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1.
Am J Transplant ; 2022 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973539

ABSTRACT

A recent study concluded that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine responses were improved among transplant patients taking mTOR inhibitors (mTORi). This could have profound implications for vaccine strategies in transplant patients; however, limitations in the study design raise concerns about the conclusions. To address this issue more robustly, in a large cohort with appropriate adjustment for confounders, we conducted various regression- and machine learning-based analyses to compare antibody responses by immunosuppressive agents in a national cohort (n = 1037). MMF was associated with significantly lower odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 0.09 0.130.18 ). Consistent with the recent mTORi study, the odds tended to be higher with mTORi (aOR = 1.00 1.452.13 ); however, importantly, this seemingly protective tendency disappeared (aOR = 0.47 0.731.12 ) after adjusting for MMF. We repeated this comparison by combinations of immunosuppression agents. Compared to MMF + tacrolimus, MMF-free regimens were associated with higher odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 2.39 4.267.92 for mTORi+tacrolimus; 2.34 5.5415.32 for mTORi-only; and 6.78 10.2515.93 for tacrolimus-only), whereas MMF-including regimens were not, regardless of mTORi use (aOR = 0.81 1.542.98 for MMF + mTORi; and 0.81 1.512.87 for MMF-only). We repeated these analyses in an independent cohort (n = 512) and found similar results. Our study demonstrates that the recently reported findings were confounded by MMF, and that mTORi is not independently associated with improved vaccine responses.

2.
Transplantation ; 106(10): e452-e460, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) are less likely to mount an antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. Understanding risk factors for impaired vaccine response can guide strategies for antibody testing and additional vaccine dose recommendations. METHODS: Using a nationwide observational cohort of 1031 SOTRs, we created a machine learning model to explore, identify, rank, and quantify the association of 19 clinical factors with antibody responses to 2 doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. External validation of the model was performed using a cohort of 512 SOTRs at Houston Methodist Hospital. RESULTS: Mycophenolate mofetil use, a shorter time since transplant, and older age were the strongest predictors of a negative antibody response, collectively contributing to 76% of the model's prediction performance. Other clinical factors, including transplanted organ, vaccine type (mRNA-1273 versus BNT162b2), sex, race, and other immunosuppressants, showed comparatively weaker associations with an antibody response. This model showed moderate prediction performance, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.79 in our cohort and 0.67 in the external validation cohort. An online calculator based on our prediction model is available at http://transplantmodels.com/covidvaccine/ . CONCLUSIONS: Our machine learning model helps understand which transplant patients need closer follow-up and additional doses of vaccine to achieve protective immunity. The online calculator based on this model can be incorporated into transplant providers' practice to facilitate patient-centric, precision risk stratification and inform vaccination strategies among SOTRs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Transplant Recipients , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Machine Learning , Mycophenolic Acid , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
3.
J Heart Lung Transplant ; 40(12): 1579-1588, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347615

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While several studies have observed that solid organ transplant recipients experience diminished antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination, data specific to heart and lung transplant (HT/LT) recipients remains sparse. METHODS: US adult HT and LT recipients completed their vaccine series between January 7 and April 10, 2021. Reactogencity and SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike antibody were assessed after a priming dose (D1) and booster dose (D2). Modified Poisson regression with robust variance estimator was used to evaluate associations between participant characteristics and antibody development. RESULTS: Of 134 heart recipients, there were 38% non-responders (D1-/D2-), 48% booster responders (D1-/D2+), and 14% priming dose responders (D1+/D2+). Of 103 lung recipients, 64% were non-responders, 27% were booster responders, and 9% were priming dose responders. Lung recipients were less likely to develop antibodies (p < .001). Priming dose antibody response was associated with younger recipient age (p = .04), transplant-to-vaccination time ≥6 years (p < .01), and lack of anti-metabolite maintenance immunosuppression (p < .001). Pain at injection site was the most commonly reported reaction (85% after D1, 76% after D2). Serious reactions were rare, the most common being fatigue (2% after D1 and 3% after D2). No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSIONS: HT and LT recipients experienced diminished antibody response following vaccination; reactogenicity was comparable to that of the general population. LT recipients may exhibit a more impaired antibody response than HT recipients. While current recommendations are to vaccinate eligible candidates and recipients, further studies characterizing the cell-mediated immune response and clinical efficacy of these vaccines in this population are needed.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Heart Transplantation , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Kidney Transplantation , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
4.
Transplantation ; 105(9): 2119-2123, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240980

