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1.  Reduced Antibody Responses to the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Vaccine after Recent Seasonal Influenza Vaccination▿† 
The vaccination program against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (2009 H1N1) provided a unique opportunity to determine if immune responses to the 2009 H1N1 vaccine were affected by a recent, prior vaccination against seasonal influenza virus. In the present study, we studied the immune responses to the 2009 H1N1 vaccine in subjects who either received the seasonal influenza virus vaccination within the prior 3 months or did not. Following 2009 H1N1 vaccination, subjects previously given a seasonal influenza virus vaccination exhibited significantly lower antibody responses, as determined by hemagglutination inhibition assay, than subjects who had not received the seasonal influenza virus vaccination. This result is compatible with the phenomenon of “original antigenic sin,” by which previous influenza virus vaccination hampers induction of immunity against a new variant. Our finding should be taken into account for future vaccination programs against pandemic influenza virus outbreaks.
PMCID: PMC3165229  PMID: 21813667
2.  Immunization with 1976 swine H1N1- or 2009 pandemic H1N1-inactivated vaccines protects mice from a lethal 1918 influenza infection 
Zoonotic infections with H1N1 influenza viruses that evolved initially from the 1918 virus (1918) and adapted to swine threatened a pandemic in 1976 (1976 swH1N1) and a novel reassortant H1N1 virus caused a pandemic in 2009–2010 (2009 pH1N1). Epidemiological and laboratory animal studies show that protection from severe 2009 pH1N1 infection is conferred by vaccination or prior infection with 1976 swH1N1 or 1918.
Our aim was to demonstrate cross-protection by immunization with 2009 pH1N1 or 1976 swH1N1 vaccines following a lethal challenge with 1918. Further, the mechanisms of cross-protective antibody responses were evaluated.
Mice were immunized with 1976 swH1N1, 2009 pH1N1, 2009 seasonal trivalent, or 1918 vaccines and challenged with 1918. Cross-reactive antibody responses were assessed and protection monitored by survival, weight loss, and pathology in mice.
Results and Conclusions
Vaccination with the 1976 swH1N1 or 2009 pH1N1 vaccines protected mice from a lethal challenge with 1918, and these mice lost no weight and had significantly reduced viral load and pathology in the lungs. Protection was likely due to cross-reactive antibodies detected by microneutralization assay. Our data suggest that the general population may be protected from a future 1918-like pandemic because of prior infection or immunization with 1976 swH1N1 or 2009 pH1N1. Also, influenza protection studies generally focus on cross-reactive hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies; while hemagglutinin is the primary surface antigen, this fails to account for other influenza viral antigens. Neutralizing antibody may be a better correlate of human protection against pathogenic influenza strains and should be considered for vaccine efficacy.
PMCID: PMC3073596  PMID: 21477139
1918 influenza; 1976 influenza; 2009 pandemic H1N1; cross-protection; microneutralization
3.  Efficacy of Vaccination with Different Combinations of MF59-Adjuvanted and Nonadjuvanted Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Vaccines against Pandemic H1N1 (2009) Influenza Virus Infection in Ferrets▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(6):2851-2858.
Serum antibodies induced by seasonal influenza or seasonal influenza vaccination exhibit limited or no cross-reactivity against the 2009 pandemic swine-origin influenza virus of the H1N1 subtype (pH1N1). Ferrets immunized once or twice with MF59-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine exhibited significantly reduced lung virus titers but no substantial clinical protection against pH1N1-associated disease. However, priming with MF59-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine significantly increased the efficacy of a pandemic MF59-adjuvanted influenza vaccine against pH1N1 challenge. Elucidating the mechanism involved in this priming principle will contribute to our understanding of vaccine- and infection-induced correlates of protection. Furthermore, a practical consequence of these findings is that during an emerging pandemic, the implementation of a priming strategy with an available adjuvanted seasonal vaccine to precede the eventual pandemic vaccination campaign may be useful and life-saving.
PMCID: PMC3067945  PMID: 21209108
4.  Immune Protection Induced on Day 10 Following Administration of the 2009 A/H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14270.
The 2009 swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) H1N1 pandemic has caused more than 18,000 deaths worldwide. Vaccines against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza virus are useful for preventing infection and controlling the pandemic. The kinetics of the immune response following vaccination with the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine need further investigation.
