Low seroprotection against diphtheria and tetanus in Lao adolescents

Sonephet Vantava, Lisa Hefele*, Siriphone Virachith, Souphaphone Vannachone, Vilaysone Khounvisith, Phonethipsavanh Nouanthong, Judith M. Hübschen, Somphou Sayasone, Antony P. Black

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: There is currently no booster diphtheria or tetanus vaccine for Lao children before adolescence, despite international recommendations. We investigated seroprotection against diphtheria and tetanus among Lao adolescents. Methods: Seven hundred seventy-nine serum samples were tested for anti-diphtheria and anti-tetanus antibodies. Results: Overall, 25.8% of the adolescents had antibody titers corresponding to protection against diphtheria and 30.9% to sufficient immunity against tetanus. Female participants >16 years were more likely to be protected against diphtheria (p < 0.001) and tetanus (p < 0.029). Conclusion: Low protection against diphtheria and tetanus, possibly due to low vaccination coverage or antibody waning, suggests booster doses are warranted before adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number6
Early online date18 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • diphtheria
  • Laos
  • seroprevalence
  • tetanus
  • vaccination


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