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    ABSTRACT: Background. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a purified pool of human antibodies from thousands of donors that is used to prevent or treat primary immune deficiency, several infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases. The antibodies that mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against heterologous influenza strains may be present in IVIG preparations. Methods. We tested 8 IVIG preparations prior to the 2009 H1N1 swine-origin influenza pandemic and 10 IVIG preparations made after 2010 for their ability to mediate influenza-specific ADCC. Results. ADCC mediating antibodies to A(H1N1)pdm09 hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) were detected in IVIG preparations prior to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic. The HA-specific ADCC targeted both the HA1 and HA2 regions of A(H1N1)pdm09 HA and was capable of recognizing a broad range of HA proteins including those from recent avian influenza strains A(H5N1) and A(H7N9). The low but detectable ADCC recognition of A(H7N9) was likely due to rare individuals in the population contributing cross-reactive antibodies to IVIG. Conclusions. IVIG preparations contain broadly cross-reactive ADCC mediating antibodies. IVIG may provide at least some level of protection for individuals at high risk of severe influenza disease, especially during influenza pandemics prior to the development of effective vaccines.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 06/2014; 210(11). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu334
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    ABSTRACT: Background Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) recipients are more susceptible to infections from vaccine-preventable diseases than the general population. Despite the development of international consensus guidelines addressing immunization after HCT, studies have shown that deviations from recommended immunization practices commonly occur.Methods An anonymous survey aimed at determining awareness of the guidelines and attitudes toward vaccination was distributed to our HCT clinicians. In parallel, we retrospectively evaluated patients' characteristics and post-HCT vaccine administration practices from 2010 to 2013.ResultsThe majority of survey respondents (96%) were familiar with post-HCT vaccination protocols. Seventy-four percent of respondents reported that influenza vaccines were given to >70% of their patients, and 41% stated that they prescribed live vaccines to eligible patients. However, our pharmacy database review revealed that 38% of patients received the first series of vaccinations by the recommended 6 months post HCT, and 60% received them by 1 year after HCT. Most patients who had their vaccines withheld had relapsed disease or were undergoing treatment for graft-versus-host disease. Furthermore, we identified lower immunization rates in non-English speaking individuals, African-Americans, and Hispanic patients.Conclusions Survey respondents reported being aware of current guidelines; however, adherence to the recommendations varied, likely connected to conflicting data on vaccine effectiveness and a lack of clear recommendations in complex clinical scenarios. Similar to the general population, patient barriers also could have contributed to lower vaccination rates in some cases. To decrease the large gap between the post-HCT vaccination guidelines and clinical practice, further studies on vaccine effectiveness and specific populations are warranted.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 11/2014; 16(6). DOI:10.1111/tid.12312
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    ABSTRACT: In 2011, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) published recommendations regarding the vaccination of children with rheumatic diseases. These recommendations were based on a systematic literature review published in that same year. Since then, the evidence body on this topic has grown substantially. This review provides an update of the systematic literature study of 2011, summarizing all the available evidence on the safety and immunogenicity of vaccination in paediatric patients with rheumatic diseases. The current search yielded 21 articles, in addition to the 27 articles described in the 2011 review. In general, vaccines are immunogenic and safe in this patient population. The effect of immunosuppressive drugs on the immunogenicity of vaccines was not detrimental for glucocorticosteroids and methotrexate. Biologicals could accelerate a waning of antibody levels over time, although most patients were initially protected adequately. Overall, persistence of immunological memory may be reduced in children with rheumatic diseases, which shows the need for (booster) vaccination. This update of the 2011 systematic literature review strengthens the evidence base for the EULAR recommendations, and it must be concluded that vaccinations in patients with rheumatic diseases should be advocated.
    Current Rheumatology Reports 07/2015; 17(7):519. DOI:10.1007/s11926-015-0519-y