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1.
J Clin Immunol ; 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20230962

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI) are at increased risk of severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Effective long-term protection against COVID-19 is therefore of great importance in these patients, but little is known about the decay of the immune response after primary vaccination. We studied the immune responses 6 months after two mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccines in 473 IEI patients and subsequently the response to a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in 50 patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). METHODS: In a prospective multicenter study, 473 IEI patients (including X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) (N = 18), combined immunodeficiency (CID) (N = 22), CVID (N = 203), isolated or undefined antibody deficiencies (N = 204), and phagocyte defects (N = 16)), and 179 controls were included and followed up to 6 months after two doses of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, samples were collected from 50 CVID patients who received a third vaccine 6 months after primary vaccination through the national vaccination program. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG titers, neutralizing antibodies, and T cell responses were assessed. RESULTS: At 6 months after vaccination, the geometric mean antibody titers (GMT) declined in both IEI patients and healthy controls, when compared to GMT 28 days after vaccination. The trajectory of this decline did not differ between controls and most IEI cohorts; however, antibody titers in CID, CVID, and isolated antibody deficiency patients more often dropped to below the responder cut-off compared to controls. Specific T cell responses were still detectable in 77% of controls and 68% of IEI patients at 6 months post vaccination. A third mRNA vaccine resulted in an antibody response in only two out of 30 CVID patients that did not seroconvert after two mRNA vaccines. CONCLUSION: A similar decline in IgG titers and T cell responses was observed in patients with IEI when compared to healthy controls 6 months after mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccination. The limited beneficial benefit of a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in previous non-responder CVID patients implicates that other protective strategies are needed for these vulnerable patients.

2.
Leora I. Horwitz; Tanayott Thaweethai; Shari B. Brosnahan; Mine S. Cicek; Megan L. Fitzgerald; Jason D. Goldman; Rachel Hess; S. L. Hodder; Vanessa L. Jacoby; Michael R. Jordan; Jerry A. Krishnan; Adeyinka O. Laiyemo; Torri D. Metz; Lauren Nichols; Rachel E. Patzer; Anisha Sekar; Nora G. Singer; Lauren E. Stiles; Barbara S. Taylor; Shifa Ahmed; Heather A. Algren; Khamal Anglin; Lisa Aponte-Soto; Hassan Ashktorab; Ingrid V. Bassett; Brahmchetna Bedi; Nahid Bhadelia; Christian Bime; Marie-Abele C. Bind; Lora J. Black; Andra L. Blomkalns; Hassan Brim; Mario Castro; James Chan; Alexander W. Charney; Benjamin K. Chen; Li Qing Chen; Peter Chen; David Chestek; Lori B. Chibnik; Dominic C. Chow; Helen Y. Chu; Rebecca G. Clifton; Shelby Collins; Maged M. Costantine; Sushma K. Cribbs; Steven G. Deeks; John D. Dickinson; Sarah E. Donohue; Matthew S. Durstenfeld; Ivette F. Emery; Kristine M. Erlandson; Julio C. Facelli; Rachael Farah-Abraham; Aloke V. Finn; Melinda S. Fischer; Valerie J. Flaherman; Judes Fleurimont; Vivian Fonseca; Emily J. Gallagher; Jennifer C. Gander; Maria Laura Gennaro; Kelly S. Gibson; Minjoung Go; Steven N. Goodman; Joey P. Granger; Frank L. Greenway; John W. Hafner; Jenny E. Han; Michelle S. Harkins; Kristine S.P. Hauser; James R. Heath; Carla R. Hernandez; On Ho; Matthew K. Hoffman; Susan E. Hoover; Carol R. Horowitz; Harvey Hsu; Priscilla Y. Hsue; Brenna L. Hughes; Prasanna Jagannathan; Judith A. James; Janice John; Sarah Jolley; S. E. Judd; Joy J. Juskowich; Diane G. Kanjilal; Elizabeth W. Karlson; Stuart D. Katz; J. Daniel Kelly; Sara W. Kelly; Arthur Y. Kim; John P. Kirwan; Kenneth S. Knox; Andre Kumar; Michelle F. Lamendola-Essel; Margaret Lanca; Joyce K. Lee-lannotti; R. Craig Lefebvre; Bruce D. Levy; Janet Y. Lin; Brian P. Logarbo Jr.; Jennifer K. Logue; Michele T. Longo; Carlos A. Luciano; Karen Lutrick; Shahdi K. Malakooti; Gail Mallett; Gabrielle Maranga; Jai G. Marathe; Vincent C. Marconi; Gailen D. Marshall; Christopher F. Martin; Jeffrey N. Martin; Heidi T. May; Grace A. McComsey; Dylan McDonald; Hector Mendez-Figueroa; Lucio Miele; Murray A. Mittleman; Sindhu Mohandas; Christian Mouchati; Janet M. Mullington; Girish N Nadkarni; Erica R. Nahin; Robert B. Neuman; Lisa T. Newman; Amber Nguyen; Janko Z. Nikolich; Igho Ofotokun; Princess U. Ogbogu; Anna Palatnik; Kristy T.S. Palomares; Tanyalak Parimon; Samuel Parry; Sairam Parthasarathy; Thomas F. Patterson; Ann Pearman; Michael J. Peluso; Priscilla Pemu; Christian M. Pettker; Beth A. Plunkett; Kristen Pogreba-Brown; Athena Poppas; J. Zachary Porterfield; John G. Quigley; Davin K. Quinn; Hengameh Raissy; Candida J. Rebello; Uma M. Reddy; Rebecca Reece; Harrison T. Reeder; Franz P. Rischard; Johana M. Rosas; Clifford J. Rosen; Nadine G. Rouphae; Dwight J. Rouse; Adam M. Ruff; Christina Saint Jean; Grecio J. Sandoval; Jorge L. Santana; Shannon M. Schlater; Frank C. Sciurba; Caitlin Selvaggi; Sudha Seshadri; Howard D. Sesso; Dimpy P. Shah; Eyal Shemesh; Zaki A. Sherif; Daniel J. Shinnick; Hyagriv N. Simhan; Upinder Singh; Amber Sowles; Vignesh Subbian; Jun Sun; Mehul S. Suthar; Larissa J. Teunis; John M. Thorp Jr.; Amberly Ticotsky; Alan T. N. Tita; Robin Tragus; Katherine R. Tuttle; Alfredo E. Urdaneta; P. J. Utz; Timothy M. VanWagoner; Andrew Vasey; Suzanne D. Vernon; Crystal Vidal; Tiffany Walker; Honorine D. Ward; David E. Warren; Ryan M. Weeks; Steven J. Weiner; Jordan C. Weyer; Jennifer L. Wheeler; Sidney W. Whiteheart; Zanthia Wiley; Natasha J. Williams; Juan P. Wisnivesky; John C. Wood; Lynn M. Yee; Natalie M. Young; Sokratis N. Zisis; Andrea S. Foulkes; - Recover Initiative.
medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.05.26.23290475

ABSTRACT

Importance: SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in ongoing, relapsing, or new symptoms or other health effects after the acute phase of infection; termed post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), or long COVID. The characteristics, prevalence, trajectory and mechanisms of PASC are ill-defined. The objectives of the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Multi-site Observational Study of PASC in Adults (RECOVER-Adult) are to: (1) characterize PASC prevalence; (2) characterize the symptoms, organ dysfunction, natural history, and distinct phenotypes of PASC; (3) identify demographic, social and clinical risk factors for PASC onset and recovery; and (4) define the biological mechanisms underlying PASC pathogenesis. Methods: RECOVER-Adult is a combined prospective/retrospective cohort currently planned to enroll 14,880 adults aged [≥]18 years. Eligible participants either must meet WHO criteria for suspected, probable, or confirmed infection; or must have evidence of no prior infection. Recruitment occurs at 86 sites in 33 U.S. states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, via facility- and community-based outreach. Participants complete quarterly questionnaires about symptoms, social determinants, vaccination status, and interim SARS-CoV-2 infections. In addition, participants contribute biospecimens and undergo physical and laboratory examinations at approximately 0, 90 and 180 days from infection or negative test date, and yearly thereafter. Some participants undergo additional testing based on specific criteria or random sampling. Patient representatives provide input on all study processes. The primary study outcome is onset of PASC, measured by signs and symptoms. A paradigm for identifying PASC cases will be defined and updated using supervised and unsupervised learning approaches with cross-validation. Logistic regression and proportional hazards regression will be conducted to investigate associations between risk factors, onset, and resolution of PASC symptoms. Discussion: RECOVER-Adult is the first national, prospective, longitudinal cohort of PASC among US adults. Results of this study are intended to inform public health, spur clinical trials, and expand treatment options.

