Methotrexate users have a reduced immune response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Up to a third of patients taking methotrexate—a common treatment for immune mediated inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis—failed to achieve an adequate immune response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in a small study accepted for publication in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

08 June 2021 | Health

While mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to produce an effective immune response in over 90% of healthy adults in clinical trials, it is unknown whether the immune response is as robust in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) who may also be taking immunomodulatory medications.

The authors assessed the immune response to the mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in 82 patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (mainly psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) receiving methotrexate or an alternative immunomodulator (mainly TNF inhibitors and other biologics) at two centres—New York University Langone Health (New York, USA) and FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg and Universitatsklinikum Erlangen (Erlangen, Germany).

The study found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine induced adequate antibody levels in up to a third fewer patients on methotrexate, when compared with healthy participants and patients with IMIDs on the other immunomodulatory drugs.

Adequate antibody levels were produced in over 90% of the 208 healthy participants and 37 patients on biologic or non-methotrexate oral treatments, but in only 62% of the 45 patients taking methotrexate.

Furthermore, while the vaccination induced activated CD8+ T cell responses in healthy participants and patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases not on methotrexate, this same induction was not seen in those patients on methotrexate. T cells are another part of the body's immune defence system.

This is an observational study, and as such, can't establish causality. The authors also acknowledge that the study had a small sample size, only assessed one type of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and could have included patients with previously asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.

They also point out that IMID patients on methotrexate were generally older than the comparison group (average age 63 vs 49) which may potentially explain some differences in immunogenicity.

Additionally, the authors emphasize that "it is not yet clear what level of immunogenicity is representative of vaccine efficacy."

They go on to note that "although precise cut offs for immunogenicity that correlate with vaccine efficacy are yet to be established, our findings suggest that different strategies may need to be explored in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases taking methotrexate to increase the chances of immunization efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 as has been demonstrated for augmenting immunogenicity to other viral vaccines."

Methotrexate, for example, has previously been shown to reduce the immune response to the influenza vaccine.

The authors add: "Our results suggest that the optimal protection of patients with IMID against COVID-19 will require further studies to determine whether additional doses of vaccine, dose modification of methotrexate, or even temporary discontinuation of this drug can boost immune response as has been demonstrated for other viral vaccines in this patient population." Source: MedicalExpress

Similar News

 

Swakop hotel hosts vaccination point

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Health

IRENE-MARI VAN DER WALT SWAKOPMUNDHotel Zum Kaiser in Swakopmund’s central business district (CBD) now accommodates a vaccination point in its conferencing facility.The...

AB InBev Namibia drives vaccination uptake through information campaign

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Health

Anheuser-Busch InBev Namibia Breweries (AB InBev Namibia), a proud member of the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, hosted vaccine information sessions in order to answer...

Another vaccination site for Walvis

2 days ago - 29 July 2021 | Health

LEANDREA LOUW WALVIS BAYWalvis Bay now boasts another permanent Covid-19 vaccination site at the Narraville Lutheran church hall.The site was officially opened...

Children using e-cigarettes more likely to smoke

2 days ago - 29 July 2021 | Health

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people a year...

Covid: Come to work even if infected, ministry says

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATIThe health ministry has ordered its staff members in the north to...

AstraZeneca keeps eluding Namibia

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment has expressed serious concern with the perpetual delays of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine delivery, which has now put the...

Khomas aims to vaccinate 286 641 by March 2022

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

NAMPAWINDHOEKKhomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua says the region has so far vaccinated 57 897 people and plans to vaccinate at least 286 641 by March next...

We are our brothers’ keepers – Howard-Smith

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

STAFF REPORTERSWAKOPMUNDErongo regional council chairperson Ciske Howard-Smith has declared the costs attached to the 15-bed Covid-19 care facility set up by her Covid Task Force.This...

Breathe Namibia continues lifesaving campaign

3 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Health

During the second week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Oxygenators were delivered to first responders and to COVID-19 community support projects in Windhoek, Kamanjab, Grootfontein,...

Eating disorder behaviors modulate the brain's dopamine-related reward circuit...

4 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Health

Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain's reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these...

Latest News

On the brink of burnout?...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Selma Shilunga 1. Talking about your feelings is importantWe often keep our true feelings bottled up, saying “I’m fine”, even when we’re really not....

Kristofine Itembu proves that the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHailing from Onankali village in the Oshikoto Region and raised in the dusty streets of Soweto in Katutura, the career-driven Kristofine Itembu remains humble...

Pensioner loses N$50k to scammers...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI A 60-year-old retired teacher lost N$50 000 to scammers who pretended to be police officers on Monday...

Ex-general implicated in Ekandjo’s missing...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Justice

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUFormer minister Jerry Ekandjo’s name has surfaced in court as one of the possible victims in a stock theft case in which former...

South Africa plans billions in...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNING AND WENDELL ROELFSouth Africa plans about R36 billion of relief measures to support businesses and individuals affected by unrest this month and by...

The man who works fast...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Sono Kahuure runs the network escalations department at Paratus Namibia and is the keyholder to unlocking solutions for his customers. Sono is the go-to man...

Taking sports development to the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | People

Mariselle Stofberg Powerful play From growing up in the dusty streets of Okuryangava, Titus Mwahafa’s passion for sport and sports development has driven him...

“I imagined a better life...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Desiree GasesTST was founded in 2012 and is a full-service advertising and market research company combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to deliver rich, operational, and...

EDITORIAL: Fix Windhoek’s leadership mess

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek is without political leadership. But that’s not the saddest part. The fact that, for a week, nothing concrete has been hammered out to restore...

Load More