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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1037-1048, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752041

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent for the disease COVID-19. To capture the IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody response of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 at individual epitope resolution, we constructed planar microarrays of 648 overlapping peptides that cover the four major structural proteins S(pike), N(ucleocapsid), M(embrane), and E(nvelope). The arrays were incubated with sera of 67 SARS-CoV-2 positive and 22 negative control samples. Specific responses to SARS-CoV-2 were detectable, and nine peptides were associated with a more severe course of the disease. A random forest model disclosed that antibody binding to 21 peptides, mostly localized in the S protein, was associated with higher neutralization values in cellular anti-SARS-CoV-2 assays. For antibodies addressing the N-terminus of M, or peptides close to the fusion region of S, protective effects were proven by antibody depletion and neutralization assays. The study pinpoints unusual viral binding epitopes that might be suited as vaccine candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Epitopes , Humans , Machine Learning , Peptides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(10)2021 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559670

ABSTRACT

The development of an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 marks one of the highest priorities during the ongoing pandemic. However, recruitment of participants for clinical trials can be challenging, and recruitment failure is among the most common reasons for discontinuation in clinical trials. From 20 May 2020, public announcements about a planned phase I trial of the vaccine candidate MVA-SARS-2-S against SARS-CoV-2 began, and interested individuals started contacting the study team via designated e-mail. All emails received from these individuals between 20 May 2020-30 September 2020 were assessed. Of the 2541 interested volunteers, 62% contacted the study team within three days after the first media announcement. The average age was 61 years (range 16-100), 48% of volunteers were female and 52% male. A total of 274, 186, and 53 individuals, respectively, reported medical pre-conditions, were health-care workers, or had frequent inter-person contacts. In conclusion, we report a high number of volunteers, with a considerable percentage stating factors for an elevated risk to acquire COVID-19 or develop severe disease. Factors such as media coverage and the perception of a disease as an acute threat may influence the individual's choice to volunteer for a vaccine trial. Our data provide first important insights to better understand reasons to participate in such trials to facilitate trial implementation and recruitment.

3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 749588, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556183

ABSTRACT

Background: Testing of possibly infected individuals remains cornerstone of containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Detection dogs could contribute to mass screening. Previous research demonstrated canines' ability to detect SARS-CoV-2-infections but has not investigated if dogs can differentiate between COVID-19 and other virus infections. Methods: Twelve dogs were trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 positive samples. Three test scenarios were performed to evaluate their ability to discriminate SARS-CoV-2-infections from viral infections of a different aetiology. Naso- and oropharyngeal swab samples from individuals and samples from cell culture both infected with one of 15 viruses that may cause COVID-19-like symptoms were presented as distractors in a randomised, double-blind study. Dogs were either trained with SARS-CoV-2 positive saliva samples (test scenario I and II) or with supernatant from cell cultures (test scenario III). Results: When using swab samples from individuals infected with viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 as distractors (test scenario I), dogs detected swab samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals with a mean diagnostic sensitivity of 73.8% (95% CI: 66.0-81.7%) and a specificity of 95.1% (95% CI: 92.6-97.7%). In test scenario II and III cell culture supernatant from cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, cells infected with other coronaviruses and non-infected cells were presented. Dogs achieved mean diagnostic sensitivities of 61.2% (95% CI: 50.7-71.6%, test scenario II) and 75.8% (95% CI: 53.0-98.5%, test scenario III), respectively. The diagnostic specificities were 90.9% (95% CI: 87.3-94.6%, test scenario II) and 90.2% (95% CI: 81.1-99.4%, test scenario III), respectively. Conclusion: In all three test scenarios the mean specificities were above 90% which indicates that dogs can distinguish SARS-CoV-2-infections from other viral infections. However, compared to earlier studies our scent dogs achieved lower diagnostic sensitivities. To deploy COVID-19 detection dogs as a reliable screening method it is therefore mandatory to include a variety of samples from different viral respiratory tract infections in dog training to ensure a successful discrimination process.

4.
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev ; 23: 418-423, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466817

ABSTRACT

Vaccination with the adenoviral-vector-based AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Vaxzevria) vaccine is efficient and safe. However, in rare cases vaccinated individuals developed life-threatening thrombotic complications, including thrombosis in cerebral sinus and splanchnic veins. Monitoring of the applied vector in vivo represents an important precondition to study the molecular mechanisms underlying vaccine-driven adverse effects now referred to as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). We previously have shown that digital PCR (dPCR) is an excellent tool to quantify transgene copies in vivo. Here, we present a highly sensitive dPCR for in situ quantification of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 copies. Using this method, we quantified vector copies in human plasma 24, 72, and 168 h post vaccination and in a variety of murine tissues in an experimental vaccination model 30 min post injection. We describe a method for high-sensitivity quantitative detection of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 with possible implications to elucidate the mechanisms of severe ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccine complications.