Methodology/Principal Findings
58 volunteers were vaccinated with a 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic influenza monovalent split-virus vaccine (15 µg, single-dose). The sera were collected before Day 0 (pre-vaccination) and on Days 3, 5, 10, 14, 21, 30, 45 and 60 post vaccination. Specific antibody responses induced by the vaccination were analyzed using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). After administration of the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine, specific and protective antibody response with a major subtype of IgG was sufficiently developed as early as Day 10 (seroprotection rate: 93%). This specific antibody response could maintain for at least 60 days without significant reduction. Antibody response induced by the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine could not render protection against seasonal H1N1 influenza (seroconversion rate: 3% on Day 21). However, volunteers with higher pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody levels (pre-vaccination HI titer ≥1∶40, Group 1) more easily developed a strong antibody protection effect against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine as compared with those showing lower pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody levels (pre-vaccination HI titer <1∶40, Group 2). The titer of the specific antibody against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza was much higher in Group 1 (geometric mean titer: 146 on Day 21) than that in Group 2 (geometric mean titer: 70 on Day 21).
Recipients could gain sufficient protection as early as 10 days after vaccine administration. The protection could last at least 60 days. Individuals with a stronger pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody response may have a relatively higher potential for developing a stronger humoral immune response after vaccination with the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3000335  PMID: 21151563
5.  Vaccinees against the 1976 “swine flu” have enhanced neutralization responses to the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza virus 
The world is facing a novel H1N1 pandemic. A pandemic scare with a similar virus in 1976 resulted in the vaccination of nearly 45 million persons. We hypothesized that prior receipt of the 1976 “swine flu” vaccine would enhance immune responses to the 2009 novel H1N1 strain.
A prospective, volunteer sample of employees 55 years of age and older at a children’s cancer hospital in August of 2009 was assessed for antibody responses to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus and the 2008-2009 seasonal H1N1 influenza virus.
Antibody responses by hemagglutination-inhibition assay were high against both the seasonal (89.7% had a titer considered seroprotective) and pandemic (88.8% had a seroprotective titer) H1N1 viruses. These antibodies were effective at neutralizing the seasonal H1N1 virus in 68.1% of participants (titer ≥ 40), but only 18.1% had detectable neutralizing titers against the pandemic H1N1. Of 116 participants, 46 (39.7%) received the 1976 “swine flu” vaccine. Receipt of this vaccine significantly enhanced neutralization responses as 8 of 46 (17.4%) vaccine recipients had titers ≥ 160 compared to only 3 of 70 (4.3%) who did not receive the vaccine (P = 0.018 by chi-squared test).
In this cohort, persons 55 years and older had evidence of robust immunity to the 2008-2009 seasonal H1N1 virus. These antibodies were cross-reactive but non-neutralizing against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain. Receipt of a vaccine to a related virus significantly enhanced the neutralization capacity of these responses, suggesting homologous vaccination against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 would have a similar effect.
PMCID: PMC2946351  PMID: 20415539
6.  A Trivalent Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Elicits Protective Immune Responses against Seasonal Influenza Strains in Mice and Ferrets 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e6032.
There is need for improved human influenza vaccines, particularly for older adults who are at greatest risk for severe disease, as well as to address the continuous antigenic drift within circulating human subtypes of influenza virus. We have engineered an influenza virus-like particle (VLP) as a new generation vaccine candidate purified from the supernatants of Sf9 insect cells following infection by recombinant baculoviruses to express three influenza virus proteins, hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix 1 (M1). In this study, a seasonal trivalent VLP vaccine (TVV) formulation, composed of influenza A H1N1 and H3N2 and influenza B VLPs, was evaluated in mice and ferrets for the ability to elicit antigen-specific immune responses. Animals vaccinated with the TVV formulation had hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) antibody titers against all three homologous influenza virus strains, as well as HAI antibodies against a panel of heterologous influenza viruses. HAI titers elicited by the TVV were statistically similar to HAI titers elicited in animals vaccinated with the corresponding monovalent VLP. Mice vaccinated with the TVV had higher level of influenza specific CD8+ T cell responses than a commercial trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV). Ferrets vaccinated with the highest dose of the VLP vaccine and then challenged with the homologous H3N2 virus had the lowest titers of replicating virus in nasal washes and showed no signs of disease. Overall, a trivalent VLP vaccine elicits a broad array of immunity and can protect against influenza virus challenge.
