Effects of adjuvants on the safety and immunogenicity of an avian influenza H5N1 vaccine in adults

J Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 1;197(5):667-75. doi: 10.1086/527489.


Background: Influenza A H5N1 viruses pose a significant threat to human health.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind study in 394 healthy adults. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive 2 intramuscular doses of either saline placebo; influenza A/Vietnam/1203/2004(H5N1) vaccine alone at 45, 30, or 15 microg per dose; vaccine at 15 or 7.5 microg per dose with MF59; or vaccine at 30, 15, or 7.5 microg per dose with aluminum hydroxide. Subjects were followed up for safety and blood samples were obtained to determine antibody responses.

Results: The vaccine formulations were well tolerated but local adverse effects were common; the incidence of these effects increased in a dose-dependent manner and was increased by the addition of adjuvants. The addition of MF59 increased the antibody response, whereas the addition of aluminum hydroxide did not. The highest antibody responses were seen in the group that received 15 microg of vaccine per dose with MF59, in which 63% of subjects achieved the predetermined endpoint (hemagglutination-inhibition titer > or =40) 28 days after the second dose, compared with 29% in the group that received the highest dose (45 microg per dose) of vaccine alone.

Conclusions: A 2-dose regimen of subvirion influenza A (H5N1) vaccine was well tolerated. The antibody responses to 15 microg of A/H5 vaccine with MF59 were higher than the responses to 45 microg of vaccine alone.

Trial registration: ClincalTrials.gov identifier: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00280033?term= NCT00280033&rank=1 NCT00280033 .

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / administration & dosage*
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / adverse effects
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysorbates / adverse effects*
  • Squalene / adverse effects*
  • Squalene / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • MF59 oil emulsion
  • Polysorbates
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Squalene

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00280033