Background. Adjuvanted vaccines have the potential to improve influenza pandemic response. AS03 adjuvant has been shown to enhance the immune response to inactivated influenza vaccines.
Methods. This trial was designed to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of an inactivated 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine at varying dosages of hemagglutinin with and without extemporaneously mixed AS03 adjuvant system in adults ≥18 years of age. Adults were randomized to receive 2 doses of 1 of 5 vaccine formulations (3.75 µg, 7.5 µg, or 15 µg with AS03 or 7.5 µg or 15 µg without adjuvant).
Results. The study population included 544 persons <65 years of age and 245 persons ≥65 years of age. Local adverse events tended to be more frequent in the adjuvanted vaccine groups, but severe reactions were uncommon. In both age groups, hemagglutination inhibition antibody geometric mean titers after dose one were higher in the adjuvanted groups, compared with the 15 µg unadjuvanted group, and this difference was statistically significant for the comparison of the 15 µg adjuvanted group with the 15 µg unadjuvanted group.
Conclusions. AS03 adjuvant system improves the immune response to inactivated 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in both younger and older adults and is generally well tolerated.
The human antibody repertoire is one of the most important defenses against infectious disease, and the development of vaccines has enabled the conferral of targeted protection to specific pathogens. However, there are many challenges to measuring and analyzing the immunoglobulin sequence repertoire, such as the fact that each B cell contains a distinct antibody sequence encoded in its genome, that the antibody repertoire is not constant but changes over time, and the high similarity between antibody sequences. We have addressed this challenge by using high-throughput long read sequencing to perform immunogenomic characterization of expressed human antibody repertoires in the context of influenza vaccination. Informatic analysis of 5 million antibody heavy chain sequences from healthy individuals allowed us to perform global characterizations of isotype distributions, determine the lineage structure of the repertoire and measure age and antigen related mutational activity. Our analysis of the clonal structure and mutational distribution of individuals’ repertoires shows that elderly subjects have a decreased number of lineages but an increased pre-vaccination mutation load in their repertoire and that some of these subjects have an oligoclonal character to their repertoire in which the diversity of the lineages is greatly reduced relative to younger subjects. We have thus shown that global analysis of the immune system’s clonal structure provides direct insight into the effects of vaccination and provides a detailed molecular portrait of age-related effects.
Existing methods to measure influenza vaccine immunogenicity prohibit detailed analysis of epitope determinants recognized by immunoglobulins. The development of highly multiplex proteomics platforms capable of capturing a high level of antibody binding information will enable researchers and clinicians to generate rapid and meaningful readouts of influenza-specific antibody reactivity.
We developed influenza hemagglutinin (HA) whole-protein and peptide microarrays and validated that the arrays allow detection of specific antibody reactivity across a broad dynamic range using commercially available antibodies targeted to linear and conformational HA epitopes. We derived serum from blood draws taken from 76 young and elderly subjects immediately before and 28±7 days post-vaccination with the 2008/2009 trivalent influenza vaccine and determined the antibody reactivity of these sera to influenza array antigens.
Using linear regression and correcting for multiple hypothesis testing by the Benjamini and Hochberg method of permutations over 1000 resamplings, we identified antibody reactivity to influenza whole-protein and peptide array features that correlated significantly with age, H1N1, and B-strain post-vaccine titer as assessed through a standard microneutralization assay (p<0.05, q <0.2). Notably, we identified several peptide epitopes that were inversely correlated with regard to age and seasonal H1N1 and B-strain neutralization titer (p<0.05, q <0.2), implicating reactivity to these epitopes in age-related defects in response to H1N1 influenza. We also employed multivariate linear regression with cross-validation to build models based on age and pre-vaccine peptide reactivity that predicted vaccine-induced neutralization of seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 influenza strains with a high level of accuracy (84.7% and 74.0%, respectively).
Our methods provide powerful tools for rapid and accurate measurement of broad antibody-based immune responses to influenza, and may be useful in measuring response to other vaccines and infectious agents.
A systems analysis of immune biomarkers in 89 young and older adults revealed age-dependent and age-independent features, including markers of apoptosis that correlated with antibody responses to a seasonal influenza vaccine.
Influenza hemagglutinin peptide arrays reveal age-associated effects that correlate with both pre-existing and vaccine-induced antibody titers.Age-dependent and age-independent baseline immune parameters correlate with and substantially predict the serological response to a seasonal influenza vaccine.Soluble FasL and gene modules associated with apoptosis are predictors of the serological response to an influenza vaccine, which was abrogated in Fas-deficient mice.
