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Am J Transplant. 2011 Aug;11(8):1727-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03604.x. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

De novo anti-HLA antibody after pandemic H1N1 and seasonal influenza immunization in kidney transplant recipients.

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Service of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland.


In solid organ transplanted patients, annual influenza immunization is strongly recommended because of morbidity and mortality of influenza infections. In 2009, the rapid spread of a novel H1N1 influenza A virus led to the accelerated development of novel pandemic influenza vaccines. In Switzerland, the recipients received one dose of seasonal influenza and two doses of AS03-adjuvanted H1N1 vaccines. This situation provided a unique opportunity to analyze the influence of novel adjuvanted influenza vaccines on the production of de novo anti-HLA antibodies. We prospectively followed two independent cohorts including 92 and 59 kidney-transplanted patients, assessing their anti-HLA antibodies before, 6 weeks and 6 months after vaccination. Sixteen of 92 (17.3%) and 7 of 59 (11.9%) patients developed anti-HLA antibodies. These antibodies, detected using the single antigen beads technology, were mostly at low levels and included both donor-specific and non-donor-specific antibodies. In 2 of the 20 patients who were followed at 6 months, clinical events possibly related to de novo anti-HLA antibodies were observed. In conclusion, multiple doses of influenza vaccine may lead to the production of anti-HLA antibodies in a significant proportion of kidney transplant recipients. The long-term clinical significance of these results remains to be addressed.

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