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1.
J Autoimmun ; 131: 102866, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926607

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines. Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed at evaluating the seroconversion elicited by COVID-19 vaccine over the entire vaccination cycle including the booster dose. Among 478 unselected ASD patients originally evaluated at the end of the first vaccination cycle (time 1), 344 individuals were re-evaluated after a 6-month period (time 2), and 244 after the booster vaccine dose (time 3). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was assessed by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) on samples obtained at the three time points in both patients and 502 age-matched controls. In the 244 ASD group that received booster vaccine and monitored over the entire follow-up, the mean serum NAb levels (time 1, 2, and 3: 696.8 ± 52.68, 370.8 ± 41.92, and 1527 ± 74.16SD BAU/mL, respectively; p < 0.0001) were constantly lower compared to controls (p < 0.0001), but they significantly increased after the booster dose compared to the first two measurements (p < 0.0001). The percentage of patients with absent/suboptimal response to vaccine significantly decreased after the booster dose compared to the first and second evaluations (time 1, 2, and 3: from 28.2% to 46.3%, and to 7.8%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Of note, the percentage of patients with absent/suboptimal response after the booster dose was significantly higher compared to controls (19/244, 7.8% vs 1/502, 0.2%; p < 0.0001). Similarly, treatment with immune-modifiers increased the percentage of patients exhibiting absent/suboptimal response (16/122, 13.1% vs 3/122, 2.46%; p = 0.0031). Overall, the above findings indicate the usefulness of booster vaccine administration in ASD patients. Moreover, the persistence of a significantly higher percentage of individuals without effective seroconversion (7.8%), even after the booster dose, warrants for careful monitoring of NAb levels in all ASD patients to identify those with increased risk of infection. In this particularly frail patients' setting, tailored vaccination and/or therapeutic strategy are highly advisable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Vaccination
2.
Curr Pharm Des ; 2022 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902781

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) represent a predisposing condition to COVID-19. Our prospective, observational multicenter telephone survey study aimed to investigate the prevalence, prognostic factors, and outcomes of COVID-19 in Italian ASD patients. METHOD: The study included 3,918 ASD pts (815 M, 3103 F; mean age 59±12SD years) consecutively recruited between March 2020 and May 2021 at the 36 referral centers of COVID-19 & ASD Italian Study Group. The possible development of COVID-19 was recorded by means of a telephone survey using a standardized symptom assessment questionnaire. RESULTS: ASD patients showed a significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19 (8.37% vs 6.49%; p<0.0001) but a death rate statistically comparable to the Italian general population (3.65% vs 2.95%). Among the 328 ASD patients developing COVID-19, 17% needed hospitalization, while mild-moderate manifestations were observed in 83% of cases. Moreover, 12/57 hospitalized patients died due to severe interstitial pneumonia and/or cardiovascular events; systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients showed a significantly higher COVID-19-related death rate compared to the general population (6.29% vs 2.95%; p=0.018). Major adverse prognostic factors to develop COVID-19 were: older age, male gender, SSc, pre-existing ASD-related interstitial lung involvement, and long-term steroid treatment. Of note, patients treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) showed a significantly lower prevalence of COVID-19 compared to those without (3.58% vs 46.99%; p=0.000), as well as the SSc patients treated with low dose aspirin (with 5.57% vs without 27.84%; p=0.000). CONCLUSION: During the first three pandemic waves, ASD patients showed a death rate comparable to the general population despite the significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19. A significantly increased COVID-19-related mortality was recorded in only SSc patients' subgroup, possibly favored by preexisting lung fibrosis. Moreover, ongoing long-term treatment with csDMARDs in ASD might usefully contribute to the generally positive outcomes of this frail patients' population.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294702

