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Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 2022 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873993


OBJECTIVES: To assess immunogenicity of a heterologous 4th dose of a mRNA (BNT162b2) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD) patients with poor/non-response to inactivated vaccine (Sinovac-CoronaVac). METHODS: 164 ARD patients who were COVID-19 poor/non-responders (negative anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG and/or neutralising antibodies-NAb) to the 3rd dose of Sinovac-CoronaVac received an additional heterologous dose of mRNA (BNT162b2) three months after last dose. IgG and NAb were evaluated before and after the 4th dose. RESULTS: Significant increases were observed after 4th dose in IgG (66.4% vs 95.1%, p< 0.001), NAb positivity (5.5% vs 83.5%, p< 0.001) and GMT (29.5 vs 215.8 AU/ml, p< 0.001), and 28 (17.1%) remained poor/non-responders. Patients with negative IgG after 4th dose were more frequently under rituximab (p= 0.001). Negative NAb was associated with older age (p= 0.015), rheumatoid arthritis (p= 0.002), systemic sclerosis (p= 0.026), leflunomide (p= 0.016), and rituximab use (p= 0.007). In multiple logistic regression analysis, prednisone dose ≥7.5 mg/day (OR = 0.34; p= 0.047), leflunomide (OR = 0.32, p= 0.036) and rituximab use (OR = 0.19, p= 0.022) were independently associated with negative NAb after the 4th vaccine dose. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest study to provide evidence of a remarkable humoral response after the 4th dose of heterologous mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in ARD patients with poor/no-response to the 3rd dose of an inactivated vaccine. We further identified that treatment, particularly rituximab and prednisone, impaired antibody response to this additional dose. TRIAL REGISTRATION:,, CoronavRheum #NCT04754698.

Lancet Rheumatol ; 4(2): e113-e124, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649499


BACKGROUND: We aimed to examine the immunogenicity pattern induced by the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine CoronaVac (Sinovac Life Sciences, Beijing, China) in SARS-CoV-2 seropositive patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases compared with seropositive controls, seronegative patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and seronegative controls. METHODS: CoronavRheum is an ongoing, prospective, controlled, phase 4 study, in which patients aged 18 years or older with autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and healthy controls were recruited from a single site (Rheumatology Division of Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo) in São Paulo, Brazil Participants were vaccinated with two doses of CoronaVac (intramuscular injection, 3 µg in 0·5 mL of ß-propiolactone inactivated SARS-CoV-2) on day 0 and on day 28. Blood samples were taken pre-vaccination on day 0, day 28, and also on day 69. For this subgroup analysis, participants were defined as being SARS-CoV-2 seropositive or seronegative prevaccination via anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)1 or S2 IgG (cutoff of 15·0 arbitrary units [AU] per mL) or neutralising antibody titres (cutoff of ≥30%) and were matched for age and sex, via convenience sampling, in a 1:3:1:1 ratio (seropositive patients to seronegative patients to seropositive controls to seronegative controls). The primary outcomes were rates of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 and S2 IgG seropositivity and SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody positivity at day 28 and day 69 and immunogenicity dynamics assessed by geometric mean titres (GMTs) of IgG and median neutralising activity in seropositive patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases compared with seronegative patients and seropositive and seronegative controls. We assessed safety in all participants randomly selected for this subgroup analysis. This study is registered with, NCT04754698, and is ongoing for long-term immunogenicity evaluation. FINDINGS: Between Feb 4 and Feb 8, 2021, 1418 patients and 542 controls were recruited, of whom 1685 received two vaccinations (1193 patients and 492 controls). After random sampling, our immunogenicity analysis population comprised 942 participants, of whom 157 were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases, 157 were seropositive controls, 471 were seronegative patients, and 157 were seronegative controls; the median age was 48 years (IQR 38-56) and 594 (63%) were female and 348 (37%) were male. For seropositive patients and controls, an increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 and S2 IgG titres (seropositive patients GMT 52·3 [95% CI 42·9-63·9] at day 0 vs 128·9 [105·6-157·4] at day 28; seropositive controls 53·3 [45·4-62·5] at day 0 vs 202·0 [174·8-233·4] at day 28) and neutralising antibody activity (seropositive patients 59% [IQR 39-83] at day 0 vs 82% [54-96] at day 28; seropositive controls 58% [41-79] at day 0 vs 92% [79-96] at day 28), was observed from day 0 to day 28, without further increases from day 28 to day 69 (at day 69 seropositive patients' GMT was 137·1 [116·2-161·9] and neutralising antibody activity was 79% [57-94]); and seropositive controls' GMT was 188·6 [167·4-212·6] and neutralising antibody activity was 92% [75-96]). By contrast, for seronegative patients and controls, the second dose was required for maximum response at day 69, which was lower in seronegative patients than in seronegative controls. GMTs in seronegative patients were 2·3 (95% CI 2·2-2·3) at day 0, 5·7 (5·1-6·4) at day 28, and 29·6 (26·4-33·3) at day 69, and in seronegative controls were 2·3 (2·1-2·5) at day 0, 10·6 (8·7-13·1) at day 28, and 71·7 (63·5-81·0) at day 69; neutralising antibody activity in seronegative patients was 15% (IQR 15-15) on day 0, 15% (15-15) at day 28, and 39% (15-65) at day 69, and in seronegative controls was 15% (15-15) at day 0, 24% (15-37) at day 28, and 61% (37-79) at day 69. Neither seronegative patients nor seronegative controls reached the GMT or antibody activity levels of seropositive patients at day 69. INTERPRETATION: By contrast with seronegative patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases, seropositive patients have a robust response after a single dose of CoronaVac. Our findings raise the possibility that the reduced immunogenicity observed in seronegative patients might not be the optimum response potential to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, and therefore emphasise the importance of at least a single booster vaccination in these patients. FUNDING: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, and B3-Bolsa de Valores do Brasil. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 2021 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566059


