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1.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(3): 400-408.e4, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650182

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in fully vaccinated individuals are considered a consequence of waning immunity. Serum antibodies represent the most measurable outcome of vaccine-induced B cell memory. When antibodies decline, memory B cells are expected to persist and perform their function, preventing clinical disease. We investigated whether BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine induces durable and functional B cell memory in vivo against SARS-CoV-2 3, 6, and 9 months after the second dose in a cohort of health care workers (HCWs). While we observed physiological decline of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, memory B cells persist and increase until 9 months after immunization. HCWs with breakthrough infections had no signs of waning immunity. In 3-4 days, memory B cells responded to SARS-CoV-2 infection by producing high levels of specific antibodies in the serum and anti-Spike IgA in the saliva. Antibodies to the viral nucleoprotein were produced with the slow kinetics typical of the response to a novel antigen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
2.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-292059

ABSTRACT

Background: Breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated HCWs are considered a marker of waning immunity. Serum antibodies represent the most visible and measurable outcome of vaccine-induced B-cell memory. When antibodies decline, memory B cells are expected to persist and perform their function, thus preventing clinical disease. We investigated whether BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine induces durable and in vivo functional B-cell memory against SARS-CoV-2 3, 6 and 9 months after the second dose. Methods: We assessed the duration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immunity by measuring specific antibodies and memory B cells 3, 6 and 9 months after vaccination. In fully vaccinated HCWs with breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections, we evaluated the humoral and mucosal response of vaccine-induced memory B cells. Findings: Whereas specific serum antibodies decline, anti-Spike memory B cells continue to increase until 9 months after the last vaccine dose. HCWs with breakthrough infections had no signs of waning immunity on the day of the first positive swab. In 3-4 days, memory B cells responded to SARS-CoV-2 infection by producing high levels of specific antibodies in the serum. In the saliva, anti-Spike IgA also rapidly increased in response to the infection. Antibodies to the viral nucleoprotein were produced with the slow kinetics typical of the response to a novel antigen. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies physiologically decline months after vaccination. By contrast, memory B cells persist and increase over time. Parenteral administered vaccines do not generate mucosal immunity and serum antibodies reach mucosal sites in small amounts by transudation. In HCWs with SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections, memory B cells react by rapidly differentiating into antibody-producing cells and generating IgA for protection of mucosal sites.

3.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 09 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438527

ABSTRACT

Specific memory B cells and antibodies are a reliable read-out of vaccine efficacy. We analysed these biomarkers after one and two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine. The second dose significantly increases the level of highly specific memory B cells and antibodies. Two months after the second dose, specific antibody levels decline, but highly specific memory B cells continue to increase, thus predicting a sustained protection from COVID-19. We show that although mucosal IgA is not induced by the vaccination, memory B cells migrate in response to inflammation and secrete IgA at mucosal sites. We show that the first vaccine dose may lead to an insufficient number of highly specific memory B cells and low concentration of serum antibodies, thus leaving vaccinees without the immune robustness needed to ensure viral elimination and herd immunity. We also clarify that the reduction of serum antibodies does not diminish the force and duration of the immune protection induced by vaccination. The vaccine does not induce sterilizing immunity. Infection after vaccination may be caused by the lack of local preventive immunity because of the absence of mucosal IgA.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cryopreservation , Female , Health Personnel , Healthy Volunteers , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Lactation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucous Membrane/immunology , Patient Safety , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Front Hum Neurosci ; 15: 666468, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354876

ABSTRACT

A case of recurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with neurovestibular symptoms was reported. In March 2020, a physician working in an Italian pediatric hospital had flu-like symptoms with anosmia and dysgeusia, and following a reverse transcription PCR (RT/PCR) test with a nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. After home quarantine, 21 days from the beginning of the symptoms, the patient tested negative in two subsequent swabs and was declared healed and readmitted to work. Serological testing showed a low level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody title and absence of immunoglobulin M (IgM). However, 2 weeks later, before resuming work, the patient complained of acute vestibular syndrome, and the RT/PCR test with mucosal swab turned positive. On the basis of the literature examined and reviewed for recurrence cases and vestibular symptoms during COVID-19, to our knowledge this case is the first case of recurrence with vestibular impairment as a neurological symptom, and we defined it as probably a viral reactivation. The PCR retest positivity cannot differentiate re-infectivity, relapse, and dead-viral RNA detection. Serological antibody testing and viral genome sequencing could be always performed in recurrence cases.

6.
Front Immunol ; 11: 610300, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1005638

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus, not encountered before by humans. The wide spectrum of clinical expression of SARS-CoV-2 illness suggests that individual immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 play a crucial role in determining the clinical course after first infection. Immunological studies have focused on patients with moderate to severe disease, demonstrating excessive inflammation in tissues and organ damage. In order to understand the basis of the protective immune response in COVID-19, we performed a longitudinal follow-up, flow-cytometric and serological analysis of innate and adaptive immunity in 64 adults with a spectrum of clinical presentations: 28 healthy SARS-CoV-2-negative contacts of COVID-19 cases; 20 asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected cases; eight patients with Mild COVID-19 disease and eight cases of Severe COVID-19 disease. Our data show that high frequency of NK cells and early and transient increase of specific IgA, IgM and, to a lower extent, IgG are associated with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. By contrast, monocyte expansion and high and persistent levels of IgA and IgG, produced relatively late in the course of the infection, characterize severe disease. Modest increase of monocytes and different kinetics of antibodies are detected in mild COVID-19. The importance of innate NK cells and the short-lived antibody response of asymptomatic individuals and patients with mild disease suggest that only severe COVID-19 may result in protective memory established by the adaptive immune response.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Male , Severity of Illness Index
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