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1.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(12): e776-e777, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541060
2.
Lancet Respir Med ; 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517543
3.
Nature ; 2021 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510600

ABSTRACT

Individuals with potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T-cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1-3. We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T-cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-24-11, 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 (HCW) remaining repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation (seronegative HCW, SN-HCW). SN-HCW had stronger, more multispecific memory T-cells than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). SN-HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T-cells had an increase in IFI27, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-214, 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 (amongst regions tested) by T-cells from pre-pandemic cohorts and SN-HCW. RTC epitope-specific T-cells cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in SN-HCW. 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.

4.
Nat Rev Immunol ; 21(12): 762-768, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475303

ABSTRACT

An important challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to understand asymptomatic disease and the extent to which this may be a source of transmission. As asymptomatic disease is by definition hard to screen for, there is a lack of clarity about this aspect of the COVID-19 spectrum. Studies have considered whether the prevalence of asymptomatic disease is determined by differences in age, demographics, viral load, duration of shedding, and magnitude or durability of immunity. It is clear that adaptive immunity is strongly activated during asymptomatic infection, but some features of the T cell and antibody response may differ from those in symptomatic disease. Areas that need greater clarity include the extent to which asymptomatic disease leads to persistent symptoms (long COVID), and the quality, quantity and durability of immune priming required to confer subsequent protection.

5.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(10): e508-e517, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475189

ABSTRACT

Background: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Methods: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. We identified candidate blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection through a systematic literature search. We searched MEDLINE for articles published between database inception and Oct 12, 2020, using comprehensive MeSH and keyword terms for "viral infection", "transcriptome", "biomarker", and "blood". We reconstructed signature scores in blood RNA sequencing data and evaluated their diagnostic accuracy for contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, by quantifying the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), sensitivities, and specificities at a standardised Z score of at least 2 based on the distribution of signature scores in test-negative controls. We used pairwise DeLong tests compared with the most discriminating signature to identify the subset of best performing biomarkers. We evaluated associations between signature expression, viral load (using PCR cycle thresholds), and symptom status visually and using Spearman rank correlation. The primary outcome was the AUROC for discriminating between samples from participants who tested negative throughout the study (test-negative controls) and samples from participants with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (test-positive participants) during their first week of PCR positivity. Findings: We identified 20 candidate blood transcriptomic signatures of viral infection from 18 studies and evaluated their accuracy among 169 blood RNA samples from 96 participants over 24 weeks. Participants were recruited between March 23 and March 31, 2020. 114 samples were from 41 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 55 samples were from 55 test-negative controls. The median age of participants was 36 years (IQR 27-47) and 69 (72%) of 96 were women. Signatures had little overlap of component genes, but were mostly correlated as components of type I interferon responses. A single blood transcript for IFI27 provided the highest accuracy for discriminating between test-negative controls and test-positive individuals at the time of their first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result, with AUROC of 0·95 (95% CI 0·91-0·99), sensitivity 0·84 (0·70-0·93), and specificity 0·95 (0·85-0·98) at a predefined threshold (Z score >2). The transcript performed equally well in individuals with and without symptoms. Three other candidate signatures (including two to 48 transcripts) had statistically equivalent discrimination to IFI27 (AUROCs 0·91-0·95). Interpretation: Our findings support further urgent evaluation and development of blood IFI27 transcripts as a biomarker for early phase SARS-CoV-2 infection for screening individuals at high risk of infection, such as contacts of index cases, to facilitate early case isolation and early use of antiviral treatments as they emerge. Funding: Barts Charity, Wellcome Trust, and National Institute of Health Research.

6.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(12): 1356-1358, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475182
7.
Lancet ; 397(10280): 1161-1163, 2021 03 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386817
8.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(10): e508-e517, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305340

ABSTRACT

Background: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Methods: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. We identified candidate blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection through a systematic literature search. We searched MEDLINE for articles published between database inception and Oct 12, 2020, using comprehensive MeSH and keyword terms for "viral infection", "transcriptome", "biomarker", and "blood". We reconstructed signature scores in blood RNA sequencing data and evaluated their diagnostic accuracy for contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, by quantifying the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), sensitivities, and specificities at a standardised Z score of at least 2 based on the distribution of signature scores in test-negative controls. We used pairwise DeLong tests compared with the most discriminating signature to identify the subset of best performing biomarkers. We evaluated associations between signature expression, viral load (using PCR cycle thresholds), and symptom status visually and using Spearman rank correlation. The primary outcome was the AUROC for discriminating between samples from participants who tested negative throughout the study (test-negative controls) and samples from participants with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (test-positive participants) during their first week of PCR positivity. Findings: We identified 20 candidate blood transcriptomic signatures of viral infection from 18 studies and evaluated their accuracy among 169 blood RNA samples from 96 participants over 24 weeks. Participants were recruited between March 23 and March 31, 2020. 114 samples were from 41 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 55 samples were from 55 test-negative controls. The median age of participants was 36 years (IQR 27-47) and 69 (72%) of 96 were women. Signatures had little overlap of component genes, but were mostly correlated as components of type I interferon responses. A single blood transcript for IFI27 provided the highest accuracy for discriminating between test-negative controls and test-positive individuals at the time of their first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result, with AUROC of 0·95 (95% CI 0·91-0·99), sensitivity 0·84 (0·70-0·93), and specificity 0·95 (0·85-0·98) at a predefined threshold (Z score >2). The transcript performed equally well in individuals with and without symptoms. Three other candidate signatures (including two to 48 transcripts) had statistically equivalent discrimination to IFI27 (AUROCs 0·91-0·95). Interpretation: Our findings support further urgent evaluation and development of blood IFI27 transcripts as a biomarker for early phase SARS-CoV-2 infection for screening individuals at high risk of infection, such as contacts of index cases, to facilitate early case isolation and early use of antiviral treatments as they emerge. Funding: Barts Charity, Wellcome Trust, and National Institute of Health Research.

