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J Exp Med ; 219(8)2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901005


Recessive or dominant inborn errors of type I interferon (IFN) immunity can underlie critical COVID-19 pneumonia in unvaccinated adults. The risk of COVID-19 pneumonia in unvaccinated children, which is much lower than in unvaccinated adults, remains unexplained. In an international cohort of 112 children (<16 yr old) hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia, we report 12 children (10.7%) aged 1.5-13 yr with critical (7 children), severe (3), and moderate (2) pneumonia and 4 of the 15 known clinically recessive and biochemically complete inborn errors of type I IFN immunity: X-linked recessive TLR7 deficiency (7 children) and autosomal recessive IFNAR1 (1), STAT2 (1), or TYK2 (3) deficiencies. Fibroblasts deficient for IFNAR1, STAT2, or TYK2 are highly vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. These 15 deficiencies were not found in 1,224 children and adults with benign SARS-CoV-2 infection without pneumonia (P = 1.2 × 10-11) and with overlapping age, sex, consanguinity, and ethnicity characteristics. Recessive complete deficiencies of type I IFN immunity may underlie ∼10% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 pneumonia in children.

COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Pneumonia , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , Child , Humans , Inheritance Patterns , SARS-CoV-2
J Clin Immunol ; 42(1): 1-9, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482248


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exhibits a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic to critical conditions. Understanding the mechanism underlying life-threatening COVID-19 is instrumental for disease prevention and treatment in individuals with a high risk. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify the genetic cause for critical COVID-19 pneumonia in a patient with a preexisting inborn error of immunity (IEI). METHODS: Serum levels of specific antibodies against the virus and autoantibodies against type I interferons (IFNs) were measured. Whole exome sequencing was performed, and the impacts of candidate gene variants were investigated. We also evaluated 247 ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) patients in the Iranian IEI registry. RESULTS: We report a 7-year-old Iranian boy with a preexisting hyper IgM syndrome who developed critical COVID-19 pneumonia. IgM only specific COVID-19 immune response was detected but no autoantibodies against type I IFN were observed. A homozygous deleterious mutation in the ATM gene was identified, which together with his antibody deficiency, radiosensitivity, and neurological signs, established a diagnosis of A-T. Among the 247 A-T patients evaluated, 36 had SARS-CoV-2 infection, but all had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic except the index patient. A hemizygous deleterious mutation in the TLR7 gene was subsequently identified in the patient. CONCLUSIONS: We report a unique IEI patient with combined ATM and TLR7 deficiencies. The two genetic defects underlie A-T and critical COVID-19 in this patient, respectively.

Ataxia Telangiectasia/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Pneumonia/genetics , Toll-Like Receptor 7/deficiency , Toll-Like Receptor 7/genetics , Child , Humans , Iran , Male
Sci Immunol ; 6(62)2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434876


Autosomal inborn errors of type I IFN immunity and autoantibodies against these cytokines underlie at least 10% of critical COVID-19 pneumonia cases. We report very rare, biochemically deleterious X-linked TLR7 variants in 16 unrelated male individuals aged 7 to 71 years (mean: 36.7 years) from a cohort of 1,202 male patients aged 0.5 to 99 years (mean: 52.9 years) with unexplained critical COVID-19 pneumonia. None of the 331 asymptomatically or mildly infected male individuals aged 1.3 to 102 years (mean: 38.7 years) tested carry such TLR7 variants (p = 3.5 × 10-5). The phenotypes of five hemizygous relatives of index cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 include asymptomatic or mild infection (n=2, 5 and 38 years), or moderate (n=1, 5 years), severe (n=1, 27 years), or critical (n=1, 29 years) pneumonia. Two boys (aged 7 and 12 years) from a cohort of 262 male patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia (mean: 51.0 years) are hemizygous for a deleterious TLR7 variant. The cumulative allele frequency for deleterious TLR7 variants in the male general population is < 6.5x10-4 We also show that blood B cell lines and myeloid cell subsets from the patients do not respond to TLR7 stimulation, a phenotype rescued by wild-type TLR7 The patients' blood plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produce low levels of type I IFNs in response to SARS-CoV-2. Overall, X-linked recessive TLR7 deficiency is a highly penetrant genetic etiology of critical COVID-19 pneumonia, in about 1.8% of male patients below the age of 60 years. Human TLR7 and pDCs are essential for protective type I IFN immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract.

COVID-19/complications , Genetic Diseases, X-Linked/complications , Immune System Diseases/complications , Toll-Like Receptor 7/deficiency , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alleles , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pedigree , Penetrance , Toll-Like Receptor 7/genetics , Young Adult