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1.
J Clin Invest ; 2022 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098125

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Results of many randomized trials on COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) have been reported but information on long-term outcome after CCP treatment is limited. The objectives of this extended observation of the randomized CAPSID trial are to assess long-term outcome and disease burden in patients initially treated with or without CCP. METHODS: Of 105 randomized patients, 50 participated in the extended observation. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed by questionnaires and a structured interview. CCP-donors (n=113) with asymptomatic to moderate COVID-19 were included as a reference group. RESULTS: The median follow-up of patients was 396 days, the estimated 1-year survival was 78.7% in the CCP and 60.2% in the control group (p=0.08). The subgroup treated with a higher cumulative amount of neutralizing antibodies showed a better 1-year survival compared to the control group (91.5% versus 60.2%; p=0.01). Medical events and QoL assessments showed a consistent trend for better results in the CCP group without reaching statistical significance. There was no difference in the increase of neutralizing antibodies after vaccination between CCP and the control group. CONCLUSION: The trial demonstrated a trend towards better outcome in the CCP group without reaching statistical significance. A pre-defined subgroup analysis showed a significant better outcome (long-term survival; time to discharge from ICU and time to hospital discharge) among those who received a higher amount of neutralizing antibodies compared to the control group. A substantial long-term disease burden remains after severe COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT number 2020-001310-38FUNDING. Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (German Federal Ministry of Health): ZMVI1-2520COR802/ZMI1-2521COR802.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(5): e0122922, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2019781

ABSTRACT

Access to reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) testing, the gold standard for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection, is limited throughout the world, due to restricted resources, available infrastructure, and high costs. Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) overcome some of these barriers, but independent clinical validations in settings of intended use are scarce. To inform the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergency use listing (EUL) procedure and ensure affordable, high-quality Ag-RDTs, we assessed the performance and ease of use of the SureStatus for SARS-CoV-2. For this prospective, multicenter diagnostic accuracy study, we recruited unvaccinated participants with presumed SARS-CoV-2 infection in India and Germany from December 2020 to March 2021, when the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant was predominantly circulating. Paired swabs were performed for (i) routine clinical RT-PCR testing (sampling was either nasopharyngeal [NP] or combined NP and oropharyngeal [NP/OP]) and (ii) Ag-RDT (sampling was NP). Performance of the Ag-RDT was compared to RT-PCR overall and by predefined subgroups, e.g., cycle threshold (CT) value, symptoms, and days from symptom onset. To understand the usability, a system usability scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. A total of 1,119 participants were included in the analysis, of whom 205 (18.3%) were RT-PCR positive. SureStatus detected 169 out of 205 RT-PCR-positive participants, reporting a sensitivity of 82.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 76.6% to 87.1%) and a specificity of 98.5% (95% CI: 97.4% to 99.1%). In the first 7 days post-symptom onset, the sensitivity was 90.7% (95% CI: 83.5% to 94.9%), when CT values were low and viral loads were high. The test was characterized as easy to use (SUS, 85/100) and considered suitable for point-of-care settings, although quality concerns were raised due to visibly contaminated packaging of swabs included in the test kits. The SureStatus diagnostic test can be considered a reliable test during the first week of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with high sensitivity in combination with excellent usability. IMPORTANCE Our manufacturer-independent, prospective diagnostic accuracy study assessed clinical performance in participants presumed to have a SARS-CoV-2 infection at three study sites in two countries. We assessed the accuracy overall and in predefined subgroups (CT values and symptom duration). SureStatus performed with high sensitivity. Its sensitivity was particularly high in the first 3 days after symptom onset and when CT values were low (i.e., the viral load was high). The system usability and ease-of-use assessment complements the accuracy assessment of the test and highlights critical factors to facilitate the widespread use of SureStatus in point-of-care settings. The high sensitivity demonstrated by the evaluated Ag-RDT within the first days of symptoms, when most transmission occurs, supports the role of Ag-RDTs for public health-relevant screening. Evidence from this study was used to inform the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing procedure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Point-of-Care Systems , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , World Health Organization
3.
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology ; 36(Suppl 1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1980864

