Influenza is one of the infections, which still causes high morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that the influenza wave in the 2012/13 season caused almost 8 million more physician consultations. The number of influenza-associated hospitalizations was 32,000 cases in the same season. The estimated number of influenza-associated deaths is 5000-15000 depending on the strength of the influenza season. Most deaths (about 90%) occur in the age group of over 60-year-old people.
Vaccination against influenza is one of the most effective protective actions. However, studies have shown that the effectivity of the influenza vaccination decreases with increasing age, so it is, for example 91-100% in under 60-year-olds and only 78-90% with more than 60 years individuals. What factors are responsible for an inadequate response to vaccination is unknown.
The aim of the proposed study is therefore a) identification of individuals who have an inadequate response to vaccination after an influenza vaccination, b) study genetic, environmental and other factors which are responsible for an inadequate response to vaccination and c) identification of biomarkers with an adequate vaccination responses are associated. The secondary objective is the development and validation of a questionnaire for immunosenescence.
The aim is to include about 350 participants in the study. Included are individuals aged 60-80 years, because in Germany, the influenza vaccination is recommended for this age group. Excluded are (1) individuals who have a known allergy to egg white, because the vaccine may contain traces of egg white and (2) individuals who cannot fully understand due to impaired cognition consequences of trial participation.
The influenza study takes place in cooperation with the TWINCORE and the HZI.