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1.
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.

2.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 Nov.
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
3.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504591

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe detection of SARS-CoV-2 with rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) has become an important tool to identify infected people and break infection chains. These RDT are usually based on antigen detection in a lateral flow approach.AimWe aimed to establish a comprehensive specimen panel for the decentralised technical evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests.MethodsWhile for PCR diagnostics the validation of a PCR assay is well established, there is no common validation strategy for antigen tests, including RDT. In this proof-of-principle study we present the establishment of a panel of 50 pooled clinical specimens that cover a SARS-CoV-2 concentration range from 1.1 × 109 to 420 genome copies per mL of specimen. The panel was used to evaluate 31 RDT in up to six laboratories.ResultsOur results show that there is considerable variation in the detection limits and the clinical sensitivity of different RDT. We show that the best RDT can be applied to reliably identify infectious individuals who present with SARS-CoV-2 loads down to 106 genome copies per mL of specimen. For the identification of infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 loads corresponding to less than 106 genome copies per mL, only three RDT showed a clinical sensitivity of more than 60%.ConclusionsSensitive RDT can be applied to identify infectious individuals with high viral loads but not to identify all infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
4.
Nature ; 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483137

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Given its acute and often self-limiting course, components of the innate immune system are likely central in controlling virus replication thereby 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 viral load decline 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 remarkable defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) of NK cells along the time course of the entire COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a unique gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant 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 2 weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients profoundly inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early virus control.

5.
J Clin Invest ; 131(20)2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCOVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has been considered a treatment option for COVID-19. This trial assessed the efficacy of a neutralizing antibody containing high-dose CCP in hospitalized adults with COVID-19 requiring respiratory support or intensive care treatment.METHODSPatients (n = 105) were randomized 1:1 to either receive standard treatment and 3 units of CCP or standard treatment alone. Control group patients with progress on day 14 could cross over to the CCP group. The primary outcome was a dichotomous composite outcome of survival and no longer fulfilling criteria for severe COVID-19 on day 21.ResultsThe primary outcome occurred in 43.4% of patients in the CCP group and 32.7% in the control group (P = 0.32). The median time to clinical improvement was 26 days in the CCP group and 66 days in the control group (P = 0.27). The median time to discharge from the hospital was 31 days in the CCP group and 51 days in the control group (P = 0.24). In the subgroup that received a higher cumulative amount of neutralizing antibodies, the primary outcome occurred in 56.0% of the patients (vs. 32.1%), with significantly shorter intervals to clinical improvement (20 vs. 66 days, P < 0.05) and to hospital discharge (21 vs. 51 days, P = 0.03) and better survival (day-60 probability of survival 91.6% vs. 68.1%, P = 0.02) in comparison with the control group.ConclusionCCP added to standard treatment was not associated with a significant improvement in the primary and secondary outcomes. A predefined subgroup analysis showed a significant benefit of CCP among patients who received a larger amount of neutralizing antibodies.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov NCT04433910.FundingBundesministerium für Gesundheit (German Federal Ministry of Health): ZMVI1-2520COR802.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Combined Modality Therapy , Cross-Over Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , Immunization, Passive/methods , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
6.
J Infect Dis ; 224(7): 1109-1114, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470152

ABSTRACT

Whether monoclonal antibodies are able to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern has been investigated using pseudoviruses. In this study we show that bamlanivimab, casirivimab, and imdevimab efficiently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7 (alpha), but variants B.1.351 (beta) and P.2 (zeta) were resistant against bamlanivimab and partially resistant to casirivimab. Whether antibodies are able to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variantshas been investigated using pseudoviruses. We show that authentic SARS-CoV-2 carrying E484K were resistant against bamlanivimab and less susceptible to casirivimab, convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Substitution , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation, Missense , Neutralization Tests
7.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 901, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is challenging, particularly in post-mortem human tissues. However, there is increasing evidence for viral SARS-CoV-2 manifestation in non-respiratory tissues. In this context, it is a current matter of debate, whether SARS-CoV-2 shows hepatotropism. CASE PRESENTATION: Here, we report a case of an 88-year-old women with massive SARS-CoV-2 viremia, severe jaundice and clinical signs of an acute hepatitis, who died within a few days from an acute liver failure without showing any clinical signs of pneumonia. Autopsy revealed a severe chronic and acute liver damage with bile duct infestation by SARS-CoV-2 that was accompanied by higher expressions of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), Cathepsin L and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate an enhanced biliary susceptibility to viral infection with SARS-CoV-2, that might have resulted from pre-existing severe liver damage. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the differential diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated liver failure in the clinical setting of an inexplicable jaundice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Failure, Acute , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Failure, Acute/etiology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2
8.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0247918, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388903

