Immunotherapies influence the influenza vaccination response in MS patients: an explorative study

Treatment, therapies and management:

In this exploratory study from Norway, the researchers examined the effects of immunomodulatory therapy on 113 MS patients and 216 controls receiving the pandemic H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination in 2009. They also assessed the serological response to the seasonal influenza vaccination in 2010 in 49 vaccinated and 62 non-vaccinated MS patients, versus 73 controls.

Results from the study demonstrated that MS patients receiving immunomodulatory therapy had reduced protection from the H1N1 vaccination compared to controls. Interestingly, the rates of protection were reduced in patients receiving glatiramer acetate, natalizumab and mitoxantrone, while the rates of protection were not influenced by interferon beta treatment.

Similar results were seen in MS patients who received the seasonal influenza vaccine in 2010. Therefore, these results suggest that patients receiving immunomodulatory therapy other than interferon beta may require a vaccine response analysis, and that those with insufficient protection may need to be offered a second dose of the vaccine. As the population size was small, a larger patient population is needed to confirm these results.

Authors: Olberg HK, Cox RJ
Source: Mult Scler. 2014 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print]
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