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The effect of tumor necrosis factor blockade on the response to pneumococcal vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis



The effect of tumor necrosis factor blockade on the response to pneumococcal vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis



Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism 33(4): 283-288



To assess the effect of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha therapies on the immunogenicity of pneumococcal vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). A group of 16 consecutive patients (11 with RA and 5 with AS) treated either with infliximab or etanercept, and a control group of 17 age-matched RA patients treated with disease-modifying medications other than anti-TNF-alpha, received intradeltoid injection with 0.5 mL of pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPS)-specific IgG to 7 vaccine PPS (representing high- and low-prevalence serotypes) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in sera obtained before and 1 month after pneumococcal immunization. One month after vaccination, both groups had significant increases in the geometric mean concentration of capsule PPS-specific antibody and in the mean fold increase in antibody levels to all 7 serotypes, compared with prevaccination levels. However, compared with the control group, the TNF-alpha blockade-treated patients tended to have lower antibody increases for all the serotypes tested except serotype 14. In addition, lower proportions of TNF-alpha blockade-treated patients responded to pneumococcal vaccination compared with patients on other therapies. Similarly, more TNF-alpha blockade-treated patients were poor responders compared with patients not on anti-TNF-alpha treatment. Treatment of groups of patients with etanercept or infliximab does not impair their mean antibody responses to pneumococcal vaccination. However, a larger proportion of RA patients may not respond adequately to pneumococcal vaccination once on TNF-alpha blockade therapies. Consequently, pneumococcal vaccination before starting TNF-alpha blockade therapy is recommended.

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Accession: 035877863

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PMID: 14978666

DOI: 10.1053/j.semarthrit.2003.10.003


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