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1.  Maternal Influenza Immunization and Reduced Likelihood of Prematurity and Small for Gestational Age Births: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1000441.
In an analysis of surveillance data from the state of Georgia (US), Saad Omer and colleagues show an association between receipt of influenza vaccination among pregnant women and reduced risk of premature births.
Infections during pregnancy have the potential to adversely impact birth outcomes. We evaluated the association between receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and prematurity and small for gestational age (SGA) births.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cohort analysis of surveillance data from the Georgia (United States) Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. Among 4,326 live births between 1 June 2004 and 30 September 2006, maternal influenza vaccine information was available for 4,168 (96.3%). The primary intervention evaluated in this study was receipt of influenza vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy. The main outcome measures were prematurity (gestational age at birth <37 wk) and SGA (birth weight <10th percentile for gestational age). Infants who were born during the putative influenza season (1 October–31 May) and whose mothers were vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy were less likely to be premature compared to infants of unvaccinated mothers born in the same period (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38–0.94). The magnitude of association between maternal influenza vaccine receipt and reduced likelihood of prematurity increased during the period of at least local influenza activity (adjusted OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.26–0.73) and was greatest during the widespread influenza activity period (adjusted OR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.11–0.74). Compared with newborns of unvaccinated women, newborns of vaccinated mothers had 69% lower odds of being SGA (adjusted OR = 0.31; 95% CI, 0.13–0.75) during the period of widespread influenza activity. The adjusted and unadjusted ORs were not significant for the pre-influenza activity period.
This study demonstrates an association between immunization with the inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and reduced likelihood of prematurity during local, regional, and widespread influenza activity periods. However, no associations were found for the pre-influenza activity period. Moreover, during the period of widespread influenza activity there was an association between maternal receipt of influenza vaccine and reduced likelihood of SGA birth.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Maternal infections during pregnancy can have harmful effects on both mother and baby. For example, influenza is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among pregnant women compared to women who are not pregnant or who acquire influenza infection after delivery. And some respiratory infections, especially those that can cause maternal pneumonia such as influenza virus, are known to be associated with the baby being small—below the 10th percentile—for gestational age and with an increased risk of preterm birth—birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Previous studies have shown that inactivated influenza vaccination during pregnancy provides protection against influenza virus for both mother and baby. As there has been an increase in the rate of preterm birth the United States from 9.5% in 1981 to 12.8% in 2006, the impact of maternal influenza immunization on birth outcomes has important public health implications and is of particular interest during influenza pandemics.
Why Was This Study Done?
Given that maternal vaccination can protect babies from influenza virus, it is plausible that influenza vaccination in pregnancy could mitigate adverse birth outcomes such as prematurity and the baby being small for gestational age. The researchers of this study set out to evaluate this hypothesis by investigating whether there was an association between women receiving inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and positive birth outcomes for their babies in the population of the state of Georgia, in the United States.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of a large surveillance dataset (the Georgia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) to analyze the relationship between receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy by mothers of infants born between June 1, 2004, and September 30, 2006, and their baby being premature or small for gestational age. The study period encompassed the 2004–2005 and 2005–2006 influenza seasons—the two most recent seasons for which the data were available. The researchers did a stratified analysis for the overall study period, and various periods during it, and also weighted their analysis to adjust for possible oversampling. They used logistic regression to evaluate the association of maternal influenza vaccine and (a) prematurity and (b) small for gestational age, and also used linear regression to evaluate the statistical significance of differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated women for mean gestational age at first antenatal visit and mean birth weight.
During the study period, 4,168 mother–baby pairs were included in the analysis. Local influenza activity was detected during 27 weeks (22.1%), and 578 women (14.9% [weighted]) had received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy, giving a vaccination coverage of 19.2% (weighted) among mothers of infants born during the assumed influenza season. In the study sample, 1,547 babies (10.6% [weighted]) were born premature, and 1,186 babies (11.2% [weighted]) were small for gestational age. Infants who were born during the assumed influenza season (October–May) and whose mothers were vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy were less likely to be premature than infants of unvaccinated mothers born in the same period, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.60. The effect of maternal influenza vaccine on reducing prematurity was the highest for infants born during the period of widespread influenza activity, with 72% lower odds of prematurity in infants of vaccinated mothers than infants of unvaccinated mothers. Compared with newborns of unvaccinated women, babies of vaccinated mothers also had 69% lower odds of being small for gestational age during the period of widespread influenza activity, but the adjusted and unadjusted odd ratios were not significant for the pre-influenza activity period.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results show that there was an association between maternal immunization with the inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and reduced likelihood of prematurity during local, regional, and widespread influenza activity periods. In addition, during the period of widespread influenza activity there was an negative association between maternal receipt of influenza vaccine and small for gestational age birth.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
More information about influenza vaccination during pregnancy is available from the World Health Organization and the UK National Health Service
More information about the Georgia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System is also available
PMCID: PMC3104979  PMID: 21655318
2.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Infants 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;197(10):1448-1454.
Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) is not licensed for use in infants <6 months old, the group with the highest influenza hospitalization rates among children.
In this prospective, open-label study, 2 doses of TIV were administered to healthy infants aged 10–22 weeks. Adverse reactions were assessed, and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titers were determined. Weekly telephone surveillance for influenza-like illness was conducted during the influenza season.
A total of 42 infants were enrolled and completed the study. Mild local and systemic reactions were noted. In the first season (2004–2005), postvaccination HAI titers >1:32 were noted for 31.6%, 47.4%, and 21.1% of 19 subjects for H1N1, H3N2, and B strains included in the vaccine, respectively. In the second season (2005–2006), postvaccination HAI titers >1:32 were seen in 45.5%, 59.1%, and 0% of 23 subjects for H1N1, H3N2, and B strains included in the vaccine, respectively. Infants who were seronegative before vaccination (titers <1:8) were significantly more likely to have a 4-fold rise in antibody titer after vaccination, compared with infants who had prevaccination titers >1:8 (P < .001).
Two doses of TIV were found to be safe and moderately immunogenic against some influenza strains. The presence of preexisting maternally derived antibody was associated with significantly lower seroresponse rates to vaccination. Whether vaccination with TIV will prevent influenza in these young children remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC3773726  PMID: 18444800
3.  Immunogenicity, reactogenicity and safety of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine candidate versus inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine: a phase III, randomized trial in adults aged ≥18 years 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:343.
Two antigenically distinct influenza B lineages have co-circulated since the 1980s, yet inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) include strains of influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and only one influenza B from either the Victoria or Yamagata lineage. This means that exposure to B-lineage viruses mismatched to the TIV is frequent, reducing vaccine protection. Formulations including both influenza B lineages could improve protection against circulating influenza B viruses. We assessed a candidate inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) containing both B lineages versus TIV in adults in stable health.