5.
Internist (Berl) ; 62(11): 1191-1201, 2021 Nov.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453682

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic represents an emergency situation of devastating proportions. To mitigate its effects, several safe and effective vaccines have been developed in a very short period of time. Currently, four vaccines have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and are in use in Germany. These include two mRNA vaccines and two vector-based vaccines. They all show very good protective efficacy, especially against severe courses of disease and can significantly contain the pandemic by reducing viral transmission. This article focuses on the development and mechanism of action of the vaccines, their safety and efficacy profile as well as indications for vaccination and current recommendations for the use of vaccines in special groups of people, such as convalescent, immunosuppressed and pregnant patients. Finally, currently open scientific questions are addressed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol ; 33(1): 1-7, 2021 Sep 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405352

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused and is still causing tremendous morbidity, mortality, and damage to our societies. The disease course of COVID-19 can be unpredictable ranging from asymptomatic infections to multi-organ failure and death. Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) from an asymptomatic infected individual to others has been observed early in the pandemic. Asymptomatic individuals have been shown to have quantitative SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, there may or may not be radiological and/or laboratory abnormalities. No antiviral therapy has been approved for the treatment of asymptomatic SARS-CoV2- infection. The management of asymptomatic individuals at home requires that the person can be monitored for any signs and symptoms of deterioration and that the requirements for infection prevention and control measures can be fulfilled. It is crucial to properly diagnose and manage asymptomatic COVID-19 cases with effective testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation strategies. Preventing asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections that have a major role in the unhindered transmission of the virus is a milestone to take control of the pandemic. Vaccination has been proven to be the crucial pillar for preventing asymptomatic infections and real-life data will continue to exhibit the effects of community vaccination in breaking the transmission chain of SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 20(1): 162-172.e9, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Detailed information on the immune response after second vaccination of cirrhotic patients and liver transplant (LT) recipients against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely missing. We aimed at comparing the vaccine-induced humoral and T-cell responses of these vulnerable patient groups. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein titers were determined using the DiaSorin LIAISON (anti-S trimer) and Roche Elecsys (anti-S RBD) immunoassays in 194 patients (141 LT, 53 cirrhosis Child-Pugh A-C) and 56 healthy controls before and 10 to 84 days after second vaccination. The spike-specific T-cell response was assessed using an interferon-gamma release assay (EUROIMMUN). A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of low response. RESULTS: After the second vaccination, seroconversion was achieved in 63% of LT recipients and 100% of cirrhotic patients and controls using the anti-S trimer assay. Median anti-SARS-CoV-2 titers of responding LT recipients were lower compared with cirrhotic patients and controls (P < .001). Spike-specific T-cell response rates were 36.6%, 65.4%, and 100% in LT, cirrhosis, and controls, respectively. Altogether, 28% of LT recipients did neither develop a humoral nor a T-cell response after second vaccination. In LT recipients, significant predictors of absent or low humoral response were age >65 years (odds ratio [OR], 4.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48-14.05) and arterial hypertension (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.10-5.68), whereas vaccination failure was less likely with calcineurin inhibitor monotherapy than with other immunosuppressive regimens (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.13-0.99). CONCLUSION: Routine serological testing of the vaccination response and a third vaccination in patients with low or absent response seem advisable. These vulnerable cohorts need further research on the effects of heterologous vaccination and intermittent reduction of immunosuppression before booster vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Liver Cirrhosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
8.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 707, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388739

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The main strategy to contain the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic remains to implement a comprehensive testing, tracing and quarantining strategy until vaccination of the population is adequate. Scent dogs could support current testing strategies. METHODS: Ten dogs were trained for 8 days to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections in beta-propiolactone inactivated saliva samples. The subsequent cognitive transfer performance for the recognition of non-inactivated samples were tested on three different body fluids (saliva, urine, and sweat) in a randomised, double-blind controlled study. RESULTS: Dogs were tested on a total of 5242 randomised sample presentations. Dogs detected non-inactivated saliva samples with a diagnostic sensitivity of 84% (95% CI: 62.5-94.44%) and specificity of 95% (95% CI: 93.4-96%). In a subsequent experiment to compare the scent recognition between the three non-inactivated body fluids, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were 95% (95% CI: 66.67-100%) and 98% (95% CI: 94.87-100%) for urine, 91% (95% CI: 71.43-100%) and 94% (95% CI: 90.91-97.78%) for sweat, 82% (95% CI: 64.29-95.24%), and 96% (95% CI: 94.95-98.9%) for saliva respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The scent cognitive transfer performance between inactivated and non-inactivated samples as well as between different sample materials indicates that global, specific SARS-CoV-2-associated volatile compounds are released across different body secretions, independently from the patient's symptoms. All tested body fluids appear to be similarly suited for reliable detection of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals.


