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Front Immunol ; 13: 853682, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822362


The antibody and T cell responses after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have not been formally compared between kidney and liver transplant recipients. Using a multiplex assay, we measured IgG levels against 4 epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid (NC) antigen, SARS-CoV-2 variants, and common coronaviruses in serial blood samples from 52 kidney and 50 liver transplant recipients undergoing mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We quantified IFN-γ/IL-2 T cells reactive against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by FluoroSpot. We used multivariable generalized linear models to adjust for the differences in immunosuppression between groups. In liver transplant recipients, IgG levels against every SARS-CoV-2 spike epitope increased significantly more than in kidney transplant recipients (MFI: 19,617 vs 6,056; P<0.001), a difference that remained significant after adjustments. Vaccine did not affect IgG levels against NC nor common coronaviruses. Elicited antibodies recognized all variants tested but at significantly lower strength than the original Wuhan strain. Anti-spike IFN-γ-producing T cells increased significantly more in liver than in kidney transplant recipients (IFN-γ-producing T cells 28 vs 11 spots/5x105 cells), but this difference lost statistical significance after adjustments. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine elicits a stronger antibody response in liver than in kidney transplant recipients, a phenomenon that is not entirely explained by the different immunosuppression.

COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Viral Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Kidney , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518397


BACKGROUND: Kidney transplant recipients are at increased risk of severe outcomes during COVID-19. Antibodies against the virus are thought to offer protection, but a thorough characterization of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune globulin isotypes in kidney transplant recipients following SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been reported. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 49 kidney transplant recipients and 42 immunocompetent controls at early (≤14 days) or late (>14 days) time points after documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a validated semiquantitative Luminex-based multiplex assay, we determined the abundances of IgM, IgG, IgG1-4, and IgA antibodies against five distinct viral epitopes. RESULTS: Kidney transplant recipients showed lower levels of total IgG antitrimeric spike (S), S1, S2, and receptor binding domain (RBD) but not nucleocapsid (NC) at early versus late time points after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Early levels of IgG antispike protein epitopes were also lower than in immunocompetent controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were predominantly IgG1 and IgG3, with modest class switching to IgG2 or IgG4 in either cohort. Later levels of IgG antispike, S1, S2, RBD, and NC did not significantly differ between cohorts. There was no significant difference in the kinetics of either IgM or IgA antispike, S1, RBD, or S2 on the basis of timing after diagnosis or transplant status. CONCLUSIONS: Kidney transplant recipients mount early anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgM responses, whereas IgG responses are delayed compared with immunocompetent individuals. These findings might explain the poor outcomes in transplant recipients with COVID-19.

Transplantation ; 105(1): 79-89, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-960669


BACKGROUND: Transplant recipients who develop COVID-19 may be at increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Determining the status of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in both candidates and recipients will be important to understand the epidemiology and clinical course of COVID-19 in this population. While there are multiple tests to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, their performance is variable. Tests vary according to their platforms and the antigenic targets which make interpretation of the results challenging. Furthermore, for some assays, sensitivity and specificity are less than optimal. Additionally, currently available serological tests do not exclude the possibility that positive responses are due to cross reactive antibodies to community coronaviruses rather than SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: This study describes the development and validation of a high-throughput multiplex antibody detection assay. RESULTS: The multiplex assay has the capacity to identify, simultaneously, patient responses to 5 SARS-CoV-2 proteins, namely, the full spike protein, 3 individual domains of the spike protein (S1, S2, and receptor binding domain), and the nucleocapsid protein. The antibody response to the above proteins are SARS-CoV-2-specific, as antibodies against 4 common coronaviruses do not cross-react. CONCLUSIONS: This new assay provides a novel tool to interrogate the spectrum of immune responses to SAR-CoV-2 and is uniquely suitable for use in the transplant setting. Test configuration is essentially identical to the single antigen bead assays used in the majority of histocompatibility laboratories around the world and could easily be implemented into routine screening of transplant candidates and recipients.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cell-Derived Microparticles/immunology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Immunoassay , Organ Transplantation , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction