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American Journal of Transplantation ; 22(Supplement 3):638-639, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2063546


Purpose: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTR) develop weak antibody responses after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Published data on neutralizing activity of plasma, a better measure of protection, in SOTR following an additional dose of SARSCoV- 2 vaccine is limited. Method(s): Plasma was longitudinally collected from SOTR following initial COVID- 19 vaccination. Neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 was assessed using the cPass Neutralization Antibody Detection Kit (GenScript, Biotech). ELISAs were performed against SARS-CoV-2 proteins (S1, N, RBD), CMV (glycoprotein B), Influenza A H1N1 (nucleoprotein), HSV-1, EBV glycoprotein (gp350), and tetanus toxoid for comparison. Result(s): Demographic and clinical characteristics are summarized in table 1. No participants had evidence of COVID-19 infection as IgG titers to SARS-CoV-2 N protein were low. Neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 RBD was observed in 39.6% of individuals (N=21/53) ~93 days after initial vaccination. Participants with neutralizing activity were more likely to have received a liver transplant (47.6% vs 6.25%, p=0.001), and less likely to be on an anti-metabolite (52.4% vs. 87.5%, p=0.009) or triple immunosuppression (14.3% vs. 53.1%, p=0.008). After an additional vaccine dose, 78.1% (N=25/32) of participants developed neutralizing activity with significant increases in viral neutralization (figure 1, median 36.8% [95%CI 18.9-64.6] to 97.2% [95%CI 74.0-98.9], p<0.0001). Participants with low neutralizing activity demonstrated adequate antibody titers to other microbial antigens (figure 2). Conclusion(s): An additional dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine increased the number of SOTR with neutralizing activity and the magnitude of the seroresponse. SOTR with low neutralizing activity maintain humoral responses to other microbial antigens suggesting the diminished seroresponse might be related to inhibition of new B cell responses.

Cancer Research ; 82(12), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1986488


Introduction: Patients with hematologic malignancies are at an increased risk of morbid/mortality from COVID-19. Our prospective clinical study evaluated immune responses to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in patients with B-cell lymphoma who had received CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Methods: We measured SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity of plasma from 18 patients and 4 healthy controls (HC) and antibody titers against viral spike proteins (S1, S2, RBD) including their delta variants using an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). We measured B cell subpopulations in the patients' blood using flow cytometry. Results: We found that the peripheral blood plasma from 3/4 HCs showed substantial SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity already at 4 weeks after the first dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine while none of the CD19 CART patients evidenced any antibody-mediated neutralizing activity at the same point in time. At 4 weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, all 4 HCs showed complete neutralizing activity. In marked contrast, only 1 of 14 CART patients evidenced any relevant antibody-mediated SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity. Assessing whether a globally insufficient antibody-mediated immunity was the underlying cause of the lack of a response to the COVID-19 vaccine in our CART patients, we found that IgG antibody levels against common microbial and viral antigens like influenza, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and tetanus toxoid, were comparable to those observed in HCs. However, while at 4 weeks post second dose of the vaccine the HCs showed high levels of vaccine-induced IgG antibody titers against all the viral spike proteins (S1, S2, RBD), including the delta variants of the S1 and RBD proteins, the vast majority of our CART patients did not evidence any SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. Importantly, a third booster vaccination did not lead to an improvement in the antiviral immunity in the 4 CART patients analyzed. When we assessed B cell subpopulations in the blood of patients and HCs, we found that prior treatments had completely eradicated all CD19+/CD20+ B cells in the patients while numbers of long-lived memory plasma cells were comparable to those of HCs. Conclusions: In this study, 17 of 18 patients with lymphoma who received CD19 CART therapy had very poor immunoreactivity to 1-3 doses of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Importantly, antibody responses to common recall antigens were preserved, suggesting impaired immune response primarily against novel antigens like SARS-COV-2. This lack of immunoreactivity against novel antigens was probably based on the eradication of earlier-stage B cell subpopulations after treatment with anti-CD19 and anti-CD20 immunotherapies.