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Vaccine. 1993;11(9):909-13.

Pilot evaluation of influenza virus vaccine (IVV) combined with adjuvant.

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  • 1Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Houston, TX 77030.


The safety of licensed influenza virus vaccine (IVV) combined with a novel adjuvant containing muramyl tripeptide (MTP) conjugated to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) was evaluated in a randomized pilot study. Ten healthy 23-30-year-old men were given a single intramuscular dose of IVV combined with saline (n = 5) or with 100 micrograms of MTP-PE in the MF59 adjuvant emulsion (MF59-100) (n = 5). Evaluations were performed on days 0, 1, 2, 4, 7 and 28 after inoculation. IVV alone was well tolerated. All volunteers immunized with IVV/MF59-100 experienced moderate to severe local and systemic reactions which interfered with usual activities. Discomfort at the injection site was first noted at 2-6 h; induration (5/5), erythema (3/5), and regional adenopathy (3/5) persisted for up to 4 days. Systemic symptoms including chills (5/5), fever (3/5), nausea (3/5) and/or dizziness (2/5) developed within 12 h of inoculation and resolved by 48 h. Elevated white blood cell count (days 1 and 2), erythrocyte sedimentation rate and serum fibrinogen were transiently observed. Although peak serum neutralizing antibody titres versus influenza A/H3N2 and influenza B antigens were higher in the group given IVV with MF59-100, these unexpected reactions indicate that this dose of adjuvant is unsuitable for use in combination with this IVV.

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