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Clin Immunol. 2006 Sep;120(3):342-8. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

ELISpot assay as a sensitive tool to detect cellular immunity following influenza vaccination in kidney transplant recipients.

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Institute of Immunology, University Hospital, Virchowstrasse 171, 45122 Essen, Germany.


Enhanced cellular immunity following influenza vaccination has been undetectable in kidney transplant recipients so far. Protection from influenza is dependent on cellular and humoral immunity. Aim of the study was to investigate immune responses before and after vaccination with influenza A and B antigens in 65 kidney transplant recipients. A significant increase in proliferative responses was only observed towards influenza B (P < 0.0001) by lymphocyte transformation test. The enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay was more sensitive and detected significant, 3- to 5-fold increases (P < 0.0001) in interferon-gamma secretion using influenza A and B antigens. Furthermore, influenza antibody titers increased significantly (P < 0.0001). At month 1 post-vaccination 85% of patients displayed specific cellular, and 95% or 92% humoral immunity against influenza A and B, respectively. Thus, applying the sensitive ELISpot assay, influenza-specific cellular immunity could be detected for the first time in kidney transplant recipients after vaccination.

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