Search our database of publications on vaccines for COVID-19. These include published scientific papers, preprints and policy reports, and all are from teams based in the UK.
This research has not been peer-reviewed. It is a preliminary report that should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice or health-related behaviour, or be reported in news media as established information.
People living with HIV (PLWH) on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) can have residual immune dysfunction and often display poorer responses to vaccination. We assessed in a cohort of PLWH (n=110) and HIV negative controls (n=64) the humoral and spike-specific B-cell responses following 1, 2 or 3 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses. PLWH had significantly lower neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers than HIV-negative controls at all studied timepoints. Moreover, their neutralization breadth was reduced with fewer individuals developing a neutralizing response against the Omicron variant (BA.1) relative to controls. We also observed a delayed development of neutralization in PLWH that was underpinned by a reduced frequency of spike-specific memory B cells (MBCs) and pronounced B cell dysfunction. Improved neutralization breadth was seen after the third vaccine dose in PLWH but lower nAb responses persisted and were associated with global, but not spike-specific, MBC dysfunction. In contrast to the inferior antibody responses, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination induced robust T cell responses that cross-recognized variants in PLWH. Strikingly, a subset of PLWH with low or absent neutralization had detectable functional T cell responses. These individuals had reduced numbers of circulating T follicular helper cells and an enriched population of CXCR3+CD127+CD8+ T cells after two doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, which may compensate for sub-optimal serological responses in the event of infection. Therefore, normalisation of B cell homeostasis could improve serological responses to vaccines in PLWH and evaluating T cell immunity could provide a more comprehensive immune status profile in these individuals and others with B cell imbalances.