Chicken pox vaccine OK for children with kidney disease

December 17, 2002

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center report that two doses of the varicella vaccine for chicken pox given one to two months apart can be safe and effective in children with chronic kidney disease.

The findings, reported in the January issue of Pediatric Nephrology, are critical for chronic kidney disease patients, particularly children who will eventually undergo a kidney transplant. After transplantation, immunosuppressive medications put these children at high risk for severe chicken pox complications, including pneumonia, brain inflammation, and death.

"We recommend pediatric nephrologists include chicken pox vaccination as an important component of pre-end-stage renal disease and end-stage renal disease care," said the study's lead author, Susan L. Furth, M.D, Ph.D., a pediatric nephrologist at the Children's Center.

Varicella vaccine contains small doses of weakened strains of the chicken pox virus that activate immune system "memory" and mount a protective response to subsequent exposures.

In healthy children under 12 years of age, vaccination in a single dose is recommended, while two doses are recommended for adolescents. Without vaccination, infections in children whose immune systems have been weakened by a genetic disorder, disease, or medical treatment can cause serious complications.

In a multi-center, prospective, three-year clinical trial, Hopkins researchers, with the cooperation of the Southwest Pediatric Nephrology Study Group, identified 96 children with chronic kidney disease with no history of chicken pox. About half of these patients did not have detectable varicella antibodies. Each child received two injections of varicella vaccine, rather than the one dose typically given to healthy children. The doses were administered four to eight weeks apart.

One child developed chicken pox following a known exposure. There were no reported serious side effects following vaccination. Eleven patients developed a rash associated with the vaccine, and seven patients reported mild to moderate redness or soreness at the site of injection.

Over three years of follow-up, researchers report each child - including 16 children who received kidney transplants following vaccination - maintained the varicella antibody, and 87 percent retained antibody levels for more than three years. Although kidney transplant recipients tended to have lower varicella antibody levels during the first two years of follow-up, researchers report that antibody levels increased over time.
-end-
Children's Center pediatric nephrologist Barbara A. Fivush, M.D., and researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia Hospital at Medical City, and Merck & Co. contributed to the report. The study was funded by a grant from Merck & Co.

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on an EMBARGOED basis on EurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs' direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail to bsimpkins@jhmi.edu.

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at www.hopkinsmedicine.org

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Chronic Kidney Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

How to ensure patients manage their chronic kidney disease
A Singapore study finds patients with chronic kidney disease need tailored nutrition guidance, as well as better communication with doctors and family support, to empower them to manage their condition.

Children with chronic kidney disease have outsized health burden
Chronically ill children with kidney disease may spend more time in the hospital, incur larger health care costs and have a higher risk of death compared to pediatric patients hospitalized for other chronic conditions, a new study suggests.

Your neighborhood may raise your risk of chronic kidney disease
A neighborhood's overall socioeconomic status, including income and education-level, may influence its residents' risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a study recently published in SSM Population Health by researchers from Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health.

These lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease
Active lifestyle choices such as eating vegetables, exercising and quitting smoking can reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease, a new study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Griffith University in Australia, reports.

SGLT2 inhibitors can slow progression of chronic kidney disease
The CREDENCE trial [3] provided evidence that the SGLT2 inhibitor Canagliflozin slows the progression of CKD in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and CKD with albuminuria.

Antioxidant agent may prevent chronic kidney disease and Parkinson's disease
Researchers from Osaka University developed a novel dietary silicon-based antioxidant agent with renoprotective and neuroprotective effects.

New study provides insight into chronic kidney disease
Researchers have further analyzed a known signaling pathway they believe brings them one step closer to understanding the complex physiology of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which might provide a path to new treatment options.

Predicting risk of chronic kidney disease
Data from about 5 million people (with and without diabetes) in 28 countries were used to develop equations to help identify people at increased five-year risk of chronic kidney disease, defined as reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

New tool predicts five-year risk of chronic kidney disease
A new risk calculator tool that uses a mix of variables including age, hypertension, and diabetes status can be used to predict accurately whether someone is likely to develop chronic kidney disease within five years.

Gap in care found for patients with chronic kidney disease: study
Millions of Canadians living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be going without critical testing from their primary care practitioners that would give them a good idea of the severity of the disease so they could intervene earlier with more appropriate care, according to a new study.

Read More: Chronic Kidney Disease News and Chronic Kidney Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.