Japanese encephalitis vaccine (inactivated, BIKEN) in U.S. soldiers: immunogenicity and safety of vaccine administered in two dosing regimens.

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  • 1 Division of Preventive Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, District of Columbia 20307-5100, USA.

The safety and immunogenicity of Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine (Nakayama strain, monovalent / BIKEN) was studied in 538 U.S. soldiers in 1990. Three doses of vaccine from three consecutively manufactured lots were given on days 0, 7, and either 14 or 30. Serum for antibody determination was drawn at months 0, 2, and 6. Japanese encephalitis plaque reduction neutralization tests were performed by three laboratories on each specimen. Five hundred twenty-eight (98%) participants completed the immunization series. All recipients without antibody before immunization developed neutralizing antibody against JE virus. There were no differences in geometric mean titer among the three test lots at months 2 and 6. Soldiers who received the third dose on day 30 had higher titers at both time points. Antibody to yellow fever had no significant effect on immune response to vaccine. Conclusions drawn from analysis of serologic data from the three labs were nearly identical. Symptoms were generally limited to mild local effects and were reduced in frequency with each subsequent does in the series (21% to 11%; P < 0.0001). Generalized symptoms were rare (e.g., fever = 5%) with no reported cases of anaphylaxis.