Live-Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Children From 2009 to 2015-2016: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 Jul 24;4(3):ofx111. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofx111. eCollection Summer 2017.


Background: This systematic review and meta-analysis describes and consolidates findings from all studies that assessed the effectiveness of live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) against laboratory-confirmed influenza since the 2009 pandemic in children and young adults.

Methods: A MEDLINE search was conducted for articles published from January 1, 2010 to November 30, 2016. All original publications reporting an effectiveness estimate of LAIV against cases of influenza confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction or culture were retained for analysis. Effectiveness estimates were categorized by LAIV formulation (monovalent, trivalent, and quadrivalent) and strain (any influenza strain, A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2), and B strains). Consolidated estimates were obtained with a random-effects model.

Results: A total of 24 publications presenting 29 observational studies were retained for meta-analysis. Live-attenuated influenza vaccine was not shown to be effective against A(H1N1)pdm09 strains as a monovalent formulation in 2009-2010 or as a trivalent formulation from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, but consolidated sample sizes were small. It was effective as a quadrivalent formulation but less effective than inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV). Live-attenuated influenza vaccine was consistently effective against B strains and matched A(H3N2) strains but was not shown to provide significant protection against mismatched A(H3N2) strains in 2014-2015.

Conclusions: These findings confirm that effectiveness of LAIV against A(H1N1)pdm09 strains has been lower than IIV. A systematic investigation has been initiated to determine the root cause of the difference in effectiveness between pre- and postpandemic A(H1N1) vaccine strains and to identify a more consistently effective A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine strain.

Keywords: children; influenza; live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV); meta-analysis; vaccine effectiveness..