ArticleLiterature Review

Perspective: Scientific and ethical concerns pertaining to animal models of autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA)

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Abstract

The autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) was first described in 2011. The aluminium containing adjuvants of vaccines were stated to be one of the main causes of the condition. Other disorders associated with ASIA include siliconosis, Gulf war syndrome, sick building syndrome and the macrophagic myositis syndrome. We have recently reviewed ASIA as defined by its authors. We have shown that the definition of ASIA is imprecise and includes all patients with an autoimmune disorder as well as potentially the entire population. Application of the Bradford Hill criteria for causality does not support ASIA as an outcome of exposure to aluminium containing adjuvants in vaccines. The advocates of ASIA highlight animal models as evidence for the existence of the disorder. However, as this review will demonstrate, animal models purporting to support the existence of ASIA have methodological, analytical and ethical flaws which, in our view refute the existence of the condition. Three publications by the advocates of ASIA were recently retracted from peer-reviewed journals. We call for a moratorium on animal experiments of ASIA until an independent inquiry has been conducted to determine the existence of a clinically relevant syndrome, identifiable as ASIA in humans.

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... What began as Miyoshi's criteria for human adjuvant disease has now evolved into a collection of clinical and laboratory traits which include both major and minor criteria [52,68,74]. With such a broad target, it is not surprising that cogent arguments in refutation of ASIA have emerged [94][95][96]. Individual studies, and thereafter meta-analysis of the same, raise doubt of the association of breast implants and connective tissue disease or other seemingly autoimmune phenomena [94]. Ameratunga et al. rationally debate the broad association of vaccine adjuvants and ASIA [95]. ...
... Ameratunga et al. rationally debate the broad association of vaccine adjuvants and ASIA [95]. Continuing from the latter, a moratorium on animal experiments of ASIA has been advocated [96]. ...
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Non-clonal mast cell activation disorder (syndrome) (NC-MCAD) and autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) are complex syndromic and spectral clinical entities which have contemporaneously garnered considerable attention and rightfully so. NC-MCAD presents with a predominantly allergic profile, and causative clinical variables may or may not be identified. Manifest NC-MCAD illnesses can be complex and involve several organ systems. Such diversity may be in part explained by the ubiquity and plasticity of the mast cell. ASIA, due to its broad definition, continues to expand as a clinical entity, especially with the greater recognition of what might constitute adjuvancy. Such diversity has the potential to overly stretch the boundaries for scientific investigation. For both NC-MCAD and ASIA, the inciting molecular mechanisms require elucidation. Future research would benefit from greater precision for clinical diagnosis and risk factor identification, and the latter would be potentially facilitated by the discovery of reliable laboratory markers. Some patients with ASIA may present with clinical features that may be identified as NC-MCAD. This review examines the potential spectral nexus of NC-MCAD and ASIA and considers the role of the mast cell in such a possible interface.
... Ameratunga and colleagues raised their further reservations [78] that the definition of ASIA has led to the execution of unethical experiments in animal models. They refer to eleven publications regarding mostly murine models of autoimmunity and one ovine models. ...
... In this paper we set out to review the theoretical basis behind the definition of ASIA and its relevance in clinical practice. We further addressed several key points raised recently by Ameratunga et al. [78,81] in an attempt to refute the validity of the syndrome. ...
Article
Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvant (ASIA) is a definition aimed to describe the common etiological process at the root of five clinical entities sharing similar symptomatology: macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome (MMF), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), sick building syndrome (SBS), siliconosis, and post vaccination autoimmune phenomena. ASIA illustrates the role of environmental immune stimulating agents, or adjuvants, in the instigation of complex autoimmune reactions among individuals bearing a genetic preponderance for autoimmunity. The value of ASIA lies first in the acknowledgment it provides for patients suffering from these as yet ill-defined medical conditions. Equally important is the spotlight it sheds for further research of these poorly understood conditions sharing a common pathogenesis. In this article we elaborate on the significance of ASIA, review the current evidence in support of the syndrome, and address recent reservations raised regarding its validity.
