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Immunology ; 166(1): 68-77, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685320


SARS-CoV-2 infection results in different outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to mild or severe disease and death. Reasons for this diversity of outcome include differences in challenge dose, age, gender, comorbidity and host genomic variation. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms may influence immune response and disease outcome. We investigated the association of HLAII alleles with case definition symptomatic COVID-19, virus-specific antibody and T-cell immunity. A total of 1364 UK healthcare workers (HCWs) were recruited during the first UK SARS-CoV-2 wave and analysed longitudinally, encompassing regular PCR screening for infection, symptom reporting, imputation of HLAII genotype and analysis for antibody and T-cell responses to nucleoprotein (N) and spike (S). Of 272 (20%) HCW who seroconverted, the presence of HLA-DRB1*13:02 was associated with a 6·7-fold increased risk of case definition symptomatic COVID-19. In terms of immune responsiveness, HLA-DRB1*15:02 was associated with lower nucleocapsid T-cell responses. There was no association between DRB1 alleles and anti-spike antibody titres after two COVID vaccine doses. However, HLA DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased spike T-cell responses following both first and second dose vaccination. Trial registration: NCT04318314 and ISRCTN15677965.

COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
BMC Med ; 19(1): 37, 2021 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079239


BACKGROUND: Chronic inflammation, which can be modulated by diet, is linked to high white blood cell counts and correlates with higher cardiometabolic risk and risk of more severe infections, as in the case of COVID-19. METHODS: Here, we assessed the association between white blood cell profile (lymphocytes, basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes and total white blood cells) as markers of chronic inflammation, habitual diet and gut microbiome composition (determined by sequencing of the 16S RNA) in 986 healthy individuals from the PREDICT-1 nutritional intervention study. We then investigated whether the gut microbiome mediates part of the benefits of vegetable intake on lymphocyte counts. RESULTS: Higher levels of white blood cells, lymphocytes and basophils were all significantly correlated with lower habitual intake of vegetables, with vegetable intake explaining between 3.59 and 6.58% of variation in white blood cells after adjusting for covariates and multiple testing using false discovery rate (q < 0.1). No such association was seen with fruit intake. A mediation analysis found that 20.00% of the effect of vegetable intake on lymphocyte counts was mediated by one bacterial genus, Collinsella, known to increase with the intake of processed foods and previously associated with fatty liver disease. We further correlated white blood cells to other inflammatory markers including IL6 and GlycA, fasting and post-prandial glucose levels and found a significant relationship between inflammation and diet. CONCLUSION: A habitual diet high in vegetables, but not fruits, is linked to a lower inflammatory profile for white blood cells, and a fifth of the effect is mediated by the genus Collinsella. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The registration identifier is NCT03479866 .

Diet , Fruit , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Leukocytes , Vegetables , Actinobacteria , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , Clostridiales , Clostridium , Fasting , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Leukocyte Count , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Mediation Analysis , Middle Aged , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , Ruminococcus , SARS-CoV-2