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2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5736, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778634

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including < 80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 (20B) most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 (20D) developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, within the limitations of phylogeographical reconstruction, the estimated ancestral scenario suggests an important role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Clin Drug Investig ; 42(3): 237-242, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712373

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: During 2020, the only instruments for fighting against the pandemic peaks were lockdowns, physical distancing, closure of schools and non-essential businesses, and travel restrictions. The new vaccination strategy adopted in Italy in 2021 represented a new perspective for policymakers. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to estimate the effects of the national immunisation strategy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Italy on the national healthcare system. METHODS: An epidemiological scenario analysis was developed in order to simulate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Italian national healthcare system in 2021. Hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and death rates were modelled based on 2020 data. Costs were estimated using hospital admissions from the Policlinico of Tor Vergata Hospital in Rome. Two scenarios were tested, one with vaccination and the second without. RESULTS: The roll-out of vaccinations to protect against COVID-19 was estimated to prevent 52,115 deaths in 2021, 45.2% less than what was expected in the absence of immunisation. Based on the assumptions underlying the two epidemiological scenarios, our model predicted an overall reduction of 2.4 million hospital admissions and 259,000 ICU admissions (74.9% and 71.3% less, respectively, than the world without vaccinations between June and December 2021). Overall, in Italy, the model estimated over €3.0 billion costs of hospitalisations due to COVID-19 in 2020. In 2021, vaccines prevented around 36% of the overall costs. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study highlighting the effect of vaccines on the Italian healthcare system in terms of avoided cases, hospitalisations and costs. Our results have the potential to inform policymakers and the general population on the benefits of vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communicable Disease Control , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318110

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many animal species. Animal coronaviruses rarely infect humans with the exceptions of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV), and now SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Several studies suggested that genetic variants in the ACE2 gene may influence the host susceptibility or resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection according to the functional role of ACE2 in human pathophysiology. However, many of these studies have been conducted in silico based on epidemiological and population data. We therefore investigated the occurrence of ACE2 variants in a cohort of 131 Italian unrelated individuals clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 and in an Italian control population, to evaluate a possible allelic association with COVID-19, by direct DNA analysis. Methods: : As a pilot study, we analyzed, by whole-exome sequencing, genetic variants of ACE2 gene in 131 DNA samples of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Tor Vergata University Hospital and at Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome. We used a large control group consisting of 1,000 individuals (500 males and 500 females). Results: : We identified three different germline variants: one intronic c.439+4G>A and two missense c.1888G>C p.(Asp630His) and c.2158A>G p.(Asn720Asp) in a total of 131 patients with a similar frequency in male and female. Thus far, only the c.1888G>C p.(Asp630His) variant shows a statistically different frequency compared to the ethnically matched populations. Therefore, further studies are needed in larger cohorts, since it was found only in one heterozygous COVID-19 patient. Conclusions: : Our results suggest that there is no strong evidence, in our cohort, of consistent association of ACE2 variants with COVID-19 severity. We might speculate that rare susceptibility/resistant alleles could be located in the non-coding regions of the ACE2 gene, known to play a role in regulation of the gene activity.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317097

ABSTRACT

Background: CD169 has been found overexpressed in the blood of COVID-19 patients and identified as a biomarker in the early disease. We have analysed CD169 in blood cells of COVID-19 patients to assess its role as predictive marker of the disease. Methods : The ratio of the CD169 Median median Fluorescence fluorescence Intensity intensity of CD169 between monocytes and lymphocytes (CD169 RMFI ) was analysed by flow cytometry in blood samples of COVID-19 patients (COV) and healthy donors (HD ) and correlated with immunophenotyping, inflammatory markers, cytokines mRNA expression, pulmonary involvement and disease progression. Results: CD169 RMFI increased in COV but not in HD. CD169 RMFI correlated with T-cell differentiation and exhaustion markers as well as with B cells maturation and differentiation. In vitro stimulation of PBMCs of HD with SARS-CoV-2 Spike spike protein induced CD169 RMFI together with IL-6 and IL-10 gene expression. Likewise, CD169 RMFI correlated with blood cytokine mRNA levels, inflammatory markers, and pneumonia severity in patients which that had not received any treatment at sampling. Notably, in untreated patients, CD169 RMFI reflected the respiratory outcome during hospitalization. Conclusion : Considering the immunological role of CD169 and its involvement during the infection and the progression of COVID-19, it could be considered as an early biomarker to evaluate disease progression and clinical outcome.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314810