... Vaccines containing adjuvants, in particular HBV, influenza and HPV vaccines, have been counted among the supposed various causes of ASIA by the authors who hypothesized the existence of this syndrome [133]. However, a causal relationship between clinical manifestations of the disease and use of vaccine adjuvants is difficult to prove and various studies do not confirm the role of adjuvants in the onset of autoimmune diseases [62,134]. Moreover, the consistency of diagnostic criteria of ASIA syndrome has been questioned in a study conducted on patients undergoing allergen-specific immunotherapy, who received 100 to 500 times more injected aluminum over 3 to 5 years, compared with HBV and HPV vaccine recipients. ...
Article
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Vaccines represent one of the most effective measures of public health medicine, saving countless lives and preventing lifelong disabilities. Vaccines are extremely safe, however, no vaccine is completely free from risks and adverse events can occur following vaccination. An adverse event following immunization (AEFI) may be a true adverse reaction caused by the vaccine or an event that temporally occurred after immunization but is not caused by it. Among the adverse reactions to vaccines, one of the most feared is the triggering of autoimmune diseases, which are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by dysregulation of the immune system. Currently, no mechanisms have been demonstrated that could explain the correlation between vaccination and the development of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, epidemiological studies do not support the hypothesis that vaccines cause systemic autoimmune diseases. The only confirmed associations, although very rare, are those between the flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome, especially with old vaccine preparations, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and thrombocytopenia. Due to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, new types of vaccines have been developed and are now available. Close vaccine safety-surveillance is currently underway for these new vaccines.
... It will also assist in the unfortunate event where COVID-19 vaccines cause ADE in some patients [58]. This could cause serious reputational damage to vaccines in general, leading to resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases [59][60][61]. In the event SARS-CoV-2 vaccines cause ADE, NZACE2-Pātari could mitigate the situation by outcompeting such vaccine-induced antibodies. ...
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Background: COVID-19 has caused calamitous health, economic and societal consequences globally. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the infection. Areas covered: We have recently described the NZACE2-Pātari project, which seeks to administer modified Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) molecules early in the infection to intercept and block SARS-CoV-2 binding to the pulmonary epithelium. Expert opinion: Since the nasopharyngeal mucosa is infected in the first asymptomatic phase of the infection, treatment of the nose is likely to be safe and potentially effective. The intercepted virus will be swallowed and destroyed in the stomach. There is however a limited window of opportunity to alter the trajectory of the infection in an individual patient, which requires access to rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2. The proposed strategy is analogous to passive immunization in the case of viral infections such as measles.
... Equally confusing are the observations that a single vaccine may be capable of initiating a wide variety of different autoimmune disorders, and that any single disorder may be triggered by a wide variety of different vaccines. Over the past decade a new theory known as ASIA (autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants, or Shoenfeld's syndrome) attempted to offer novel insight into the discussion, but this syndrome (and the animal models it has relied upon) have recently been refuted and/or subjected to significant controversy [11][12][13]. ...
... These scientific publications enhance our understanding of how vaccinations produce injury and lend evidence to cause and effect. One such mechanism, however, is drawing intense criticism lately from the medical community, namely ASIA (autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants, or Shoenfeld's syndrome) [25][26][27][28]. As a result, since 2015 the special masters in vaccine court in Washington, ...
... In these patients, other environmental factors such as infections and/or vitamin D [44] may attenuate the disease process and as such determine outcome. Because the symptoms as observed in our patients are commonly occurring in the community [45], it can be argued that the relation between mesh and symptoms may be spurious, most likely the result of random events or confounding rather than causality [46]. In addition, some argue that patients may develop these symptoms through a mass psychosis mechanism and that press releases may escalate the occurrence of these nonspecific symptoms [47]. ...
... R. Ameratunga и соавт. [17] показали в эксперименте неточности в диагностике этого синдрома, в результате которых этот синдром может быть выявлен если не у всего населения, то по крайней мере у всех больных с аутоиммунными нарушениями. Критерии Bradford Hill причинно-следственной связи в медицине не поддерживают положений развития ASIA в результате вакцинаций. ...
