Altered cellular and humoral immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis on anti-CD20 therapy.
Sokratis A. Apostolidis,
Mark M Painter,
Rishi R Goel,
Kristina R. Patterson,
Diego Alexander Espinoza,
Jessy C. Kadri,
Daniel M. Markowitz,
Michael R. Betts,
Eline T Luning Prak,
Kendall A Lundgreen,
Scott E. Hensley,
Allison R. Greenplate,
E John Wherry,
Posted 30 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.23.21259389
Posted 30 Jun 2021
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in healthy individuals generates effective immune protection against COVID-19. Little is known, however, about the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine-induced responses in immunosuppressed patients. We investigated induction of antigen-specific antibody, B cell and T cell responses in patients with multiple sclerosis on anti-CD20 (MS-aCD20) monotherapy following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Treatment with aCD20 significantly reduced Spike and RBD specific antibody and memory B cell responses in most patients, an effect that was ameliorated with longer duration from last aCD20 treatment and extent of B cell reconstitution. In contrast, all MS-aCD20 patients generated antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses following vaccination. However, treatment with aCD20 skewed these responses compromising circulating Tfh responses and augmenting CD8 T cell induction, while largely preserving Th1 priming. These data also revealed underlying features of coordinated immune responses following mRNA vaccination. Specifically, the MS-aCD20 patients who failed to generate anti-RBD IgG had the most severe defect in cTfh cell responses and more robust CD8 T cell responses compared to those who generated anti-RBD IgG, whose T cell responses were more similar to healthy controls. These data define the nature of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immune landscape in aCD20-treated patients, and provide insights into coordinated mRNA vaccine-induced immune responses in humans. Our findings have implications for clinical decision-making, patient education and public health policy for patients treated with aCD20 and other immunosuppressed patients.
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