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1.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792419

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant raised concern regarding its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. We evaluated a serum neutralizing response of 172 Italian healthcare workers, three months after complete Comirnaty (BNT162b2 mRNA, BioNTech-Pfizer) vaccination, testing their sera against viral isolates of Alpha, Gamma and Delta variants, including 36 subjects with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assessed whether IgG anti-spike TRIM levels and serum neutralizing activity by seroneutralization assay were associated. Concerning Gamma variant, a two-fold reduction in neutralizing titres compared to the Alpha variant was observed, while a four-fold reduction of Delta virus compared to Alpha was found. A gender difference was observed in neutralizing titres only for the Gamma variant. The serum samples of 36 previously infected SARS-CoV-2 individuals neutralized Alpha, Gamma and Delta variants, demonstrating respectively a nearly three-fold and a five-fold reduction in neutralizing titres compared to Alpha variant. IgG anti-spike TRIM levels were positively correlated with serum neutralizing titres against the three variants. The Comirnaty vaccine provides sustained neutralizing antibody activity towards the Alpha variant, but it is less effective against Gamma and even less against Delta variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
2.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732241

ABSTRACT

Profound clinical differences between the first and second waves of COVID-19 were observed in Europe. Nitric oxide (NO) may positively impact patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. It is mainly generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). We studied serum iNOS levels together with serum interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first wave (n = 35) and second wave (n = 153). In the first wave, serum iNOS, IL-6, IL-10 levels increased significantly, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) score severity, while in the second wave, iNOS did not change with the severity. The patients of the second wave showed lower levels of iNOS, IL-6, and IL-10, as compared to the corresponding subgroup of the first wave, suggesting a less severe outcome of COVID-19 in these patients. However, in the severe patients of the second wave, iNOS levels were significantly lower in patients treated with steroids or azithromycin before the hospitalization, as compared to the untreated patients. This suggests an impairment of the defense mechanism against the virus and NO-based therapies as a potential therapy in patients with low iNOS levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1212, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649849

ABSTRACT

The molecular basis of the wide clinical heterogeneity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still unknown. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may have a role in the lung damage and regeneration that occur in severe patients. We studied serum MMP3 and MMP9 as potential biomarkers of COVID-19 severity, in 108 hospitalized patients with different World Health Organization (WHO) severity stage and in 48 controls. At hospital admission, serum MMP3 was increased in COVID-19 patients with a significant trend along the progression of the WHO stage, while serum levels of MMP9 were significantly increased in COVID-19 patients with no correlation with disease severity. At 1 week from hospitalization, MMP3 was reduced, suggesting an early pathogenic role of the protein in lung inflammation, while MMP9 levels were further increased, indicating a late role of the protein in the inflammatory process, specifically during the repairing phase. Furthermore, serum MMP9 was positively correlated with serum interleukin-6, myeloperoxidase, and circulating neutrophils and monocytes number. In conclusion, serum MMP3 may help to early predict the severity of COVID-19 and both proteins, MMP3 and MMP9, may contribute to define severe COVID-19 patients that may benefit from a targeted therapy on MMPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Matrix Metalloproteinase 3/blood , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/blood , Patient Acuity , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
4.
Infect Dis Ther ; 11(1): 607-615, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594135

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Data have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes an antibody response at least as strong as one BNT162b2 vaccine dose. Nevertheless, some aspects require further investigation to better understand the immunogenicity of one vaccine dose among infected individuals. Thus, we evaluated how previous SARS-CoV-2 infection may influence the humoral immunity after a single Pfizer BNT162b mRNA vaccine dose in a sample of healthcare workers (HCWs). METHODS: As part of the routine surveillance activity conducted among HCWs of the Policlinico Riuniti Foggia Hospital (Apulia region, Italy), we conducted a retrospective serosurvey in the period January-March 2021. We compared specific antibody titres (anti-spike IgGs measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay, ELISA) after SARS-CoV-2 infection and after the first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, analysing the impact of sex, age, time since infection, and presence of symptoms on the humoral response. RESULTS: We included in the study 58 HCWs (mean age 44.1 years, 48.2% male) with anti-spike IgG titres available before and after the first BNT162b2 vaccine dose. Among these, we observed higher titres in previously infected cases (N = 21) than in COVID-19-naïve subjects (N = 37) (medians 1510 vs. 0.68; p < 0.001). A statistically significant difference in anti-spike IgG titres was also observed among previously infected HCWs before vaccine dose in comparison with post-dose infection-naïve HCWs (medians 18.37 vs. 0.68, p < 0.001). Among infected individuals, no differences by sex, age, or time since infection were reported (p > 0.05). Post-dose titres of symptomatic and asymptomatic infected HCWs slightly differed (medians = 1900 vs. 1090; p = 0.048). CONCLUSION: Our data support the viable hypothesis of a single-dose vaccine regimen in individuals with a history of COVID-19, but no conclusion on duration of protection in this group can be drawn from our study.

