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Persistent B-Cell Memory After SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination is Functional During Breakthrough Infections

32 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2021 Publication Status: Published

See all articles by Sara Terreri

Sara Terreri

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit

Eva Piano Mortari

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit

Maria Rosaria Vinci

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Cristina Russo

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit

Claudia Alteri

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit

Christian Albano

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit

Giulia Linardos

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Academic Department of Pediatrics (DPUO)

Luana Coltella

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics

Luna Colagrossi

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics

Gloria Deriu

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Marta Ciofi degli Atti

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Clinical Pathways and Epidemiology Function Area

Caterina Rizzo

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Clinical Pathways and Epidemiology Function Area

Marco Scarsella

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Flow Cytometry Core Facility

Rita Brugaletta

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Vincenzo Camisa

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Annapaola Santoro

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Giuseppe Roscilli

Takis s.r.l.

Emiliano Pavoni

Takis s.r.l.

Alessia Muzi

Takis s.r.l.

Nicola Magnavita

University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Post-Graduate School of Occupational Health

Rossana Scutari

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit

Alberto Villani

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Massimiliano Raponi

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Franco Locatelli

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology; Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology and Cell and Gene Therapy; Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Oncohaematology Department

Carlo Federico Perno

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics

Salvatore Zaffina

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit

Rita Carsetti

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit

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Abstract

Breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated HCWs are considered a consequence of waning immunity. Serum antibodies represent the most visible and measurable outcome of vaccine-induced B-cell memory. When antibodies decline, memory B cells are expected to persist and perform their function, thus preventing clinical disease. We investigated whether BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine induces durable and in vivo functional B-cell memory against SARS-CoV-2 3, 6 and 9 months after the second dose.We observed the physiological decline of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies months after vaccination. By contrast, memory B cells persist and increase until 9 months after immunization. HCWs with breakthrough infections had no signs of waning immunity. In 3-4 days, memory B cells responded to SARS-CoV-2 infection by producing high levels of specific antibodies in the serum and anti-Spike IgA in the saliva. Antibodies to the viral nucleoprotein were produced with the slow kinetics typical of the response to a novel antigen.

Funding Information: Italian Ministry of Health COVID-2020-12371817 grant and Ricerca Corrente 2021 “5 per mille”.

Declaration of Interests: All authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: Ethics Committee of Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, Rome, Italy, Ethical approved the study. The study was performed in accordance with the Good Clinical Practice guidelines, the International Conference on Harmonization guidelines, and the most recent version of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Memory B cells, serum antibodies, waning immunity, breakthrough infections, healthcare workers, salivary IgA.

Suggested Citation

Terreri, Sara and Piano Mortari, Eva and Vinci, Maria Rosaria and Russo, Cristina and Alteri, Claudia and Albano, Christian and Linardos, Giulia and Coltella, Luana and Colagrossi, Luna and Deriu, Gloria and Ciofi degli Atti, Marta and Rizzo, Caterina and Scarsella, Marco and Brugaletta, Rita and Camisa, Vincenzo and Santoro, Annapaola and Roscilli, Giuseppe and Pavoni, Emiliano and Muzi, Alessia and Magnavita, Nicola and Scutari, Rossana and Villani, Alberto and Raponi, Massimiliano and Locatelli, Franco and Perno, Carlo Federico and Zaffina, Salvatore and Carsetti, Rita, Persistent B-Cell Memory After SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination is Functional During Breakthrough Infections. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3971108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3971108
This version of the paper has not been formally peer reviewed.

Sara Terreri

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit ( email )

Rome
Italy

Eva Piano Mortari

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit ( email )

Rome
Italy

Maria Rosaria Vinci

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Cristina Russo

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit ( email )

IRCCS; Piazza Sant’Onofrio, 4
Rome
Italy

Claudia Alteri

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit ( email )

IRCCS; Piazza Sant’Onofrio, 4
Rome
Italy

Christian Albano

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit ( email )

Rome
Italy

Giulia Linardos

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Academic Department of Pediatrics (DPUO) ( email )

Luana Coltella

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics ( email )

Italy

Luna Colagrossi

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics ( email )

Italy

Gloria Deriu

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Marta Ciofi degli Atti

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Clinical Pathways and Epidemiology Function Area ( email )

IRCCS; Piazza Sant’Onofrio, 4
Rome
Italy

Caterina Rizzo

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Clinical Pathways and Epidemiology Function Area ( email )

IRCCS; Piazza Sant’Onofrio, 4
Rome
Italy

Marco Scarsella

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Flow Cytometry Core Facility ( email )

Rome
Italy

Rita Brugaletta

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Vincenzo Camisa

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Annapaola Santoro

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Giuseppe Roscilli

Takis s.r.l. ( email )

Rome
Italy

Emiliano Pavoni

Takis s.r.l. ( email )

Rome
Italy

Alessia Muzi

Takis s.r.l. ( email )

Rome
Italy

Nicola Magnavita

University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Post-Graduate School of Occupational Health ( email )

Largo Francesco Vito, 1
Rome
Italy

Rossana Scutari

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology Unit ( email )

IRCCS; Piazza Sant’Onofrio, 4
Rome
Italy

Alberto Villani

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology ( email )

Italy

Massimiliano Raponi

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

Italy

Franco Locatelli

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology ( email )

Italy

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology and Cell and Gene Therapy ( email )

Rome
Italy

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Oncohaematology Department ( email )

Italy

Carlo Federico Perno

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics ( email )

Italy

Salvatore Zaffina

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Occupational Medicine/Health Technology Assessment and Safety Research Unit ( email )

IRCCS, Viale di San Paolo, 15
Rome
Italy

Rita Carsetti (Contact Author)

Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital - Diagnostic Immunology Research Unit ( email )

Rome
Italy

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