Healthcare workers (HCW) were prioritized for vaccination during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic. We conducted a clinical trial in October 2009 where 237 HCWs were immunized with a AS03-adjuvanted A(H1N1)pdm09 monovalent vaccine. In the current study, we analyzed the homologous and cross-reactive H1N1 humoral responses using prototype vaccine strains dating back to 1977 by the haemagglutinin inhibition (HI), single radial hemolysis SRH), antibody secreting cell (ASC) and memory B cell (MBC) assays. The cellular responses were assessed by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) ELISPOT and by intracellular staining (ICS) for the Th1 cytokines IFN-γ, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). All assays were performed using blood samples obtained prior to (day 0) and 7, 14 and 21 d post-pandemic vaccination, except for ASC (day 7) and ICS (days 0 and 21). Vaccination elicited rapid HI, SRH and ASC responses against A(H1N1)pdm09 which cross reacted with seasonal H1N1 strains. MBC responses were detected against the homologous and seasonal H1N1 strains before vaccination and were boosted 2 weeks post-vaccination. An increase in cellular responses as determined by IFN-γ ELISPOT and ICS were observed 1-3 weeks after vaccination. Collectively, our data show that the AS03-adjuvanted A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine induced rapid cellular and humoral responses against the vaccine strain and the response cross-reacted against prototype H1N1 strains dating back to 1977.
Keywords: AS03; H1N1; HCW, Healthcare workers; cross-reactivity; healthcare workers; immune responses; pandemic influenza; vaccination.