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1.
Semin Hematol ; 59(2): 97-107, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768934

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT; synonym, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, is associated with high-titer immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against platelet factor 4 (PF4). These antibodies activate platelets via platelet FcγIIa receptors, with platelet activation greatly enhanced by PF4. Here we summarize the current concepts in the pathogenesis of VITT. We first address parallels between heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and VITT, and provide recent findings on binding of PF4 to adenovirus particles and non-assembled adenovirus proteins in the 2 adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccines, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and Ad26.COV2.S. Further, we discuss the potential role of vaccine constituents such as glycosaminoglycans, EDTA, polysorbate 80, human cell-line proteins and nucleotides as potential binding partners of PF4. The immune response towards PF4 in VITT is likely triggered by a proinflammatory milieu. Human cell-line proteins, non-assembled virus proteins, and potentially EDTA may contribute to the proinflammatory state. The transient nature of the immune response towards PF4 in VITT makes it likely that-as in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia -marginal zone B cells are key for antibody production. Once high-titer anti-PF4 antibodies have been formed 5 to 20 days after vaccination, they activate platelets and granulocytes. Activated granulocytes undergo NETosis and the released DNA also forms complexes with PF4, which fuels the Fcγ receptor-dependent cell activation process, ultimately leading to massive thrombin generation. Finally, we summarize our initial observations indicating that VITT-like antibodies might also be present in rare patients with recurrent venous and arterial thrombotic complications, independent of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Thrombosis , Ad26COVS1 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Edetic Acid/adverse effects , Humans , Platelet Factor 4 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Thrombosis/chemically induced
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311513

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCov-19 rarely causes vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) that—like autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia—is mediated by platelet-activating anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies. Methods: We investigated vaccine, PF4, and VITT patient-derived anti-PF4 antibody interactions using dynamic light scattering, 3D-super-resolution microscopy, and electron microscopy. Mass spectrometry was used to analyze vaccine composition. We investigated the mechanism for early post-vaccine inflammatory reactions as potential co-stimulant for anti-PF4 immune response. Finally, we evaluated VITT antibodies for inducing release of procoagulant DNA-containing neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), and measured DNase activity in VITT patient serum. Results: Biophysical analyses showed formation of complexes between PF4 and vaccine constituents, including virus proteins that were recognized by VITT antibodies. EDTA, a vaccine constituent, increased microvascular leakage in mice allowing for circulation of virus- and virus-producing cell culture-derived proteins. Antibodies in normal sera cross-reacted with human proteins in the vaccine and likely contribute to commonly observed acute ChAdOx1 nCov-19 post-vaccination inflammatory reactions. Polyphosphates and DNA enhanced PF4-dependent platelet activation by VITT antibodies. In the presence of platelets, PF4 enhanced VITT antibody-driven procoagulant NETs formation, while DNase activity was reduced in VITT sera, with granulocyte-rich cerebral vein thrombosis observed in a VITT patient. Conclusions: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine constituents (i) form antigenic complexes with PF4, (ii) EDTA increases microvascular permeability, and (iii) vaccine components cause acute inflammatory reactions. Antigen formation in a proinflammatory milieu offers an explanation for anti-PF4 antibody production. High-titer anti-PF4 antibodies activate platelets and induce neutrophil activation and NETs formation, fueling the VITT prothrombotic response.

3.
Blood ; 138(22): 2256-2268, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443788

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) causes a thromboembolic complication termed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Using biophysical techniques, mouse models, and analysis of VITT patient samples, we identified determinants of this vaccine-induced adverse reaction. Super-resolution microscopy visualized vaccine components forming antigenic complexes with platelet factor 4 (PF4) on platelet surfaces to which anti-PF4 antibodies obtained from VITT patients bound. PF4/vaccine complex formation was charge-driven and increased by addition of DNA. Proteomics identified substantial amounts of virus production-derived T-REx HEK293 proteins in the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-containing vaccine. Injected vaccine increased vascular leakage in mice, leading to systemic dissemination of vaccine components known to stimulate immune responses. Together, PF4/vaccine complex formation and the vaccine-stimulated proinflammatory milieu trigger a pronounced B-cell response that results in the formation of high-avidity anti-PF4 antibodies in VITT patients. The resulting high-titer anti-PF4 antibodies potently activated platelets in the presence of PF4 or DNA and polyphosphate polyanions. Anti-PF4 VITT patient antibodies also stimulated neutrophils to release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in a platelet PF4-dependent manner. Biomarkers of procoagulant NETs were elevated in VITT patient serum, and NETs were visualized in abundance by immunohistochemistry in cerebral vein thrombi obtained from VITT patients. Together, vaccine-induced PF4/adenovirus aggregates and proinflammatory reactions stimulate pathologic anti-PF4 antibody production that drives thrombosis in VITT. The data support a 2-step mechanism underlying VITT that resembles the pathogenesis of (autoimmune) heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.


