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2.
Front Bioeng Biotechnol ; 10: 867042, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817928

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Evaluation of the feasibility of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell manufacturing for adoptive T cell transfer in COVID-19 patients at risk to develop severe disease. Methods: Antiviral SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected in blood of convalescent COVID-19 patients following stimulation with PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Select using Interferon-gamma Enzyme-Linked Immunospot (IFN-γ ELISpot), SARS-CoV-2 T Cell Analysis Kit (Whole Blood) and Cytokine Secretion Assay (CSA) and were characterized with respect to memory phenotype, activation state and cytotoxic potential by multicolor flow cytometry, quantitative real-time PCR and multiplex analyses. Clinical-grade SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell products were generated by stimulation with MACS GMP PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Select using CliniMACS Prodigy and CliniMACS Cytokine Capture System (IFN-gamma) (CCS). Functionality of enriched T cells was investigated in cytotoxicity assays and by multiplex analysis of secreted cytotoxic molecules upon target recognition. Results: Donor screening via IFN-γ ELISpot allows for pre-selection of potential donors for generation of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells. Antiviral T cells reactive against PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Select could be magnetically enriched from peripheral blood of convalescent COVID-19 patients by small-scale CSA resembling the clinical-grade CCS manufacturing process and showed an activated and cytotoxic T cell phenotype. Four clinical-grade SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell products were successfully generated with sufficient cell numbers and purities comparable to those observed in donor pretesting via CSA. The T cells in the generated products were shown to be capable to replicate, specifically recognize and kill target cells in vitro and secrete cytotoxic molecules upon target recognition. Cell viability, total CD3+ cell number, proliferative capacity and cytotoxic potential remained stable throughout storage of up to 72 h after end of leukapheresis. Conclusion: Clinical-grade SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are functional, have proliferative capacity and target-specific cytotoxic potential. Their function and phenotype remain stable for several days after enrichment. The adoptive transfer of partially matched, viable human SARS-CoV-2-specific T lymphocytes collected from convalescent individuals may provide the opportunity to support the immune system of COVID-19 patients at risk for severe disease.

3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 838132, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809394

ABSTRACT

The majority of COVID-19 patients experience mild to moderate disease course and recover within a few weeks. An increasing number of studies characterized the long-term changes in the specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune responses, but how COVID-19 shapes the innate and heterologous adaptive immune system after recovery is less well known. To comprehensively investigate the post-SARS-CoV-2 infection sequelae on the immune system, we performed a multi-omics study by integrating single-cell RNA-sequencing, single-cell ATAC-sequencing, genome-wide DNA methylation profiling, and functional validation experiments in 14 convalescent COVID-19 and 15 healthy individuals. We showed that immune responses generally recover without major sequelae after COVID-19. However, subtle differences persist at the transcriptomic level in monocytes, with downregulation of the interferon pathway, while DNA methylation also displays minor changes in convalescent COVID-19 individuals. However, these differences did not affect the cytokine production capacity of PBMCs upon different bacterial, viral, and fungal stimuli, although baseline release of IL-1Ra and IFN-γ was higher in convalescent individuals. In conclusion, we propose that despite minor differences in epigenetic and transcriptional programs, the immune system of convalescent COVID-19 patients largely recovers to the homeostatic level of healthy individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Convalescence , Disease Progression , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , SARS-CoV-2
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307118

ABSTRACT

To investigate the role of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T-cell immunity and its relationship with antibody levels and pre-existing immunity against endemic human coronaviruses (huCoV) during disease and beyond, we analyzed patients with recovered (RC, n=178) and active Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19;AC, n=10) and healthy donors (HD, n=58). Overall, ACs had highest SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels against nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S) proteins but reduced antiviral T-cell immunity, whereas in RCs, antibody levels partially correlated with SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell frequencies. Interestingly, humoral responses declined throughout convalescence, whereas T-cell immunity remained stable. RCs exhibited polyfunctional, mainly IFN-γ-secreting CD4 + effector memory T-cell responses. Humoral and cellular response towards huCoV strains in RCs with strong SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity implies a protective role of pre-existing immunity against huCoV. This study provides essential evidence-based data about stable protective T-cell immunity during disease and recovery which is essential to guide diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

5.
Frontiers in medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564209

ABSTRACT

Since its declaration as a pandemic in March 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 217 million people worldwide and despite mild disease in the majority of the cases, more than 4.5 million cases of COVID-19-associated death have been reported as of September 2021. The question whether recovery from COVID-19 results in prevention of reinfection can be answered with a “no” since cases of reinfections have been reported. The more important question is whether during SARS-CoV-2 infection, a protective immunity is built and maintained afterwards in a way which protects from possibly severe courses of disease in case of a reinfection. A similar question arises with respect to vaccination: as of September 2021, globally, more than 5.2 billion doses of vaccines have been administered. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to study the cellular and humoral immunity toward SARS-CoV-2 in a longitudinal manner. In this study, reconvalescent COVID-19 patients have been followed up for more than 1 year after SARS-CoV-2 infection to characterize in detail the long-term humoral as well as cellular immunity. Both SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and antibodies could be detected for a period of more than 1 year after infection, indicating that the immune protection established during initial infection is maintained and might possibly protect from severe disease in case of reinfection or infection with novel emerging variants. Moreover, these data demonstrate the opportunity for immunotherapy of hospitalized COVID-19 patients via adoptive transfer of functional antiviral T cells isolated from reconvalescent individuals.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2000-2008, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are key in combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, delays of boost immunization due to limited availability of vaccines may leave individuals vulnerable to infection and prolonged or severe disease courses. The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC)-B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom), B.1.351 (South Africa), and P.1 (Brazil)-may exacerbate this issue, as the latter two are able to evade control by antibodies. METHODS: We assessed humoral and T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (WT), VOC, and endemic human coronaviruses (hCoVs) that were induced after single and double vaccination with BNT162b2. RESULTS: Despite readily detectable immunoglobulin G (IgG) against the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein at day 14 after a single vaccination, inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 S-driven host cell entry was weak and particularly low for the B.1.351 variant. Frequencies of SARS-CoV-2 WT and VOC-specific T cells were low in many vaccinees after application of a single dose and influenced by immunity against endemic hCoV. The second vaccination significantly boosted T-cell frequencies reactive for WT and B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. CONCLUSIONS: These results call into question whether neutralizing antibodies significantly contribute to protection against COVID-19 upon single vaccination and suggest that cellular immunity is central for the early defenses against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
8.
Immunity ; 54(2): 340-354.e6, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071479

ABSTRACT

Cellular and humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is critical to control primary infection and correlates with severity of disease. The role of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity, its relationship to antibodies, and pre-existing immunity against endemic coronaviruses (huCoV), which has been hypothesized to be protective, were investigated in 82 healthy donors (HDs), 204 recovered (RCs), and 92 active COVID-19 patients (ACs). ACs had high amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike IgG but lymphopenia and overall reduced antiviral T cell responses due to the inflammatory milieu, expression of inhibitory molecules (PD-1, Tim-3) as well as effector caspase-3, -7, and -8 activity in T cells. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity conferred by polyfunctional, mainly interferon-γ-secreting CD4+ T cells remained stable throughout convalescence, whereas humoral responses declined. Immune responses toward huCoV in RCs with mild disease and strong cellular SARS-CoV-2 T cell reactivity imply a protective role of pre-existing immunity against huCoV.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
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