Despite the importance of the immune system in many diseases, there are currently no objective benchmarks of immunological health. In an effort to identifying such markers, we used influenza vaccination in 30 young (20–30 years) and 59 older subjects (60 to >89 years) as models for strong and weak immune responses, respectively, and assayed their serological responses to influenza strains as well as a wide variety of other parameters, including gene expression, antibodies to hemagglutinin peptides, serum cytokines, cell subset phenotypes and in vitro cytokine stimulation. Using machine learning, we identified nine variables that predict the antibody response with 84% accuracy. Two of these variables are involved in apoptosis, which positively associated with the response to vaccination and was confirmed to be a contributor to vaccine responsiveness in mice. The identification of these biomarkers provides new insights into what immune features may be most important for immune health.
aging; apoptosis; influenza; systems immunology; vaccinology
Introduction. LC16m8 is an attenuated cell culture–adapted Lister vaccinia smallpox vaccine missing the B5R protein and licensed for use in Japan.
Methods. We conducted a phase I/II clinical trial that compared the safety and immunogenicity of LC16m8 with Dryvax in vaccinia-naive participants. Adverse events were assessed, as were electrocardiography and laboratory testing for cardiotoxicity and viral culturing of the vaccination sites. Neutralization titers to vaccinia, monkeypox, and variola major were assessed and cell-mediated immune responses were measured by interferon (IFN)–γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot and lymphoproliferation assays.
Results. Local and systemic reactions after vaccination with LC16m8 were similar to those reported after Dryvax. No clinically significant abnormalities consistent with cardiac toxicity were seen for either vaccine. Both vaccines achieved antivaccinia, antivariola, and antimonkeypox neutralizing antibody titers >1:40, although the mean plaque reduction neutralization titer of LC16m8 at day 30 after vaccination was significantly lower than Dryvax for anti-NYCBH vaccinia (P < .01), antimonkeypox (P < .001), and antivariola (P < .001). LC16m8 produced robust cellular immune responses that trended higher than Dryvax for lymphoproliferation (P = .06), but lower for IFN-γ ELISPOT (P = .02).
Conclusions. LC16m8 generates neutralizing antibody titers to multiple poxviruses, including vaccinia, monkeypox, and variola major, and broad T-cell responses, indicating that LC16m8 may have efficacy in protecting individuals from smallpox.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00103584.
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.
Conventional measurement of antibody responses to vaccines largely relies on serum antibodies, which are primarily produced by bone marrow plasma cells and may not represent the entire vaccine-induced B cell repertoire, including important functional components such as those targeted to mucosal sites. After immunization or infection, activated B cells differentiate into plasmablasts in local lymphoid organs, then traffic through circulation to the target sites where they further develop into plasma cells. On day 7 after influenza vaccination, a burst of plasmablasts, highly enriched for vaccine-specific antibody secreting cells, appears in the peripheral blood. This provides a unique window to the overall B cell response to the vaccine, without interference of pre-existing cross-reactive serum antibody. In this study we isolated B cells from volunteers on day 7 after immunization with the inactivated influenza vaccine and cultured them ex vivo to collect plasmablast-derived polyclonal antibodies (PPAb). The PPAb contained secreted IgG and IgA, which was approximately 0.2 ng per antibody secreting cell. Influenza-specific IgG and IgA binding activity was detected in PPAb at dilutions up to 105 by ELISA. The ratio of the titers of influenza-specific IgA to IgG by ELISA was 4-fold higher in PPAb than in day 28 post-vaccination sera, suggesting that vaccine-induced IgA is enriched in PPAb compared to sera. Functional activity was also detected in PPAb as determined by microneutralization and hemagglutination inhibition assays. In addition to bulk B cell cultures, we also cultured plasmablast subsets sorted by cell surface markers to generate PPAb. These results suggest that PPAb better reflects the mucosal IgA response than serum samples. Since PPAb are exclusively produced by recently activated B cells, it allows assessing vaccine-induced antibody response without interference from pre-existing cross-reactive serum antibodies and permits an assessment of antibody avidity based on antigen specific binding and antibody quantity. Therefore this assay is particularly useful for studying vaccine/infection-induced antibodies against antigens that might have previously circulated, such as antibody responses to rotavirus, dengue or influenza viruses in which cross-reactive antibodies against different virus serotypes/subtypes play a critical role in immunity and/or pathogenesis.
Influenza virus; vaccines; antibodies; plasmablasts
Background. Since the introduction of live attenuated varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine in 1995 there has been a significant reduction in varicella incidence and its associated complications, but the impact on VZV-associated central nervous system (CNS) disease has not been assessed.
Methods. In this descriptive study we evaluated patients referred to the California Encephalitis Project from 1998 to 2009 with VZV PCR-positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data were collected using a standardized case form. Specimens were genotyped using multi-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis.
