Sumary of MS patients receiving aCD20 treatment mount robust T-cell responses to COVID-19 vaccines:
- New research shows that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients undergoing anti-CD20 (aCD20) treatment – which depletes the B cells that contribute to the MS attacks – are able to mount robust T-cell responses to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, despite having a muted antibody response to the vaccines.
- Because B cells are responsible for antibody production, patients’ ability to produce antibodies that prevent the virus from entering and infecting a person’s cells is significantly muted when the B cells are depleted with aCD20 treatment.
- “The message from this study is clear – it is worthwhile for patients with MS receiving aCD20 treatment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, which will prevent severe illness,” said one of the senior authors E.
- “Based on this body of evidence, we urge patients with MS receiving aCD20 treatment to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they haven’t already.
- ” The study measured both the antibody and T cell responses in 20 patients with MS who were undergoing aCD20 treatment, compared to those in a group of healthy controls.
- All healthy control subjects generated both anti-spike and anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies following the first dose of mRNA vaccine, and the level of antibody increased further after the second dose.
- However, in patients with MS, the antibody response was far more varied.
- By 30 days after the second vaccine dose, 85% of participants developed anti-spike antibodies, and 50% mounted anti-RBD responses.