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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 834851, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686489

ABSTRACT

Understanding the cause of sex disparities in COVID-19 outcomes is a major challenge. We investigate sex hormone levels and their association with outcomes in COVID-19 patients, stratified by sex and age. This observational, retrospective, cohort study included 138 patients aged 18 years or older with COVID-19, hospitalized in Italy between February 1 and May 30, 2020. The association between sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) and outcomes (ARDS, severe COVID-19, in-hospital mortality) was explored in 120 patients aged 50 years and over. STROBE checklist was followed. The median age was 73.5 years [IQR 61, 82]; 55.8% were male. In older males, testosterone was lower if ARDS and severe COVID-19 were reported than if not (3.6 vs. 5.3 nmol/L, p =0.0378 and 3.7 vs. 8.5 nmol/L, p =0.0011, respectively). Deceased males had lower testosterone (2.4 vs. 4.8 nmol/L, p =0.0536) and higher estradiol than survivors (40 vs. 24 pg/mL, p = 0.0006). Testosterone was negatively associated with ARDS (OR 0.849 [95% CI 0.734, 0.982]), severe COVID-19 (OR 0.691 [95% CI 0.546, 0.874]), and in-hospital mortality (OR 0.742 [95% CI 0.566, 0.972]), regardless of potential confounders, though confirmed only in the regression model on males. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death (OR 1.051 [95% CI 1.018, 1.084]), confirmed in both sex models. In males, higher testosterone seems to be protective against any considered outcome. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death in both sexes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Gonadal Steroid Hormones/blood , Sex Characteristics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S77-S77, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602523

ABSTRACT

Background T cells are central to the early identification and clearance of viral infections and support antibody generation by B cells, making them desirable for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines. We combined 2 high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response that is highly sensitive, durable, diagnostic, and discriminatory between natural infection and vaccination. Methods We deeply characterized 116 convalescent COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping CD8 and CD4 T-cell responses via antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I and 284 class II viral peptides. We also performed T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing on 1815 samples from 1521 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases and 3500 controls to identify shared public TCRs from SARS-CoV-2-associated CD8 and CD4 T cells. Combining these approaches with additional samples from vaccinated individuals, we characterized the response to natural infection as well as vaccination by separating responses to spike protein from other viral targets. Results We find that T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response peaks about 1-2 weeks after infection and is detectable at least several months after recovery. Applying these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose past SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3–7 = 85.1%;Day 8–14 = 94.8%) that persists after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 95.4%). Finally, by evaluating TCRs binding epitopes targeting all non-spike SARS-CoV-2 proteins, we were able to separate natural infection from vaccination with > 99% specificity. Conclusion TCR repertoire sequencing from whole blood reliably measures the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points, and distinguishes post-infection vs. vaccine immune responses with high specificity. This approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in clinical diagnostics as well as vaccine development and monitoring. Disclosures Thomas M. Snyder, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Rachel M. Gittelman, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Mark Klinger, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Damon H. May, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Edward J. Osborne, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ruth Taniguchi, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) H. Jabran Zahid, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Rebecca Elyanow, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Sudeb C. Dalai, MD, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ian M. Kaplan, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Jennifer N. Dines, MD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Matthew T. Noakes, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ravi Pandya, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Lance Baldo, MD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder, Leadership Interest) James R. Heath, PhD, Merck (Research Grant or Support, Funding (from BARDA) for the ISB INCOV project, but had no role in planning the research or in writing the paper.) Joaquin Martinez-Lopez, MD, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Consultant) Jonathan M. Carlson, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Harlan S. Robins, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Board Member, Employee, Shareholder)

3.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295412

ABSTRACT

Growing evidence suggests that conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) undergo aberrant maturation in COVID-19 and this negatively affects T cell activation. The presence of functional effector T cells in mild patients and dysfunctional T cells in severely ill patients suggests that adequate T cell responses are needed to limit disease severity. Therefore, understanding how cDCs cope with SARS-CoV-2 infections can help elucidate the mechanism of generation of protective immune responses. Here, we report that cDC2 subtypes exhibit similar infection-induced gene signatures with the up-regulation of interferon-stimulated genes and IL-6 signaling pathways. The main difference observed between DC2s and DC3s is the up-regulation of anti-apoptotic genes in DC3s, which explains their accumulation during infection. Furthermore, comparing cDCs between severe and mild patients, we find in the former a profound down-regulation of genes encoding molecules involved in antigen presentation, such as major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) molecules, β 2 microglobulin, TAP and costimulatory proteins, while an opposite trend is observed for proinflammatory molecules, such as complement and coagulation factors. Therefore, as the severity of the disease increases, cDC2s enhance their inflammatory properties and lose their main function, which is the antigen presentation capacity. In vitro, direct exposure of cDC2s to the virus recapitulates the type of activation observed in vivo. Our findings provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can interact directly with cDC2s and, by inducing the down-regulation of crucial molecules required for T cell activation, implements an efficient immune escape mechanism that correlates with disease severity.

