Seasonal influenza vaccination expands hemagglutinin-specific antibody breadth to older and future A/H3N2 viruses
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionnpj Vaccines. 2022, 7, 67. 10.1038/s41541-022-00490-0
History of influenza A/H3N2 exposure, especially childhood infection, shape antibody responses after influenza vaccination and infection, but have not been extensively studied. We investigated the breadth and durability of influenza A/H3N2-specific hemagglutinin-inhibition antibodies after live-attenuated influenza vaccine in children (aged 3-17 years, n = 42), and after inactivated influenza vaccine or infection in adults (aged 22-61 years, n = 42) using 14 antigenically distinct A/H3N2 viruses circulating from 1968 to 2018. We found that vaccination and infection elicited cross-reactive antibody responses, predominantly directed against newer or future strains. Childhood H3-priming increased the breadth and magnitude of back-boosted A/H3N2-specific antibodies in adults. Broader and more durable A/H3N2-specific antibodies were observed in repeatedly vaccinated adults than in children and previously unvaccinated adults. Our findings suggest that early A/H3N2 exposure and frequent seasonal vaccination could increase the breadth and seropositivity of antibody responses, which may improve vaccine protection against future viruses.