PMCID: PMC2698286  PMID: 19554101
7.  Ostrich produce cross-reactive neutralization antibodies against pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1 following immunization with a seasonal influenza vaccine 
An outbreak of influenza in 2009 was found to be caused by a novel strain of influenza virus designated as pandemic influenza A/H1N1 2009. Vaccination with recent seasonal influenza vaccines induced little or no cross-reactive antibody response to the pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1 2009 in any age group in human populations. Accordingly, most people had low immunity against this pathogen, thus resulting in the worldwide spread of the infection to produce a so-called ‘pandemic’. This report presents the important finding that ostrich eggs generate cross-reactive antibodies to the pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1 following immunization of female ostrich with a seasonal influenza vaccine. This simple method produced a large amount of antibodies against influenza viruses by one female ostrich. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunocytochemistry indicated that the ostrich antibodies possessed strong cross-reactivity to the pandemic A/H1N1 as well as to the seasonal A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B viruses. The hemaggregation activities of erythrocytes induced by this pandemic strain were also inhibited by the ostrich antibodies. In addition, the cytopathological effects of infection with a pandemic virus on MDCK cells were clearly inhibited in co-cultures with the ostrich antibodies, thereby indicating the neutralization of viral infectivity in the cells. In conclusion, cross-reactive neutralization antibodies against pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1 2009 were successfully generated in ostrich eggs produced by females immunized with seasonal influenza viral vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3440658  PMID: 22977467
influenza virus; pandemic; H1N1; antibody; ostrich
8.  Humoral and cellular responses to a non-adjuvanted monovalent H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine in hospital employees 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:544.
The efficacy of the H1N1 influenza vaccine relies on the induction of both humoral and cellular responses. This study evaluated the humoral and cellular responses to a monovalent non-adjuvanted pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccine in occupationally exposed subjects who were previously vaccinated with a seasonal vaccine.
Sixty healthy workers from a respiratory disease hospital were recruited. Sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained prior to and 1 month after vaccination with a non-adjuvanted monovalent 2009 H1N1 vaccine (Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Panenza, Sanofi Pasteur). Antibody titers against the pandemic A/H1N1 influenza virus were measured via hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization assays. Antibodies against the seasonal HA1 were assessed by ELISA. The frequency of IFN-γ-producing cells as well as CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation specific to the pandemic virus A/H1N peptides, seasonal H1N1 peptides and seasonal H3N2 peptides were assessed using ELISPOT and flow cytometry.
At baseline, 6.7% of the subjects had seroprotective antibody titers. The seroconversion rate was 48.3%, and the seroprotection rate was 66.7%. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) were significantly increased (from 6.8 to 64.9, p < 0.05). Forty-nine percent of the subjects had basal levels of specific IFN-γ-producing T cells to the pandemic A/H1N1 peptides that were unchanged post-vaccination. CD4+ T cell proliferation in response to specific pandemic A/H1N1 virus peptides was also unchanged; in contrast, the antigen-specific proliferation of CD8+ T cells significantly increased post-vaccination.
Our results indicate that a cellular immune response that is cross-reactive to pandemic influenza antigens may be present in populations exposed to the circulating seasonal influenza virus prior to pandemic or seasonal vaccination. Additionally, we found that the pandemic vaccine induced a significant increase in CD8+ T cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3835617  PMID: 24238117
Pandemic influenza; H1N1; Vaccine; Cellular response; Proliferation; Humoral response
9.  Heterovariant Cross-Reactive B-Cell Responses Induced by the 2009 Pandemic Influenza Virus A Subtype H1N1 Vaccine 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;207(2):288-296.
Background. The generation of heterovariant immunity is a highly desirable feature of influenza vaccines. The goal of this study was to compare the heterovariant B-cell response induced by the monovalent inactivated 2009 pandemic influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (A[H1N1]pdm09) vaccine with that induced by the 2009 seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine (sTIV) containing a seasonal influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (A[H1N1]) component in young and elderly adults.
Methods. Plasmablast-derived polyclonal antibodies (PPAb) from young and elderly recipients of A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine or sTIV were tested for binding activity to various influenza antigens.
Results. In A(H1N1)pdm09 recipients, the PPAb titers against homotypic A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine were similar to those against the heterovariant seasonal A(H1N1) vaccine and were similar between young and elderly subjects. The PPAb avidity was higher among elderly individuals, compared with young individuals. In contrast, the young sTIV recipients had 10-fold lower heterovariant PPAb titers against the A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine than against the homotypic seasonal A(H1N1) vaccine. In binding assays with recombinant head and stalk domains of hemagglutinin, PPAb from the A(H1N1)pdm09 recipients but not PPAb from the sTIV recipients bound to the conserved stalk domain.
Conclusion. The A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine induced production of PPAb with heterovariant reactivity, including antibodies targeting the conserved hemagglutinin stalk domain.
PMCID: PMC3532823  PMID: 23107783
influenza; vaccine; antibody; cross-reactivity
10.  C-reactive protein, haptoglobin, serum amyloid A and pig major acute phase protein response in pigs simultaneously infected with H1N1 swine influenza virus and Pasteurella multocida 
Swine influenza (SI) is an acute respiratory disease caused by swine influenza virus (SIV). Swine influenza is generally characterized by acute onset of fever and respiratory symptoms. The most frequent complications of influenza are secondary bacterial pneumonia. The objective of this work was to study the acute phase proteins (APP) responses after coinfection of piglets with H1N1 swine influenza virus (SwH1N1) and Pasteurella multocida (Pm) in order to identify whether the individual APP response correlate with disease severity and whether APP could be used as markers of the health status of coinfected pigs.
