A study assessed the ability of the Ad26.CoV2.S (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine to protect against the COVID-19 Delta variant in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- positive individuals relative to HIV-negative individuals. The results were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

This study consisted of participants who were vaccinated through the SISONKE South African clinical trial of the J&J vaccine in health care workers (HCW). People living with HIV (PLWH) included in this study all had well-controlled HIV infection. The study also enlisted unvaccinated participants who were previously infected with COVID. Neutralization capacity was assessed by a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta variant, the researchers noted.

The study found that among vaccinated HCW with previous COVID infection, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared to the unvaccinated, previously infected group, and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated, no previous infection group. However, the researchers did not observe a reduction in Delta variant neutralization in PLWH relative to HIV-negative participants. In contrast, they noted, COVID infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold lower neutralization and a higher frequency of non-responders, with the highest frequency of non-responders in people with HIV viremia. Vaccinated-only participants showed low neutralization capacity, the investigators further noted.

The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well-controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-negative participants, irrespective of past SARS-CoV-2 infection. In SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-vaccinated participants, HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2, with the strongest reduction in HIV viremic individuals,” the researchers summarized.

Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34893824/


Keywords: Ad26.CoV2.S vaccines, HIV viremia, SARS-CoV-2, immunogenicity, neutralization, people living with HIV