Neonatal tetanus

Tetanus

Tetanus of immunized children. 1993, Luisto, Dev Med Child Neurol

In 17 years from 1969 to 1985 in Finland, 106 cases of tetanus have been recorded. Five of them were children under 18 years of age. Four children have been fully vaccinated. Whether the fifth child has been vaccinated is unknown.
The last case of neonatal tetanus in Finland was recorded in 1915, and vaccination started in 1957.

Tetanus

One of the types of tetanus in neonatal tetanus. It barely occurs in developed countries. Its cause is the infection of the baby through the umbilical cord, upon non-sterile cutting.
Instead of raising the level of hygiene during childbirth, handing out hydrogen peroxide to pregnant women and teaching them not to cut the umbilical cord with rusted scissors, WHO, of course, chose a different strategy – mass vaccination of pregnant women in third world countries.

Tetanus

Neonatal tetanus anti-immunization and protective antitoxin antibody. 1995, de Moraes-Pinto, J Infect Dis

20 babies got admitted into a hospital in Nigeria with neonatal tetanus. Mothers of six of them have been vaccinated with at least two doses of the vaccine during pregnancy. All mothers and babies, including the unvaccinated ones, had the antibodies at a much higher than the protective level (0.07 IU/ml and above). Mortality rate among unvaccinated was 43%. Mortality rate among vaccinated was 50%.
However, there also exists a study proving that 2-3 vaccines during pregnancy significantly reduce the incidence of neonatal tetanus.

Tetanus

Neonatal tetanus despite protective serum antitoxin concentration. 1991, Maselle, FEMS Microbiol Immunol.

10 newborns with tetanus in Tanzania. Mothers of all but one have been vaccinated during pregnancy. The level of antibodies of nine of them was above the protective level. The mother of the tenth baby was vaccinated two weeks before giving birth.
Two babies had antibodies levels 100 and 400 times higher than the protective level. The mother of one of them received 14 vaccines during five of her pregnancies; the other mother received six vaccines in the last three years. The baby whose mother was not vaccinated had the level of antibodies three times above the protective level.
The authors conclude that there is no such thing as ‘protective level of antibodies.’