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1.
J Autoimmun ; 135: 102996, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2180079

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether repeated, dose-intensified mRNA vaccinations against COVID-19 increase humoral immunity in previously low-responding patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD), including rituximab-treated and B cell depleted patients. METHODS: Of 308 AIRD patients receiving basic immunization, 98 had a low serological response against SARS-CoV-2 with a neutralizing capacity of < 70% using surrogate neutralization assay. 38 patients received a third vaccination with 30 µg BNT162b2 16 weeks after second vaccination. If neutralizing serum capacity was below 70% four weeks after the last vaccination, then the fourth vaccination (n = 19) and the fifth (n = 4) vaccination with 100 µg mRNA-1273 took place eight weeks after the last vaccination. RESULTS: Each of the three booster vaccinations resulted in a significant increase of mean serum neutralizing capacity (3rd: Δ = 42%, p < 0.001; 4th: Δ = 19%, p = 0.049 and 5th: Δ = 51%, p = 0.043) and produced a significant proportion of high-responders (3rd: 34%; 4th: 32% and 5th: 75%). Low B cell counts (p = 0.047), lower previous antibody response (p < 0.001) and rituximab therapy (p = 0.021) were negatively associated with successful response to the third but not to the fourth vaccination. Remarkably, substantial increases in neutralization capacity of up to 99% were observed after repeated vaccinations in B cell depleted patients. CONCLUSION: AIRD patients with low humoral response benefited from up to three repeated dose-intensified mRNA booster vaccinations - despite low B cell count and previous rituximab therapy. Each additional vaccination substantially reduced the number of low-responding, vulnerable patients.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , COVID-19 Vaccines , BNT162 Vaccine , Rituximab , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , RNA, Messenger , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
2.
RMD open ; 8(2), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2156704

ABSTRACT

Objective The development of sufficient COVID-19 vaccines has been a big breakthrough in fighting the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. However, vaccination effectiveness can be reduced in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD). The aim of this study was to identify factors that lead to a diminished humoral vaccination response in patients with AIRD. Methods Vaccination response was measured with a surrogate virus neutralisation test and by testing for antibodies directed against the receptor-binding-domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 in 308 fully vaccinated patients with AIRD. In addition, 296 immunocompetent participants were investigated as a control group. Statistical adjusted analysis included covariates with a possible influence on antibody response. Results Patients with AIRD showed lower antibody responses compared with immunocompetent individuals (median neutralising capacity 90.8% vs 96.5%, p<0.001;median anti-RBD-IgG 5.6 S/CO vs 6.7 S/CO, p<0.001). Lower antibody response was significantly influenced by type of immunosuppressive therapy, but not by rheumatic diagnosis, with patients under rituximab therapy developing the lowest antibody levels. Patients receiving mycophenolate, methotrexate or janus kinase inhibitors also showed reduced vaccination responses. Additional negative influencing factors were vaccination with AZD1222, old age and shorter intervals between the first two vaccinations. Conclusion Certain immunosuppressive therapies are associated with lower antibody responses after vaccination. Additional factors such as vaccine type, age and vaccination interval should be taken into account. We recommend antibody testing in at-risk patients with AIRD and emphasise the importance of booster vaccinations in these patients.

4.
RMD Open ; 8(2)2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064278

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The level of neutralising capacity against Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 after third COVID-19 vaccination in patients on paused or continuous methotrexate (MTX) therapy is unclear. METHODS: In this observational cohort study, neutralising serum activity against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (Wu01) and variant of concern Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 were assessed by pseudovirus neutralisation assay before, 4 and 12 weeks after mRNA booster immunisation in 50 rheumatic patients on MTX, 26 of whom paused the medication. 44 non-immunosuppressed persons (NIP) served as control group. RESULTS: While the neutralising serum activity against SARS-CoV-2 Wu01 and Omicron variants increased 67-73 fold in the NIP after booster vaccination, the serum activity in patients receiving MTX increased only 20-23 fold. Patients who continued MTX treatment during vaccination had significantly lower neutralisation against all variants at weeks 4 and 12 compared with patients who paused MTX and the control group, except for BA.2 at week 12. Patients who paused MTX reached comparably high neutralising capacities as NIP, except for Wu01 at week 12. The duration of the MTX pause after-not before-was associated with a significantly higher neutralisation capacity against all three variants, with an optimal duration at 10 days after vaccination. CONCLUSION: Patients pausing MTX after COVID-19 booster showed a similar vaccine response to NIP. Patients who continued MTX demonstrated an impaired response indicating a potentially beneficial second booster vaccination. Our data also suggest that a 1 week MTX break is sufficient if the last administration of MTX occurs 1-3 days before vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents , COVID-19 , Vaccines , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 81(6): 881-888, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741593

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of methotrexate (MTX) and its discontinuation on the humoral immune response after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD). METHODS: In this retrospective study, neutralising SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured after second vaccination in 64 patients with AIRD on MTX therapy, 31 of whom temporarily paused medication without a fixed regimen. The control group consisted of 21 patients with AIRD without immunosuppressive medication. RESULTS: Patients on MTX showed a significantly lower mean antibody response compared with patients with AIRD without immunosuppressive therapy (71.8% vs 92.4%, p<0.001). For patients taking MTX, age correlated negatively with immune response (r=-0.49; p<0.001). All nine patients with antibody levels below the cut-off were older than 60 years. Patients who held MTX during at least one vaccination showed significantly higher mean neutralising antibody levels after second vaccination, compared with patients who continued MTX therapy during both vaccinations (83.1% vs 61.2%, p=0.001). This effect was particularly pronounced in patients older than 60 years (80.8% vs 51.9%, p=0.001). The impact of the time period after vaccination was greater than of the time before vaccination with the critical cut-off being 10 days. CONCLUSION: MTX reduces the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in an age-dependent manner. Our data further suggest that holding MTX for at least 10 days after vaccination significantly improves the antibody response in patients over 60 years of age.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
Infection ; 49(4): 757-762, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171404

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Type I interferons are important in the defense of viral infections. Recently, neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies against type I interferons were found in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. Here, we analyzed expression of CD169/SIGLEC1, a well described downstream molecule in interferon signaling, and found increased monocytic CD169/SIGLEC1 expression levels in patients with mild, acute COVID-19, compared to patients with severe disease. We recommend further clinical studies to evaluate the value of CD169/SIGLEC1 expression in patients with COVID-19 with or without auto-antibodies against type I interferons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/blood , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/biosynthesis , Up-Regulation
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