News Release 

Patients undergoing dialysis shown to maintain antibody response for at least 6 months following SAR

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine

American College of Physicians

Research News

Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information. This information is under strict embargo and by taking it into possession, media representatives are committing to the terms of the embargo not only on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the organization they represent.

1. Patients undergoing dialysis shown to maintain antibody response for at least 6 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection

Abstract: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M21-0256

URL goes live when the embargo lifts

A large cohort study found that despite impaired immunity, the vast majority of patients receiving dialysis maintained SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels 6 months after infection. A slow and continual decline in median antibody levels was observed over time, but the researchers found no indication that subgroups with impaired immunity had a shorter-lived humoral response compared with a healthy population. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Patients receiving dialysis have an impaired immune system and therefore are among the most susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. These are broadly representative of groups most affected by the pandemic, such as older people and those of minority racial/ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, it is important to understand their immune response.

Researchers from Stanford University studied 2,215 patients from a nationwide sample of dialysis facilities to evaluate the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG in seroprevalent patients. All of the patients were undergoing dialysis and had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in or before July 2020. Labs were taken once a month for 6 months to test for antibodies. The researchers found that 93% of patients reached or maintained an assay detectable response. 60% of patients studied had an immune response classified as high, and 76% of these remained with a high immune response over the study period. They also found that older persons or persons with diabetes (versus people without diabetes) did not experience a faster decline in the antibody titers.

According to the authors, these results are important because studying immune response over time in dialysis patients can serve as a benchmark for clinicians evaluating response to vaccination in this and other vulnerable patient populations.

Media contacts: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at acollom@acponline.org. To speak with the corresponding author, Shuchi Anand, MD, please contact Lisa Kim at LiKim@stanfordhealthcare.org.

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