorinated Compounds

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BACKGROUND: Postnatal exposure to perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) is associated with lower serum concentrations of specific antibodies against certain childhood vaccines at 7 y.

OBJECTIVES: We prospectively followed a Faroese birth cohort to determine these associations at 13 y.

METHODS: In 516 subjects (79% of eligible cohort members) who were 13 years old, serum concentrations of PFASs and of antibodies against diphtheria and tetanus were measured and were compared with data from the previous examination at 7 y. Multiple regression analyses and structural equation models were applied to determine the association between postnatal PFAS exposures and antibody concentrations.

RESULTS: Serum concentrations of PFASs and antibodies generally declined from 7 y to 13 y. However, 68 subjects had visited the emergency room and had likely received a vaccination booster, and a total of 202 children showed higher vaccine antibody concentrations at 13 y than at 7 y. Therefore, separate analyses were conducted after exclusion of these two subgroups. Diphtheria antibody concentrations decreased at elevated PFAS concentrations at 13 y and 7 y; the associations were statistically significant for perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) at 7 y and for perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) at 13 y, both suggesting a decrease by ∼25% for each doubling of exposure. Structural equation models showed that a doubling in PFAS exposure at 7 y was associated with losses in diphtheria antibody concentrations at 13 y of 10–30% for the five PFASs. Few associations were observed for anti-tetanus concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS: These results are in accord with previous findings of PFAS immunotoxicity at current exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number077018
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2017

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Antibodies, Bacterial, Child, Denmark, Diphtheria Toxoid, Environmental Exposure, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Pollutants, Female, Fluorocarbons, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Sulfonic Acids, Tetanus Toxoid, Journal Article

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