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Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 Dec;71(12):2006-10. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201950. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Impact of tocilizumab therapy on antibody response to influenza vaccine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Clinical Research Center for Rheumatic Disease, NHO Kumamoto Saishunsou National Hospital, 2659 Suya, Kohshi, Kumamoto 861-1196, Japan. moris@saisyunsou1.hosp.go.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed the influence of tocilizumab (TCZ), a humanised monoclonal anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody, on antibody response following influenza vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS:

A total of 194 RA patients received inactive trivalent influenza vaccination (A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B/B1 strains). All patients were classified into the TCZ (n=62), TCZ+methotrexate (MTX) (n=49), MTX (n=65) and RA control (n=18) groups. Antibody titres were measured before and 4-6 weeks after vaccination using the haemagglutination inhibitory assay.

RESULTS:

For the A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 strains, the TCZ and TCZ+MTX groups achieved fold increases of 9.9-14.5, postvaccination seroprotection rates greater than 70% and seroresponse rates greater than 40%. For the B/B1 strain, seroresponse rates were approximately 30%, but fold increases and seroprotection rates were 5.0-5.4 and greater than 70%, respectively, in these treatment groups. MTX had a negative impact on vaccination efficacy, but adequate responses for protection were nevertheless demonstrated in the MTX group. Neither severe adverse effects nor RA flares were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

TCZ does not hamper antibody response to influenza vaccine in RA patients. Influenza vaccination is considered effective in protecting RA patients receiving TCZ therapy with or without MTX.

PMID:
22887851
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3595981
Free PMC Article
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