The influence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on antibody responses to influenza vaccines

K. E. Nelson, M. L. Clements, P. Miotti, S. Cohn, B. F. Polk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To ascertain whether subjects infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) generally develop protective hemagglutination inhibition antibody responses to inactivated influenza vaccines. Design: Prospective study of 104 persons before and after immunization. Setting: Outpatient clinic and hospital ward. Patients: Persons with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (n = 25), AIDS-related complex (n = 14), and HIV-seropositive men with only lymphadenopathy or no symptoms (n = 27). Controls were HIV-seronegative homosexual men (n = 22) and HIV-seronegative heterosexuals (n = 16). Interventions: Subjects were immunized with inactivated vaccines containing 15 μg of ech of the following influenza virus hemagglutinins: A/Taiwan/1/86 (HINI), A/Mississippi/1/85 (H3N2), A/Chile/1/83 (HINI), and B/Ann Arbor/1/86. Measurements and Main Results: Fourfold or greater antibody responses occurred less frequently in subjects with HIV infections than in HIV-seronegative controls. Protective levels (1:64 or greater) of hemagglutination inhibition antibodies were attained by 94% to 100% of HIV-seronegative controls, 52% to 89% of HIV-seropositive asymptomatic subjects, and 13% to 50% of subjects with AIDS or AIDS-related complex. No increase in the prevalence or level of serum HIV p24 antigen or clinical deterioration was detected among HIV-infected persons after influenza immunization. Conclusions: Because of the poor antibody responses to influenza vaccines among HIV-infected subjects, even in many with no or minimal symptoms, alternative strategies for preventing influenza, such as booster doses of influenza vaccine, prophylaxis with amantidine, or both should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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