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314809

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including <80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306204

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite an impressive effort in clinical research, no standard therapeutic approach for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has been established, highlighting the need to identify early biomarkers for predicting disease progression and new therapeutic intervention for patient management. The present study aimed to evaluate the involvement of the human endogenous retrovirus -W envelope (HERV-W ENV) in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection considering recent findings that HERVs are activated in response to infectious agents and lead to various immunopathological effects. We analysed HERV-W ENV expression in blood cells of COVID-19 patients in correlation with clinical characteristics and have discussed its potential role in the outcome of the disease.Methods: We analysed HERV-W ENV expression in blood samples of Covid-19 patients and healthy donors by flow cytometry and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis, and evaluated its correlation with clinical signs, inflammatory markers, cytokine expression, and disease progression.Findings: HERV-W ENV was highly expressed in the leukocytes of COVID-19 patients but not in those of healthy donors. Its expression correlated with the markers of T-cell differentiation and exhaustion and blood cytokine levels. The percentage of HERV-W ENV-positive lymphocytes correlated with inflammatory markers and pneumonia severity in COVID-19 patients. Notably, HERV-W ENV expression reflects the respiratory outcome of patients during hospitalization.Interpretation: Given the known immuno- and neuro-pathogenicity of HERV-W ENV protein, it could promote certain pathogenic features of COVID-19 and therefore serve as a biomarker to predict clinical progression of disease and as a potential therapeutic target.Funding: Genero InnovationDeclaration of Interests: C.M. reports grant from Gilead, outside the submitted work;L.S. reports personal fees and other from Merck, Gilead, and Abbvie, grants from Gilead, outside the submitted work;HP and BC receive compensation for their work by Geneuro-Innovation. The other authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the collection and use of human samples was obtained from the ethical board of the Hospital, COronaVIrus Disease: Safety and Efficacy of Experimental Treatment (COVID_SEET prot.7562/2020, 9th April 2020, experimental register 46.20).

10.
Life (Basel) ; 12(2)2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674714

ABSTRACT

Increased rates of indeterminate QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus Assay (QFT-Plus) were demonstrated in patients hospitalized with Coronavirus Disease (COVID)-19. We aimed to define the prevalence and characteristics of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with indeterminate QFT-Plus. A retrospective study was performed including hospitalized COVID-19 patients, stratified in survivors and non-survivors, non-severe and severe according to the maximal oxygen supply required. Statistical analysis was performed using JASP ver0.14.1 and GraphPad Prism ver8.2.1. A total of 420 patients were included, median age: 65 years, males: 66.4%. The QFT-Plus was indeterminate in 22.1% of patients. Increased rate of indeterminate QFT-Plus was found in non-survivors (p = 0.013) and in severe COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001). Considering the Mitogen-Nil condition of the QFT-Plus, an impaired production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) was found in non-survivors (p < 0.001) and in severe COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001). A positive correlation between IFN-γ levels in the Mitogen-Nil condition and the absolute counts of CD3+ (p < 0.001), CD4+ (p < 0.001), and CD8+ (p < 0.001) T-lymphocytes was found. At the multivariable analysis, CD3+ T-cell absolute counts and CD4/CD8 ratio were confirmed as independent predictors of indeterminate results at the QFT-Plus. Our study confirmed the increased rate of indeterminate QFT-Plus in COVID-19 patients, mainly depending on the peripheral blood T-lymphocyte depletion found in the most severe cases.

