Influenza Vaccination Results in Differential Hemagglutinin Stalk-Specific Fc-Mediated Functions in Individuals Living With or Without HIV

Boitumelo M. Motsoeneng, Nisha Dhar, Marta C. Nunes, Florian Krammer, Shabir A. Madhi, Penny L. Moore, Simone I. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) stalk-specific antibodies have been shown to potently induce Fc-mediated effector functions which are important in protection from disease. In placebo-controlled maternal influenza (MatFlu) vaccination trials of pregnant women living with or without HIV, reduced risk of influenza illness was associated with high HA stalk antibody titers following trivalent inactivated vaccination (TIV). However, the mechanisms of immunity conferred by the HA stalk antibodies were not well understood. Here, we investigated HA stalk-specific Fc effector functions including antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent complement deposition (ADCD), and FcγRIIa and FcγRIIIa binding in response to seasonal influenza vaccination. These were measured pre- and 1-month post-vaccination in 141 HIV-uninfected women (67 TIV and 74 placebo recipients) and 119 women living with HIV (WLWH; 66 TIV and 53 placebo recipients). In contrast to HIV-uninfected women, where HA stalk-specific ADCP and FcγRIIa binding were significantly boosted, WLWH showed no increase in response to vaccination. HA stalk-specific ADCC potential and FcγRIIIa binding were not boosted regardless of HIV status but were higher in WLWH compared with HIV-uninfected women prior to vaccination. HA stalk-specific ADCD was significantly increased by vaccination in all women, but was significantly lower in the WLWH both pre- and post- vaccination. Co-ordination between HA stalk-specific ADCP and ADCD in WLWH was improved by vaccination. Fc polyfunctionality was enhanced by vaccination in HIV-uninfected women and driven by the HA stalk antibody titers. However, in the WLWH, higher pre-vaccination Fc polyfunctionality was maintained post-vaccination but was decoupled from titer. Overall, we showed differential regulation of Fc effector HA stalk responses, suggesting that HIV infection results in unique humoral immunity in response to influenza vaccination, with relevance for future strategies that aim to target the HA stalk in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number873191
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2022


  • Fc effector functions
  • HIV co-infection
  • antibody- dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC)
  • antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP)
  • antibody-dependent complement deposition (ADCD)
  • hemagglutinin stalk antibodies
  • influenza vaccination


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