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J Med Virol. 2012 Feb;84(2):336-44. doi: 10.1002/jmv.22273.

Characterization of neutralizing antibodies in adults after intranasal vaccination with an inactivated influenza vaccine.

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Influenza Virus Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Musashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan.


The levels and properties of neutralizing antibodies in nasal wash and serum collected from five healthy adults were examined after intranasal administration of an A/Uruguay/716/2007 (H3N2) split vaccine (45 µg hemagglutinin (HA) per dose; five doses, with an interval of 3 weeks between each dose). Prior to the assays, nasal wash samples were concentrated so that the total amount of antibodies was equivalent to about 1/10 of that found in the natural nasal mucus. Vaccination induced virus-specific neutralizing antibody responses, which increased with the number of vaccine doses given. Neutralizing antibodies were produced more efficiently in the nasal passages than in the serum: A ≥4-fold increase in nasal neutralization titres was observed after the second vaccination in four out of five subjects, whereas a rise in serum neutralization titres was observed only after the fifth vaccination. Nasal and serum neutralizing antibodies were mainly found in the polymeric IgA and monomeric IgG fractions, respectively, after gel filtration. Taken together, these results suggest that intranasal administration of an inactivated split vaccine induces high levels of nasal neutralizing antibodies (primarily polymeric IgA) and low levels of serum neutralizing antibodies (primarily monomeric IgG).

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