J Neurovirol. 2023 Oct 23. doi: 10.1007/s13365-023-01176-6. Online ahead of print.
The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination is still unclear in individuals with underlying diseases such as HTLV-1 infection. This retrospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the humoral response of COVID-19 vaccines among people living with HTLV-1 (PLHTLV) in northeastern Iran. From December 2021 to October 2022, eighty-six HTLV-1+ subjects (50 males and 36 females; 47.7 ± 11.2 years) and 90 HTLV-1 seronegative individuals (age- and sex-matched convenient samples) were enrolled. The humoral immune response was evaluated by measuring different COVID-19 Abs in serum samples at least 28 days after receiving 2nd or 3rd doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout all three rounds of immunization, Sinopharm was the most commonly used COVID-19 vaccine across all three immunization rounds. Compared to the HTLV-1- group, a significantly lower frequency of all four Abs activity was observed among PLHTLV:anti-nucleocapsid (66.3% vs 86.7%, p = 0·001), anti-spike (91.9% vs 98.9%, p = 0·027), RBD (90.7% vs 97.8%, p = 0·043), and neutralizing Abs (75.6% vs 95.5%, p < 0·001). Also, the frequency of all Abs in 28 patients with HAM/TSP was higher than that of 58 asymptomatic carriers, although this difference was statistically significant only in the case of anti-spike Abs (p = 0.002). Notably, PLHTLV-vaccinated against COVID-19 demonstrated significantly lower antibody activities, indicating a reduced humoral immune response to COVID-19 vaccines.