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Diagnostics are essential for controlling the pandemic. Identifying a reliable and fast diagnostic device is needed for effective testing. We assessed performance and ease-of-use of the Abbott PanBio antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDT). METHODS: This prospective, multi-centre diagnostic accuracy study enrolled at two sites in Germany. Following routine testing with reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a second study-exclusive swab was performed for Ag-RDT testing. Routine swabs were nasopharyngeal (NP) or combined NP/oropharyngeal (OP) whereas the study-exclusive swabs were NP. To evaluate performance, sensitivity and specificity were assessed overall and in predefined sub-analyses accordingly to cycle-threshold values, days after symptom onset, disease severity and study site. Additionally, an ease-of-use assessment (EoU) and System Usability Scale (SUS) were performed. RESULTS: 1108 participants were enrolled between Sept 28 and Oct 30, 2020. Of these, 106 (9.6%) were PCR-positive. The Abbott PanBio detected 92/106 PCR-positive participants with a sensitivity of 86.8% (95% CI: 79.0% - 92.0%) and a specificity of 99.9% (95% CI: 99.4%-100%). The sub-analyses indicated that sensitivity was 95.8% in Ct-values <25 and within the first seven days from symptom onset. The test was characterized as easy to use (SUS: 86/100) and considered suitable for point-of-care settings. CONCLUSION: The Abbott PanBio Ag-RDT performs well for SARS-CoV-2 testing in this large manufacturer independent study, confirming its WHO recommendation for Emergency Use in settings with limited resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , World Health Organization
9.
EClinicalMedicine ; 40: 101099, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385454

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been increasing urgency to identify pathophysiological characteristics leading to severe clinical course in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Human leukocyte antigen alleles (HLA) have been suggested as potential genetic host factors that affect individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2. We sought to evaluate this hypothesis by conducting a multicenter study using HLA sequencing. Methods: We analyzed the association between COVID-19 severity and HLAs in 435 individuals from Germany (n = 135), Spain (n = 133), Switzerland (n = 20) and the United States (n = 147), who had been enrolled from March 2020 to August 2020. This study included patients older than 18 years, diagnosed with COVID-19 and representing the full spectrum of the disease. Finally, we tested our results by meta-analysing data from prior genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Findings: We describe a potential association of HLA-C*04:01 with severe clinical course of COVID-19. Carriers of HLA-C*04:01 had twice the risk of intubation when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (risk ratio 1.5 [95% CI 1.1-2.1], odds ratio 3.5 [95% CI 1.9-6.6], adjusted p-value = 0.0074). These findings are based on data from four countries and corroborated by independent results from GWAS. Our findings are biologically plausible, as HLA-C*04:01 has fewer predicted bindings sites for relevant SARS-CoV-2 peptides compared to other HLA alleles. Interpretation: HLA-C*04:01 carrier state is associated with severe clinical course in SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that HLA class I alleles have a relevant role in immune defense against SARS-CoV-2. Funding: Funded by Roche Sequencing Solutions, Inc.

10.
Transfusion ; 60(6): 1119-1122, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388414

ABSTRACT

Oral swabs, sputum, and blood samples from 18 asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined using RT-PCR testing in order to assess the risk of transfusion-related transmission. In asymptomatic patients as well as patients with flu-like symptoms and fever, no SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be detected in the blood or serum despite a clearly positive result in all throat swabs. As patients with symptoms of infectious disease will not be admitted to blood donation, the risk for transfusion transmission of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be negligible.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Donors , Blood Safety , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Donor Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Transfusion Reaction/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Transfusion Reaction/virology , Young Adult
12.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 2021 Aug 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379604

