PLoS One. 2018 Nov 2;13(11):e0206837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206837. eCollection 2018.
DNA vaccine priming for seasonal influenza vaccine in children and adolescents 6 to 17 years of age: A phase 1 randomized clinical trial.

Houser KV1, Yamshchikov GV1, Bellamy AR2, May J2, Enama ME1, Sarwar U1, Larkin B1, Bailer RT1, Koup R1, Paskel M3, Subbarao K3, Anderson E4, Bernstein DI5, Creech B6, Keyserling H7, Spearman P7, Wright PF8, Graham BS1, Ledgerwood JE1; VRC 702 study team.
Author information



Children are susceptible to severe influenza infections and facilitate community transmission. One potential strategy to improve vaccine immunogenicity in children against seasonal influenza involves a trivalent hemagglutinin DNA prime-trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3) boost regimen.

Sites enrolled adolescents, followed by younger children, to receive DNA prime (1 mg or 4 mg) intramuscularly by needle-free jet injector (Biojector), followed by split virus 2012/13 seasonal IIV3 boost by needle and syringe approximately 18 weeks later. A comparator group received IIV3 prime and boost at similar intervals. Primary study objectives included evaluation of the safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens, with secondary objectives of measuring antibody responses at four weeks post boost by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and neutralization assays.

Seventy-five children ≥6 to ≤17 years old enrolled. Local reactogenicity was higher after DNA prime compared to IIV3 prime (p<0.001 for pain/tenderness, redness, or swelling), but symptoms were mild to moderate in severity. Systemic reactogenicity was similar between vaccines. Overall, antibody responses were similar among groups, although HAI antibodies revealed a trend towards higher responses following 4 mg DNA-IIV3 compared to IIV3-IIV3. The fold increase of HAI antibodies to A/California/07/2009 [A(H1N1)pdm09] was significantly greater following 4 mg DNA-IIV3 (10.12 fold, 5.60-18.27 95%CI) compared to IIV3-IIV3 (3.86 fold, 2.32-6.44 95%CI). Similar neutralizing titers were observed between regimens, with a trend towards increased response frequencies in 4 mg DNA-IIV3. However, significant differences in fold increase, reported as geometric mean fold ratios, were detected against the H1N1 viruses within the neutralization panel: A/New Caledonia/20/1999 (1.41 fold, 1.10-1.81 95%CI) and A/South Carolina/1/1918 (1.55 fold, 1.27-1.89 95%CI).

In this first pediatric DNA vaccine study conducted in the U.S., the DNA prime-IIV3 boost regimen was safe and well tolerated. In children, the 4 mg DNA-IIV3 regimen resulted in antibody responses comparable to the IIV3-IIV3 regimen.

PMID: 30388160 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206837
Free full text