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1.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667350

ABSTRACT

To investigate the dynamic association among binding and functional antibodies in health-care-workers receiving two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19-vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 anti-RBD IgG, anti-Trimeric-S IgG, and neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) were measured in serum samples collected at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months from full vaccination. Despite the high correlation, results for anti-RBD and anti-Trimeric S IgG were numerically different even after recalculation to BAU/mL following WHO standards indications. Moreover, after a peak response at 2 weeks, anti-RBD IgG levels showed a 4.5 and 13 fold decrease at 3 and 6 months, respectively, while the anti-Trimeric S IgG presented a less pronounced decay of 2.8 and 4.7 fold. Further different dynamics were observed for Nabs titers, resulting comparable at 3 and 6 months from vaccination. We also demonstrated that at NAbs titers ≥40, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and the optimal cutoff point decreased with time from vaccination for both anti-RBD and anti-Trimeric S IgG. The mutating relation among the anti-RBD IgG, anti-Trimeric S IgG, and neutralizing antibodies are indicative of antibody maturation upon vaccination. The lack of standardized laboratory procedures is one factor interfering with the definition of a correlate of protection from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Kinetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination
2.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(627): eabj1996, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483986

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are essential for ending the ongoing pandemic. Although impressive progress has been made with several COVID-19 vaccines already approved, it is clear that those developed so far cannot meet the global vaccine demand alone. We describe a COVID-19 vaccine based on a replication-defective gorilla adenovirus expressing the stabilized prefusion severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein named GRAd-COV2. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of a single-dose regimen of this vaccine in healthy younger and older adults to select the appropriate dose for each age group. For this purpose, a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-labeled trial was conducted including 90 healthy participants (45 aged 18 to 55 years old and 45 aged 65 to 85 years old) who received a single intramuscular administration of GRAd-COV2 at three escalating doses. Local and systemic adverse reactions were mostly mild or moderate and of short duration, and no serious adverse events were reported. Four weeks after vaccination, seroconversion to spike protein and receptor binding domain was achieved in 43 of 44 young volunteers and in 45 of 45 older participants. Consistently, neutralizing antibodies were detected in 42 of 44 younger-age and 45 of 45 older-age volunteers. In addition, GRAd-COV2 induced a robust and T helper 1 cell (TH1)­skewed T cell response against the spike protein in 89 of 90 participants from both age groups. Overall, the safety and immunogenicity data from the phase 1 trial support the further development of this vaccine.


Subject(s)
Adenovirus Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adenoviridae , Aged , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Gorilla gorilla , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cell Death Dis ; 12(8): 788, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356553

ABSTRACT

In the last months, many studies have clearly described several mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection at cell and tissue level, but the mechanisms of interaction between host and SARS-CoV-2, determining the grade of COVID-19 severity, are still unknown. We provide a network analysis on protein-protein interactions (PPI) between viral and host proteins to better identify host biological responses, induced by both whole proteome of SARS-CoV-2 and specific viral proteins. A host-virus interactome was inferred, applying an explorative algorithm (Random Walk with Restart, RWR) triggered by 28 proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The analysis of PPI allowed to estimate the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in the host cell. Interactome built around one single viral protein allowed to define a different response, underlining as ORF8 and ORF3a modulated cardiovascular diseases and pro-inflammatory pathways, respectively. Finally, the network-based approach highlighted a possible direct action of ORF3a and NS7b to enhancing Bradykinin Storm. This network-based representation of SARS-CoV-2 infection could be a framework for pathogenic evaluation of specific clinical outcomes. We identified possible host responses induced by specific proteins of SARS-CoV-2, underlining the important role of specific viral accessory proteins in pathogenic phenotypes of severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Host Microbial Interactions , Immunity/immunology , Protein Interaction Maps/physiology , Proteome , Proteomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism
4.
J Mol Biol ; 433(19): 167177, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330982

