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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2000 May;44(5):1163-7.

Comparison of immunogenicity and safety of a virosome influenza vaccine with those of a subunit influenza vaccine in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis.

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  • 1University Children's Hospital Basel, Berne, Switzerland.


The objective of this study was to compare the immunogenicity and safety of a single-dose regimen and a two-dose regimen of a trivalent virosome influenza vaccine (Inflexal Berna V) with those of a trivalent subunit influenza vaccine (Influvac) in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF). In an open, randomized, multicenter study with parallel groups, 11 young children with CF (1 to 6 years old) and 53 older children and adolescents with CF (>6 years old) were randomly assigned to one of the following immunization regimens: virosome vaccine at 0.5 ml on study day 0 or 0.25 ml on days 0 and 28 or a standard regimen of subunit vaccine, i. e., 0.5 ml on day 0 for older children and 0.25 ml on days 0 and 28 for younger children. Safety assessments, i.e., recording of systemic and local adverse events (AEs) and vital signs, were made for a 5-day observation period after each immunization. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers were determined at baseline and 4 weeks after the single-dose and the two-dose immunizations, respectively. Immunogenicity was assessed according to the criteria of the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA). Both vaccines induced comparable HI antibody titers. Seroconversion (> or =4-fold rise in HI antibody titers, reaching a titer of > or =1:40) was achieved in 41 to 100% of the participants. Seroprotection (HI titer, > or =1:40) and a >2.5-fold increase in geometric mean titers were achieved in 100% of the participants. Thus, all three EMEA requirements for influenza vaccine efficacy were met by all treatment groups and for both vaccines. The virosome vaccine, when administered as a single dose, seemed to induce superior immunogenicity compared with the standard pediatric two-dose regimen. Totals of 42 and 57% of vaccinees receiving virosome and subunit vaccines, respectively, reported at least one local AE (predominantly pain). Totals of 84 and 71% of subjects receiving virosome and subunit vaccines, respectively, complained in response to questions of at least one systemic AE (mainly cough, fatigue, coryza, or headache). The majority of events were mild or moderate and lasted 1 or 2 days only. No obvious relationship was found between AE reporting rate and vaccine formulation, age group, or dose regimen. The relatively high AE reporting rate seemed to be partly related to the symptomatology of the underlying CF disease. In summary, the virosome and subunit vaccines induced in both age groups and against all three influenza strains an efficient immune response and were well tolerated by the children and adolescents with CF.

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