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1.
Cell Reports Medicine ; : 100640, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1819630

ABSTRACT

Summary SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells are likely important in immunity against COVID-19, but our understanding of CD4+ longitudinal dynamics following infection, and specific features that correlate with the maintenance of neutralizing antibodies, remains limited. Here, we characterize SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells in a longitudinal cohort of 109 COVID-19 outpatients enrolled during acute infection. The quality of the SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ response shifts from cells producing IFNγ to TNFα from five days to four months post-enrollment, with IFNγ-IL21-TNFα+ CD4+ T cells the predominant population detected at later timepoints. Greater percentages of IFNγ-IL21-TNFα+ CD4+ T cells on day 28 correlate with SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies measured seven months post-infection (⍴=0.4, P=0.01). mRNA vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 infection boosts both IFNγ and TNFα producing, spike protein-specific CD4+ T cells. These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2-specific, TNFα-producing CD4+ T cells may play an important role in antibody maintenance following COVID-19.

2.
Med ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1783640

ABSTRACT

Background COVID-19 manifests with respiratory, systemic, and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.1,2 SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detected in respiratory and fecal samples, and recent reports demonstrate viral replication in both the lung and intestinal tissue.3–5 Although much is known about early fecal RNA shedding, little is known about the long term shedding, especially in those with mild COVID-19. Furthermore, most reports of fecal RNA shedding do not correlate these findings with GI symptoms.6 Methods We analyze the dynamics of fecal RNA shedding up to 10 months after COVID-19 diagnosis in 113 individuals with mild to moderate disease. We also correlate shedding with disease symptoms. Findings Fecal SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detected in 49.2% [95% Confidence interval = 38.2%-60.3%] of participants within the first week after diagnosis. Whereas there was no ongoing oropharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding in subjects at and after 4 months, 12.7% [8.5%-18.4%] of participants continued to shed SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the feces at 4 months after diagnosis and 3.8% [2.0%-7.3%] shed at 7 months. Finally, we find that GI symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting) are associated with fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Conclusions The extended presence of viral RNA in feces, but not respiratory samples, along with the association of fecal viral RNA shedding with GI symptoms suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infects the GI tract, and that this infection can be prolonged in a subset of individuals with COVID-19.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An immunodiagnostic assay that sensitively detects a cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is needed for epidemiological investigation and for clinical assessment of T cell-mediated immune response to vaccines, particularly in the context of emerging variants that might escape antibody responses. METHODS: The performance of a whole blood interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) release assay (IGRA) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific T cells was evaluated in COVID-19 convalescents tested serially up to 10 months post-infection and in healthy blood donors. SARS-CoV-2 IGRA was applied in contacts of households with index cases. Freshly collected blood in the lithium heparin tube was left unstimulated, stimulated with a SARS-CoV-2 peptide pool, and stimulated with mitogen. RESULTS: The overall sensitivity and specificity of IGRA were 84.5% (153/181; 95% confidence interval [CI] 79.0-89.0) and 86.6% (123/142; 95% CI;80.0-91.2), respectively. The sensitivity declined from 100% (16/16; 95% CI 80.6-100) at 0.5-month post-infection to 79.5% (31/39; 95% CI 64.4-89.2) at 10 months post-infection (P<0.01). The IFN-γ response remained relatively robust at 10 months post-infection (3.8 vs. 1.3 IU/mL, respectively). In 14 households, IGRA showed a positivity rate of 100% (12/12) and 65.2% (15/23), and IgG of 50.0% (6/12) and 43.5% (10/23) in index cases and contacts, respectively, exhibiting a difference of +50% (95% CI +25.4-+74.6) and +21.7% (95% CI, +9.23-+42.3), respectively. Either IGRA or IgG was positive in 100% (12/12) of index cases and 73.9% (17/23) of contacts. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 IGRA is a useful clinical diagnostic tool for assessing cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2.

