Study of Blood Samples from Adenovirus-Vaccinated Military Members Shows No Virus Post-Vaccination

Story Number: NNS151127-04Release Date: 11/27/2015 10:49:00 AM
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By Regena Kowitz, Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A study conducted by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), published in the Journal of Clinical Virology Oct. 29, found that blood samples from military members who received the adenovirus vaccine had no detectable amounts of the virus post-vaccination.

"Recruits are an important source of voluntary blood donations for the military health system," said Lt. Cmdr. Lori Perry, a preventive medicine physician at NHRC and study author. "The donated blood is used at military hospitals for active duty, retired military, and their family members, some of whom may be immunocompromised. Maintaining recruits' wellbeing is imperative to ensuring healthy and usable donations, which is why this study was initiated."

The adenovirus vaccine has been given routinely at recruit training centers starting in October 2011 to help reduce adenovirus infections among the recruits, which can be common in this population. Close living spaces and training-related stress and fatigue are likely factors that contribute to recruits' susceptibility to these infections.

According to Perry, there is currently no published research showing adenovirus vaccine-generated viremia, a condition in which the virus enters the bloodstream, potentially infecting other body systems. The concern with the blood donated by recruits was that the adenovirus could be transmitted to the recipient through the donated blood.

"We wanted to know if, and for how long, adenovirus could be found in blood post-vaccination," said Perry. "We collected and tested blood samples from 249 recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego pre-vaccination and at several time points post-vaccination from the third day up to day 61. No detectable adenovirus was found in any of the blood samples at any time."

According to the study, the findings indicate that blood donations from a service member vaccinated with adenovirus do not pose any greater risk than any routine blood transfusion to immunocompromised patients.

As the DoD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation's armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.

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