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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337673

ABSTRACT

Summary Unlike mRNA vaccines based only on the Spike protein, inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines should induce a diversified T cell response recognizing distinct structural proteins. Here we performed a comparative analysis of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells in healthy individuals following vaccination with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 or mRNA vaccines. Relative to Spike mRNA vaccination, inactivated vaccines elicited a lower magnitude of Spike-specific T cells, but the combined Membrane, Nucleoprotein and Spike-specific T cell response was quantitatively comparable to the sole Spike T cell response induced by mRNA vaccines, and they efficiently tolerate the mutations characterizing the Omicron lineage. However, this multi-protein specific T cell response was not mediated by a coordinated CD4 and CD8 T cell expansion but by selected priming of CD4 T cells. These findings can help in defining the role of CD4 and CD8 T cells in the efficacy of the different vaccines to control severe COVID-19 after Omicron infection.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336993

ABSTRACT

Rapid recognition of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells by T cells resident in the upper airway might provide an important layer of protection against COVID-19. Whether parenchymal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or infection induce nasal resident T cells specific for distinct SARS-CoV-2 proteins is unknown. We collected T cells from the nasal secretion of COVID-19 vaccinees, who either experienced SARS-CoV-2 infection after vaccination (n=20) or not (n=15) and analyzed their phenotype, SARS-CoV-2 specificity and function. Nasal-resident IFN-γ producing SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8 and CD4 T cells were detected exclusively in vaccinees who experienced SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection. Importantly, the vaccine priming of Spike-specific T cells does not suppress the induction of CD8 and CD4 T cells specific for different SARS-CoV-2 proteins (i.e. NP and NSP-12) that persisted in the nasal cavity up to 3 months after infection. These data highlight the importance of viral nasal challenge in the formation of SARS-CoV-2 specific antiviral immunity at the site of primary infection and further define the immunological features of SARS-CoV-2 hybrid immunity.

3.
J Clin Invest ; 132(12)2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832834

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDPatients undergoing immune-modifying therapies demonstrate a reduced humoral response after COVID-19 vaccination, but we lack a proper evaluation of the effect of such therapies on vaccine-induced T cell responses.METHODSWe longitudinally characterized humoral and spike-specific T cell responses in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who were on antimetabolite therapy (azathioprine or methotrexate), TNF inhibitors, and/or other biologic treatment (anti-integrin or anti-p40) for up to 6 months after completing 2-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.RESULTSWe demonstrate that a spike-specific T cell response was not only induced in treated patients with IBD at levels similar to those of healthy individuals, but also sustained at higher magnitude for up to 6 months after vaccination, particularly in those treated with TNF inhibitor therapy. Furthermore, the spike-specific T cell response in these patients was mainly preserved against mutations present in SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) and characterized by a Th1/IL-10 cytokine profile.CONCLUSIONDespite the humoral response defects, patients under immune-modifying therapies demonstrated a favorable profile of vaccine-induced T cell responses that might still provide a layer of COVID-19 protection.FUNDINGThis study was funded by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) Catalyst Grant (FY2021ES) and the National Research Fund Competitive Research Programme (NRF-CRP25-2020-0003).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/genetics
5.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 879-882.e2, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719463

ABSTRACT

The inflammatory response to SARS-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is thought to underpin COVID-19 pathogenesis. We conducted daily transcriptomic profiling of three COVID-19 cases and found that the early immune response in COVID-19 patients is highly dynamic. Patient throat swabs were tested daily for SARS-CoV-2, with the virus persisting for 3 to 4 weeks in all three patients. Cytokine analyses of whole blood revealed increased cytokine expression in the single most severe case. However, most inflammatory gene expression peaked after respiratory function nadir, except expression in the IL1 pathway. Parallel analyses of CD4 and CD8 expression suggested that the pro-inflammatory response may be intertwined with T cell activation that could exacerbate disease or prolong the infection. Collectively, these findings hint at the possibility that IL1 and related pro-inflammatory pathways may be prognostic and serve as therapeutic targets for COVID-19. This work may also guide future studies to illuminate COVID-19 pathogenesis and develop host-directed therapies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Biological Variation, Individual , COVID-19 , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation
6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329243