4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330142

ABSTRACT

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), or long COVID, is a major public health problem. Encouraging data suggest that vaccination can reduce the risk of PASC. We report a cautionary case of breakthrough PASC and its resolution following a course of the novel combination antiviral nirmatrelvir-ritonavir.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328540

ABSTRACT

The great majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections are mild and uncomplicated, but some individuals with initially mild COVID-19 progressively develop more severe symptoms. Furthermore, there is substantial heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2-specific memory immune responses following infection. There remains a critical need to identify host immune biomarkers predictive of clinical and immunologic outcomes in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. Leveraging longitudinal samples and data from a clinical trial in SARS-CoV-2 infected outpatients, we used host proteomics and transcriptomics to characterize the trajectory of the immune response in COVID-19 patients within the first 2 weeks of symptom onset. We identify early immune signatures, including plasma RIG-I levels, early interferon signaling, and related cytokines (CXCL10, MCP1, MCP-2 and MCP-3) associated with subsequent disease progression, control of viral shedding, and the SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell and antibody response measured up to 7 months after enrollment. We found that several biomarkers for immunological outcomes are shared between individuals receiving BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) vaccine and COVID-19 patients. Finally, we demonstrate that machine learning models using 7-10 plasma protein markers measured early within the course of infection are able to accurately predict disease progression, T cell memory, and the antibody response post-infection in a second, independent dataset.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327138

ABSTRACT

SARS–CoV–2–specific CD4 + T cells are likely important in immunity against COVID–19, but our understanding of CD4 + longitudinal dynamics following infection, and specific features that correlate with the maintenance of neutralizing antibodies, remains limited. We characterized SARS–CoV–2–specific CD4 + T cells in a longitudinal cohort of 109 COVID–19 outpatients. The quality of the SARS–CoV–2–specific CD4 + response shifted from cells producing IFNγ to TNFα from five days to four months post–enrollment, with IFNγ − IL21 − TNFα + CD4 + T cells the predominant population detected at later timepoints. Greater percentages of IFNγ − IL21 − TNFα + CD4 + T cells on day 28 correlated with SARS–CoV–2 neutralizing antibodies measured seven months post–infection (ρ=0.4, P=0.01). mRNA vaccination following SARS–CoV–2 infection boosted both IFNγ and TNFα producing, spike protein–specific CD4 + T cells. These data suggest that SARS–CoV–2–specific, TNFα–producing CD4 + T cells may play an important role in antibody maintenance following COVID–19.

7.
Clin Microbiol Rev ; 34(4): e0010921, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575724

ABSTRACT

The development of effective antiviral therapy for COVID-19 is critical for those awaiting vaccination, as well as for those who do not respond robustly to vaccination. This review summarizes 1 year of progress in the race to develop antiviral therapies for COVID-19, including research spanning preclinical and clinical drug development efforts, with an emphasis on antiviral compounds that are in clinical development or that are high priorities for clinical development. The review is divided into sections on compounds that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 enzymes, including its polymerase and proteases; compounds that inhibit virus entry, including monoclonal antibodies; interferons; and repurposed drugs that inhibit host processes required for SARS-CoV-2 replication. The review concludes with a summary of the lessons to be learned from SARS-CoV-2 drug development efforts and the challenges to continued progress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Development , Endopeptidases , Humans
9.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):753-753, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564297

ABSTRACT

Background Persistent symptoms after acute COVID-19 are being increasingly reported. To date, little is known about the cause, clinical associations, and trajectory of “Long COVID”. Methods Participants of an outpatient clinical trial of Peginterferon-Lambda as treatment for uncomplicated SARS-CoV-2 infection were invited to long term follow-up visits 4, 7, and 10 months after initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Ongoing symptoms and functional impairment measures (work productivity and activity index (WPAI), NIH toolbox smell test, 6-minute walk test) were assessed and blood samples obtained. “Long COVID” was defined as presence of 2 or more typical symptoms (fatigue, hyposmia/hypogeusia, dyspnea, cough, palpitations, memory problems, joint pain) at follow up. Associations between baseline characteristics, initial COVID-19 clinical course, and presence of “Long COVID” during follow-up were assessed using generalized estimating equations accounting for repeated measurements within individuals. Results Eighty-seven participants returned for at least one follow-up visit. At four months, 29 (34.1%) had “Long COVID”;19 (24.7%) met criteria at 7 months and 18 (23.4%) at 10 months (Figure 1). Presence of “Long COVID” symptoms did not correlate significantly with functional impairment measures. Female gender (OR 3.01, 95% CI 1.37-6.61) and having gastrointestinal symptoms during acute COVID-19 illness (OR 5.37, 95% CI 1.02-28.18) were associated with “Long COVID” during follow-up (Figure 2). No significant associations with baseline immunologic signatures were observed. Figure 1. Alluvial plot of long term follow-up participants showing outcomes of symptoms at each visit. Figure 2. Generalized Estimating Equations Model showing associations with “Long COVID” (presence of 2+ symptoms) at month 4, 7, and 10 following acute infection using unstructured correlation matrix. Conclusion “Long COVID” was prevalent in this outpatient trial cohort and had low rates of resolution over 10 months of follow up. Female sex and gastrointestinal symptoms during acute illness were associated with “Long COVID”. Identifying modifiable risk factors associated with the development of persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection remains a critical need. Disclosures All Authors: No reported disclosures

