Background Kidney transplant recipients are at increased risk of severe outcomes during COVID-19. Antibodies against the virus are thought to offer protection, but a thorough characterization of anti SARSCoV-2 immune globulin isotypes in kidney transplant recipients following SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been reported. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study of 49 kidney transplant recipients and 42 immunocompetent controls at early ( 14 days) or late (>14 days) time points after documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a validated semiquantitative Luminex-based multiplex assay, we determined the abundances of IgM, IgG, IgG1 4, and IgA antibodies against five distinct viral epitopes. Results Kidney transplant recipients showed lower levels of total IgG antitrimeric spike (S), S1, S2, and receptor binding domain (RBD) but not nucleocapsid (NC) at early versus late time points after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Early levels of IgG antispike protein epitopes were also lower than in immunocompetent controls. Anti SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were predominantly IgG1 and IgG3, with modest class switching to IgG2 or IgG4 in either cohort. Later levels of IgG antispike, S1, S2, RBD, and NC did not significantly differ between cohorts. There was no significant difference in the kinetics of either IgM or IgA antispike, S1, RBD, or S2 on the basis of timing after diagnosis or transplant status. Conclusions Kidney transplant recipients mount early anti SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgM responses, whereas IgG responses are delayed compared with immunocompetent individuals. These findings might explain the poor outcomes in transplant recipients with COVID-19.
ASJC Scopus subject areas