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Metabolomic profiling of maternal plasma identifies inverse associations of acetate and urea with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers following COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

We conducted a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of plasma samples obtained from pregnant women who displayed varying post-vaccination antibody titers after receiving mRNA-1273-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The study involved 62 pregnant women, all of whom had been vaccinated after reaching 24 weeks of gestation. To quantify post-vaccination plasma antibody titers, we employed binding antibody units (BAU) in accordance with the World Health Organization International Standard. Subsequently, we classified the study participants into three distinct BAU/mL categories: those with high titers (above 2000), medium titers (ranging from 1000 to 2000), and low titers (below 1000). Plasma metabolomic profiling was conducted using 1 H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the obtained data were correlated with the categorized antibody titers. Notably, in pregnant women exhibiting elevated anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers, reduced plasma concentrations of acetate and urea were observed. A significant negative correlation between these compounds and antibody titers was also evident. An analysis of metabolomics pathways revealed significant inverse associations between antibody titers and four distinct amino acid metabolic pathways: (1) biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan; (2) biosynthesis of valine, leucine, and isoleucine; (3) phenylalanine metabolism; and (4) degradation of valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Additionally, an association between the synthesis and degradation pathways of ketone bodies was evident. In conclusion, we identified different metabolic pathways that underlie the diverse humoral responses triggered by COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy. Our data hold significant implications for refining COVID-19 vaccination approaches in expectant mothers. KEY MESSAGES : Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers decline as the number of days since COVID-19 vaccination increases. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers are inversely associated with acetate, a microbial-derived metabolite, and urea. Amino acid metabolism is significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers.

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