COVID-19 outcomes in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: A prospective cohort study
Methotrexate and TNF inhibitors affect long-term immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disease
Low incidence and transient elevation of autoantibodies post mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in inflammatory arthritis
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Autoantibody seroconversion has been extensively studied in the context of COVID-19 infection but data regarding post-vaccination autoantibody production is lacking. Here we aimed to determine the incidence of common autoantibody formation following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) and in healthy controls. METHODS:Autoantibody seroconversion was measured by serum ELISA in a longitudinal cohort of IA participants and healthy controls before and after COVID-19 mRNA-based immunization. RESULTS:Overall, there was a significantly lower incidence of ANA seroconversion in participants who did not contract COVID-19 prior to vaccination compared with those who been previously infected (7.4% vs 24.1%, p= 0.014). Incidence of de novo anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (CCP) seroconversion in all participants was low at 4.9%. Autoantibody levels were typically of low titer, transient, and not associated with increase in IA flares. CONCLUSIONS:In both health and inflammatory arthritis, the risk of autoantibody seroconversion is lower following mRNA-based immunization than following natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Importantly, seroconversion does not correlate with self-reported IA disease flare risk, further supporting the encouragement of mRNA-based COVID-19 immunization in the IA population.
Methotrexate hampers immunogenicity to BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in immune-mediated inflammatory disease
Methotrexate hampers immunogenicity to BNT162B2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in immune-mediated inflammatory disease [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose: Patients with immune mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) have an inherently heightened susceptibility to infection and may be considered high risk for developing COVID-19. While data regarding the COVID-19 vaccine's immunogenicity in an immunocompetent adult population is rapidly emerging, the ability of IMID patients to adequately respond to these vaccines is not known. Here, we investigate the humoral and cellular immune response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with IMIDs on immunomodulatory treatment Methods: Patients with immune mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) have an inherently heightened susceptibility to infection and may be considered high risk for developing COVID-19. While data regarding the COVID-19 vaccine's immunogenicity in an immunocompetent adult population is rapidly emerging, the ability of IMID patients to adequately respond to these vaccines is not known. Here, we investigate the humoral and cellular immune response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with IMIDs on immunomodulatory treatment.
Result(s): The NY cohort baseline characteristics are found in Table 1. The Erlangen cohort consisted of 182 healthy subjects, 11 subjects with IMID receiving TNFi monotherapy, and 20 subjects with IMID on MTX monotherapy. In both cohorts, healthy individuals and those with IMID not on MTX were similar in age, while those IMID patients receiving MTX were generally older. In the NY cohort, of the healthy participants, 96.3% demonstrated adequate humoral immune response. Patients with IMID not on MTX achieved a similar rate of high antibody response rate (91.8%), while those on MTX had a lower rate of adequate humoral response (75.0%) (Figure 1A). This remains true even after the exclusion of patients who had evidence of prior COVID-19 infection (P= 0.014). Of note, 3 out of the 4 IMID patients receiving rituximab did not produce an adequate response. Similarly, in the Erlangen validation cohort, 98.3% of healthy controls, 90.9% of patients with IMID receiving TNFi monotherapy, and 50.0% receiving MTX monotherapy achieved adequate immunogenicity (Figure 1B). These differences remain significant when combining the cohorts, using a stricter definition of adequate response, and in a subgroup analysis by age. Cellular response was also analyzed in a subgroup of the NY cohort before and after second vaccination. Activated CD8+ T cells (CD8+ T cells expressing Ki67 and CD38) and the granzyme B-producing subset of these activated CD8+ T cells, were induced in immunocompetent adults and those with IMID not on MTX, but not induced in patients receiving MTX (Figure 2).
Conclusion(s): In two independent cohorts of IMID patients, MTX, a widely used immunomodulator for the treatment of several IMIDs, adversely affected humoral and cellular immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. 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 IMID taking MTX to increase the chances of immunization efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, as has been demonstrated for other viral vaccines
Methotrexate Hampers Immunogenicity to BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease
Objective/UNASSIGNED:To investigate the humoral and cellular immune response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) on immunomodulatory treatment. Methods/UNASSIGNED:Established patients at NYU Langone Health with IMID (n=51) receiving the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination were assessed at baseline and after second immunization. Healthy subjects served as controls (n=26). IgG antibody responses to the spike protein were analyzed for humoral response. Cellular immune response to SARS-CoV-2 was further analyzed using high-parameter spectral flow cytometry. A second independent, validation cohort of controls (n=182) and patients with IMID (n=31) from Erlangen, Germany were also analyzed for humoral immune response. Results/UNASSIGNED:Although healthy subjects (n=208) and IMID patients on biologic treatments (mostly on TNF blockers, n=37) demonstrate robust antibody responses (over 90%), those patients with IMID on background methotrexate (n=45) achieve an adequate response in only 62.2% of cases. Similarly, IMID patients do not demonstrate an increase in CD8+ T cell activation after vaccination. Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:In two independent cohorts of IMID patients, methotrexate, a widely used immunomodulator for the treatment of several IMIDs, adversely affected humoral and cellular immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. 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 IMID taking methotrexate to increase the chances of immunization efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 as has been demonstrated for augmenting immunogenicity to other viral vaccines. KEY MESSAGES/UNASSIGNED:These results suggest that patients on methotrexate may need alternate vaccination strategies such as additional doses of vaccine, dose modification of methotrexate, or even a temporary discontinuation of this drug. Further studies will be required to explore the effect of these approaches on mRNA vaccine immunogenicity.
