Researchers Identify Factors Affecting the Immunogenicity of Influenza Vaccines

Influenza viruses pose a threat to human health and medical services, and vaccination is an important way to prevent infection. However, the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is affected by various aspects. This study by Xu, et al. (2023) aimed to explore factors related to the immune response to influenza vaccines.

The study was conducted from September 2019 to September 2021, and a total of 593 volunteers were recruited from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in three provinces in China. The hemagglutination inhibition assay was used to measure antibody levels. The Chi-square test, multivariable logistic regression analysis, and sum-rank test were used to analyze the factors associated with influenza vaccine immune response.

The Chi-square test showed that seroconversion rates and response rate were associated with age group, vaccination history, chronic conditions, the frequency of colds, and region (P < 0.05). The multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that age was an important factor that affected participants’ seroconversion rates for A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B/Victoria, and response status (18–64 vs. ≤5: OR = 2.77, P < 0.001; ≥65 vs. ≤5: OR = 0.38, P = 0.01; 18–64 vs. ≤5: OR = 2.64, P = 0.03). Vaccination history was also an affecting factor for A/H1N1, B/Victoria, and response status (yes vs. no: OR = 0.4 / 0.44 / 0.25, P < 0.001). The frequency of colds and chronic conditions were also affecting factors for participants’ seroconversion rates and response levels to different degrees. The sum-rank test showed that the fold changes for A/H1N1, B/Victoria, and B/Yamagata were associated with age group and vaccination history (P < 0.01). The fold changes for A/H3N2 were associated with the frequency of colds (P < 0.05), and those for B/Victoria were associated with gender and chronic conditions (P < 0.05).

The researchers say that vaccination history, age, health condition, and frequency of colds were important factors affecting the seroconversion rate of the influenza vaccine in human. They add that there is a need for developing optimized vaccination strategies for vulnerable groups to improve the efficacy of influenza vaccines in humans.

Reference: Xu Q, et al. Factors affecting the immunogenicity of influenza vaccines in humans. BMC Infectious Diseases. Volume 23, article number 211 (2023).