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1.
An Acad Bras Cienc ; 94(3): e20211590, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910746

ABSTRACT

Health professionals working to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic are one of the main risk groups for the disease, being prioritized for vaccination. Considering this, the aim of this study was to analyze the immune response of these professionals immunized with CoronaVac in the first and second doses. Blood samples were collected after the first and second doses of the vaccine (CoronaVac) and used to investigate hematological and biochemical parameters, analysis of immunoglobulin production, cytokines, and gene expression profile, as well as the identification of subsets of immune cells. Post-first dose immunological phenotypic memory (CD27+) profiles (T CD4+, TCD8+ and CD19+) showed a significant increase, as did Monocyte APCs (CD80+HLA-DR+) in relation to the second dose. The cytokines IL-2, IL-6 and IFN-° showed increased values in relation to the other analyzed cytokines. The Th2/Th17 profile in the second dose was characterized by gene expression analysis. The production of IgM and IgG after vaccination showed statistically significant values in the comparison between doses. CoronaVac showed activation of APCs monocytes, memory response of T and B lymphocytes, with immunoglobulins production. This set of responses is characterized by the Th2/Th17 immunological profile.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Vaccines, Inactivated
2.
Transplantation ; 106(5): 1012-1023, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806755

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Kidney transplant patients are at high risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related mortality. However, limited data are available on longer-term clinical, functional, and mental health outcomes in patients who survive COVID-19. METHODS: We analyzed data from adult kidney transplant patients in the European Renal Association COVID-19 Database who presented with COVID-19 between February 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021. RESULTS: We included 912 patients with a mean age of 56.7 (±13.7) y. 26.4% were not hospitalized, 57.5% were hospitalized without need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and 16.1% were hospitalized and admitted to the ICU. At 3 mo follow-up survival was 82.3% overall, and 98.8%, 84.2%, and 49.0%, respectively, in each group. At 3 mo follow-up biopsy-proven acute rejection, need for renal replacement therapy, and graft failure occurred in the overall group in 0.8%, 2.6%, and 1.8% respectively, and in 2.1%, 10.6%, and 10.6% of ICU-admitted patients, respectively. Of the surviving patients, 83.3% and 94.4% reached their pre-COVID-19 physician-reported functional and mental health status, respectively, within 3 mo. Of patients who had not yet reached their prior functional and mental health status, their treating physicians expected that 79.6% and 80.0%, respectively, still would do so within the coming year. ICU admission was independently associated with a low likelihood to reach prior functional and mental health status. CONCLUSIONS: In kidney transplant recipients alive at 3-mo follow-up, clinical, physician-reported functional, and mental health recovery was good for both nonhospitalized and hospitalized patients. Recovery was, however, less favorable for patients who had been admitted to the ICU.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Kidney Transplantation , Adult , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260283, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523456

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 viral attachment and entry into host cells is mediated by a direct interaction between viral spike glycoproteins and membrane bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The receptor binding motif (RBM), located within the S1 subunit of the spike protein, incorporates the majority of known ACE2 contact residues responsible for high affinity binding and associated virulence. Observation of existing crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (SRBD)-ACE2 interface, combined with peptide array screening, allowed us to define a series of linear native RBM-derived peptides that were selected as potential antiviral decoy sequences with the aim of directly binding ACE2 and attenuating viral cell entry. RBM1 (16mer): S443KVGGNYNYLYRLFRK458, RBM2A (25mer): E484GFNCYFPLQSYGFQPTNGVGYQPY508, RBM2B (20mer): F456NCYFPLQSYGFQPTNGVGY505 and RBM2A-Sc (25mer): NYGLQGSPFGYQETPYPFCNFVQYG. Data from fluorescence polarisation experiments suggested direct binding between RBM peptides and ACE2, with binding affinities ranging from the high nM to low µM range (Kd = 0.207-1.206 µM). However, the RBM peptides demonstrated only modest effects in preventing SRBD internalisation and showed no antiviral activity in a spike protein trimer neutralisation assay. The RBM peptides also failed to suppress S1-protein mediated inflammation in an endogenously expressing ACE2 human cell line. We conclude that linear native RBM-derived peptides are unable to outcompete viral spike protein for binding to ACE2 and therefore represent a suboptimal approach to inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 viral cell entry. These findings reinforce the notion that larger biologics (such as soluble ACE2, 'miniproteins', nanobodies and antibodies) are likely better suited as SARS-CoV-2 cell-entry inhibitors than short-sequence linear peptides.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Peptides/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
4.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1514519

