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1.
JCI Insight ; 7(7)2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702851

ABSTRACT

Duration of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in people living with HIV (PWH) following vaccination is unclear. In a substudy of the phase II/III the COV002 trial (NCT04400838), 54 HIV+ male participants on antiretroviral therapy (undetectable viral loads, CD4+ T cells > 350 cells/µL) received 2 doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) 4-6 weeks apart and were followed for 6 months. Responses to vaccination were determined by serology (IgG ELISA and Meso Scale Discovery [MSD]), neutralization, ACE-2 inhibition, IFN-γ ELISpot, activation-induced marker (AIM) assay and T cell proliferation. We show that, 6 months after vaccination, the majority of measurable immune responses were greater than prevaccination baseline but with evidence of a decline in both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. There was, however, no significant difference compared with a cohort of HIV-uninfected individuals vaccinated with the same regimen. Responses to the variants of concern were detectable, although they were lower than WT. Preexisting cross-reactive T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike were associated with greater postvaccine immunity and correlated with prior exposure to beta coronaviruses. These data support the ongoing policy to vaccinate PWH against SARS-CoV-2, and they underpin the need for long-term monitoring of responses after vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19/prevention & control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
2.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(1): e21-e31, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510521

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. METHODS: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. FINDINGS: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. FUNDING: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Prospective Studies , T-Lymphocytes , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic
3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 706482, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399150

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 receptor antagonist, is used in the treatment of severe COVID-19 caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2. However, unintended consequences of TCZ therapy include reactivation of tuberculosis (TB) or hepatitis B virus (HBV), and worsening of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We set out to assimilate existing data for these complications, in order to help inform evidence-based risk assessments for the use of TCZ, and thus to reduce the risk of serious but preventable complications. Methods: We searched the global WHO database of Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ("VigiBase") and undertook a systematic literature review, in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. We generated mean cumulative incidence estimates for infection complications. Results: Mean cumulative incidence of HBV and TB were 3.3 and 4.3%, respectively, in patients receiving TCZ. Insufficient data were available to generate estimates for HCV. These estimates derive from heterogeneous studies pre-dating SARS-CoV-2, with differing epidemiology and varied approaches to screening and prophylaxis, so formal meta-analysis was not possible. Conclusions: We underline the need for careful individual risk assessment prior to TCZ prescription, and present an algorithm to guide clinical stratification. There is an urgent need for ongoing collation of safety data as TCZ therapy is used in COVID.

4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab267, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376326

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genotype 6 is the most genetically diverse lineage of hepatitis C virus, and it predominates in Vietnam. It can be treated with sofosbuvir with daclatasvir (SOF/DCV), the least expensive treatment combination globally. In regional guidelines, longer treatment durations of SOF/DCV (24 weeks) are recommended for cirrhotic individuals, compared with other pangenotypic regimens (12 weeks), based on sparse data. Early on-treatment virological response may offer means of reducing length and cost of therapy in patients with liver fibrosis. METHODS: In this prospective trial in Vietnam, genotype 6-infected adults with advanced liver fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis were treated with SOF/DCV. Day 14 viral load was used to guide duration of therapy: participants with viral load <500 IU/mL at day 14 were treated with 12 weeks of SOF/DCV and those ≥500 IU/mL received 24 weeks. Primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR). RESULTS: Of 41 individuals with advanced fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis who commenced treatment, 51% had genotype 6a and 34% had 6e. The remainder had 6h, 6k, 6l, or 6o. One hundred percent had viral load <500 IU/mL by day 14, meaning that all received 12 weeks of SOF/DCV. One hundred percent achieved SVR12 despite a high frequency of putative NS5A inhibitor resistance-associated substitutions at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing 12 weeks of SOF/DCV results in excellent cure rates in this population. These data support the removal of costly genotyping in countries where genotype 3 prevalence is <5%, in keeping with World Health Organization guidelines. NS5A resistance-associated mutations in isolation do not affect efficacy of SOF/DCV therapy. Wider evaluation of response-guided therapy is warranted.

5.
Lancet HIV ; 8(8): e474-e485, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on vaccine immunogenicity against SARS-CoV-2 are needed for the 40 million people globally living with HIV who might have less functional immunity and more associated comorbidities than the general population. We aimed to explore safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in people with HIV. METHODS: In this single-arm open-label vaccination substudy within the protocol of the larger phase 2/3 trial COV002, adults aged 18-55 years with HIV were enrolled at two HIV clinics in London, UK. Eligible participants were required to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with undetectable plasma HIV viral loads (<50 copies per mL), and CD4 counts of more than 350 cells per µL. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, with two doses was given 4-6 weeks apart. The primary outcomes for this substudy were safety and reactogenicity of the vaccine, as determined by serious adverse events and solicited local and systemic reactions. Humoral responses were measured by anti-spike IgG ELISA and antibody-mediated live virus neutralisation. Cell-mediated immune responses were measured by ex-vivo IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot) and T-cell proliferation. All outcomes were compared with an HIV-uninfected group from the main COV002 study within the same age group and dosing strategy and are reported until day 56 after prime vaccination. Outcomes were analysed in all participants who received both doses and with available samples. The COV002 study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between Nov 5 and Nov 24, 2020, 54 participants with HIV (all male, median age 42·5 years [IQR 37·2-49·8]) were enrolled and received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Median CD4 count at enrolment was 694·0 cells per µL (IQR 573·5-859·5). No serious adverse events occurred. Local and systemic reactions occurring during the first 7 days after prime vaccination included pain at the injection site (26 [49%] of 53 participants with available data), fatigue (25 [47%]), headache (25 [47%]), malaise (18 [34%]), chills (12 [23%]), muscle ache (19 [36%]), joint pain (five [9%]), and nausea (four [8%]), the frequencies of which were similar to the HIV-negative participants. Anti-spike IgG responses by ELISA peaked at day 42 (median 1440 ELISA units [EUs; IQR 704-2728]; n=50) and were sustained until day 56 (median 941 EUs [531-1445]; n=49). We found no correlation between the magnitude of the anti-spike IgG response at day 56 and CD4 cell count (p=0·93) or age (p=0·48). ELISpot and T-cell proliferative responses peaked at day 14 and 28 after prime dose and were sustained to day 56. Compared with participants without HIV, we found no difference in magnitude or persistence of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral or cellular responses (p>0·05 for all analyses). INTERPRETATION: In this study of people with HIV, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was safe and immunogenic, supporting vaccination for those well controlled on ART. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , HIV Infections/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination
6.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(6): e1009596, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249581

