Annual vaccination is routinely used in organ transplant recipients for immunization against seasonal influenza. However, detailed analysis of the kinetics of vaccine-induced immune responses in this population is lacking. In this study, we investigated the kinetics of vaccine strains-specific antibody responses to trivalent influenza vaccine in a group of renal transplant recipients and a control group. First, we found that the geometric mean hemagglutination inhibition titer against all 3 vaccine strains in the transplant cohort was significantly low when compared to control subjects. Next, whereas the control group sera showed significantly higher HA-specific IgG and isotype IgG1 antibodies at all four time points, a similar increase in the transplant group was delayed until day 28. Interestingly, within the transplant group, subjects receiving belatacept/MMF/prednisone-based regimen had significantly lower levels of total IgG and HA-specific IgG when compared to tacrolimus/MMF/prednisone-based regimen. Even though IgG-ASC response in both cohorts peaked at day 7 post-vaccination, the frequency of IgG-ASC was significantly low in the transplant group. Taken together, our studies show delayed kinetics and lower levels of influenza vaccine-specific antibody responses in renal transplant recipients and, more importantly, indicate the need to probe and improve current vaccination strategies in renal transplant recipients.
Keywords: Antibody; Immunosuppression; Influenza; Kidney transplant; Vaccination.
Published by Elsevier B.V.