Patients on dialysis develop SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that reduce likelihood of reinfection
Patients on hemodialysis who survived infection with SARS-CoV-2 developed and maintained antibodies that led to a reduced likelihood of reinfection compared with patients who were not previously infected.
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have a devastating effect on patients receiving hemodialysis. To what extent infection-induced antibody responses are maintained, or protective, is unknown,” Gemma D. Banham, MRCP, of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and colleagues wrote. “This study describes the evolution of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in a cohort of 990 patients on hemodialysis.”
During the first wave of the pandemic (defined as March to July 2020), researchers found 26% of patients had developed antispike SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and 75.9% of these patients remained antibody positive a median of 124 days after infection.
Researchers observed fewer PCR-confirmed infections during the second wave (defined as October 2020 to January 2021) in patients with preexisting antibodies than in those without antibodies (4.2% vs. 11.4%, conferring a risk ratio of 0.37).
Antibody status did not lead to differences in whether patients were symptomatic, hospitalized or died.
“In conclusion, patients on hemodialysis who survive SARS-CoV-2 infection generate an antibody response that is well maintained and appears to be associated with a reduced frequency of reinfection,” Banham and colleagues wrote. “Given patients with lower responses may be at increased risk of reinfection, the capacity of antivaccine antibody responses to protect patients on hemodialysis should be closely monitored to determine efficacy.”