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1.
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev ; 25: 439-447, 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815002

ABSTRACT

Adoptive T cell immunotherapy has been used to restore immunity against multiple viral targets in immunocompromised patients after bone-marrow transplantation and has been proposed as a strategy for preventing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in this population. Ideally, expanded severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-virus-specific T cells (CSTs) should demonstrate marked cell expansion, T cell specificity, and CD8+ T cell skewing prior to adoptive transfer. However, current methodologies using IL-4 + IL-7 result in suboptimal specificity, especially in CD8+ cells. Using a microexpansion platform, we screened various cytokine cocktails (IL-4 + IL-7, IL-15, IL-15 + IL-4, IL-15 + IL-6, and IL-15 + IL-7) for the most favorable culture conditions. IL-15 + IL-7 optimally balanced T cell expansion, polyfunctionality, and CD8+ T cell skewing of a final therapeutic T cell product. Additionally, the transcriptomes of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells cultured with IL-15 + IL-7 displayed the strongest induction of antiviral type I interferon (IFN) response genes. Subsequently, microexpansion results were successfully translated to a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-applicable format where IL-15 + IL-7 outperformed IL-4 + IL-7 in specificity and expansion, especially in the desirable CD8+ T cell compartment. These results demonstrate the functional implications of IL-15-, IL-4-, and IL-7-containing cocktails for therapeutic T cell expansion, which could have broad implication for cellular therapy, and pioneer the use of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to guide viral-specific T cell (VST) product manufacturing.

2.
Blood ; 140(3): 208-221, 2022 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724390

ABSTRACT

Patients with blood disorders who are immune suppressed are at increased risk for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Sequelae of infection can include severe respiratory disease and/or prolonged duration of viral shedding. Cellular therapies may protect these vulnerable patients by providing antiviral cellular immunity and/or immune modulation. In this recent review of the field, phase 1/2 trials evaluating adoptive cellular therapies with virus-specific T cells or natural killer cells are described along with trials evaluating the safety, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of immune modulating cellular therapies including regulatory T cells and mesenchymal stromal cells. In addition, the immunologic basis for these therapies is discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 793197, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674334

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite similar rates of infection, adults and children have markedly different morbidity and mortality related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Compared to adults, children have infrequent severe manifestations of acute infection but are uniquely at risk for the rare and often severe Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) following infection. We hypothesized that these differences in presentation are related to differences in the magnitude and/or antigen specificity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell (CST) responses between adults and children. We therefore set out to measure the CST response in convalescent adults versus children with and without MIS-C following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: CSTs were expanded from blood collected from convalescent children and adults post SARS-CoV-2 infection and evaluated by intracellular flow cytometry, surface markers, and cytokine production following stimulation with SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides. Presence of serum/plasma antibody to spike and nucleocapsid was measured using the luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) assay. Findings: Twenty-six of 27 MIS-C patients, 7 of 8 non-MIS-C convalescent children, and 13 of 14 adults were seropositive for spike and nucleocapsid antibody. CST responses in MIS-C patients were significantly higher than children with uncomplicated SARS-CoV-2 infection, but weaker than CST responses in convalescent adults. Interpretation: Age-related differences in the magnitude of CST responses suggest differing post-infectious immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in children compared to adults post uncomplicated infection. Children with MIS-C have CST responses that are stronger than children with uncomplicated SARS-CoV-2 infection and weaker than convalescent adults, despite near uniform seropositivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
Pediatr Hematol Oncol ; : 1-9, 2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671873

ABSTRACT

Recipients of anti-CD19 targeted therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell are considered at high risk for complicated Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection due to prolonged B cell aplasia and immunosuppression. These patients represent a unique cohort and so far, immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 have not been well characterized in this setting. We report a pediatric patient with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) who had asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection while receiving blinatumomab, followed by lymphodepletion (LD) and tisagenlecleucel, a CD19 targeting CAR-T therapy. The patient had a complete response to tisagenlecleucel, did not develop cytokine release syndrome, or worsening of SARS-CoV-2 during therapy. The patient had evidence of ongoing persistence of IgG antibody responses to spike and nucleocapsid after LD followed by tisagenlecleucel despite the B-cell aplasia. Further we were able to detect SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cells recognizing multiple viral structural proteins for several months following CAR-T. The T-cell response was polyfunctional and predominantly CD4 restricted. This data has important implications for the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 immunity in patients with impaired immune systems and the potential application of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell therapeutics to treat patients with blood cancers who receive B cell depleting therapy.

5.
Cytotherapy ; 24(1): 10-15, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385878

ABSTRACT

Although most studies describing coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine responses have focused on antibodies, there is increasing evidence that T cells play a critical role. Here the authors evaluated T-cell responses in seronegative donors before and after vaccination to define responses to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 reference strain as well as to mutations in the variant strains Alpha/B.1.1.7 and Beta/B.1.351. The authors observed enhanced T-cell responses to reference and variant spike strains post-vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
6.
J Clin Immunol ; 41(6): 1146-1153, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384523

