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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 May;18(5):835-43. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00480-10. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Effect on cellular and humoral immune responses of the AS03 adjuvant system in an A/H1N1/2009 influenza virus vaccine administered to adults during two randomized controlled trials.

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GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Wavre, Belgium.


The influence of AS03(A), a tocopherol oil-in-water emulsion-based adjuvant system, on humoral and cell-mediated responses to A/California/7/2009 H1N1 pandemic vaccine was investigated. In two observer-blind studies, a total of 261 healthy adults aged 18 to 60 years were randomized to receive either AS03(A)-adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine containing 3.75 μg hemagglutinin (HA) or nonadjuvanted H1N1 vaccine containing 15 or 3.75 μg HA on days 0 and 21. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody and T-cell responses were analyzed up to day 42. A first dose of AS03(A)-adjuvanted vaccine (3.75 μg HA) or nonadjuvanted vaccine (15 μg HA) induced HI responses of similar magnitudes that exceeded licensure criteria (e.g., 94 to 100% with titers of ≥ 40). A lower response following 3.75 μg HA without adjuvant was observed (73% with titers of ≥ 40). Following a second dose, geometric mean HI titers at day 42 were higher for AS03(A)-adjuvanted vaccine (636 and 637) relative to nonadjuvanted vaccine (341 for 15 μg HA and 150 for 3.75 μg HA). Over the 42-day period, the increase in frequency of A/H1N1/2009-specific CD4⁺ T cells was significantly higher in the adjuvanted group than in the nonadjuvanted group. There was no evidence of correlation between baseline CD4⁺ T-cell frequencies and day 21 HI antibody titers, while there was some correlation (R = 0.35) between day 21 CD4⁺ T-cell frequencies and day 42 HI titers. AS03(A) adjuvant enhanced the humoral and CD4⁺ T-cell-mediated responses to A/H1N1/2009 vaccine. Baseline A/H1N1/2009-specific CD4⁺ T-cell frequencies did not predict post-dose 1 antibody responses, but there was some correlation between post-dose 1 CD4⁺ T-cell frequencies and post-dose 2 antibody responses.

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