Rack et al.
Immunogenicity of tick-borne-encephalitis-virus-(TBEV)-vaccination and impact of age on humoral and cellular TBEV-specific immune responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Vaccine. 2024;42(4):745-752. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2024.01.022

There are reports indicating that inactivated vaccines like TBE vaccines may induce lower immune responses in immunocompromised individuals.

A controlled, cross-sectional study has been carried out including 36 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 112 age-matched healthy controls (HC), who had received a primary vaccination with TBE vaccine.

After a booster dose, HC had significantly higher TBE IgG ELISA antibodies (and also higher neutralizing antibodies in a random sample).

High antibody avidity was less prevalent in RA compared to HC. Higher IgG antibody concentrations were found in RA who had received booster doses compared to those who had not.

High responders of TBE cellular immune response (IFNγ ELISpot assay) were more prevalent in HC than in RA. No correlation could be found between TBE humoral and cellular parameters. At the level of T-cell subpopulation, lower effector and memory T-cell responses were present in RA compared to HC, as well as poor natural killer cell reactivity against TBE virus antigens.

The authors concluded that RA patients showed a negative effect of age on TBE IgG, and immunological benefits of timely booster vaccinations are suggested.

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