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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296942


Knowledge of the factors contributing to the development of protective immunity after vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines is fragmentary. Thus we employed high-temporal-resolution transcriptome profiling and in-depth characterization of antibody production approaches to investigate responses to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. There were marked differences in the timing and amplitude of the responses to the priming and booster doses. Notably, two distinct interferon signatures were identified, that differed based on their temporal patterns of induction. The first signature (S1), which was preferentially induced by type I interferon, peaked at day 2 post-prime and at day 1 post-boost, and in both instances was associated with subsequent development of the antibody response. In contrast, the second interferon signature (S2) peaked at day 1 both post-prime and post-boost but was found to be potently induced only post-boost, where it coincided with a robust inflammation peak. Notably, we also observed post-prime-like (S1++,S20/+) and post-boost-like (S1++,S2++) patterns of interferon response among COVID-19 patients. A post-boost-like signature was observed in most severely ill patients at admission to the intensive care unit and was associated with a shorter hospital stay. Interestingly, severely ill patients who stayed hospitalized the longest showed a peculiar pattern of interferon induction (S1-/0,S2+), that we did not observe following the administration of mRNA vaccines. In summary, high temporal resolution profiling revealed an elaborate array of immune responses elicited by priming and booster doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Furthermore, it contributed to the identification of distinct interferon-response phenotypes underpinning vaccine immunogenicity and the course of COVID-19 disease.

BMJ Open ; 11(1): e044497, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013055


INTRODUCTION: Accurate triage is an important first step to effectively manage the clinical treatment of severe cases in a pandemic outbreak. In the current COVID-19 global pandemic, there is a lack of reliable clinical tools to assist clinicians to perform accurate triage. Host response biomarkers have recently shown promise in risk stratification of disease progression; however, the role of these biomarkers in predicting disease progression in patients with COVID-19 is unknown. Here, we present a protocol outlining a prospective validation study to evaluate the biomarkers' performance in predicting clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This prospective validation study assesses patients infected with COVID-19, in whom blood samples are prospectively collected. Recruited patients include a range of infection severity from asymptomatic to critically ill patients, recruited from the community, outpatient clinics, emergency departments and hospitals. Study samples consist of peripheral blood samples collected into RNA-preserving (PAXgene/Tempus) tubes on patient presentation or immediately on study enrolment. Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) will be performed on total RNA extracted from collected blood samples using primers specific to host response gene expression biomarkers that have been previously identified in studies of respiratory viral infections. The RT-PCR data will be analysed to assess the diagnostic performance of individual biomarkers in predicting COVID-19-related outcomes, such as viral pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome or bacterial pneumonia. Biomarker performance will be evaluated using sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, likelihood ratios and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This research protocol aims to study the host response gene expression biomarkers in severe respiratory viral infections with a pandemic potential (COVID-19). It has been approved by the local ethics committee with approval number 2020/ETH00886. The results of this project will be disseminated in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/methods , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Time Factors
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 291, 2020 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691020


BACKGROUND: Covid-19 morbidity and mortality are associated with a dysregulated immune response. Tools are needed to enhance existing immune profiling capabilities in affected patients. Here we aimed to develop an approach to support the design of targeted blood transcriptome panels for profiling the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: We designed a pool of candidates based on a pre-existing and well-characterized repertoire of blood transcriptional modules. Available Covid-19 blood transcriptome data was also used to guide this process. Further selection steps relied on expert curation. Additionally, we developed several custom web applications to support the evaluation of candidates. RESULTS: As a proof of principle, we designed three targeted blood transcript panels, each with a different translational connotation: immunological relevance, therapeutic development relevance and SARS biology relevance. CONCLUSION: Altogether the work presented here may contribute to the future expansion of immune profiling capabilities via targeted profiling of blood transcript abundance in Covid-19 patients.

Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Transcriptome , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immune System , Internet , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2 , Software