4.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292804

ABSTRACT

T cells are involved in the early identification and clearance of viral infections and also support the development of antibodies by B cells. This central role for T cells makes them a desirable target for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we combined two high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2. First, at the individual level, we deeply characterized 3 acutely infected and 58 recovered COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping their CD8 T-cell response through antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I presented viral peptides (class II data in a forthcoming study). Then, at the population level, we performed T-cell repertoire sequencing on 1,015 samples (from 827 COVID-19 subjects) as well as 3,500 controls to identify shared "public" T-cell receptors (TCRs) associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection from both CD8 and CD4 T cells. Collectively, our data reveal that CD8 T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 peaks about one to two weeks after infection and is detectable for several months after recovery. As an application of these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples, and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high early sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3-7 = 83.8% [95% CI = 77.6-89.4];Day 8-14 = 92.4% [87.6-96.6]) as well as lasting sensitivity after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 96.7% [93.0-99.2]). These results demonstrate an approach to reliably assess the adaptive immune response both soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points. This blood-based molecular approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in vaccine development as well as clinical diagnostics and monitoring.

5.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-291897

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the cause of sex disparities in COVID-19 outcomes is a major challenge. We investigate sex hormone levels and their association with outcomes in COVID-19 patients, stratified by sex and age. Methods: This observational, retrospective, cohort study included 138 patients aged 18 years or older with COVID-19, hospitalized in Italy between February 1 and May 30, 2020. The association between sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) and outcomes (ARDS, severe COVID-19, in-hospital mortality) was explored in 120 patients aged 50 years and over. STROBE checklist was followed. Findings: The median age was 73·5 years [IQR 61, 82];55·8% were male. In older males, testosterone was lower if ARDS and severe COVID-19 were reported than if not (3·6 vs. 5·3 nmol/L, p =0·0378 and 3·7 vs. 8·5 nmol/L, p =0·0011, respectively). Deceased males had lower testosterone (2·4 vs. 4·8 nmol/L, p =0·0536) and higher estradiol than survivors (40 vs. 24 pg/mL, p = 0·0006). Testosterone was negatively associated with ARDS (OR 0·849 [95% CI 0·734, 0·982]), severe COVID-19 (OR 0·691 [95% CI 0·546, 0·874]), and in-hospital mortality (OR 0·742 [95% CI 0·566, 0·972]), regardless of potential confounders, though confirmed only in the regression model on males. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death (OR 1·051 [95% CI 1·018, 1.084]), confirmed in both sex models. Interpretation: In males, higher testosterone seems to be protective against any considered outcome. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death in both sexes.

6.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(1): 109-122, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332967

ABSTRACT

Growing evidence suggests that conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) undergo aberrant maturation in COVID-19, which negatively affects T-cell activation. The presence of effector T cells in patients with mild disease and dysfunctional T cells in severely ill patients suggests that adequate T-cell responses limit disease severity. Understanding how cDCs cope with SARS-CoV-2 can help elucidate how protective immune responses are generated. Here, we report that cDC2 subtypes exhibit similar infection-induced gene signatures, with the upregulation of IFN-stimulated genes and IL-6 signaling pathways. Furthermore, comparison of cDCs between patients with severe and mild disease showed severely ill patients to exhibit profound downregulation of genes encoding molecules involved in antigen presentation, such as MHCII, TAP, and costimulatory proteins, whereas we observed the opposite for proinflammatory molecules, such as complement and coagulation factors. Thus, as disease severity increases, cDC2s exhibit enhanced inflammatory properties and lose antigen presentation capacity. Moreover, DC3s showed upregulation of anti-apoptotic genes and accumulated during infection. Direct exposure of cDC2s to the virus in vitro recapitulated the activation profile observed in vivo. Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 interacts directly with cDC2s and implements an efficient immune escape mechanism that correlates with disease severity by downregulating crucial molecules required for T-cell activation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Humans
7.
JCI Insight ; 6(1)2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027164

ABSTRACT

Immune and inflammatory responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contribute to disease severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the utility of specific immune-based biomarkers to predict clinical outcome remains elusive. Here, we analyzed levels of 66 soluble biomarkers in 175 Italian patients with COVID-19 ranging from mild/moderate to critical severity and assessed type I IFN-, type II IFN-, and NF-κB-dependent whole-blood transcriptional signatures. A broad inflammatory signature was observed, implicating activation of various immune and nonhematopoietic cell subsets. Discordance between IFN-α2a protein and IFNA2 transcript levels in blood suggests that type I IFNs during COVID-19 may be primarily produced by tissue-resident cells. Multivariable analysis of patients' first samples revealed 12 biomarkers (CCL2, IL-15, soluble ST2 [sST2], NGAL, sTNFRSF1A, ferritin, IL-6, S100A9, MMP-9, IL-2, sVEGFR1, IL-10) that when increased were independently associated with mortality. Multivariate analyses of longitudinal biomarker trajectories identified 8 of the aforementioned biomarkers (IL-15, IL-2, NGAL, CCL2, MMP-9, sTNFRSF1A, sST2, IL-10) and 2 additional biomarkers (lactoferrin, CXCL9) that were substantially associated with mortality when increased, while IL-1α was associated with mortality when decreased. Among these, sST2, sTNFRSF1A, IL-10, and IL-15 were consistently higher throughout the hospitalization in patients who died versus those who recovered, suggesting that these biomarkers may provide an early warning of eventual disease outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Calgranulin B/genetics , Calgranulin B/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokine CCL2/genetics , Chemokine CCL2/immunology , Chemokine CXCL9/genetics , Chemokine CXCL9/immunology , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Female , Ferritins/genetics , Ferritins/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/genetics , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/immunology , Interleukin-10/genetics , Interleukin-10/immunology , Interleukin-15/genetics , Interleukin-15/immunology , Interleukin-2/genetics , Interleukin-2/immunology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lactoferrin/genetics , Lactoferrin/immunology , Lipocalin-2/genetics , Lipocalin-2/immunology , Male , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/genetics , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/immunology , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/immunology
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