Objective: To assess humoral and cellular responses to live-attenuated varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccination of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) or juvenile scleroderma (JScle) compared to those of healthy controls (HC).
Methods: Before, 4-6. weeks and one year after VZV vaccination, blood samples of patients and HC were collected. VZV-specific antibody concentrations were measured by ELISA and multiplex immune-assay. IFN-γ ELISpot assays were performed to assess VZV-specific T-cell responses. Cytokine production upon VZV stimulation were measured with a Luminex-assay.
Results: 49 patients (39 JIA, 5 JDM, 5 JScle) and 18 HC were included. All patients used methotrexate (MTX), 16 also used corticosteroids, 3 patients used biologics. No disease flares were reported after vaccination. Antibody response to the vaccine was similar in patients and controls (p. =0.139). Use of immunosuppressive drugs did not affect the response (p. =0.203). A second vaccination (n. =21) increased VZV-specific antibody concentrations (p. =0.02). VZV-specific T-cells increased after vaccination (p. =0.043), with a cytokine profile suggesting a VZV-specific Th1 and cytotoxic T-cell response.
Conclusion: The humoral response to VZV vaccination in patients with pediatric rheumatic diseases (PRD) is similar to that of HC. Generally, patients are able to mount a VZV-specific cellular response.
This study has been registered in the Brazilian Clinical Trials Registry under number U1111-1189-9837.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Immunogenicity, Juvenile dermatomyositis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Juvenile systemic scleroderma, Live-attenuated vaccination, Varicella
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.04.015, hdl.handle.net/1765/99258
Journal Vaccine
Groot, N, Pileggi, G, Sandoval, C.B, Grein, I, Berbers, G.A.M, Ferriani, V, … de Roock, S. (2017). Varicella vaccination elicits a humoral and cellular response in children with rheumatic diseases using immune suppressive treatment. Vaccine, 35(21), 2818–2822. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.04.015