Immune responses after influenza vaccination in patients of primary Sjögren's syndrome.

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Influenza vaccination is effective in preventing infections in most people. This study aimed to assess the changes of immune responses in primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS) patients after influenza vaccination and determine the safety of influenza vaccination.A total of 17 patients with pSS and 16 healthy controls (HCs) were included. Peripheral mononuclear cells were analysed by flow cytometry. Vaccine-specific antibodies were determined by ELISA. Clinical features and serological responses were monitored.The percentages of T follicular helper cell (Tfh) were significantly elevated in HCs after vaccination (P=0.0005), while no significant differences in the levels of Tfh in pSS patients were identified (P=0.1748). The proportions of Th2 cells were significantly decreased after vaccination in both pSS patients and HCs (P<0.05). In contrast, the percentages of Th1 cells and Th17 cells were significantly increased after vaccination in pSS patients (P<0.05), while no significant differences in the percentages of Th1 and Th17 cells were identified in HCs (P>0.05), although a trend towards higher levels of Th1 cells was observed (P=0.0830). No significant changes in the proportions of memory B cells and plasmablasts were observed after vaccination. Patients with pSS developed higher levels of vaccine-specific IgGs compared with HCs (P=0.001). No significant changes in disease manifestations and laboratory parameters were observed after vaccination. No increased vaccination related adverse effect was observed in pSS.Our findings suggest the feasibility of applying influenza vaccines to patients with pSS, raising awareness for vaccination among the rheumatology community and involved healthcare professionals.

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