Immunization of children with secondary immunodeficiency

Susanna Esposito, Elisabetta Prada, Mara Lelii, Luca Castellazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The main causes of secondary immunodeficiency at a pediatric age include infectious diseases (mainly HIV infection), malignancies, haematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases. Children with secondary immunodeficiency have an increased risk of severe infectious diseases that could be prevented by adequate vaccination coverage, but vaccines administration can be associated with reduced immune response and an increased risk of adverse reactions. The immunogenicity of inactivated and recombinant vaccines is comparable to that of healthy children at the moment of vaccination, but it undergoes a progressive decline over time, and in the absence of a booster, the patients remain at risk of developing vaccine-preventable infections. However, the administration of live attenuated viral vaccines is controversial because of the risk of the activation of vaccine viruses. A specific immunization program should be administered according to the clinical and immunological status of each of these conditions to ensure a sustained immune response without any risks to the patients’ health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2564-2570
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2015


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Prevention
  • Secondary immunodeficiency
  • Transplantation
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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