, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 850-854

The immune response to influenza vaccination in diabetic patients

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Summary

The immune response of diabetic patients to influenza vaccination was examined in 31 patients, 10 with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and 21 with Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent diabetes), and in 19 normal subjects. Each received a single intramuscular injection of the 3 virus strains (A/Chile,A/Philippines,B/USSR) anti-influenza vaccine recommended by WHO. The antibody titre and the cell-mediated immune response to the 3 virus strains, as evaluated by the generation of activated lymphocytes and enumeration of B lymphocytes, were studied before and 18 h, 72 h and 1, 2, 3 and 6 weeks after vaccination. Overall, the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses were normal in both groups of patients. However, patients with Type 1 diabetes showed a statistically significant increase (p< 0.01) of antibody titre of the A/Chile and an increased percentage of B lymphocytes one week after vaccination compared to age-matched control subjects. Four out of 21 patients with Type 2 diabetes had no antibody response to all 3 virus strains. A significant reduction (p< 0.01) of the percentage of activated cells possessing receptors for interleukin-2 was observed 72 h after vaccination in patients with Type 2 diabetes compared to age-matched control subjects. None of the patients who received the vaccine developed influenza in the course of the following year. These results suggest that valid protection against the influenza virus can be obtained in patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.