Background: COVID-19 and some anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines trigger a humoral autoimmune response against a broad range of endogenous components, which may affect recipients' prognosis in predisposed individuals. Autoantibodies directed against apolipoprotein A-1 (AAA1 IgG) the major protein fraction of High Density Lipoprotein have been shown to be raised in COVID-19 and in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and other populations where they have been associated with poorer outcomes. We wanted to assess the impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination on AAA1 autoimmune biomarkers in RA patients.
Methods: 20 healthy controls and 77 RA mRNA-based vaccinated patients were collected at baseline, 3 weeks after the first vaccination, 2 and 8 weeks after the second vaccination. AAA1 and SARS-CoV-2 serologies were measured by immunoassays. Systemic and local symptoms occurring during the vaccination protocol were recorded.
Results: mRNA-based vaccination induced a significant increase in median AAA1 IgG levels in both healthy controls and RA patients overtime. However, in both populations, these medians trend did not translate into significant increase in AAA1 IgG seropositivity rates despite evolving from 5 to 10% in healthy controls, and from 9 to 12.9% in RA patients. No associations were retrieved between AAA1 IgG and symptoms of any kind during the vaccination protocol.
Conclusions: mRNA-based vaccination seems to induce a light AAA1 IgG response in immunocompetent individuals within 2 months after the last injection. Although we did not observe any warning signs, the formal demonstration of the harmlessness of such biological warrants further studies.
Keywords: anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines; apolipoprotein A-1; autoantibodies.
© 2021 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.