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) hold promise as therapeutics against COVID-19. Here, we describe protein engineering and modular design principles that have led to the development of synthetic bivalent and tetravalent nAbs against SARS-CoV-2. The best nAb targets the host receptor binding site of the viral S-protein and tetravalent versions block entry with a potency exceeding bivalent nAbs by an order of magnitude. Structural studies show that both the bivalent and tetravalent nAbs can make multivalent interactions with a single S-protein trimer, consistent with the avidity and potency of these molecules. Significantly, we show that the tetravalent nAbs show increased tolerance to potential virus escape mutants and an emerging variant of concern. Bivalent and tetravalent nAbs can be produced at large-scale and are as stable and specific as approved antibody drugs. Our results provide a general framework for enhancing antiviral therapies against COVID-19 and related viral threats, and our strategy can be applied to virtually any antibody drug.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Engineering , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2272-2275, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165366

ABSTRACT

Increased production of inflammatory cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells occurs in patients with coronavirus disease 2019. These inversely correlated with perforin-expressing natural killer (NK) and CD3+ T cells. We observed a lower number of perforin-expressing NK cells in intensive care unit (ICU) patients compared with non-ICU patients, suggesting an impairment of the immune cytotoxic arm as a pathogenic mechanism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Perforin/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/immunology , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Italy , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 49-53, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: A dysregulated inflammatory profile plays an important role in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. Moreover, the depletion of lymphocytes is typically associated with an unfavourable disease course. We studied the role and impact of p53 and deacetylase Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) on lymph-monocyte homeostasis and their possible effect on T and B cell signalling. METHODS: Gene expression analysis and flow cytometry were performed on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 35 COVID-19 patients and 10 healthy donors (HD). Inflammatory cytokines, the frequency of Annexin+ cells among CD3+ T cells and CD19+ B cell subsets were quantified. RESULTS: PBMC from COVID-19 patients had a higher p53 expression, and higher concentrations of plasma proinflammatory cytokines (IL1ß, TNF-α, IL8, and IL6) than HD. Deacetylase Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression was significantly decreased in COVID-19 patients and was negatively correlated with p53 (p = 0.003 and r = -0.48). A lower expression of IL-7R and B Cell linker (BLNK), key genes for lymphocyte homeostasis and function, was observed in COVID-19 than in HD. The reduction of IgK and IgL chains was seen in lymphopenic COVID-19 patients. A significant increase in both apoptotic B and T cells were observed. Inflammatory cytokines correlated positively with p53 (IL-1ß: r = 0.5 and p = 0.05; IL-8: r = 0.5 and p = 0.05) and negatively with SIRT1 (IL1-ß: r = -0.5 and p = 0.04; TNF-α: r = -0.4 and p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data indicate that the inflammatory environment, the dysregulated p53/SIRT1 axis and low expression of IL7R and BLNK may impact cell survival, B cell signalling and antibody production in COVID-19 patients. Further studies are required to define the functional impact of low BLNK/IL7R expression during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Homeostasis , Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sirtuin 1/physiology , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/physiology , Aged , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
8.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 75(10): 2977-2980, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626863

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Remdesivir is a prodrug of the nucleoside analogue GS-441524 and is under evaluation for treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the pharmacokinetics of remdesivir and GS-441524 in plasma, bronchoalveolar aspirate (BAS) and CSF in two critically ill COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Remdesivir was administered at 200 mg loading dose on the first day followed by 12 days of 100 mg in two critically ill patients. Blood samples were collected immediately after (C0) and at 1 (C1) and 24 h (C24) after intravenous administration on day 3 until day 9. BAS samples were collected on Days 4, 7 and 9 from both patients while one CSF on Day 7 was obtained in one patient. Remdesivir and GS-441524 concentrations were measured in these samples using a validated UHPLC-MS/MS method. RESULTS: We observed higher concentrations of remdesivir at C0 (6- to 7-fold higher than EC50 from in vitro studies) and a notable decay at C1. GS-441524 plasma concentrations reached a peak at C1 and persisted until the next administration. Higher concentrations of GS-441524 were observed in the patient with mild renal dysfunction. Mean BAS/plasma concentration ratios of GS-441524 were 2.3% and 6.4% in Patient 1 and Patient 2, respectively. The CSF concentration found in Patient 2 was 25.7% with respect to plasma. GS-441524 levels in lung and CNS suggest compartmental differences in drug exposure. CONCLUSIONS: We report the first pharmacokinetic evaluation of remdesivir and GS-441524 in recovered COVID-19 patients. Further study of the pharmacokinetic profile of remdesivir, GS-441524 and the intracellular triphosphate form are required.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Critical Illness/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacokinetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacokinetics , Adenosine Triphosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/pharmacokinetics , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Recovery of Function/drug effects , Recovery of Function/physiology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 233, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592324