ABSTRACT

The rapid evolution of RNA viruses has been long considered to result from a combination of high copying error frequencies during RNA replication, short generation times and the consequent extensive fixation of neutral or adaptive changes over short periods. While both the identities and sites of mutations are typically modelled as being random, recent investigations of sequence diversity of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have identified a preponderance of C->U transitions, proposed to be driven by an APOBEC-like RNA editing process. The current study investigated whether this phenomenon could be observed in datasets of other RNA viruses. Using a 5% divergence filter to infer directionality, 18 from 36 datasets of aligned coding region sequences from a diverse range of mammalian RNA viruses (including Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae, Matonaviridae, Caliciviridae and Coronaviridae) showed a >2-fold base composition normalised excess of C->U transitions compared to U->C (range 2.1x-7.5x), with a consistently observed favoured 5' U upstream context. The presence of genome scale RNA secondary structure (GORS) was the only other genomic or structural parameter significantly associated with C->U/U->C transition asymmetries by multivariable analysis (ANOVA), potentially reflecting RNA structure dependence of sites targeted for C->U mutations. Using the association index metric, C->U changes were specifically over-represented at phylogenetically uninformative sites, potentially paralleling extensive homoplasy of this transition reported in SARS-CoV-2. Although mechanisms remain to be functionally characterised, excess C->U substitutions accounted for 11-14% of standing sequence variability of structured viruses and may therefore represent a potent driver of their sequence diversification and longer-term evolution.


Subject(s)
Mammals/virology , Mutation , RNA Viruses/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , APOBEC Deaminases/metabolism , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Cytidine/genetics , DNA Damage/physiology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Phylogeny , RNA Editing/physiology , RNA Viruses/classification , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Uridine/genetics
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2055, 2021 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171493

ABSTRACT

Identification of protective T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 requires distinguishing people infected with SARS-CoV-2 from those with cross-reactive immunity to other coronaviruses. Here we show a range of T cell assays that differentially capture immune function to characterise SARS-CoV-2 responses. Strong ex vivo ELISpot and proliferation responses to multiple antigens (including M, NP and ORF3) are found in 168 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected volunteers, but are rare in 119 uninfected volunteers. Highly exposed seronegative healthcare workers with recent COVID-19-compatible illness show T cell response patterns characteristic of infection. By contrast, >90% of convalescent or unexposed people show proliferation and cellular lactate responses to spike subunits S1/S2, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive T cell populations. The detection of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 is therefore critically dependent on assay and antigen selection. Memory responses to specific non-spike proteins provide a method to distinguish recent infection from pre-existing immunity in exposed populations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Proliferation , Cytokines/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
8.
Science ; 372(6539)2021 04 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125076

ABSTRACT

Extensive global sampling and sequencing of the pandemic virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have enabled researchers to monitor its spread and to identify concerning new variants. Two important determinants of variant spread are how frequently they arise within individuals and how likely they are to be transmitted. To characterize within-host diversity and transmission, we deep-sequenced 1313 clinical samples from the United Kingdom. SARS-CoV-2 infections are characterized by low levels of within-host diversity when viral loads are high and by a narrow bottleneck at transmission. Most variants are either lost or occasionally fixed at the point of transmission, with minimal persistence of shared diversity, patterns that are readily observable on the phylogenetic tree. Our results suggest that transmission-enhancing and/or immune-escape SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to arise infrequently but could spread rapidly if successfully transmitted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Coinfection/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Family Characteristics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Selection, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , United Kingdom , Viral Load
9.
Nat Immunol ; 21(11): 1336-1345, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889210

ABSTRACT

The development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines and therapeutics will depend on understanding viral immunity. We studied T cell memory in 42 patients following recovery from COVID-19 (28 with mild disease and 14 with severe disease) and 16 unexposed donors, using interferon-γ-based assays with peptides spanning SARS-CoV-2 except ORF1. The breadth and magnitude of T cell responses were significantly higher in severe as compared with mild cases. Total and spike-specific T cell responses correlated with spike-specific antibody responses. We identified 41 peptides containing CD4+ and/or CD8+ epitopes, including six immunodominant regions. Six optimized CD8+ epitopes were defined, with peptide-MHC pentamer-positive cells displaying the central and effector memory phenotype. In mild cases, higher proportions of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells were observed. The identification of T cell responses associated with milder disease will support an understanding of protective immunity and highlights the potential of including non-spike proteins within future COVID-19 vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom , Viral Vaccines/immunology
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