Abstract Background Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are more prone to severe infection. Vaccination is a key strategy to reduce this risk. Some studies suggest vaccine efficacy may be reduced in patients with CKD, despite preserved maintenance of long-term responses to some pathogens and vaccines. Here, we investigated immune responses to 2 vaccines in patients with CKD to identify predictors of immunological responsiveness. Methods Individuals >65 years old, with or without nondialysis CKD (n = 36 and 29, respectively), were vaccinated with a nonadjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine (T-dependent) and Pneumovax23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide [PPV23], T-independent). Humoral responses were measured at baseline, day 28, and 6 months. Lymphocyte subset and plasma cell/blast analyses were performed using flow cytometry. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) serotyping was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Only modest responsiveness was observed to both vaccines, independent of CKD status (25% adequate response in controls vs. 12%–18% in the CKD group). Unexpectedly, previous immunization with PPV23 (median 10-year interval) and CMV seropositivity were associated with poor PPV23 responsiveness in both study groups (P < .001 and .003, respectively; multivariable linear regression model). Patients with CKD displayed expanded circulating populations of T helper 2 and regulatory T cells, which were unrelated to vaccine responses. Despite fewer circulating B cells, patients with CKD were able to mount a similar day 7 plasma cell/blast response to controls. Conclusion Patients with nondialysis CKD can respond similarly to vaccines as age- and sex-matched healthy individuals. CKD patients display an immune signature that is independent of vaccine responsiveness. Prior PPV23 immunization and CMV infection may influence responsiveness to vaccination.
- Chronic kidney disease
- adaptive immunity