Results. Twenty-six specimens were genotyped from patients 12–85 years of age (median, 46 years). Clinical presentations included meningitis (50%), encephalitis (42%), and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) (8%). Only 11 patients (42%) had a concomitant herpes zoster rash. Genotype analysis identified 20 European Group (Clade1, Clade 3) strains; 4 Asian (Clade 2) strains, and 2 Mosaic Group (Clade 4, Clade VI) strains. One specimen was recognized as vaccine strain by identifying vaccine-associated SNPs.
Conclusions. VZV continues to be associated with CNS disease, with meningitis being the most frequent clinical presentation. CNS VZV disease often presented without accompanying zoster rash. Sequencing data revealed multiple genotypes, including 1 vaccine strain detected in the CSF of a young patient with meningitis.
During seasonal influenza epidemics, disease burden is shouldered predominantly by the very young and the elderly. Elderly individuals are particularly affected, in part because vaccine efficacy wanes with age. This has been linked to a reduced ability to induce a robust serum antibody response. Here, we show that this is due to reduced quantities of vaccine-specific antibodies, rather than a lack of antibody avidity or affinity. We measured levels of vaccine-specific plasmablasts by ELISPOT 1 week after immunization of young and elderly adults with inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine. Plasmablast-derived polyclonal antibodies (PPAbs) were generated from bulk-cultured B cells, while recombinant monoclonal antibodies (re-mAbs) were produced from single plasmablasts. The frequency of vaccine-specific plasmablasts and the concentration of PPAbs were lower in the elderly than in young adults, whereas the yields of secreted IgG per plasmablast were not different. Differences were not detected in the overall vaccine-specific avidity or affinity of PPAbs and re-mAbs between the 2 age groups. In contrast, reactivity of the antibodies induced by the inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine toward the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus, which was not present in the vaccine, was higher in the elderly than in the young. These results indicate that the inferior antibody response to influenza vaccination in the elderly is primarily due to reduced quantities of vaccine-specific antibodies. They also suggest that exposure history affects the cross-reactivity of vaccination-induced antibodies.
Dosage-sparing strategies, adjuvants and alternative substrates for vaccine production are being explored for influenza vaccine development. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of a Vero cell culture-grown inactivated whole virus influenza A/H5N1 vaccine with or without aluminum hydroxide adjuvant [Al(OH)3] in healthy young adults. Vaccines were well tolerated, but injection site discomfort was more frequent in groups receiving Al(OH)3. Dose-related increases in serum antibody levels were observed. Neutralizing antibody titers varied significantly when tested by two different laboratories. Al(OH)3 did not enhance HAI or neutralizing antibody responses, and contributed to increased injection site pain. Because influenza antibody titers vary significantly between different laboratories, international standardization of assays is warranted.
Influenza A/H5N1 vaccines; cell culture; adjuvant; aluminum hydroxide
To augment the available influenza vaccine supply, a phase III study was conducted to evaluate the immunogenicity, safety, and consistency of a new trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine manufactured by CSL Limited. Healthy adults (ages 18–64) were randomized to receive either a single dose of TIV from multi-dose vials with thimerosal, TIV from pre-filled syringes without thimerosal, or placebo. Of the TIV recipients, 97.8% achieved a post-vaccination titer ≥ 40 against H1N1, 99.9% against H3N2 component, and 94.2% against influenza B. Few local or systemic adverse events were noted after vaccination with either TIV presentation. TIV was well tolerated and immunogenic.
Influenza; vaccine; immunogenicity
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.
Factors affecting immune responses to influenza vaccines have not been studied systematically. We hypothesized that T-cell and antibody responses to the vaccines are functions of pre-existing host immunity against influenza antigens.
During the 2004 and 2005 influenza seasons, we have collected data on cellular and humoral immune reactivity to influenza virus in blood samples collected before and after immunization with inactivated or live attenuated influenza vaccines in healthy children and adults. We first used cross-validated lasso regression on the 2004 dataset to identify a group of candidate baseline correlates with T-cell and antibody responses to vaccines, defined as fold-increase in influenza-specific T-cells and serum HAI titer after vaccination. The following baseline parameters were examined: percentages of influenza-reactive IFN-γ+ cells in T and NK cell subsets, percentages of influenza-specific memory B-cells, HAI titer, age, and type of vaccine. The candidate baseline correlates were then tested with the independent 2005 dataset. Baseline percentage of influenza-specific IFN-γ+ CD4 T-cells was identified as a significant correlate of CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses, with lower baseline levels associated with larger T-cell responses. Baseline HAI titer and vaccine type were identified as significant correlates for HAI response, with lower baseline levels and the inactivated vaccine associated with larger HAI responses. Previously we reported that baseline levels of CD56dim NK reactivity against influenza virus inversely correlated with the immediate T-cell response to vaccination, and that NK reactivity induced by influenza virus depended on IL-2 produced by influenza-specific memory T-cells. Taken together these results suggest a novel mechanism for the homeostasis of virus-specific T-cells, which involves interaction between memory helper T-cells, CD56dim NK and DC.