Article
The development of autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) is associated with the hyperergic reaction of the human immune system. The development of autoimmune inflammation is preceded by contact with internal or external trigger factors (adjuvants) of immune disorders. ASIA is associated with an individual genetic predisposition that is probably associated with the carriage of HLA-DRB1*01 or HLA-DRB4. The paper presents five possible options for the impact of adjuvants in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. It gives diagnostic criteria for the syndrome, as well as its clinical, laboratory and morphological manifestations. Emphasis is laid on the importance of morphological changes in the diagnosis of autoimmune disorders. The spectrum of morphological changes in ASIA is extensive. The tissues show signs of immune inflammation, such as lymphohistiocytic infiltration, granulomatous inflammation, and scleroderma-like changes. The characteristic feature is the regression of clinical, laboratory, and morphological manifestations after adjuvant removal.
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Introduction: COVID-19 has had a calamitous impact on the global community. The current death toll far exceeds 6 million and large numbers of patients are experiencing long-term medical and psychiatric morbidity from the infection. The immunopathology of severe COVID-19 is now better understood. In severely affected patients, there is a chaotic, destructive immune response triggered by SARS-CoV-2, where autoimmunity features prominently. Areas covered: COVID-19 vaccines ensure a coordinated, balanced immune response to future SARS-CoV-2 infection. The rapid global deployment of effective COVID-19 vaccines has been hindered by financial, logistical and political barriers. Of concern is increasing vaccine hesitancy caused by unfounded conspiracy theories of vaccine adverse effects, often fueled by misinformation and disinformation on social media. Expert opinion: This perspective discusses the potential impact of the so-called autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome caused by adjuvants (ASIA) on COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Proponents of the ASIA syndrome have inappropriately linked infertility to HPV vaccines and have recently suggested antigenic cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV-2 and ovarian follicles. COVID-19 vaccines have also been linked to ASIA and unfounded fear of infertility is a leading cause of vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy caused by spurious disorders such as ASIA are likely to harm individuals and delay global vaccination efforts leading to emergence of vaccine and monoclonal antibody resistant mutants, thereby prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (https://www.elsevier.com/about/our-business/policies/article-withdrawal). This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Authors, due to evidence of incorrect data. The data of gel images in several figures (Fig. 2A and C and Fig. 4 A, B, C and D) are incorrectly presented. Given that the authors can no longer access the original gels and it would be necessary to redo the experiments, it is concluded that the data and results presented in this paper are clearly not reliable. In light of these concerns, the Editor-in-Chief and Authors have jointly decided to retract the article. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the preparation and submission process.
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As many as one in 20 people in Europe and North America have some form of autoimmune disease. These diseases arise in genetically predisposed individuals but require an environmental trigger. Of the many potential environmental factors, infections are the most likely cause. Microbial antigens can induce cross-reactive immune responses against self-antigens, whereas infections can non-specifically enhance their presentation to the immune system. The immune system uses fail-safe mechanisms to suppress infection-associated tissue damage and thus limits autoimmune responses. The association between infection and autoimmune disease has, however, stimulated a debate as to whether such diseases might also be triggered by vaccines. Indeed there are numerous claims and counter claims relating to such a risk. Here we review the mechanisms involved in the induction of autoimmunity and assess the implications for vaccination in human beings.
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Introduction: The 9-valent human papillomavirus (9vHPV) vaccine covers the same HPV types (6/11/16/18) as the quadrivalent HPV (qHPV) vaccine and 5 additional cancer-causing types (31/33/45/52/58). Epidemiological studies indicate that the 9vHPV vaccine could prevent approximately 90% of cervical cancers, 70–85% of high-grade cervical dysplasia (precancers), 85–95% of HPV-related vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancers, and 90% of genital warts. Areas covered: Study design features and key findings from the 9vHPV vaccine clinical development program are reviewed. In particular, 9vHPV vaccine efficacy was established in a Phase III study in young women age 16-26 years. Efficacy results in young women were extrapolated to pre- and young adolescent girls and boys and young men by immunological bridging (i.e., demonstration of non-inferior immunogenicity in these groups versus young women). Expert commentary: The development of the 9vHPV vaccine is the outcome of 20 years of continuous clinical research. Broad vaccination programs could help substantially decrease the incidence of HPV-related disease.
