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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 807104, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855349

ABSTRACT

Immunoglobulin gene heterogeneity reflects the diversity and focus of the humoral immune response towards different infections, enabling inference of B cell development processes. Detailed compositional and lineage analysis of long read IGH repertoire sequencing, combining examples of pandemic, epidemic and endemic viral infections with control and vaccination samples, demonstrates general responses including increased use of IGHV4-39 in both Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV) and COVID-19 patient cohorts. We also show unique characteristics absent in Respiratory Syncytial Virus or yellow fever vaccine samples: EBOV survivors show unprecedented high levels of class switching events while COVID-19 repertoires from acute disease appear underdeveloped. Despite the high levels of clonal expansion in COVID-19 IgG1 repertoires there is a striking lack of evidence of germinal centre mutation and selection. Given the differences in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality with age, it is also pertinent that we find significant differences in repertoire characteristics between young and old patients. Our data supports the hypothesis that a primary viral challenge can result in a strong but immature humoral response where failures in selection of the repertoire risk off-target effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Nat Med ; 28(5): 1031-1041, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773989

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused hundreds of millions of cases and continues to circulate globally. To establish a novel SARS-CoV-2 human challenge model that enables controlled investigation of pathogenesis, correlates of protection and efficacy testing of forthcoming interventions, 36 volunteers aged 18-29 years without evidence of previous infection or vaccination were inoculated with 10 TCID50 of a wild-type virus (SARS-CoV-2/human/GBR/484861/2020) intranasally in an open-label, non-randomized study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04865237 ; funder, UK Vaccine Taskforce). After inoculation, participants were housed in a high-containment quarantine unit, with 24-hour close medical monitoring and full access to higher-level clinical care. The study's primary objective was to identify an inoculum dose that induced well-tolerated infection in more than 50% of participants, with secondary objectives to assess virus and symptom kinetics during infection. All pre-specified primary and secondary objectives were met. Two participants were excluded from the per-protocol analysis owing to seroconversion between screening and inoculation, identified post hoc. Eighteen (~53%) participants became infected, with viral load (VL) rising steeply and peaking at ~5 days after inoculation. Virus was first detected in the throat but rose to significantly higher levels in the nose, peaking at ~8.87 log10 copies per milliliter (median, 95% confidence interval (8.41, 9.53)). Viable virus was recoverable from the nose up to ~10 days after inoculation, on average. There were no serious adverse events. Mild-to-moderate symptoms were reported by 16 (89%) infected participants, beginning 2-4 days after inoculation, whereas two (11%) participants remained asymptomatic (no reportable symptoms). Anosmia or dysosmia developed more slowly in 15 (83%) participants. No quantitative correlation was noted between VL and symptoms, with high VLs present even in asymptomatic infection. All infected individuals developed serum spike-specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies. Results from lateral flow tests were strongly associated with viable virus, and modeling showed that twice-weekly rapid antigen tests could diagnose infection before 70-80% of viable virus had been generated. Thus, with detailed characterization and safety analysis of this first SARS-CoV-2 human challenge study in young adults, viral kinetics over the course of primary infection with SARS-CoV-2 were established, with implications for public health recommendations and strategies to affect SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Future studies will identify the immune factors associated with protection in those participants who did not develop infection or symptoms and define the effect of prior immunity and viral variation on clinical outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Kinetics , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load , Young Adult
3.
Wellcome Open Res ; 7: 49, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1761258

ABSTRACT

Background: Human challenge studies involve the deliberate exposure of healthy volunteers to an infectious micro-organism in a highly controlled and monitored way. They are used to understand infectious diseases and have contributed to the development of vaccines. In early 2020, the UK started exploring the feasibility of establishing a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2. Given the significant public interest and the complexity of the potential risks and benefits, it is vital that public views are considered in the design and approval of any such study and that investigators and ethics boards remain accountable to the public. Methods: Mixed methods study comprising online surveys conducted with 2,441 UK adults and in-depth virtual focus groups with 57 UK adults during October 2020 to explore the public's attitudes to a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 taking place in the UK. Results: There was overall agreement across the surveys and focus groups that a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 should take place in the UK. Transparency of information, trust and the necessity to provide clear information on potential risks to study human challenge study participants were important. The perceived risks of taking part included the risk of developing long-term effects from COVID, impact on personal commitments and mental health implications of isolation. There were a number of practical realities to taking part that would influence a volunteer's ability to participate (e.g. Wi-Fi, access to exercise, outside space and work, family and pet commitments). Conclusions: The results identified practical considerations for teams designing human challenge studies. Recommendations were grouped: 1) messaging to potential study participants, 2) review of the protocol and organisation of the study, and 3) more broadly, making the study more inclusive and relevant. This study highlights the value of public consultation in research, particularly in fields attracting public interest and scrutiny .

