Background. Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) are effective for prevention of influenza virus infection in children, but the mechanisms associated with protection are not well defined.
Methods. We analyzed the differences in B-cell responses and transcriptional profiles in children aged 6 months to 14 years immunized with these 2 vaccines.
Results. LAIV elicited a significant increase in naive, memory, and transitional B cells on day 30 after vaccination, whereas TIV elicited an increased number of plasmablasts on day 7. Antibody titers against the 3 vaccine strains (H1N1, H3N2, and B) were significantly higher in the TIV group and correlated with number of antibody-secreting cells. Both vaccines induced overexpression of interferon (IFN)–signaling genes but with different kinetics. TIV induced expression of IFN genes on day 1 after vaccination in all age groups, and LAIV induced expression of IFN genes on day 7 after vaccination but only in children <5 years old. IFN-related genes overexpressed in both vaccinated groups correlated with H3N2 antibody titers.
Conclusions. These results suggest that LAIV and TIV induced significantly different B-cell responses in vaccinated children. Early induction of IFN appears to be important for development of antibody responses.