In all coinfected pigs clinical sings, including fever, coughing and dyspnea, were seen. Viral shedding was observed from 2 to 7 dpi. The mean level of antibodies against Pm dermonecrotoxin in infected piglets increase significantly from 7 dpi. Anti-SwH1N1 antibodies in the serum were detected from 7 dpi. The concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) increased significantly at 1 dpi as compared to control pigs, and remained significantly higher to 3 dpi. Level of serum amyloid A (SAA) was significantly higher from 2 to 3 dpi. Haptoglobin (Hp) was significantly elevated from 3 dpi to the end of study, while pig major acute phase protein (Pig-MAP) from 3 to 7 dpi. The concentrations of CRP, Hp and SAA significantly increased before specific antibodies were detected. Positive correlations were found between serum concentration of Hp and SAA and lung scores, and between clinical score and concentrations of Pig-MAP and SAA.
The results of current study confirmed that monitoring of APP may revealed ongoing infection, and in this way may be useful in selecting clinically healthy pigs (i.e. before integration into an uninfected herd). Present results corroborated our previous findings that SAA could be a potentially useful indicator in experimental infection studies (e.g. vaccine efficiency investigations) or as a marker for disease severity, because of correlation observed between its concentration in serum and disease severity (lung scores, clinical scores).
PMCID: PMC3554491  PMID: 23332090
Acute phase proteins; Experimental coinfection; Swine influenza; Pasteurella multocida
11.  Emergence of a New Swine H3N2 and Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Influenza A Virus Reassortant in Two Canadian Animal Populations, Mink and Swine▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(12):4386-4390.
A swine H3N2 (swH3N2) and pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (pH1N1) influenza A virus reassortant (swH3N2/pH1N1) was detected in Canadian swine at the end of 2010. Simultaneously, a similar virus was also detected in Canadian mink based on partial viral genome sequencing. The origin of the new swH3N2/pH1N1 viral genes was related to the North American swH3N2 triple-reassortant cluster IV (for hemagglutinin [HA] and neuraminidase [NA] genes) and to pH1N1 for all the other genes (M, NP, NS, PB1, PB2, and PA). Data indicate that the swH3N2/pH1N1 virus can be found in several pigs that are housed at different locations.
PMCID: PMC3232932  PMID: 22012020
12.  Immunogenicity and Cross-Reactivity of 2009–2010 Inactivated Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in US Adults and Elderly 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16650.
The campaign of 2009–2010 Northern Hemisphere seasonal vaccination was concurrent with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Using a hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay, we evaluated the immunogenicity and cross-reactivity of 2009–2010 inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) in US adult and elderly populations. Vaccination of TIV resulted in a robust boost on the antibody response of all subjects to seasonal A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1) and A/Uruguay/716/2007 (H3N2) with over 70% of recipients reaching a seroprotective titer of 40. B/Brisbane/60/2008 was the least immunogenic among the three seasonal vaccine strains with <30% of TIV recipients reaching a seroprotective titer of 40. TIV vaccination also induced a moderate boost on the pandemic specific antibody responses. Twenty-four percent of adults and 36% of elderly reached a seroprotective HAI titer of 40 or more against pandemic A/South Carolina/18/2009 (H1N1) after receiving TIV compared to 4% and 7% at the beginning of vaccination, respectively. In addition, 22% of adults and 34% of elderly showed an increase of 4-fold or more in A/South Carolina/18/2009 specific HAI titers after TIV vaccination. The pandemic specific cross-reactive antibodies strongly correlated with the post-vaccination HAI titers against the seasonal H3N2 vaccine strain in all subjects.
PMCID: PMC3031605  PMID: 21304946
13.  No evidence of a link between influenza vaccines and Guillain-Barre syndrome–associated antiganglioside antibodies 
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by acute, progressive peripheral neuropathy and is commonly associated with the presence of antiganglioside antibodies. Previously, influenza vaccination was linked with the increased incidence of GBS; however, whether antiganglioside antibodies are subsequently induced remains unresolved.
Sera from human subjects vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccines from the 2007–2008, 2008–2009, or 1976–1977 influenza seasons were screened for the induction of immunity to influenza and the presence of antiganglioside antibodies pre- and post-vaccination. Likewise, sera from mice vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccines (1988–1989, 2007–2008) or “swine flu” pandemic vaccines (1976, 2009) were assessed in the same manner. Viruses were also screened for cross-reacting ganglioside epitopes.
Antiganglioside antibodies were found to recognize influenza viruses; this reactivity correlated with virus glycosylation. Antibodies to influenza viruses were detected in human and mouse sera, but the prevalence of antiganglioside antibodies were extremely low.
