Study examines immune responses to COVID in patients with antibody deficiencies

antibody deficiencies
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A new study aims to explore the immune response to COVID-19 infection and vaccination in patients with antibody deficiencies

Patients with immunodeficiency are considered extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and do not make good responses to most vaccines, however, it is not known whether they will respond to COVID-19 vaccines.

Researchers will be using Oxford Immunotec’s T-SPOT®.COVID test to test immunological responses and samples will be taken from patients to measure the presence and level of antibodies in the blood and anti-SARS-CoV-2 T-cells.

The study, funded by UK Research and Innovation, is being led by the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and University College London.

COVAD Chief Investigator Alex Richter, Professor of Clinical Immunology at the University of Birmingham, and Consultant Clinical Immunologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Nationally, a number of patients with immunodeficiency have had severe or prolonged illness with COVID-19. Understanding why some patients do well and others don’t is so important. Being unable to clear the virus is not just a problem to the patient but is potentially a public health problem too.

Co-principal Investigator Siobhan Burns, Professor of Translational Immunology at University College London, added:

“This study is part of the national effort to understand how well vaccines work in vulnerable patients. We are also looking for persistent viral infections in our patients to understand whether this drives viral mutation.”

Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, part of UKRI, said:

“This multi-partner study will explore a crucial area of COVID-19 research and tell us more about the immune response of immunodeficient individuals to natural COVID-19 infection and vaccination. The importance of this is two-fold: protecting some of the most vulnerable groups to severe effects of the disease, and understanding how the virus that causes COVID-19 may adapt within an individual who struggles to clear the virus.”

Dr Andrew Makin, VP of Medical Affairs at Oxford Immunotec, stated:

“We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Birmingham on this clinical trial which will help characterise COVID-19 infection in patients with antibody deficiency. Measuring the T cell response in immune deficient patients will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the immune response and signify the vital role T cells play in SARS-CoV-2 infection.”


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