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Acta Virol. 1990 May;34(3):295-304.

The immune response to influenza vaccines.

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World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


Specific immunity to influenza is associated with a systemic immune response (serum haemagglutination inhibition antibody), local respiratory immune response (virus-specific local IgA and IgG antibodies in nasal wash), and with the cell-mediated immune response. Both inactivated and live influenza vaccines induce virus-specific serum antibody which can protect against infection with influenza virus possessing the same antigenic specificity. In the absence of serum antibodies, local antibodies in nasal wash are a major determinant of resistance to infection with influenza virus. In comparative studies in humans it was shown that nasal secretory IgA develops chiefly after immunization with live cold-adapted (CA) vaccine, but persistent nasal secretory IgG was detected in both CA live and inactivated vaccines. The origin of nasal wash haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies is not completely known. Recently it was found that cytotoxic T-cells (CTL) play an important role in immunity against influenza and in clearance of influenza virus from the body. In primed humans, inactivated influenza vaccine stimulates a cross-reactive T-cell response, whereas the ability of inactivated vaccine to stimulate such immunity in unprimed humans has not been determined. Data on the T-cell response to live vaccine in humans are limited to the development of secondary T-cell responses in primed individuals vaccinated with a host-range (HR) attenuated vaccine. The data obtained have shown that immunity induced by inactivated influenza vaccines is presumably dependent on the stimulation of serum antibody. Live CA vaccines not only stimulate a durable serum antibody response, but also induce long-lasting local respiratory tract IgA antibody that plays an important role in host protection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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