The Effect of Anti-CD20 Therapies on SARS-CoV-2 Immune Responses in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

August 11, 2021

Researchers in France investigated the humoral immune response to COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMO-SD). Humoral immune responses use antibodies to protect against reinfection when exposed to a foreign invader.

The results of the study showed a high seroconversion rate in patients with MS and NMO-SD after COVID-19. However, patients treated with anti-CD20 therapies had a seroconversion rate twice as low as untreated patients and patients receiving a different treatment. In other words, patients treated with anti-CD20 therapies exhibited a weaker antibody response against a COVID-19 infection. Some factors found to influence seroconversion rates included IgG levels and severity of COVID-19 infection. The time between the last anti-CD20 infusion and COVID-19 was also longer in seropositive patients.