A total of 4659 adults were randomized 5:5:5:5:3 to receive one dose of QIV (one of three lots) or a TIV containing either a B/Victoria or B/Yamagata strain. Hemagglutination-inhibition assays were performed pre-vaccination and 21-days after vaccination. Lot-to-lot consistency of QIV was assessed based on geometric mean titers (GMT). For QIV versus TIV, non-inferiority against the three shared strains was demonstrated if the 95% confidence interval (CI) upper limit for the GMT ratio was ≤1.5 and for the seroconversion difference was ≤10.0%; superiority of QIV versus TIV for the alternate B lineage was demonstrated if the 95% CI lower limit for the GMT ratio was > 1.0 and for the seroconversion difference was > 0%. Reactogenicity and safety profile of each vaccine were assessed. NCT01204671.
Consistent immunogenicity was demonstrated for the three QIV lots. QIV was non-inferior to TIV for the shared vaccine strains, and was superior for the added alternate-lineage B strains. QIV elicited robust immune responses against all four vaccine strains; the seroconversion rates were 77.5% (A/H1N1), 71.5% (A/H3N2), 58.1% (B/Victoria), and 61.7% (B/Yamagata). The reactogenicity and safety profile of QIV was consistent with TIV.
QIV provided superior immunogenicity for the additional B strain compared with TIV, without interfering with antibody responses to the three shared antigens. The additional antigen did not appear to alter the safety profile of QIV compared with TIV. This suggests that the candidate QIV is a viable alternative to TIV for use in adults, and could potentially improve protection against influenza B.
Trial registration
Clinical NCT01204671/114269
PMCID: PMC3750613  PMID: 23883186
Non-inferiority; Quadrivalent; Seasonal influenza; Superiority; Trivalent
4.  Response to 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine in HIV-Infected Patients and the Influence of Prior Seasonal Influenza Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16496.
The immunogenicity of 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) (pH1N1) vaccines and the effect of previous influenza vaccination is a matter of current interest and debate. We measured the immune response to pH1N1 vaccine in HIV-infected patients and in healthy controls. In addition we tested whether recent vaccination with seasonal trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) induced cross-reactive antibodies to pH1N1. ( Identifier:NCT01066169)
Methods and Findings
In this single-center prospective cohort study MF59-adjuvanted pH1N1 vaccine (Focetria®, Novartis) was administered twice to 58 adult HIV-infected patients and 44 healthy controls in November 2009 (day 0 and day 21). Antibody responses were measured at baseline, day 21 and day 56 with hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) assay. The seroprotection rate (defined as HI titers ≥1∶40) for HIV-infected patients was 88% after the first and 91% after the second vaccination. These rates were comparable to those in healthy controls. Post-vaccination GMT, a sensitive marker of the immune competence of a group, was lower in HIV-infected patients. We found a high seroprotection rate at baseline (31%). Seroprotective titers at baseline were much more common in those who had received 2009–2010 seasonal TIV three weeks prior to the first dose of pH1N1 vaccine. Using stored serum samples of 51 HIV-infected participants we measured the pH1N1 specific response to 2009–2010 seasonal TIV. The seroprotection rate to pH1N1 increased from 22% to 49% after vaccination with 2009–2010 seasonal TIV. Seasonal TIV induced higher levels of antibodies to pH1N1 in older than in younger subjects.
In HIV-infected patients on combination antiretroviral therapy, with a median CD4+ T-lymphocyte count above 500 cells/mm3, one dose of MF59-adjuvanted pH1N1 vaccine induced a high seroprotection rate comparable to that in healthy controls. A second dose had a modest additional effect. Furthermore, seasonal TIV induced cross-reactive antibodies to pH1N1 and this effect was more pronounced in older subjects.
PMCID: PMC3031580  PMID: 21304982
5.  Hib vaccination in infants born prematurely 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2003;88(3):206-210.
Aims: To document the immunogenicity and persistence of antibody to polyribosyl-ribitol phosphate (PRP) as well as the clinical protection against invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease in premature infants immunised at the routine schedule.
Methods: Blood was obtained at 2, 5, 12, and 64 months of age from a cohort of prematurely born infants (≤32 weeks gestation). Anti-PRP antibody concentrations were compared with those of a control cohort of infants born at full term and vaccinated at the same schedule. Hib vaccine failures occurring between October 1992 and October 2000 were reported by paediatricians through an active, prospective, national survey in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The number of prematurely born children with vaccine failure was compared with the corresponding number born at term.
Results: Twenty seven prematurely born infants were followed to 5 years of age. Compared with term infants they had a significantly lower geometric mean concentration of anti-PRP antibody and/or a significantly lower proportion above one or both of the conventional protective antibody concentrations (0.15 and 1.0 µg/ml) at all ages. A total of 165 cases of invasive Hib disease were identified over eight years of national surveillance. Eighteen were premature (<37 weeks); approximately 12 would be expected. The relative risk of UK premature infants developing disease compared with term infants was 1.5 (95% CI 0.9 to 2.6).
Conclusions: Premature infants develop lower antibody concentrations than term infants following Hib conjugate vaccination. Premature infants may also have an increased risk of clinical vaccine failure, but interpretation is limited by the small number of premature infants developing invasive Hib disease over eight years of national surveillance. Overall, vaccination with Hib conjugate vaccines affords a high level of protection to premature babies.
PMCID: PMC1719486  PMID: 12598378
6.  Immunogenicity and Safety of an Inactivated Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine Candidate: A Phase III Randomized Controlled Trial in Children 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(4):544-553.
Background. Mismatch between circulating influenza B viruses (Yamagata and Victoria lineages) and vaccine strains occurs frequently.
Methods. In a randomized controlled trial, immunogenicity and safety of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine candidate (QIV) versus trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV)-Victoria(Vic) and TIV-Yamagata(Yam) in children 3–17 years of age was evaluated. In an open-label study arm, QIV only was assessed in children 6–35 months of age.
Results. A total of 3094 children (932 QIV, 929 TIV-Vic, 932 TIV-Yam, and 301 QIV only) were vaccinated. QIV was noninferior to the TIVs for shared strains (A/H3N2 and A/H1N1) based on hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies 28 days after last vaccination, and superior for the unique B strains Victoria and Yamagata (geometric mean titer ratios 2.61, 3.78; seroconversion rate differences 33.96%, 44.63%). Among children in the randomized trial, adverse event rates were similar except for injection site pain (dose 1: 65.4% QIV, 54.6% TIV-Vic, 55.7% TIV-Yam).
Conclusion. QIV elicited superior HI responses to the added B strains compared to TIV controls, potentially improving its effectiveness against influenza B. HI responses were similar between QIV and TIV controls for the shared strains. QIV had an acceptable safety profile relative to TIVs.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01198756.
PMCID: PMC3719910  PMID: 23847058
influenza vaccine; immunogenicity; children
7.  Controlled trial of immune response of preterm infants to recombinant hepatitis B and inactivated poliovirus vaccines administered simultaneously shortly after birth 
AIM—The study was conducted to evaluate the immunogenicity of an early, extra dose of enhanced inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) administered simultaneously with recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) to preterm infants shortly after birth.