Subject(s)
Body Fluids , COVID-19 , Animals , Dogs , Humans , Odorants , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14471, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310815

ABSTRACT

Early detection of severe forms of COVID-19 is absolutely essential for timely triage of patients. We longitudinally followed-up two well-characterized patient groups, hospitalized moderate to severe (n = 26), and ambulatory mild COVID-19 patients (n = 16) at home quarantine. Human D-dimer, C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, cardiac troponin I, interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured on day 1, day 7, day 14 and day 28. All hospitalized patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive on admission, while all ambulatory patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive at recruitment. Hospitalized patients had higher D-dimer, CRP and ferritin, cardiac troponin I and IL-6 levels than ambulatory patients (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.016, p = 0.035, p = 0.002 respectively). Hospitalized patients experienced significant decreases in CRP, ferritin and IL-6 levels from admission to recovery (p < 0.001, p = 0.025, and p = 0.001 respectively). Cardiac troponin I levels were high during the acute phase in both hospitalized and ambulatory patients, indicating a potential myocardial injury. In summary, D-dimer, CRP, ferritin, cardiac troponin I, IL-6 are predictive laboratory markers and can largely determine the clinical course of COVID-19, in particular the prognosis of critically ill COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ambulatory Care , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Early Diagnosis , Ferritins/blood , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Precision Medicine , Prognosis , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Troponin I/blood
10.
Immun Inflamm Dis ; 9(3): 905-917, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hamburg is a city state of approximately 1.9 Mio inhabitants in Northern Germany. Currently, the COVID-19 epidemic that had largely subsided during last summer is resurging in Hamburg and in other parts of the world, underlining the need for additional tools to monitor SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses. AIM: We aimed to develop and validate a simple, low-cost assay for detecting antibodies against the native coronavirus 2 spike protein (CoV-2 S) that does not require recombinant protein or virus. METHOD: We transiently co-transfected HEK cells or CHO cells with expression vectors encoding CoV-2 S and nuclear GFP. Spike protein-specific antibodies in human serum samples bound to transfected cells were detected with fluorochrome conjugated secondary antibodies by flow cytometry orimmunofluorescence microscopy. We applied this assay to monitor antibody development in COVID-19 patients, household contacts, and hospital personnel during the ongoing epidemic in the city state of Hamburg. RESULTS: All recovered COVID-19 patients showed high levels of CoV-2 S-specific antibodies. With one exception, all household members that did not develop symptoms also did not develop detectable antibodies. Similarly, lab personnel that worked during the epidemic and followed social distancing guidelines remained antibody-negative. CONCLUSION: We conclude that high-titer CoV-2 S-specific antibodies are found in most recovered COVID-19 patients and in symptomatic contacts, but only rarely in asymptomatic contacts. The assay may help health care providers to monitor disease progression and antibody responses in vaccination trials, to identify health care personnel that likely are resistant to re-infection, and recovered individuals with high antibody titers that may be suitable asplasma and/or antibody donors.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Flow Cytometry , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 549-573, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222734

ABSTRACT

The history of vaccine development spans centuries. At first, whole pathogens were used as vaccine agents, either inactivated or attenuated, to reduce virulence in humans. Safety and tolerability were increased by including only specific proteins as antigens and using cell culture methods, while novel vaccine strategies, like nucleic acid- or vector-based vaccines, hold high promise for the future. Vaccines have generally not been employed as the primary tools in outbreak response, but this might change since advances in medical technology in the last decades have made the concept of developing vaccines against novel pathogens a realistic strategy. Wandering the uncharted territory of a novel pathogen, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), we can learn from other human Betacoronaviridae that emerged in the last decades, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. We can identify the most likely target structures of immunity, establish animal models that emulate human disease and immunity as closely as possible, and learn about complex mechanisms of immune interaction such as cross-reactivity or antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). However, significant knowledge gaps remain. What are the correlates of protection? How do we best induce immunity in vulnerable populations like the elderly? Will the immunity induced by vaccination (or by natural infection) wane over time? To date, at least 149 vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 are under development. At the time of writing, at least 17 candidates have already progressed past preclinical studies (in vitro models and in vivo animal experiments) into clinical development. This chapter will provide an overview of this rapidly developing field.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Vaccines , Viral Vaccines , Aged , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178372