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised patients, including those with inborn errors of immunity (IEI), may be at increased risk for severe or prolonged infections with SARS-CoV-2 (Zhu et al. N Engl J Med. 382:727-33, 2020; Guan et al. 2020; Minotti et al. J Infect. 81:e61-6, 2020). While antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins are well described in healthy convalescent donors, adaptive humoral and cellular immunity has not yet been characterized in patients with antibody deficiency (Grifoni et al. Cell. 181:1489-1501 e1415, 2020; Burbelo et al. 2020; Long et al. Nat Med. 26:845-8, 2020; Braun et al. 2020). Herein, we describe the clinical course, antibody, and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in a cohort of adult and pediatric patients with antibody deficiencies (n = 5) and controls (related and unrelated) infected with SARS-CoV-2. Five patients within the same family (3 with antibody deficiency, 2 immunocompetent controls) showed antibody responses to nucleocapsid and spike proteins, as well as SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell immunity at days 65-84 from onset of symptoms. No significant difference was identified between immunocompromised patients and controls. Two additional unrelated, adult patients with common variable immune deficiency were assessed. One did not show antibody response, but both demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity when evaluated 33 and 76 days, respectively, following SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. This report is the first to show robust T cell activity and humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in some patients with antibody deficiency. Given the reliance on spike protein in most candidate vaccines (Folegatti et al. Lancet. 396:467-78, 2020; Jackson et al. N Engl J Med. 383:1920-31, 2020), the responses are encouraging. Additional studies will be needed to further define the timing of onset of immunity, longevity of the immune response, and variability of response in immunocompromised patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Carrier State , Cells, Cultured , Child , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Pedigree , Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein/genetics , Whole Exome Sequencing , Young Adult
7.
J Clin Immunol ; 41(6): 1146-1153, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226229

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised patients, including those with inborn errors of immunity (IEI), may be at increased risk for severe or prolonged infections with SARS-CoV-2 (Zhu et al. N Engl J Med. 382:727-33, 2020; Guan et al. 2020; Minotti et al. J Infect. 81:e61-6, 2020). While antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins are well described in healthy convalescent donors, adaptive humoral and cellular immunity has not yet been characterized in patients with antibody deficiency (Grifoni et al. Cell. 181:1489-1501 e1415, 2020; Burbelo et al. 2020; Long et al. Nat Med. 26:845-8, 2020; Braun et al. 2020). Herein, we describe the clinical course, antibody, and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in a cohort of adult and pediatric patients with antibody deficiencies (n = 5) and controls (related and unrelated) infected with SARS-CoV-2. Five patients within the same family (3 with antibody deficiency, 2 immunocompetent controls) showed antibody responses to nucleocapsid and spike proteins, as well as SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell immunity at days 65-84 from onset of symptoms. No significant difference was identified between immunocompromised patients and controls. Two additional unrelated, adult patients with common variable immune deficiency were assessed. One did not show antibody response, but both demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity when evaluated 33 and 76 days, respectively, following SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. This report is the first to show robust T cell activity and humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in some patients with antibody deficiency. Given the reliance on spike protein in most candidate vaccines (Folegatti et al. Lancet. 396:467-78, 2020; Jackson et al. N Engl J Med. 383:1920-31, 2020), the responses are encouraging. Additional studies will be needed to further define the timing of onset of immunity, longevity of the immune response, and variability of response in immunocompromised patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Carrier State , Cells, Cultured , Child , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Pedigree , Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein/genetics , Whole Exome Sequencing , Young Adult
9.
Blood ; 136(25): 2905-2917, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890058

ABSTRACT

T-cell responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been described in recovered patients, and may be important for immunity following infection and vaccination as well as for the development of an adoptive immunotherapy for the treatment of immunocompromised individuals. In this report, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells can be expanded from convalescent donors and recognize immunodominant viral epitopes in conserved regions of membrane, spike, and nucleocapsid. Following in vitro expansion using a good manufacturing practice-compliant methodology (designed to allow the rapid translation of this novel SARS-CoV-2 T-cell therapy to the clinic), membrane, spike, and nucleocapsid peptides elicited interferon-γ production, in 27 (59%), 12 (26%), and 10 (22%) convalescent donors (respectively), as well as in 2 of 15 unexposed controls. We identified multiple polyfunctional CD4-restricted T-cell epitopes within a highly conserved region of membrane protein, which induced polyfunctional T-cell responses, which may be critical for the development of effective vaccine and T-cell therapies. Hence, our study shows that SARS-CoV-2 directed T-cell immunotherapy targeting structural proteins, most importantly membrane protein, should be feasible for the prevention or early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunocompromised patients with blood disorders or after bone marrow transplantation to achieve antiviral control while mitigating uncontrolled inflammation.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Immunotherapy, Adoptive/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Male , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Middle Aged , Viral Proteins/immunology , Young Adult
10.
Cytotherapy ; 22(9): 474-481, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197744

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (SARS-CoV2) is an active global health threat for which treatments are desperately being sought. Even though most people infected experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and recover with supportive care, certain vulnerable hosts develop severe clinical deterioration. While several drugs are currently being investigated in clinical trials, there are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 and hence there is an unmet need to explore additional therapeutic options. At least three inflammatory disorders or syndromes associated with immune dysfunction have been described in the context of cellular therapy. Specifically, Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS), and Secondary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) all have clinical and laboratory characteristics in common with COVID19 and associated therapies that could be worth testing in the context of clinical trials. Here we discuss these diseases, their management, and potential applications of these treatment in the context of COVID-19. We also discuss current cellular therapies that are being evaluated for the treatment of COVID-19 and/or its associated symptoms.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Humans , Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome/etiology , Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome/therapy , Immunization, Passive , Interleukin-1/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/etiology , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/therapy , Pandemics , Plasmapheresis , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , STAT Transcription Factors/antagonists & inhibitors
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