Objective: to investigate the early immunological effects of Pneumococcus vaccination in SLE patients and healthy controls.
Methods: First-four-week follow-up of 18 patients and 9 healthy controls by repeated measurements of anti-nuclear antibodies, anti-dsDNA, C-reactive protein, complement factor 3 (C3) and 4 (C4), total IgG, IgA and IgM. Specific antibody response, percentage of blood lymphocyte populations and whole blood chemiluminescence measurements were carried out in six patients and six controls.
Results: No disease flare was detected in the vaccinated patients. all side effects were mild. The concentrations of serum IgG, IgA, C3 and C4 decreased significantly, but still remained within the normal range. The other changes were statistically non-significant. The specific antibody responses to 6B and 23F Pneumococcus serotypes showed striking individual differences.
Conclusion: There was no short-term immunological effect of Pneumococcus vaccination in the patients with SLE. The non-responders. without any sign of disease activation should possibly be given more immunogenic, new vaccines to avoid life-threatening Pneumococcus infections.