Long-term immune response to vaccines is impaired in people with HIV

hiv_newsImportant implications for monitoring and revaccination strategies.

The long-term immune response to most vaccines is impaired in people with HIV, according to the results of a meta-anlaysis published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Comparison with vaccination outcomes in HIV-negative individuals showed that the effect of immunisations waned more rapidly in people with HIV.

“Our analyses showed a rapid decrease in seroprotection after immunization in HIV-infected patients,” comment the authors.

The study has important implications, showing that vaccine responses needed to be closely monitored in people living with HIV and revaccination provided when antibody levels are no longer protective.

It’s already known that initial immune responses to most vaccines are impaired in people with HIV. However, little is known about the persistence of vaccine-induced antibodies in the long-term. This is an important gap in knowledge. Recommendations about booster injections for people with HIV are currently based on data obtained from HIV-negative individuals.

A team of French investigators therefore performed a meta-analysis and systematic review of data from prospective studies reporting on the long-term persistence of antibody concentrations after vaccination with licensed products.

A total of 59 studies were reviewed and 19 were included in the meta-analysis.

Results of the meta-analysis showed that less of half of people with HIV who had a primary response to hepatitis B vaccination still had protective immunity two years after immunisation (28% in adults; 61% in children), and that only 17% were still protected after five years. Doubling the vaccine dose did not improve long-term responses.

Long-term immune response to vaccines is impaired in people with HIV.


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