Although the correlation between antiganglioside antibody cross-reactivity and glycosylation of viruses suggests the role of shared carbohydrate epitopes, no correlation was observed between hemagglutinin-inhibition titers and the induction of antiganglioside antibodies after influenza vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3595170  PMID: 21955390
antibodies; gangliosides; Guillain-Barre syndrome; influenza; vaccines
14.  Prior infection with classical swine H1N1 influenza viruses is associated with protective immunity to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus 
In a mouse challenge study with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus, we evaluated protective immune responses elicited by prior infection with human and swine influenza A viruses. Mice infected with A/Mexico/4108/2009 (Mex09) showed significant weight loss and 40% mortality. Prior infection with a 1976 classical swine H1N1 virus resulted in complete protection from Mex09 challenge. Prior infection with either a 2009 or a 1940 seasonal H1N1 influenza virus provided partial protection and a >100-fold reduction in viral lung titers at day 4 post-infection. These findings indicate that in experimental animals recently induced immunity to 1918-derived H1N1 seasonal influenza viruses, and to a 1976 swine influenza virus, afford a degree of protection against the 2009 pandemic virus. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of accumulating data suggesting partial protection of older persons during the 2009 pandemic.
PMCID: PMC2859467  PMID: 20409208
Antigenicity; H1N1; Hemagglutinin; Immunity; Influenza; Pandemic
15.  Enhancing effects of adjuvanted 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A vaccine on memory B-cell responses in HIV-infected individuals 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(3):295-302.
To assess the humoral immune response to low-dose AS03-adjuvanted and standard-dose nonadjuvanted 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A vaccine in HIV-infected aviremic individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy and in uninfected individuals.
A three-arm study.
Two clinics: one at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA; and the other at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults.
Single intramuscular 15µg dose of the monovalent inactivated 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A vaccine without adjuvant or 3.75µg dose of the same strain with adjuvant AS03.
Main outcomes
Immunogenicity, as measured by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titers and vaccine-specific memory B-cell responses.
A total of 74 participants were enrolled. Twenty-one HIV-infected individuals received the low-dose adjuvanted 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A vaccine. Twenty-nine HIV-infected and 24 HIV-uninfected individuals received the standard-dose nonadjuvanted vaccine. There were no significant differences in antibody responses at 9 weeks postvaccination among the three groups studied. However, the IgG memory B-cell response against the vaccine was significantly higher in the HIV-infected group that received the low-dose adjuvanted vaccine when compared to the HIV-infected and uninfected groups that received the standard-dose nonadjuvanted vaccine. Conclusions remained unchanged after regression adjustment for age, gender, CD4+ T-cell count, and baseline HAI titer.
These data suggest that adjuvants could be used to expand coverage through dose sparing and improve humoral immune responses in immunocompromised individuals.
PMCID: PMC3791488  PMID: 21157297
adjuvants; antibody response; HIV infection; memory B-cell response; pandemic influenza; vaccination
16.  Immunogenicity and Acceptance of Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine in a Cohort of Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Receiving Pegylated-Interferon Treatment 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48610.
Background & Aims
Individuals at risk of (H1N1) influenza A infection are recommended to receive vaccination. Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients receiving treatment might be at a higher risk of respiratory bacterial infections after influenza infection. However, there are no observational studies evaluating the immunogenicity, tolerance and acceptance of 2009 influenza A vaccine in CHC patients.
We evaluated the immunogenicity of influenza A vaccine (Pandemrix®) by using the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers method in a well defined cohort of CHC patients receiving or not receiving pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, and compared it with healthy subjects (controls). A group of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) under immunosuppression, thought to have a lower immune response to seasonal influenza vaccine, were also included as a negative control group. In addition, tolerance to injection site reactions and acceptance was assessed by a validated questionnaire (Vaccinees' perception of injection-VAPI-questionnaire).
Of 114 subjects invited to participate, 68% accepted and, after exclusions, 72 were included. Post-vaccination geometric mean titers and seroprotection/seroconversion rates were optimal in CHC patients with ongoing treatment (n = 15; 232, CI95% 46–1166; 93%; 93%), without treatment (n = 10; 226, CI95% 69–743: 100%; 100%) and controls (n = 15;168, CI95% 42–680; 93%; 86%) with no differences between groups (P = 0.8). In contrast, IBD patients had a significantly lower immunogenic response (n = 27; 60, CI95% 42–680;66%;66%; P = 0.006). All the groups showed a satisfactory tolerance although CHC patients with ongoing treatment showed more local discomfort after vaccine injection.
There appeared to be no differences between CHC patients and healthy controls in serological response and acceptance of (H1N1) influenza vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3493585  PMID: 23144908
17.  Risk factors affecting seroconversion after influenza A/H1N1 vaccination in hemodialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:165.