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological, virological and pathogenetic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection are under evaluation. A better understanding of the pathophysiology associated with COVID-19 is crucial to improve treatment modalities and to develop effective prevention strategies. Transcriptomic and proteomic data on the host response against SARS-CoV-2 still have anecdotic character; currently available data from other coronavirus infections are therefore a key source of information. METHODS: We investigated selected molecular aspects of three human coronavirus (HCoV) infections, namely SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and HCoV-229E, through a network based-approach. A functional analysis of HCoV-host interactome was carried out in order to provide a theoretic host-pathogen interaction model for HCoV infections and in order to translate the results in prediction for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. The 3D model of S-glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 was compared to the structure of the corresponding SARS-CoV, HCoV-229E and MERS-CoV S-glycoprotein. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, HCoV-229E and the host interactome were inferred through published protein-protein interactions (PPI) as well as gene co-expression, triggered by HCoV S-glycoprotein in host cells. RESULTS: Although the amino acid sequences of the S-glycoprotein were found to be different between the various HCoV, the structures showed high similarity, but the best 3D structural overlap shared by SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, consistent with the shared ACE2 predicted receptor. The host interactome, linked to the S-glycoprotein of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, mainly highlighted innate immunity pathway components, such as Toll Like receptors, cytokines and chemokines. CONCLUSIONS: In this paper, we developed a network-based model with the aim to define molecular aspects of pathogenic phenotypes in HCoV infections. The resulting pattern may facilitate the process of structure-guided pharmaceutical and diagnostic research with the prospect to identify potential new biological targets.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Regulatory Networks , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Models, Biological , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Interaction Mapping , COVID-19 , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins
10.
Cell Death Differ ; 27(11): 3196-3207, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591591

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a 3.4% mortality rate in patients with severe disease. The pathogenesis of severe cases remains unknown. We performed an in-depth prospective analysis of immune and inflammation markers in two patients with severe COVID-19 disease from presentation to convalescence. Peripheral blood from 18 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, 9 with severe and 9 with mild COVID-19 disease, was obtained at admission and analyzed for T-cell activation profile, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and cytokine profiles. MDSC functionality was tested in vitro. In four severe and in four mild patients, a longitudinal analysis was performed daily from the day of admission to the early convalescent phase. Early after admission severe patients showed neutrophilia, lymphopenia, increase in effector T cells, a persisting higher expression of CD95 on T cells, higher serum concentration of IL-6 and TGF-ß, and a cytotoxic profile of NK and T cells compared with mild patients, suggesting a highly engaged immune response. Massive expansion of MDSCs was observed, up to 90% of total circulating mononuclear cells in patients with severe disease, and up to 25% in the patients with mild disease; the frequency decreasing with recovery. MDSCs suppressed T-cell functions, dampening excessive immune response. MDSCs decline at convalescent phase was associated to a reduction in TGF-ß and to an increase of inflammatory cytokines in plasma samples. Substantial expansion of suppressor cells is seen in patients with severe COVID-19. Further studies are required to define their roles in reducing the excessive activation/inflammation, protection, influencing disease progression, potential to serve as biomarkers of disease severity, and new targets for immune and host-directed therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/cytology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Adult , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
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