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). A better understanding of its immunogenicity can be important for the development of improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Here, we report the longitudinal analysis of three COVID-19 patients with moderate (#1) and mild disease (#2 and #3). Antibody serum responses were analyzed using spike glycoprotein enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), full-proteome peptide, and glycan microarrays. ELISA immunoglobulin A, G, and M (IgA, IgG, and IgM) signals increased over time for individuals #1 and #2, whereas #3 only showed no clear positive IgG and IgM result. In contrast, peptide microarrays showed increasing IgA/G signal intensity and epitope spread only in the moderate patient #1 over time, whereas early but transient IgA and stable IgG responses were observed in the two mild cases #2 and #3. Glycan arrays showed an interaction of antibodies to fragments of high-mannose and core N-glycans, present on the viral shield. In contrast to protein ELISA, microarrays allow for a deeper understanding of IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody responses to specific epitopes of the whole proteome and glycans of SARS-CoV-2 in parallel. In the future, this may help to better understand and to monitor vaccination programs and monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics.

13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(7): 827-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a respiratory disease with a case fatality rate of up to 35%. Given its potential to cause a public health emergency and the absence of efficacious drugs or vaccines, MERS is one of the WHO priority diseases warranting urgent research and development of countermeasures. We aimed to assess safety and tolerability of an anti-MERS-CoV modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based vaccine candidate that expresses the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein, MVA-MERS-S, in healthy adults. METHODS: This open-label, phase 1 trial was done at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany). Participants were healthy men and women aged 18-55 years with no clinically significant health problems as determined during medical history and physical examination, a body-mass index of 18·5-30·0 kg/m2 and weight of more than 50 kg at screening, and a negative pregnancy test for women. A key exclusion criterion was a previous MVA vaccination. For the prime immunisation, participants received doses of 1 × 107 plaque-forming unit (PFU; low-dose group) or 1 × 108 PFU (high-dose group) MVA-MERS-S intramuscularly. A second identical dose was administered intramuscularly as a booster immunisation 28 days after first injection. As a control group for immunogenicity analyses, blood samples were drawn at identical study timepoints from six healthy adults, who did not receive any injections. The primary objectives of the study were safety and tolerability of the two dosage levels and reactogenicity after administration. Immunogenicity was assessed as a secondary endpoint by ELISA and neutralisation tests. T-cell immunity was evaluated by interferon-γ-linked enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot assay. All participants who were vaccinated at least once were included in the safety analysis. Immunogenicity was analysed in the participants who completed 6 months of follow-up. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03615911, and EudraCT, 2014-003195-23 FINDINGS: From Dec 17, 2017, to June 5, 2018, 26 participants (14 in the low-dose group and 12 in the high-dose group) were enrolled and received the first dose of the vaccine according to their group allocation. Of these, 23 participants (12 in the low-dose group and 11 in the high-dose group) received a second dose of MVA-MERS-S according to their group allocation after a 28-day interval and completed follow-up. Homologous prime-boost immunisation with MVA-MERS-S revealed a benign safety profile with only transient mild-to-moderate reactogenicity. Participants had no severe or serious adverse events. 67 vaccine-related adverse events were reported in ten (71%) of 14 participants in the low-dose group, and 111 were reported in ten (83%) of 12 participants in the high-dose group. Solicited local reactions were the most common adverse events: pain was observed in 17 (65%; seven in the low-dose group vs ten in the high-dose group) participants, swelling in ten (38%; two vs eight) participants, and induration in ten (38%; one vs nine) participants. Headaches (observed in seven participants in the low-dose group vs nine in the high-dose group) and fatigue or malaise (ten vs seven participants) were the most common solicited systemic adverse events. All adverse events resolved swiftly (within 1-3 days) and without sequelae. Following booster immunisation, nine (75%) of 12 participants in the low-dose group and 11 (100%) participants in the high-dose group showed seroconversion using a MERS-CoV S1 ELISA at any timepoint during the study. Binding antibody titres correlated with MERS-CoV-specific neutralising antibodies (Spearman's correlation r=0·86 [95% CI 0·6960-0·9427], p=0·0001). MERS-CoV spike-specific T-cell responses were detected in ten (83%) of 12 immunised participants in the low-dose group and ten (91%) of 11 immunised participants in the high-dose group. INTERPRETATION: Vaccination with MVA-MERS-S had a favourable safety profile without serious or severe adverse events. Homologous prime-boost immunisation induced humoral and cell-mediated responses against MERS-CoV. A dose-effect relationship was demonstrated for reactogenicity, but not for vaccine-induced immune responses. The data presented here support further clinical testing of MVA-MERS-S in larger cohorts to advance MERS vaccine development. FUNDING: German Center for Infection Research.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Genetic Vectors , Germany , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Vaccines, DNA , Young Adult
14.
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 536, 2020 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072981