METHODS—Three groups were studied. Fifty preterm infants received IPV intramuscularly within 24 hours of birth, in addition to routine recommended childhood immunisations. Fifty two preterm infants and 35 full term infants received routine immunisations only (routine vaccination timing: HBV at birth, 1 and 6 months of age; IPV at 2 and 4 months; oral polio vaccine (OPV) at 4 and 6 months; diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) at 2, 4, and 6 months; and Haemophilus influenzae B vaccine at 2 and 4 months). Blood samples were taken at birth, 3 and 7months of age from all infants, and at 1 month of age from preterm infants only.
RESULTS—At birth, a lower percentage of both study and control preterm infants had antipoliovirus type 3 titres ⩾ 1:8 than full term infants. At 1 and 3 months of age significantly more early IPV infants had antipoliovirus type 3 titres ⩾ 1:8 than routinely vaccinated preterm infants (p < 0.05). At 7 months of age there were no significant differences in percentage of antipoliovirus titres ⩾ 1:8 or geometric mean times (GMTs) between the early IPV group and the routinely vaccinated preterm group. At 3 and 7 months of age, the percentage of positive antihepatitis B titres (⩾ 1:10) and the GMT of the early IPV preterm group did not differ significantly from those of preterm controls. There was no significant difference in percentage of positive antihepatitis B titres between the early IPV group and full term controls at any time. GMTs for hepatitis B antibodies were significantly lower in the early IPV preterm group than in full term controls at 3 and 7 months of age.
CONCLUSIONS—Administration of an additional dose of IPV simultaneously with routine HBV to preterm infants shortly after birth provides early protection from poliovirus and hepatitis B infection, and does not interfere with poliovirus antibody production at the age of 7months.

PMCID: PMC1721105  PMID: 10873167
8.  Cross-Lineage Influenza B and Heterologous Influenza A Antibody Responses in Vaccinated Mice: Immunologic Interactions and B/Yamagata Dominance 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38929.
The annually reformulated trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) includes both influenza A/subtypes (H3N2 and H1N1) but only one of two influenza B/lineages (Yamagata or Victoria). In a recent series of clinical trials to evaluate prime-boost response across influenza B/lineages, influenza-naïve infants and toddlers originally primed with two doses of 2008–09 B/Yamagata-containing TIV were assessed after two doses of B/Victoria-containing TIV administered in the subsequent 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons. In these children, the Victoria-containing vaccines strongly recalled antibody to the initiating B/Yamagata antigen but induced only low B/Victoria antibody responses. To further evaluate this unexpected pattern of cross-lineage vaccine responses, we conducted additional immunogenicity assessment in mice. In the current study, mice were primed with two doses of 2008–09 Yamagata-containing TIV and subsequently boosted with two doses of 2010–11 Victoria-containing TIV (Group-Yam/Vic). With the same vaccines, we also assessed the reverse order of two-dose Victoria followed by two-dose Yamagata immunization (Group-Vic/Yam). The Group-Yam/Vic mice showed strong homologous responses to Yamagata antigen. However, as previously reported in children, subsequent doses of Victoria antigen substantially boosted Yamagata but induced only low antibody response to the immunizing Victoria component. The reverse order of Group-Vic/Yam mice also showed low homologous responses to Victoria but subsequent heterologous immunization with even a single dose of Yamagata antigen induced substantial boost response to both lineages. For influenza A/H3N2, homologous responses were comparably robust for the differing TIV variants and even a single follow-up dose of the heterologous strain, regardless of vaccine sequence, substantially boosted antibody to both strains. For H1N1, two doses of 2008–09 seasonal antigen significantly blunted response to two doses of the 2010–11 pandemic H1N1 antigen. Immunologic interactions between influenza viruses considered antigenically distant and in particular the cross-lineage influenza B and dominant Yamagata boost responses we have observed in both human and animal studies warrant further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3382187  PMID: 22745690
9.  Comparison of the Immunogenicity and Safety of a Split-virion, Inactivated, Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (Fluzone®) Administered by Intradermal or Intramuscular Route in Healthy Adults 
Vaccine  2011;29(34):5666-5674.
The aim of the study was to determine whether reduced doses of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) administered by the intradermal (ID) route generated similar immune responses to standard TIV given intramuscularly (IM) with comparable safety profiles. Recent changes in immunization recommendations have increased the number of people for whom influenza vaccination is recommended. Thus, given this increased need and intermittent vaccine shortages, means to rapidly expand the vaccine supply are needed. Previously healthy subjects 18-64 years of age were randomly assigned to one of four TIV vaccine groups: standard 15 μg HA/strain TIV IM, either 9 μg or 6 μg HA/strain of TIV ID given using a new microinjection system, (BD Soluvia™ Microinjection Systema), or 3 μg HA/strain of TIV ID given by Mantoux technique. All vaccines contained A/New Caledonia (H1N1), A/Wyoming (H3N2) and B/Jiangsu strains of influenza. Sera were obtained 21 days after vaccination and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assays were performed and geometric mean titers (GMT) were compared among the groups. Participants were queried immediately following vaccination regarding injection pain and quality of the experience. Local and systemic reactions were collected for 7 days following vaccination and compared. Ten study sites enrolled 1592 subjects stratified by age; 18-49 years, [N=814] and 50-64 years, [N=778]. Among all subjects, for each of the three vaccine strains, the GMTs at 21 days post-vaccination for both the 9 μg and the 6 μg doses of each strain given ID were non inferior to GMTs generated after standard 15 μg doses/strain IM. However, for the 3 μg ID dose, only the A/Wyoming antigen produced a GMT that was non-inferior to the standard IM dose. Additionally, in the subgroup of subjects 50-64 years of age, the 6 μg dose given ID induced GMTs that were inferior to the standard IM TIV for the A/H1N1 and B strains. No ID dose produced a GMT superior to that seen after standard IM TIV. Local erythema and swelling were significantly more common in the ID groups but the reactions were mild to moderate and short-lived. No significant safety issues related to intradermal administration were identified. Participants given TIV ID provided favorable responses to questions about their experiences with ID administration. In conclusion, for the aggregated cohorts of adults 18 to 64 years of age, reduced doses (6 μg and 9 μg) of TIV delivered ID using a novel microinjection system stimulated comparable HAI antibody responses to standard TIV given IM. The reduced 3 μg dose administered ID by needle and syringe, as well as the 6 μg ID for subjects aged 50-64 years of age generated poorer immune responses as compared to the 15 μg IM dose.
PMCID: PMC3150501  PMID: 21699951
10.  A Randomized Trial of Candidate Inactivated Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine versus Trivalent Influenza Vaccines in Children Aged 3–17 Years 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;207(12):1878-1887.
Background. Two antigenically distinct influenza B lineages have cocirculated since 2001, yet trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) contain 1 influenza B antigen, meaning lineage mismatch with the vaccine is frequent. We assessed a candidate inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) containing both B lineages vs TIV in healthy children aged 3–17 years.
Methods. Children were randomized 1:1:1 to receive QIV or 1 of 2 TIVs (either B/Victoria or B/Yamagata lineage; N = 2738). Hemagglutination-inhibition assays were performed 28 days after 1 or 2 doses in primed and unprimed children, respectively. Immunological noninferiority of QIV vs TIV against shared strains, and superiority against alternate-lineage B strains was based on geometric mean titers (GMTs) and seroconversion rates. Reactogenicity and safety were also assessed ( NCT01196988).