ABSTRACT

Study objective Endothelial dysfunction and increased microvascular permeability are hallmarks of severe COVID‐19. At present, the underlying mechanisms of endothelial barrier failure in COVID‑19 remain elusive. Here, we show that increased thrombin activity in plasma from severe COVID‐19 patients activates endothelial protease‐activated receptor (PAR1), which mediates barrier failure by triggering TRPV4‐mediated Ca2+ influx in lung microvascular endothelial cells. Methods Citrate plasma was sampled as part of the Pa‐COVID‐19 cohort study (ethics approval EA2/066/20) from patients with severe COVID‐19 (high flow O2 or mechanically ventilated;WHO severity score: 5‐7) COVID‑19. Plasma samples were diluted to 10% (v/v) in cell culture medium without FCS and tested for their ability to disrupt barrier integrity of primary human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) monolayers by electrical cell‐substrate impedance sensing (ECIS), immunofluorescence for endothelial VE‐cadherin and F‐actin, western blot analyses of PAR‐1 cleavage, and real‐time Ca2+ imaging. Plasma from healthy donors served as control. Results COVID‐19 plasma had elevated thrombin activity while levels of antithrombin III, a key anti‐coagulant with thromboprotective function were decreased. COVID‐19 plasma caused endothelial barrier dysfunction as measured by ECIS and gap formation in HPMEC monolayers. Endothelial barrier disruption and endothelial Ca2+ influx in response to COVID‐19 plasma could be blocked by selective antagonists targeting thrombin (Argatroban), its receptor PAR1 (SCH79797), or TRPV4 (HC‐067047). Conclusion Here, we identify a novel signaling axis involving thrombin, its receptor PAR1, and TRPV4 as mechanism for increased microvascular permeability in COVID‑19. Targeting this signaling axis in endothelial barrier failure may provide a promising adjunctive therapy in COVID‐19.

4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4182, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947341

ABSTRACT

Vaccine development is essential for pandemic preparedness. We previously conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial of the vector vaccine candidate MVA-MERS-S against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), expressing its full spike glycoprotein (MERS-CoV-S), as a homologous two-dose regimen (Days 0 and 28). Here, we evaluate the safety (primary objective) and immunogenicity (secondary and exploratory objectives: magnitude and characterization of vaccine-induced humoral responses) of a third vaccination with MVA-MERS-S in a subgroup of trial participants one year after primary immunization. MVA-MERS-S booster vaccination is safe and well-tolerated. Both binding and neutralizing anti-MERS-CoV antibody titers increase substantially in all participants and exceed maximum titers observed after primary immunization more than 10-fold. We identify four immunogenic IgG epitopes, located in the receptor-binding domain (RBD, n = 1) and the S2 subunit (n = 3) of MERS-CoV-S. The level of baseline anti-human coronavirus antibody titers does not impact the generation of anti-MERS-CoV antibody responses. Our data support the rationale of a booster vaccination with MVA-MERS-S and encourage further investigation in larger trials. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03615911.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
5.
J Clin Immunol ; 42(6): 1111-1129, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1942304

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Six to 19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. METHODS: We analyzed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. RESULTS: The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients from all cohorts was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected (max. WHO score 6-8), predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6%, 18/237 for IFN-α-AABs and 4.6%, 11/237 for IFN-ω-AABs in 237 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with lower probability of survival (7.7% versus 80.9% in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. CONCLUSION: IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for the development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Autoantibodies , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Interferon-alpha/therapeutic use , Male , Oxygen , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Clin Virol ; 154: 105222, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907272

