Evaluation of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA Response in Tears of Vaccinated COVID-19 Subjects
Secretory IgA (sIgA), which may play an important role in the early defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection, were detected in the eye of COVID-19 patients. However, an evaluation of the sIgA response in the tears of vaccinated or non-vaccinated COVID-19 subjects is still lacking. Aimed at characterizing sIgA mucosal immunity in the eye, this study analyzed tear samples from 77 COVID-19 patients, including 63 vaccinated and 14 non-vaccinated subjects. The groups showed similar epidemiological features, but as expected, differences were observed in the percentage of asymptomatic/pauci-symptomatic subjects in the vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated cohort (46% and 29% of the total, respectively). Consistent with this, ocular sIgA values, evaluated by a specific quantitative ELISA assay, were remarkably different in vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated group for both frequency (69.8% vs. 57.1%, respectively) and titer (1372.3 U/mL vs. 143.7 U/mL, respectively; p = 0.01), which was significantly differently elevated depending on the type of administered vaccine. The data show for the first time significant differences of available vaccines to elicit sIgA response in the eye and suggest that quantitative tear-based sIgA tests may potentially serve as a rapid and easily accessible biomarker for the assessment of the development of a protective mucosal immunity toward SARS-CoV-2.