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Multiple sclerosis DMTs that target B-cells may lessen Covid-19 antibodies

Therapies for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) that deplete B-cells affect antibodies for Covid-19, a new study has found.

Most disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS limit immune responses to suppress the system’s attacks on the myelin sheath that protects the body’s nerve fibres. There is limited information about DMTs and whether they suppress immune response to COVID-19.

Researchers from the Amsterdam University Medical Centres in the Netherlands took blood samples from adult MS patients to measure the presence of Covid-19 antibodies.

They discovered that Covid-19 antibody responses were lower in people who had received treatment with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), which suppresses the B-cells which produce antibodies, compared with other patients. Everyone taking Ocrevus showed B-cell depletion before the antiobodies were measures.

The scientists wrote that these findings were consistent with other studies, and that “This holds important consequences for [antibody] immunity after COVID-19 infection and possibly vaccination,” the team concluded.

Source: MS-UK 17 May 2021

Read next: The effect of Covid-19 on multiple sclerosis symptoms

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