11.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1661153

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccination campaign to contrast the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised the issue of vaccine immunogenicity in special populations such as people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) on highly effective disease modifying treatments (DMTs). While humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have been well characterized in the general population and in PwMS, very little is known about cell-mediated responses in conferring protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Methods PwMS on ocrelizumab, fingolimod or natalizumab, vaccinated with two doses of mRNABNT162b2 (Comirnaty®) vaccine were enrolled. Anti-Spike (S) and anti-Nucleoprotein (N) antibody titers, IFN-gamma production upon S and N peptide libraries stimulation, peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute counts were assessed after at least 1 month and within 4 months from vaccine second dose administration. A group of age and sex matched healthy donors (HD) were included as reference group. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 8.2.1. Results Thirty PwMS and 9 HDs were enrolled. All the patients were negative for anti-N antibody detection, nor reported previous symptoms of COVID-19. Peripheral blood lymphocyte counts were assessed in PwMS showing: (i) reduction of circulating B-lymphocytes in PwMS on ocrelizumab;(ii) reduction of peripheral blood B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts in PwMS on fingolimod and (iii) normal B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts with an increase in circulating CD16+CD56+ NK-cells in PwMS on natalizumab. Three patterns of immunological responses were identified in PwMS. In patients on ocrelizumab, anti-S antibody were lacking or reduced, while T-cell responses were normal. In patients on fingolimod both anti-S titers and T-cell mediated responses were impaired. In patients on natalizumab both anti-S titers and T-cell responses were present and comparable to those observed in HD. Conclusions The evaluation of T-cell responses, anti-S titers and peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute count in PwMS on DMTs can help to better characterize the immunological response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The evaluation of T-cell responses in longitudinal cohorts of PwMS will help to clarify their protective role in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. The correlation between DMT treatment and immunological responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines could help to better evaluate vaccination strategies in PwMS.

12.
Pathogens ; 10(12)2021 Dec 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580541

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sialoadhesin (CD169) has been found to be overexpressed in the blood of COVID-19 patients and identified as a biomarker in early disease. We analyzed CD169 in the blood cells of COVID-19 patients to assess its role as a predictive marker of disease progression and clinical outcomes. METHODS: The ratio of the median fluorescence intensity of CD169 between monocytes and lymphocytes (CD169 RMFI) was analyzed by flow cytometry in blood samples of COVID-19 patients (COV) and healthy donors (HDs) and correlated with immunophenotyping, inflammatory markers, cytokine mRNA expression, pulmonary involvement, and disease progression. RESULTS: CD169 RMFI was high in COV but not in HDs, and it correlated with CD8 T-cell senescence and exhaustion markers, as well as with B-cell maturation and differentiation in COV. CD169 RMFI correlated with blood cytokine mRNA levels, inflammatory markers, and pneumonia severity in patients who were untreated at sampling, and was associated with the respiratory outcome throughout hospitalization. Finally, we also report the first evidence of the specific ability of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to trigger CD169 RMFI in a dose-dependent manner in parallel with IL-6 and IL-10 gene transcription in HD PBMCs stimulated in vitro. CONCLUSION: CD169 is induced by the spike protein and should be considered as an early biomarker for evaluating immune dysfunction and respiratory outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477947

ABSTRACT

Lactoferrin (Lf), a multifunctional cationic glycoprotein synthesized by exocrine glands and neutrophils, possesses an in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Thus, we conducted an in vivo preliminary study to investigate the antiviral effect of oral and intranasal liposomal bovine Lf (bLf) in asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients. From April 2020 to June 2020, a total of 92 mild-to-moderate (67/92) and asymptomatic (25/92) COVID-19 patients were recruited and divided into three groups. Thirty-two patients (14 hospitalized and 18 in home-based isolation) received only oral and intranasal liposomal bLf; 32 hospitalized patients were treated only with standard of care (SOC) treatment; and 28, in home-based isolation, did not take any medication. Furthermore, 32 COVID-19 negative, untreated, healthy subjects were added for ancillary analysis. Liposomal bLf-treated COVID-19 patients obtained an earlier and significant (p < 0.0001) SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative conversion compared to the SOC-treated and untreated COVID-19 patients (14.25 vs. 27.13 vs. 32.61 days, respectively). Liposomal bLf-treated COVID-19 patients showed fast clinical symptoms recovery compared to the SOC-treated COVID-19 patients. In bLf-treated patients, a significant decrease in serum ferritin, IL-6, and D-dimers levels was observed. No adverse events were reported. These observations led us to speculate a potential role of bLf in the management of mild-to-moderate and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lactoferrin , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cattle , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 57(3): 201-204, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468620

ABSTRACT

Italy has been one of the countries with the greatest burden of HCV in Western Europe and with the highest number of HCV liver-related deaths. In order to achieve HCV elimination by 2030 Italy, like many other countries, will need to succeed in tackling the undiagnosed individuals with active HCV infection. To this aim beginning in 2021, a nationwide action has been implemented, consisting of the performance of screening tests among key populations and birth cohorts (1969-1989), estimated to have a high prevalence of undiagnosed individuals. The realization of the proactive screening during the first two years will define the tracks for the whole optimized screening strategy, including also the screening of 1948-1968 birth cohorts, reported to be the best cost-effective strategy in achieving the HCV elimination targets by 2030 in Italy. Each Italian region needs to define the present and future steps to reach HCV elimination goal by 2030 guaranteeing the equity of care.