ABSTRACT

Patients undergoing immune-modifying therapies demonstrate a reduced humoral response after COVID-19 vaccination, but we lack a proper evaluation of the impact of such therapies on vaccine-induced T cell responses. Here, we longitudinally characterised humoral and Spike-specific T cell responses in IBD patients who are on antimetabolite therapy (azathioprine or methotrexate), TNF inhibitors and/or other biologic treatment (anti-integrin or anti-p40) after mRNA vaccination. We demonstrated that a Spike-specific T cell response is not only induced in treated IBD patients at levels similar to healthy individuals, but also sustained at higher magnitude, particularly in those treated with TNF inhibitor therapy. Furthermore, the Spike-specific T cell response in these patients is mainly preserved against mutations present in SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) and characterized by a Th1/IL-10 cytokine profile. Thus, despite the humoral response defects, the favourable profile of vaccine-induced T cell responses might still provide a layer of COVID-19 protection to patients under immune-modifying therapies.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313670

ABSTRACT

RNA vaccines against Covid-19 have demonstrated ~95% efficacy in Phase III clinical trials. Although complete vaccination consisted of two-doses, the onset of protection for both licensed RNA vaccines was observed as early as 12 days after a single dose. The adaptive immune response that coincides with this onset of protection could represent the necessary elements of immunity against Covid-19. Herein, we tracked the early adaptive immune responses after Covid-19 RNA vaccination, in a cohort of 20 healthcare workers. Our findings suggest that early T cell and binding antibody responses, rather than either receptor-blocking or virus neutralizing activity, induced early protection against Covid-19.Funding: This study was partially funded through a generousdonation from The Hourglass to support Covid-19 research in ViREMiCS. SK receives salary support from the Transition Award, RdA receives funding from the Open Research Fund Young Investigator Award, JGL and EEO receive salary support from the Clinician Scientist Award, and AB receives salary support from the Singapore Translational Research Award, all administered by the National Medical Research Council of Singapore.Conflict of Interest: Duke-NUS Medical School is in partnership with Arcturus Therapeutics to develop a self-replicating RNA vaccine against Covid-19, with EEO as the principal investigator. No monetary or personal benefits are derived from this partnership.Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the SingHealth Centralized Institutional Review Board (CIRB/F2021/2014). Healthcare workers (HCWs) from the Singapore Health Services institutions whowere eligible for Covid-19 vaccination were invited to participate in this study, and written informed consent was obtained.

8.
Med (N Y) ; 3(2): 104-118.e4, 2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1628746

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Protection offered by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines wanes over time, requiring an evaluation of different boosting strategies to revert such a trend and enhance the quantity and quality of Spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. These immunological parameters in homologous or heterologous vaccination boosts have thus far been studied for mRNA and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccines, but knowledge on individuals who received a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S is lacking. METHODS: We studied Spike-specific humoral and cellular immunity in Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated individuals (n = 55) who were either primed with Ad26.COV2.S only (n = 13) or were boosted with a homologous (Ad26.COV2.S, n = 28) or heterologous (BNT162b2, n = 14) second dose. We compared our findings with the results found in individuals vaccinated with a single (n = 16) or double (n = 44) dose of BNT162b2. FINDINGS: We observed that a strategy of heterologous vaccination enhanced the quantity and breadth of both Spike-specific humoral and cellular immunity in Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated individuals. In contrast, the impact of the homologous boost was quantitatively minimal in Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated individuals, and Spike-specific antibodies and T cells were narrowly focused to the S1 region. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small sample size of the study and the lack of well-defined correlates of protection against COVID-19, the immunological features detected support the utilization of a heterologous vaccine boost in individuals who received Ad26.COV2.S vaccination. FUNDING: This study is partially supported by the Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council under its COVID-19 Research Fund (COVID19RF3-0060, COVID19RF-001, and COVID19RF-008), The Medical College St. Bartholomew's Hospital Trustees - Pump Priming Fund for SMD COVID-19 Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296939

ABSTRACT

Efficient COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in record time. Here, we present findings from a comprehensive and integrated analysis of multiple compartments of the memory immune response in 312 individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Two vaccine doses induced high antibody and T cell responses in most individuals. However, antibody recognition of the Spike protein of delta variant was less efficient than that of the Wuhan strain. Age stratified analyses identified a group of low antibody responders where individuals ≥ 60 years were overrepresented. Waning of the antibody and cellular responses was observed in 30% of the vaccinees after six months. However, age did not influence the waning of these responses. Taken together, while individuals ≥ 60 years old took longer to acquire vaccine-induced immunity, they develop more sustained acquired immunity at six months post-vaccination. However, the higher proportion of older individuals in the group of antibody low responders and the lower antibody reactivity the Delta variant call for a booster immunization to increase immune responses and protection.

