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Evolution of Humoral and Cellular Immunity Post-Breakthrough Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Vaccinated Patients With Hematologic Malignancy Receiving Tixagevimab-Cilgavimab.

BACKGROUND: In-depth immunogenicity studies of tixagevimab-cilgavimab (T-C) are lacking, including following breakthrough coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in vaccinated patients with hematologic malignancy (HM) receiving T-C as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

METHODS: We performed a prospective, observational cohort study and detailed immunological analyses of 93 patients with HM who received T-C from May 2022, with and without breakthrough infection, during a follow-up period of 6 months and dominant Omicron BA.5 variant.

RESULTS: In 93 patients who received T-C, there was an increase in Omicron BA.4/5 receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers that persisted for 6 months and was equivalent to 3-dose-vaccinated uninfected healthy controls at 1 month postinjection. Omicron BA.4/5 neutralizing antibody was lower in patients receiving B-cell-depleting therapy within 12 months despite receipt of T-C. COVID-19 vaccination during T-C treatment did not incrementally improve RBD or neutralizing antibody levels. In 16 patients with predominantly mild breakthrough infection, no change in serum neutralization of Omicron BA.4/5 postinfection was detected. Activation-induced marker assay revealed an increase in CD4+ (but not CD8+ ) T cells post infection, comparable to previously infected healthy controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides proof-of-principle for a pre-exposure prophylaxis strategy and highlights the importance of humoral and cellular immunity post-breakthrough COVID-19 in vaccinated patients with HM.

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