Longevity of Humoral Response Six Months Following BNT162b2 Vaccine in Dialysis Patients

Timna Agur*, Naomi Ben-Dor, Michal Herman-Edelstein, Tali Steinmetz, Shelly Lichtenberg, Shira Schneider, Dafna Yahav, Benaya Rozen-Zvi, Boris Zingerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: End-stage kidney disease substantially increases the risk of severe COVID-19. However, despite early robust immunogenicity of the mRNA-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with hemodialysis, the longevity of humoral response in this high-risk population is still unknown. Methods: A prospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the longevity of serologic response in patients with hemodialysis, compared with a control group, 6 months following the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine. We assessed antibody response by quantitative measurement of IgG antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the Spike protein (anti-S1-RBD IgG). Study outcomes were defined as a seropositivity rate and log-transformed anti-S1-RBD IgG levels at 6 months, and the change in antibody levels between 3 and 6 months. Findings: The cohort included 104 patients with hemodialysis and 84 controls. At a median time of 184 days (IQR, 183–188) following the second dose of the vaccine, 83/104 (79.8%) patients with hemodialysis maintained seropositivity for the anti-S1-RBD IgG level compared to 83/84 (98.8%) in the control group (p < 0.001). The log-transformed antibody level was significantly lower in the hemodialysis group (2.23 ± 0.39 log AU/ml vs. 2.69 ± 0.65 log AU/ml, respectively, p < 0.001). Older age and hypoalbuminemia were the only variables that were found to be associated with reduced log-transformed antibody levels in univariate and multivariate analysis. There was no interaction between dialysis status and an antibody-level decline rate (p = 0.972). Conclusion: Among patients with hemodialysis, a seropositivity rate and anti-S1-RBD antibody titers were substantially reduced compared with a control group, at 6 months following the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine. These findings support the prioritization of patients with hemodialysis for a third “booster” dose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number781888
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • BNT162b2
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-COV-2
  • anti-spike antibody
  • hemodialysis

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