11.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 2141-2150, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532382

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We studied humoral and cellular responses against SARS-CoV-2 longitudinally in a homogeneous population of healthy young/middle-aged men of South Asian ethnicity with mild COVID-19. METHODS: In total, we recruited 994 men (median age: 34 years) post-COVID-19 diagnosis. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted between May 2020 and January 2021 at six time points - day 28 (n = 327), day 80 (n = 202), day 105 (n = 294), day 140 (n = 172), day 180 (n = 758), and day 280 (n = 311). Three commercial assays were used to detect anti-nucleoprotein (NP) and neutralizing antibodies. T cell response specific for Spike, Membrane and NP SARS-CoV-2 proteins was tested in 85 patients at day 105, 180, and 280. RESULTS: All serological tests displayed different kinetics of progressive antibody reduction while the frequency of T cells specific for different structural SARS-CoV-2 proteins was stable over time. Both showed a marked heterogeneity of magnitude among the studied cohort. Comparatively, cellular responses lasted longer than humoral responses and were still detectable nine months after infection in the individuals who lost antibody detection. Correlation between T cell frequencies and all antibodies was lost over time. CONCLUSION: Humoral and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is induced with differing kinetics of persistence in those with mild disease. The magnitude of T cells and antibodies is highly heterogeneous in a homogeneous study population. These observations have implications for COVID-19 surveillance, vaccination strategies, and post-pandemic planning.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology
12.
Nature ; 601(7891): 110-117, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510600

ABSTRACT

Individuals with potential exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting that some individuals may clear subclinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1-3. Here we hypothesize that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-2 (refs. 4-11), would expand in vivo to support rapid viral control, aborting infection. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, including those against the early transcribed replication-transcription complex (RTC)12,13, in intensively monitored healthcare workers (HCWs) who tested repeatedly negative according to PCR, antibody binding and neutralization assays (seronegative HCWs (SN-HCWs)). SN-HCWs had stronger, more multispecific memory T cells compared with a cohort of unexposed individuals from before the pandemic (prepandemic cohort), and these cells were more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural-protein-dominated responses observed after detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). SN-HCWs with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an increase in IFI27, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 (ref. 14), suggesting abortive infection. RNA polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and SARS-CoV-2 clades. RNA polymerase was preferentially targeted (among the regions tested) by T cells from prepandemic cohorts and SN-HCWs. RTC-epitope-specific T cells that cross-recognized HCoV variants were identified in SN-HCWs. Enriched pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo to preferentially accumulate in the memory response after putative abortive compared to overt SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data highlight RTC-specific T cells as targets for vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Cell Proliferation , Cohort Studies , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Multienzyme Complexes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Transcription, Genetic/immunology
13.
J Clin Invest ; 131(17)2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463086

ABSTRACT

Defining the correlates of protection necessary to manage the COVID-19 pandemic requires the analysis of both antibody and T cell parameters, but the complexity of traditional tests limits virus-specific T cell measurements. We tested the sensitivity and performance of a simple and rapid SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-specific T cell test based on the stimulation of whole blood with peptides covering the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, followed by cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-2) measurement in different cohorts including BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals (n = 112), convalescent asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients (n = 130), and SARS-CoV-1-convalescent individuals (n = 12). The sensitivity of this rapid test is comparable to that of traditional methods of T cell analysis (ELISPOT, activation-induced marker). Using this test, we observed a similar mean magnitude of T cell responses between the vaccinees and SARS-CoV-2 convalescents 3 months after vaccination or virus priming. However, a wide heterogeneity of the magnitude of spike-specific T cell responses characterized the individual responses, irrespective of the time of analysis. The magnitude of these spike-specific T cell responses cannot be predicted from the neutralizing antibody levels. Hence, both humoral and cellular spike-specific immunity should be tested after vaccination to define the correlates of protection necessary to evaluate current vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
14.
Infect Genet Evol ; 95: 105075, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401708