OBJECTIVE: To analyse the safety, immunogenicity and factors affecting antibody response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2(SARS-CoV-2) vaccination in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS: This is a phase 4 prospective study within a larger trial of two doses of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) in 51 SSc patients compared with 153 controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgG and neutralizing antibodies (NAb) were assessed at each vaccine shot (D0/D28) and 6 weeks after the 2nd dose(D69), only in individuals with negative baseline IgG/NAb and those who did not have coronavirus-19(COVID19) during follow-up. Vaccine safety was also assessed in all participants. RESULTS: Patients and controls had comparable median ages [48(38.5-57) vs 48(38-57) years, p= 0.945]. Patients had mostly diffuse SSc (68.6%) and the majority (74.5%) had interstitial lung disease. Most patients were under immunosuppressive therapy (72.5%), mainly mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (52.9%). After full vaccination (D69), anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgG frequency (64.1% vs 94.2%, p< 0.001) and NAb positivity (53.8% vs 76.9%; p= 0.006) were moderate, although lower than controls. The first dose response (D28) was low and comparable for both SC (p= 0.958) and NAb positivity (p= 0.537). SSc patients under MMF monotherapy vs other (no therapy/other DMARDs) had lower immunogenicity (SC : 31.3% vs 90%, p< 0.001) and NAb : 18.8% vs 85%, p< 0.001). Multiple regression analysis confirmed that MMF use, but not disease subtype, is associated with insufficient seroconversion [odds ratio (OR)=0.056(95%CI 0.009-0.034), p= 0.002] and NAb positivity [OR = 0.047(95%CI 0.007-0.036), p= 0.002]. No moderate/severe side-effects were observed. CONCLUSION: CoronaVac has an excellent safety profile and moderate response to anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in SSc. Vaccine antibody response is not influenced by disease subtype and is greatly affected by MMF, reinforcing the need for additional strategies to up-modulate vaccine response in this subgroup of patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION:,, NCT04754698.

Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 2021 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475840


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate immunogenicity and safety of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in systemic autoimmune myopathies (SAMs) and the possible influence of baseline disease parameters, comorbidities, and therapy on immune response. METHODS: This prospective controlled study included 53 patients with SAMs and 106 non-immunocompromised control group (CTRL). All participants received two doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine (28-day interval). Immunogenicity was assessed by anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG seroconversion (SC), anti-S1/S2 IgG geometric mean titer (GMT), factor increase GMT (FI-GMT), neutralizing antibodies (NAb) positivity, and median neutralizing activity after each vaccine dose (D0 and D28) and six weeks after the second dose (D69). Participants with pre-vaccination positive IgG serology and/or NAb and those with RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 during the protocol were excluded from immunogenicity analysis. RESULTS: Patients and CTRL had comparable sex (P>0.99) and age (P=0.90). Immunogenicity of 37 patients and 79 CTRL naïve participants revealed at D69, a moderate but significantly lower SC (64.9% vs. 91.1%, P<0.001), GMT [7.9 (95%CI 4.7-13.2) vs. 24.7 (95%CI 30.0-30.5) UA/mL, P<0.001] and frequency of NAb (51.4% vs. 77.2%, P<0.001) in SAMs compared to CTRL. Median neutralizing activity was comparable in both groups [57.2% (IQR 43.4-83.4) vs. 63.0% (IQR 40.3-80.7), P=0.808]. Immunosuppressives were less frequently used among NAb+ patients vs. NAb- patients (73.7% vs. 100%, P=0.046). Type of SAMs, disease status, other drugs or comorbidities did not influence immunogenicity. Vaccine-related adverse events were mild with similar frequencies in patients and CTRL (P>0.05). CONCLUSION: Sinovac-CoronaVac is safe and has a moderate short-term immunogenicity in SAMs, but reduced compared to CTRL. We further identified that immunosuppression is associated with diminished NAb positivity. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: #NCT04754698.