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292965

ABSTRACT

Background: Favipiravir is an oral, RNA–dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor with in vitro activity against SARS–CoV2. Despite limited data, favipiravir is administered to patients with COVID-19 in several countries. Methods: We conducted a phase 2 double–blind randomized controlled outpatient trial of favipiravir in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic adults with a positive SARS–CoV2 RT–PCR within 72 hours of enrollment. Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive placebo or favipiravir (1800 mg BID Day 1, 800mg BID Days 2–10). The primary outcome was SARS–CoV2 shedding cessation in a modified intention-to-treat (mITT) cohort of participants with positive enrollment RT–PCRs. Using SARS–CoV2 deep sequencing, we assessed the impact of favipiravir on mutagenesis. Results: From July 8, 2020 to March 23, 2021, we randomized 149 participants with 116 included in the mITT cohort. The mean age was 43 years (SD 12.5) and 57 (49%) were women. We found no difference in time to shedding cessation by treatment arm overall (HR 0.76 favoring placebo, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48 – 1.20) or in sub-group analyses (age, sex, high-risk comorbidities, seropositivity or symptom duration at enrollment). We observed no difference in time to symptom resolution (initial: HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.54 – 1.29;sustained: HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.52 – 1.45). We detected no difference in accumulation of transition mutations in the viral genome during treatment. Conclusions: Our data do not support favipiravir use at commonly used doses in outpatients with uncomplicated COVID-19. Further research is needed to ascertain if higher doses of favipiravir are effective and safe for patients with COVID-19.

11.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 102(3): 115612, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536510

ABSTRACT

Although the vast majority of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections are uncomplicated, our understanding of predictors of symptom resolution and viral shedding cessation remains limited. We characterized symptom trajectories and oropharyngeal viral shedding among 120 outpatients with uncomplicated Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) enrolled in a clinical trial of Peginterferon Lambda, which demonstrated no clinical or virologic benefit compared with placebo. In the combined trial cohort, objective fever was uncommon, inflammatory symptoms (myalgias, fatigue) peaked at 4 to 5 days postsymptom onset, and cough peaked at 9 days. The median time to symptom resolution from earliest symptom onset was 17 days (95% confidence interval 14-18). SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity at enrollment was associated with hastened resolution of viral shedding (hazard ratio 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.05-3.1, P = 0.03), but not with symptom resolution. Inflammatory symptoms were associated with a significantly greater odds of oropharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection; respiratory symptoms were not. These findings have important implications for COVID-19 screening approaches and trial design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Outpatients , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3130-e3132, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532491

ABSTRACT

We investigated feasibility and accuracy of an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) for detection of T-cell responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Whole blood IGRA accurately distinguished between convalescent and uninfected healthy blood donors with a predominantly CD4+ T-cell response. SARS-CoV-2 IGRA may serve as a useful diagnostic tool in managing the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma Release Tests , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
13.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(11): 2861-2878, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370634

