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Association between PIRCHE-II scores and de novo allosensitization after reduction of immunosuppression during SARS-CoV-2 infection in kidney transplant recipients


Castrezana-Lopez, Kai; Malchow, Ronja; Nilsson, Jakob; Kokkonen, Sanna M; Rho, Elena; von Moos, Seraina; Mueller, Thomas F; Schachtner, Thomas (2023). Association between PIRCHE-II scores and de novo allosensitization after reduction of immunosuppression during SARS-CoV-2 infection in kidney transplant recipients. Transplant Infectious Disease, 25(2):e14052.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Before the availability of mRNA vaccines, many transplant centers chose to significantly reduce maintenance immunosuppression in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The extent to which this increases the risk of allosensitization is unclear.

METHODS

In this observational cohort study, we analyzed 47 KTRs from March 2020 to February 2021 who underwent substantial reduction of maintenance immunosuppression during SARS-CoV-2 infection. KTRs were followed at 6 and 18 months concerning the development of de novo donor-specific anti-HLA (human leukocyte antigen) antibodies (DSA). The HLA-derived epitope mismatches were calculated using the predicted indirectly recognizable HLA-epitopes (PIRCHE-II) algorithm.

RESULTS

In total, 14 of 47 KTRs (30%) developed de novo HLA antibodies after the reduction of maintenance immunosuppression. KTRs with higher total PIRCHE-II scores and higher PIRCHE-II scores for the HLA-DR locus were more likely to develop de novo HLA antibodies (p = .023, p = .009). Furthermore, 4 of the 47 KTRs (9%) developed de novo DSA after reduction of maintenance immunosuppression, which were exclusively directed against HLA-class II antigens and also showed higher PIRCHE-II scores for HLA-class II. The cumulative mean fluorescence intensity of 40 KTRs with preexisting anti-HLA antibodies and 13 KTRs with preexisting DSA at the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained stable after the reduction of maintenance immunosuppression (p = .141; p = .529).

CONCLUSIONS

Our data show that the HLA-derived epitope mismatch load between donor and recipient influences the risk of de novo DSA development when immunosuppression is temporarily reduced. Our data further suggest that reduction in immunosuppression should be made more cautiously in KTRs with high PIRCHE-II scores for HLA-class II antigens.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Before the availability of mRNA vaccines, many transplant centers chose to significantly reduce maintenance immunosuppression in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The extent to which this increases the risk of allosensitization is unclear.

METHODS

In this observational cohort study, we analyzed 47 KTRs from March 2020 to February 2021 who underwent substantial reduction of maintenance immunosuppression during SARS-CoV-2 infection. KTRs were followed at 6 and 18 months concerning the development of de novo donor-specific anti-HLA (human leukocyte antigen) antibodies (DSA). The HLA-derived epitope mismatches were calculated using the predicted indirectly recognizable HLA-epitopes (PIRCHE-II) algorithm.

RESULTS

In total, 14 of 47 KTRs (30%) developed de novo HLA antibodies after the reduction of maintenance immunosuppression. KTRs with higher total PIRCHE-II scores and higher PIRCHE-II scores for the HLA-DR locus were more likely to develop de novo HLA antibodies (p = .023, p = .009). Furthermore, 4 of the 47 KTRs (9%) developed de novo DSA after reduction of maintenance immunosuppression, which were exclusively directed against HLA-class II antigens and also showed higher PIRCHE-II scores for HLA-class II. The cumulative mean fluorescence intensity of 40 KTRs with preexisting anti-HLA antibodies and 13 KTRs with preexisting DSA at the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained stable after the reduction of maintenance immunosuppression (p = .141; p = .529).

CONCLUSIONS

Our data show that the HLA-derived epitope mismatch load between donor and recipient influences the risk of de novo DSA development when immunosuppression is temporarily reduced. Our data further suggest that reduction in immunosuppression should be made more cautiously in KTRs with high PIRCHE-II scores for HLA-class II antigens.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nephrology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Transplantation
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:April 2023
Deposited On:03 Apr 2024 15:12
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1398-2273
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/tid.14052
PubMed ID:36884207
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)