Antibody responses to BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine: Infection-naïve individuals with abdominal obesity warrant attention

Alexis Elias Malavazos, Sara Basilico, Gianluca Iacobellis, Valentina Milani, Rosanna Cardani, Federico Boniardi, Carola Dubini, Ilaria Prandoni, Gloria Capitanio, Laura Valentina Renna, Sara Boveri, Roberta Rigolini, Matteo Carrara, Giovanni Spuria, Teresa Cuppone, Aurelia D’acquisto, Luca Carpinelli, Marta Sacchi, Lelio Morricone, Francesco SecchiElena Costa, Lorenzo Menicanti, Enzo Nisoli, Michele Carruba, Federico Ambrogi, Massimiliano Marco Corsi Romanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The excess of visceral adipose tissue might hinder and delay immune response. How people with abdominal obesity (AO) will respond to mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is yet to be established. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses were evaluated after the first and second dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, comparing the response of individuals with AO with the response of those without, and discerning between individuals with or without prior infection. Methods: Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-neutralizing antibodies against the Trimeric complex (IgG-TrimericS) were measured at four time points: at baseline, at day 21 after vaccine dose 1, and at 1 and 3 months after dose 2. Nucleocapsid antibodies were assessed to detect prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Waist circumference was measured to determine AO. Results: Between the first and third month after vaccine dose 2, the drop in IgG-TrimericS levels was more remarkable in individuals with AO compared with those without AO (2.44-fold [95% CI: 2.22-2.63] vs. 1.82-fold [95% CI: 1.69-1.92], respectively, p < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression confirmed this result after inclusion of assessed confounders (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The waning antibody levels in individuals with AO may further support recent recommendations to offer booster vaccines to adults with high-risk medical conditions, including obesity, and particularly to those with a more prevalent AO phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-613
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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