Mass SARS-Cov-2 vaccination campaign represents the only strategy to defeat the global pandemic we are facing. Immunocompromised patients represent a vulnerable population at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 and thus should be prioritized in the vaccination programs and in the study of the vaccine efficacy. Nevertheless, most data on efficacy and safety of the available vaccines derive from trials conducted on healthy individuals; hence, studies on immunogenicity of SARS-CoV2 vaccines in such populations are deeply needed. Here, we perform an observational longitudinal study analyzing the humoral and cellular response following the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of patients affected by inborn errors of immunity (IEI) compared to healthy controls (HC). We show that both IEI and HC groups experienced a significant increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 Abs 1 week after the second scheduled dose as well as an overall statistically significant expansion of the Ag-specific CD4+CD40L+ T cells in both HC and IEI. Five IEI patients did not develop any specific CD4+CD40L+ T cellular response, with one of these patients unable to also mount any humoral response. These data raise immunologic concerns about using Ab response as a sole metric of protective immunity following vaccination for SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, these findings suggest that evaluation of vaccine-induced immunity in this subpopulation should also include quantification of Ag-specific T cells.
Subject(s)Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination , Young Adult
Gut involvement is frequent in immunologic disorders, especially with inflammatory manifestations but also with cancer. In the last years, advances in functional and genetic testing have improved the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to immune dysregulation syndromes. CTLA-4 deficiency is a rare disease with variable phenotype, ranging from absence of symptoms to severe multisystem manifestations and complications. We describe a rare case of CTLA-4 deficiency in a boy with gastric cancer, very early onset inflammatory bowel disease and polyautoimmunity, the second-ever reported in the literature with the same characteristics. A 17-year-old boy was referred to Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital of Rome, a tertiary care center, for a gastric mass and a long-term history of very early onset inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, polyarthritis and psoriasis. Histology of gastric biopsies revealed the presence of neoplastic signet ring cells. Imaging staging showed localized cancer; therefore, the patient underwent subtotal gastrectomy with termino-lateral gastro-jejunal anastomosis. Immunological work up and genetic testing by next-generation sequencing panels for primary immunodeficiencies led to the diagnosis of CTLA-4 deficiency. Good disease control was obtained with the administration of Abatacept. The patient experienced an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection without any concern. Eighteen months after treatment initiation, the patient is alive and well. Immunologic and genetic testing, such as next-generation sequencing, should always be part of the diagnostic approach to patients with complex immune dysregulation syndrome, severe clinical course, poor response to treatments or cancer. The early recognition of the monogenic disease is the key for disease management and targeted therapy.