Subject(s)
Antigen-Antibody Complex/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Capsid Proteins/adverse effects , Drug Contamination , Genetic Vectors/adverse effects , HEK293 Cells/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/adverse effects , Adenoviridae/immunology , Animals , Antigen-Antibody Complex/ultrastructure , Autoantibodies/biosynthesis , Capillary Leak Syndrome/etiology , Capsid Proteins/immunology , Cell Line, Transformed , /immunology , Dynamic Light Scattering , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials/etiology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , HEK293 Cells/chemistry , Humans , Imaging, Three-Dimensional , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Inflammation , Mice , Microscopy/methods , Platelet Activation , Proteomics , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/diagnostic imaging , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Cultivation
4.
Blood ; 138(4): 299-303, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228983

ABSTRACT

Vaccination using the adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) has been associated with rare vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Affected patients test strongly positive in platelet factor 4 (PF4)/polyanion enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), and serum-induced platelet activation is maximal in the presence of PF4. We determined the frequency of anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies in healthy vaccinees and assessed whether PF4/polyanion EIA+ sera exhibit platelet-activating properties after vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n = 138) or BNT162b2 (BioNTech/Pfizer; n = 143). In total, 19 of 281 participants tested positive for anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies postvaccination (All: 6.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.4-10.3]; BNT162b2: 5.6% [95% CI, 2.9-10.7]; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 8.0% [95% CI, 4.5% to 13.7%]). Optical densities were mostly low (between 0.5 and 1.0 units; reference range, <0.50), and none of the PF4/polyanion EIA+ samples induced platelet activation in the presence of PF4. We conclude that positive PF4/polyanion EIAs can occur after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination with both messenger RNA- and adenoviral vector-based vaccines, but many of these antibodies likely have minor (if any) clinical relevance. Accordingly, low-titer positive PF4/polyanion EIA results should be interpreted with caution when screening asymptomatic individuals after vaccination against COVID-19. Pathogenic platelet-activating antibodies that cause VITT do not occur commonly following vaccination.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Polyelectrolytes , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/etiology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , Autoantibodies/blood , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Activation , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/immunology , Seroconversion , Thrombophilia/etiology
5.
Blood ; 137(26): 3656-3659, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1215090

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is crucial in combatting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. The rare complication of thrombocytopenia and thrombotic complications at unusual sites after ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination is caused by platelet-activating antibodies directed against platelet factor 4 (PF4). We present a widely applicable whole-blood standard flow cytometric assay to identify the pathogenic antibodies associated with vaccine-induced immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination. This assay will enable rapid diagnosis by many laboratories. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT04370119.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Flow Cytometry/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Platelet Activation/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/diagnosis , Receptors, IgG/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects , Antibody Specificity , Autoantibodies/biosynthesis , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Heparin/adverse effects , Heparin/immunology , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , P-Selectin/analysis , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology
6.
Transfus Med Hemother ; 48(3): 148-153, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146485

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In the light of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, convalescent plasma is a treatment option for CO-VID-19. In contrast to usual therapeutic plasma, the therapeutic agents of convalescent plasma do not represent clotting factor activities, but immunoglobulins. Quarantine storage of convalescent plasma as a measure to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission is not feasible. Therefore, pathogen inactivation (e.g., Theraflex®-MB, Macopharma, Mouvaux, France) is an attractive option. Data on the impact of pathogen inactivation by methylene blue (MB) treatment on antibody integrity are sparse. METHODS: Antigen-specific binding capacity was tested before and after MB treatment of plasma (n = 10). IgG and IgM isoagglutinin titers were tested by agglutination in increasing dilutions. Furthermore, the binding of anti-EBV and anti-tetanus toxin IgG to their specific antigens was assessed by ELISA, and IgG binding to Fc receptors was assessed by flow cytometry using THP-1 cells expressing FcRI and FcRII. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the isoagglutinin titers, the antigen binding capacity of anti-EBV and anti-tetanus toxin IgG, as well as the Fc receptor binding capacity before and after MB treatment of plasma. CONCLUSION: MB treatment of plasma does not inhibit the binding capacity of IgM and IgG to their epitopes, or the Fc receptor interaction of IgG. Based on these results, MB treatment of convalescent plasma is appropriate to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission if quarantine storage is omitted.

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