Immunoglobulin G subclass levels and antibody responses to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and HIV-uninfected adults


N. Crum-Cianflone, c/o Clinical Investigation Department (KCA), Naval Medical CenterSan Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, Ste. 5, San Diego, CA 92134-1005, USA. E-mail:


Immunoglobulin (Ig)G levels are important for antibody vaccine responses and IgG subclass deficiencies have been associated with severe 2009 influenza A (H1N1) infections. Studies have demonstrated variations in immune responses to the H1N1 vaccine, but the aetiology of this is unknown. We determined the associations between pre-vaccination overall and influenza-specific IgG subclass levels and 2009 H1N1-specific antibody responses post-vaccination (robust versus poor at day 28) stratified by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status. Logistic regression models were utilized to evaluate whether pre-vaccination IgG subclass levels were associated with the antibody response generated post-vaccination. We evaluated 48 participants as part of a clinical study who were stratified by robust versus poor post-vaccination immune responses. Participants had a median age of 35 years; 92% were male and 44% were Caucasian. HIV-infected adults had a median CD4 count of 669 cells/mm3, and 79% were receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy. HIV-infected participants were more likely to have IgG2 deficiency (<240 mg/dl) than HIV-uninfected individuals (62% versus 4%, P < 0·001). No association of pre-vaccination IgG subclass levels (total or influenza-specific) and the antibody response generated by HIN1 vaccination in either group was found. In summary, pre-vaccination IgG subclass levels did not correlate with the ability to develop robust antibody responses to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine. IgG2 deficiencies were common among HIV-infected individuals but did not correlate with poor influenza vaccine responses. Further investigations into the aetiology of disparate vaccine responses are needed.