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Hum Immunol. 2012 Sep;73(9):884-90. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2012.07.039. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Cellular and humoral immunity elicited by influenza vaccines in pediatric hematopoietic-stem cell transplantation.

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Laboratory of Immunology, Robert Debré Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris 7 Denis Diderot University, Paris, France.


Immunity induced by influenza vaccines following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) is poorly understood. Here, 14 pediatric recipients (mean age: 6 years) received H1N1 (n=9) or H1N1/H3N2 (n=5) vaccines at a median of 5.7 months post-HSCT (HLA-identical related bone-marrow graft: 10/14). Fourteen clinically-matched non-vaccinated recipients were included as controls. Cellular response to vaccination was assessed by a T-cell proliferation assay. Humoral response was assessed by H1N1-specific antibody titration. IL2 and IFNγ responses to influenza were also evaluated by an intracellular cytokine accumulation method for some of the recipients. Higher proliferative responses to H1N1 (p=0.0001) and higher H1N1-specific antibody titers (p<0.02) were observed in vaccines opposed to non-vaccinated recipients. In some cases, proliferative responses to H1N1 developed while at the same time antibody titers did not reach protective (≥1:40) levels. Most recipients vaccinated with only the H1N1 strain had proliferative responses to both H1N1 and H3N2 (median stimulation index H1N1: 96, H3N2: 126 in responders). Finally, IL2 responses predominated over IFNγ responses (p<0.02) to influenza viruses in responders. In conclusion, H1N1 vaccination induced substantial cell-mediated immunity, and to a lesser extent, humoral immunity at early times post-HSCT. H1N1/H3N2 T-cell cross-reactivity and protective (IL2) rather than effector (IFNγ) cytokinic profiles were elicited.

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