Newswise – Los Angeles (November 2, 2021) – “At eight weeks after the completion of a two-dose mRNA vaccine series, 99% of patients had detectable antibodies to the vaccine, whether or not they were receiving therapy. immunocompromised. said Gil Melmed, MD, co-principal investigator of the study and director of clinical research in inflammatory bowel disease at Cedars-Sinai.
“This finding contrasts with the various immune system-modifying drugs taken by transplant recipients to prevent organ rejection, or cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, which have much lower antibody response rates after immunization with the drug. ‘COVID-19 mRNA and may not be protected as a result, ”said Melmed, the study’s lead author.
An abnormal response to an infection or an invading pathogen can sometimes cause the immune system to attack a person’s organs, producing harmful levels of inflammation. IBD refers to a class of disorders that lead to chronic and often destructive inflammation of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two forms of IBD.
The researchers also found that at some point after the second dose of the vaccine, the antibody response of IBD patients in the study differed and was associated with the type of immunosuppressive drugs they were taking.
“After eight weeks, we noticed lower antibody levels in patients receiving anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) therapies or corticosteroids compared to patients treated with drugs that block the immune response anti-tegrin, anti -IL12 / 23, ”said Dermot McGovern, MD, PhD, study co-principal investigator and director of translational research at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Intestinal Inflammation and Immunobiology.
“However, these findings should always reassure IBD patients and the millions of people who use these types of immunosuppressive drugs that the immediate response to mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is good and continuing on par with IBD patients who are not taking any drug therapy. Even so, patients receiving anti-TNF therapy or corticosteroids may be the most likely to benefit from a third dose of the vaccine, “he said. said McGovern, Joshua L. and Lisa Z. Greer Chair in Genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
The researchers also noted that the antibody response to vaccination in the IBD patients studied was similar to the response in non-immunocompromised patients.
“They were well within the ‘positive’ range, which means that these patients on immunosuppressive drugs also have a substantial amount of circulating antibody still present after two months. There is also data showing a correlation between this level of ‘eight-week antibody in those vaccinated and effective immunity in the community as a whole,’ said study co-author Susan Cheng, MD, director of public health research and the Erika J. Glazer in Women’s Heart Health and Population Science at Cedars-Sinai.
Study researchers are now examining other aspects of the vaccine response in IBD patients that are more directly correlated with protection against infection, such as functional and neutralizing antibody responses of T cells.
“The results of our first snapshot of the COVID-19 vaccine response should be reassuring for our immunocompromised patients with IBD,” said Melmed.
“’Immunocompromised’ patients are often described as a homogeneous high-risk group. Our study shows that although there may be differences depending on the types of drugs, almost all IBD patients have positive responses to the mRNA vaccine.
Funding: This study was supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Widjaja Foundation Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Grants P01DK046763 and U01DK062413. This study was further funded in part by the Cedars-Sinai Precision Health Initiative, the Erika J. Glazer Family Foundation, and the Serological Sciences Network, NCI grant U54-CA260591.
financial informations: Dermot McGovern and Gil Melmed are consultants for Pfizer Inc. related to IBD therapeutics; Melmed received research funding from Pfizer for an independent researcher-initiated study.
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai blog: What IBD Patients Should Know About COVID-19