ABSTRACT

Background: Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) may show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines . Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed to evaluate the seroconversion after the vaccination cycle and at 6-12-month follow-up, as well the safety and efficacy of vaccines in preventing COVID-19.<br><br>Methods: The study included 478 unselected ASD patients (mean age 59±15 years), namely 101 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 38 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 265 systemic sclerosis (SSc), 61 cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), and a miscellanea of 13 systemic vasculitis. The control group included 502 individuals from the general population (mean age 59±14SD years). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was evaluated by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) (SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant antibody test kit;Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL) on samples obtained within 3 weeks after vaccination cycle.<br><br>Findings: The short-term results of our prospective study revealed significantly lower NAb levels in ASD series compared to controls [286 (53-1203) vs 825 (451-1542) BAU/mL, p<0.0001], as well as between single ASD subgroups and controls. More interestingly, higher percentage of non-responders to vaccine was recorded in ASD patients compared to controls [13.2% (63/478), vs 2.8% (14/502);p<0.0001]. Increased prevalence of non-response to vaccine was also observed in different ASD subgroups, in patients with ASD-related interstitial lung disease (p=.009), and in those treated with glucocorticoids (p=.002), mycophenolate-mofetil (p<.0001), or rituximab (p<.0001). Comparable percentages of vaccine-related adverse effects were recorded among responder and non-responder ASD patients.<br><br>Interpretations: Patients with weak/absent seroconversion, believed to be immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection, are at high risk to develop COVID-19. Early determination of serum NAb after vaccination cycle may allow to identify three main groups of ASD patients: responders, subjects with suboptimal response, non-responders. Patients with suboptimal response should be prioritized for a booster-dose of vaccine;while a different type of vaccine could be administered to non-responder individuals.<br><br>Funding Information: None.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors do not have conflict of interest.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: The study protocol was approved by local ethic committee (RETRO-CoV2 study code #17886_bio);informed consent was obtained from all patients before participation.

5.
J Autoimmun ; 125: 102744, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509938

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) may show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines. Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed to evaluate the seroconversion after the vaccination cycle and at 6-12-month follow-up, as well the safety and efficacy of vaccines in preventing COVID-19. The study included 478 unselected ASD patients (mean age 59 ± 15 years), namely 101 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 38 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 265 systemic sclerosis (SSc), 61 cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), and a miscellanea of 13 systemic vasculitis. The control group included 502 individuals from the general population (mean age 59 ± 14SD years). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was evaluated by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) (SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant antibody test kit; Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL) on samples obtained within 3 weeks after vaccination cycle. The short-term results of our prospective study revealed significantly lower NAb levels in ASD series compared to controls [286 (53-1203) vs 825 (451-1542) BAU/mL, p < 0.0001], as well as between single ASD subgroups and controls. More interestingly, higher percentage of non-responders to vaccine was recorded in ASD patients compared to controls [13.2% (63/478), vs 2.8% (14/502); p < 0.0001]. Increased prevalence of non-response to vaccine was also observed in different ASD subgroups, in patients with ASD-related interstitial lung disease (p = 0.009), and in those treated with glucocorticoids (p = 0.002), mycophenolate-mofetil (p < 0.0001), or rituximab (p < 0.0001). Comparable percentages of vaccine-related adverse effects were recorded among responder and non-responder ASD patients. Patients with weak/absent seroconversion, believed to be immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection, are at high risk to develop COVID-19. Early determination of serum NAb after vaccination cycle may allow to identify three main groups of ASD patients: responders, subjects with suboptimal response, non-responders. Patients with suboptimal response should be prioritized for a booster-dose of vaccine, while a different type of vaccine could be administered to non-responder individuals.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Italy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Scleroderma, Systemic/immunology , Systemic Vasculitis/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency
6.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(9): 4418-4427, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193773

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The biomarkers of an immunological dysregulation due to a chronic HBV infection are indeed understudied. If untreated, this condition may evolve into liver impairment co-occurring with extrahepatic involvements. Here, we aim to identify a new panel of biomarkers [including immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses, RF, and Free Light Chains (FLCs)] that may be useful and reliable for clinical evaluation of HBV-related cryoglobulinemia. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed clinical data from 44 HBV-positive patients. The patients were stratified (according to the presence/absence of mixed cryoglobulinemia) into two groups: 22 with cryoglobulins (CGs) and 22 without CGs. Samples from 20 healthy blood donors (HDs) were used as negative controls. Serum samples were tested for IgG subclasses, RF (-IgM, -IgG, and -IgA type), and FLCs. RESULTS: We detected a strikingly different distribution of serum IgG subclasses between HDs and HBV-positive patients, together with different RF isotypes; in addition, FLCs were significantly increased in HBV-positive patients compared with HDs, while no significant difference was shown between HBV-positive patients with/without mixed cryoglobulinemia. CONCLUSION: The immune-inflammatory response triggered by HBV may be monitored by a peculiar profile of biomarkers. Our results open a new perspective in the precision medicine era; in these challenging times, they could also be employed to monitor the clinical course of those COVID-19 patients who are at high risk of HBV reactivation due to liver impairment and/or immunosuppressive therapies.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cryoglobulinemia/immunology , Cryoglobulinemia/virology , Hepatitis B virus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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