4.
Wellcome open research ; 7, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755533

ABSTRACT

Background: Human challenge studies involve the deliberate exposure of healthy volunteers to an infectious micro-organism in a highly controlled and monitored way. They are used to understand infectious diseases and have contributed to the development of vaccines. In early 2020, the UK started exploring the feasibility of establishing a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2. Given the significant public interest and the complexity of the potential risks and benefits, it is vital that public views are considered in the design and approval of any such study and that investigators and ethics boards remain accountable to the public. Methods: Mixed methods study comprising online surveys conducted with 2,441 UK adults and in-depth virtual focus groups with 57 UK adults during October 2020 to explore the public’s attitudes to a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 taking place in the UK. Results: There was overall agreement across the surveys and focus groups that a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 should take place in the UK. Transparency of information, trust and the necessity to provide clear information on potential risks to study human challenge study participants were important. The perceived risks of taking part included the risk of developing long-term effects from COVID, impact on personal commitments and mental health implications of isolation. There were a number of practical realities to taking part that would influence a volunteer’s ability to participate (e.g. Wi-Fi, access to exercise, outside space and work, family and pet commitments). Conclusions: The results identified practical considerations for teams designing human challenge studies. Recommendations were grouped: 1) messaging to potential study participants, 2) review of the protocol and organisation of the study, and 3) more broadly, making the study more inclusive and relevant. This study highlights the value of public consultation in research, particularly in fields attracting public interest and scrutiny .

5.
Vaccine ; 40(26): 3484-3489, 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740252

ABSTRACT

This report of a joint World Health Organization (WHO) and United Kingdom (UK) Health Research Authority (HRA) workshop discusses the ethics review of the first COVID-19 human challenge studies, undertaken in the midst of the pandemic. It reviews the early efforts of international and national institutions to define the ethical standards required for COVID-19 human challenge studies and create the frameworks to ensure rigorous and timely review of these studies. This report evaluates the utility of the WHO's international guidance document Key criteria for the ethical acceptability of COVID-19 human challenge studies (WHO Key Criteria) as a practical resource for the ethics review of COVID-19 human challenge studies. It also assesses the UK HRA's approach to these complex ethics reviews, including the formation of a Specialist Ad-Hoc Research Ethics Committee (REC) for COVID-19 Human Challenge Studies to review all current and future COVID-19 human challenge studies. In addition, the report outlines the reflections of REC members and researchers regarding the ethics review process of the first COVID-19 human challenge studies. Finally, it considers the potential ongoing scientific justification for COVID-19 human challenge studies, particularly in relation to next-generation vaccines and optimisation of vaccination schedules. Overall, there was broad agreement that the WHO Key Criteria represented an international consensus document that played a powerful role in setting norms and delineating the necessary conditions for the ethical acceptability of COVID-19 human challenge studies. Workshop members suggested that the WHO Key Criteria could be practically implemented to support researchers and ethics reviewers, including in the training of ethics committee members. In future, a wider audience may be engaged by the original document and potential additional materials, informed by the experiences of those involved in the first COVID-19 human challenge studies outlined in this document.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethical Review , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethics Committees, Research , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , World Health Organization
6.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol ; 2022 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703649

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus infections have been known to cause disease in animals since as early as the 1920s. However, only seven coronaviruses capable of causing human disease have been identified thus far. These Human Coronaviruses (HCoVs) include the causes of the common cold, but more recent coronaviruses that have emerged (i.e. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2) are associated with much greater morbidity and mortality. HCoVs have been relatively under-studied compared to other common respiratory infections, as historically they have presented with mild symptoms. This has led to a relatively limited understanding of their animal reservoirs, transmission and determinants of immune protection. To address this, human infection challenge studies with HCoVs have been performed that enable a detailed clinical and immunological analysis of the host response at specific time points under controlled conditions with standardised viral inocula. Until recently, all such human challenge studies were conducted with common cold HCoVs, with the study of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV unacceptable due to their greater pathogenicity. However, with the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic during which severe outcomes in young healthy adults have been rare, human challenge studies with SARS-CoV-2 are now being developed. Two SARS-CoV-2 human challenge studies in the UK studying individuals with and without pre-existing immunity are underway. As well as providing a platform for testing of antivirals and vaccines, such studies will be critical for understanding the factors associated with susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and thus developing improved strategies to tackle the current as well as future HCoV pandemics. Here, we summarise the major questions about protection and pathogenesis in HCoV infection that human infection challenge studies have attempted to answer historically, as well as the knowledge gaps that aim to be addressed with contemporary models.