3.
Urban Governance ; 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2317807

ABSTRACT

The COVID 19 pandemic continues to cause a lot of uncertainty around the world. At the onset of the pandemic, governments responded with policies and programs to curb its devastating effects on citizens, and Ghana was no exception. Although the Ghanaian government introduced various stop-gap measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the inadequacies of the extant social welfare system was badly exposed. Consequently, as the pandemic seethed on, there were calls for reform of the existing social protection system and the introduction of new programs, especially for those in the informal sector. In response, the government introduced a new National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS). How did this happen? What led the government to accept tentatively the need to reform and transform the social welfare system after years of policy padding and the dragging of feet? Drawing on Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework, we argue that the pandemic created a policy window, which enabled policy enntrepreneurs to push the unemployment insurance idea to reform the existing social welfare system. The introduction of a NUIS, is seen as a paradigm shift in social protection and more broadly in social policy. The objective of this paper is to examine how the NUIS got on government's agenda, and whether the NUIS is a game changer in social protection in Ghana. We sourced information mainly from secondary sources.

4.
JAMA ; 329(14): 1183-1196, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298507

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Overactivation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Objective: To determine whether angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) initiation improves outcomes in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In an ongoing, adaptive platform randomized clinical trial, 721 critically ill and 58 non-critically ill hospitalized adults were randomized to receive an RAS inhibitor or control between March 16, 2021, and February 25, 2022, at 69 sites in 7 countries (final follow-up on June 1, 2022). INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomized to receive open-label initiation of an ACE inhibitor (n = 257), ARB (n = 248), ARB in combination with DMX-200 (a chemokine receptor-2 inhibitor; n = 10), or no RAS inhibitor (control; n = 264) for up to 10 days. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was organ support-free days, a composite of hospital survival and days alive without cardiovascular or respiratory organ support through 21 days. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model. Odds ratios (ORs) greater than 1 represent improved outcomes. RESULTS: On February 25, 2022, enrollment was discontinued due to safety concerns. Among 679 critically ill patients with available primary outcome data, the median age was 56 years and 239 participants (35.2%) were women. Median (IQR) organ support-free days among critically ill patients was 10 (-1 to 16) in the ACE inhibitor group (n = 231), 8 (-1 to 17) in the ARB group (n = 217), and 12 (0 to 17) in the control group (n = 231) (median adjusted odds ratios of 0.77 [95% bayesian credible interval, 0.58-1.06] for improvement for ACE inhibitor and 0.76 [95% credible interval, 0.56-1.05] for ARB compared with control). The posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitors and ARBs worsened organ support-free days compared with control were 94.9% and 95.4%, respectively. Hospital survival occurred in 166 of 231 critically ill participants (71.9%) in the ACE inhibitor group, 152 of 217 (70.0%) in the ARB group, and 182 of 231 (78.8%) in the control group (posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitor and ARB worsened hospital survival compared with control were 95.3% and 98.1%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this trial, among critically ill adults with COVID-19, initiation of an ACE inhibitor or ARB did not improve, and likely worsened, clinical outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02735707.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Renin-Angiotensin System , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/therapy , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Hospitalization , COVID-19 Drug Treatment/methods , Critical Illness , Receptors, Chemokine/antagonists & inhibitors
5.
J Clin Lipidol ; 2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2262603

