Patients with RA receive less protection from pandemic influenza with H1N1 vaccine

Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis taking disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, showed significantly less protection from pandemic influenza after receiving the H1N1 vaccine compared to healthy individuals, according to data presented today at the EULAR 2011 Annual Congress.

A Brazilian hospital-based study assessed responses to flu vaccines in 340 RA patients in regular follow-up compared to 234 healthy patients. Measures of protection obtained by vaccination (seroprotection rate (SP)) after immunization was over 20% lower for RA patients compared to healthy individuals (60.1% vs. 82.9% comparatively (p<0.001)). tests to determine levels of detectable antibodies to microorganisms in the blood serum as a result of infection and immunization with the flu virus (seroconversion rate (sc)) showed a similar pattern with 53.4% of ra patients and 76.9% of healthy controls having antibodies present respectively (p<0.001).

"This study has highlighted that there are differences in the level of protection between the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal influenza so healthcare professionals should not assume that response will be the same with different vaccines" said Professor A. Ribeiro of the University of Sao Paolo. "In planning for future pandemic outbreaks, healthcare professionals should consider specific immunization strategies to ensure this large population of patients are as fully protected as possible from the risk of contracting pandemic flu."

The vaccination's impact on disease activity (DAS28*) was also measured and nine patients (2.6%) reported worsening of symptoms with the mean disease activity score changing from 3.66 to 5.15 (p<0.05) after the h1n1 vaccination. no were seen across either patient group, although more subjects in the ra patient group reported more adverse events, 42% versus 30.8% with a rate of 140 events/100 patients versus 87/100 control group (p<0.005).

More information: * DAS28 (Disease Activity Score) is an index used by physicians to measure how active an individual's RA is. It assesses number of tender and swollen joints (out of a total of 28), the ethroycyte sedimentation rate (ESR, a blood marker of inflammation), and the patient's 'global assessment of global health'. A higher score indicates more active disease.

Provided by European League Against Rheumatism

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rheumatoid arthritis: Worse in women?

Jan 14, 2009

Women appear to suffer more from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men. This is revealed in research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Country economy is a stronger predictor of therapy initiation

Jun 18, 2010

There is significant disparity between 'richer' and 'poorer' countries in terms of access to biological treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to results from a multinational study across four continents presented ...

Recommended for you

WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

12 hours ago

Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official ...

Ebola cases rise sharply in western Sierra Leone

12 hours ago

After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people ...

User comments