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen testing has become an essential part of fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the continual increase in available tests, independent and extensive comparative evaluations using data from external quality assessment (EQA) studies to evaluate test performance between different users are required. OBJECTIVES: An EQA scheme was established to assess the sensitivity of antigen tests and the potential impact of circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains on their performance. STUDY DESIGN: Panels were prepared for three challenges in 2021 containing inactivated SARS-CoV-2-positive samples of various genetic strains (including variants of concern, VOCs) at different concentrations, and negative samples. Data was analysed based on qualitative testing results in relation to the antigen test used. RESULTS: Participants registered for each individual challenge in any combination. In total, 258 respondents from 27 countries worldwide were counted submitting 472 datasets. All core samples were correctly reported by 76.7 to 83.1% at participant level and by 73.5 to 83.8% at dataset level. Sensitivity differences could be shown in viral loads and SARS-CoV-2 strains/variants including the impact on performance by a B.1.1.7-like mutant strain with a deletion in the nucleoprotein gene. Lateral flow rapid antigen tests showed a higher rate of false negatives in general compared with automated point-of-care tests and laboratory ELISA/immunoassays. CONCLUSIONS: EQA schemes can provide valuable data to inform participants about weaknesses in their testing process or methods and support ongoing assay evaluations for regulatory approval or post-market surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
Eur Respir J ; 2022 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the ACE2 transmembrane peptidase as cellular entry receptor. However, whether SARS-CoV-2 in the alveolar compartment is strictly ACE2-dependent and to what extent virus-induced tissue damage and/or direct immune activation determines early pathogenesis is still elusive. METHODS: Spectral microscopy, single-cell/-nucleus RNA sequencing or ACE2 'gain-of-function' experiments were applied on infected human lung explants and adult stem cell-derived human lung organoids to correlate ACE2 and related host factors with SARS-CoV-2 tropism, propagation, virulence and immune activation compared to SARS-CoV, influenza and MERS-CoV. COVID-19 autopsy material was used to validate ex vivo results. RESULTS: We provide evidence that alveolar ACE2 expression must be considered scarce, thereby limiting SARS-CoV-2 propagation and virus-induced tissue damage in the human alveolus. Instead, ex vivo infected human lungs and COVID-19 autopsy samples showed that alveolar macrophages were frequently positive for SARS-CoV-2. Single-cell/-nucleus transcriptomics further revealed non-productive virus uptake and a related inflammatory and anti-viral activation, especially in 'inflammatory alveolar macrophages', comparable to those induced by SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV but different from NL63 or influenza virus infection. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our findings indicate that severe lung injury in COVID-19 likely results from a macrophage triggered immune activation rather than direct viral damage of the alveolar compartment.

8.
Mult Scler ; 28(7): 1041-1050, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846718

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Optimal management of anti-CD20-treated patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) is an important clinical task during the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. OBJECTIVES: To characterize humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations/infections in a longitudinal cohort of anti-CD20 treated (n = 175) and anti-CD20 therapy-naïve (n = 41) pwMS. METHODS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA, virus neutralizing capacity, IgG avidity and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were determined. RESULTS: Following two SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, not only SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG and IgA, but also neutralizing capacity and avidity of SARS-CoV-2 IgG were lower in anti-CD20-treated (n = 51) than in anti-CD20 therapy-naïve pwMS (n = 14) and in healthy controls (HC, n = 19). However, in all anti-CD20-treated pwMS vaccinated twice (n = 26) or infected with SARS-CoV-2 (n = 2), in whom SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were measured, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable, at levels similar to those of twice-vaccinated anti-CD20 therapy-naïve pwMS (n = 7) and HC (n = 19). SARS-CoV-2-S1 IgG levels (r = 0.42, p = 0.002), antibody avidity (r = 0.7, p < 0.001), and neutralizing capacity (r = 0.44, p = 0.03) increased with time between anti-CD20 infusion and second vaccination. Based on detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred in 4 out of 175 (2.3%) anti-CD20-treated pwMS, all of whom recovered fully. CONCLUSIONS: These findings should inform treatment decisions and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination management in pwMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
9.
Insights into Imaging ; 13(1), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1837326

ABSTRACT

BackgroundDuring the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, computed tomography (CT) has become widely used in patients with suspected or known coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This prospective observational study in 28 invasively ventilated and 18 non-invasively ventilated patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 contamination aims at investigating SARS-CoV-2 contamination of CT scanner surfaces and its infectiousness.MethodsSwab sampling of the CT table and gantry before and after CT examinations was performed. Additionally, the CT ventilation system air grid was wiped off after each examination. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (ribonucleic acid) and viral cell culture were performed in the virology core lab.ResultsAfter examination of non-invasively ventilated or non-ventilated patients, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in 11.1% (4/36) on patient near surfaces (CT table and gantry) and in 16.7% (3/18) on the CT air grid respectively after examination of invasively ventilated patients in 5.4% (3/56) on CT table and gantry and 7.1% (2/28) on the CT air grid. Surface contamination was more common in non-invasively ventilated or non-ventilated patients with a high viral load who were actively coughing. RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) was high (35.96–39.31) in all positive samples and no positive viral cell culture was found.ConclusionOur study suggests that CT scanner surface contamination with SARS-CoV-2 is considerable and more common after examination of non-invasively ventilated or non-ventilated patients compared to invasively ventilated patients. However, no viral cell culture positivity was found, hence the infectious potential seems low.

