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Longitudinal humoral response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in ocrelizumab treated MS patients: To wait and repopulate?


  • van Kempen, Z.L.E.
  • Wieske, L.
  • Stalman, E.W.
  • Kummer, L. Y. L
  • van Dam, P.J.
  • Volkers, A.G.
  • Boekel, L.
  • Toorop, A.A.
  • Strijbis, E.M.M.
  • Tas, S.W.
  • Wolbink, G.J.
  • Löwenberg, M.
  • van Sandt, C.
  • ten Brinke, A.
  • Verstegen, N.J.M.
  • Steenhuis, M.
  • Kuijpers, T.W.
  • van Ham, S.M.
  • Rispens, T.
  • Eftimov, F.
  • Killestein, J.


Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, Volume 57, 2022-01-31

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Objective The objective of this study was to measure humoral responses after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in MS patients treated with ocrelizumab (OCR) compared to MS patients without disease modifying therapies (DMTs) in relation to timing of vaccination and B-cell count. Methods OCR treated patients were divided into an early and a late group (cut-off time 12 weeks between infusion and first vaccination). Patients were vaccinated with mRNA-1273 (Moderna). B-cells were measured at baseline (time of first vaccination) and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured at baseline, day 28, 42, 52 and 70. Results 87 patients were included (62 OCR patients, 29 patients without DMTs). At day 70, seroconversion occurred in 39.3% of OCR patients compared to 100% of MS patients without DMTs. In OCR patients, seroconversion varied between 26% (early group) to 50% (late group) and between 27% (low B-cells) to 56% (at least 1 detectable B-cell/µL). Conclusions Low B-cell counts prior to vaccination and shorter time between OCR infusion and vaccination may negatively influence humoral response but does not preclude seroconversion. We advise OCR treated patients to get their first vaccination as soon as possible. In case of an additional booster vaccination, timing of vaccination based on B-cell count and time after last infusion may be considered.