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Vaccine. 2006 Apr 12;24(16):3217-23. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Influenza vaccine administration in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Safety and immunogenicity.

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Università La Sapienza, II Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Cattedra ed U.O.C. di Allergologia ed Immunologia Clinica, Rome, Italy.



To evaluate immunological safety and immunogenicity of influenza vaccine administration in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Twenty-four patients with low and/or stable disease activity 14 with SLE (mean age 43.42+/-12.18 years; 13 women) and 10 with RA (mean age 51+/-14.57 years; 9 women), diagnosed on the basis of the American College of Rheumatology criteria, have been immunized with trivalent split influenza vaccine without adjuvant. Further 24 non-vaccinated patients, 14 with SLE and 10 with RA, and 10 vaccinated healthy subjects, all age- and sex-matched, were used as controls. The patients underwent clinical and laboratory (specific anti-influenzavirus antibodies, auto-antibodies, peripheral blood lymphocyte subpopulations) evaluation before and 30 days after vaccination; auto-antibodies were also assessed at 90 days and disease activity at 90 and 180 days.


The specific antibody response towards the three used antigens (A/New Caledonia/20/99, A/Moscow/10/99, and B/Shangdong/7/97) significantly increased in both patients and healthy controls, without any significant difference between them. No significant difference could instead be observed on the clinical activity, auto-antibodies, and peripheral blood lymphocyte subpopulations before and after vaccination, and between patients and controls.


Trivalent split influenza vaccine without adjuvant seems to be safe and immunogenic in patients with SLE and RA, provided that only patients with low and/or stable disease activity are selected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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