10.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-334503

ABSTRACT

Evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants and changing levels of pre-existing immunity require re-evaluation of rapid antigen test performance. In hospital employees in Berlin, Germany, from late 2020 to early 2022, we found decreasing rapid antigen test sensitivity over time, from 80% to 67%, despite a 5·6 fold increase in median viral RNA concentrations in symptomatic employees early in their infection course. These changes were observed in parallel with a sharp increase of the percentage of employees who were at least doubly vaccinated or recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on statistical analyses of our employee testing data set, an evaluation of antigen test performance on supernatants from SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, and rapid antigen test performance data from other studies, we hypothesize that the observed reduction in clinical rapid test sensitivity, despite higher SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads, is due to increased population immunity resulting from vaccination and prior infection. Funding: Parts of this work were supported by grants from the Berlin University Alliance (Corona Virus Pre-Exploration Project). The study was further supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research through Forschungsnetzwerk der Universitätsmedizin zu COVID-19, (COVIM, FKZ: 01KX2021) to JS, CD, VMC;NIAID-NIH CEIRS contract HHSN272201400008C to TCJ;NaFoUniMedCovid19 (FKZ: 01KX2021) B-FAST to JS;RAPID (01KI1723A) to CD;VARIPath (01KI2021) to VMC, as well as the European Union via Project ReCoVer (grant number GA101003589) to CD. VMC is supported by the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) Charité Clinician Scientist program.

11.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7005, 2022 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830097

ABSTRACT

Camels gained attention since the discovery of MERS-CoV as intermediary hosts for potentially epidemic zoonotic viruses. DcHEV is a novel zoonotic pathogen associated with camel contact. This study aimed to genetically characterize DcHEV in domestic and imported camels in Saudi Arabia. DcHEV was detected by RT-PCR in serum samples, PCR-positive samples were subjected to sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. DcHEV was detected in 1.77% of samples with higher positivity in domestic DCs. All positive imported dromedaries were from Sudan with age declining prevalence. Domestic DcHEV sequences clustered with sequences from Kenya, Somalia, and UAE while imported sequences clustered with one DcHEV isolate from UAE and both sequences clustered away from isolates reported from Pakistan. Full-genome sequences showed 24 amino acid difference with reference sequences. Our results confirm the detection of DcHEV in domestic and imported DCs. Further investigations are needed in human and camel populations to identify DcHEV potential zoonosis threat.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Hepatitis E virus , Animals , Camelus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Genetic Variation , Hepatitis E virus/genetics , Phylogeny , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
12.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-332348

ABSTRACT

Background: Access to RT-PCR testing, the gold standard for SARS-CoV-2 detection, is limited throughout the world, due to restricted resources, available infrastructure, and high costs. Antigen-detecting, rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) overcome some of these barriers, but independent clinical validations in settings of intended use are scarce. To inform the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency use listing (EUL) procedure and ensure affordable, high-quality Ag-RDTs, we assessed the performance and ease-of-use of the SureStatus for SARS-CoV-2. Methods: This prospective, multi-center diagnostic accuracy study recruited unvaccinated participants with presumed SARS-CoV-2 infection in India and Germany from Dec 2019 to Mar 2021 when predominantly alpha (B.1.1.7) variant was circulating. Paired swabs were performed for (i) routine clinical RT-PCR testing (sampling was either nasopharyngeal (NP), or NP/OP combined) and (ii) for Ag-RDT (sampling was nasopharyngeal (NP)). Performance of the Ag-RDT was compared to RT-PCR overall, and according to predefined subgroups e.g., cycle threshold (Ct)-value, symptoms, and days from symptom onset. To understand usability, a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. Findings: A total of 1119 participants were included in the analysis of whom 205 (18·3%) were RT-PCR positive. SureStatus detected 169 out of 205 RT-PCR positive participants, reporting a sensitivity of 82·4% (95% CI: 76·6%-87·1%) and a specificity of 98·5% (95% CI: 97·4%-99·1%). In the first 7 days post symptom onset sensitivity was 90·7% (95% CI: 83·5%-94·9%). The test was characterized as easy to use (SUS: 85/100) and considered suitable for point-of-care settings although quality concerns were raised due to visibly contaminated packaging of swabs included in the test kits. Interpretation: The SureStatus diagnostic test can be considered a reliable test in the first week of SARS-CoV-2 infection with high sensitivity in combination with excellent usability.