Results. Noninferiority against shared strains and superiority against alternate-lineage B strains was demonstrated for QIV vs TIV. QIV was highly immunogenic; seroconversion rates were 91.4%, 72.3%, 70.0%, and 72.5% against A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B/Victoria, and B/Yamagata, respectively. Reactogenicity and safety of QIV was consistent with TIV.
Conclusions. QIV vs TIV showed superior immunogenicity for the additional B strain without interfering with immune responses to shared strains. QIV may offer improved protection against influenza B in children compared with current trivalent vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3654742  PMID: 23470848
pediatric; noninferiority; quadrivalent; seasonal influenza; superiority; trivalent
11.  H1N1 Antibody Persistence 1 Year After Immunization With an Adjuvanted or Whole-Virion Pandemic Vaccine and Immunogenicity and Reactogenicity of Subsequent Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: A Multicenter Follow-on Study 
Two doses of AS03B-adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine may be sufficient to maintain seroprotection across 2 influenza seasons. Administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to children who previously received 2 doses of pandemic influenza vaccine is safe and is immunogenic for the H1N1 strain.
Background. We investigated antibody persistence in children 1 year after 2 doses of either an AS03B-adjuvanted split-virion or nonadjuvanted whole-virion monovalent pandemic influenza vaccine and assessed the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of a subsequent dose of trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV).
Methods. Children previously immunized at age 6 months to 12 years in the original study were invited to participate. After a blood sample was obtained to assess persistence of antibody against swine influenza A/H1N1(2009) pandemic influenza, children received 1 dose of 2010/2011 TIV, reactogenicity data were collected for 7 days, and another blood sample was obtained 21 days after vaccination.
Results. Of 323 children recruited, 302 received TIV. Antibody persistence (defined as microneutralization [MN] titer ≥1:40) 1 year after initial vaccination was significantly higher in the AS03B-adjuvanted compared with the whole-virion vaccine group, 100% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94.1%–100%) vs 32.4% (95% CI, 21.5%–44.8%) in children immunized <3 years old and 96.9% (95% CI, 91.3%–99.4%) vs 65.9% (95% CI, 55.3%–75.5%) in those 3–12 years old at immunization, respectively (P < .001 for both groups). All children receiving TIV had post-vaccination MN titers ≥1:40. Although TIV was well tolerated in all groups, reactogenicity in children <5 years old was slightly greater in those who originally received AS03B-adjuvanted vaccine.
Conclusions. This study provides serological evidence that 2 doses of AS03B-adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine may be sufficient to maintain protection across 2 influenza seasons. Administration of TIV to children who previously received 2 doses of either pandemic influenza vaccine is safe and is immunogenic for the H1N1 strain.
PMCID: PMC3275760  PMID: 22267719
12.  Long-term follow-up in patients with HIV vaccinated with pandemic influenza A(H1N1)/09 AS03-adjuvanted split virion vaccine and seasonal trivalent influenza split virion vaccine 
Infection Ecology & Epidemiology  2013;3:10.3402/iee.v3i0.20766.
In Sweden in 2009, two doses of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)/09 AS03-adjuvanted split virion vaccine were recommended for those with HIV infection along with one dose of seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV). At that time, no data for HIV patients and their response to the adjuvanted vaccine were available.
Forty-two HIV-infected individuals were vaccinated with the pandemic vaccine on study days 0 and 28. Twenty-one of them received TIV on day 56 and 21 did not. Serum samples were taken at these time points, and also on day 86 and after 1 year for serologic analyses.
Before vaccination, none of the 42 patients had putatively protective levels of antibodies (haemagglutination inhibition [HI] titres ≥1:40) to the pandemic-like strain A/California/7/2009 H1N1. After dose 1, the seroprotection rate (SPR) and seroconversion rate (SCR) were both 69% (29 of 42). After dose 2, the SPR and SCR were 89 and 86%, respectively. At 1 year, 10 (34%) of 29 had protective antibodies and 16 (62%) of 26 who had had protective antibody levels had lost them. There was a retained factor increase of the geometric mean titre (GMT) of 3.9.
Serological analyses could be performed in 19 subjects who were vaccinated with TIV and in 21 who were not. Protective antibodies to the three strains before vaccination were 20–37%. The SCR was 26% to A/Brisbane/59/2007 H1N1, 47% to A/Uruguay/10/2007/ H3N2 and 42% to B/Brisbane/60/2008. At 1 year, the factor increase of GMT was 1.8 to the two influenza A strains.
Two doses of adjuvanted influenza vaccine improved the SCR and the SPR among HIV-infected subjects. Long-term follow-up indicates revaccination in the next influenza season whether they received an adjuvanted or non-adjuvanted influenza vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3758929  PMID: 24003363
HIV; influenza vaccine; pandemic; long-term immunity; TIV
13.  Influence of Prior Influenza Vaccination on Antibody and B-Cell Responses 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(8):e2975.
Currently two vaccines, trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), are licensed in the USA. Despite previous studies on immune responses induced by these two vaccines, a comparative study of the influence of prior influenza vaccination on serum antibody and B-cell responses to new LAIV or TIV vaccination has not been reported. During the 2005/6 influenza season, we quantified the serum antibody and B-cell responses to LAIV or TIV in adults with differing influenza vaccination histories in the prior year: LAIV, TIV, or neither. Blood samples were collected on days 0, 7–9 and 21–35 after immunization and used for serum HAI assay and B-cell assays. Total and influenza-specific circulating IgG and IgA antibody secreting cells (ASC) in PBMC were detected by direct ELISPOT assay. Memory B cells were also tested by ELISPOT after polyclonal stimulation of PBMC in vitro. Serum antibody, effector, and memory B-cell responses were greater in TIV recipients than LAIV recipients. Prior year TIV recipients had significantly higher baseline HAI titers, but lower HAI response after vaccination with either TIV or LAIV, and lower IgA ASC response after vaccination with TIV than prior year LAIV or no vaccination recipients. Lower levels of baseline HAI titer were associated with a greater fold-increase of HAI titer and ASC number after vaccination, which also differed by type of vaccine. Our findings suggest that the type of vaccine received in the prior year affects the serum antibody and the B-cell responses to subsequent vaccination. In particular, prior year TIV vaccination is associated with sustained higher HAI titer one year later but lower antibody response to new LAIV or TIV vaccination, and a lower effector B-cell response to new TIV but not LAIV vaccination.
PMCID: PMC2500171  PMID: 18714352
14.  Association between the 2008–09 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Pandemic H1N1 Illness during Spring–Summer 2009: Four Observational Studies from Canada 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(4):e1000258.
In three case-control studies and a household transmission cohort, Danuta Skowronski and colleagues find an association between prior seasonal flu vaccination and increased risk of 2009 pandemic H1N1 flu.
In late spring 2009, concern was raised in Canada that prior vaccination with the 2008–09 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) was associated with increased risk of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (pH1N1) illness. Several epidemiologic investigations were conducted through the summer to assess this putative association.
