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Clinical factors associated with the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Nath KD, Burel JG, Shankar V, Pritchard AL, Towers M, Looke D, Davies JM, Upham JW

Received 26 August 2013

Accepted for publication 16 October 2013

Published 24 December 2013 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 51—56

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S53590

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Karthik D Nath,1,2 Julie G Burel,1 Viswanathan Shankar,3 Antonia L Pritchard,1 Michelle Towers,2 David Looke,1,2 Janet M Davies,1 John W Upham1,2

1The University of Queensland (School of Medicine), Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 3Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Background and objective: Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at a high risk of developing significant complications from infection with the influenza virus. It is therefore vital to ensure that prophylaxis with the influenza vaccine is effective in COPD. The aim of this study was to assess the immunogenicity of the 2010 trivalent influenza vaccine in persons with COPD compared to healthy subjects without lung disease, and to examine clinical factors associated with the serological response to the vaccine.
Methods: In this observational study, 34 subjects (20 COPD, 14 healthy) received the 2010 influenza vaccine. Antibody titers at baseline and 28 days post-vaccination were measured using the hemagglutination inhibition assay (HAI) assay. Primary endpoints included seroconversion (≥4-fold increase in antibody titers from baseline) and the fold increase in antibody titer after vaccination.
Results: Persons with COPD mounted a significantly lower humoral immune response to the influenza vaccine compared to healthy participants. Seroconversion occurred in 90% of healthy participants, but only in 43% of COPD patients (P=0.036). Increasing age and previous influenza vaccination were associated with lower antibody responses. Antibody titers did not vary significantly with cigarette smoking, presence of other comorbid diseases, or COPD severity.
Conclusion: The humoral immune response to the 2010 influenza vaccine was lower in persons with COPD compared to non-COPD controls. The antibody response also declined with increasing age and in those with a history of prior vaccination.

Keywords: COPD, human influenza, humoral immunity, influenza vaccines, vaccination

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