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Familial dysbetalipoproteinemia (FD) is the second most common monogenic lipid disorder (prevalence 1 in 850-3500), characterized by postprandial remnant accumulation and associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Many FD patients do not achieve non-HDL-C treatment goals, indicating the need for additional lipid-lowering treatment options. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of the PCSK9 monoclonal antibody evolocumab added to standard lipid-lowering therapy on fasting and post fat load lipids and lipoproteins in patients with FD. METHODS: A randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial comparing evolocumab (140 mg subcutaneous every 2 weeks) with placebo during two 12-week treatment periods. At the start and end of each treatment period patients received an oral fat load. The primary endpoint was the 8-hour post fat load non-HDL-C area under the curve (AUC). Secondary endpoints included fasting and post fat load lipids and lipoproteins. RESULTS: In total, 28 patients completed the study. Mean age was 62±9 years and 93% had an Ɛ2Ɛ2 genotype. Evolocumab reduced the 8-hour post fat load non-HDL-C AUC with 49% (95%CI 42-55) and apolipoprotein B (apoB) AUC with 47% (95%CI 41-53). Other fasting and absolute post fat load lipids and lipoproteins including triglycerides and remnant-cholesterol were also significantly reduced by evolocumab. However, evolocumab did not have significant effects on the rise above fasting levels that occurred after consumption of the oral fat load. CONCLUSIONS: Evolocumab added to standard lipid-lowering therapy significantly reduced fasting and absolute post fat load concentrations of non-HDL-C, apoB and other atherogenic lipids and lipoproteins in FD patients. The clinically significant decrease in lipids and lipoproteins can be expected to translate into a reduction in CVD risk in these high-risk patients.

6.
Clin Obes ; : e12568, 2022 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256595

ABSTRACT

Obesity is recognized as a risk factor for adverse outcome in COVID-19, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unknown. Adipose tissue functions as an endocrine organ by secreting multiple pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors, known as adipocytokines, which could be involved in COVID-19 severity. We explored the role of adipocytokines in COVID-19 and its association with BMI, clinical outcome, and inflammation. This is an observational study in 195 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Serial plasma concentrations of the adipocytokines leptin, adiponectin, resistin, and various inflammatory cytokines were assessed. Adipocytokines were compared between patients with normal weight (BMI: 18.5-24.9 kg/m2 ), overweight (BMI: 25.0-29.9 kg/m2 ), and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 ), between patients admitted to the ICU and to non-ICU clinical wards, and between survivors and non-survivors. Patients with overweight and obesity displayed higher leptin concentrations and lower adiponectin concentrations throughout hospital admission (p < .001), whereas resistin concentrations were not different from patients with normal weight (p = .12). Resistin concentrations correlated with inflammatory markers and were persistently higher in ICU patients and non-survivors compared to non-ICU patients and survivors, respectively (both p < .001), whereas no such relationships were found for the other adipocytokines. In conclusion, leptin and adiponectin are associated with BMI, but not with clinical outcomes and inflammation in COVID-19 patients. In contrast, resistin is not associated with BMI, but high concentrations are associated with worse clinical outcomes and more pronounced inflammation. Therefore, it is unlikely that BMI-related adipocytokines or differences in the inflammatory response underlie obesity as a risk factor for severe COVID-19.

7.
Immun Inflamm Dis ; 10(11): e712, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256496

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A major contributor to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progression and severity is a dysregulated innate and adaptive immune response. Interleukin-38 (IL-38) is an IL-1 family member with broad anti-inflammatory properties, but thus far little is known about its role in viral infections. Recent studies have shown inconsistent results, as one study finding an increase in circulating IL-38 in COVID-19 patients in comparison to healthy controls, whereas two other studies report no differences in IL-38 concentrations. METHODS: Here, we present an exploratory, retrospective cohort study of circulating IL-38 concentrations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients admitted to two Dutch hospitals (discovery n = 148 and validation n = 184) and age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Plasma IL-38 concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, disease-related proteins by proximity extension assay, and clinical data were retrieved from hospital records. RESULTS: IL-38 concentrations were stable during hospitalization and similar to those of healthy control subjects. IL-38 was not associated with rates of intensive care unit admission or mortality. Only in men in the discovery cohort, IL-38 concentrations were positively correlated with hospitalization duration. A positive correlation between IL-38 and the inflammatory biomarker d-dimer was observed in men of the validation cohort. In women of the validation cohort, IL-38 concentrations correlated negatively with thrombocyte numbers. Furthermore, plasma IL-38 concentrations in the validation cohort correlated positively with TNF, TNFRSF9, IL-10Ra, neurotrophil 3, polymeric immunoglobulin receptor, CHL1, CD244, superoxide dismutase 2, and fatty acid binding protein 2, and negatively with SERPINA12 and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that IL-38 is not associated with disease outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, moderate correlations between IL-38 concentrations and biomarkers of disease were identified in one of two cohorts. While we demonstrate that IL-38 concentrations are not indicative of COVID-19 severity, its anti-inflammatory effects may reduce COVID-19 severity and should be experimentally investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Serpins , Male , Humans , Female , SARS-CoV-2 , Retrospective Studies , Biomarkers , Anti-Inflammatory Agents , Interleukins
8.
J Crit Care ; 76: 154272, 2023 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245979

