Humoral Response to the Fourth BNT162b2 Vaccination and Link between the Fourth Dose, Omicron Infection, and Disease Severity in Renal Transplant Recipients

Tammy Hod, Aharon Ben-David, Eytan Mor, Liraz Olmer, Rebecca Halperin, Victoria Indenbaum, Pazit Beckerman, Ram Doolman, Keren Asraf, Nofar Atari, Ohad Benjamini, Yaniv Lustig, Ehud Grossman, Michal Mandelboim, Galia Rahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. The effectiveness of the fourth BNT162b2 vaccination in reducing the rate and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the Omicron variant in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) is unknown. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 447 RTRs regarding the status and timing of the fourth vaccination, prior vaccinations, and preceding COVID-19 infection. RTRs with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 infection from December 1, 2021, to the end of March 2022 were considered to have been infected with the Omicron variant and were interviewed to determine their disease severity. In a subgroup of 74 RTRs, the humoral response to the fourth dose was analyzed. In 30 RTRs, microneutralization assays were performed to reveal the humoral response to wild-type, Delta, and Omicron variant isolates before and after the fourth dose. Results. Of 447 RTRs, 144 (32.2%) were infected with the Omicron variant, with 71 (49.3%) of the infected RTRs having received the fourth vaccine dose. RTRs who did not receive the fourth dose before the infection had more serious illness. In a subgroup of 74 RTRs, the fourth dose elicited a positive humoral response in 94.6% (70/74), with a significant increase in geometric mean titer for receptor-binding domain immunoglobulin G and neutralizing antibodies (P < 0.001). The humoral responses to the Omicron variant before and after the fourth dose were significantly lower than the responses to the wild-type and the Delta variants. Conclusions. Overall, the fourth BNT162b2 dose was effective in reducing the rate and severity of Omicron disease in RTRs, despite the reduced humoral response to the variant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalTransplantation
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

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