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J Infect Dis. 2002 Apr 1;185(7):878-84. Epub 2002 Mar 19.

Parenteral vaccination against influenza does not induce a local antigen-specific immune response in the nasal mucosa.

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Broegelmann Research Laboratory, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.


The immune response in the nasal mucosa to influenza vaccination in 23 patients scheduled for tonsillectomy was studied. A statistically significant increase in influenza virus-specific serum and oral fluid antibodies was observed 7 days after vaccination. The numbers of influenza virus-specific antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in peripheral blood also increased significantly 1 week after vaccination. The numbers of ASCs in tonsils and nasal mucosa were compared with data from a recent study of nonvaccinated volunteers. The numbers of influenza virus-specific ASCs in tonsils were significantly higher in the vaccinated group, but, surprisingly, there was no significant difference between the groups in the numbers of ASCs in nasal mucosa. This suggests that the influenza virus-specific antibodies detected in oral fluid are not produced locally in the nasal mucosa and may originate from a systemic source, indicating that the vaccination may favor a systemic immune response.

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