Hemodialysis (HD) patients have multiple causes of immune dysfunction and poor immune response to influenza vaccination. We investigated the antibody response rate to a pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza vaccination and clinical parameters influencing the induction of antibody responses in HD patients.
A total of 114 HD patients were vaccinated with a monovalent adjuvanted H1N1 inactivated influenza vaccine. Titers of neutralizing antibodies were evaluated by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay at pre- and 4 weeks after vaccination. Seroconversion was defined as either a pre-vaccination HI titer < 1:10 and a post vaccination HI titer > 1:40 or a pre-vaccination HI titer ≥ 1:10 and a minimum four-fold rise in post-vaccination HI antibody titer. Seventeen out of 114 HD patients (14.9%) tested positive for antibodies against influenza A/H1N1/2009 before vaccination. The remaining 97 baseline sero-negative patients were included in the analysis.
Only 30 (30.9%) HD patients had seroconversion 4 weeks after vaccination. The elderly patients, those over 65 years of age, showed significantly lower seroconversion rate compared to younger HD patients (20.5% vs. 39.6%, p = 0.042). Furthermore, patients with hemoglobin values less than 10 g/dL had a significantly lower seroconversion rate compared to those with higher hemoglobin values (20.0 vs. 38.6%, p = 0.049). By multivariate logistic regression analysis, only age ≥65 years (OR = 0.336, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.116-0.971, p = 0.044) and hemoglobin levels <10 g/dL (OR = 0.315, 95% CI 0.106-0.932, p = 0.037) were independently associated with seroconversion after vaccination.
Our data show that HD patients, especially who are elderly with low hemoglobin levels, are at increased risk for lower seroconversion rate after influenza A/H1N1 vaccination. Further studies are needed to improve the efficacy of vaccination in these high risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3560184  PMID: 23206898
Hemodialysis; Pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza; Vaccine; Seroconversion
18.  Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies to Pandemic 2009 H1N1 and Recent Seasonal H1N1 Influenza A Strains Influenced by a Mutation in Hemagglutinin Subunit 2 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(6):e1002081.
Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus (2009 H1N1) differs from H1N1 strains that circulated in the past 50 years, but resembles the A/New Jersey/1976 H1N1 strain used in the 1976 swine influenza vaccine. We investigated whether sera from persons immunized with the 1976 swine influenza or recent seasonal influenza vaccines, or both, neutralize 2009 H1N1. Using retroviral pseudovirions bearing hemagglutinins on their surface (HA-pseudotypes), we found that 77% of the sera collected in 1976 after immunization with the A/New Jersey/1976 H1N1 swine influenza vaccine neutralized 2009 H1N1. Forty five percent also neutralized A/New Caledonia/20/1999 H1N1, a strain used in seasonal influenza vaccines during the 2000/01–2006/07 seasons. Among adults aged 48–64 who received the swine influenza vaccine in 1976 and recent seasonal influenza vaccines during the 2004/05–2008/09 seasons, 83% had sera that neutralized 2009 H1N1. However, 68% of age-matched subjects who received the same seasonal influenza vaccines, but did not receive the 1976 swine influenza vaccine, also had sera that neutralized 2009 H1N1. Sera from both 1976 and contemporary cohorts frequently had cross-neutralizing antibodies to 2009 H1N1 and A/New Caledonia/20/1999 that mapped to hemagglutinin subunit 2 (HA2). A conservative mutation in HA2 corresponding to a residue in the A/Solomon Islands/3/2006 and A/Brisbane/59/2007 H1N1 strains that circulated in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 influenza seasons, respectively, abrogated this neutralization. These findings highlight a cross-neutralization determinant influenced by a point mutation in HA2 and suggest that HA2 may be evolving under direct or indirect immune pressure.
Author Summary
Influenza A viruses mutate to escape neutralization by antibodies. These mutations predominantly occur in the globular head of the hemagglutinin protein, while the stalk is more conserved. Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus differs from seasonal H1N1 strains that circulated in the past 50 years and resembles a strain that did not circulate but was used in the 1976 swine influenza vaccine. We investigated whether persons immunized with either the 1976 swine influenza or recent seasonal influenza vaccines, or both, have antibodies that cross-neutralize pandemic 2009 H1N1. Sera from 1976 swine influenza vaccine trials cross-neutralized pandemic 2009 H1N1 and to a lesser extent the A/New Caledonia/20/1999 H1N1 strain that was used in vaccines during the 2000/01–2006/07 influenza seasons. Sera from persons who received several seasonal influenza vaccines containing A/New Caledonia/20/1999 H1N1 cross-neutralized pandemic 2009 H1N1, regardless of whether they received the 1976 swine influenza vaccine. We found that cross-neutralization between 2009 H1N1 and A/New Caledonia/20/1999 frequently mapped to the hemagglutinin stalk. A mutation in the stalk of strains circulating during the 2007/08–2008/09 seasons abrogates this neutralization. These findings highlight a cross-neutralization determinant influenced by a point mutation in the hemagglutinin stalk and suggest that the stalk may be evolving under direct or indirect immune pressure.
