Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Antibody Responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine in Healthcare Workers in a General Hospital in Japan: A Comparison of Two Assays for Anti-spike Protein Immunoglobulin G
Makoto HibinoShigehiro WatanabeRiko KamadaShunichi TobeKazunari MaedaShigeto HoriuchiTetsuri Kondo
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2022 Volume 61 Issue 6 Pages 811-819


Objective This study assessed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in Japanese healthcare workers.

Methods In this prospective cohort study, participants received two doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine on days 0 and 21 and provided blood for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing before the first vaccine and on days 21 and 35 after vaccination. Anti-spike protein immunoglobulin G (S-IgG) was measured using Abbott and Fujirebio chemiluminescent immunoassays.

Patients One hundred healthcare workers (median age: 39 years old, interquartile range: 30-48 years old), including 6 who had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and 3 individuals taking immunosuppressive drugs, participated in the study.

Results The S-IgG antibody titers (AU/mL) measured using both the Abbott and Fujirebio assays increased significantly (p<0.001) over time, both with a prevalence of 100% at 35 days after the first vaccination. The multivariate log-normal linear regression analysis indicated the effect of immunosuppressant medication using both the Abbott (p=0.013) and Fujirebio (p=0.039) assays on S-IgG levels after complete vaccination. Pearson's correlation coefficient between the Abbott and Fujirebio S-IgG results in all 300 samples collected before and after vaccination and 50 positive controls from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 were 0.963 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.954-0.970, p<0.001] and 0.909 (95% CI: 0.845-0.948, p<0.001), respectively.

Conclusion The BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was effective at increasing S-IgG levels in Japanese immunocompetent healthcare workers. The Fujirebio S-IgG assay showed high diagnostic accuracy, using the Abbott S-IgG assay as the reference test.

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© 2022 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
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