Age Affects Quantity but Not Quality of Antibody Responses after Vaccination with an Inactivated Flavivirus Vaccine against Tick-Borne Encephalitis

Department of Virology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 03/2012; 7(3):e34145. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034145
Source: PubMed


The impairment of immune functions in the elderly (immunosenescence) results in post-vaccination antibody titers that are significantly lower than in young individuals. It is, however, a controversial question whether also the quality of antibodies declines with age. In this study, we have therefore investigated the age-dependence of functional characteristics of antibody responses induced by vaccination with an inactivated flavivirus vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). For this purpose, we quantified TBE virus-specific IgG and neutralizing antibody titers in post-vaccination sera from groups of young and elderly healthy adults and determined antibody avidities and NT/ELISA titer ratios (functional activity). In contrast to the quantitative impairment of antibody production in the elderly, we found no age-related differences in the avidity and functional activity of antibodies induced by vaccination, which also appeared to be independent of the age at primary immunization. There was no correlation between antibody avidity and NT/ELISA ratios suggesting that additional factors affect the quality of polyclonal responses, independent of age. Our work indicates that healthy elderly people are able to produce antibodies in response to vaccination with similar avidity and functional activity as young individuals, albeit at lower titers.

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    • ". Fold increase of TBE antibody concentration (ELISA) after catch-up vaccination in young and elderly adults. that the quality of antibodies in terms of avidity and functional activity (neutralization assay/ELISA ratio) is not different between young adults and the elderly [24]. Furthermore, it has been shown in our study as well as in other investigations that the fold increase of the anamnestic antibody response in the elderly is comparable to that of young adults [11] [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intervals longer than recommended are frequently encountered between doses of tick borne encephalitis virus (TBE) vaccines in both residents of and travelers to endemic regions. In clinical practice the management of individuals with lapsed TBE vaccination schedules varies widely and has in common that the underlying immunological evidence is scarce. The aim of this study was to generate data reliable enough to derive practical recommendations on how to continue vaccination with FSME-IMMUN in subjects with an irregular TBE vaccination history. Antibody response to a single catch-up dose of FSME-IMMUN was assessed in 1115 adults (age ≥16 years) and 125 children (age 6-15 years) with irregular TBE vaccination histories. Subjects of all age groups developed a substantial increase in geometric mean antibody concentration after a single catch-up TBE vaccination which was consistently lower in subjects with only one previous TBE vaccination compared to subjects with two or more vaccinations. Overall, >94% of young adults and children, and >93% of elderly subjects with an irregular TBE vaccination history achieved antibody levels ≥25U/ml irrespective of the number of previous TBE vaccinations. We conclude that TBE vaccination of subjects with irregular vaccination histories should be continued as if the previous vaccinations had been administered in a regular manner, with the stage of the vaccination schedule being determined by the number of previous vaccinations. Although lapsed vaccination schedules may leave subjects temporarily with inadequate protection against TBE infection, adequate protection can quickly be re-established in >93% of the subjects by a single catch-up dose of FSME-IMMUN, irrespective of age, number of previous vaccinations, and time interval since the last vaccination.
    Vaccine 03/2014; 32(20). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.072 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Progeny virions are thought to assemble by budding into an intracellular membrane compartment, probably the endoplasmic reticulum, then transited through the host secretory pathway, and released at the cell surface [16]. Efforts to develop effective prophylactic approaches for several clinically important flaviviruses are underway [17]. The crucial role of the humoral immune response against Flavivirus infections is well established, as infection with one serotype provides life-long protective immunity to the homologous infecting serotype and cross-protection in the first few months against the other serotypes. "
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    08/2013; 2013(3):838491. DOI:10.1155/2013/838491
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    • "Aging is associated with a decline in immune function, with an associated higher susceptibility to infections, incidence of cancer and autoimmunity [1-4]. Aging is also related to poor response to vaccination, including that to the influenza vaccine [5, 6]. At present, individuals can live up to 80-100 years, a much longer time than our ancestors typically managed. "
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