HI responses induced by seasonal influenza vaccination are associated with clinical protection and with seroprotection against non-homologous strains.Vaccine. 2012 Jul 27; 30(35):5262-9.V
Vaccination against influenza induces homologous as well as cross-specific hemagglutination inhibiting (HI) responses. Induction of cross-specific HI responses may be essential when the influenza strain does not match the vaccine strain, or even to confer a basic immune response against a pandemic influenza virus. We carried out a clinical study to evaluate the immunological responses after seasonal vaccination in healthy adults 18-60 years of age, receiving the yearly voluntary vaccination during the influenza season 2006/2007. Vaccinees of different age groups were followed for laboratory confirmed influenza (LCI) and homologous HI responses as well as cross-specific HI responses against the seasonal H1N1 strain of 2008 and pandemic H1N1 virus of 2009 (H1N1pdm09) were determined. Homologous HI titers that are generally associated with protection (i.e. seroprotective HI titers ≥40) were found in more than 70% of vaccinees. In contrast, low HI titers before and after vaccination were significantly associated with seasonal LCI. Cross-specific HI titers ≥40 against drifted seasonal H1N1 were found in 69% of vaccinees. Cross-specific HI titers ≥40 against H1N1pdm09 were also significantly induced, especially in the youngest age group. More specifically, cross-specific HI titers ≥40 against H1N1pdm09 were inversely correlated with age. We did not find a correlation between the subtype of influenza which was circulating at the age of birth of the vaccinees and cross-specific HI response against H1N1pdm09. These data indicate that the HI titers before and after vaccination determine the vaccination efficacy. In addition, in healthy adults between 18 and 60 years of age, young adults appear to be best able to mount a cross-protective HI response against H1N1pdm09 or drifted seasonal influenza after seasonal vaccination.