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Autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) was described in 2011. Over time the condition and its triggers have broadened to include several autoimmune disorders, the macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome, the Gulf war syndrome, the sick building syndrome, siliconosis, and the chronic fatigue syndrome. The aluminum-containing adjuvants in the hepatitis B vaccine and the human papillomavirus vaccine in particular have been stated to be the major causes of the disorder. Here, we review the specificity of the diagnostic criteria for ASIA. We also examine relevant human data, pertaining to causation, particularly from patients undergoing allergen-specific immunotherapy (IT). Patients undergoing allergen-specific IT receive 100 to 500 times more injected aluminum over 3 to 5 years, compared with hepatitis B and human papillomavirus vaccine recipients. In a large pharmacoepidemiological study, in contrast to case series of ASIA, patients receiving aluminum-containing allergen IT preparations were shown to have a lower incidence of autoimmune disease. In another clinical trial, there were no increases in exacerbations in a cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus immunized with the hepatitis B vaccine. Current data do not support the causation of ASIA by vaccine adjuvants containing aluminum, which should be of reassurance to patients undergoing routine immunizations as well as to those undergoing allergen-specific IT.
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Prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine represents a revolutionary step forward in preventing HPV-related cancers, especially cervical carcinoma. Alongside appropriate screening, it has the potential to dramatically reduce cervical cancer incidence and even eradicate it. Following extensive evaluations in clinical trials, the first decade of routine HPV vaccine use provides overwhelming evidence of the vaccines’ safety and their real-life effectiveness. In 2016, further clinical trials showed high vaccine efficacy in adult women, especially those that were HPV DNA-negative at baseline, and indicated possible protection from HPV-related diseases after treatment of precancerous cervical lesions. The recommendation for a two-dose schedule in individuals under 15 is further supported for all three licensed vaccines by immunogenicity studies that show non-inferior immune responses and similar clinical efficacy compared to the three-dose schedule. So far, natural competition between HPV types has not been confirmed and therefore vaccine-induced clinically significant type replacement is unlikely. The real-world effectiveness data showed cross-sectional reduction in the prevalence/incidence of vaccine-related HPV types, genital warts and precancerous cervical lesions in countries and regions with HPV vaccination coverage. These declines were evident not only in vaccinated females, but also in unvaccinated females and males, strongly suggesting herd protection. Despite an excellent safety profile consistently demonstrated in clinical trials and confirmed in real-life settings, recently invented controversial syndromes allegedly linked to HPV vaccines temporarily compromised some previously very successful vaccination programs and significantly contributed to the failure of HPV vaccine implementation in some countries with the highest prevalence of cervical cancer. However, several safety studies failed to confirm any association of these syndromes with HPV vaccination in various settings and geographic locations. The main challenges remain implementing HPV vaccination in national vaccination programs, especially in low-and middle-income countries with the highest burden of cervical cancer, and achieving and sustaining high vaccine coverage rates.
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Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) has been widely described in many studies conducted thus far. The syndrome incorporates five immune-mediated conditions, all associated with previous exposure to various agents such as vaccines, silicone implants and several others. The emergence of ASIA syndrome is associated with individual genetic predisposition, for instance those carrying HLA-DRB1*01 or HLA-DRB4 and results from exposure to external or endogenous factors triggering autoimmunity. Such factors have been demonstrated as able to induce autoimmunity in both animal models and humans via a variety of proposed mechanisms. In recent years, physicians have become more aware of the existence of ASIA syndrome and the relationship between adjuvants exposure and autoimmunity and more cases are being reported. Accordingly, we have created a registry that includes at present more than 300 ASIA syndrome cases that have been reported by different physicians worldwide, describing various autoimmune conditions induced by diverse adjuvants. In this review, we have summarized the updated literature on ASIA syndrome and the knowledge accumulated since 2013 in order to elucidate the association between the exposure to various adjuvant agents and its possible clinical manifestations. Furthermore, we especially referred to the relationship between ASIA syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
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Inbred mouse strains have been used preferentially for behavioral testing over outbred counterparts, even though outbred mice reflect the genetic diversity in the human population better. Here, we compare the sociability of widely available outbred CD1 mice with the commonly used inbred C57BL/6J (C57) mice in the one-chamber social interaction test and the three-chamber sociability test. In the one-chamber task, intra-strain pairs of juvenile, non-littermate, male CD1 or C57 mice display a series of social and aggressive behaviors. While CD1 and C57 pairs spend equal amount of time socializing, CD1 pairs spend significantly more time engaged in aggressive behaviors than C57 mice. In the three-chamber task, sociability of C57 mice was less dependent on acclimation paradigms than CD1 mice. Following acclimation to all three chambers, both groups of age-matched male mice spent more time in the chamber containing a stranger mouse than in the empty chamber, suggesting that CD1 mice are sociable like C57 mice. However, the observed power suggests that it is easier to achieve statistical significance with C57 than CD1 mice. Because the stranger mouse could be considered as a novel object, we assessed for a novelty effect by adding an object. CD1 mice spend more time in the chamber with a stranger mouse than that a novel object, suggesting that their preference is social in nature. Thus, outbred CD1 mice are as appropriate as inbred C57 mice for studying social behavior using either the single or the three-chamber test using a specific acclimation paradigm.