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in ICU patients. We investigated the incidence of, risk factors for and potential benefit of a pre-emptive screening strategy for CAPA in ICUs in the Netherlands/Belgium during immunosuppressive COVID-19 treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective, observational, multicentre study was performed from September 2020-April 2021 including patients admitted to the ICU who had undergone diagnostics for CAPA. Patients were classified based on 2020 ECMM/ISHAM consensus criteria. RESULTS: CAPA was diagnosed in 295/1977 (14.9%) patients. Corticosteroids were administered to 97.1% of patients and interleukin-6 inhibitors (anti-IL-6) to 23.5%. EORTC/MSGERC host factors or treatment with anti-IL-6 with or without corticosteroids were not risk factors for CAPA. Ninety-day mortality was 65.3% (145/222) in patients with CAPA compared to 53.7% (176/328) without CAPA (p = 0.008). Median time from ICU admission to CAPA diagnosis was 12 days. Pre-emptive screening for CAPA was not associated with earlier diagnosis or reduced mortality compared to a reactive diagnostic strategy. CONCLUSIONS: CAPA is an indicator of a protracted course of a COVID-19 infection. No benefit of pre-emptive screening was observed, but prospective studies comparing pre-defined strategies would be required to confirm this observation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Humans , Incidence , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies
9.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 791, 2023 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2243508

ABSTRACT

Prolonged lung pathology has been associated with COVID-19, yet the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind this chronic inflammatory disease are poorly understood. In this study, we combine advanced imaging and spatial transcriptomics to shed light on the local immune response in severe COVID-19. We show that activated adventitial niches are crucial microenvironments contributing to the orchestration of prolonged lung immunopathology. Up-regulation of the chemokines CCL21 and CCL18 associates to endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and tissue fibrosis within these niches. CCL21 over-expression additionally links to the local accumulation of T cells expressing the cognate receptor CCR7. These T cells are imprinted with an exhausted phenotype and form lymphoid aggregates that can organize in ectopic lymphoid structures. Our work proposes immune-stromal interaction mechanisms promoting a self-sustained and non-resolving local immune response that extends beyond active viral infection and perpetuates tissue remodeling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL21 , Chemokines, CC , Humans , COVID-19/immunology , Fibrosis , Lung , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.02.15.23285584

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic not only resulted in millions of acute infections worldwide, but also caused innumerable cases of post-infectious syndromes, colloquially referred to as long COVID. Due to the heterogeneous nature of symptoms and scarcity of available tissue samples, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We present an in-depth analysis of skeletal muscle biopsies obtained from eleven patients suffering from enduring fatigue and post-exertional malaise after an infection with SARS-CoV-2. Compared to two independent historical control cohorts, patients with post-COVID exertion intolerance had fewer capillaries, thicker capillary basement membranes and increased numbers of CD169+ macrophages. SARS-CoV-2 RNA could not be detected in the muscle tissues, but transcriptomic analysis revealed distinct gene signatures compared to the two control cohorts, indicating immune dysregulations and altered metabolic pathways. We hypothesize that the initial viral infection may have caused immune-mediated structural changes of the microvasculature, potentially explaining the exercise-dependent fatigue and muscle pain.

