Antibody but not memory B-cell responses are tuned-down in vertically HIV-1 infected children and young individuals being vaccinated yearly against influenza

Stefano Rinaldi, Paola Zangari, Nicola Cotugno, Emma Concetta Manno, Noemi Brolatti, Maria Rita Castrucci, Isabella Donatelli, Paolo Rossi, Paolo Palma, Alberto Cagigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Yearly immunization against seasonal influenza is highly recommended for HIV-1 infected individuals but evaluating the success of vaccination by serological markers may not be fully informative in this population. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the generation of long-lasting immune responses may depend on whether similar antigens challenge the immune system frequently and intermittently. In the present study, in order to search for additional correlates of vaccine-induced protective immunity and to further dissect this theory, both humoral and memory B-cell responses to the trivalent 2012-2013 seasonal influenza vaccination has been evaluated by strain-specific (separately for H1N1, H3N2 and B strain) standard hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay and B-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot) in a cohort of vertically HIV-1 infected children and young individuals as compared to age-matched healthy controls. A high number of HIV-1 infected individuals had protective antibody levels prior to vaccination and showed low seroconversion rates after vaccination as compared to healthy controls. On the contrary, similar frequencies of influenza-specific memory B-cells were detected by B-cell ELISpot in both groups suggesting that an adequate B-cell response has been elicited. Data from the H1N1 strain, which is recurrent in seasonal influenza vaccines since 2009, pointed out decreasing antibody but not memory B-cell responses for HIV-1 infected patients being vaccinated for a greater number of years. Further investigations are required to standardize the influenza-specific B-cell ELISpot and to understand whether it could be used routinely as an additional tool to evaluate response to influenza vaccination in immune-compromised individuals being vaccinated yearly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-663
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2014


  • AIDS
  • B-cell ELISpot
  • B-cells
  • ELISpot
  • HI
  • Immune-compromised
  • Seasonal influenza
  • Vaccination response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)
  • Molecular Medicine

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