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Occurrence of De novo Donor-Specific Antibodies After COVID-19 in Kidney Transplant Recipients Is Low Despite Immunosuppression Modulation

Abstract : Introduction: Decreased immunosuppression has been proposed for kidney transplant recipients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the impact on the alloreactive immune response during and after infection has been poorly investigated. We evaluated the occurrence of antihuman leukocyte antigen (HLA) donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) (post-COVID-19) and rejection episodes after COVID-19 with particular focus on immunosuppression modulation. Methods: Kidney transplant recipients from 2 French institutions had anti-HLA antibody screening before and after COVID-19. Management of immunosuppression, rejection episodes, COVID-19 severity, inflammatory markers, and antiviral therapies were recorded. Results: From 251 recruited patients, 72 were excluded because of COVID-19-related death (n = 25) and incomplete immunologic follow-up (n = 47). Among the remaining 179 included patients, almost half were hospitalized (49.2%). Antimetabolites were interrupted in 47% of patients (82% in hospitalized, median time of resumption of 23 days and in 15% nonhospitalized, median time of resumption of 7 days). Calcineurin inhibitors were interrupted in 12% of patients (all hospitalized, median time of resumption of 11 days). The incidence of post-COVID-19 DSA was 4% (8% and 0% in hospitalized and nonhospitalized, respectively). Allograft rejection occurred in 3 patients (1.7%) and all were hospitalized. Younger age, transplantation <1 year, and preexisting DSA were more frequently observed in patients with post-COVID-19 DSA, whereas inflammatory markers, lymphopenia, and use of antiviral therapies were not. Conclusion: The incidence of post-COVID-19 DSA among COVID-19-positive kidney transplant recipients was low (4%) despite a significant decrease in immunosuppression and was mainly restricted to high-risk immunologic patient's status. COVID-19 severity was not associated with post-COVID-19 DSA and/or rejection. Keywords: COVID-19; DSA; allograft rejection.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 4:05:23 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 3:18:02 AM

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Christophe Masset, Gabriela Gautier-Vargas, Diego Cantarovich, Simon Ville, Jacques Dantal, et al.. Occurrence of De novo Donor-Specific Antibodies After COVID-19 in Kidney Transplant Recipients Is Low Despite Immunosuppression Modulation. Kidney International Reports, Elsevier, 2022, 7, pp.983 - 992. ⟨10.1016/j.ekir.2022.01.1072⟩. ⟨hal-03666610⟩

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