Abstract: Introduction: Our goal was to study whether influenza vaccination induced antibody mediated rejection in a large cohort of solid organ transplant recipients (SOTR).
Methods: Serum anti-Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) antibodies were determined using class I and class II antibody-coated latex beads (FlowPRATM Screening Test) by flow cytometry. Anti-HLA antibody specificity was determined using the single-antigen bead flow cytometry (SAFC) assay and assignation of donor specific antibodies (DSA) was performed by virtual-crossmatch.
Results: We studied a cohort of 490 SOTR that received an influenza vaccination from 2009 to 2013: 110 (22.4%) received the pandemic adjuvanted vaccine, 59 (12%) within the first 6 months post-transplantation, 185 (37.7%) more than 6 months after transplantation and 136 (27.7%) received two vaccination doses. Overall, no differences of anti-HLA antibodies were found after immunization in patients that received the adjuvanted vaccine, within the first 6 months post-transplantation, or based on the type of organ transplanted. However, the second immunization dose increased the percentage of patients positive for anti-HLA class I significantly compared with patients with one dose (14.6% vs. 3.8%; P = 0.003). Patients with pre-existing antibodies before vaccination (15.7% for anti-HLA class I and 15.9% for class II) did not increase reactivity after immunization. A group of 75 (14.4%) patients developed de novo anti-HLA antibodies, however, only 5 (1.02%) of them were DSA, and none experienced allograft rejection. Only two (0.4%) patients were diagnosed with graft rejection with favorable outcomes and neither of them developed DSA.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that influenza vaccination is not associated with graft rejection in this cohort of SOTR.
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