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JAMA Intern Med ; 182(2): 165-171, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589288


Importance: Fewer than 50% of kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) develop antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Preliminary data suggest that a heterologous vaccination, combining mRNA and viral vector vaccines, may increase immunogenicity. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a third dose of an mRNA vs a vector vaccine in KTRs who did not have antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a single center, single-blinded, 1:1 randomized clinical trial of a third dose of vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, conducted from June 15 to August 16, 2021, in 201 KTRs who had not developed SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibodies after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Data analyses were performed from August 17 to August 31, 2021. Interventions: mRNA (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) or vector (Ad26COVS1) as a third dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary study end point was seroconversion after 4 weeks (29-42 days) following the third vaccine dose. Secondary end points included neutralizing antibodies and T-cell response assessed by interferon-γ release assays (IGRA). In addition, the association of patient characteristics and vaccine response was assessed using logistic regression, and the reactogenicity of the vaccines was compared. Results: Among the study population of 197 kidney transplant recipients (mean [SD] age, 61.2 [12.4] years; 82 [42%] women), 39% developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after the third vaccine. There was no statistically significant difference between groups, with an antibody response rate of 35% and 42% for the mRNA and vector vaccines, respectively. Only 22% of seroconverted patients had neutralizing antibodies. Similarly, T-cell response assessed by IGRA was low with only 17 patients showing a positive response after the third vaccination. Receiving nontriple immunosuppression (odds ratio [OR], 3.59; 95% CI, 1.33-10.75), longer time after kidney transplant (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.15-1.83, per doubling of years), and torque teno virus plasma levels (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88-0.96, per doubling of levels) were associated with vaccine response. The third dose of an mRNA vaccine was associated with a higher frequency of local pain at the injection site compared with the vector vaccine, while systemic symptoms were comparable between groups. Conclusions and Relevance: This randomized clinical trial found that 39% of KTRs without an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 4 weeks after a third dose of an mRNA or a vector vaccine. The heterologous vaccination strategy with a vector-based vaccine was well tolerated and safe but not significantly better than the homologous mRNA-based strategy. Trial Registration: EudraCT Identifier: 2021-002927-39.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transplant Recipients , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Female , Humans , Kidney Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged
Aging Dis ; 12(3): 710-717, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315005


In December 2019, the People's Republic of China and the World Health Organization first reported on a cluster of pneumonia with an unknown cause. Nine months later more than 1.4 million people have died from COVID 19. In this work, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on five nursing homes in Austria, which cared for 889 residents in the first half of 2020, were examined. The research question was whether the measures taken were appropriate to prevent an outbreak within the individual facilities. To detect previously unrecognized infections, the present study evaluated the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in residents and employees of the nursing homes. Following the analysis of blood samples, the prospectively collected data was connected to data from screening examinations and data from contact tracing. The present study demonstrated an overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nursing homes of 3.7%. Whereas the prevalence in those facilities that have never been hit by an outbreak is 0%, the prevalence in those facilities with an outbreak is up to 4.9%. Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 35 persons. A retrospective analysis of all 5 included nursing homes demonstrated that upon regular clinical screening in combination with PCRs an infection with SARS-COV-2 was detected in 66 residents and 24 employees from different professional groups. In only 25 of the 35 persons with neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 an infection was proven in advance. This study suggests that specific measures can prevent transmission within a health care facility. Nevertheless, the results also show that a risk reduction to 0% cannot be achieved. In preparation for further pandemic waves there is still the need to reduce the probability of a transmission in nursing homes with specific test strategies.