ABSTRACT

Background Worldwide there is an overwhelming amount of information about COVID-19 circulating online, also named infodemic. Misinformation (the unintentional) and disinformation (the intentional) spreading of false information have proven to be very dangerous to public health. Hence, more than ever, people need skills for searching, evaluating and integrating information related to health in daily life, i.e., health literacy. Until now, little is known about the digital health literacy of university students and their information-seeking behaviour. Hence, this study aimed to analyse the associations between university students' digital health literacy and online information queries during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (and infodemic) in Portugal. Methods A cross-sectional study of 3.084 Portuguese university students (75.7% females), with an average age of 24.2 (SD = 7.5), was conducted using an online survey. We used sociodemographic data (sex, age, subjective social status) and the digital health literacy questionnaire adapted to the specific COVID-19 context. Online information queries included the topics related to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 searched by students. Logistic regression models were performed. Results Online information queries (e.g., individual measures to protect against infection, current spread of the virus, current situation assessments and recommendations) were associated with an increased odds of achieving sufficient digital health literacy. Conclusions Online information queries related to epidemiological and public health topics are significantly associated with digital health literacy in times of COVID-19. Further studies are needed, including programs that improve digital health literacy among university students and increase the availability of high-quality content information.

5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 695972, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339498

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 ranges from asymptomatic in 35% of cases to severe in 20% of patients. Differences in the type and degree of inflammation appear to determine the severity of the disease. Recent reports show an increase in circulating monocytic-myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSC) in severe COVID 19 that deplete arginine but are not associated with respiratory complications. Our data shows that differences in the type, function and transcriptome of granulocytic-MDSC (G-MDSC) may in part explain the severity COVID-19, in particular the association with pulmonary complications. Large infiltrates by Arginase 1+ G-MDSC (Arg+G-MDSC), expressing NOX-1 and NOX-2 (important for production of reactive oxygen species) were found in the lungs of patients who died from COVID-19 complications. Increased circulating Arg+G-MDSC depleted arginine, which impaired T cell receptor and endothelial cell function. Transcriptomic signatures of G-MDSC from patients with different stages of COVID-19, revealed that asymptomatic patients had increased expression of pathways and genes associated with type I interferon (IFN), while patients with severe COVID-19 had increased expression of genes associated with arginase production, and granulocyte degranulation and function. These results suggest that asymptomatic patients develop a protective type I IFN response, while patients with severe COVID-19 have an increased inflammatory response that depletes arginine, impairs T cell and endothelial cell function, and causes extensive pulmonary damage. Therefore, inhibition of arginase-1 and/or replenishment of arginine may be important in preventing/treating severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Granulocytes/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Arginase/antagonists & inhibitors , Arginase/metabolism , Arginine/administration & dosage , Arginine/blood , Arginine/metabolism , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Case-Control Studies , Drug Therapy, Combination/methods , Enzyme Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Female , Granulocytes/metabolism , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
6.
CJC Open ; 3(10): 1257-1272, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272339

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, represents the largest medical challenge in decades. It has exposed unexpected cardiovascular vulnerabilities at all stages of the disease (pre-infection, acute phase, and subsequent chronic phase). The major cardiometabolic drivers identified as having epidemiologic and mechanistic associations with COVID-19 are abnormal adiposity, dysglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Hypertension is of particular interest, because components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which are critically involved in the pathophysiology of hypertension, are also implicated in COVID-19. Specifically, angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), a multifunctional protein of the RAS, which is part of the protective axis of the RAS, is also the receptor through which SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells, causing viral infection. Cardiovascular and cardiometabolic comorbidities not only predispose people to COVID-19, but also are complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, increasing evidence indicates that acute kidney injury is common in COVID-19, occurs early and in temporal association with respiratory failure, and is associated with poor prognosis, especially in the presence of cardiovascular risk factors. Here, we discuss cardiovascular and kidney disease in the context of COVID-19 and provide recent advances on putative pathophysiological mechanisms linking cardiovascular disease and COVID-19, focusing on the RAS and ACE2, as well as the immune system and inflammation. We provide up-to-date information on the relationships among hypertension, diabetes, and COVID-19 and emphasize the major cardiovascular diseases associated with COVID-19. We also briefly discuss emerging cardiovascular complications associated with long COVID-19, notably postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS).