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, early, ideally real-time, identification of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals is pivotal in interrupting infection chains. Volatile organic compounds produced during respiratory infections can cause specific scent imprints, which can be detected by trained dogs with a high rate of precision. METHODS: Eight detection dogs were trained for 1 week to detect saliva or tracheobronchial secretions of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients in a randomised, double-blinded and controlled study. RESULTS: The dogs were able to discriminate between samples of infected (positive) and non-infected (negative) individuals with average diagnostic sensitivity of 82.63% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82.02-83.24%) and specificity of 96.35% (95% CI: 96.31-96.39%). During the presentation of 1012 randomised samples, the dogs achieved an overall average detection rate of 94% (±3.4%) with 157 correct indications of positive, 792 correct rejections of negative, 33 incorrect indications of negative or incorrect rejections of 30 positive sample presentations. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings indicate that trained detection dogs can identify respiratory secretion samples from hospitalised and clinically diseased SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals by discriminating between samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and negative controls. This data may form the basis for the reliable screening method of SARS-CoV-2 infected people.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Mass Screening/methods , Odorants/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Bronchi/chemistry , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Dogs , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/chemistry , Saliva/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
Front Immunol ; 11: 601170, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045522

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements and have saved millions of lives. They represent a key countermeasure to limit epidemics caused by emerging infectious diseases. The Ebola virus disease crisis in West Africa dramatically revealed the need for a rapid and strategic development of vaccines to effectively control outbreaks. Seven years later, in light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, this need has never been as urgent as it is today. Vaccine development and implementation of clinical trials have been greatly accelerated, but still lack strategic design and evaluation. Responses to vaccination can vary widely across individuals based on factors like age, microbiome, co-morbidities and sex. The latter aspect has received more and more attention in recent years and a growing body of data provide evidence that sex-specific effects may lead to different outcomes of vaccine safety and efficacy. As these differences might have a significant impact on the resulting optimal vaccine regimen, sex-based differences should already be considered and investigated in pre-clinical and clinical trials. In this Review, we will highlight the clinical observations of sex-specific differences in response to vaccination, delineate sex differences in immune mechanisms, and will discuss the possible resulting implications for development of vaccine candidates against emerging infections. As multiple vaccine candidates against COVID-19 that target the same antigen are tested, vaccine development may undergo a decisive change, since we now have the opportunity to better understand mechanisms that influence vaccine-induced reactogenicity and effectiveness of different vaccines.


Subject(s)
Immunity/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sex Characteristics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods
16.
Cells ; 9(8)2020 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-669617

ABSTRACT

The ectonucleotidases CD39 and CD73 regulate immune responses by balancing extracellular ATP and adenosine in inflammation and are likely to be involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19. Here, we analyzed CD39 and CD73 on different lymphocyte populations in a small cohort of COVID-19 patients and in healthy individuals. We describe a significantly lower level of expression of CD73 on cytotoxic lymphocyte populations, including CD8+ T, natural killer T (NKT), and natural killer (NK) cells, during COVID-19. Interestingly, the decrease of CD73 on CD8+ T cells and NKT cells correlated with serum ferritin levels. Furthermore, we observed distinct functional differences between the CD73+ and CD73- subsets of CD8+ T cells and NKT cells with regard to cytokine/toxin secretion. In COVID-19 patients, the majority of the CD73-CD8+ T cells were capable of secreting granzyme B, perforin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) or interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). To conclude, in this first study of CD39 and CD73 expression of lymphocytes in COVID-19, we show that CD8+ T cells and NKT cells lacking CD73 possess a significantly higher cytotoxic effector functionality compared to their CD73+ counterparts. Future studies should investigate differences of cellular CD39 and CD73 expression in patients at different disease stages and their potential as prognostic markers or targets for immunomodulatory therapies.


Subject(s)
5'-Nucleotidase/metabolism , Apyrase/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Adenosine/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Female , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Granzymes/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/enzymology , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Perforin/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
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