Medical Technology

Good Antibody Levels from Vaccines, No Guarantee of Other Immune Defences for Some

(Reuters) – Some patients taking immunosuppressive medication may be exposed to COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines can trigger protective antibodies but not good second-line immune defenses. This could leave susceptible to serious disease if they contract.

In 303 patients who were receiving immune-suppressing therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases, researchers used a new measurement tool that uses molecular analysis to measure the amount of antiviral T cell induced by COVID vaccines. Jonathan Braun, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, said that a large number of patients who had been vaccinated – about 20 percent had low levels antiviral T cells even though the majority had high levels of antiviral antibodies.

Age, sex and specific immunotherapies may be related to T-cell responses of patients to vaccines, however the bottom line is that antibody levels after vaccinations do not necessarily indicate T cell responses, his team said in a report posted on medRxiv prior to peer review.

The levels of antiviral T cells aren’t often measured, Braun said, leaving unanswered questions. One of them is: How often are vaccinated individuals with low levels of antiviral T cells in the general population? Do boosters help such people boost their antiviral T cells levels?

SOURCE: medRxiv, online December 8, 2021.

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