Torquetenovirus viral load is associated with anti-spike antibody response in SARS-CoV-2 mRNA BNT162b2 vaccinated kidney transplant patients

Sara Querido, Teresa Adragão, Iola Pinto, Carolina Ormonde, Ana Luísa Papoila, Maria Ana Pessanha, Perpétua Gomes, Sílvia Ferreira, João Mário Figueira, Conceição Cardoso, João Faro Viana, André Weigert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Kidney transplant patients (KT) are at high risk for severe COVID-19 and presented attenuated antibody responses to vaccination when compared to immunocompetent individuals. Torquetenovirus (TTV) has recently gained attention as a potential surrogate marker of the net state of immunosuppression. We evaluated the association between pre-vaccination TTV viral load and anti-spike total antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in KT. Material and Methods: The 114 adult KT recipients enrolled in this prospective single-center cohort study received two doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine. Serum samples were collected immediately before vaccination at the days when patients received both the first (T0) and the second dose (T1) and 16–45 days after the second dose (T2). Primary endpoint was the development of anti-spike total antibodies after vaccination. Demographic, clinical, and laboratorial parameters were compared between patients with and without detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at T2. Results: Ninety-nine patients (86.8%) were naïve for SARS-CoV-2 before vaccination. Fifty-six (56.6%) patients developed anti-spike total antibodies at T2. The use of mTOR inhibitors was associated with a favorable response (p =.005); conversely, mycophenolic acid (MPA) was associated with a negative response (p =.006). In a multivariable model, the presence of TTV at T0 ≥ 3.36 log10 cp/ml was associated with unfavorable vaccine response (OR: 5.40; 95% CI: 1.47–19.80; p =.011), after adjusting for age and eGFR at T0. Conclusions: Higher TTV viral loads before vaccination are associated with reduced anti-spike total antibody response in SARS-CoV-2 mRNA BNT162b2 vaccinated KT patients. The association between TTV viral load and vaccine response may be an added-value in the optimization of vaccination regimens in KT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14825
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number12
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • kidney transplantation
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • torquetenovirus
  • vaccine


Dive into the research topics of 'Torquetenovirus viral load is associated with anti-spike antibody response in SARS-CoV-2 mRNA BNT162b2 vaccinated kidney transplant patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this