Background: In patients with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) affects immune response to antigens. Therefore, post-vaccination serological assessments are needed to evaluate the effect of the vaccine on SARS-CoV-2 antibody response. Methods: We designed a prospective multicenter cohort study enrolling pwMS who were scheduled for SARS-Cov-2 vaccination with mRNA vaccines (BNT162b2, Pfizer/BioNTech,Inc or mRNA-1273, Moderna Tx,Inc). A blood collection before the first vaccine dose and 4 weeks after the second dose was planned, with a centralized serological assessment (electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, ECLIA, Roche-Diagnostics). The log-transform of the antibody levels was analyzed by multivariable linear regression. Findings: 780 pwMS (76% BNT162b2 and 24% mRNA-1273) had pre- and 4-week post-vaccination blood assessments. 87 (11·2%) were untreated, 154 (19·7%) on ocrelizumab, 25 (3·2%) on rituximab, 85 (10·9%) on fingolimod, 25 (3·2%) on cladribine and 404 (51·7%) on other DMTs. 677 patients (86·8%) had detectable post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. At multivariable analysis, the antibody levels of patients on ocrelizumab (201-fold decrease (95%CI=128–317), p < 0·001), fingolimod (26-fold decrease (95%CI=16–42), p < 0·001) and rituximab (20-fold decrease (95%CI=10–43), p < 0·001) were significantly reduced as compared to untreated patients. Vaccination with mRNA-1273 resulted in a systematically 3·25-fold higher antibody level (95%CI=2·46–4·27) than with the BNT162b2 vaccine (p < 0·001). The antibody levels on anti-CD20 therapies correlated to the time since last infusion, and rituximab had longer intervals (mean=386 days) than ocrelizumab patients (mean=129 days).
Interpretation: In pwMS, anti-CD20 treatment and fingolimod led to a reduced humoral response to mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. As mRNA-1273 elicits 3·25-higher antibody levels than BNT162b2, this vaccine may be preferentially considered for patients under anti-CD20 treatment or fingolimod. Combining our data with those on the cellular immune response to vaccines, and including clinical follow-up, will contribute to better define the most appropriate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine strategies in the context of DMTs and MS.
Published: September 22, 2021