Methods and Findings
Studies included: (1) test-negative case-control design based on Canada's sentinel vaccine effectiveness monitoring system in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec; (2) conventional case-control design using population controls in Quebec; (3) test-negative case-control design in Ontario; and (4) prospective household transmission (cohort) study in Quebec. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios for TIV effect on community- or hospital-based laboratory-confirmed seasonal or pH1N1 influenza cases compared to controls with restriction, stratification, and adjustment for covariates including combinations of age, sex, comorbidity, timeliness of medical visit, prior physician visits, and/or health care worker (HCW) status. For the prospective study risk ratios were computed. Based on the sentinel study of 672 cases and 857 controls, 2008–09 TIV was associated with statistically significant protection against seasonal influenza (odds ratio 0.44, 95% CI 0.33–0.59). In contrast, estimates from the sentinel and three other observational studies, involving a total of 1,226 laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 cases and 1,505 controls, indicated that prior receipt of 2008–09 TIV was associated with increased risk of medically attended pH1N1 illness during the spring–summer 2009, with estimated risk or odds ratios ranging from 1.4 to 2.5. Risk of pH1N1 hospitalization was not further increased among vaccinated people when comparing hospitalized to community cases.
Prior receipt of 2008–09 TIV was associated with increased risk of medically attended pH1N1 illness during the spring–summer 2009 in Canada. The occurrence of bias (selection, information) or confounding cannot be ruled out. Further experimental and epidemiological assessment is warranted. Possible biological mechanisms and immunoepidemiologic implications are considered.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Every winter, millions of people catch influenza—a viral infection of the airways—and hundreds of thousands of people die as a result. These seasonal epidemics occur because small but frequent changes in the influenza virus mean that an immune response produced one year through infection or vaccination provides only partial protection against influenza the next year. Annual vaccination with killed influenza viruses of the major circulating strains can greatly reduce a person's risk of catching influenza. Consequently, many countries run seasonal influenza vaccination programs. In most of Canada, vaccination with a mixture of three inactivated viruses (a trivalent inactivated vaccine or TIV) is provided free to children aged 6–23 months, to elderly people, to people with long-term conditions that increase their risk of influenza-related complications, and those who provide care for them; in Ontario, free vaccination is offered to everyone older than 6 months.
In addition, influenza viruses occasionally emerge that are very different and to which human populations have virtually no immunity. These viruses can start global epidemics (pandemics) that can kill millions of people. Experts have been warning for some time that an influenza pandemic is long overdue and, in March 2009, the first cases of influenza caused by a new virus called pandemic A/H1N1 2009 (pH1N1; swine flu) occurred in Mexico. The virus spread rapidly and on 11 June 2009, the World Health Organization declared that a global pandemic of pH1N1 influenza was underway. By the end of February 2010, more than 16,000 people around the world had died from pH1N1.
Why Was This Study Done?
During an investigation of a school outbreak of pH1N1 in the late spring 2009 in Canada, investigators noted that people with illness characterized by fever and coughing had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza more often than individuals without such illness. To assess whether this association between prior vaccination with seasonal 2008–09 TIV and subsequent pH1N1 illness was evident in other settings, researchers in Canada therefore conducted additional studies using different methods. In this paper, the researchers report the results of four additional studies conducted in Canada during the summer of 2009 to assess this possible association.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted four epidemiologic studies. Epidemiology is the study of the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in populations.
Three of the four studies were case-control studies in which the researchers assessed the frequency of prior vaccination with the 2008–09 TIV in people with pH1N1 influenza compared to the frequency among healthy members of the general population or among individuals who had an influenza-like illness but no sign of infection with an influenza virus. The researchers also did a household transmission study in which they collected information about vaccination with TIV among the additional cases of influenza that were identified in 47 households in which a case of laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 influenza had occurred. The first of the case-control studies, which was based on Canada's vaccine effectiveness monitoring system, showed that, as expected, the 2008–09 TIV provided protection against seasonal influenza. However, estimates from all four studies (which included about 1,200 laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 cases and 1,500 controls) showed that prior recipients of the 2008–09 TIV had approximately 1.4–2.5 times increased chances of developing pH1N1 illness that needed medical attention during the spring–summer of 2009 compared to people who had not received the TIV. Prior seasonal vaccination was not associated with an increase in the severity of pH1N1 illness, however. That is, it did not increase the risk of being hospitalized among those with pH1N1 illness.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Because all the investigations in this study are “observational,” the people who had been vaccinated might share another unknown characteristic that is actually responsible for increasing their risk of developing pH1N1 illness (“confounding”). Furthermore, the results reported in this study might have arisen by chance, although the consistency of results across the studies makes this unlikely. Thus, the finding of an association between prior receipt of 2008–09 TIV and an increased risk of pH1N1 illness is not conclusive and needs to be investigated further, particularly since some other observational studies conducted in other countries have reported that seasonal vaccination had no influence or may have been associated with reduced chances of pH1N1 illness. If the findings in the current study are real, however, they raise important questions about the biological interactions between seasonal and pandemic influenza strains and vaccines, and about the best way to prevent and control both types of influenza in future.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000258.
This article is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Cécile Viboud and Lone Simonsen, a Canadian government Web site, provides access to information on pH1N1 influenza
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about influenza for patients and professionals, including specific information on H1N1 influenza, a US government website, provides access to information on H1N1, avian and pandemic influenza
The World Health Organization provides information on seasonal influenza and has detailed information on pH1N1 influenza (in several languages)
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information on pandemic influenza and on pH1N1 influenza
PMCID: PMC2850386  PMID: 20386731
15.  The Effect of Age and Recent Influenza Vaccination History on the Immunogenicity and Efficacy of 2009–10 Seasonal Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccination in Children 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59077.
There is some evidence that annual vaccination of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) may lead to reduced vaccine immunogenicity but evidence is lacking on whether vaccine efficacy is affected by prior vaccination history. The efficacy of one dose of TIV in children 6–8 y of age against influenza B is uncertain. We examined whether immunogenicity and efficacy of influenza vaccination in school-age children varied by age and past vaccination history.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 2009–10 TIV. Influenza vaccination history in the two preceding years was recorded. Immunogenicity was assessed by comparison of HI titers before and one month after receipt of TIV/placebo. Subjects were followed up for 11 months with symptom diaries, and respiratory specimens were collected during acute respiratory illnesses to permit confirmation of influenza virus infections. We found that previous vaccination was associated with reduced antibody responses to TIV against seasonal A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) particularly in children 9–17 y of age, but increased antibody responses to the same lineage of influenza B virus in children 6–8 y of age. Serological responses to the influenza A vaccine viruses were high regardless of vaccination history. One dose of TIV appeared to be efficacious against confirmed influenza B in children 6–8 y of age regardless of vaccination history.
Prior vaccination was associated with lower antibody titer rises following vaccination against seasonal influenza A vaccine viruses, but higher responses to influenza B among individuals primed with viruses from the same lineage in preceding years. In a year in which influenza B virus predominated, no impact of prior vaccination history was observed on vaccine efficacy against influenza B. The strains that circulated in the year of study did not allow us to study the effect of prior vaccination on vaccine efficacy against influenza A.