Subject(s)
Goals , Hepatitis C , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C/diagnosis , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Hepatitis C/prevention & control , Humans , Mass Screening , World Health Organization
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009878, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394563

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 fine-tunes the interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral responses, which play a key role in preventing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progression. Indeed, critically ill patients show an impaired type I IFN response accompanied by elevated inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels, responsible for cell and tissue damage and associated multi-organ failure. Here, the early interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and immune cells was investigated by interrogating an in vitro human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-based experimental model. We found that, even in absence of a productive viral replication, the virus mediates a vigorous TLR7/8-dependent production of both type I and III IFNs and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, known to contribute to the cytokine storm observed in COVID-19. Interestingly, we observed how virus-induced type I IFN secreted by PBMC enhances anti-viral response in infected lung epithelial cells, thus, inhibiting viral replication. This type I IFN was released by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) via an ACE-2-indipendent but Neuropilin-1-dependent mechanism. Viral sensing regulates pDC phenotype by inducing cell surface expression of PD-L1 marker, a feature of type I IFN producing cells. Coherently to what observed in vitro, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects displayed a similar pDC phenotype associated to a very high serum type I IFN level and induction of anti-viral IFN-stimulated genes in PBMC. Conversely, hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 display very low frequency of circulating pDC with an inflammatory phenotype and high levels of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines in serum. This study further shed light on the early events resulting from the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and immune cells occurring in vitro and confirmed ex vivo. These observations can improve our understanding on the contribution of pDC/type I IFN axis in the regulation of the anti-viral state in asymptomatic and severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/classification , Interferon Type I/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Asymptomatic Infections , Cell Line, Tumor , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Lung/cytology , Male , Middle Aged , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Phenotype , Severity of Illness Index , Toll-Like Receptor 7/metabolism
16.
Drug Des Devel Ther ; 15: 3349-3378, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352763

ABSTRACT

Dalbavancin is a novel, long-acting lipoglycopeptide characterized by a long elimination half-life coupled with excellent in vitro activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-positives. Although it is currently approved only for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, an ever-growing amount of evidence supports the efficacy of dalbavancin as a long-term therapy in osteomyelitis, prosthetic joint infections, endocarditis, and bloodstream infections. This article provides a critical reappraisal of real-world use of dalbavancin for off-label indications. A search strategy using specific keywords (dalbavancin, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, long-term suppressive therapy, bloodstream infection, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile) until April 2021 was performed on the PubMed-MEDLINE database. As for other novel antibiotics, a conundrum between approved indications and potential innovative therapeutic uses has emerged for dalbavancin as well. The promising efficacy in challenging scenarios (i.e., osteomyelitis, endocarditis, prosthetic joint infections), coupled with the unique pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties, makes dalbavancin a valuable alternative to daily in-hospital intravenous or outpatient antimicrobial regimens in the treatment of long-term Gram-positive infections. This makes dalbavancin valuable in the current COVID-19 scenario, in which hospitalization and territorial medicine empowerment are unavoidable.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Off-Label Use , Patient Participation , Teicoplanin/analogs & derivatives , Algorithms , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacokinetics , Clinical Decision-Making , Decision Support Techniques , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/diagnosis , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/microbiology , Humans , Teicoplanin/adverse effects , Teicoplanin/pharmacokinetics , Teicoplanin/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome
17.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 99: 108013, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330895

ABSTRACT

The antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 has not yet fully defined, but the availability of sensitive and specific serological assays is crucial to observe the presence of specific antibodies against the human receptor binding domain (S-RBD) and high specificity ACE-2-binding antibodies or neutralizing antibodies (NT) in response to vaccines. Indeed, these peculiar antibodies should prevent viral interaction between RBD and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, located on surface of host cells. In this study, 72 samples from 37 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 35 not-hospitalized patients were analyzed longitudinally. The detection of S-RBD and NT antibodies was carried out using CLIA tests. Hospitalized patients showed elevated serum levels of S-RBD (97.22%) and NT (77.78%) antibodies, differently, not-hospitalized, who were paucisymptomatic or asymptomatic patients, showed lower serum levels of S-RBD (65.71%) and NT (38.14%) antibodies. The results suggest that the NT serum level is strongly related to disease severity (p < 0.001) and to the serum level of S-RBD antibodies (p < 0.0001).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Female , Humans , Immunity , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests
18.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 55: 103157, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322275

