Covid-19 - Towards a vaccination strategy adapted to immunosuppressed patients

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Covid-19 - Towards a vaccination strategy adapted to immunosuppressed patients

Publication of the CIRI in the journal Science Translational Medicine on February 1st, 2022. Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University focus on February 24, 2022.

Transplant recipients, who receive therapeutic immunosuppression to prevent graft rejection, are characterized by high coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related mortality and defective response to vaccines. We observed that previous infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but not the standard two-dose regimen of vaccination, provided protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in kidney transplant recipients. We therefore compared the cellular and humoral immune responses of these two groups of patients. Neutralizing anti-Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) IgG antibodies were identified as the primary correlate of protection for transplant recipients. Analysis of virus-specific B and T cell responses suggested that the generation of neutralizing anti-RBD IgG may have depended upon cognate T-B cell interactions that took place in germinal center, potentially acting as a limiting checkpoint. High dose mycophenolate mofetil, an immunosuppressive drug, was associated with fewer antigen-specific B and T follicular helper (Tfh) cells after vaccination; this was not observed in patients recently infected with SARS-CoV-2. Finally, we observed that, in two independent prospective cohorts, administration of a third dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine restored neutralizing titers of anti-RBD IgG in about 40% of individuals who had not previously responded to two doses of vaccine. Together, these findings suggest that a third dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine improves the RBD-specific responses of transplant patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs.

Refrence: Infection or a third dose of mRNA vaccine elicits neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in kidney transplant recipients. X. Charmetant, M. Espi; I. Benotman et al, Science Translational Medicine. February 1st, 2022.

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