Clinical factors associated with the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Nath, Karthik D., Burel, Julie G., Shankar, Viswanathan, Pritchard, Antonia L., Towers, Michelle, Looke, David, Davies, Janet M., & Upham, John W. (2014) Clinical factors associated with the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. International Journal of COPD, 9(1), pp. 51-56.

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Background and objective

Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at a high risk of developing significant complications from infection with the influenza virus. It is therefore vital to ensure that prophylaxis with the influenza vaccine is effective in COPD. The aim of this study was to assess the immunogenicity of the 2010 trivalent influenza vaccine in persons with COPD compared to healthy subjects without lung disease, and to examine clinical factors associated with the serological response to the vaccine.


In this observational study, 34 subjects (20 COPD, 14 healthy) received the 2010 influenza vaccine. Antibody titers at baseline and 28 days post-vaccination were measured using the hemagglutination inhibition assay (HAI) assay. Primary endpoints included seroconversion (≥4-fold increase in antibody titers from baseline) and the fold increase in antibody titer after vaccination.


Persons with COPD mounted a significantly lower humoral immune response to the influenza vaccine compared to healthy participants. Seroconversion occurred in 90% of healthy participants, but only in 43% of COPD patients (P=0.036). Increasing age and previous influenza vaccination were associated with lower antibody responses. Antibody titers did not vary significantly with cigarette smoking, presence of other comorbid diseases, or COPD severity.


The humoral immune response to the 2010 influenza vaccine was lower in persons with COPD compared to non-COPD controls. The antibody response also declined with increasing age and in those with a history of prior vaccination.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 87900
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: COPD, Human infuenza, Humoral immunity, Infuenza vaccines, corticosteroid, flu vax, gamma interferon, influenza vaccine, interleukin 21, unclassified drug, age, aged, airway obstruction, antibody response, antibody titer, article, B lymphocyte, cell proliferation, chronic obstructive lung disease, clinical article, comparative study, controlled clinical trial, controlled study, disease severity, drug efficacy, female, forced expiratory volume, forced vital capacity, human, immunogenicity, influenza, influenza vaccination, male, prospective study, seroconversion, single drug dose, smoking, T lymphocyte, very elderly, human influenza, influenza vaccines, vaccination, Adult, Age Factors, Antibodies, Viral, Biological Markers, Case-Control Studies, Hemagglutination Tests, Humans, Immunity, Humoral, Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype, Influenza, Human, Middle Aged, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Severity of Illness Index
DOI: 10.2147/COPD.S53590
ISSN: 1176-9106
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2015 04:11
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015 03:54

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