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Cellular and humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and booster dose in immunosuppressed patients: An observational cohort study.

  • Yang, Lu M
  • Costales, Cristina
  • Ramanathan, Muthukumar
  • Bulterys, Philip L
  • Murugesan, Kanagavel
  • Schroers-Martin, Joseph
  • Alizadeh, Ash A
  • Boyd, Scott D
  • Brown, Janice M
  • Nadeau, Kari C
  • Nadimpalli, Sruti S
  • Wang, Aileen X
  • Busque, Stephan
  • Pinsky, Benjamin A
  • Banaei, Niaz
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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BackgroundHumoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among immunosuppressed patients remain poorly defined, as well as variables associated with poor response.MethodsWe performed a retrospective observational cohort study at a large Northern California healthcare system of infection-naïve individuals fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, or Ad26.COV2.S) with clinical SARS-CoV-2 interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) ordered between January through November 2021. Humoral and cellular immune responses were measured by anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 IgG ELISA (anti-S1 IgG) and IGRA, respectively, following primary and/or booster vaccination.Results496 immunosuppressed patients (54% female; median age 50 years) were included. 62% (261/419) of patients had positive anti-S1 IgG and 71% (277/389) had positive IGRA after primary vaccination, with 20% of patients having a positive IGRA only. Following booster, 69% (81/118) had positive anti-S1 IgG and 73% (91/124) had positive IGRA. Factors associated with low humoral response rates after primary vaccination included anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (P < 0.001), sphingosine 1-phsophate (S1P) receptor modulators (P < 0.001), mycophenolate (P = 0.002), and B cell lymphoma (P = 0.004); those associated with low cellular response rates included S1P receptor modulators (P < 0.001) and mycophenolate (P < 0.001). Of patients who had poor humoral response to primary vaccination, 35% (18/52) developed a significantly higher response after the booster. Only 5% (2/42) of patients developed a significantly higher cellular response to the booster dose compared to primary vaccination.ConclusionsHumoral and cellular response rates to primary and booster SARS-CoV-2 vaccination differ among immunosuppressed patient groups. Clinical testing of cellular immunity is important in monitoring vaccine response in vulnerable populations.

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