Responses in Patients with Autoimmune Hepatitis following Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

July 25, 2022

Patients with autoimmune diseases often take immunosuppressant drugs in order to limit their immune system from attacking itself. These drugs have corresponded to a reduced immune response in patients after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. More specifically, autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) patients appear to have an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19

A 2022 study by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany investigated the effect of the third COVID-19 vaccination on patients of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). The level of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was measured in the blood of 81 autoimmune hepatitis patients. It was found that a sufficient humoral immune response, dependent on the formation of antibodies, was developed by all the patients after vaccination. Yet, the number of antibodies and T-cells created were significantly lower in the AIH patients compared to the healthy control population, with 48% of patients having antibody levels below the 10th percentile of healthy levels. Based on statistical analyses, AIH patients taking immunosuppressive MMF or steroid medications had a greater risk for these low antibody levels after vaccination. The paper suggests continued monitoring of antibody levels and even additional booster vaccinations for patients with weak immune responses.

Join Our Community!Stay Informed. Stay Hopeful.

Sign up for periodic emails with resources, insights, and updates on autoimmune disease and living with chronic illness.