BACKGROUND: We studied factors related to humoral response in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients following a three-dose regimen of an mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
METHOD: This was a prospective study of SOT recipients who received a third homologous dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine. The anti-spike S1 IgG response was measured using the SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant assay (Abbott Laboratories) with a cut-off of 7.1 BAU/mL. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with humoral response.
RESULTS: In total, 395 SOT recipients were included. Anti-spike IgG was detected in 195/395 (49.4%) patients after the second dose and 261/335 (77.9%) patients after the third dose. The overall mean increase in antibody concentration after the third dose was 831.0 BAU/mL (95% confidence interval (CI) 687.4-974.5) and 159 (47.5%) participants had at least a 10-fold increase in antibody concentration after the third dose. The increase in antibody concentration was significantly higher among patients with detectable antibodies after the second dose than those without. Cumulative time from transplantation and liver recipients was positively associated with an antibody response, whereas older age, administration of prednisolone, and proliferation inhibitors were associated with diminished antibody response.
CONCLUSION: Although the third dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine improved humoral responses among SOT non-responders following the second dose, the overall response remained low, and 22.1% did not develop any response. Patients at risk of a diminished vaccine response require repeated booster doses and alternative treatment approaches.