The Journal of infectious diseases

HIV infection Worsens Age-Associated Defects in Antibody Responses to Influenza Vaccine.

PMID 25556252


Antibody responses to seasonal influenza vaccines are defective during older age and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The effect of HIV on immune function in aging is relatively unknown. HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected young women (age, 19-54 years) and older women (age, >55 years) were evaluated for B-cell and T-cell responses before and 4 weeks after influenza vaccination. Frequencies of seroprotection pre-vaccination and vaccine responsiveness (≥4-fold increase in antibody titer) were lower in HIV-infected participants than in age-matched HIV-uninfected participants. A subgroup of vaccine nonresponders were compared to responders and found to have reduced frequencies of memory B cells and antigen-specific antibody-secreting cells after vaccination. Frequencies of peripheral T-follicular helper (pTfh) cells correlated with memory B-cell function and influenza A(H1N1) antibody titers. Serologic and immunologic deficits were most frequent in older HIV-infected participants. Underlying CD4(+) T-cell immune activation and inflammation correlated negatively with antibody titers and B-cell function, which was not enhanced by exogenous interleukin 21 supplementation in HIV-infected, older vaccine nonresponders. Immune activation associated with HIV infection and impaired pTfh function heighten deficiencies in antibody responses to influenza vaccine in older individuals. Strategies to reduce immune activation or augment pTfh function may enhance antibody responses in the aging HIV-infected population.