These results demonstrate that assessment of baseline biomarkers may predict immunologic outcome of influenza vaccination and may reveal some of the mechanisms responsible for variable immune responses following vaccination and natural infection.
Cellular immune responses to influenza virus infection and influenza virus vaccination have not been rigorously characterized. We quantified the effector and memory B-cell responses in children and adults after administration of either live attenuated (LAIV) or inactivated (TIV) influenza virus vaccines and compared these to antibody responses. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected at days 0, 7 to 12, and 27 to 42 after immunization of younger children (6 months to 4 years old), older children (5 to 9 years old), and adults. Influenza virus-specific effector immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG circulating antibody-secreting cells (ASC) and stimulated memory B cells were detected using an enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Circulating influenza virus-specific IgG and IgA ASC were detected 7 to 12 days after TIV and after LAIV immunization. Seventy-nine percent or more of adults and older children had demonstrable IgG ASC responses, while IgA ASC responses were detected in 29 to 53% of the subjects. The IgG ASC response rate to LAIV immunization in adults was significantly higher than the response rate measured by standard serum antibody assays (26.3% and 15.8% by neutralization and hemagglutination inhibition assays, respectively). IgG ASC and serum antibody responses were relatively low in the younger children compared to older children and adults. TIV, but not LAIV, significantly increased the percentage of circulating influenza virus-specific memory B cells detected at 27 to 42 days after immunization in children and adults. In conclusion, although both influenza vaccines are effective, we found significant differences in the B-cell and antibody responses elicited after LAIV or TIV immunization in adults and older children and between young children and older age groups.
The patterns of cellular immune responses induced by live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) versus those of the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) have not been studied extensively, especially in children. The goals of this study were to evaluate the effects of TIV and LAIV immunization on cellular immunity to live influenza A virus in children and adults and to explore factors associated with variations in responses to influenza vaccines among individuals. A gamma interferon (IFN-γ) flow cytometry assay was used to measure IFN-γ-producing (IFN-γ+) NK and T cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures stimulated with a live influenza A virus strain before and after LAIV or TIV immunization of children and adults. The mean percentages of influenza A virus-specific IFN-γ+ CD4 and CD8 T cells increased significantly after LAIV, but not TIV, immunization in children aged 5 to 9 years. No increases in the mean levels of influenza A virus-reactive IFN-γ+ T cells and NK cells were observed in adults given LAIV or TIV. TIV induced a significant increase in influenza A virus-reactive T cells in 6-month- to 4-year-old children; LAIV was not evaluated in this age group. The postvaccination changes (n-fold) in the percentages of influenza A virus-reactive IFN-γ+ T and NK cells in adults were highly variable and correlated inversely with the prevaccination percentages, in particular with that of the CD56dim NK cell subset. In conclusion, our findings identify age, type of vaccine, and prevaccination levels of immune reactivity to influenza A virus as factors significantly associated with the magnitude of cellular immune responses to influenza vaccines.
The role of human NK cells in viral infections is poorly understood. We used a cytokine flow-cytometry assay to simultaneously investigate the IFN-γ response of NK and T lymphocytes to influenza A virus (fluA). When PBMCs from fluA-immune adult donors were incubated with fluA, IFN-γ was produced by both CD56dim and CD56bright subsets of NK cells, as well as by fluA-specific T cells. Purified NK cells did not produce IFN-γ in response to fluA, while depletion of T lymphocytes reduced to background levels the fluA-induced IFN-γ production by NK cells, which indicates that T cells are required for the IFN-γ response of NK cells. The fluA-induced IFN-γ production of NK cells was suppressed by anti–IL-2 Ab, while recombinant IL-2 replaced the helper function of T cells for IFN-γ production by NK cells. This indicates that IL-2 produced by fluA-specific T cells is involved in the T cell–dependent IFN-γ response of NK cells to fluA. Taken together, these results suggest that at an early stage of recurrent viral infection, NK-mediated innate immunity to the virus is enhanced by preexisting virus-specific T cells.
Abscess formation following immunisation is a previously reported complication, generally associated with microbial contamination of the vaccine. Less commonly, such abscesses have been sterile. Here we describe two children evaluated in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) network who developed recurrent sterile abscesses after administration of vaccines containing aluminium adjuvant, either individually or in combination. Although the abscesses healed without sequelae, these occurrences support an association between receipt of aluminium adjuvant and sterile abscesses in susceptible patients. For patients with similar symptoms, clinicians may wish to choose a vaccine formulation containing the least amount of aluminium adjuvant.