7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328567

ABSTRACT

To establish a novel SARS-CoV-2 human challenge model, 36 volunteers aged 18-29 years without evidence of previous infection or vaccination were inoculated with 10 TCID 50 of a wild-type virus (SARS-CoV-2/human/GBR/484861/2020) intranasally. Two participants were excluded from per protocol analysis due to seroconversion between screening and inoculation. Eighteen (~53%) became infected, with viral load (VL) rising steeply and peaking at ~5 days post-inoculation. Virus was first detected in the throat but rose to significantly higher levels in the nose, peaking at ~8.87 log 10 copies/ml (median, 95% CI [8.41,9.53). Viable virus was recoverable from the nose up to ~10 days post-inoculation, on average. There were no serious adverse events. Mild-to-moderate symptoms were reported by 16 (89%) infected individuals, beginning 2-4 days post-inoculation. Anosmia/dysosmia developed more gradually in 12 (67%) participants. No quantitative correlation was noted between VL and symptoms, with high VLs even in asymptomatic infection, followed by the development of serum spike-specific and neutralising antibodies. However, lateral flow results were strongly associated with viable virus and modelling showed that twice-weekly rapid tests could diagnose infection before 70-80% of viable virus had been generated. Thus, in this first SARS-CoV-2 human challenge study, no serious safety signals were detected and the detailed characteristics of early infection and their public health implications were shown. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04865237.

8.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328367

ABSTRACT

Background: Human challenge studies involve the deliberate exposure of healthy volunteers to an infectious micro-organism in a highly controlled and monitored way. They are used to understand infectious diseases and have contributed to the development of vaccines. In early 2020, the UK started exploring the feasibility of establishing a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2. Given the significant public interest and the complexity of the potential risks and benefits, it is vital that public views are considered in the design and approval of any such study and that investigators and ethics boards remain accountable to the public. Methods: : Mixed methods study comprising online surveys conducted with 2,441 UK adults and in-depth virtual focus groups with 57 UK adults during October 2020 to explore the public’s attitudes to a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 taking place in the UK. Results: : There was overall agreement across the surveys and focus groups that a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 should take place in the UK. Transparency of information, trust and the necessity to provide clear information on potential risks to study human challenge study participants were important. The perceived risks of taking part included the risk of developing long-term effects from COVID, impact on personal commitments and mental health implications of isolation. There were a number of practical realities to taking part that would influence a volunteer’s ability to participate (e.g. Wi-Fi, access to exercise, outside space and work, family and pet commitments). Conclusions: : The results identified practical considerations for teams designing human challenge studies. Recommendations were grouped: 1) messaging to potential study participants, 2) review of the protocol and organisation of the study, and 3) more broadly, making the study more inclusive and relevant. This study highlights the value of public consultation in research, particularly in fields attracting public interest and scrutiny .

9.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1511(1): 59-86, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625044

ABSTRACT

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines was the result of decades of research to establish flexible vaccine platforms and understand pathogens with pandemic potential, as well as several novel changes to the vaccine discovery and development processes that partnered industry and governments. And while vaccines offer the potential to drastically improve global health, low-and-middle-income countries around the world often experience reduced access to vaccines and reduced vaccine efficacy. Addressing these issues will require novel vaccine approaches and platforms, deeper insight how vaccines mediate protection, and innovative trial designs and models. On June 28-30, 2021, experts in vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and deployment met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium "Innovative Vaccine Approaches" to discuss advances in vaccine research and development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Vaccines/therapeutic use
10.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2128534, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441922

