Melin J, Svensson MK, Albinsson B, Winqvist O, Pauksens K
BMC Immunol 22 (1) 70 [2021-10-19; online 2021-10-19]
Hemodialysis (HD) patients have an increased risk of acquiring infections due to many health care contacts and may, in addition, have a suboptimal response to vaccination and a high mortality from Covid-19 infection. In 50 HD patients (mean age 69.4 years, 62% men) administration of SARS-CoV-2BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine began in Dec 2020 and the immune response was evaluated 7-15 weeks after the last dose. Levels of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibody against the nucleocapsid antigen (anti-N) and the Spike antigen (anti-S) and T-cell reactivity testing against the Spike protein using ELISPOT technology were evaluated. Out of 50 patients, anti-S IgG antibodies indicating a vaccine effect or previous Covid-19 infection, were detected in 37 (74%), 5 (10%) had a borderline response and 8 (16%) were negative after two doses of vaccine. T-cell responses were detected in 29 (58%). Of the 37 patients with anti-S antibodies, 25 (68%) had a measurable T-cell response. 2 (40%) out of 5 patients with borderline anti-S and 2 (25%) without anti-S had a concomitant T-cell response. Twenty-seven (54%) had both an antibody and T-cell response. IgG antibodies to anti-N indicating a previous Covid-19 disease were detected in 7 (14%) patients. Most HD patients develop a B- and/or T-cell response after vaccination against Covid-19 but approx. 20% had a limited immunological response. T-cell reactivity against Covid-19 was only present in a few of the anti-S antibody negative patients.