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Hepatitis-B vaccine (HBVv) can prevent HBV-infection and associated liver diseases. However, concerns regarding its safety, particularly among patients with autoimmune diseases (i.e. SLE) were raised. Moreover, the aluminum adjuvant in HBVv was related to immune mediated adverse events. Therefore, we examined the effects of immunization with HBVv or alum on SLE-like disease in a murine model. NZBWF1 mice were immunized with HBVv (Engerix), or aluminum hydroxide (alum) or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) at 8 and 12 weeks of age. Mice were followed for weight, autoantibodies titers, blood counts, proteinuria, kidney histology, neurocognitive functions (novel object recognition, staircase, Y-maze and the forced swimming tests) and brain histology. Immunization with HBVv induced acceleration of kidney disease manifested by high anti-dsDNA antibodies (p < 0.01), early onset of proteinuria (p < 0.05), histological damage and deposition of HBs antigen in the kidney. Mice immunized with HBVv and/or alum had decreased cells counts mainly of the red cell lineage (p < 0.001), memory deficits (p < 0.01), and increased activated microglia in different areas of the brain compare with mice immunized with PBS. Anxiety-like behavior was more pronounced among mice immunized with alum. In conclusion, herein we report that immunization with the HBVv aggravated kidney disease in an animal model of SLE. Immunization with either HBVv or alum affected blood counts, neurocognitive functions and brain gliosis. Our data support the concept that different component of vaccines may be linked with immune and autoimmune mediated adverse events.
Article
Background: Administration of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine decreased dramatically in Japan after extensive news of adverse vaccine events and suspension of the governmental recommendation for the vaccine. In this study, we investigated the knowledge and acceptance of vaccinated adolescents concerning cervical cancer, cancer screening and the HPV vaccine. Furthermore, we analyzed whether and by how much the news affected acceptance of the vaccination. Methods: This study was conducted as a part of Osaka Clinical resEArch of HPV vacciNe (OCEAN) study. A questionnaire was distributed to 2,777 study registrants. Results: The response rate was 38%. The recognition rate of the news of the vaccine's adverse events was 80%; it was 68% for awareness of the government's announcement of the suspension of its recommendation for the vaccine. Among those who had a chance to hear or see the negative news during their vaccination period, 46 (60%) continued vaccination while knowing of the news, 22 (29%) discontinued vaccination, and 9 (11%) continued vaccination without an awareness of the news. Reports of the vaccine's adverse events were the main reason for not continuing the vaccination series. Those who consulted doctors after hearing the adverse news were significantly more likely to continue their vaccinations than those who did not. Conclusions: Our results should help in understanding the need for a strong promotion of vaccine usage and cancer screening after future retraction of the recommendation suspension. This may apply to other countries with an unsatisfactory rate of HPV vaccination due to fears of adverse vaccine events.
