Long-Term Immune Response Profiles to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination and Infection in People with Multiple Sclerosis on Anti-CD20 Therapy

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Our objective was to analyze longitudinal cellular and humoral immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) on B-cell depleting treatment (BCDT) compared to pwMS without immunotherapy. We further evaluated the impact of COVID-19 infection and vaccination timing. PwMS (n = 439) on BCDT (ocrelizumab, rituximab, ofatumumab) or without immunotherapy were recruited for this prospective cohort study between June 2021 and June 2022. SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific antibodies and interferon-γ release of CD4 and CD8 T-cells upon stimulation with spike protein peptide pools were analyzed at different timepoints (after primary vaccination, 3 and 6 months after primary vaccination, after booster vaccination, 3 months after booster). Humoral response to SARS-CoV-2 was consistently lower whereas T-cell response was higher in patients with BCDT compared to controls. Cellular and humoral responses decreased over time after primary vaccination and increased again upon booster vaccination, with significantly higher antibody titers after booster than after primary vaccination in both untreated and B-cell-depleted pwMS. COVID-19 infection further led to a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2-specific responses. Despite attenuated B-cell responses, a third vaccination for patients with BCDT seems recommendable, since at least partial protection can be expected from the strong T-cell response. Moreover, our data show that an assessment of T-cell responses may be helpful in B-cell-depleted patients to evaluate the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1464
JournalVaccines : open access journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.3390/vaccines11091464
Mendeley bd06484a-1bce-3aa0-94f0-1944d9b33cbc
Scopus 85172224586


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