Influence of the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms rs12252 and rs34481144 in IFITM3 on the Antibody Response after Vaccination against COVID-19
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is the first mRNA vaccine approved for human administration by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Studies have shown that the immune response and the decay of immunity after vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccines are variable within a population. Host genetic factors probably contribute to this variability. In this study, we investigated the effect of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs12252 and rs34481144 in the interferon-induced transmembrane protein (IFITM) 3 gene on the humoral immune response after vaccination against COVID-19 with mRNA vaccines. Blood samples were collected from 1893 healthcare workers and medical students at multiple time points post-vaccination and antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein receptor binding domain were determined at all time points. All participants were genotyped for the rs34481144 and rs12252 polymorphisms in the IFITM3 gene. After the second and third vaccinations, antibody titer levels increased at one month and decreased at six months ( p < 0.0001) and were higher after the booster vaccination than after the basic immunization ( p < 0.0001). Participants vaccinated with mRNA-1273 had a higher humoral immune response than participants vaccinated with BNT162b2. rs12252 had no effect on the antibody response. In contrast, carriers of the GG genotype in rs34481144 vaccinated with BNT162b2 had a lower humoral immune response compared to A allele carriers, which reached statistical significance on the day of the second vaccination ( p = 0.03) and one month after the second vaccination ( p = 0.04). Further studies on the influence of rs12252 and rs34481144 on the humoral immune response after vaccination against COVID-19 are needed.