La pandémie actuelle de COVID-19 causée par le coronavirus du syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère 2 (SRAS-CoV-2) est le plus grand enjeu médical des dernières décennies. Elle a mis en évidence des vulnérabilités cardiovasculaires imprévues à tous les stades de la COVID-19 (avant l'infection, pendant la phase aiguë et pendant la phase chronique subséquente). Les principaux facteurs cardiométaboliques dont les associations épidémiologiques et mécanistiques avec la COVID-19 ont été avérées comprennent l'adiposité anormale, la dysglycémie, la dyslipidémie et l'hypertension. L'hypertension suscite un intérêt particulier, car certaines composantes du système rénine-angiotensine (SRA), dont le rôle est crucial dans la physiopathologie de l'hypertension, sont également en cause dans la COVID-19. Plus précisément, l'enzyme de conversion de l'angiotensine 2 (ECA2), une protéine multifonctionnelle du SRA faisant partie de l'axe protecteur du SRA, est également le récepteur permettant au virus SRAS-CoV-2 d'entrer dans les cellules hôtes et de provoquer une infection virale. Les affections cardiovasculaires et cardiométaboliques concomitantes ne font pas que prédisposer les personnes qui en sont atteintes à la COVID-19, elles constituent également des complications de l'infection à SRAS-CoV-2. En outre, de plus en plus de données probantes indiquent que l'atteinte rénale aiguë est fréquente en cas de COVID-19, qu'elle survient tôt et fait l'objet d'une association temporelle avec l'insuffisance respiratoire, et qu'elle est associée à un pronostic sombre, notamment en présence de facteurs de risque cardiovasculaires. Nous discutons ici des maladies cardiovasculaires et rénales dans le contexte de la COVID-19, et présentons les progrès récents sur les mécanismes physiopathologiques en cause dans le lien entre les maladies cardiovasculaires et la COVID-19 en nous attardant sur le SRA et l'ECA2, ainsi que sur le système immunitaire et l'inflammation. Nous présentons de l'information à jour sur les liens entre l'hypertension, le diabète et la COVID-19, et soulignons les principales maladies cardiovasculaires associées à la COVID-19. Nous analysons également brièvement les complications cardiovasculaires émergentes associées à la COVID-19 de longue durée, notamment le syndrome de tachycardie orthostatique posturale (STOP).

7.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20219949

ABSTRACT

In the face of new diseases, medicine needs to reinvent itself in order to contain and control epidemics, such as the one we have recently faced, COVID-19, a disease with a wide spectrum of clinical severity. A new moment has been established, since the application of well known, effective and safe medications for other diseases, has shown high success rates in the treatment of COVID-19. Thereunto, studies with early intervention are needed, which can change the unfavorable outcome of patients. In this article, we report the successful experience using an oral strategy during the collapse of Belem do Para Health System, Brazil. Two hundred and ten patients were diagnosed with respiratory failure due to COVID-19, with no option of hospital treatment due to lack of beds and resources. These patients were then started on therapeutic regimen consisting of prednisolone, enoxaparin and macrolides associated and followed in outpatient facilities. Two hundred and eight patients had excellent therapeutic response and there were only two fatalities. These results push research boundaries, valuing outpatient treatment with early use of prednisolone in the initial pulmonary phase, preventing severe COVID-19 pneumonitis. Adoption of the proposed treatment intends to reduce the need for hospitalization, as well as lethality, with social robust benefits and incalculable economic savings since involves the use of accessible, safe and not expensive medications.

8.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21254441

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 ranges from asymptomatic in 35% of cases to severe in 20% of patients. Differences in the type and degree of inflammation appear to determine the severity of the disease. Recent reports show an increase in circulating monocytic-myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSC) in severe COVID 19, that deplete arginine but are not associated with respiratory complications. Our data shows that differences in the type, function and transcriptome of Granulocytic-MDSC (G-MDSC) may in part explain the severity COVID-19, in particular the association with pulmonary complications. Large infiltrates by Arginase 1+ G-MDSC (Arg+G-MDSC), expressing NOX-1 and NOX-2 (important for production of reactive oxygen species) were found in the lungs of patients who died from COVID-19 complications. Increased circulating Arg+G-MDSC depleted arginine, which impaired T cell receptor and endothelial cell function. Transcriptomic signatures of G-MDSC from patients with different stages of COVID-19, revealed that asymptomatic patients had increased expression of pathways and genes associated with type I interferon (IFN), while patients with severe COVID-19 had increased expression of genes associated with arginase production, and granulocyte degranulation and function. These results suggest that asymptomatic patients develop a protective type I IFN response, while patients with severe COVID-19 have an increased inflammatory response that depletes arginine, impairs T cell and endothelial cell function, and causes extensive pulmonary damage. Therefore, inhibition of arginase-1 and/or replenishment of arginine may be important in preventing/treating severe COVID-19.

