Diminished B-cell response after repeat influenza vaccination

Mrinmoy Sanyal, Tyson H. Holmes, Holden T. Maecker, Randy A. Albrecht, Cornelia L. Dekker, Xiao Song He, Harry B. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Annual vaccination with influenza vaccines is recommended for protection against influenza in the United States. Past clinical studies and meta-analysis, however, have reported conflicting results on the benefits of annual vaccination. B-cell responses elicited following repeat influenza vaccinations over multiple seasons have not been examined in detail. We analyzed the B-cell and antibody (Ab) responses in volunteers vaccinated yearly, from 2010 or 2011 through 2014, with seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines. Statistical analyses were designed to help correct for possible bias due to reduced sample size in the later years of the study. We show that, after the second annual vaccination, the frequency of vaccine-specific plasmablasts and the binding reactivity of plasmablast-derived polyclonal Abs are reduced and do not increase in subsequent years. Similar trends are observed with the serum hemagglutination inhibition Ab response after each annual vaccination, as well as the binding reactivity of plasmablast-derived polyclonal Abs to the hemagglutinin of influenza A virus vaccine components, even with changes in the seasonal vaccine components during the study. Our findings indicate a diminished B-cell response to annual vaccination with seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine. These results emphasize the need for developing improved strategies to enhance the immunogenicity and efficacy of annual influenza vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586-1595
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Antibody
  • B-cell response
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Influenza virus infection
  • Plasmablast
  • Repeated vaccination


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