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Disease modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) can impair the specific immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Specifically, it is recognized that ocrelizumab reduces or abrogates anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody production after natural infection or vaccination, while very little is known about T-cell responses. METHODS: We developed an interferon (IFN)-γ release assay (IGRA) to detect T-cell responses specific to SARS-CoV-2 after overnight stimulation of whole blood with peptide libraries covering the immunodominant sequence domains of the Spike glycoprotein (S) and the Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N). RESULTS: Five patients with MS receiving ocrelizumab treatment for at least 1 year and recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled in the study. Despite the absence or the very low concentration of anti-S antibodies, a T-cell response was detectable in all the five MS patients. These results are in accordance with the marked reduction of peripheral B-lymphocyte absolute counts induced by ocrelizumab, that, conversely, did not affect peripheral blood T-lymphocyte subset absolute and relative counts and CD4/CD8 ratio. CONCLUSIONS: The detection of specific T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients receiving B-cell depleting therapies represents a useful tool to improve the diagnostic approach in SARS-CoV-2 infection and to accurately assess the immunological response after natural infection or vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
19.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 666600, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295678

ABSTRACT

Lactoferrin (Lf) is a cationic glycoprotein synthetized by exocrine glands and is present in all human secretions. It is also secreted by neutrophils in infection and inflammation sites. This glycoprotein possesses antimicrobial activity due to its capability to chelate two ferric ions per molecule, as well as to interact with bacterial and viral anionic surface components. The cationic features of Lf bind to cells, protecting the host from bacterial and viral injuries. Its anti-inflammatory activity is mediated by the ability to enter inside the nucleus of host cells, thus inhibiting the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokine genes. In particular, Lf down-regulates the synthesis of IL-6, which is involved in iron homeostasis disorders and leads to intracellular iron overload, favoring viral replication and infection. The well-known antiviral activity of Lf has been demonstrated against DNA, RNA, and enveloped and naked viruses and, therefore, Lf could be efficient in counteracting also SARS-CoV-2 infection. For this purpose, we performed in vitro assays, proving that Lf exerts an antiviral activity against SARS-COV-2 through direct attachment to both SARS-CoV-2 and cell surface components. This activity varied according to concentration (100/500 µg/ml), multiplicity of infection (0.1/0.01), and cell type (Vero E6/Caco-2 cells). Interestingly, the in silico results strongly supported the hypothesis of a direct recognition between Lf and the spike S glycoprotein, which can thus hinder viral entry into the cells. These in vitro observations led us to speculate a potential supplementary role of Lf in the management of COVID-19 patients.

20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12762, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275947

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of baseline lymphocyte subset counts in predicting the outcome and severity of COVID-19 patients. Hospitalized patients confirmed to be infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were included and classified according to in-hospital mortality (survivors/nonsurvivors) and the maximal oxygen support/ventilation supply required (nonsevere/severe). Demographics, clinical and laboratory data, and peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets were retrospectively analyzed. Overall, 160 patients were retrospectively included in the study. T-lymphocyte subset (total CD3+, CD3+ CD4+, CD3+ CD8+, CD3+ CD4+ CD8+ double positive [DP] and CD3+ CD4- CD8- double negative [DN]) absolute counts were decreased in nonsurvivors and in patients with severe disease compared to survivors and nonsevere patients (p < 0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that absolute counts of CD3+ T-lymphocytes < 524 cells/µl, CD3+ CD4+ < 369 cells/µl, and the number of T-lymphocyte subsets below the cutoff (T-lymphocyte subset index [TLSI]) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Baseline T-lymphocyte subset counts and TLSI were also predictive of disease severity (CD3+ < 733 cells/µl; CD3+ CD4+ < 426 cells/µl; CD3+ CD8+ < 262 cells/µl; CD3+ DP < 4.5 cells/µl; CD3+ DN < 18.5 cells/µl). The evaluation of peripheral T-lymphocyte absolute counts in the early stages of COVID-19 might represent a useful tool for identifying patients at increased risk of unfavorable outcomes.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocyte Subsets , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Risk Factors , Rome/epidemiology
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