11.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(12): 1147-1159, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2221527

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) affect about 15% of critically ill patients with influenza or COVID-19, respectively. These viral-fungal coinfections are difficult to diagnose and are associated with increased mortality, but data on their pathophysiology are scarce. We aimed to explore the role of lung epithelial and myeloid innate immunity in patients with IAPA or CAPA. METHODS: In this observational study, we retrospectively recruited patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, requiring non-invasive or invasive ventilation because of severe influenza or COVID-19, with or without aspergillosis, between Jan 1, 2011, and March 31, 2021, whose bronchoalveolar lavage samples were available at the hospital biobank. Additionally, biobanked in vivo tracheobronchial biopsy samples from patients with IAPA or CAPA and invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis admitted to ICUs requiring invasive ventilation between the same dates were collected from University Hospitals Leuven, Hospital Network Antwerp (Belgium), and Amiens-Picardie University Hospital (France). We did nCounter gene expression analysis of 755 genes linked to myeloid innate immunity and protein analysis of 47 cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors on the bronchoalveolar lavage samples. Gene expression data were used to infer cell fractions by use of CIBERSORTx, to perform hypergeometric enrichment pathway analysis and gene set enrichment analysis, and to calculate pathway module scores for the IL-1ß, TNF-α, type I IFN, and type II IFN (IFNγ) pathways. We did RNAScope targeting influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2 RNA and GeoMx spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples. FINDINGS: Biobanked bronchoalveolar lavage samples were retrieved from 166 eligible patients, of whom 40 had IAPA, 52 had influenza without aspergillosis, 33 had CAPA, and 41 had COVID-19 without aspergillosis. We did nCounter gene expression analysis on bronchoalveolar lavage samples from 134 patients, protein analysis on samples from 162 patients, and both types of analysis on samples from 130 patients. We performed RNAScope and spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples from two patients with IAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis and two patients with CAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis. We observed a downregulation of genes associated with antifungal effector functions in patients with IAPA and, to a lesser extent, in patients with CAPA. We found a downregulated expression of several genes encoding proteins with functions in the opsonisation, recognition, and killing of conidia in patients with IAPA versus influenza only and in patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. Several genes related to LC3-associated phagocytosis, autophagy, or both were differentially expressed. Patients with CAPA had significantly lower neutrophil cell fractions than did patients with COVID-19 only. Patients with IAPA or CAPA had downregulated IFNγ signalling compared with patients with influenza only or COVID-19 only, respectively. The concentrations of several fibrosis-related growth factors were significantly elevated in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with IAPA versus influenza only and from patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. In one patient with CAPA, we visualised an active or very recent SARS-CoV-2 infection disrupting the epithelial barrier, facilitating tissue-invasive aspergillosis. INTERPRETATION: Our results reveal a three-level breach in antifungal immunity in IAPA and CAPA, affecting the integrity of the epithelial barrier, the capacity to phagocytise and kill Aspergillus spores, and the ability to destroy Aspergillus hyphae, which is mainly mediated by neutrophils. The potential of adjuvant IFNγ in the treatment of IAPA and CAPA should be investigated. FUNDING: Research Foundation Flanders, Coronafonds, the Max Planck Society, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the European Regional Development Fund, "la Caixa" Foundation, and Horizon 2020.


Subject(s)
Aspergillosis , COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Humans , COVID-19/complications , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , RNA, Viral , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Lung/pathology , Immunity, Innate , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications
12.
medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.01.16.22283804

ABSTRACT

In COVID-19 neurological alterations are noticed during the systemic viral infection. Various pathophysiological mechanisms on the central nervous system (CNS) have been suggested in the past two years, including the viral neurotropism hypothesis. Nevertheless, neurological complications can also occur independent of neurotropism and at different stages of the disease and may be persistent. Previous autopsy studies of the CNS from patients with severe COVID-19 show infiltration of macrophages and T lymphocytes, especially in the perivascular regions as well as pronounced microglial activation, but without signs of viral encephalitis. However, there is an ongoing debate about long-term changes and cytotoxic effects in the CNS due to the systemic inflammation. Here, we show the brain-specific host response during and after COVID-19. We profile single-nucleus transcriptomes and proteomes of brainstem tissue from deceased COVID-19 patients who underwent rapid autopsy. We detect a disease phase-dependent inflammatory type-I interferon response in acute COVID-19 cases. Integrating single-nucleus RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics, we could localize two patterns of reaction to severe systemic inflammation. One neuronal with direct focus on cranial nerve nuclei and one diffusely affecting the whole brainstem, the latter reflecting a bystander effect that spreads throughout the vascular unit and alters the transcriptional state of oligodendrocytes, microglia and astrocytes. Our results indicate that even without persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the CNS, the tissue activates highly protective mechanisms, which also cause functional disturbances that may explain the neurological symptoms of COVID-19, triggered by strong systemic type-I IFN signatures in the periphery.

