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Can J Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;11(5):267-73.

Double-blind, randomized study of the effects of influenza vaccination on the specific antibody response and clinical course of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether influenza immunization is associated with early side effects, a deleterious impact on the illness course and depressed antibody response in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

DESIGN:

Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. CFS patients and healthy volunteers filled out a questionnaire on immunization side effects and had hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibody titres measured pre- and three weeks after immunization. CFS patients completed symptom and function questionnaires before and during the six-week, postimmunization period.

SETTING:

Ambulatory care.

POPULATION STUDIED:

Convenience sample of 40 CFS patients fulfilling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria and 21 demographically matched healthy volunteers.

INTERVENTIONS:

CFS patients were randomly selected to receive commercially available whole virus influenza vaccine (n=19) or an injection of saline placebo (n=21). Healthy volunteers received vaccine only.

MAIN RESULTS:

As a group, immunized CFS patients had lower geometric mean HI antibody rises than healthy volunteers (P<0.001). However, there was no difference in the rates of fourfold titre rises, and immunization did achieve a probably protective titre (1:32 or greater) in most CFS patients. No difference could be detected between immunized and placebo CFS patients in immunization side effects, although CFS patients as a group reported four times as many side effects as healthy volunteers. Further, in the six weeks following immunization, placebo and immunized CFS patients did not demonstrate any differences in terms of functioning, symptom severity and sleep disturbance.

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with CFS, influenza immunization is safe, not associated with any excess early reactions, and stimulates an immunizing response comparable with that of healthy volunteers.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic fatigue syndrome; Humoral immunization response; Influenza immunization

PMID:
18159300
PMCID:
PMC2094778

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