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Vaccine. 2009 Nov 23;27(50):7021-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.09.069. Epub 2009 Sep 27.

Characteristics of antibody responses in tick-borne encephalitis vaccination breakthroughs.

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  • 1Institute of Virology, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, AT-1095, Vienna, Austria.


Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus is an important human pathogenic flavivirus that is endemic in Europe and Asia. The disease can be effectively prevented by inactivated vaccines and vaccination breakthroughs (VBTs) are rare. We investigated the characteristics of antibody responses in such VBTs in comparison to those in unvaccinated TBE patients. In contrast to the unvaccinated controls, most of the VBTs displayed a delayed IgM antibody response and had high avidity and strongly neutralizing antibodies already in the first sample taken upon hospitalization. The antibody profile of these patients therefore had the characteristics of an anamnestic immune response. In the VBTs analyzed, immunological priming and memory were apparently not sufficient or fast enough to prevent the disease.

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