PMCID: PMC3111540  PMID: 21695241
19.  Pandemic Influenza H1N1 2009, Innate Immunity, and the Impact of Immunosenescence on Influenza Vaccine 
Seasonal and pandemic strains of influenza have widespread implications for the global economy and global health. This has been highlighted recently as the epidemiologic characteristics for hospitalization and mortality for pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 are now emerging. While treatment with neuraminidase inhibitors are effective for seasonal and pandemic influenza, prevention of morbidity and mortality through effective vaccines requires a rigorous process of research and development. Vulnerable populations such as older adults (i.e., > age 65 years) suffer the greatest impact from seasonal influenza yet do not have a consistent seroprotective response to seasonal influenza vaccines due to a combination of factors. This short narrative review will highlight the emerging epidemiologic characteristics of pandemic H1N1 2009 and focus on immunosenescence, innate immune system responses to influenza virus infection and vaccination, and influenza vaccine responsiveness as it relates to seasonal and H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccines.
PMCID: PMC2794489  PMID: 20027279
H1N1; Toll-like receptor; innate immunity; aging; innate; immunity; TLR; adjuvant; immunosenescence; elderly; geriatric; influenza; vaccine
20.  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
21.  CD4+ T-Cell Expansion Predicts Neutralizing Antibody Responses to Monovalent, Inactivated 2009 Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) Virus Subtype H1N1 Vaccine 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;207(2):297-305.
Background. The ability of influenza vaccines to elicit CD4+ T cells and the relationship between induction of CD4+ T cells and vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody responses has been controversial. The emergence of swine-origin 2009 pandemic influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (A[H1N1]pdm09) provided a unique opportunity to examine responses to an influenza vaccine composed of both novel and previously encountered antigens and to probe the relationship between B-cell and T-cell responses to vaccination.
Methods. We tracked CD4+ T-cell and antibody responses of human subjects vaccinated with monovalent subunit A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine. The specificity and magnitude of the CD4+ T-cell response was evaluated using cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays in conjugation with peptide pools representing distinct influenza virus proteins.
Results. Our studies revealed that vaccination induced readily detectable CD4+ T cells specific for conserved portions of hemagglutinin (HA) and the internal viral proteins. Interestingly, expansion of HA-specific CD4+ T cells was most tightly correlated with the antibody response.
Conclusions. These results indicate that CD4+ T-cell expansion may be a limiting factor in development of neutralizing antibody responses to pandemic influenza vaccines and suggest that approaches to facilitate CD4+ T-cell recruitment may increase the neutralizing antibody produced in response to vaccines against novel influenza strains.
PMCID: PMC3532833  PMID: 23148285
influenza vaccines; pandemic H1N1 influenza; influenza virus; CD4+ T cells; cellular immune response; immunodominance; epitopes
Vaccine  2011;29(17):3183-3191.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons are at risk for severe influenza infections. Although vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic influenza strain is recommended, currently, there are no data on the durability of post-vaccination antibody responses in this population.
HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults (18–50 years old) received a single dose of monovalent 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine (strain A/California/7/2009H1N1). Antibody levels to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain were determined at day 0, day 28, and 6 months by hemagglutination-inhibition assay. A seroprotective response was a post-vaccination titer of ≥1:40 among those with a pre-vaccination level of ≤1:10. Geometric mean titers (GMT) and factors associated with higher levels were also evaluated.
We studied 127 participants with a median age of 35 (interquartile range (IQR) 28, 42) years. Among the HIV-infected arm (n=63), the median CD4 count was 595 (IQR 476, 819) cells/mm3 and 83% were receiving HAART. Thirty-five percent of all participants had a pre-vaccination level of >1:10. HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected adults were less likely to generate a seroprotective response at day 28 (54% vs. 75%, adjusted OR 0.23, p=0.021) or have a durable response at 6 months post-vaccination (28% vs. 56%, adjusted OR 0.19, p=0.005). Additionally, although pre-vaccination GMT were similar in both arms (median 7 vs. 8, p=0.11), the GMT at 6 months was significantly lower among HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected adults (median 20 vs. 113, p=0.003). Among HIV-infected persons, younger age (p=0.035) and receipt of HAART (p=0.028) were associated with higher GMTs at 6 months.
