Humoral Response to SARS-Cov-2 Vaccination in Liver Transplant Recipients : A Single-Center Experience

Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection is currently approved and shows favorable outcomes, but little known about antibody responses in solid organ transplant recipients, since these patients are known to have an impaired immune response upon vaccination and have not been included in admission studies. We therefore analyzed immunogenicity in 43 liver transplant (LT) recipients in a median of 15 days (IQR, 12–24) after receiving two doses of the mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 following the standard protocol, and compared these results to a control group consisting of 20 healthcare workers (HCWs). Thirty-four of the 43 (79%) LT recipients developed antibodies, compared to 20 out of 20 (100%) in the control group (p = 0.047). The median SARS-CoV-2 IgG titer was significantly lower in the LT recipients compared to the control group (216 vs. >2080 BAU/mL, p = 0.0001). Age and sex distribution was similar in the LT patients that developed antibodies after vaccination compared to those who did not. Interestingly, the patients who received mycophenolate mofetil exhibited a reduced vaccination response compared to the other LT patients (5 of 11 (45.5%) vs. 29 of 32 (90.6%), p = 0.004). In conclusion, our data reveal lower immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 in LT patients compared to the control group, but still show superior results compared to other solid organ transplant recipients reported so far.


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