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Belatacept may impair humoral immunity, impacting the effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in transplant recipients. We investigated immunogenicity after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in kidney transplant recipients who are and are not taking belatacept. METHODS: Participants were recruited between December 9, 2020, and April 1, 2021. Blood samples were collected after dose 1 and dose 2 (D1, D2) and analyzed using either an anti-SARS-CoV-2 enzyme immunoassay against the S1 domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein or immunoassay against the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Stabilized inverse probability of treatment weights was used to compare immunogenicity, and a weighted logistics regression was used to calculate fold change of positive response. RESULTS: Among the 609 participants studied, 24 (4%) were taking belatacept. After dose 1, 0/24 (0%) belatacept patients had detectable antibodies, compared with 77 of 568 (14%) among the equivalent nonbelatacept population (P = 0.06). After dose 2, 1/19 (5%) belatacept patients had detectable antibodies, compared with 190/381 (50%) among the equivalent nonbelatacept population (P < 0.001). Belatacept use was associated with 16.7-fold lower odds of having a positive post-D2 titer result (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Additional measures need to be explored to protect kidney transplant recipients taking belatacept. Best safety practices should be continued despite vaccination among this population.


Subject(s)
Abatacept/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Graft Rejection/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , RNA, Viral/analysis , Renal Insufficiency/surgery , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Comorbidity , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Graft Rejection/drug therapy , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/pharmacology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Renal Insufficiency/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
5.
Transplantation ; 105(1): 170-176, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889649

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Kidney transplant recipients have higher risk of infectious diseases due to their reliance on immunosuppression. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, some clinicians might have opted for less potent immunosuppressive agents to counterbalance the novel infectious risk. We conducted a nationwide study to characterize immunosuppression use and subsequent clinical outcomes during the first 5 months of COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. METHODS: Using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we studied all kidney-only recipients in the United States from January 1, 2017, to March 12, 2020 ("prepandemic" era; n = 64 849) and from March 13, 2020, to July 31, 2020 ("pandemic" era; n = 5035). We compared the use of lymphocyte-depleting agents (versus basiliximab or no induction) and maintenance steroids (versus steroid avoidance/withdrawal) in the pandemic era compared with the prepandemic era. Then, we compared early posttransplant outcomes by immunosuppression regimen during the pandemic era. RESULTS: Recipients in the pandemic era were substantially less likely to receive lymphocyte-depleting induction agents compared with their prepandemic counterparts (aOR = 0.400.530.69); similar trends were found across subgroups of state-level COVID-19 incidence, donor type, and recipient age. However, lymphocyte-depleting induction agents were associated with decreased rejection during admission (aOR = 0.110.230.47) but not with increased mortality in the pandemic era (aHR = 0.130.471.66). On the other hand, the use of maintenance steroids versus early steroid withdrawal remained similar (aOR = 0.711.071.62). CONCLUSIONS: The use of lymphocyte-depleting induction agents has decreased in favor of basiliximab and no induction during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this shift might have resulted in increases in rejection with no clear reductions in posttransplant mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Kidney Transplantation/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Lymphocyte Depletion , Male , Middle Aged
6.
Am J Transplant ; 20(11): 2997-3007, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591957

ABSTRACT

Clinical decision-making in kidney transplant (KT) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is understandably a conundrum: both candidates and recipients may face increased acquisition risks and case fatality rates (CFRs). Given our poor understanding of these risks, many centers have paused or reduced KT activity, yet data to inform such decisions are lacking. To quantify the benefit/harm of KT in this context, we conducted a simulation study of immediate-KT vs delay-until-after-pandemic for different patient phenotypes under a variety of potential COVID-19 scenarios. A calculator was implemented (http://www.transplantmodels.com/covid_sim), and machine learning approaches were used to evaluate the important aspects of our modeling. Characteristics of the pandemic (acquisition risk, CFR) and length of delay (length of pandemic, waitlist priority when modeling deceased donor KT) had greatest influence on benefit/harm. In most scenarios of COVID-19 dynamics and patient characteristics, immediate KT provided survival benefit; KT only began showing evidence of harm in scenarios where CFRs were substantially higher for KT recipients (eg, ≥50% fatality) than for waitlist registrants. Our simulations suggest that KT could be beneficial in many centers if local resources allow, and our calculator can help identify patients who would benefit most. Furthermore, as the pandemic evolves, our calculator can update these predictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Kidney Transplantation , Machine Learning , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tissue Donors/supply & distribution , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Kidney Failure, Chronic/surgery , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Waiting Lists/mortality , Young Adult
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