ABSTRACT

Importance: Currently, there are no presymptomatic screening methods to identify individuals infected with a respiratory virus to prevent disease spread and to predict their trajectory for resource allocation. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of using noninvasive, wrist-worn wearable biometric monitoring sensors to detect presymptomatic viral infection after exposure and predict infection severity in patients exposed to H1N1 influenza or human rhinovirus. Design, Setting, and Participants: The cohort H1N1 viral challenge study was conducted during 2018; data were collected from September 11, 2017, to May 4, 2018. The cohort rhinovirus challenge study was conducted during 2015; data were collected from September 14 to 21, 2015. A total of 39 adult participants were recruited for the H1N1 challenge study, and 24 adult participants were recruited for the rhinovirus challenge study. Exclusion criteria for both challenges included chronic respiratory illness and high levels of serum antibodies. Participants in the H1N1 challenge study were isolated in a clinic for a minimum of 8 days after inoculation. The rhinovirus challenge took place on a college campus, and participants were not isolated. Exposures: Participants in the H1N1 challenge study were inoculated via intranasal drops of diluted influenza A/California/03/09 (H1N1) virus with a mean count of 106 using the median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) assay. Participants in the rhinovirus challenge study were inoculated via intranasal drops of diluted human rhinovirus strain type 16 with a count of 100 using the TCID50 assay. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measures included cross-validated performance metrics of random forest models to screen for presymptomatic infection and predict infection severity, including accuracy, precision, sensitivity, specificity, F1 score, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: A total of 31 participants with H1N1 (24 men [77.4%]; mean [SD] age, 34.7 [12.3] years) and 18 participants with rhinovirus (11 men [61.1%]; mean [SD] age, 21.7 [3.1] years) were included in the analysis after data preprocessing. Separate H1N1 and rhinovirus detection models, using only data on wearble devices as input, were able to distinguish between infection and noninfection with accuracies of up to 92% for H1N1 (90% precision, 90% sensitivity, 93% specificity, and 90% F1 score, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.70-1.00] AUC) and 88% for rhinovirus (100% precision, 78% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 88% F1 score, and 0.96 [95% CI, 0.85-1.00] AUC). The infection severity prediction model was able to distinguish between mild and moderate infection 24 hours prior to symptom onset with an accuracy of 90% for H1N1 (88% precision, 88% sensitivity, 92% specificity, 88% F1 score, and 0.88 [95% CI, 0.72-1.00] AUC) and 89% for rhinovirus (100% precision, 75% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 86% F1 score, and 0.95 [95% CI, 0.79-1.00] AUC). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study suggests that the use of a noninvasive, wrist-worn wearable device to predict an individual's response to viral exposure prior to symptoms is feasible. Harnessing this technology would support early interventions to limit presymptomatic spread of viral respiratory infections, which is timely in the era of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Biometry/methods , Common Cold/diagnosis , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Rhinovirus , Severity of Illness Index , Wearable Electronic Devices , Adult , Area Under Curve , Biological Assay , Biometry/instrumentation , Cohort Studies , Common Cold/virology , Early Diagnosis , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/growth & development , Influenza, Human/virology , Male , Mass Screening , Models, Biological , Rhinovirus/growth & development , Sensitivity and Specificity , Virus Shedding , Young Adult
12.
Sci Immunol ; 6(57)2021 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127535

ABSTRACT

While it is now widely accepted that host inflammatory responses contribute to lung injury, the pathways that drive severity and distinguish coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from other viral lung diseases remain poorly characterized. We analyzed plasma samples from 471 hospitalized patients recruited through the prospective multicenter ISARIC4C study and 39 outpatients with mild disease, enabling extensive characterization of responses across a full spectrum of COVID-19 severity. Progressive elevation of levels of numerous inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (including IL-6, CXCL10, and GM-CSF) were associated with severity and accompanied by elevated markers of endothelial injury and thrombosis. Principal component and network analyses demonstrated central roles for IL-6 and GM-CSF in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Comparing these profiles to archived samples from patients with fatal influenza, IL-6 was equally elevated in both conditions whereas GM-CSF was prominent only in COVID-19. These findings further identify the key inflammatory, thrombotic, and vascular factors that characterize and distinguish severe and fatal COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/blood , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/blood , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks ; 10(1):9, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1055079

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in the clinical decision that reduced direct contact is optimal, especially for senior citizens residing in nursing homes. A smart pillow adapted for the Remote Healthcare System is presented in this paper, whose core is a Bluetooth (BT) host equipped with temperature and pressure sensors. The measurement of Core Body Temperature (CBT) from the perspective of heat transfer is first analyzed, with two proven effective methods introduced—classical Zero-Heat-Flux (ZHF) and Dual-Heat-Flux (DHF)—then finally the similarities between the Smart Pillow and ZHF are demonstrated. A pressure pad is inserted inside the pillow to detect occupancy and the specific position of the head on the pillow that meets clinical diagnostic needs. Furthermore, a real-time proactive monitoring mode is enabled for urgent warnings, which forces the pillow to keep detecting and reporting data in a defined time duration but results in rapid battery drain of the pillow. In this way, the system can detect the CBT and in-bed situation of the inhabitant without being physically present to determine critical measurements. Utility of this system can be extended to elderly people living alone in regional or remote areas, such that medical help can be dispatched as soon as possible in case of medical emergency.

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