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Open Access Humoral Immune Response Following Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in Islet Transplant Recipients

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Annual influenza vaccine is recommended for organ transplant recipients, but immunogenicity is known to be suboptimal. Islet transplant recipients receive immunosuppressive therapy, but there are no data on the immunogenicity of influenza vaccine in this population. In this prospective cohort study, adult islet transplant recipients at least 3 months posttransplant were enrolled. All patients received the 2010‐2011 seasonal influenza vaccine. Serum was obtained pre- and postvaccination to determine humoral response to each of the three influenza strains included in the vaccine. Adverse effects of vaccine were also noted. A total of 61 islet transplant recipients were enrolled and completed the study protocol. The median time from last transplant was 1.9 years (range 0.26‐11.4 years), and most patients had undergone multiple prior islet transplant procedures (90.2%). Overall immunogenicity of the vaccine was poor. Seroconversion rates to H1N1, H3N2, and B antigens were 34.4%, 29.5%, and 9.8%, respectively. In the subset not seroprotected at baseline, a protective antibody titer postvaccination was achieved in 58.6%, 41.9%, and 34.5% of patients, respectively. Patients within the first year of transplant were significantly less likely to seroconvert to at least one antigen (23.5% vs. 54.5%; p = 0.029). Alemtuzumab recipients trended toward lower seroconversion rates (25% vs. 51%; p = 0.11). No vaccine-related safety concerns were identified. Seasonal influenza vaccine had suboptimal immunogenicity in islet transplant recipients especially those who were less than 1 year posttransplant or had received alemtuzumab induction. Novel strategies for protection in this group of patients need further study.

Keywords: Immunogenicity; Immunosuppression; Infection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Alberta Transplant Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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