ABSTRACT

Despite myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) affecting millions of people worldwide, many clinicians lack the knowledge to appropriately diagnose or manage ME/CFS. Unfortunately, clinical guidance has been scarce, obsolete, or potentially harmful. Consequently, up to 91% of patients in the United States remain undiagnosed, and those diagnosed often receive inappropriate treatment. These problems are of increasing importance because after acute COVID-19, a significant percentage of people remain ill for many months with an illness similar to ME/CFS. In 2015, the US National Academy of Medicine published new evidence-based clinical diagnostic criteria that have been adopted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the United States and other governments as well as major health care organizations have recently withdrawn graded exercise and cognitive-behavioral therapy as the treatment of choice for patients with ME/CFS. Recently, 21 clinicians specializing in ME/CFS convened to discuss best clinical practices for adults affected by ME/CFS. This article summarizes their top recommendations for generalist and specialist health care providers based on recent scientific progress and decades of clinical experience. There are many steps that clinicians can take to improve the health, function, and quality of life of those with ME/CFS, including those in whom ME/CFS develops after COVID-19. Patients with a lingering illness that follows acute COVID-19 who do not fully meet criteria for ME/CFS may also benefit from these approaches.


Subject(s)
Family Practice/standards , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/therapy , Physician-Patient Relations , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/diagnosis , Humans , Practice Patterns, Physicians'
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e826-e829, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338689

ABSTRACT

To assess the prevalence of persistent functional impairment after coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we assessed 118 individuals 3-4 months after their initial COVID-19 diagnosis with a symptom survey, work productivity and activity index questionnaire, and 6-minute walk test. We found significant persistent symptoms and functional impairment, even in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab310, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322651

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the persistence of viral RNA in clinically recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) have been reported as potential molecular viability markers for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, few data are available on their longitudinal kinetics, compared with genomic RNA (gRNA), in clinical samples. METHODS: We analyzed 536 samples from 205 patients with COVID-19 from placebo-controlled, outpatient trials of peginterferon Lambda-1a (Lambda; n = 177) and favipiravir (n = 359). Nasal swabs were collected at 3 time points in the Lambda (days 1, 4, and 6) and favipiravir (days 1, 5, and 10) trials. N-gene gRNA and sgRNA were quantified by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. To investigate the decay kinetics in vitro, we measured gRNA and sgRNA in A549ACE2+ cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, following treatment with remdesivir or dimethylsulfoxide control. RESULTS: At 6 days in the Lambda trial and 10 days in the favipiravir trial, sgRNA remained detectable in 51.6% (32/62) and 49.5% (51/106) of the samples, respectively. Cycle threshold (Ct) values for gRNA and sgRNA were highly linearly correlated (marginal R 2 = 0.83), and the rate of increase did not differ significantly in the Lambda trial (1.36 cycles/d vs 1.36 cycles/d; P = .97) or the favipiravir trial (1.03 cycles/d vs 0.94 cycles/d; P = .26). From samples collected 15-21 days after symptom onset, sgRNA was detectable in 48.1% (40/83) of participants. In SARS-CoV-2-infected A549ACE2+ cells treated with remdesivir, the rate of Ct increase did not differ between gRNA and sgRNA. CONCLUSIONS: In clinical samples and in vitro, sgRNA was highly correlated with gRNA and did not demonstrate different decay patterns to support its application as a viability marker.

16.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1967, 2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159789

ABSTRACT

Type III interferons have been touted as promising therapeutics in outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We conducted a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial (NCT04331899) in 120 outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 to determine whether a single, 180 mcg subcutaneous dose of Peginterferon Lambda-1a (Lambda) within 72 hours of diagnosis could shorten the duration of viral shedding (primary endpoint) or symptoms (secondary endpoint). In both the 60 patients receiving Lambda and 60 receiving placebo, the median time to cessation of viral shedding was 7 days (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56 to 1.19). Symptoms resolved in 8 and 9 days in Lambda and placebo, respectively, and symptom duration did not differ significantly between groups (HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.64 to 1.39). Both Lambda and placebo were well-tolerated, though liver transaminase elevations were more common in the Lambda vs. placebo arm (15/60 vs 5/60; p = 0.027). In this study, a single dose of subcutaneous Peginterferon Lambda-1a neither shortened the duration of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding nor improved symptoms in outpatients with uncomplicated COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukins/administration & dosage , Polyethylene Glycols/administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Injections, Subcutaneous , Male , Middle Aged , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Single-Blind Method , Treatment Failure , Virus Shedding/drug effects , Young Adult
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