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SARS-CoV-2 antibody response after COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease
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  1. Kristin M D’Silva1,
  2. Naomi Serling-Boyd1,
  3. Tiffany Y-T Hsu2,
  4. Jeffrey A Sparks2,
  5. Zachary S Wallace1
  1. 1Rheumatology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zachary S Wallace, Rheumatology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; zswallace{at}partners.org

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The impacts of rheumatic disease and immunosuppression on the development of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are unknown. A study of healthcare workers showed that detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were associated with reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, and the robustness of this neutralising antibody response has implications for seroprevalence studies and vaccine efficacy.1 While disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) generally blunt the immune response to pathogens, immunosuppressive medications such as dexamethasone and baricitinib have efficacy in reducing the severity of COVID-19.2 3 Additionally, tumour necrosis factor inhibition has been proposed as a potential mechanism for enhancing germinal centre formation and antibody production in severe COVID-19.4 Understanding the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response after COVID-19 among rheumatic disease patients is therefore of particular interest.5

We examined the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response among patients with rheumatic diseases and past COVID-19 at the Mass General Brigham (MGB) health system in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Patients with COVID-19 confirmed by positive PCR testing and rheumatic disease confirmed by electronic health record (EHR) review were identified as previously described.6 We …

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