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Arthritis Rheumatol ; 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527417


OBJECTIVE: B cell depletion is an established therapeutic principle in a wide range of autoimmune diseases. However, B cells are also critical for inducing protective immunity after infection and vaccination. We undertook this study to assess humoral and cellular immune responses after infection with or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with B cell depletion and controls who are B cell-competent. METHODS: Antibody responses (tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and T cell responses (tested using interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay) against the SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 and nucleocapsid proteins were assessed in a limited number of previously infected (n = 6) and vaccinated (n = 8) autoimmune disease patients with B cell depletion, as well as previously infected (n = 30) and vaccinated (n = 30) healthy controls. RESULTS: As expected, B cell and T cell responses to the nucleocapsid protein were observed only after infection, while respective responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 were found after both infection and vaccination. A SARS-CoV-2 antibody response was observed in all vaccinated controls (30 of 30 [100%]) but in none of the vaccinated patients with B cell depletion (0 of 8). In contrast, after SARS-CoV-2 infection, both the patients with B cell depletion (spike S1, 5 of 6 [83%]; nucleocapsid, 3 of 6 [50%]) and healthy controls (spike S1, 28 of 30 [93%]; nucleocapsid, 28 of 30 [93%]) developed antibodies. T cell responses against the spike S1 and nucleocapsid proteins were found in both infected and vaccinated patients with B cell depletion and in the controls. CONCLUSION: These data show that B cell depletion completely blocks humoral but not T cell SARS-CoV-2 vaccination response. Furthermore, limited humoral immune responses are found after SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with B cell depletion.

Cells ; 9(12)2020 12 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-971834


Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to an adaptive immune response in the host and the formation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. While IgG responses against SARS-CoV-2 have been characterized quite well, less is known about IgA. IgA2 activates immune cells and induces inflammation and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation which may contribute to organ injury and fatal outcome in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein specific antibody levels were measured in plasma samples of 15 noninfected controls and 82 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with no or mild symptoms, moderate symptoms (hospitalization) or severe disease (intensive care unit, ICU). Antibody levels were compared to levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and circulating extracellular DNA (ecDNA) as markers for general inflammation and NET formation, respectively. While levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG were similar in all patient groups, IgA2 antibodies were restricted to severe disease and showed the strongest discrimination between nonfatal and fatal outcome in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. While anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA2 levels correlated with CRP levels in severely diseased patients, only anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA2 correlated with ecDNA. These data suggest that the formation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA2 during SARS-CoV-2 infection is a marker for more severe disease related to NET formation and poor outcome.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult