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1.
Nat Immunol ; 24(6): 966-978, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245297

ABSTRACT

High-risk groups, including Indigenous people, are at risk of severe COVID-19. Here we found that Australian First Nations peoples elicit effective immune responses to COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccination, including neutralizing antibodies, receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies, SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific B cells, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. In First Nations participants, RBD IgG antibody titers were correlated with body mass index and negatively correlated with age. Reduced RBD antibodies, spike-specific B cells and follicular helper T cells were found in vaccinated participants with chronic conditions (diabetes, renal disease) and were strongly associated with altered glycosylation of IgG and increased interleukin-18 levels in the plasma. These immune perturbations were also found in non-Indigenous people with comorbidities, indicating that they were related to comorbidities rather than ethnicity. However, our study is of a great importance to First Nations peoples who have disproportionate rates of chronic comorbidities and provides evidence of robust immune responses after COVID-19 vaccination in Indigenous people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Australia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Immunity , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
2.
JCI Insight ; 8(7)2023 04 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296026

ABSTRACT

Pregnancy poses a greater risk for severe COVID-19; however, underlying immunological changes associated with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy are poorly understood. We defined immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in unvaccinated pregnant and nonpregnant women with acute and convalescent COVID-19, quantifying 217 immunological parameters. Humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 were similar in pregnant and nonpregnant women, although our systems serology approach revealed distinct antibody and FcγR profiles between pregnant and nonpregnant women. Cellular analyses demonstrated marked differences in NK cell and unconventional T cell activation dynamics in pregnant women. Healthy pregnant women displayed preactivated NK cells and γδ T cells when compared with healthy nonpregnant women, which remained unchanged during acute and convalescent COVID-19. Conversely, nonpregnant women had prototypical activation of NK and γδ T cells. Activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and T follicular helper cells was similar in SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant and nonpregnant women, while antibody-secreting B cells were increased in pregnant women during acute COVID-19. Elevated levels of IL-8, IL-10, and IL-18 were found in pregnant women in their healthy state, and these cytokine levels remained elevated during acute and convalescent COVID-19. Collectively, we demonstrate perturbations in NK cell and γδ T cell activation in unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19, which may impact disease progression and severity during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Killer Cells, Natural , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1043219, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2246241

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Infected individuals display a wide spectrum of disease severity, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the main factors underlying this heterogeneity is the host immune response, with severe COVID-19 often associated with a hyperinflammatory state. Aim: Our current study aimed to pinpoint the specific genes and pathways underlying differences in the disease spectrum and outcomes observed, through in-depth analyses of whole blood transcriptomics in a large cohort of COVID-19 participants. Results: All WHO severity levels were well represented and mild and severe disease displaying distinct gene expression profiles. WHO severity levels 1-4 were grouped as mild disease, and signatures from these participants were different from those with WHO severity levels 6-9 classified as severe disease. Severity level 5 (moderate cases) presented a unique transitional gene signature between severity levels 2-4 (mild/moderate) and 6-9 (severe) and hence might represent the turning point for better or worse disease outcome. Gene expression changes are very distinct when comparing mild/moderate or severe cases to healthy controls. In particular, we demonstrated the hallmark down-regulation of adaptive immune response pathways and activation of neutrophil pathways in severe compared to mild/moderate cases, as well as activation of blood coagulation pathways. Conclusions: Our data revealed discrete gene signatures associated with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 identifying valuable candidates for future biomarker discovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/genetics , Transcriptome , SARS-CoV-2 , Gene Expression Profiling , Neutrophils
4.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2236852

ABSTRACT

Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Infected individuals display a wide spectrum of disease severity, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the main factors underlying this heterogeneity is the host immune response, with severe COVID-19 often associated with a hyperinflammatory state. Aim Our current study aimed to pinpoint the specific genes and pathways underlying differences in the disease spectrum and outcomes observed, through in-depth analyses of whole blood transcriptomics in a large cohort of COVID-19 participants. Results All WHO severity levels were well represented and mild and severe disease displaying distinct gene expression profiles. WHO severity levels 1-4 were grouped as mild disease, and signatures from these participants were different from those with WHO severity levels 6-9 classified as severe disease. Severity level 5 (moderate cases) presented a unique transitional gene signature between severity levels 2-4 (mild/moderate) and 6-9 (severe) and hence might represent the turning point for better or worse disease outcome. Gene expression changes are very distinct when comparing mild/moderate or severe cases to healthy controls. In particular, we demonstrated the hallmark down-regulation of adaptive immune response pathways and activation of neutrophil pathways in severe compared to mild/moderate cases, as well as activation of blood coagulation pathways. Conclusions Our data revealed discrete gene signatures associated with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 identifying valuable candidates for future biomarker discovery.

5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(3)2023 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2216342

ABSTRACT

Patients with preexisting metabolic disorders such as diabetes are at a higher risk of developing severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Mitochondrion, the very organelle that controls cellular metabolism, holds the key to understanding disease progression at the cellular level. Our current study aimed to understand how cellular metabolism contributes to COVID-19 outcomes. Metacore pathway enrichment analyses on differentially expressed genes (encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)) involved in cellular metabolism, regulation of mitochondrial respiration and organization, and apoptosis, was performed on RNA sequencing (RNASeq) data from blood samples collected from healthy controls and patients with mild/moderate or severe COVID-19. Genes from the enriched pathways were analyzed by network analysis to uncover interactions among them and up- or downstream genes within each pathway. Compared to the mild/moderate COVID-19, the upregulation of a myriad of growth factor and cell cycle signaling pathways, with concomitant downregulation of interferon signaling pathways, were observed in the severe group. Matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9) was found in five of the top 10 upregulated pathways, indicating its potential as therapeutic target against COVID-19. In summary, our data demonstrates aberrant activation of endocrine signaling in severe COVID-19, and its implication in immune and metabolic dysfunction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/genetics , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins , Mitochondria/metabolism
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2774, 2022 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900484

ABSTRACT

Respiratory tract infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in varying immunopathology underlying COVID-19. We examine cellular, humoral and cytokine responses covering 382 immune components in longitudinal blood and respiratory samples from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM, IgG, IgA are detected in respiratory tract and blood, however, receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific IgM and IgG seroconversion is enhanced in respiratory specimens. SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity in respiratory samples correlates with RBD-specific IgM and IgG levels. Cytokines/chemokines vary between respiratory samples and plasma, indicating that inflammation should be assessed in respiratory specimens to understand immunopathology. IFN-α2 and IL-12p70 in endotracheal aspirate and neutralization in sputum negatively correlate with duration of hospital stay. Diverse immune subsets are detected in respiratory samples, dominated by neutrophils. Importantly, dexamethasone treatment does not affect humoral responses in blood of COVID-19 patients. Our study unveils differential immune responses between respiratory samples and blood, and shows how drug therapy affects immune responses during COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
8.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(3): 100208, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065663

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes a spectrum of COVID-19 disease, the immunological basis of which remains ill defined. We analyzed 85 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals at acute and/or convalescent time points, up to 102 days after symptom onset, quantifying 184 immunological parameters. Acute COVID-19 presented with high levels of IL-6, IL-18, and IL-10 and broad activation marked by the upregulation of CD38 on innate and adaptive lymphocytes and myeloid cells. Importantly, activated CXCR3+cTFH1 cells in acute COVID-19 significantly correlate with and predict antibody levels and their avidity at convalescence as well as acute neutralization activity. Strikingly, intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe COVID-19 display higher levels of soluble IL-6, IL-6R, and IL-18, and hyperactivation of innate, adaptive, and myeloid compartments than patients with moderate disease. Our analyses provide a comprehensive map of longitudinal immunological responses in COVID-19 patients and integrate key cellular pathways of complex immune networks underpinning severe COVID-19, providing important insights into potential biomarkers and immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, CXCR3/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Th1 Cells/cytology , Th1 Cells/metabolism , Young Adult
9.
J Pak Med Assoc ; 70(Suppl 3)(5): S38-S43, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-609354

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has taken the world by storm in the ongoing pandemic. The virus responsible for COVID-19 disease is 'severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2' SARS-CoV-2, an enveloped RNA beta-coronavirus from the family Coronaviridae. There have been similar beta-coronavirus disease outbreaks previously: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS - 2002) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS - 2012) epidemics. SARS-CoV-2 origins have been traced to bat reservoirs. A virus with a high capacity for mutation, SARS-CoV-2 poses unique challenges both in the current form of disease control and management, while also leaving the door open for future novel diseases and pandemics. An understanding of the virion structure and genomic organisation will help us in understanding their origins and likely course of future evolution. Moreover, novel cost-effective methodologies for genetic surveillance may help in mitigating the emergence of these viral infections in future. In this manuscript, the authors have detailed the unique aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome and its clinical implications.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Asia , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Mutation/genetics , Mutation Rate , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Virion/genetics
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