Safety and immunogenicity of adjuvanted and unadjuvanted subunit influenza vaccines administered intranasally to healthy adults

Vaccine. 2000 Sep 15;19(2-3):217-26. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(00)00171-7.


Antigen-specific mucosal immunity is thought to be important for protection against influenza virus infection. Currently licensed parenteral influenza vaccines stimulate the production of serum antibodies, but are poor inducers of mucosal immunity. The adjuvant MF59 has been shown to enhance the humoral immune response to parenteral influenza vaccine in humans and the mucosal immune response to intranasally-administered influenza vaccine in mice. We conducted an open-label safety study followed by an observer-blind, randomized trial comparing the immune response to intranasally-administered subunit influenza vaccine adjuvanted with MF59, unadjuvanted subunit influenza vaccine, and placebo. Adverse reactions did not occur significantly more frequently in vaccinees than placebo recipients. Of 31 subjects receiving 2 doses of MF59-adjuvanted influenza vaccine, 19 (61%), 8 (26%), and 11 (35%) developed a mucosal IgA response to influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B, respectively. The percentage of subjects with a serum antibody response was slightly lower. The immune responses to adjuvanted vaccine were not significantly different from those to unadjuvanted vaccine. Both vaccines gave more frequent responses than seen in placebo recipients, indicating the potential of intranasal inactivated vaccines to stimulate local IgA responses.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / biosynthesis
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Polysorbates / administration & dosage*
  • Squalene / administration & dosage*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • MF59 oil emulsion
  • Polysorbates
  • Squalene