5.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408458

ABSTRACT

Systemic vascular damage with micro/macro-thrombosis is a typical feature of severe COVID-19. However, the pathogenesis of this damage and its predictive biomarkers remain poorly defined. For this reason, in this study, serum monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2 and P- and E-selectin levels were analyzed in 204 patients with COVID-19. Serum MCP-2 and P-selectin were significantly higher in hospitalized patients compared with asymptomatic patients. Furthermore, MCP-2 increased with the WHO stage in hospitalized patients. After 1 week of hospitalization, MCP-2 levels were significantly reduced, while P-selectin increased in patients in WHO stage 3 and decreased in patients in WHO stages 5-7. Serum E-selectin was not significantly different between asymptomatic and hospitalized patients. The lower MCP-2 levels after 1 week suggest that endothelial damage triggered by monocytes occurs early in COVID-19 disease progression. MCP-2 may also predict COVID-19 severity. The increase in P-selectin levels, which further increased in mild patients and reduced in severe patients after 1 week of hospitalization, suggests that the inactive form of the protein produced by the cleavage of the active protein from the platelet membrane is present. This may be used to identify a subset of patients that would benefit from targeted therapies. The unchanged levels of E-selectin in these patients suggest that endothelial damage is less relevant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL8/blood , E-Selectin/blood , Endothelium, Vascular , P-Selectin/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/pathology
6.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374540

ABSTRACT

A relationship is emerging between SARS-CoV-2 infections and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) because: (i) the pulmonary involvement of COVID-19 may mimic that observed in patients with AAV; (ii) the two diseases may occur together; (iii) COVID-19 may trigger AAV. However, few cases of AAV have been identified so far in COVID-19 patients. To define the frequency of ANCA autoimmunity in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analyzed the serum ANCAs and the serum PR3 and MPO antigens by immunoassays in 124 adult patients with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (16 were asymptomatic and 108 were hospitalized) and 48 control subjects. The serum ANCAs were significantly higher in the hospitalized patients compared with either the controls or the asymptomatic patients and increased with the progression of the COVID-19 severity. After one week of hospitalization, the values were significantly lower. In contrast, no differences emerged among the controls, asymptomatic and hospitalized patients for the PR3 and MPO serum levels. None of the patients had clinical signs of AAV with the exception of a severe pulmonary involvement. Further studies are necessary to define whether the increase in the serum ANCAs might mask subclinical vasculitis in a percentage of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection or it is an epiphenomenon of SARS-CoV-2 infection with no clinical manifestations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/blood , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/diagnosis , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/etiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Symptom Assessment
7.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1739-1742, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206811

ABSTRACT

Here we present results from a survey on anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence in healthy blood donors from a low incidence coronavirus disease 2019 area (Apulia region, South Eastern Italy). Among 904 subjects tested, only in nine cases (0.99%) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were demonstrated. All the nine seropositive patients were negative for the research of viral RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in nasopharyngeal swabs. These data, along with those recently reported from other countries, clearly show that we are very far from herd immunity and that the containment measures are at the moment the only realistic instrument we have to slow the spread of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/immunology , Young Adult
8.
Acta Haematol ; 144(5): 580-584, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194384

ABSTRACT

Recently, a significant cluster of pneumonia caused by a novel betacoronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) was described initially in China and then spread throughout the world. Like other coronaviridae, the viral transmission occurs mainly through droplets. In addition, the virus has been detected in different clinical specimens, suggesting a potential transmission by other routes, including blood transfusion. However, the potential risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via blood products is still unclear. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among blood donors from South-Eastern Italy. Moreover, in the seropositive donors, we searched for the presence of the virus in nasopharyngeal swabs and in plasma samples. Overall, 1,797 blood donors from the Apulia region were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, using a commercially available assay. Only 18/1,797 donors (1.0%) tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; in none of them SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was detected in nasopharyngeal swabs and in plasma samples. Our results indicate that most of the blood donors in Apulia remained uninfected during this wave of the pandemic; further, none had detectable virus both in nasopharyngeal swabs and in blood samples. The risk to carry and transmit the virus by healthy and asymptomatic blood donors is probably very low.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Young Adult
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970982

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the first coronavirus that has caused a pandemic. Assessing the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare worker groups offers a unique opportunity to study the correlation between seroconversion and immunization because of their occupational exposure and a higher risk of contagion. The study enrolled 3242 asymptomatic employees of "Policlinico Riuniti", Foggia. After the first screening, we collected sequential serum samples for up to 23 weeks from the same subjects. In order to perform a longitudinal follow-up study and get information about the titration of IgG levels, we analyzed data from subjects (33) with at least two consecutive serological IgG-positive tests; 62 (1.9%; 95% CI: 1.4-2.3) tested positive for at least one anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody. The seroprevalence was lower in the high-risk group 1.4% (6/428; 95% CI: 0.5-2.6) vs. the intermediate-risk group 2.0% (55/2736; 95% CI: 1.5-2.5). Overall, within eight weeks, we detected a mean reduction of -17% in IgG levels. Our data suggest a reduction of about 9.27 AU/mL every week (R2 = 0.35, p = 0.0003). This study revealed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among Foggia's hospital healthcare staff (1.9%). Moreover, the IgG level reduction suggests that the serological response fades fast in asymptomatic infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Adult , COVID-19/blood , Delivery of Health Care , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged
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