Donor-directed immunologic safety of COVID-19 vaccination in renal transplant recipients

Michael Kueht, Katie Kirk, A. Scott Lea, Heather L. Stevenson, Jeff Fair, A. Kathleen Gamilla-Crudo, Syed Hussain, Muhammad Mujtaba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infection risk and COVID-19 outcomes make SARS-CoV-2 vaccination essential for solid-organ transplant recipients. Reports of immune activation after vaccination causing graft failure raise concerns, but data are limited. Here, we document graft function, donor-derived-cell-free-DNA(dd-cfDNA), and donor-specific antibodies (DSA) in solid-organ renal transplant recipients after vaccination. Retrospective demographics, graft function, and immunologic parameters were collected in 96 renal transplant patients one month after their second vaccine dose. For-cause biopsies were performed based on clinician judgment. Similar proportions of subjects experienced increases (39.6 %) and decreases (44.8 %) in serum creatinine in the post-vaccination period, p = 0.56. Similar proportions of subjects experienced increases (23 %) and decreases (25 %) in serum ddcfDNA in the post-vaccination period, p = 0.87. Post-vaccination changes in serum creatinine and ddcfDNA (r(95) = −0.04, p = 0.71), serum creatinine and cumulative DSA MFI (r(95) = 0.07, p = 0.56), and ddcfDNA and cumulative DSA MFI (r(95) = 0.13, p = 0.21) were not significantly correlated. Five subjects had increased cumulative DSA MFI, but there were no de novo cases. Biopsies on three subjects confirmed pre-existing diagnoses. Our study found minimal evidence of donor-directed immunologic activity post-vaccination, and all immunologic changes did not correlate to graft dysfunction. We believe these findings do not amount to evidence of post-vaccination deleterious donor-directed activation. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is immunologically safe and should continue for renal transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Immunology
Volume83
Issue number8-9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Keywords

  • Renal transplant
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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