Effect of Influenza Vaccine in Patients With Kidney Transplant

Among infectious diseases, influenza is the most common cause of infection in Japan and worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the effect of influenza vaccination in kidney transplantation (KTx) recipients.
We retrospectively evaluated the records of 98 participants who underwent KTx at our institution between March 2009 and May 2016. All patients received tacrolimus or cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, and methylprednisolone for maintenance immunosuppression after KTx. In accordance with the criteria of our institution, everolimus was administered for the maintenance of immunosuppression after KTx. We compared the rate of influenza infection during the 2016-2017 season (8 months, from October 2016-May 2017) between KTx patients treated with 1 or 2 doses of influenza vaccine (treatment group, n?=?71) and KTx patients who did not receive a vaccine (nontreatment group, n?=?27).
Among patient characteristics, only the prevalence of diabetes mellitus differed significantly between the groups (treatment group: 9.9%, 7 of 71 patients; nontreatment group: 29.6%, 8 of 21 patients; P?=?.02). Influenza infection occurred at similar rates in the 2 groups (treatment group, 5.63% 4 of 71 patients; nontreatment group: 3.70%, 1 of 27 patients; P?=?.70).
Among KTx patients managed in our institution, treatment with 1 or 2 doses of influenza vaccine did not reduce the rate of influenza infection in the 2016-2017 season, suggesting that influenza vaccination may currently be ineffective in KTx patients.