13.
Front Immunol ; 13: 840126, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775673

ABSTRACT

Morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 is increased in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). Age and comorbidities and also impaired type I interferon immunity were identified as relevant risk factors. In patients with primary antibody deficiency (PAD) and lack of specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2, clinical disease outcome is very heterogeneous. Despite extensive clinical reports, underlying immunological mechanisms are poorly characterized and levels of T cellular and innate immunity in severe cases remain to be determined. In the present study, we report clinical and immunological findings of 5 PAD patients with severe and fatal COVID-19 and undetectable specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (NCAP) peptide pools were analyzed comparatively by flow cytometry in PAD patients, convalescents and naïve healthy individuals. All examined PAD patients developed a robust T cell response. The presence of polyfunctional cytokine producing activated CD4+ T cells indicates a memory-like phenotype. An analysis of innate immune response revealed elevated CD169 (SIGLEC1) expression on monocytes, a surrogate marker for type I interferon response, and presence of type I interferon autoantibodies was excluded. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detectable in peripheral blood in three severe COVID-19 patients with PAD. Viral clearance in blood was observed after treatment with COVID-19 convalescent plasma/monoclonal antibody administration. However, prolonged mucosal viral shedding was observed in all patients (median 67 days) with maximum duration of 127 days. PAD patients without specific humoral SARS-CoV-2 immunity may suffer from severe or fatal COVID-19 despite robust T cell and normal innate immune response. Intensified monitoring for long persistence of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding and (prophylactic) convalescent plasma/specific IgG as beneficial treatment option in severe cases with RNAemia should be considered in seronegative PAD patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Passive , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
14.
J Immunol ; 208(5): 1001-1005, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674946

ABSTRACT

Advanced age is a main risk factor for severe COVID-19. However, low vaccination efficacy and accelerated waning immunity have been reported in this age group. To elucidate age-related differences in immunogenicity, we analyzed human cellular, serological, and salivary SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein-specific immune responses to the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in old (69-92 y) and middle-aged (24-57 y) vaccinees compared with natural infection (COVID-19 convalescents, 21-55 y of age). Serological humoral responses to vaccination excee-ded those of convalescents, but salivary anti-spike subunit 1 (S1) IgA and neutralizing capacity were less durable in vaccinees. In old vaccinees, we observed that pre-existing spike-specific CD4+ T cells are associated with efficient induction of anti-S1 IgG and neutralizing capacity in serum but not saliva. Our results suggest pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive CD4+ T cells as a predictor of an efficient COVID-19 vaccine-induced humoral immune response in old individuals.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Nursing Homes , Saliva/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
15.
Science ; 375(6582): 782-787, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650668

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta variant of concern (VOC) resists neutralization by major classes of antibodies from COVID-19 patients and vaccinated individuals. In this study, serum of Beta-infected patients revealed reduced cross-neutralization of wild-type virus. From these patients, we isolated Beta-specific and cross-reactive receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies. The Beta-specificity results from recruitment of VOC-specific clonotypes and accommodation of mutations present in Beta and Omicron into a major antibody class that is normally sensitive to these mutations. The Beta-elicited cross-reactive antibodies share genetic and structural features with wild type-elicited antibodies, including a public VH1-58 clonotype that targets the RBD ridge. These findings advance our understanding of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 shaped by antigenic drift, with implications for design of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
16.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626235

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
18.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103774, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587927

