Translated title of the contribution: Sex- and age-dependent gaps in the immunological protection against tetanus

M. Klouche*, S. Gorg, D. Wilhelm, Holger Kirchner

*Corresponding author for this work
11 Citations (Scopus)


To test tetanus immunity, tetanus antitoxin titres were measured in the serum of 692 subjects (354 males, 338 females), aged one day (newborns) to 92 years (mean age 29 years). Those aged 18 to 65 years were first-time blood donors, the remainder were healthy newborns, while the children and those over 65 years were patients without immune-compromising disease. An inadequate protection (titre < 0.1 IU/ml) was found in 107 (15.5%), of whom 75 (70%) were females. Women aged 20 years and above also had significantly lower average antitoxin titres than men (1.7 vs. 3.5 IU/ml); P < 0.0001). The inadequate immunization protection of many young women is reflected in the lack of protective antibodies in 10 of the 49 examined newborns. In addition, 18% of children aged between 1 and 15 years had inadequate immunity against tetanus. In the whole group the titre level decreased with age, while the proportion of unprotected persons increased. Apart from the obvious age and sex dependency of the demonstrated inadequacy of immunological protection against tetanus, attention should also be paid to the lack of protective antibodies in newborns and the marked gaps of immunity among children.

Translated title of the contributionSex- and age-dependent gaps in the immunological protection against tetanus
Original languageGerman
JournalDeutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)827-832
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1994

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 204-05 Immunology

Cite this