This study aimed to identify gene expression markers shared between both influenza hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and virus-neutralization antibody (VNA) responses. We enrolled 158 older subjects who received the 2010-2011 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine. Influenza-specific HAI and VNA titers and mRNA-sequencing were performed using blood samples obtained at Days 0, 3 and 28 post vaccination. For antibody response at Day 28 versus Day 0, several gene sets were identified as significant in predictive models for HAI (n=7) and VNA (n=35) responses. Five gene sets (comprising the genes MAZ, TTF, GSTM, RABGGTA, SMS, CA, IFNG and DOPEY) were in common for both HAI and VNA. For response at Day 28 versus Day 3, many gene sets were identified in predictive models for HAI (n=13) and VNA (n=41). Ten gene sets (comprising biologically related genes, such as MAN1B1, POLL, CEBPG, FOXP3, IL12A, TLR3, TLR7 and others) were shared between HAI and VNA. These identified gene sets demonstrated a high degree of network interactions and likelihood for functional relationships. Influenza-specific HAI and VNA responses demonstrated a remarkable degree of similarity. Although unique gene set signatures were identified for each humoral outcome, several gene sets were determined to be in common with both HAI and VNA response to influenza vaccine.
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