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The safety of 4 different adjuvants was assessed in lupus-prone BWF1 mice. Four groups of mice were intraperitoneally injected with incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), Squalene (SQU) or aluminum hydroxide (ALU). An additional group received plain PBS (UNT group). Mice were primed at week 9 and boosted every other week up to week 15. Proteinuria became detectable at week 17 (IFA group), 24 (CFA group), 28 (SQU and ALU groups) and 32 (UNT group). Different mean values were obtained among the groups from week 17 to 21 (week 17: one way Anova p=0.016; week 18 and 19: p=0.048; week 20 and 21: p=0.013) being higher in the IFA group than the others (Tukey HD post test p<0.05). No differences in anti-DNA Ab levels were observed among groups. Anti-RNP/Sm Ab developed at week 19 in only one CFA-treated mouse. Mean mouse weight at week 18 was lower in the ALU group than the IFA (Tukey HSD post test p=0.04), CFA (p=0.01) and SQU (p<0.0001) groups, while the mean weight in the SQU group was higher than in the IFA (p=0.009), CFA (p=0.013) and UNT (p=0.005) groups. The ALU group weight decreased by almost half between week 29 and 31, indicating some toxic effect of ALU in the late post-immunization period. Thus, SQU was the least toxic adjuvant as it did not i) accelerate proteinuria onset as compared to IFA; ii) induce toxicity as compared to ALU nor iii) elicit anti-RNP/Sm auto-Ab, as occurred in the CFA group.
Article
Adjuvants may induce autoimmune diseases in susceptible individuals, a phenomenon recently defined as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). Patients with both antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and the genetic coagulopathy factor V Leiden (FVL) are frequently found. We therefore evaluated whether adjuvant can induce aPL in heterozygous FVL mice. aPL were measured in naïve mice and at 1 and 5 months after immunization with either complete or incomplete Freund's adjuvant (CFA, IFA) in FVL and control C57/B6 background mice. We defined antibody levels 3 SD above the mean of C57/B6 mice immunized with adjuvant as positive (specificity of 99%). For β(2)GPI-dependent aPL, 28.6% (6/21) of FVL mice 5 months after immunization with adjuvant (both IFA and CFA) were positive compared with 4.8% (1/22) of FVL mice 1 month after adjuvant and 0% of naïve FVL and C57/B6 mice (0/16, p < 0.001). aPL levels correlated with behavioral hyperactivity in the staircase test. FVL mice immunized with adjuvant did not develop β(2)GPI-independent aPL. We hypothesize that the FVL aPL association is not a coincidence, but that chronic coagulation defects combined with external inflammatory stimuli analogous to adjuvant may induce aPL and also antiphospholipid syndrome, thus supporting the notion of ASIA.
Article
Adjuvants, commonly used in vaccines, may be responsible for inducing autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases, both in humans and mice. The so-called 'ASIA' (Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants) syndrome has been recently described, which is caused by the exposure to a component reproducing the effect of adjuvants. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in NZB/NZWF1 mice, a lupus-prone murine model. We injected 10 NZB/NZWF1 mice with CFA/PBS and 10 with PBS, three times, 3 weeks apart, and followed-up until natural death. CFA-injected mice developed both anti-double-stranded DNA and proteinuria earlier and at higher levels than the control group. Proteinuria-free survival rate and survival rate were significantly lower in CFA-treated mice than in the control mice (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively). Histological analyses showed a more severe glomerulonephritis in CFA-injected mice compared with the control mice. In addition, lymphoid hyperplasia in spleen and lungs, myocarditis, and vasculitis were observed in the former, but not in the latter group. In conclusion, the injection of CFA in NZB/NZWF1 mice accelerated autoimmune manifestations resembling 'ASIA' syndrome in humans.
Article
Subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy (SCIT) is a well-documented treatment of IgE-mediated allergic disease. Little is known about potential effects of SCIT on the risk of other chronic immune-related diseases. Over the years, a few casuistic reports have caused concern that SCIT might act as a trigger of autoimmune disease. We aimed to investigate the association of SCIT with the incidence of autoimmune disease and ischemic heart disease (IHD), as well as all-cause mortality. All Danish citizens without other known diseases were linked and followed through central registries on medications and hospital admissions. Persons receiving SCIT and persons receiving conventional allergy treatment (CAT; nasal steroids or oral antihistamines) were compared with regard to mortality and development of autoimmune diseases, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and IHD. Cox regression (survival analysis) with age as the underlying time scale was used to estimate relative risks (hazard ratios [HRs] with 95% CIs) associated with SCIT compared with CAT adjusted for age, sex, vocational status, and income. During the 10-year study period (1997-2006), a total of 18,841 and 428,484 persons were followed in the SCIT and CAT groups, respectively. Receiving SCIT was associated with lower mortality (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.62-0.81) and lower incidence of AMI (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.93), IHD (HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.73-1.05), and autoimmune disease (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-0.99). In this registry-based observational study, receiving SCIT compared with CAT was associated with lower risk of autoimmune disease and AMI, as well as decreased all-cause mortality.