ABSTRACT

T-cell-mediated immunity to SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides in individuals unexposed to SARS-CoV-2 has been previously reported. This pre-existing immunity was suggested to largely derive from prior exposure to 'common cold' endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs). To test this, we characterised the sequence homology of SARS-CoV-2-derived T-cell epitopes reported in the literature across the full proteome of the Coronaviridae family. 54.8% of these epitopes had no homology to any of the HCoVs. Further, the proportion of SARS-CoV-2-derived epitopes with any level of sequence homology to the proteins encoded by any of the coronaviruses tested is well-predicted by their alignment-free phylogenetic distance to SARS-CoV-2 (Pearson's r = -0.958). No coronavirus in our dataset showed a significant excess of T-cell epitope homology relative to the proportion of expected random matches, given their genetic similarity to SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that prior exposure to human or animal-associated coronaviruses cannot completely explain the T-cell repertoire in unexposed individuals that recognise SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive epitopes.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Coronaviridae/immunology , Disease Resistance , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronaviridae/classification , Coronaviridae/genetics , Coronaviridae/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Eutheria/virology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
15.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 18(10): 2307-2312, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392819

ABSTRACT

During viral infections, antibodies and T cells act together to prevent pathogen spread and remove virus-infected cells. Virus-specific adaptive immunity can, however, also trigger pathological processes characterized by localized or systemic inflammatory events. The protective and/or pathological role of virus-specific T cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection has been the focus of many studies in COVID-19 patients and in vaccinated individuals. Here, we review the works that have elucidated the function of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in patients and in vaccinated individuals. Understanding whether SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are more linked to protection or pathogenesis is pivotal to define future therapeutic and prophylactic strategies to manage the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
16.
Nature ; 584(7821): 457-462, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373437

ABSTRACT

Memory T cells induced by previous pathogens can shape susceptibility to, and the clinical severity of, subsequent infections1. Little is known about the presence in humans of pre-existing memory T cells that have the potential to recognize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here we studied T cell responses against the structural (nucleocapsid (N) protein) and non-structural (NSP7 and NSP13 of ORF1) regions of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals convalescing from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (n = 36). In all of these individuals, we found CD4 and CD8 T cells that recognized multiple regions of the N protein. Next, we showed that patients (n = 23) who recovered from SARS (the disease associated with SARS-CoV infection) possess long-lasting memory T cells that are reactive to the N protein of SARS-CoV 17 years after the outbreak of SARS in 2003; these T cells displayed robust cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2. We also detected SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in individuals with no history of SARS, COVID-19 or contact with individuals who had SARS and/or COVID-19 (n = 37). SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in uninfected donors exhibited a different pattern of immunodominance, and frequently targeted NSP7 and NSP13 as well as the N protein. Epitope characterization of NSP7-specific T cells showed the recognition of protein fragments that are conserved among animal betacoronaviruses but have low homology to 'common cold' human-associated coronaviruses. Thus, infection with betacoronaviruses induces multi-specific and long-lasting T cell immunity against the structural N protein. Understanding how pre-existing N- and ORF1-specific T cells that are present in the general population affect the susceptibility to and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is important for the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Cell Rep ; 36(8): 109570, 2021 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356159

ABSTRACT

The rapid development of mRNA-based vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) led to the design of accelerated vaccination schedules that have been extremely effective in naive individuals. While a two-dose immunization regimen with the BNT162b2 vaccine has been demonstrated to provide a 95% efficacy in naive individuals, the effects of the second vaccine dose in individuals who have previously recovered from natural SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been investigated in detail. In this study, we characterize SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immunity in naive and previously infected individuals during and after two doses of BNT162b2 vaccination. Our results demonstrate that, while the second dose increases both the humoral and cellular immunity in naive individuals, COVID-19 recovered individuals reach their peak of immunity after the first dose. These results suggests that a second dose, according to the current standard regimen of vaccination, may be not necessary in individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD40 Ligand/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-2/metabolism , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
18.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(12): 1784-1789, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353821

