Background: Despite impaired humoral response in patients treated with immunosuppressants (ISPs), recent studies found similar severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) breakthrough infection compared to controls. One potential explanation is the rapid generation of humoral response on infection, but evidence is lacking. Objectives: We investigated the longitudinal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody repertoire after SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron breakthrough infection in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) receiving ISP therapy and controls. Methods: As a prospective substudy of the national Target-to-B! (T2B!) consortium, we included IMID patients receiving ISPs therapy and controls who reported SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection between July 1, 2021, and April 1, 2022. To get an impression of the dynamics of the antibody repertoire, 3 antibody titers of wild-type RBD, wild-type S, and omicron RBD were measured at 4 time points after SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection. Results: We included 302 IMID patients receiving ISPs and 178 controls. Antibody titers increased up to 28 days after breakthrough infection in both groups. However, in IMID patients receiving therapy with anti-CD20 and sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulators, antibody titers were considerably lower compared to controls. In the anti-TNF group, we observed slightly lower antibody titers in the early stages and a faster decline of antibodies after infection compared to controls. Breakthrough infections were mostly mild, and hospitalization was required in less than 1% of cases. Conclusions: Most ISPs do not influence the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody repertoire and exhibit a rapid recall response with cross-reactive antibody clones toward new virus variants. However, in patients treated with anti-CD20 therapy or sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulators, the dynamics were greatly impaired, and to a lesser extent in those who received anti-TNF. Nevertheless, only a few severe breakthrough cases were reported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2024


  • autoimmune disease
  • breakthrough infection
  • humoral response
  • immunosuppressants
  • SARS-CoV-2


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