Humoral immune response to tick-borne encephalitis vaccination in allogeneic blood and marrow graft recipients

NPJ Vaccines. 2020 Jul 24;5(1):67. doi: 10.1038/s41541-020-00215-1. eCollection 2020.


The aim of this prospective study was to characterize the humoral immune response to TBE vaccination after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Nineteen adult patients 11-13 months after HSCT and 15 age-matched immunocompetent adults received up to three TBE vaccinations. Antibodies against TBE virus were measured by neutralization test (NT). As primary endpoint, the antibody response (NT titer of ≥10 and at least a twofold increase from baseline 4 weeks after second vaccination) was compared between patients and controls using Fisher exact test. Prior vaccination, 15 (79%) HSCT patients still had detectable neutralizing antibodies. At primary endpoint, the antibody response was significantly lower in patients than in controls (35% versus 93%; p < 0.001). The CD4+ cell count was a predictor for an antibody response in patients (p = 0.019). Interestingly, the majority of HSCT patients still had detectable antibodies prior vaccination. Following vaccination, antibody response in HSCT patients was associated with the CD4+ cell count.

Keywords: Haematological cancer; Inactivated vaccines; Viral infection.