Humoral and cellular response to influenza vaccine in HIV-infected children with full viroimmunologic response to antiretroviral therapy

Alessandra Viganò, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, Michela Pacei, Paola Erba, Eleonora Castelletti, Vania Giacomet, Antonella Amendola, Elena Pariani, Elisabetta Tanzi, Mario Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: It is unclear whether the ability to respond to vaccines is restored by antiretroviral therapy. We evaluated the influenza-specific immune responses elicited by a virosomal vaccine in HIV-infected children on long-term successful highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). METHODS: This was an observational, prospective, open-label study enrolling 24 HIV-infected, HAART-treated (85 months' mean exposure), vaccine-naive children (median age = 11.9 years) and 14 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Mean CD4 T-cell counts (>900 cells/μL) and percentages (>37%) were comparable. The HIV RNA level was 40% of patients) and seroprotection (Ab titer ≥1:40 in >70% of patients) was achieved at 1 month in both groups; however, fewer HIV-infected children fulfilled these criteria. The A/H3N2- and A/H1N1-specific Ab geometric mean titers were lower in HIV-infected children compared with healthy controls at 1 and 6 months; interestingly, a boost in vaccine-specific IgG3 T helper 1 type Ab was seen in healthy controls alone. Finally, vaccine specific-IFNγ- and IL-2-producing T lymphocytes were reduced at both time points in HIV-infected children compared with healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: One injection of virosomal-adjuvanted influenza vaccine stimulates good immune responses, although the humoral and cellular immune responses are reduced in HIV-infected children compared to healthy children. This indicates that immunologic function impairments may persist upon HIV infection even if HIV-positive viremia is suppressed and immune recovery seems to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2008


  • HIV infection
  • Immunology
  • Influenza
  • Pediatrics
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Immunology


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