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Both humoral and cell-mediated responses are associated with immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although our understanding of the potential role of T-cell responses in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly increasing, more information is still needed. OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of the role of T-cell immunity in COVID-19, in the context of natural infection and post-vaccination, and discuss the potential utility of measuring SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses, drawing on experience of the use of interferon-γ release assays (IGRAs) in tuberculosis (TB). SOURCES: PubMed articles up to 16 April 2021. CONTENT: T-cell responses can be detected very early in the course of COVID-19, earlier than the detection of antibody responses, and are correlated with COVID-19 outcome. Lower CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts are markers of more severe disease, longer duration of viral RNA positivity and increased mortality. In line with natural infection, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination stimulates robust T-cell responses, which probably play an important role in protection; data on long-term T-cell responses are currently limited. The utility of measuring T-cell responses is already well established in both aiding the diagnosis of TB infection using IGRAs, and evaluation of T-cell responses to TB vaccine candidates. A variety of assays have already been developed to measure SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses, including IGRAs, intracellular cytokine staining and activation-induced markers. IGRAs based on SARS-CoV-2 antigens can distinguish between convalescent and uninfected healthy blood donors. IMPLICATIONS: Simple assays for measuring the quantity and function of T-cell responses may have utility in the prognostication of COVID-19, and for monitoring immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and population-based immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
19.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 272, 2021 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282262

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent studies proposed the whole-blood based IFN-γ-release assay to study the antigen-specific SARS-CoV-2 response. Since the early prediction of disease progression could help to assess the optimal treatment strategies, an integrated knowledge of T-cell and antibody response lays the foundation to develop biomarkers monitoring the COVID-19. Whole-blood-platform tests based on the immune response detection to SARS-CoV2 peptides is a new approach to discriminate COVID-19-patients from uninfected-individuals and to evaluate the immunogenicity of vaccine candidates, monitoring the immune response in vaccine trial and supporting the serological diagnostics results. Here, we aimed to identify in the whole-blood-platform the best immunogenic viral antigen and the best immune biomarker to identify COVID-19-patients. METHODS: Whole-blood was overnight-stimulated with SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools of nucleoprotein-(NP) Membrane-, ORF3a- and Spike-protein. We evaluated: IL-1ß, IL-1Ra, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL- 15, IL-17A, eotaxin, FGF, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1ß, PDGF, RANTES, TNF-α, VEGF. By a sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis we identified the most important soluble factors discriminating COVID-19- from NO-COVID-19-individuals. RESULTS: We identified a COVID-19 signature based on six immune factors: IFN-γ, IP-10 and IL-2 induced by Spike; RANTES and IP-10 induced by NP and IL-2 induced by ORF3a. We demonstrated that the test based on IP-10 induced by Spike had the highest AUC (0.85, p < 0.0001) and that the clinical characteristics of the COVID-19-patients did not affect IP-10 production. Finally, we validated the use of IP-10 as biomarker for SARS-CoV2 infection in two additional COVID-19-patients cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: We set-up a whole-blood assay identifying the best antigen to induce a T-cell response and the best biomarkers for SARS-CoV-2 infection evaluating patients with acute COVID-19 and recovered patients. We focused on IP-10, already described as a potential biomarker for other infectious disease such as tuberculosis and HCV. An additional application of this test is the evaluation of immune response in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine trials: the IP-10 detection may define the immunogenicity of a Spike-based vaccine, whereas the immune response to the virus may be evaluated detecting other soluble factors induced by other viral-antigens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Med (N Y) ; 2(6): 682-688.e4, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: RNA vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have demonstrated ∼95% efficacy in phase III clinical trials. Although complete vaccination consisted of 2 doses, the onset of protection for both licensed RNA vaccines was observed as early as 12 days after a single dose. The adaptive immune response that coincides with this onset of protection could represent the necessary elements of immunity against COVID-19. METHODS: Serological and T cell analysis was performed in a cohort of 20 healthcare workers after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine. The primary endpoint was the adaptive immune responses detectable at days 7 and 10 after dosing. FINDINGS: Spike-specific T cells and binding antibodies were detectable 10 days after the first dose of the vaccine, in contrast to receptor-blocking and severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibodies, which were mostly undetectable at this early time point. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that early T cell and binding antibody responses, rather than either receptor-blocking or virus neutralizing activity, induced early protection against COVID-19. FUNDING: The study was funded by a generous donation from The Hour Glass to support COVID-19 research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines, Synthetic
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