Article
Australia introduced a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine for all women aged 12-26 years between 2007 and 2009. We analysed trends in cervical abnormalities in women in Victoria, Australia, before and after introduction of the vaccination programme. With data from the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry between 2003 and 2009, we compared the incidence of histopathologically defined high-grade cervical abnormalities (HGAs, lesions coded as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade 2 or worse or adenocarcinoma in situ; primary outcome) and low-grade cytological abnormalities (LGAs) in five age groups before (Jan 1, 2003, to March 31, 2007) and after (April 1, 2007, to Dec 31, 2009) the vaccination programme began. Binary comparisons between the two periods were done with Fisher's exact test. Poisson piecewise regression analysis was used to compare incident rate trends. After the introduction of the vaccination programme, we recorded a decrease in the incidence of HGAs by 0·38% (95% CI 0·61-0·16) in girls younger than 18 years. This decrease was progressive and significantly different to the linear trend in incidence before introduction of the vaccination (incident rate ratio 1·14, 1·00-1·30, p=0·05). No similar temporal decline was recorded for LGAs or in older age groups. This is the first report of a decrease in incidence of HGAs within 3 years after the implementation of a population-wide HPV vaccination programme. Linkage between vaccination and screening registers is needed to confirm that this ecological observation is attributable to vaccination and to monitor participation in screening among vaccinated women. None.
Article
The role of various environmental factors in the pathogenesis of immune mediated diseases is well established. Of which, factors entailing an immune adjuvant activity such as infectious agents, silicone, aluminium salts and others were associated with defined and non-defined immune mediated diseases both in animal models and in humans. In recent years, four conditions: siliconosis, the Gulf war syndrome (GWS), the macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome (MMF) and post-vaccination phenomena were linked with previous exposure to an adjuvant. Furthermore, these four diseases share a similar complex of signs and symptoms which further support a common denominator.Thus, we review herein the current data regarding the role of adjuvants in the pathogenesis of immune mediated diseases as well as the amassed data regarding each of these four conditions. Relating to the current knowledge we would like to suggest to include these comparable conditions under a common syndrome entitled ASIA, "Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants".
Article
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination has been implicated as a potential trigger for autoimmune diseases but there are no prospective studies in lupus. We therefore assessed prospectively the safety and efficacy of immunization with recombinant DNA HBV vaccine (Euvax B; LG Life Sciences) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Twenty-eight consecutive inactive SLE patients [Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) <4], age between 18 and 50 years and negative serology for HBV, were selected. Exclusion criteria were prednisone >/=20 mg/day and immunosuppressive drugs. Clinical and laboratorial assessments were obtained at study entry and one month after the three doses. In addition, a previous one year evaluation was performed using a standard electronic protocol. The mean age was 34 +/- 7.7 years and disease duration was 10.4 +/- 6.7 years. An adequate seroconversion was achieved at the end of the study (93%), although a lower frequency after the first (4%) and second dose (54%) was observed. No significant change in mean SLEDAI score was detected after each dose throughout the study (0.14 +/- 0.52 versus 0 versus 0.61 +/- 1.66 versus 0.36 +/- 1.34, P = 0.11). Reinforcing these findings, the 11% flares during vaccination was similar to the 21% observed in the previous year (P = 0.46). Furthermore, the mean prednisone dose at study entry was comparable to the end of the study (2.86 +/- 3.06 versus 4.64 +/- 8.25 mg/day, P = 0.32). In addition, the frequency of immunosuppressive therapy during the vaccination period (11%) was alike to the 14% observed in the previous year before entry (P = 0.66). Hepatitis B vaccination was safe in inactive SLE patients with an adequate vaccine response rate.
Review under article 20 of regulation (EC) No 726
  • E M Agency
Agency EM. Review under article 20 of regulation (EC) No 726/2004 EMA. London; 2015.