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Kidney Int ; 99(6): 1470-1477, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386157


Patients with end stage kidney disease receiving in-center hemodialysis (ICHD) have had high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Following infection, patients receiving ICHD frequently develop circulating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, even with asymptomatic infection. Here, we investigated the durability and functionality of the immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients receiving ICHD. Three hundred and fifty-six such patients were longitudinally screened for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and underwent routine PCR-testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. Patients were regularly screened for nucleocapsid protein (anti-NP) and receptor binding domain (anti-RBD) antibodies, and those who became seronegative at six months were screened for SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell responses. One hundred and twenty-nine (36.2%) patients had detectable antibody to anti-NP at time zero, of whom 127 also had detectable anti-RBD. Significantly, at six months, 71/111 (64.0%) and 99/116 (85.3%) remained anti-NP and anti-RBD seropositive, respectively. For patients who retained antibody, both anti-NP and anti-RBD levels were reduced significantly after six months. Eleven patients who were anti-NP seropositive at time zero, had no detectable antibody at six months; of whom eight were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antigen specific T cell responses. Independent of antibody status at six months, patients with baseline positive SARS-CoV-2 serology were significantly less likely to have PCR confirmed infection over the following six months. Thus, patients receiving ICHD mount durable immune responses six months post SARS-CoV-2 infection, with fewer than 3% of patients showing no evidence of humoral or cellular immunity.

Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serologic Tests/methods
Oxf Open Immunol ; 2(1): iqab014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377979


Protease inhibitors influence a range of innate immunity and inflammatory pathways. We quantified plasma concentrations of key anti-inflammatory protease inhibitors in chronic haemodialysis patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The samples were collected early in the disease course to determine whether plasma protease inhibitor levels associated with the presence and severity of COVID-19. We used antibody-based immunoassays to measure plasma concentrations of C1 esterase inhibitor, alpha2-macroglobulin, antithrombin and inter-alpha-inhibitor heavy chain 4 (ITIH4) in 100 serial samples from 27 haemodialysis patients with COVID-19. ITIH4 was tested in two assays, one measuring intact ITIH4 and another also detecting any fragmented ITIH4 (total ITIH4). Control cohorts were 32 haemodialysis patients without COVID-19 and 32 healthy controls. We compared protease inhibitor concentration based on current and future COVID-19 severity and with C-reactive protein. Results were adjusted for repeated measures and multiple comparisons. Analysis of all available samples demonstrated lower plasma C1 esterase inhibitor and α2M and higher total ITIH4 in COVID-19 compared with dialysis controls. These differences were also seen in the first sample collected after COVID-19 diagnosis, a median of 4 days from diagnostic swab. Plasma ITIH4 levels were higher in severe than the non-severe COVID-19. Serum C-reactive protein correlated positively with plasma levels of antithrombin, intact ITIH4 and total ITIH4. In conclusion, plasma protease inhibitor concentrations are altered in COVID-19.

Front Immunol ; 12: 671052, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231338


We do not understand why non-white ethnicity and chronic kidney disease increase susceptibility to COVID-19. The lectin pathway of complement activation is a key contributor to innate immunity and inflammation. Concentrations of plasma lectin pathway proteins influence pathway activity and vary with ethnicity. We measured circulating lectin proteins in a multi-ethnic cohort of chronic kidney disease patients with and without COVID19 infection to determine if lectin pathway activation was contributing to COVID19 severity. We measured 11 lectin proteins in serial samples from a cohort of 33 patients with chronic kidney impairment and COVID19. Controls were single plasma samples from 32 patients on dialysis and 32 healthy individuals. We demonstrated multiple associations between recognition molecules and associated proteases of the lectin pathway and COVID-19, including COVID-19 severity. Some of these associations were unique to patients of Asian and White ethnicity. Our novel findings demonstrate that COVID19 infection alters the concentration of plasma lectin proteins and some of these changes were linked to ethnicity. This suggests a role for the lectin pathway in the host response to COVID-19 and suggest that variability within this pathway may contribute to ethnicity-associated differences in susceptibility to severe COVID-19.

COVID-19/blood , Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin , Lectins/blood , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Lectins/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/ethnology , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/immunology , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
Elife ; 102021 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1128149


End-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients are at high risk of severe COVID-19. We measured 436 circulating proteins in serial blood samples from hospitalised and non-hospitalised ESKD patients with COVID-19 (n = 256 samples from 55 patients). Comparison to 51 non-infected patients revealed 221 differentially expressed proteins, with consistent results in a separate subcohort of 46 COVID-19 patients. Two hundred and three proteins were associated with clinical severity, including IL6, markers of monocyte recruitment (e.g. CCL2, CCL7), neutrophil activation (e.g. proteinase-3), and epithelial injury (e.g. KRT19). Machine-learning identified predictors of severity including IL18BP, CTSD, GDF15, and KRT19. Survival analysis with joint models revealed 69 predictors of death. Longitudinal modelling with linear mixed models uncovered 32 proteins displaying different temporal profiles in severe versus non-severe disease, including integrins and adhesion molecules. These data implicate epithelial damage, innate immune activation, and leucocyte-endothelial interactions in the pathology of severe COVID-19 and provide a resource for identifying drug targets.

COVID-19 varies from a mild illness in some people to fatal disease in others. Patients with severe disease tend to be older and have underlying medical problems. People with kidney failure have a particularly high risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19. Patients with severe COVID-19 have high levels of inflammation, causing damage to tissues around the body. Many drugs that target inflammation have already been developed for other diseases. Therefore, to repurpose existing drugs or design new treatments, it is important to determine which proteins drive inflammation in COVID-19. Here, Gisby, Clarke, Medjeral-Thomas et al. measured 436 proteins in the blood of patients with kidney failure and compared the levels between patients who had COVID-19 to those who did not. This revealed that patients with COVID-19 had increased levels of hundreds of proteins involved in inflammation and tissue injury. Using a combination of statistical and machine learning analyses, Gisby et al. probed the data for proteins that might predict a more severe disease progression. In total, over 200 proteins were linked to disease severity, and 69 with increased risk of death. Tracking how levels of blood proteins changed over time revealed further differences between mild and severe disease. Comparing this data with a similar study of COVID-19 in people without kidney failure showed many similarities. This suggests that the findings may apply to COVID-19 patients more generally. Identifying the proteins that are a cause of severe COVID-19 ­ rather than just correlated with it ­ is an important next step that could help to select new drugs for severe COVID-19.

COVID-19/blood , Kidney Failure, Chronic/blood , Kidney Failure, Chronic/virology , Renal Dialysis/methods , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Female , Forecasting , Hospitalization , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/mortality , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Proteomics/methods , Renal Dialysis/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 31(12): 2967-2968, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-819958