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Clin Kidney J ; 14(10): 2234-2238, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450381


Background: Some studies have shown an attenuated immune response in haemodialysis patients after vaccination. The present study examines the humoral response after mRNA vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a large population of haemodialysis patients from different outpatient dialysis centres. Methods: We retrospectively assessed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid protein (chemiluminescence immunoassays, Roche diagnostics) 3-6 weeks after the second mRNA vaccine dose in 179 maintenance haemodialysis and 70 non-dialysis patients (control cohort). Differences in anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein titers were statistically analysed with respect to patient-relevant factors, including age, gender, previous coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, systemic immunosuppressive therapy and time on dialysis. Results: We found a favourable, but profoundly lower SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody response in comparison with a non-dialysis cohort (median 253.5 versus 1756 U/mL, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, previous COVID-19 infection (P < 0.001) and female gender were associated with a significantly higher vaccine response (P = 0.006) in haemodialysis patients, while there was a significant inverse correlation with increasing patient age and systemic immunosuppression (P < 0.001). There was no statistically significant correlation between the antibody titer and time on dialysis. Immune response in haemodialysis patients with a previous COVID-19 infection led to substantially higher antibody titers that were equal to those of vaccinated non-dialysis individuals with previous infection. Conclusion: We strongly argue in favour of regular antibody testing after COVID-19 vaccination in haemodialysis patients. Further studies should elucidate the utility of booster vaccinations to foster a stronger and persistent antibody response.

Clin Transplant ; 34(10): e14027, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615069


Immunosuppression leaves transplanted patients at particular risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The specific features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in immunosuppressed patients are largely unknown and therapeutic experience is lacking. Seven transplanted patients (two liver, three kidneys, one double lung, one heart) admitted to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich because of COVID-19 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were included. The clinical course and the clinical findings were extracted from the medical record. The two liver transplant patients and the heart transplant patient had an uncomplicated course and were discharged after 14, 18, and 12 days, respectively. Two kidney transplant recipients were intubated within 48 hours. One kidney and the lung transplant recipients were required to intubate after 10 and 15 days, respectively. Immunosuppression was adapted in five patients, but continued in all patients. Compared to non-transplanted patients at the ICU (n = 19) the inflammatory response was attenuated in transplanted patients, which was proven by decreased IL-6 blood values. This analysis might provide evidence that continuous immunosuppression is safe and probably beneficial since there was no hyperinflammation evident. Although transplanted patients might be more susceptible to an infection with SARS-CoV-2, their clinical course seems to be similar to immunocompetent patients.

COVID-19/immunology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Inflammation/immunology , Organ Transplantation , Postoperative Complications/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Graft Rejection/immunology , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammation/diagnosis , Inflammation/therapy , Inflammation/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Postoperative Complications/diagnosis , Postoperative Complications/therapy , Postoperative Complications/virology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult