Sweden

Haemophilus influenzae

Protective effect of breastfeeding: an ecologic study of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis and breastfeeding in a Swedish population. 1999, Silfverdal, Int J Epidemiol

Before the introduction of vaccination, Hib incidence was 30/100,000 among white, and 600/100,000 among indigenous people in Alaska. The incidence in the USA increased by 4 times between 1940 and 1970. The same happened in Scotland and Sweden.
Breastfeeding has a protective effect from Hib meningitis, and it lasts 5-10 years.
A short breastfeeding period (less than 13 weeks) increases the risk of Hib by 3.8 times. Children that are not usually healthy get infected 4.5 times more often.
Breast milk has an inhibitory effect on the attachment of bacteria to the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx.
The graph shows that a decrease in the number of breastfed babies is followed by an increase in the Hib incidence, and when the number of breastfed babied increased again – Hib incidence decreased.

Haemophilus influenzae

Protective effect of breastfeeding on invasive Haemophilus influenzae infection: a case-control study in Swedish preschool children. 1997, Silfverdal, Int J Epidemiol

Among children over 1 year of age, short breastfeeding period is associated with a 8-fold increase in the risk of Hib. Each additional week of breastfeeding decreases the risk of Hib by 5%. The protective effect of breastfeeding begins from 13 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding, and lasts for months and years.

Haemophilus influenzae

Risk factors for primary invasive Haemophilus influenzae disease: increased risk from day care attendance and school-aged household members. 1985, Istre, J Pediatr

Among children under the age of 6 months, exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a 90% decrease in the risk of Hib. Attending daycare is associated with a 2-6 fold increase in the risk. The larger are the groups at daycare, the higher is the risk.

Haemophilus influenzae

Long term enhancement of the IgG2 antibody response to Haemophilus influenzae type b by breast-feeding. 2002, Silfverdal, Pediatr Infect Dis J

Among children infected with Hib, those who were breastfed longer had higher levels of antibodies.

Haemophilus influenzae

Why the rise in Haemophilus influenzae type b infections? 2003, Silfverdal, Lancet

There were no increases in Hib incidence after the switch to acellular pertussis vaccine in Sweden and Finland. The authors believe that it is due to the fact that longer breastfeeding periods are common in these countries.

Diphtheria

Immunity and immunization of children against diphtheria in Sweden. 1989, Mark, Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis

  • The protective level of antibodies of diphtheria is considered to be from 0.01 to 0.1 IU/ml. The exact value cannot be determined.
  • Not a single case of diphtheria has been recorded in Sweden from the late 1950s to 1984. 3 outbreaks were observed in 1984 (17 cases, 3 deaths). Almost all patients were chronic alcoholics. Most patients had the level of antibodies below 0.01 IU/ml.
  • Researchers measured the level of antibodies in children. 48% of those who received 3 doses of the vaccine in infancy had the antibodies level below 0.01 IU/ml. Among the 6-year-olds 15% had such results. Among the 16-year-olds, who have received booster vaccines in addition to being vaccinated in infancy, 24% had the antibodies level below 0.01 IU/ml.
    It is possible that the low level of antibodies in Sweden could be due to the fact that the whooping cough component has been excluded from the vaccine in the 1970s. Since the whooping cough toxin is an adjuvant itself, its exclusion makes the diphtheria vaccine less effective.
  • The immune response to booster vaccines among 16-year-olds was much worse than that of 6-year-olds, even despite the fact that 16-year-olds received a 2.5 times bigger doses. The authors do not have an explanation for this phenomenon.
  • It is believed that antibodies level above 1 IU/ml provides protection for over 10 years. Only 50% of 16-year-olds and 22% of 10-year-olds had such level of antibodies after vaccination.
  • The level of antibodies falls by 20-30% in a year. It decreases even faster in children. While 94% of children at the age of 15 months had the level of antibodies above 1 IU/ml, 4 years later the average level of for them was only 0.062 IU/ml.

Diphtheria

Serological immunity to diphtheria in Sweden in 1978 and 1984. 1986, Christenson, Scand J Infect Dis

The authors measured antibodies level of 2,400 people in Sweden. 19% of people of the age of 20 and under did not have immunity against diphtheria. Among people over 40 years of age, only 15% had sufficient level of antibodies. Among the elderly, 81% of women and 56% of men did not have the immunity. On average, 70% of adult women and 50% of adult men had antibodies level below 0.01 IU/ml.

Whooping cough

Whooping cough in adults. 1981, Trollfors, BMJ

After 1978, it was discovered that 84% of pertussis patients had been vaccinated with three doses of the vaccine. Consequently, in 1979 Sweden stopped administering the vaccination. Only in 1996, when the acellular vaccine appeared, was vaccination reinstated.

SIDS

In Sweden, there was a correlation between the incidence of SIDS and the nitrates level in water.

Allergies and autoimmunity

Vaccination and Allergic Sensitization in Early Childhood - The ALADDIN Birth Cohort. 2018, Swartz, EClinicalMedicine

It is known that among people practicing anthroposophic lifestyle, the risk of allergic disease is much lower. Anthroposophic lifestyle is characterized by a preference for home births, a long breastfeeding period, a diet of organic products with an accent on vegetarian diet, limited use of antibiotics and antipyretics, and low level of vaccination, among other things.
This prospective study, which lasted 5 years, found that there were 2-3 times less cases of allergies among unvaccinated people. This correlation persisted even after the authors corrected the results for allergy risk factors (sex of the child, parental sensitization, mother’s education, mother’s smoking during pregnancy, number of siblings, life with animals on the farm, and exclusive breastfeeding till the age of 6 months). However, after the authors corrected for the anthroposophic lifestyle, it turned out that there was no longer a statistically significant difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Despite the fact that the division into anthroposophic, partially anthroposophic and non-anthroposophic lifestyles was based on the subjective assessment of the parents, the authors conclude that there is no link between vaccination and allergies, and some other, unknown component of the anthroposophic lifestyle affects the reduced risk of allergies.

Pneumococcal

Increase in pneumococcal bacteraemia in Sweden. 1997, Giesecke, Lancet

Between 1990 and 1995, the incidence of pneumococcal bacteremia among adults in Sweden rose 2.6 times. The same thing was observed in Norway.

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