Nov, 2021 - By WMR
A team of researchers from Germany conducted a study to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses in patients undergoing multiple sclerosis treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a threat to public health at large. To combat this pandemic, scientists and researchers have developed several vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, and others. Some of these vaccines received emergency use authorization from global regulatory bodies such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and others. Subsequently, countries across the globe started vaccination programs to contain this pandemic. However, the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on patients with various illnesses such as multiple sclerosis is unknown. It is important to know the side-effects of vaccines on those patients who are undergoing immunotherapies or those who are immunosuppressed. For this study, the researchers considered 222 multiple sclerosis patients and analyzed humoral and cellular immune responses generated either through vaccination or naturally induced responses following COVID-19 infections. Out of this 222 patients, 128 were female and the median age group of the participants was 39 years. Additionally, 181 patients were already on anti-CD20 therapy and the remaining participants received therapy at the time of the study. The researchers revealed that participants with multiple sclerosis undergoing anti-CD20 therapy developed T cell responses after vaccination or post COVID-19 infection.
Taken together, the researchers concluded that T cell responses are preserved in multiple sclerosis patients revealing the fact that these patients developed some kind of protection against COVID-19. They also revealed that much variation with regards to COVID-19 infection is not observed in multiple sclerosis patients and general population. The researchers suggested that a longer interval between anti-CD20 infusions and vaccination should be maintained in order to enhance the level and functionality of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses.