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Evaluation of the Kinetics of Antibody Response to COVID-19 Vaccine in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: The Prospective Multicenter ORCHESTRA Cohort

Giannella M, Righi E, Pascale R, Rinaldi M, Caroccia N, Gamberini C, Palacios-Baena ZR, Caponcello G, Morelli MC, Tamè M, Busutti M, Comai G, Potena L, Salvaterra E, Feltrin G, Cillo U, Gerosa G, Cananzi M, Piano S, Benetti E, Burra P, Loy M, Furian L, Zaza G, Onorati F, Carraro A, Gastaldon F, Nordio M, Kumar-Singh S, Abedini M, Boffetta P, Rodríguez-Baño J, Lazzarotto T, Viale P, Tacconelli E, On Behalf Of The Orchestra Study Group Workpackage

Abstract: Previous studies assessing the antibody response (AbR) to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are limited by short follow-up, hampering the analysis of AbR kinetics. We present the ORCHESTRA SOT recipients cohort assessed for AbR at first dose (t0), second dose (t1), and within 3 ± 1 month (t2) after the first dose. We analyzed 1062 SOT patients (kidney, 63.7%; liver, 17.4%; heart, 16.7%; and lung, 2.5%) and 5045 health care workers (HCWs). The AbR rates in the SOTs and HCWs were 52.3% and 99.4%. The antibody levels were significantly higher in the HCWs than in the SOTs (p < 0.001). The kinetics showed an increase (p < 0.001) in antibody levels up to 76 days and a non-significant decrease after 118 days in the SOT recipients versus a decrease up to 76 days (p = 0.02) and a less pronounced decrease between 76 and 118 days (p = 0.04) in the HCWs. Upon multivariable analysis, liver transplant, ≥3 years from SOT, mRNA-1273, azathioprine, and longer time from t0 were associated with a positive AbR at t2. Older age, other comorbidities, mycophenolate, steroids, and impaired graft function were associated with lower AbR probability. Our results may be useful to optimize strategies of immune monitoring after COVID-19 vaccination and indications regarding timing for booster dosages calibrated on SOT patients' characteristics.

Keywords: COVID-19; antibody response; mRNA vaccines; serology; solid organ transplantation.

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