COVID-19 in Patients with Inflammatory Arthritis: A Prospective Study on the Effects of Comorbidities and DMARDs on Clinical Outcomes
OBJECTIVE:To characterize the hospitalization and death rates among patients with inflammatory arthritis affected by COVID-19 and to analyze the associations between comorbidities and immunomodulatory medications and infection outcomes. METHODS:Clinical, demographic, maintenance treatment, and disease course data and outcomes of individuals with inflammatory arthritis (IA; rheumatoid arthritis and spondylarthritis) with symptomatic COVID-19 infection were prospectively assessed via web-based questionnaire followed by individual phone calls and electronic medical record review. Baseline characteristics and medication use were summarized for hospitalized and ambulatory patients, and outcomes were compared for each medication class using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS:A total of 103 patients with IA were included in the study (n=80 confirmed and n=23 highly suspicious for COVID-19). Twenty-six percent of participants required hospitalization, and 4% died. Patients who warranted hospitalization were significantly more likely to be older (P<0.001) and have comorbid hypertension (P=0.001) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P=0.022). IA patients taking oral glucocorticoids had a higher likelihood of being admitted for COVID-19 (P<0.001) while those on maintenance anti-cytokine biologic therapies did not. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In patients with underlying IA, COVID-19 outcomes were worse in those receiving glucocorticoids but not in patients on maintenance anti-cytokine therapy. Further work is needed to understand whether immunomodulatory therapies affect COVID-19 incidence.
IL-17 Inhibition in Spondyloarthritis Associates with Subclinical Gut Microbiome Perturbations and a Distinctive IL-25-Driven Intestinal Inflammation
OBJECTIVE:To characterize the ecological effects of biologic therapies on the gut bacterial and fungal microbiome of psoriatic arthritis (PsA)/spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients. METHODS:Fecal samples from PsA/SpA patients pre- and post-treatment with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi; n=15) or an anti-interleukin (IL)-17A monoclonal antibody inhibitor (IL-17i; n=14) underwent sequencing (16S, ITS and shotgun metagenomics) and computational microbiome analysis. Fecal levels of fatty acid metabolites and cytokines/proteins implicated in PsA/SpA pathogenesis or intestinal inflammation were correlated with sequence data. Additionally, ileal biopsies obtained from SpA patients who developed clinically overt Crohn's disease (CD) after treatment with IL-17i (n=5) were analyzed for expression of IL-23/Th-17 related cytokines, IL-25/IL-17E-producing cells and type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s). RESULTS:There were significant shifts in abundance of specific taxa after treatment with IL-17i compared to TNFi, particularly Clostridiales (p=0.016) and Candida albicans (p=0.041). These subclinical alterations correlated with changes in bacterial community co-occurrence, metabolic pathways, IL-23/Th17-related cytokines and various fatty acids. Ileal biopsies showed that clinically overt CD was associated with expansion of IL-25/IL-17E-producing tuft cells and ILC2s (p<0.05) compared to pre-IL-17i treatment levels. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In a subgroup of SpA patients, the initiation of IL-17A blockade correlated with features of subclinical gut inflammation and intestinal dysbiosis of certain bacterial and fungal taxa, most notably C. albicans. Further, IL-17i-related CD was associated with overexpression of IL-25/IL-17E-producing tuft cells and ILC2s. These results may help to explain the potential link between inhibition of a specific IL-17 pathway and the (sub)clinical gut inflammation observed in SpA.
Perturbations of the gut fungal and bacterial microbiome with biologic therapy in spondyloarthritis [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose: The microbiome serves a number of important functions, including modulation of the immune system and protection from pathogenic microorganisms1. Many autoimmune diseases have been associated with intestinal microbial dysbiosis1. Recent studies have also demonstrated that microbiota can affect the lifetime, bioavailability and efficacy of drugs2. Conversely, even drugs designed to specifically target human cells have been associated with changes in microbial composition3. To date, most research has focused on bacterial microorganisms and little is known about the role that fungal microorganisms (the mycobiome) play, including their interactions with bacteria. In this study, we characterized the ecological effects of biologic therapies on the intestinal mycobiome.
Method(s): Fecal samples were collected from SpA patients pre- and post-treatment with either tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi; n=15) or secukinumab (n=14), an anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody (IL-17i). Subjects treated with TNFi were naive to biologic therapy, whereas those treated with secukinumab previously failed or had incomplete response to TNFi. Samples underwent DNA extraction, amplification, and gene sequencing of the ITS1 region conserved in fungi. In parallel, gene sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene region conserved in bacteria was also performed. Sequences were analyzed with R and Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME).
Result(s): ITS fungal data reveled that, on average, subjects treated with TNFi and IL-17i did not have major differences in overall microbial alpha or beta diversity pre- and post-treatment. However, there were dramatic shifts in the relative abundance of specific taxa, such as Candida albicans, which were more prominent in the IL-17i cohort compared to the TNFi cohort (p=0.04). The IL-17i cohort also demonstrated similar changes in certain 16S bacterial taxa, including Clostridia (p=0.02) and Clostridiales (p=0.02).
Conclusion(s): We characterized, for the first time, the effects of two biologic therapies on human intestinal fungal and bacterial microbiota composition. Treatment with biologics, particularly IL-17i, leads to a gut microbial dysbiosis characterized by significant changes in abundance of C. albicans and Clostridia in a subgroup of SpA patients. This is in line with the known increased risk of candidiasis seen with IL-17i, and may at least partially explain the potential link between IL-17 blockade, intestinal dysbiosis, and the subclinical and clinical gut inflammation observed in some patients treated with these molecules. Further studies to understand the downstream effects of these perturbations may allow for the development of precision medicine approaches in PsA and SpA
The Effect of Biologic Therapies on the Gut Microbial Composition in Psoriatic Arthritis [Meeting Abstract]