It has been reported that influenza vaccination increases autoantibody production and/or disease activity in a significant proportion of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). During the recent H1N1 epidemic, we investigated whether the use of adjuvant- and nonadjuvant-containing H1N1 vaccine induced increased autoantibody production in patients with SLE.
Patients with SLE who received H1N1 vaccination and had a battery of 9 autoantibodies tested before and 1 and 3 months after vaccination were included. Antibodies tested included rheumatoid factor (nephelometry), antinuclear antibody (immunofluorescence), anti-DNA (Farr), anti-RNP, anti-Sm, anti-Ro, anti-La, anti–Scl-70, and anti–Jo-1 (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Patients were evaluated by standard protocol, including items necessary to calculate the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index. Descriptive statistics and McNemar's test were performed to evaluate change in antibody positivity. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to adjust for repeated measures in the comparisons of autoantibodies over visits and vaccine types.
One hundred three patients (94 women, 9 men) with a mean ± SD age at vaccination of 43.9 ± 15.2 years and a mean ± SD disease duration of 14.2 ± 11.0 years were included. Fifty-one patients received adjuvant and 52 received nonadjuvant vaccines. Antibody testing was performed a mean of 1.9 months prior to the vaccination. The first postvaccination sample was taken a mean of 1 month after vaccination and the second a mean of 3.5 months after vaccination. The percentage of patients with changes in antibodies following vaccination was not statistically significant for most antibodies. After adjusting for the number of tests performed, none of the associations was significant.
H1N1 vaccination (both adjuvant and nonadjuvant) did not increase the levels of autoantibodies in patients with SLE.