• Comparison of mucosal lining fluid sampling methods and influenza-specific IgA detection assays for use in human studies of influenza immunity.

      de Silva, Thushan I; Gould, Victoria; Mohammed, Nuredin I; Cope, Alethea; Meijer, Adam; Zutt, Ilse; Reimerink, Johan; Kampmann, Beate; Hoschler, Katja; Zambon, Maria; et al. (2017-10)
      We need greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying protection against influenza virus to develop more effective vaccines. To do this, we need better, more reproducible methods of sampling the nasal mucosa. The aim of the current study was to compare levels of influenza virus A subtype-specific IgA collected using three different methods of nasal sampling. Samples were collected from healthy adult volunteers before and after LAIV immunization by nasal wash, flocked swabs and Synthetic Absorptive Matrix (SAM) strips. Influenza A virus subtype-specific IgA levels were measured by haemagglutinin binding ELISA or haemagglutinin binding microarray and the functional response was assessed by microneutralization. Nasosorption using SAM strips lead to the recovery of a more concentrated sample of material, with a significantly higher level of total and influenza H1-specific IgA. However, an equivalent percentage of specific IgA was observed with all sampling methods when normalized to the total IgA. Responses measured using a recently developed antibody microarray platform, which allows evaluation of binding to multiple influenza strains simultaneously with small sample volumes, were compared to ELISA. There was a good correlation between ELISA and microarray values. Material recovered from SAM strips was weakly neutralizing when used in an in vitro assay, with a modest correlation between the level of IgA measured by ELISA and neutralization, but a greater correlation between microarray-measured IgA and neutralizing activity. In conclusion we have tested three different methods of nasal sampling and show that flocked swabs and novel SAM strips are appropriate alternatives to traditional nasal washes for assessment of mucosal influenza humoral immunity.
    • Influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates in the Dutch population from 2003 to 2014: The test-negative design case-control study with different control groups.

      van Doorn, Eva; Darvishian, Maryam; Dijkstra, Frederika; Donker, Gé A; Overduin, Pieter; Meijer, Adam; Hak, Eelko (2017-05-15)
      Information about influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) is important for vaccine strain selection and immunization policy decisions. The test-negative design (TND) case-control study is commonly used to obtain IVE estimates. However, the definition of the control patients may influence IVE estimates. We have conducted a TND study using the Dutch Sentinel Practices of NIVEL Primary Care Database which includes data from patients who consulted the General Practitioner (GP) for an episode of acute influenza-like illness (ILI) or acute respiratory infection (ARI) with known influenza vaccination status. Cases were patients tested positive for influenza virus. Controls were grouped into those who tested (1) negative for influenza virus (all influenza negative), (2) negative for influenza virus, but positive for respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus or enterovirus (non-influenza virus positive), and (3) negative for these four viruses (pan-negative). We estimated the IVE over all epidemic seasons from 2003/2004 through 2013/2014, pooled IVE for influenza vaccine partial/full matched and mismatched seasons and the individual seasons using generalized linear mixed-effect and multiple logistic regression models. The overall IVE adjusted for age, GP ILI/ARI diagnosis, chronic disease and respiratory allergy was 35% (95% CI: 15-48), 64% (95% CI: 49-75) and 21% (95% CI: -1 to 39) for all influenza negative, non-influenza virus positive and pan-negative controls, respectively. In both the main and subgroup analyses IVE estimates were the highest using non-influenza virus positive controls, likely due to limiting inclusion of controls without laboratory-confirmation of a virus causing the respiratory disease.
    • Influenza-like Illness Incidence Is Not Reduced by Influenza Vaccination in a Cohort of Older Adults, Despite Effectively Reducing Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza Virus Infections.

      van Beek, Josine; Veenhoven, Reinier H; Bruin, Jacob P; van Boxtel, Renée A J; de Lange, Marit M A; Meijer, Adam; Sanders, Elisabeth A M; Rots, Nynke Y; Luytjes, Willem (2017-08-15)
      Data on the relative contribution of influenza virus and other respiratory pathogens to respiratory infections in community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years) are needed.
    • Variation in loss of immunity shapes influenza epidemics and the impact of vaccination.

      Woolthuis, Rutger G; Wallinga, Jacco; van Boven, Michiel (2017-09-19)
      Protective antibody immunity against the influenza A virus wanes in 2-7 years due to antigenic drift of the virus' surface proteins. The duration of immune protection is highly variable because antigenic evolution of the virus is irregular. Currently, the variable nature of the duration of immunity has had little attention in analyses of the impact of vaccination, including cost-effectiveness studies.