Seroconversion and antibody persistence after yellow fever vaccination in people living with HIV: impact of baseline HIV viral load and yellow fever seropositivity

Charlotte Martin, Eric Florence, Cristina Domingo, Marc Delforge, Stéphane De Wit, Nicolas Dauby

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Data on seroconversion rates following yellow fever (YF) vaccine and effect of revaccination in people living with HIV (PLWH) are scarce. We aimed at determining key factors for seroconversion after YF vaccine in PLWH and the role of preexisting neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) at vaccination.

    METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study at several timepoints in two Belgian AIDS Reference Center. For each individual, plasma samples from three timepoints were selected: Timepoint 0 (TP0) in the year before administration of the YF vaccine, Timepoint 1 (TP1) in the year following the YF vaccine, Timepoint 2 (TP2) >1 year after the YF vaccine. Plasma samples were analysed for YF NAbs by plaque reduction neutralization test. The primary endpoint was the number of patients with protective levels of NAbs ≥ 1/10. A boosted immune response was defined as a 4-fold increase in serologic titres following revaccination.

    RESULTS: Of the 160 PLWH included, protective levels of NAbs were present in 36%, 87% and 72% of subjects at baseline, at a median of 12 months and a median of 96 months after YF vaccination, respectively. Among vaccine recipients negative for YF NAbs at baseline (n = 102), 83% seroconverted. PLWH with undetectable HIV viral load (VL) at baseline were more likely to seroconvert (P < 0·01). A booster response was observed in only 17% of subjects with baseline seropositivity (n = 10 out of 58). In multivariate analysis, undetectable HIV VL at vaccination and baseline YF seropositivity were associated with persistent levels of protective NAbs at a median of 8 years after YF vaccination.

    CONCLUSION: Undetectable HIV VL at baseline is associated with high rates of seroconversion. YF seropositivity before revaccination is associated with low rates of booster effect but a higher chance of long term persistent NAbs response, suggesting a benefit of revaccination in PLWH.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbertaac024
    JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • Antibodies, Neutralizing
    • Antibodies, Viral
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • HIV Infections
    • Humans
    • Retrospective Studies
    • Seroconversion
    • Vaccination
    • Viral Load
    • Yellow Fever Vaccine
    • Yellow Fever/prevention & control
    • Yellow fever virus


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