PMCID: PMC3595209  PMID: 23554974
The heptavalent pneumococcal-CRM197 conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) has been incompletely studied in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, ≤1500 grams) infants.
To assess PCV-7 immunogenicity in VLBW, premature infants. We hypothesized that the frequency of post-vaccine antibody concentrations ≥0.15 µg/mL would vary directly with birth weight.
This was a multi-center observational study. Infants 401–1500 grams birth weight and <32 0/7 weeks gestation, stratified by birth weight, were enrolled from 9 NICHD Neonatal Research Network centers. Infants received PCV-7 at 2, 4 and 6 months after birth and had blood drawn 4–6 weeks following the third dose. Antibodies against the 7 vaccine serotypes were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Of 369 enrolled infants, 244 completed their primary vaccine series by 8 months and had serum obtained. Subjects were 27.8 ± 2.2 (mean ± standard deviation) weeks gestation and 1008 ± 282 grams birth weight. Twenty-six percent had bronchopulmonary dysplasia and 16% had received postnatal glucocorticoids. Infants 1001–1500 grams birth weight were more likely than those 401–1000 grams to achieve antibody concentrations ≥0.15 µg/mL against the least two immunogenic serotypes (6B: 96% v. 85%, P = 0.003 and 23F: 97% v. 88%, P = 0.009). In multiple logistic regression analysis, lower birth weight, postnatal glucocorticoid use, lower weight at blood draw and Caucasian race were each independently associated with antibody concentrations <0.35 µg/mL against serotypes 6B and/or 23F.
When compared with larger premature infants, infants weighing ≤1000 grams at birth have similar antibody responses to most, but not all, PCV-7 vaccine serotypes.
PMCID: PMC2949965  PMID: 20234331
Infant, premature; infant, very low birth weight; pneumococcal vaccines; immunization; vaccines
17.  Safety and immunogenicity of 2010–2011 A/H1N1pdm09-containing trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine in adults previously given AS03-adjuvanted H1N1 2009 pandemic vaccine 
Many Canadians received a novel AS03-adjuvanted vaccine during the 2009 influenza A/H1N1 pandemic. Longer term implications of adjuvant use were unclear: would anti-H1N1 immune responses persist at high levels and, if so, could that result in increased or unusual adverse effects upon re-exposure to H1N1pdm09 antigen in the trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) for 2010–11? To answer these questions, adults given AS03-adjuvanted H1N1pdm09 vaccine (Arepanrix®, GSK Canada) 9–10 mo earlier were enrolled in an evaluator-blinded, crossover trial to receive 2010–2011 non-adjuvanted TIV (Fluviral®, GSK Canada) and placebo 10 d apart, in random order. Adverse effects were monitored for 7 d after each injection. Vaccine-attributable adverse event (VAAE) rates were calculated by subtracting rates after placebo from those after vaccine. Blood was obtained pre-vaccination and 21–30 d afterward to measure hemagglutination inhibiting antibody titers. In total, 326 participants were enrolled and 321 completed the study. VAAE rates were low except for myalgia (18.6%) and injection site pain (63.2%). At baseline, H1N1pdm09 titers ≥ 40 were present in 176/325 subjects (54.2%, 95% confidence interval 48.6, 59.7), with a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 37.4 (95% CI 32.8, 42.6). Post-immunization, 96.0% (95% CI 92.3, 97.8) had H1N1pdm09 titers ≥ 40, with GMT of 167.4 (95% CI 148.7, 188.5). Responses to both influenza A strains in TIV were similar, implying no lasting effect of adjuvant exposure. In summary, titers ≥ 40 persisted in only half the participants 9–10 mo after adjuvanted pandemic vaccine but were restored in nearly all after TIV vaccination, with minimal increase in adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC3667929  PMID: 23570051
immunization; adults; influenza; pandemic; adjuvant; vaccine safety
18.  Randomized, Controlled Trial of a 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Administered Concomitantly with an Influenza Vaccine in Healthy Adults 
A randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial evaluated the immunogenicity, safety, and tolerability of a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) coadministered with trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) in pneumococcal vaccine-naive adults. Participants ages 50 to 59 years (n = 1,116) received TIV with PCV13 (group 1) or placebo (group 2) (1:1 randomization); 1 month later, group 1 received placebo and group 2 received PCV13. A hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay for TIV and a standardized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for pneumococcal serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) were performed and opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) titers (assessed post hoc) were measured at baseline and 1 and 2 months postvaccination. The rises in HAI assay geometric mean titer (GMT) and percentage of participants in groups 1 and 2 with ≥4-fold increases in HAI responses (A/H1N1, 84.0% and 81.2%, respectively; A/H3N2, 71.1% and 69.5%, respectively; and B, 60.6% and 60.3%, respectively) were similar. In group 1, all serotypes met the predefined IgG geometric mean concentration (GMC) ratio noninferiority criterion relative to group 2, but GMCs were lower in group 1 than group 2. When comparing group 1 with group 2, 5 serotypes did not meet the OPA GMT ratio noninferiority criterion, and OPA GMTs were significantly lower for 10 serotypes. PCV13 injection site reactions were similar and mostly mild in both groups. Systemic events were more frequent in group 1 (86.2%) than group 2 (76.7%; P < 0.001); no vaccine-related serious adverse events occurred. Coadministration of PCV13 and TIV was well tolerated but associated with lower PCV13 antibody responses and is of unknown clinical significance. Given the positive immunologic attributes of PCV13, concomitant administration with TIV should be dictated by clinical circumstances.
PMCID: PMC3416075  PMID: 22739693
19.  Safety and Immunogenicity of High Dose Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2013;61(5):815-820.
Although children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) mount immune responses after vaccination with the trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV), these responses are lower compared to controls. Recently, a high dose (HD) TIV was found to increase the level of antibody response in elderly patients compared to the standard dose (SD) TIV. We hypothesized that the HD TIV would be well-tolerated and more immunogenic compared to the SD TIV in pediatric subjects with ALL.
This was a randomized, double-blind, phase I safety and immunogenicity trial comparing the HD to the SD TIV in children with ALL. Subjects were randomized 2:1 to receive either the HD (60µg) or the SD (15µg) TIV. Local and systemic reactions were solicited, hemagglutinin inhibition titers to influenza virus antigens were measured, and monitoring labs were collected prior to and/or after each vaccination.
Fifty subjects were enrolled (34 HD, 16 SD). Mean age was 8.5 years; 63% were male, and 80% were in maintenance therapy. There were no significant differences reported in local or systemic symptoms. No severe adverse events were attributed to vaccination. No significant differences between the HD and SD TIV groups were noted for immune responses.
No differences were noted between the HD and SD TIV groups for solicited systemic and local reactions. Since this study was not powered for immunogenicity, a phase II trial is needed to determine the immunogenicity of HD versus SD TIV in the pediatric ALL population.
PMCID: PMC4310469  PMID: 24249544
Children; Influenza; Leukemia; Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
20.  Decreased Bone Mineral Density in Adults Born with Very Low Birth Weight: A Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(8):e1000135.
