Dosage-sparing strategies, adjuvants and alternative substrates for vaccine production are being explored for influenza vaccine development. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of a Vero cell culture-grown inactivated whole virus influenza A/H5N1 vaccine with or without aluminum hydroxide adjuvant [Al(OH)(3)] in healthy young adults. Vaccines were well tolerated, but injection site discomfort was more frequent in groups receiving Al(OH)(3). Dose-related increases in serum antibody levels were observed. Neutralizing antibody titers varied significantly when tested by two different laboratories. Al(OH)(3) did not enhance HAI or neutralizing antibody responses, and contributed to increased injection site pain. Because influenza antibody titers vary significantly between different laboratories, international standardization of assays is warranted.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00382980.