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1.
Mol Ecol ; 32(14): 3989-4002, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326110

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immunogenetic basis of coronavirus (CoV) susceptibility in major pathogen reservoirs, such as bats, is central to inferring their zoonotic potential. Members of the cryptic Hipposideros bat species complex differ in CoV susceptibility, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are the best understood genetic basis of pathogen resistance, and differences in MHC diversity are one possible reason for asymmetrical infection patterns among closely related species. Here, we aimed to link asymmetries in observed CoV (CoV-229E, CoV-2B and CoV-2Bbasal) susceptibility to immunogenetic differences amongst four Hipposideros bat species. From the 2072 bats assigned to their respective species using the mtDNA cytochrome b gene, members of the most numerous and ubiquitous species, Hipposideros caffer D, were most infected with CoV-229E and SARS-related CoV-2B. Using a subset of 569 bats, we determined that much of the existent allelic and functional (i.e. supertype) MHC DRB class II diversity originated from common ancestry. One MHC supertype shared amongst all species, ST12, was consistently linked to susceptibility with CoV-229E, which is closely related to the common cold agent HCoV-229E, and infected bats and those carrying ST12 had a lower body condition. The same MHC supertype was connected to resistance to CoV-2B, and bats with ST12 were less likely be co-infected with CoV-229E and CoV-2B. Our work suggests a role of immunogenetics in determining CoV susceptibility in bats. We advocate for the preservation of functional genetic and species diversity in reservoirs as a means of mitigating the risk of disease spillover.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus 229E, Human , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Animals , Chiroptera/genetics , Genes, MHC Class II , Phylogeny , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus 229E, Human/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/genetics
2.
Clin Exp Med ; 2023 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313166

ABSTRACT

Glycoprotein 90K, encoded by the interferon-stimulated gene LGALS3BP, displays broad antiviral activity. It reduces HIV-1 infectivity by interfering with Env maturation and virion incorporation, and increases survival of Influenza A virus-infected mice via antiviral innate immune signaling. Its antiviral potential in SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the expression of 90K/LGALS3BP in 44 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at multiple levels. We quantified 90K protein concentrations in serum and PBMCs as well as LGALS3BP mRNA levels. Complementary, we analyzed two single cell RNA-sequencing datasets for expression of LGALS3BP in respiratory specimens and PBMCs from COVID-19 patients. Finally, we analyzed the potential of 90K to interfere with SARS-CoV-2 infection of HEK293T/ACE2, Calu-3 and Caco-2 cells using authentic virus. 90K protein serum concentrations were significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients compared to uninfected sex- and age-matched controls. Furthermore, PBMC-associated concentrations of 90K protein were overall reduced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo, suggesting enhanced secretion into the extracellular space. Mining of published PBMC scRNA-seq datasets uncovered monocyte-specific induction of LGALS3BP mRNA expression in COVID-19 patients. In functional assays, neither 90K overexpression in susceptible cell lines nor exogenous addition of purified 90K consistently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data suggests that 90K/LGALS3BP contributes to the global type I IFN response during SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo without displaying detectable antiviral properties in vitro.

3.
BMJ Open ; 13(4): e065221, 2023 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304253

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic remains a threat to public health. Soon after its outbreak, it became apparent that children are less severely affected. Indeed, opposing clinical manifestations between children and adults are observed for other infections. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak provides the unique opportunity to study the underlying mechanisms. This protocol describes the methods of an observational study that aims to characterise age dependent differences in immune responses to primary respiratory infections using SARS-CoV-2 as a model virus and to assess age differences in clinical outcomes including lung function. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study aims to recruit at least 120 children and 60 adults that are infected with SARS-CoV-2 and collect specimen for a multiomics analysis, including single cell RNA sequencing of nasal epithelial cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, mass cytometry of whole blood samples and nasal cells, mass spectrometry-based serum and plasma proteomics, nasal epithelial cultures with functional in vitro analyses, SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing, sequencing of the viral genome and lung function testing. Data obtained from this multiomics approach are correlated with medical history and clinical data. Recruitment started in October 2020 and is ongoing. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (EA2/066/20). All collected specimens are stored in the central biobank of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and are made available to all participating researchers and on request. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: DRKS00025715, pre-results publication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Specimen Handling , Nose , Observational Studies as Topic
4.
Pathogens ; 12(4)2023 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301133

