Vaccines Impact of the gut microbiome on immunological responses to COVID-19 vaccination in healthy controls and people living with HIV (Dec 2023, n=143) "microbiome modulation could optimize immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines"

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


Although mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are generally safe and effective, in certain immunocompromised individuals they can elicit poor immunogenic responses. Among these individuals, people living with HIV (PLWH) have poor immunogenicity to several oral and parenteral vaccines. As the gut microbiome is known to affect vaccine immunogenicity, we investigated whether baseline gut microbiota predicts immune responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in healthy controls and PLWH after two doses of BNT162b2. Individuals with high spike IgG titers and high spike-specific CD4+ T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 showed low α-diversity in the gut.

Here, we investigated and presented initial evidence that the gut microbial composition influences the response to BNT162b2 in PLWH. From our predictive models, Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium appeared to be microbial markers of individuals with higher spike IgG titers, while Cloacibacillus was associated with low spike IgG titers. We therefore propose that microbiome modulation could optimize immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines.
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