Vaccine effect: Nimhans, private lab to study immune response | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Two Bengaluru-based institutions have embarked on a study to analyze the effect of Covid-19 vaccines on Immunogenicity of their staff members. Immunogenicity is the ability of the body’s cells to provoke an immune response.
Neuberg Anand Private Laboratory, a private facility, and Nimhans have launched two studies, independent of each other. The two institutions will study antibody levels among healthcare workers prior to taking the first dose of the vaccine and the effect thereafter.
Nimhans, an institution of national importance, had conducted antibody tests on nearly 4,000 of its staffers in two batches — in September 2020 and January 2021 — to check their exposure to Covid-19.
Data of people who developed antibodies will be compared with their antibody levels after two doses of the vaccine. “The study will help in understanding the immune response post-vaccination,” said Dr Anita Desai, HOD, department of neurovirology, Nimhans.
A total of 5,500 staffers at Nimhans had registered as beneficiaries for the Covid vaccine. Of them, 3,800 have taken the first dose and 300 have taken the second. That number is likely to increase in the next couple of weeks.
“All staffers who received one or both doses will be tested again for antibodies,” a senior Nimhans doctor told TOI. “Among those who had already developed antibodies against SARS-CoV2, there must be higher levels of antibodies after vaccination. Another objective is to check vaccine-induced Immunogenicity compared to natural antibodies developed after exposure to the virus itself.”
Different methodology

Neuberg Anand will conduct a similar study with a slightly different methodology. A total 180 staffers took the first dose of the vaccine. Of them, 161 had undergone SARS- CoV2 spike protein antibody tests before vaccination.
“Of the 161, 96 were negative for antibodies and 60 were positive, while the results were inconclusive in the remaining five as they were equivocal,” said Dr Sujay Prasad, medical director, Neuberg Anand reference laboratory.
Staffers who had undergone antibody tests prior to vaccination will undergo the test 28 days after the first dose. The test will be repeated 28 days after the second dose. “The data will then be analysed,” said Dr Prasad.
He said tools such as quantitative antibody testing will form a critical part of the programme, providing key insights into the ongoing immune status of individuals post-vaccination and measuring long-term effectiveness. “This test provides an update or booster jab to current authorised vaccinations, to ensure people are protected against disease from emerging strains,” said Dr Prasad.

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Sagar Biswas

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