ABSTRACT

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated again the global threat posed by emerging zoonotic coronaviruses. During the past two decades alone, humans have experienced the emergence of several coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV in 2003, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 in 2019. To date, MERS-CoV has been detected in 27 countries, with a case fatality ratio of approximately 34.5%. Similar to other coronaviruses, MERS-CoV presumably originated from bats; however, the main reservoir and primary source of human infections are dromedary camels. Other species within the Camelidae family, such as Bactrian camels, alpacas, and llamas, seem to be susceptible to the infection as well, although to a lesser extent. In contrast, susceptibility studies on sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, chickens, and horses obtained divergent results. In the present study, we tested nasal swabs and/or sera from 55 sheep, 45 goats, and 52 cattle, collected at the largest livestock market in the United Arab Emirates, where dromedaries are also traded, for the presence of MERS-CoV nucleic acid by RT-qPCR, and for specific antibodies by immunofluorescence assay. All sera were negative for MERS-CoV-reactive antibodies, but the nasal swab of one sheep (1.8%) repeatedly tested positive for MERS-CoV nucleic acid. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of the complete N gene of the sheep-derived MERS-CoV revealed >99% nucleotide identity to MERS-CoV sequences of five dromedaries in nearby pens and to three reference sequences. The NGS sequence of the sheep-derived MERS-CoV was confirmed by conventional RT-PCR of a part of the N gene and subsequent Sanger sequencing. All MERS-CoV sequences clustered within clade B, lineage 5. In conclusion, our study shows that noncamelid livestock, such as sheep, goats, and cattle do not play a major role in MERS-CoV epidemiology. The one sheep that tested positive most likely reflects an accidental viral spillover event from infected dromedaries in nearby pens.

13.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(12): 947-952, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373618

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Most SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests require nasopharyngeal sampling, which is frequently perceived as uncomfortable and requires healthcare professionals, thus limiting scale-up. Nasal sampling could enable self-sampling and increase acceptability. The term nasal sampling is often not used uniformly and sampling protocols differ. METHODS: This manufacturer-independent, prospective diagnostic accuracy study, compared professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling for a WHO-listed SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test. The second group of participants collected a nasal mid-turbinate sample themselves and underwent a professional nasopharyngeal swab for comparison. The reference standard was real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using combined oro-/nasopharyngeal sampling. Individuals with high suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested. Sensitivity, specificity, and percent agreement were calculated. Self-sampling was observed without intervention. Feasibility was evaluated by observer and participant questionnaires. RESULTS: Among 132 symptomatic adults, both professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling yielded a sensitivity of 86.1% (31/36 RT-PCR positives detected; 95%CI: 71.3-93.9) and a specificity of 100.0% (95%CI: 95.7-100). The positive percent agreement was 100% (95%CI: 89.0-100). Among 96 additional adults, self nasal mid-turbinate and professional nasopharyngeal sampling yielded an identical sensitivity of 91.2% (31/34; 95%CI 77.0-97.0). Specificity was 98.4% (95%CI: 91.4-99.9) with nasal mid-turbinate and 100.0% (95%CI: 94.2-100) with nasopharyngeal sampling. The positive percent agreement was 96.8% (95%CI: 83.8-99.8). Most participants (85.3%) considered self-sampling as easy to perform. CONCLUSION: Professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling are of equivalent accuracy for an antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test in ambulatory symptomatic adults. Participants were able to reliably perform nasal mid-turbinate sampling themselves, following written and illustrated instructions. Nasal self-sampling will facilitate scaling of SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Turbinates
14.
Mucosal Immunol ; 14(6): 1381-1392, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366810