Petteri Hovi and colleagues evaluate skeletal health in 144 adults born preterm with very low birth weight and show that as adults these individuals have significantly lower bone mineral density than do their term-born peers.
Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, <1,500 g) infants have compromised bone mass accrual during childhood, but it is unclear whether this results in subnormal peak bone mass and increased risk of impaired skeletal health in adulthood. We hypothesized that VLBW is associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in adulthood.
Methods and Findings
The Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults is a multidisciplinary cohort study representative of all VLBW births within the larger Helsinki area from 1978 to 1985. This study evaluated skeletal health in 144 such participants (all born preterm, mean gestational age 29.3 wk, birth weight 1,127 g, birth weight Z score 1.3), and in 139 comparison participants born at term, matched for sex, age, and birth hospital. BMD was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at age 18.5 to 27.1 y. Adults born with VLBW had, in comparison to participants born at term, a 0.51-unit (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28–0.75) lower lumbar spine Z score and a 0.56-unit (95% CI 0.34–0.78) lower femoral neck Z score for areal BMD. These differences remained statistically significant after adjustment for the VLBW adults' shorter height and lower self-reported exercise intensity.
Young adults born with VLBW, when studied close to the age of peak bone mass, have significantly lower BMD than do their term-born peers. This suggests that compromised childhood bone mass accrual in preterm VLBW children translates into increased risk for osteoporosis in adulthood, warranting vigilance in osteoporosis prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Most pregnancies last 40 weeks but some babies arrive earlier than expected. Sadly, babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy—premature babies—are more likely to die than full-term babies, although recent improvements in neonatal care have increased their chances of survival. Premature babies also often have serious long-term health problems, particularly those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy. Such extremely premature babies have poorly developed internal organs and are usually very small—babies whose birth weight is less than 1,500 g are called very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) babies; the average full-term birth weight is about 3,500 g. Furthermore, their bones are not as well developed as those of full-term babies. The human skeleton initially consists of a soft fibrous material called cartilage. This is gradually transformed into bone by a process called bone mineralization. The last third of pregnancy is a crucial period for bone mineralization although the process continues throughout infancy and childhood. Thus, VLBW babies often have subnormal skeletal mineralization and their accrual of bone mass during childhood is frequently compromised.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is not known whether the childhood bone deficits of VLBW babies persist into adulthood because the first generation of these infants not to die soon after birth is only just reaching adulthood. Peak bone mass is reached in early adulthood (bone mass begins to decrease from the age of 35 years onward) and is an important indicator of whether an individual will develop osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and be susceptible to bone fractures later in life. If adults with VLBW (about 1% of live births in high-income countries are now VLBW births) do have a subnormal peak bone mass and reduced bone mineral density (BMD), they may be able reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. In this study (part of the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults), the researchers investigate the skeletal health of people who were born with VLBW in the Helsinki area between 1978 and 1985.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers compared the skeletal health of 144 young adults who were born prematurely with VLBW and subnormal BMD with that of 139 age- and sex-matched individuals who were born at term. They measured the BMD of the participants (average age 22.6 years) using “dual energy X-ray absorptiometry” and determined a “Z score” for the spine in the lower back (the lower lumbar spine) and the hip (two sites that are routinely examined in assessments of skeletal health). Z scores indicate whether an individual's BMD is significantly different from the average BMD of healthy age- and sex-matched people; in this study, reduced BMD was defined as a Z score of −1.0 or less. The researchers found that adults born with VLBW had an average Z score of −0.51 at the lower lumbar spine and −0.56 at the hip when compared with the adults born at term. Furthermore, 44% of the VLBW participants but only 26% of the term-born participants had a lumbar spine Z score of −1.0 or less. Adjustment for the shorter height of the VLBW participants slightly reduced these differences in BMD but the differences remained statistically significant.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, when studied close to the age of peak bone mass, young adults born with VLBW have a significantly lower BMD than their term-born peers and a 2-fold greater risk of having a lumbar spine Z score of below −1.0; a unit decrease in Z score approximately doubles the risk of bone fractures. Because BMD measurements were only taken at one age, it remains possible, however, that the BMD of the VLBW adults might eventually match that of their full-term peers. Recently born VLBW babies still have a lower than average BMD during their childhood, note the researchers, even though their care has changed since the people included in this study were born. Thus, these findings suggest that people who were VLBW infants should be encouraged to eat food rich in vitamin D and calcium and to do regular weight-bearing exercise throughout their lives to improve their bone health and reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, provides information on preterm birth (in English and Spanish)
The Nemours Foundation, another nonprofit organization for child health, also provides information on premature babies (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other information on premature babies and to information on osteoporosis (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the UK National Health Service also provide detailed information on all aspects of osteoporosis
Further details about the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults are available
PMCID: PMC2722726  PMID: 19707270
21.  Anti-Influenza Serum and Mucosal Antibody Responses after Administration of Live Attenuated or Inactivated Influenza Vaccines to HIV-Infected Children 
Live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) prevents more cases of influenza in immune-competent children than the trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV). We compared the antibody responses to LAIV or TIV in HIV-infected children.
Blood and saliva obtained at enrollment, 4 and 24 weeks post-immunization (wpi) from 243 HIV-infected children randomly assigned to TIV or LAIV were analyzed.
Both vaccines increased the anti-influenza neutralizing antibodies at 4 and 24 wpi. At 4 wpi, TIV recipients had 2- to 3-fold higher neutralizing antibody titers than LAIV recipients, but the proportions of subjects with protective titers (≥1:40) were similar between treatment groups (96% to 100% for influenza A and 81% to 88% for influenza B). Both vaccines increased salivary homotypic IgG antibodies, but not IgA antibodies. Both vaccines also increased serum heterosubtypic antibodies. Among HIV-specific characteristics, the baseline viral load correlated best with the antibody responses to either vaccine. We used LAIV-virus shedding as a surrogate of influenza infection. Influenza-specific humoral and mucosal antibody levels were significantly higher in non-shedders than in shedders.
LAIV and TIV generated homotypic and heterosubtypic humoral and mucosal antibody responses in HIV-infected children. High titers of humoral or mucosal antibodies correlated with protection against viral shedding.
PMCID: PMC3290334  PMID: 20581690
HIV-infected children; influenza vaccines; antibodies; viral shedding
22.  Immunopotentiation of Trivalent Influenza Vaccine When Given with VAX102, a Recombinant Influenza M2e Vaccine Fused to the TLR5 Ligand Flagellin 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14442.
Currently controversy exists about the immunogenicity of seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine in certain populations, especially the elderly. STF2.4×M2e (VAX102) is a recombinant fusion protein that links four copies of the ectodomain of influenza virus matrix protein 2 (M2e) antigen to Salmonella typhimurium flagellin, a TLR5 ligand. The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility of giving VAX102 and TIV in combination in an effort to achieve greater immunogenicity and to provide cross-protection.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Eighty healthy subjects, 18-49 years old, were enrolled in May and June 2009 in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial at two clinical sites. Subjects were randomized to receive either TIV + VAX102 or TIV + placebo. Both arms tolerated the vaccines. Pain at the injection site was more severe with TIV + VAX102. Two weeks after immunization the HAI responses to the H1 and H3 antigens of TIV were higher in those that received TIV + VAX102 than in TIV + placebo (309 vs 200 and 269 vs 185, respectively), although statistically non-significant. There was no difference in the HAI of the B antigen. In the TIV + VAX102 arm, the geometric mean M2e antibody concentration was 0.5 µg/ml and 73% seroconverted.
