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Hum Immunol. 2013 Oct;74(10):1267-70. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2013.07.010. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae does not induce antibodies against HLA or MICA in clinically stable kidney transplant recipients.

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Institute for Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital Essen, 45122 Essen, Germany. Electronic address:


There are concerns in the community that immune activation after vaccination could lead to (subclinical) rejection. Our aim was to define if pneumococcal vaccination induced HLA antibodies using highly sensitive methods. Forty-nine kidney transplant recipients were immunized with Pneumovax 23. The median interval between transplantation and vaccination was 6.5 years, the median serum creatinine concentration 1.3, 1.3 and 1.4 mg/dL pre-vaccination, at month 1 and 15 post-vaccination, respectively. In none of the patients biopsy-proven acute rejection was diagnosed within three years post-vaccination. Pneumococcal, HLA class I and II and major histocompatibility class I-related chain A (MICA) antibodies were determined by Luminex™ technology (xMAP™ Pneumococcal Immunity Panel and LABScreen™ Mixed beads, respectively) and HLA antibodies also by ELISA (Lambda Antigen Tray™). While pneumococcal antibodies were significantly higher at month 1 and 15 post- vs. pre-vaccination (p<0.0001 each), HLA/MICA antibodies remained unchanged as determined by Luminex™ and ELISA. Positive Luminex™ reactions were present in 63%, 67% and 63% (HLA class I), 47%, 47% and 55% (HLA class II) and 29%, 29% and 29% (MICA) pre-vaccination, at month 1 and 15, respectively. In clinically stable kidney transplant recipients there is no evidence for an increase in HLA antibodies after pneumococcal vaccination.


MICA; major histocompatibility class I-related chain A

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