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has so far claimed over three and a half million lives worldwide. Though the SARS-CoV-2 mediated disease COVID-19 has first been characterized by an infection of the upper airways and the lung, recent evidence suggests a complex disease including gastrointestinal symptoms. Even if a direct viral tropism of intestinal cells has recently been demonstrated, it remains unclear, whether gastrointestinal symptoms are caused by direct infection of the gastrointestinal tract by SARS-CoV-2 or whether they are a consequence of a systemic immune activation and subsequent modulation of the mucosal immune system. To better understand the cause of intestinal symptoms we analyzed biopsies of the small intestine from SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. Applying qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, we detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA and nucleocapsid protein in duodenal mucosa. In addition, applying imaging mass cytometry and immunohistochemistry, we identified histomorphological changes of the epithelium, which were characterized by an accumulation of activated intraepithelial CD8+ T cells as well as epithelial apoptosis and subsequent regenerative proliferation in the small intestine of COVID-19 patients. In summary, our findings indicate that intraepithelial CD8+ T cells are activated upon infection of intestinal epithelial cells with SARS-CoV-2, providing one possible explanation for gastrointestinal symptoms associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Duodenum/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Intestinal Diseases/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Intraepithelial Lymphocytes/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Animals , Apoptosis , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cell Proliferation , Chlorocebus aethiops , Duodenum/pathology , Duodenum/virology , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Intestinal Diseases/pathology , Intestinal Diseases/virology , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , Intraepithelial Lymphocytes/virology , Male , Re-Epithelialization , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells , Viral Load
15.
Infection ; 2021 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353740

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Rapid antigen-detecting tests (Ag-RDTs) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can transform pandemic control. Thus far, sensitivity (≤ 85%) of lateral-flow assays has limited scale-up. Conceivably, microfluidic immunofluorescence Ag-RDTs could increase sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 detection. METHODS: This multi-centre diagnostic accuracy study investigated performance of the microfluidic immunofluorescence LumiraDx™ assay, enrolling symptomatic and asymptomatic participants with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants collected a supervised nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) self-swab for Ag-RDT testing, in addition to a professionally collected nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for routine testing with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results were compared to calculate sensitivity and specificity. Sub-analyses investigated the results by viral load, symptom presence and duration. An analytical study assessed exclusivity and limit-of-detection (LOD). In addition, we evaluated ease-of-use. RESULTS: The study was conducted between November 2nd 2020 and 4th of December 2020. 761 participants were enrolled, with 486 participants reporting symptoms on testing day. 120 out of 146 RT-PCR positive cases were detected positive by LumiraDx™, resulting in a sensitivity of 82.2% (95% CI 75.2-87.5%). Specificity was 99.3% (CI 98.3-99.7%). Sensitivity was increased in individuals with viral load ≥ 7 log10 SARS-CoV2 RNA copies/ml (93.8%; CI 86.2-97.3%). Testing against common respiratory commensals and pathogens showed no cross-reactivity and LOD was estimated to be 2-56 PFU/mL. The ease-of-use-assessment was favourable for lower throughput settings. CONCLUSION: The LumiraDx™ assay showed excellent analytical sensitivity, exclusivity and clinical specificity with good clinical sensitivity using supervised NMT self-sampling. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER AND REGISTRATION DATE: DRKS00021220 and 01.04.2020.

16.
Front Immunol ; 12: 687449, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332119

ABSTRACT

Despite RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19, specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike are undetectable in serum in approximately 10% of convalescent patients after mild disease course. This raises the question of induction and persistence of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in these convalescent individuals. Using flow cytometry, we assessed specific SARS-CoV-2 and human endemic coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, -OC43) reactive T cells after stimulation with spike and nucleocapsid peptide pools and analyzed cytokine polyfunctionality (IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2) in seropositive and seronegative convalescent COVID-19 patients as well as in unexposed healthy controls. Stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid (NCAP) as well as HCoV spike peptide pools elicited a similar T cell response in seropositive and seronegative post COVID-19 patients. Significantly higher frequencies of polyfunctional cytokine nucleocapsid reactive CD4+ T cells (triple positive for IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2) were observed in both, seropositive (p = 0.008) and seronegative (p = 0.04), COVID-19 convalescent compared to healthy controls and were detectable up to day 162 post RT-PCR positivity in seronegative convalescents. Our data indicate an important role of NCAP-specific T cells for viral control.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cells, Cultured , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
J Clin Invest ; 131(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311204

