Antibody to the neuraminidase (NA) antigen of influenza viruses has been shown to correlate with immunity to influenza in humans and animal models. In a previous report, we showed that an inactivated influenza vaccine containing 60microg of the hemagglutinin (HA) of each strain induced significantly more serum anti-HA antibody among elderly persons than did the standard vaccine containing 15microg of the HA of each component. We developed a lectin-based assay for anti-NA antibody and used it to measure anti-NA antibody responses among subjects who had participated in that study. The high dosage vaccine contained eight times as much NA activity as the standard vaccine and induced a significantly higher frequency of antibody responses and higher mean postvaccination anti-NA titers to the N1 and N2 of the A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 viruses in the vaccines than did the standard vaccine. Ensuring an increased antibody response to the NA antigen in inactivated influenza virus vaccines should increase the protection against influenza. An increased quantity of the NA antigen in the vaccine will ensure an increased response.
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