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Eur J Neurol. 2013 Jun;20(6):975-80. doi: 10.1111/ene.12132. Epub 2013 Mar 22.

Reduced antibody formation after influenza vaccination in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder treated with rituximab.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. hojinkim@ncc.re.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Vaccination against infection becomes important in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) because they are at an increased risk of infection due to long-term immunosuppressive therapy. However, it is unclear whether NMOSD patients under immunosuppression therapy show proper antibody formation after vaccination. Thus the antibody formation after influenza A (H1N1) vaccination in patients with NMOSD receiving rituximab was evaluated.

METHODS:

The study enrolled 26 patients with NMOSD, nine with multiple sclerosis and eight healthy controls. The enrolled patients had been treated with rituximab (n = 16), mycophenolate mofetil (n = 5), azathioprine (n = 6) and interferon-β (IFN-β) (n = 8). Antibodies against the H1N1 influenza virus were measured in the serum drawn just before (T0) and between 3 and 5 weeks after (T1) vaccination. The immunization states for hepatitis B virus surface antigen, measles and tetanus during the treatment period were also tested.

RESULTS:

The rituximab group showed significantly lower geometric mean titer, seroprotection rate and mean fold increase than the azathioprine group, IFN-β group and healthy controls, and a lower seroconversion rate than the IFN-β group. This decrease in vaccination efficacy was also shown in patients receiving mycophenolate mofetil. The immunization state for hepatitis B virus surface antigen, measles and tetanus remained the same during the treatment period with each drug, suggesting that these treatments do not affect previously formed immunity.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows a severely hampered humoral immune response to H1N1 influenza vaccine in patients with NMOSD treated with rituximab, although the vaccination itself is safe in these patients.

© 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS.

PMID:
23521577
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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