9.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(5): 100286, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233636

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 variants of concern, including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1, encompass mutations facilitating immune evasion. Neutralizing antibody recognition and function may be variably impaired. We considered the impact of mutations on T cell responses. Mutations could be neutral or result in either loss or gain of predicted epitopes depending on HLA type.

10.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 74, 2021 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228259

ABSTRACT

As SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are deployed worldwide, a comparative evaluation is important to underpin decision-making. We here report a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of Phase I/II/III human trials and non-human primates (NHP) studies, comparing reactogenicity, immunogenicity and efficacy across different vaccine platforms for comparative evaluation (updated to March 22, 2021). Twenty-three NHP and 32 human studies are included. Vaccines result in mostly mild, self-limiting adverse events. Highest spike neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses are identified for the mRNA-1273-SARS-CoV and adjuvanted NVX-CoV2373-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. ChAdOx-SARS-CoV-2 produces the highest T cell ELISpot responses. Pre-existing nAb against vaccine viral vector are identified following AdH-5-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, halving immunogenicity. The mRNA vaccines depend on boosting to achieve optimal immunogenicity especially in the elderly. BNT162b2, and mRNA-1273 achieve >94%, rAd26/5 > 91% and ChAdOx-SARS-CoV-2 > 66.7% efficacy. Across different vaccine platforms there are trade-offs between antibody binding, functional nAb titers, T cell frequency, reactogenicity and efficacy. Emergence of variants makes rapid mass rollout of high efficacy vaccines essential to reduce any selective advantage.

11.
Science ; 371(6534): 1103-1104, 2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133120
13.
J Infect ; 82(3): 399-406, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080369

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is growing concern about individuals reported to suffer repeat COVID-19 disease episodes, these in a small number of cases characterised as de novo infections with distinct sequences, indicative of insufficient protective immunity even in the short term. METHODS: Observational case series and case-control studies reporting 33 cases of recurrent, symptomatic, qRT-PCR positive COVID-19. Recurrent disease was defined as symptomatic recurrence after symptom-free clinical recovery, with release from isolation >14 days from the beginning of symptoms confirmed by qRT-PCR. The case control study-design compared this group of patients with a control group of 62 patients randomly selected from the same COVID-19 database. RESULTS: Of 33 recurrent COVID-19 patients, 26 were female and 30 were HCW. Mean time to recurrence was 50.5 days which was associated with being a HCW (OR 36.4 (p <0.0001)), and blood type A (OR 4.8 (p = 0.002)). SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were signifcantly lower in recurrent patients after initial COVID-19  (2.4 ±â€¯0.610; p<0.0001) and after recurrence (6.4 ±â€¯11.34; p = 0.007).  Virus genome sequencing identified reinfection by a different isolate in one patient. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first detailed case series showing COVID-19 recurrence with qRT-PCR positivity. For one individual detection of phylogenetically distinct genomic sequences in the first and second episodes confirmed bona fide renfection, but in most cases the data do not formally distinguish between reinfection and re-emergence of a chronic infection reservoir. These episodes were significantly associated with reduced Ab response during initial disease and argue the need for ongoing vigilance without an assumption of protection after a first episode.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Reinfection , Brazil/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
14.
BMJ ; 372: n132, 2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066863
15.
Elife ; 92020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011747

ABSTRACT

Here, we describe the case of a COVID-19 patient who developed recurring ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that acquired increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in response to treatment. Metagenomic analysis revealed the AMR genotype, while immunological analysis revealed massive and escalating levels of T-cell activation. These were both SARS-CoV-2 and P. aeruginosa specific, and bystander activated, which may have contributed to this patient's persistent symptoms and radiological changes.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Lymphocyte Activation , Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated/drug therapy , Pseudomonas Infections/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial , Humans , Lung/microbiology , Male , Meropenem/pharmacology , Meropenem/therapeutic use , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination/pharmacology , Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated/etiology , Pseudomonas Infections/diagnostic imaging , Pseudomonas Infections/etiology , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/isolation & purification , Recurrence , Respiration, Artificial
16.
Sci Immunol ; 5(54)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999191

ABSTRACT

Understanding the nature of immunity following mild/asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to controlling the pandemic. We analyzed T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in 136 healthcare workers (HCW) 16-18 weeks after United Kingdom lockdown, 76 of whom had mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection captured by serial sampling. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were present in 89% of previously infected HCW. T cell responses tended to be lower following asymptomatic infection than in those reporting case-definition symptoms of COVID-19, while nAb titers were maintained irrespective of symptoms. T cell and antibody responses were sometimes discordant. Eleven percent lacked nAb and had undetectable T cell responses to spike protein but had T cells reactive with other SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our findings suggest that the majority of individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection carry nAb complemented by multispecific T cell responses at 16-18 weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
17.
Sci Immunol ; 5(49)2020 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-654245

ABSTRACT

In efforts to synthesize a clear understanding of SARS-CoV-2 protective immunity, antibody analysis has been paralleled by T cell studies across asymptomatic, mild and severe COVID-19. Defining CD4 and CD8 effector functions in protection is important considering that antibody responses appear short-lived and T cell memory is potentially more durable. To fully understand population level immunity, screening for both antibody and T cell immunity using standardized testing methods would be beneficial.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
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