Background: Early 2-dose measles vaccine (MV) at 4 and 9 months of age vs. the WHO strategy of MV at 9 months of age reduced all-cause child mortality in a previous trial. We aimed to test two hypotheses: 1) a 2-dose strategy reduces child mortality between 4 and 60 months of age by 30%; 2) receiving early MV at 4 months in the presence versus absence of maternal measles antibodies (MatAb) reduces child mortality by 35%. Methods: Single-centre open-label community-based randomised controlled trial in Guinea-Bissau, with 2:1 block-randomisation by sex to a 2-dose (4 + 9 months) vs. 1-dose (9 months) MV strategy. Healthy children were eligible 4 weeks after the 3rd diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccine. Before randomisation a blood sample was collected to determine MatAb level. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Hazard ratios (HR) were derived from Cox regression in the per protocol population. We tested for interactions with national campaigns with oral polio vaccine (C-OPV). Trial registration: NCT01486355. Findings: Between August 2011-April 17th 2015, 6,636 children were enroled, 6,598[n2-dose=4,397; n1-dose=2,201] were included in the analysis of the primary outcome, The HR(2-dose/1-dose) between 4 and 60 months was 1.38 (95%CI: 0.92–2.06) [deaths: n2-dose=90; n1-dose=33]. Before the 9-month MV and the HR(1-dose/no dose) was 0.94 (0.45–1.96) [deaths: n2-dose=21; n1-dose=11]. The HR(2-dose/1-dose) was 0.81 (0.29–2.22) for children, who received no C-OPV [deaths/children: n2-dose=10/2,801; n1-dose=6/1,365], and 4.73 (1.44–15.6) for children, who received C-OPV before and after enrolment (p for interaction=0.027) [deaths/children: n2-dose=27/1,602; n1-dose=3/837]. In the 2-dose group receiving early MV at 4 months, mortality was 50% (20–68%) lower for those vaccinated in the presence of MatAb vs. the absence of MatAb [deaths/children: nMatAb=51/3,132; nnoMatAb=31/1,028]. Interpretation: The main result contrasts with previous findings but may, though based on a small number of events, be explained by frequent OPV campaigns that reduced the mortality rate, but apparently interacted negatively with early MV. The beneficial non-specific effects of MV in the presence of MatAb should be investigated further. Funding: ERC, Danish National Research Foundation, the Danish Council for Development Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Novo Nordisk Foundation, European Union and the Lundbeck Foundation.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
ERC, Danish National Research Foundation, the Danish Council for Development Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Novo Nordisk Foundation, European Union FP7, the Lundbeck Foundation.
ERC, Danish National Research Foundation, the Danish Council for Development Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Novo Nordisk Foundation, European Union and the Lundbeck Foundation.