13.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1027122, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142033

ABSTRACT

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the highly infectious Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is an urgent need for biomarkers that will help in better stratification of patients and contribute to personalized treatments. We performed targeted proteomics using the Olink platform and systematically investigated protein concentrations in 350 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 186 post-COVID-19 individuals, and 61 healthy individuals from 3 independent cohorts. Results revealed a signature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is represented by inflammatory biomarkers, chemokines and complement-related factors. Furthermore, the circulating proteome is still significantly affected in post-COVID-19 samples several weeks after infection. Post-COVID-19 individuals are characterized by upregulation of mediators of the tumor necrosis (TNF)-α signaling pathways and proteins related to transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß. In addition, the circulating proteome is able to differentiate between patients with different COVID-19 disease severities, and is associated with the time after infection. These results provide important insights into changes induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection at the proteomic level by integrating several cohorts to obtain a large disease spectrum, including variation in disease severity and time after infection. These findings could guide the development of host-directed therapy in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Proteomics , Humans , Proteome , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomarkers
14.
researchsquare; 2022.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-2193007.v1

ABSTRACT

In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), endothelial cells play a central role and inadequate response is associated with vascular complications. PET imaging with gallium-68 labelled RGD-peptide (68Ga-RGD) targets αvβ3 integrin expression which allows quantification of endothelial activation. In this single-center, prospective observational study, we included ten hospitalized patients with COVID-19 between October 2020 and January 2021. Patients underwent 68Ga-RGD PET/CT followed by iodine mapping of lung parenchyma. CT-based segmentation of lung parenchyma, carotid arteries and myocardium was used to quantify tracer uptake by calculating standardized uptake values (SUV). Five non-COVID-19 patients were used as reference. The study population was 68.5 (IQR 52.0-74.5) years old, with median oxygen need of 3 l/min (IQR 0.9-4.0). 68Ga-RGD uptake quantified as SUV ± SD was increased in lungs (0.99 ± 0.32 versus 0.45 ± 0.18, p < 0.01) and myocardium (3.44 ± 1.59 versus 0.65 ± 0.22, p < 0.01) of COVID-19 patients compared to reference but not in the carotid arteries. Iodine maps showed local variations in parenchymal perfusion but no correlation with SUV. In conclusion, using 68Ga-RGD PET/CT in COVID-19 patients admitted with respiratory symptoms, we demonstrated increased endothelial activation in the lung parenchyma and myocardium. Our findings indicate the involvement of increased and localized endothelial cell activation in the cardiopulmonary system in COVID-19 patients. Trail registration NCT04596943

16.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 15451, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2028721

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has led to a devastating pandemic, with infections resulting in a range of symptoms collectively known as COVID-19. The full repertoire of human tissues and organs susceptible to infection is an area of active investigation, and some studies have implicated the reproductive system. The effects of COVID-19 on human reproduction remain poorly understood, and particularly the impact on early embryogenesis and establishment of a pregnancy are not known. In this work, we explore the susceptibility of early human embryos to SARS-CoV-2 infection. By using RNA-seq and immunofluorescence, we note that ACE2 and TMPRSS2, two canonical cell entry factors for SARS-CoV-2, are co-expressed in cells of the trophectoderm in blastocyst-stage preimplantation embryos. For the purpose of viral entry studies, we used fluorescent reporter virions pseudotyped with Spike (S) glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2, and we observe robust infection of trophectoderm cells. This permissiveness could be attenuated with blocking antibodies targeting S or ACE2. When exposing human blastocysts to the live, fully infectious SARS-CoV-2, we detected cases of infection that compromised embryo health. Therefore, we identify a new human target tissue for SARS-CoV-2 with potential medical implications for reproductive health during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e938-e946, 2022 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017845

