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1.
J Clin Immunol ; 2022 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926047

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Waning immunity and the surge of SARS-CoV-2 variants are responsible for breakthrough infections, i.e., infections in fully vaccinated individuals. Although the majority of vaccinated infected subjects report mild or no symptoms, some others require hospitalization. The clinical and immunological features of vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients are currently unknown. METHODS: Twenty-nine unvaccinated and 36 vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients were prospectively enrolled and clinical and laboratory data were gathered. Immunophenotyping of leukocytes' subsets, T and B cell SARS-CoV-2-specific responses were evaluated via flow cytometry. Anti-IFN-α autoantibodies were measured via ELISA. RESULTS: Despite vaccinated patients were older and with more comorbidities, unvaccinated subjects showed higher levels of pro-inflammatory markers, more severe disease, and increased mortality rate. Accordingly, they presented significant alterations in the circulating leukocyte composition, typical of severe COVID-19. Vaccinated patients displayed higher levels of anti-Spike IgGs and Spike-specific B cells. Of all participants, survivors showed higher levels of anti-Spike IgGs and Spike-specific CD4+ T cells than non-survivors. At hospital admission, 6 out of 65 patients (9.2%) displayed high serum concentrations of autoantibodies targeting IFN-α. Remarkably, 3 were unvaccinated and eventually died, while the other 3 were vaccinated and survived. CONCLUSION: Despite more severe pre-existing clinical conditions, vaccinated patients have good outcome. A rapid activation of anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific immunity is fundamental for the resolution of the infection. Therefore, prior immunization through vaccination provides a significant contribution to prevention of disease worsening and can even overcome the presence of high-risk factors (i.e., older age, comorbidities, anti-IFN-α autoantibodies).

2.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327684

ABSTRACT

Background: Waning immunity and the surge of SARS-CoV-2 variants are responsible for breakthrough infections, i.e. infections in fully vaccinated individuals. Although the majority of vaccinated infected subjects reports mild or no symptoms, some others require hospitalization. The clinical and immunological features of vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients are currently unknown. Methods: 29 unvaccinated and 36 vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients were prospectively enrolled and clinical and laboratory data. Immunophenotyping of leukocytes subsets, T and B cell SARS-CoV-2 specific responses were evaluated via flow cytometry. Anti-IFN-α autoantibodies were measured via ELISA. Results: Despite vaccinated patients were older and with more comorbidities, unvaccinated subjects showed higher levels of pro-inflammatory markers, more severe disease and increased mortality rate. Accordingly, they presented significant alterations in the circulating leukocyte composition, typical of severe COVID-19. Vaccinated patients displayed higher levels of anti-Spike IgGs and Spike-specific B cells. Of all participants, survivors showed higher levels of anti-Spike IgGs and S-specific CD4+ T cells than non-survivors. At hospital admission, 6 out of 65 patients (9.2%) displayed high serum concentrations of autoantibodies targeting IFN-α. Remarkably, 3 were unvaccinated and eventually died, while the other 3 were vaccinated and survived. Conclusion: Despite more severe pre-existing clinical conditions, vaccinated patients have good outcome. A rapid activation of anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific immunity is fundamental for the resolution of the infection. Therefore, prior immunization through vaccination provides a significant contribute to prevention of disease worsening and can even overcome the presence of high-risk factors (i.e. older age, comorbidities, anti-IFN-α autoantibodies positivity).

3.
Immunology ; 161(4): 345-353, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738708

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for a new infectious disease (COVID-19) in which individuals can either remain asymptomatic or progress from mild to severe clinical conditions including acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure. The immune mechanisms that potentially orchestrate the pathology in SARS-CoV-2 infection are complex and only partially understood. There is still paucity of data on the features of myeloid cells involved in this viral infection. For this reason, we investigated the different activation status profiles and the subset distribution of myeloid cells and their correlation with disease progression in 40 COVID-19 patients at different stages of disease. COVID-19 patients showed a decrease in the absolute number of plasmacytoid and myeloid dendritic cells, different subset distribution of monocytes and different activation patterns of both monocytes and neutrophils, coupled to a significant reduction of HLA-DR monocyte levels. We found that some of these alterations are typical of all COVID-19 patients, while some others vary at different stages of the disease and correlate with biochemical parameters of inflammation. Collectively, these data suggest that not only the lymphoid, but also the myeloid compartment, is severely affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/pathology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Myeloid Cells/pathology
4.
J Clin Invest ; 130(9): 4694-4703, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401302

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCoronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral immune response is crucial to achieve pathogen clearance; however, in some patients an excessive and aberrant host immune response can lead to an acute respiratory distress syndrome. The comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate pathogen elimination, immunity, and pathology is essential to better characterize disease progression and widen the spectrum of therapeutic options.METHODSWe performed a flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets from 30 patients with COVID-19 and correlated these data with clinical outcomes.RESULTSPatients with COVID-19 showed decreased numbers of circulating T, B, and NK cells and exhibited a skewing of CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated/senescent phenotype. In agreement, CD4+ T and CD8+ T, but also NK cells, displayed reduced antiviral cytokine production capability. Moreover, a reduced cytotoxic potential was identified in patients with COVID-19, particularly in those who required intensive care. The latter group of patients also showed increased serum IL-6 levels that inversely correlated to the frequency of granzyme A-expressing NK cells. Off-label treatment with tocilizumab restored the cytotoxic potential of NK cells.CONCLUSIONThe association between IL-6 serum levels and the impairment of cytotoxic activity suggests the possibility that targeting this cytokine may restore antiviral mechanisms.FUNDINGThis study was supported by funds from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of University of Florence (the ex-60% fund and the "Excellence Departments 2018-2022 Project") derived from Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (Italy).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Interleukin-6/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Granzymes/blood , Granzymes/immunology , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Immunological , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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