The combination of TIV + VAX102 has the potential to increase the immune response to the influenza A components of TIV and to provide M2e immunity which may protect against influenza A strains not contained in seasonal TIV.
Trial Registration NCT00921973
PMCID: PMC3010987  PMID: 21203437
23.  Safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of an inactivated influenza vaccine in healthy adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial over two influenza seasons 
Seasonal influenza imposes a substantial personal morbidity and societal cost burden. Vaccination is the major strategy for influenza prevention; however, because antigenically drifted influenza A and B viruses circulate annually, influenza vaccines must be updated to provide protection against the predicted prevalent strains for the next influenza season. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy, safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a trivalent inactivated split virion influenza vaccine (TIV) in healthy adults over two influenza seasons in the US.
The primary endpoint of this double-blind, randomized study was the average efficacy of TIV versus placebo for the prevention of vaccine-matched, culture-confirmed influenza (VMCCI) across the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 influenza seasons. Secondary endpoints included the prevention of laboratory-confirmed (defined by culture and/or serology) influenza, as well as safety, reactogenicity, immunogenicity, and consistency between three consecutive vaccine lots. Participants were assessed actively during both influenza seasons, and nasopharyngeal swabs were collected for viral culture from individuals with influenza-like illness. Blood specimens were obtained for serology one month after vaccination and at the end of each influenza season's surveillance period.
Although the point estimate for efficacy in the prevention of all laboratory-confirmed influenza was 63.2% (97.5% confidence interval [CI] lower bound of 48.2%), the point estimate for the primary endpoint, efficacy of TIV against VMCCI across both influenza seasons, was 46.3% with a 97.5% CI lower bound of 9.8%. This did not satisfy the pre-specified success criterion of a one-sided 97.5% CI lower bound of >35% for vaccine efficacy. The VMCCI attack rates were very low overall at 0.6% and 1.2% in the TIV and placebo groups, respectively. Apart from a mismatch for influenza B virus lineage in 2005-2006, there was a good match between TIV and the circulating strains. TIV was highly immunogenic, and immune responses were consistent between three different TIV lots. The most common reactogenicity events and spontaneous adverse events were associated with the injection site, and were mild in severity.
Despite a good immune response, and an average efficacy over two influenza seasons against laboratory-confirmed influenza of 63.2%, the pre-specified target (lower one-sided 97.5% confidence bound for efficacy > 35%) for the primary efficacy endpoint, the prevention of VMCCI, was not met. However, the results should be interpreted with caution in view of the very low attack rates we observed at the study sites in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, which corresponded to relatively mild influenza seasons in the US. Overall, the results showed that TIV has an acceptable safety profile and offered clinical benefit that exceeded risk.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2845585  PMID: 20236548
24.  T Cell Responses of HIV-Infected Children after Administration of Inactivated or Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccines 
Live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) prevents significantly more cases of influenza in immune-competent children than the trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV). We compared the T cell responses to LAIV or TIV in HIV-infected children. IFN-γ-ELISPOT for the three vaccine-contained influenza strains, two mismatched strains, and phytohemagglutinin (PHA), was performed at 0, 4, and 24 weeks postimmunization in 175 HIV-infected children randomly assigned to LAIV or TIV. The contribution of CD8 T cells to the influenza-specific response (CD8-ELISPOT) was evaluated by CD8-cell depletion. CD8 T cells accounted for ≥87% of the total influenza-ELISPOT. At baseline, total influenza-ELISPOT and CD8-ELISPOT values were similar or higher in TIV compared with LAIV recipients. Four and 24 weeks after TIV, total influenza-ELISPOT and CD8-ELISPOT results were significantly lower than baseline results (p ≤ 0.001). Responses to PHA also tended to decrease at 4 weeks after TIV (p = 0.06), but rebounded to baseline levels at 24 weeks. Four weeks after LAIV, total influenza-ELISPOT responses to vaccine-contained strains A H3N2 and B significantly decreased. Other ELISPOT values at 4 weeks and all values at 24 weeks were similar to the baseline values. At 4 and 24 weeks, TIV compared to LAIV administration resulted in a significantly greater decrease in influenza-specific ELISPOT values for vaccine-contained influenza A strains (p ≤ 0.02). Responses to PHA also tended to decrease more in TIV recipients (p = 0.07).
HIV-infected children immunized with TIV had significant and persistent decreases in ELISPOT responses to influenza. LAIV administration suppressed ELISPOT responses less. The clinical significance of these findings deserves further study.
PMCID: PMC2858897  PMID: 20059397
25.  High frequencies of elevated alkaline phosphatase activity and rickets exist in extremely low birth weight infants despite current nutritional support 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:47.
Osteopenia and rickets are common among extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW, <1000 g birth weight) despite current practices of vitamin and mineral supplementation. Few data are available evaluating the usual course of markers of mineral status in this population. Our objectives in this study were to determine the relationship between birth weight (BW) and peak serum alkaline phosphatase activity (P-APA) in ELBW infants and evaluate our experience with the diagnosis of rickets in these infants.
We evaluated all ELBW infants admitted to Texas Children's Hospital NICU in 2006 and 2007. Of 211 admissions, we excluded 98 patients who were admitted at >30 days of age or did not survive/stay for >6 weeks. Bone radiographs obtained in 32 infants were reviewed by a radiologist masked to laboratory values.
In this cohort of 113 infants, P-APA was found to have a significant inverse relationship with BW, gestational age and serum phosphorus. In paired comparisons, P-APA of infants <600 g (957 ± 346 IU/L, n = 20) and infants 600–800 g (808 ± 323 IU/L, n = 43) were both significantly higher than P-APA of infants 800–1000 g (615 ± 252 IU/L, n = 50), p < 0.01. Thirty-two patients had radiographic evaluation for evidence of rickets, based on P-APA greater than 800 IU/L, parenteral nutrition greater than 3 to 4 weeks, or clinical suspicion. Of these, 18 showed radiologic rickets and 14 showed osteopenia without rickets. Infants with BW <600 g were more likely to have radiologic rickets (10/20 infants) compared to those with BW 600–800 g (6/43 infants) and BW 800–1000 g (2/50 infants), p < 0.01 for each. P-APA was not significantly higher in infants with radiologic rickets (1078 ± 356 IU/L) compared to those without radiologic evidence of rickets (943 ± 346, p = 0.18).
Elevation of P-APA >600 IU/L was very common in ELBW infants. BW was significantly inversely related to both P-APA and radiologic rickets. No single value of P-APA was related to radiological findings of rickets. Given the very high risk of osteopenia and rickets among ELBW infants, we recommend consideration of early screening and early mineral supplementation, especially among infants <600 g BW.
PMCID: PMC2729734  PMID: 19640269

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