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω (type I IFNs) were recently reported as causative for severe COVID-19 in the general population. Autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω are present in almost all patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) caused by biallelic deleterious or heterozygous dominant mutations in AIRE. We therefore hypothesized that autoantibodies against type I IFNs also predispose patients with APS-1 to severe COVID-19. We prospectively studied 6 patients with APS-1 between April 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. Biobanked pre-COVID-19 sera of APS-1 subjects were tested for neutralizing autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω. The ability of the patients' sera to block recombinant human IFN-α and IFN-ω was assessed by assays quantifying phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as infection-based IFN-neutralization assays. We describe 4 patients with APS-1 and preexisting high titers of neutralizing autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω who contracted SARS-CoV-2, yet developed only mild symptoms of COVID-19. None of the patients developed dyspnea, oxygen requirement, or high temperature. All infected patients with APS-1 were females and younger than 26 years of age. Clinical penetrance of neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs for severe COVID-19 is not complete.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon Type I/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/complications , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Female , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Interferon-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Male , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Transcription Factors/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology , Young Adult
18.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(10): 1520.e7-1520.e10, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297038

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Dexamethasone has become the standard of care for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but its virological impact is poorly understood. The objectives of this work were to characterize the kinetics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) concentration in the upper respiratory tract (URT) and the antibody response in patients with (D+) and without (D-) dexamethasone treatment. METHODS: Data and biosamples from hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, enrolled between 4th March and 11th December 2020 in a prospective observational study, were analysed. SARS-CoV-2 virus concentration in serial URT samples was measured using RT-PCR. SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins A and G (IgA and IgG) were measured in serum samples using S1-ELISA. RESULTS: We compared 101 immunocompetent patients who received dexamethasone (according to the inclusion criteria and dosage determined in the RECOVERY trial) to 93 immunocompetent patients with comparable disease severity from the first months of the pandemic, who had not been treated with dexamethasone or other glucocorticoids. We found no inter-group differences in virus concentration kinetics, duration of presence of viral loads >106 viral copies/mL (D+ median 17 days (IQR 13-24), D- 19 days (IQR 13-29)), or time from symptom onset until seroconversion (IgA: D+ median 11.5 days (IQR 11-12), D- 14 days (IQR 11.5-15.75); IgG: D+ 13 days (IQR 12-14.5), D- 12 days (IQR 11-15)). CONCLUSION: Dexamethasone does not appear to lead to a change in virus clearance or a delay in antibody response in immunocompetent patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kinetics , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Viral Load
19.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3818, 2021 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279876

ABSTRACT

Viruses manipulate cellular metabolism and macromolecule recycling processes like autophagy. Dysregulated metabolism might lead to excessive inflammatory and autoimmune responses as observed in severe and long COVID-19 patients. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 modulates cellular metabolism and reduces autophagy. Accordingly, compound-driven induction of autophagy limits SARS-CoV-2 propagation. In detail, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells show accumulation of key metabolites, activation of autophagy inhibitors (AKT1, SKP2) and reduction of proteins responsible for autophagy initiation (AMPK, TSC2, ULK1), membrane nucleation, and phagophore formation (BECN1, VPS34, ATG14), as well as autophagosome-lysosome fusion (BECN1, ATG14 oligomers). Consequently, phagophore-incorporated autophagy markers LC3B-II and P62 accumulate, which we confirm in a hamster model and lung samples of COVID-19 patients. Single-nucleus and single-cell sequencing of patient-derived lung and mucosal samples show differential transcriptional regulation of autophagy and immune genes depending on cell type, disease duration, and SARS-CoV-2 replication levels. Targeting of autophagic pathways by exogenous administration of the polyamines spermidine and spermine, the selective AKT1 inhibitor MK-2206, and the BECN1-stabilizing anthelmintic drug niclosamide inhibit SARS-CoV-2 propagation in vitro with IC50 values of 136.7, 7.67, 0.11, and 0.13 µM, respectively. Autophagy-inducing compounds reduce SARS-CoV-2 propagation in primary human lung cells and intestinal organoids emphasizing their potential as treatment options against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Antinematodal Agents/pharmacology , Autophagosomes/metabolism , Autophagy , Autophagy-Related Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Metabolome , Niclosamide/pharmacology , Organoids , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spermidine/pharmacology , Spermine/pharmacology
20.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(8): 2174-2178, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261342

ABSTRACT

We detected delayed and reduced antibody and T-cell responses after BNT162b2 vaccination in 71 elderly persons (median age 81 years) compared with 123 healthcare workers (median age 34 years) in Germany. These data emphasize that nonpharmaceutical interventions for coronavirus disease remain crucial and that additional immunizations for the elderly might become necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Vaccines , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
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