The Induction of De Novo Autoimmune Biomarkers Production in Healthcare Professionals Vaccinated with BNT162b2
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Introduction: The vaccine BNT162b2 was the first one to be approved and the first mRNA based vaccine ever. Some vaccines are known to induce autoinflammatory mechanisms, most of those are mild and transient and only a minor part is pathogenic. To date, the literature has reported the existence of a link between autoimmunity and COVID 19. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether subjects vaccinated with BNT162b2, initially negative to autoimmune biomarkers, will show at 3 months after the seco nd dose of vaccine, a de novo production of autoantibodies.
Methods: Blood samples of 155 healthcare professionals (HCPs) of our hospital (114 females and 41 males, age range 20 66 years, median age 46) vaccinated with COVID 19 mRNA BNT162b2 (Pfizer) were collected before (T0) and 3 months after the administration of the two doses of the vaccine (T1). All samples were analyzed for the presence of a) antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anti smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA) (Indirect Immunofluorescence [IIF], Eur oimmun); b) anti myeloperoxidase (anti MPO), anti proteinase 3 (anti PR3) and anti citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti CCP) ([ FEIA], Thermo Fisher Scientific); c) anti phospholipid antibodies (anticardiolipin [aCL], anti beta 2 glycoprotein I [anti ß 2 GPI] (Chemiluminescence, Werfen). Clinical data were collected using the REDCap software (REDCap version 10.2.3©2020 Vanderbilt University).
Results: Fifty (32,3%) out of 155 HCPs, presented ANA and 15 (9,7%) ASMA at T0. In contrast at T1, 53/137 HCPs, were positive for ANA (38,7%) and 21 (15,3%) for ASMA at T1. Most importantly, 9 HCPs that were negative at T0 for ANA and 10 negatives for ASMA, display a newly generated positivity at T1. Nine HCPs had high positive levels of ß 2GPI IgG and aCL at all time points and the values did not significantly change after vaccination.
Conclusions: Our preliminary results regarding the BNT162b2 vaccine effects on the development of potential autoimmune events in healthy individuals revealed an induction of autoinflammatory mechanisms in a small percentage of HCPs, developing a de novo autoantibodies production after vaccination.
Keywords: Vaccine, Autoimmunity, Autoimmune biomarkers, Covid 19
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