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance is important to adapt infection control measures and estimate the degree of underreporting. Blood donor samples can be used as a proxy for the healthy adult population. In a repeated cross-sectional study from April 2020 to April 2021, September 2021, and April/May 2022, 13 blood establishments collected 134,510 anonymised specimens from blood donors in 28 study regions across Germany. These were tested for antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid, including neutralising capacity. Seroprevalence was adjusted for test performance and sampling and weighted for demographic differences between the sample and the general population. Seroprevalence estimates were compared to notified COVID-19 cases. The overall adjusted SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence remained below 2% until December 2020 and increased to 18.1% in April 2021, 89.4% in September 2021, and to 100% in April/May 2022. Neutralising capacity was found in 74% of all positive specimens until April 2021 and in 98% in April/May 2022. Our serosurveillance allowed for repeated estimations of underreporting from the early stage of the pandemic onwards. Underreporting ranged between factors 5.1 and 1.1 in the first two waves of the pandemic and remained well below 2 afterwards, indicating an adequate test strategy and notification system in Germany.

5.
Mult Scler ; 29(7): 884-888, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275177

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To analyze anti-SARS-CoV-2-S1-IgG levels, avidity, Omicron BA.2 variant neutralizing capacity, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in anti-CD20-treated patients with multiple sclerosis (aCD20pwMS) after two, three, or four COVID-19 vaccinations. RESULTS: Frequencies of aCD20pwMS with detectable SARS-CoV-2-S1-IgG increased moderately between two (31/61 (51%)), three (31/57 (54%)), and four (17/26 (65%)) vaccinations. However, among patients with detectable SARS-CoV-2-S1-IgG, frequencies of high avidity (6/31 (19%) vs 11/17 (65%)) and Omicron neutralizing antibodies (0/10 (0%) vs 6/10 (60%)) increased strongly between two and four vaccinations. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in >92% after two or more vaccinations. CONCLUSION: Additional vaccinations qualitatively improve SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin G , Vaccination
6.
J Clin Immunol ; 43(5): 869-881, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2282518

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Humoral and cellular immune responses were described after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with common variable immunodeficiency disorder (CVID). This study aimed to investigate SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody quality and memory function of B cell immunity as well as T cell responses after COVID-19 vaccination in seroresponding and non-responding CVID patients. METHODS: We evaluated antibody avidity and applied a memory B cell ELSPOT assay for functional B cell recall memory response to SARS-CoV-2 after COVID-19 vaccination in CVID seroresponders. We comparatively analyzed SARS-CoV-2 spike reactive polyfunctional T cell response and reactive peripheral follicular T helper cells (pTFH) by flow cytometry in seroresponding and non-seroresponding CVID patients. All CVID patients had previously failed to mount a humoral response to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody avidity of seroresponding CVID patients was significantly lower than in healthy controls. Only 30% of seroresponding CVID patients showed a minimal memory B cell recall response in ELISPOT assay. One hundred percent of CVID seroresponders and 83% of non-seroresponders had a detectable polyfunctional T cell response. Induction of antigen-specific CD4+CD154+CD137+CXCR5+ pTFH cells by the COVID-19 vaccine was higher in CVID seroresponder than in non-seroresponder. Levels of pTFH did not correlate with antibody response or avidity. CONCLUSION: Reduced avidity and significantly impaired recall memory formation after COVID-19 vaccination in seroresponding CVID patients stress the importance of a more differentiated analysis of humoral immune response in CVID patients. Our observations challenge the clinical implications that follow the binary categorization into seroresponder and non-seroresponder.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Common Variable Immunodeficiency , Humans , Memory B Cells , COVID-19 Vaccines , Antibody Affinity , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Antibodies, Viral
7.
iScience ; 26(4): 106323, 2023 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2267237

ABSTRACT

The recurrent emerging of novel viral variants of concern (VOCs) with evasion of preexisting antibody immunity upholds severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) case numbers and maintains a persistent demand for updated therapies. We selected the patient-derived antibody CV38-142 based on its potency and breadth against the VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta for preclinical development into a therapeutic. CV38-142 showed in vivo efficacy in a Syrian hamster VOC infection model after post-exposure and therapeutic application and revealed a favorable safety profile in a human protein library screen and tissue cross-reactivity study. Although CV38-142 targets the same viral surface as sotrovimab, which maintains activity against Omicron, CV38-142 did not neutralize the Omicron lineages BA.1 and BA.2. These results highlight the contingencies of developing antibody therapeutics in the context of antigenic drift and reinforce the need to develop broadly neutralizing variant-proof antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

