Anti-RBD IgG antibodies and neutralizing antibody levels after the second BNT162b2 dose in patients with plasma cell disorders

Hila Magen, Abraham Avigdor, Lee Nevo, Shalev Fried, Amit Gibori, Einav G. Levin, Yaniv Lustig, Eden Shkury, Galia Rahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with plasma cell disorders (PCD) are at an increased risk for severe morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. Recent data have suggested that patients with hematological malignancies, including those with PCD, have suboptimal antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination. We compared the antibody titers of 213 patients with PCD to those of 213 immunocompetent healthcare workers after the second vaccine dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Blood samples were taken 2-4 weeks after the second vaccination and analyzed for anti-receptor binding-domain immunoglobulin G (RBD-IgG) antibodies and neutralizing antibodies (NA). At a median of 20 days after the second vaccine dose, 172 patients (80.8%) developed anti-RBD-IgG antibodies with a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 2.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.4-3.1). In the control group 210 (98.9%) developed anti-RBD-IgG antibodies after a median of 21 days, with a GMT of 5.17 (95%CI, 4.8-5.6), p<0.0001. NA were observed in 151 patients with MM (70.9%) and in 210 controls (98.9%). The GMT of NA in patients with MM and controls was 84.4 (95% CI, 59.0-120.6), and 420.2 (95% CI, 341.4-517.1), respectively (p<0.0001). Multivariable logistic regression revealed that the number of prior therapy lines and age were significant predictors of poor humoral response among patients with MM. Injection site reaction, headache and fatigue were the most common adverse events after vaccination. Adverse events were less common in patients with MM than in controls. In conclusion, a significant percentage of patients with MM developed protecting NA to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, which appears to be safe in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0284925
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


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