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1.
Nature ; 591(7848): 124-130, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368933

ABSTRACT

Although infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some individuals1-3, many others experience milder symptoms. Here, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the distinction between severe and mild phenotypes in the pathology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its origins, we performed a whole-blood-preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major immune cell types of the blood-including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of the serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 exhibit a coordinated pattern of expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs)3 across every cell population, whereas these ISG-expressing cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Paradoxically, individuals with severe COVID-19 produce very high titres of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and have a lower viral load compared to individuals with mild disease. Examination of the serum from patients with severe COVID-19 shows that these patients uniquely produce antibodies that functionally block the production of the ISG-expressing cells associated with mild disease, by activating conserved signalling circuits that dampen cellular responses to interferons. Overzealous antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many patients with COVID-19, and perhaps also in individuals with other viral infections. Our findings reveal potential targets for immunotherapies in patients with severe COVID-19 to re-engage viral defence.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Interferons/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferons/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , Base Sequence , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/pathology , Protein Domains , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/immunology , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Viral Load/immunology
3.
Res Sq ; 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237030

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections including in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) we assessed lower respiratory tract immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill uninfected controls. Two days before VAP onset we observed a transcriptional signature of bacterial infection. Two weeks prior to VAP onset, following intubation, we observed a striking impairment in immune signaling in COVID-19 patients who developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients with VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. These findings suggest that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense detectable weeks before secondary infection onset.

4.
Res Sq ; 2020 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-903184

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 infection has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some patients, many others experience milder symptoms. We sought a holistic understanding of the severe/mild distinction in COVID-19 pathology, and its origins. We performed a wholeblood preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major cell types including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 disease display a coordinated pattern of interferonstimulated gene (ISG) expression across every cell population and these cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Severe COVID-19 patients also paradoxically produce very high anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and have lower viral load as compared to mild disease. Examination of the serum from severe patients demonstrates that they uniquely produce antibodies with multiple patterns of specificity against interferon-stimulated cells and that those antibodies functionally block the production of the mild disease-associated ISG-expressing cells. Overzealous and autodirected antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many COVID-19 patients and this defines targets for immunotherapies to allow immune systems to provide viral defense.

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