Despite vaccination, most HIV-infected adults do not have durable seroprotective antibody responses to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus, and hence may remain vulnerable to infection. In addition to HAART use, more immunogenic vaccines are likely needed for improving protection against influenza in this population.
PMCID: PMC3078993  PMID: 21371580
influenza; pandemic 2009 H1N1; vaccine responses; HIV; durability; long-term immunity
23.  Elicitation of Anti-1918 Influenza Virus Immunity Early in Life Prevents Morbidity and Lower Levels of Lung Infection by 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Virus in Aged Mice 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(3):1500-1513.
The Spanish influenza virus pandemic of 1918 was responsible for 40 million to 50 million deaths and is antigenically similar to the swine lineage 2009 pandemic influenza virus. Emergence of the 2009 pandemic from swine into humans has raised the possibility that low levels of cross-protective immunity to past shared epitopes could confer protection. In this study, influenza viruslike particles (VLPs) were engineered to express the hemagglutinin (HA) and genes from the 1918 influenza virus to evaluate the duration of cross-protection to the H1N1 pandemic strain by vaccinating young mice (8 to 12 weeks) and then allowing the animals to age to 20 months. This immunity was long lasting, with homologous receptor-blocking antibodies detected throughout the lifespan of vaccinated mice. Furthermore, the 1918 VLPs fully protected aged mice from 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus challenge 16 months after vaccination. Histopathological assessment showed that aged vaccinated mice had significant protection from alveolar infection but less protection of the bronchial tissue than adult vaccinated mice. Additionally, passive transfer of immune serum from aged vaccinated mice resulted in protection from death but not morbidity. This is the first report describing the lifelong duration of cross-reactive immune responses elicited by a 1918 VLP vaccine in a murine model. Importantly, these lifelong immune responses did not result in decreased total viral replication but did prevent infection of the lower respiratory tract. These findings show that immunity acquired early in life can restrict the anatomical location of influenza viral replication, rather than preventing infection, in the aged.
PMCID: PMC3264330  PMID: 22130546
24.  Immunogenicity, Boostability, and Sustainability of the Immune Response after Vaccination against Influenza A Virus (H1N1) 2009 in a Healthy Population ▿ 
The emergence of a new influenza A virus (H1N1) variant in 2009 led to a worldwide vaccination program, which was prepared in a relatively short period of time. This study investigated the humoral immunity against this virus before and after vaccination with a 2009 influenza A virus (H1N1) monovalent MF59-adjuvanted vaccine, as well as the persistence of vaccine-induced antibodies. Our prospective longitudinal study included 498 health care workers (mean age, 43 years; median age, 44 years). Most (89%) had never or only occasionally received a seasonal influenza virus vaccine, and 11% were vaccinated annually (on average, for >10 years). Antibody titers were determined by a hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay at baseline, 3 weeks after the first vaccination, and 5 weeks and 7 months after the second vaccination. Four hundred thirty-five persons received two doses of the 2009 vaccine. After the first dose, 79.5% developed a HI titer of ≥40. This percentage increased to 83.3% after the second dose. Persistent antibodies were found in 71.9% of the group that had not received annual vaccinations and in 43.8% of the group that had received annual vaccinations. The latter group tended to have lower HI titers (P=0.09). With increasing age, HI titers decreased significantly, by 2.4% per year. A single dose of the 2009 vaccine was immunogenic in almost 80% of the study population, whereas an additional dose resulted in significantly increased titers only in persons over 50. Finally, a reduced HI antibody response against the 2009 vaccine was found in adults who had previously received seasonal influenza virus vaccination. More studies on the effect of yearly seasonal influenza virus vaccination on the immune response are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3165238  PMID: 21795459
25.  Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Protects against 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Virus in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9161.
The 2009 influenza pandemic and shortages in vaccine supplies worldwide underscore the need for new approaches to develop more effective vaccines.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We generated influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) containing proteins derived from the A/California/04/2009 virus, and tested their efficacy as a vaccine in mice. A single intramuscular vaccination with VLPs provided complete protection against lethal challenge with the A/California/04/2009 virus and partial protection against A/PR/8/1934 virus, an antigenically distant human isolate. VLP vaccination induced predominant IgG2a antibody responses, high hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) titers, and recall IgG and IgA antibody responses. HAI titers after VLP vaccination were equivalent to those observed after live virus infection. VLP immune sera also showed HAI responses against diverse geographic pandemic isolates. Notably, a low dose of VLPs could provide protection against lethal infection.
This study demonstrates that VLP vaccination provides highly effective protection against the 2009 pandemic influenza virus. The results indicate that VLPs can be developed into an effective vaccine, which can be rapidly produced and avoid the need to isolate high growth reassortants for egg-based production.
PMCID: PMC2820088  PMID: 20161790

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