9.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247640, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neutralizing-antibody (nAb) is the major focus of most ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials. However, nAb response against SARS-CoV-2, when present, decays rapidly. Given the myriad roles of antibodies in immune responses, it is possible that antibodies could also mediate protection against SARS-CoV-2 via effector mechanisms such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), which we sought to explore here. METHODS: Plasma of 3 uninfected controls and 20 subjects exposed to, or recovering from, SARS-CoV-2 infection were collected from U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Immunofluorescence assay was used to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in the plasma samples. SARS-CoV-2 specific neutralizing capability of these plasmas was assessed with SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus. ADCC activity was assessed with a calcein release assay. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies were detected in all COVID-19 subjects studied. All but three COVID-19 subjects contained nAb at high potency (>80% neutralization). Plasma from 19/20 of COVID-19 subjects also demonstrated strong ADCC activity against SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, including two individuals without nAb against SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSION: Both neutralizing and non-neutralizing COVID-19 plasmas can mediate ADCC. Our findings argue that evaluation of potential vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 should include investigation of the magnitude and durability of ADCC, in addition to nAb.


Subject(s)
Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
10.
Cell Immunol ; 362: 104302, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085577

ABSTRACT

MDSC are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells that are released by biological stress such as tissue damage and inflammation. Conventionally, MDSC are known for their detrimental role in chronic inflammation and neoplastic conditions. However, their intrinsic functions in immunoregulation, wound healing, and angiogenesis are intended to protect from over-reactive immune responses, maintenance of immunotolerance, tissue repair, and homeostasis. Paradoxically, under certain conditions, MDSC can impair protective immune responses and exacerbate the disease. The transition from protective to harmful MDSC is most likely driven by environmental and epigenetic mechanisms induced by prolonged exposure to unresolved inflammatory triggers. Here, we review several examples of the dual impact of MDSC in conditions such as maternal-fetal tolerance, self-antigens immunotolerance, obesity-associated cancer, sepsis and trauma. Moreover, we also highlighted the evidence indicating that MDSC have a role in COVID-19 pathophysiology. Finally, we have summarized the evidence indicating epigenetic mechanisms associated with MDSC function.


Subject(s)
Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic , Female , Humans , Immune Tolerance/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Male , Neoplasms/immunology , Obesity/immunology , Pregnancy , Wound Healing/immunology
11.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(2): 387-407, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054073

ABSTRACT

The two axes of the renin-angiotensin system include the classical ACE/Ang II/AT1 axis and the counter-regulatory ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas1 axis. ACE2 is a multifunctional monocarboxypeptidase responsible for generating Ang-(1-7) from Ang II. ACE2 is important in the vascular system where it is found in arterial and venous endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells in many vascular beds. Among the best characterized functions of ACE2 is its role in regulating vascular tone. ACE2 through its effector peptide Ang-(1-7) and receptor Mas1 induces vasodilation and attenuates Ang II-induced vasoconstriction. In endothelial cells activation of the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas1 axis increases production of the vasodilator's nitric oxide and prostacyclin's and in vascular smooth muscle cells it inhibits pro-contractile and pro-inflammatory signaling. Endothelial ACE2 is cleaved by proteases, shed into the circulation and measured as soluble ACE2. Plasma ACE2 activity is increased in cardiovascular disease and may have prognostic significance in disease severity. In addition to its enzymatic function, ACE2 is the receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV) and SARS-Cov-2, which cause SARS and coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) respectively. ACE-2 is thus a double-edged sword: it promotes cardiovascular health while also facilitating the devastations caused by coronaviruses. COVID-19 is associated with cardiovascular disease as a risk factor and as a complication. Mechanisms linking COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease are unclear, but vascular ACE2 may be important. This review focuses on the vascular biology and (patho)physiology of ACE2 in cardiovascular health and disease and briefly discusses the role of vascular ACE2 as a potential mediator of vascular injury in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin I/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism , Vascular Diseases/virology , Animals , Blood Vessels/enzymology , Humans , Proto-Oncogene Mas , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vascular Diseases/metabolism
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