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Older age is associated with increased severity and death from respiratory infections, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The tuberculosis BCG vaccine may provide heterologous protection against nontuberculous infections and has been proposed as a potential preventive strategy against COVID-19. METHODS: In this multicenter, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned older adults (aged ≥60 years; n = 2014) to intracutaneous vaccination with BCG vaccine (n = 1008) or placebo (n = 1006). The primary end point was the cumulative incidence of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) that required medical intervention, during 12 months of follow-up. Secondary end points included the incidence of COVID-19, and the effect of BCG vaccination on the cellular and humoral immune responses. RESULTS: The cumulative incidence of RTIs requiring medical intervention was 0.029 in the BCG-vaccinated group and 0.024 in the control group (subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.26 [98.2% confidence interval, .65-2.44]). In the BCG vaccine and placebo groups, 51 and 48 individuals, respectively tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with polymerase chain reaction (subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.053 [95% confidence interval, .71-1.56]). No difference was observed in the frequency of adverse events. BCG vaccination was associated with enhanced cytokine responses after influenza, and also partially associated after SARS-CoV-2 stimulation. In patients diagnosed with COVID-19, antibody responses after infection were significantly stronger if the volunteers had previously received BCG vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: BCG vaccination had no effect on the incidence of RTIs, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, in older adult volunteers. However, it improved cytokine responses stimulated by influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and induced stronger antibody titers after COVID-19 infection. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: EU Clinical Trials Register 2020-001591-15 ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04417335.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Aged , BCG Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
18.
Innovation in Aging ; 5:58-58, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2011799
19.
Genome Med ; 14(1): 96, 2022 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002218

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, important insights have been gained into virus biology and the host factors that modulate the human immune response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 displays a highly variable clinical picture that ranges from asymptomatic disease to lethal pneumonia. Apart from well-established general risk factors such as advanced age, male sex and chronic comorbidities, differences in host genetics have been shown to influence the individual predisposition to develop severe manifestations of COVID-19. These differences range from common susceptibility loci to rare genetic variants with strongly predisposing effects, or proven pathogenic variants that lead to known or novel inborn errors of immunity (IEI), which constitute a growing group of heterogeneous Mendelian disorders with increased susceptibility to infectious disease, auto-inflammation, auto-immunity, allergy or malignancies. The current genetic findings point towards a convergence of common and rare genetic variants that impact the interferon signalling pathways in patients with severe or critical COVID-19. Monogenic risk factors that impact IFN-I signalling have an expected prevalence between 1 and 5% in young, previously healthy individuals (<60 years of age) with critical COVID-19. The identification of these IEI such as X-linked TLR7 deficiency indicates a possibility for targeted genetic screening and personalized clinical management. This review aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the host genetic factors that predispose to severe manifestations of COVID-19 and focuses on rare variants in IFN-I signalling genes and their potential clinical implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Variation , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4484, 2022 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991585

ABSTRACT

Despite two years of intense global research activity, host genetic factors that predispose to a poorer prognosis of COVID-19 infection remain poorly understood. Here, we prioritise eight robust (e.g., ELF5) or suggestive but unreported (e.g., RAB2A) candidate protein mediators of COVID-19 outcomes by integrating results from the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative with population-based plasma proteomics using statistical colocalisation. The transcription factor ELF5 (ELF5) shows robust and directionally consistent associations across different outcome definitions, including a >4-fold higher risk (odds ratio: 4.88; 95%-CI: 2.47-9.63; p-value < 5.0 × 10-6) for severe COVID-19 per 1 s.d. higher genetically predicted plasma ELF5. We show that ELF5 is specifically expressed in epithelial cells of the respiratory system, such as secretory and alveolar type 2 cells, using single-cell RNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry. These cells are also likely targets of SARS-CoV-2 by colocalisation with key host factors, including ACE2 and TMPRSS2. In summary, large-scale human genetic studies together with gene expression at single-cell resolution highlight ELF5 as a risk gene for severe COVID-19, supporting a role of epithelial cells of the respiratory system in the adverse host response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , DNA-Binding Proteins , Transcription Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors/genetics
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