8.
iScience ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2267236

ABSTRACT

The recurrent emerging of novel viral variants of concern (VOCs) with evasion of preexisting antibody immunity upholds SARS-CoV-2 case numbers and maintain a persistent demand for updated therapies. We selected the patient-derived antibody CV38-142 based on its potency and breadth against the VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta for preclinical development into a therapeutic. CV38-142 showed in vivo efficacy in a Syrian hamster VOC infection model after post-exposure and therapeutic application and revealed a favorable safety profile in a human protein library screen and tissue cross-reactivity study. Although CV38-142 targets the same viral surface as Sotrovimab which maintains activity against Omicron, CV38-142 did not neutralize the Omicron lineages BA.1 and BA.2. These results highlight the contingencies of developing antibody therapeutics in the context of antigenic drift and reinforce the need to develop broadly neutralizing variant-proof antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Graphical

9.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 791, 2023 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2243508

ABSTRACT

Prolonged lung pathology has been associated with COVID-19, yet the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind this chronic inflammatory disease are poorly understood. In this study, we combine advanced imaging and spatial transcriptomics to shed light on the local immune response in severe COVID-19. We show that activated adventitial niches are crucial microenvironments contributing to the orchestration of prolonged lung immunopathology. Up-regulation of the chemokines CCL21 and CCL18 associates to endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and tissue fibrosis within these niches. CCL21 over-expression additionally links to the local accumulation of T cells expressing the cognate receptor CCR7. These T cells are imprinted with an exhausted phenotype and form lymphoid aggregates that can organize in ectopic lymphoid structures. Our work proposes immune-stromal interaction mechanisms promoting a self-sustained and non-resolving local immune response that extends beyond active viral infection and perpetuates tissue remodeling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL21 , Chemokines, CC , Humans , COVID-19/immunology , Fibrosis , Lung , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
PLoS Biol ; 20(11): e3001871, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119367

ABSTRACT

Epidemiological data demonstrate that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) Alpha and Delta are more transmissible, infectious, and pathogenic than previous variants. Phenotypic properties of VOC remain understudied. Here, we provide an extensive functional study of VOC Alpha replication and cell entry phenotypes assisted by reverse genetics, mutational mapping of spike in lentiviral pseudotypes, viral and cellular gene expression studies, and infectivity stability assays in an enhanced range of cell and epithelial culture models. In almost all models, VOC Alpha spread less or equally efficiently as ancestral (B.1) SARS-CoV-2. B.1. and VOC Alpha shared similar susceptibility to serum neutralization. Despite increased relative abundance of specific sgRNAs in the context of VOC Alpha infection, immune gene expression in infected cells did not differ between VOC Alpha and B.1. However, inferior spreading and entry efficiencies of VOC Alpha corresponded to lower abundance of proteolytically cleaved spike products presumably linked to the T716I mutation. In addition, we identified a bronchial cell line, NCI-H1299, which supported 24-fold increased growth of VOC Alpha and is to our knowledge the only cell line to recapitulate the fitness advantage of VOC Alpha compared to B.1. Interestingly, also VOC Delta showed a strong (595-fold) fitness advantage over B.1 in these cells. Comparative analysis of chimeric viruses expressing VOC Alpha spike in the backbone of B.1, and vice versa, showed that the specific replication phenotype of VOC Alpha in NCI-H1299 cells is largely determined by its spike protein. Despite undetectable ACE2 protein expression in NCI-H1299 cells, CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out and antibody-mediated blocking experiments revealed that multicycle spread of B.1 and VOC Alpha required ACE2 expression. Interestingly, entry of VOC Alpha, as opposed to B.1 virions, was largely unaffected by treatment with exogenous trypsin or saliva prior to infection, suggesting enhanced resistance of VOC Alpha spike to premature proteolytic cleavage in the extracellular environment of the human respiratory tract. This property may result in delayed degradation of VOC Alpha particle infectivity in conditions typical of mucosal fluids of the upper respiratory tract that may be recapitulated in NCI-H1299 cells closer than in highly ACE2-expressing cell lines and models. Our study highlights the importance of cell model evaluation and comparison for in-depth characterization of virus variant-specific phenotypes and uncovers a fine-tuned interrelationship between VOC Alpha- and host cell-specific determinants that may underlie the increased and prolonged virus shedding detected in patients infected with VOC Alpha.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Virus Shedding , Antibodies, Blocking
11.
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.

12.
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
13.
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.

14.
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
15.
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
16.
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
17.
Eur Respir J ; 60(6)2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) utilises the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (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 to 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 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Coronavirus disease 2019 (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 nonproductive 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 probably results from a macrophage-triggered immune activation rather than direct viral damage of the alveolar compartment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Adult , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Lung/pathology , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Tropism
18.
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
19.
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.

20.
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
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