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for SARS-CoV-2 are important diagnostic tools. We assessed clinical performance and ease-of-use of seven Ag-RDTs in a prospective, manufacturer-independent, multi-centre cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study to inform global decision makers. METHODS: Unvaccinated participants suspected of a first SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited at six sites (Germany, Brazil). Ag-RDTs were evaluated sequentially, with collection of paired swabs for routine reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and Ag-RDT testing. Performance was compared to RT-PCR overall and in sub-group analyses (viral load, symptoms, symptoms duration). To understandusability a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. FINDINGS: 7471 participants were included in the analysis. Sensitivities across Ag-RDTs ranged from 70·4%-90·1%, specificities were above 97·2% for all Ag-RDTs but one (93·1%).Ag-RDTs, Mologic, Bionote, Standard Q, showed diagnostic accuracy in line with WHO targets (> 80% sensitivity, > 97% specificity). All tests showed high sensitivity in the first three days after symptom onset (≥87·1%) and in individuals with viral loads≥ 6 log10SARS-CoV2 RNA copies/mL (≥ 88·7%). Usability varied, with Rapigen, Bionote and Standard Q reaching very good scores; 90, 88 and 84/100, respectively. INTERPRETATION: Variability in test performance is partially explained by variable viral loads in population evaluated over the course of the pandemic. All Ag-RDTs reach high sensitivity early in the disease and in individuals with high viral loads, supporting their role in identifying transmission relevant infections. For easy-to-use tests, performance shown will likely be maintained in routine implementation. FUNDING: Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, internal funds from Heidelberg University Hospital, University Hospital Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, UK Department of International Development, WHO, Unitaid.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-292706

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background: Investigating the role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic is pivotal to prevent the virus spreading. In most cases, children infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) develop non-specific symptoms or are asymptomatic. Therefore, the infection rate among this age group remains unclear. Seroprevalence studies, including clinical questionnaires, may contribute to our understanding of the time course and clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Methods: SARS-CoV-2-KIDS is a longitudinal, hospital-based, multicentre study in Germany on the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G, as determined by an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay in children (aged ≤17 years). A study-specific questionnaire provided additional information on clinical aspects. Findings: This analysis included 10,358 participants recruited from June 2020 to May 2021. The estimated anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence increased from 2·0% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1·6, 2·5) to 10·8% (95% CI 8·7, 12·9) in March 2021, without major change afterwards and was higher in children with migrant background (on average 6·6% vs. 2·8%). In the pandemic early stages, children under three years were 3·5 (95% CI 2·2, 5·6) times more likely to be seropositive than older children, with the levels equalising in later observations. History of self-reported respiratory tract infections or pneumonia was associated with seropositivity (OR 1·8 (95% CI 1·4, 2·3);2·7 (95% CI 1·7, 4·1)). Interpretation: The majority of children in Germany do not have detectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG. To some extent, this may reflect the effect of differing containment measures implemented in the federal states. Detection levels might have been greater in certain age groups or migrant background. Lifting containment measurements is likely to cause a general increase in respiratory tract infections, which already pose a challenge to paediatric medical care during regular winter seasons. This challenge might become critical with additional infections caused by SARS-CoV-2.

20.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504717

ABSTRACT

IntroductionNumerous CE-marked SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDT) are offered in Europe, several of them with unconfirmed quality claims.AimWe performed an independent head-to-head evaluation of the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT offered in Germany.MethodsWe addressed the sensitivity of 122 Ag RDT in direct comparison using a common evaluation panel comprised of 50 specimens. Minimum sensitivity of 75% for panel specimens with a PCR quantification cycle (Cq) ≤ 25 was used to identify Ag RDT eligible for reimbursement in the German healthcare system.ResultsThe sensitivity of different SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT varied over a wide range. The sensitivity limit of 75% for panel members with Cq ≤ 25 was met by 96 of the 122 tests evaluated; 26 tests exhibited lower sensitivity, few of which failed completely. Some RDT exhibited high sensitivity, e.g. 97.5 % for Cq < 30.ConclusionsThis comparative evaluation succeeded in distinguishing less sensitive from better performing Ag RDT. Most of the evaluated Ag RDT appeared to be suitable for fast identification of acute infections associated with high viral loads. Market access of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT should be based on minimal requirements for sensitivity and specificity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Germany , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
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