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1.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 590, 2022 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960513

ABSTRACT

Aging is a major risk factor for developing severe COVID-19, but few detailed data are available concerning immunological changes after infection in aged individuals. Here we describe main immune characteristics in 31 patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection who were >70 years old, compared to 33 subjects <60 years of age. Differences in plasma levels of 62 cytokines, landscape of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, T cell repertoire, transcriptome of central memory CD4+ T cells, specific antibodies are reported along with features of lung macrophages. Elderly subjects have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, more circulating plasmablasts, reduced plasmatic level of anti-S and anti-RBD IgG3 antibodies, lower proportions of central memory CD4+ T cells, more immature monocytes and CD56+ pro-inflammatory monocytes, lower percentages of circulating follicular helper T cells (cTfh), antigen-specific cTfh cells with a less activated transcriptomic profile, lung resident activated macrophages that promote collagen deposition and fibrosis. Our study underlines the importance of inflammation in the response to SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that inflammaging, coupled with the inability to mount a proper anti-viral response, could exacerbate disease severity and the worst clinical outcome in old patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Cytokines , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , SARS-CoV-2 , T Follicular Helper Cells
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(14)2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938841

ABSTRACT

Specific T cells are crucial to control SARS-CoV-2 infection, avoid reinfection and confer protection after vaccination. We have studied patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, compared to patients who recovered from a severe or moderate infection that had occurred about 4 months before the analyses. In all these subjects, we assessed the polyfunctionality of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by quantifying cytokine production after in vitro stimulation with different SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools covering different proteins (M, N and S). In particular, we quantified the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells simultaneously producing interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-17, granzyme B, and expressing CD107a. Recovered patients who experienced a severe disease display high proportions of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells producing Th1 and Th17 cytokines and are characterized by polyfunctional SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells. A similar profile was found in patients experiencing a moderate form of COVID-19 pneumonia. No main differences in polyfunctionality were observed among the CD8+ T cell compartments, even if the proportion of responding cells was higher during the infection. The identification of those functional cell subsets that might influence protection can thus help in better understanding the complexity of immune response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 842150, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779941

ABSTRACT

Although it is now widely accepted that host inflammatory response contributes to COVID-19 immunopathogenesis, the pathways and mechanisms driving disease severity and clinical outcome remain poorly understood. In the effort to identify key soluble mediators that characterize life-threatening COVID-19, we quantified 62 cytokines, chemokines and other factors involved in inflammation and immunity in plasma samples, collected at hospital admission, from 80 hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 disease who were stratified on the basis of clinical outcome (mechanical ventilation or death by day 28). Our data confirm that age, as well as neutrophilia, lymphocytopenia, procalcitonin, D-dimer and lactate dehydrogenase are strongly associated with the risk of fatal COVID-19. In addition, we found that cytokines related to TH2 regulations (IL-4, IL-13, IL-33), cell metabolism (lep, lep-R) and interferons (IFNα, IFNß, IFNγ) were also predictive of life-threatening COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Chemokines , Humans , Interferons , SARS-CoV-2
4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328786

ABSTRACT

Aging is a major risk factor for developing severe COVID-19, but few detailed data are available concerning immunological changes after infection in aged individuals. Here we describe main immune characteristics in 31 patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection who were >70 years old, compared to 33 subjects <60 years of age. Differences in plasma levels of 62 cytokines, landscape of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, T cell repertoire, transcriptome of central memory CD4 + T cells, specific antibodies are reported along with features of lung macrophages. Elderly subjects have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, more circulating plasmablasts, reduced plasmatic level of anti-S and anti-RBD IgG3 antibodies, lower proportions of central memory CD4 + T cells, more immature monocytes and CD56 + pro-inflammatory monocytes, lower percentages of circulating follicular helper T cells (cTfh), antigen-specific cTfh cells with a less activated transcriptomic profile, lung resident activated macrophages that promote collagen deposition and fibrosis. Our study underlines the importance of inflammation in the response to SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that inflammaging, coupled with the inability to mount a proper anti-viral response, could exacerbate disease severity and the worst clinical outcome in old patients.

5.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(3): ofac003, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684767

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A proposal has recently been advanced to change the traditional definition of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), to reflect the cluster of metabolic abnormalities that may be more closely associated with cardiovascular risk. Long coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a smoldering inflammatory condition, characterized by several symptom clusters. This study aims to determine the prevalence of MAFLD in patients with postacute COVID syndrome (PACS) and its association with other PACS-cluster phenotypes. METHODS: We included 235 patients observed at a single university outpatient clinic. The diagnosis of PACS was based on ≥1 cluster of symptoms: respiratory, neurocognitive, musculoskeletal, psychological, sensory, and dermatological. The outcome was prevalence of MAFLD detected by transient elastography during the first postdischarge follow-up outpatient visit. The prevalence of MAFLD at the time of hospital admission was calculated retrospectively using the hepatic steatosis index. RESULTS: Of 235 patients, 162 (69%) were men (median age 61). The prevalence of MAFLD was 55.3% at follow-up and 37.3% on admission (P < .001). Insulin resistance (odds ratio [OR] = 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-1.96), body mass index (OR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04-1.24), and the metabolic syndrome (OR = 2.54; 95% CI, 1.13-5.68) were independent predictors of MAFLD. The number of PACS clusters was inversely associated with MAFLD (OR = 0.86; 95% CI, .76-0.97). Thirty-one patients (13.2%) had MAFLD with no other associated PACS clusters. All correlations between MAFLD and other PACS clusters were weak. CONCLUSIONS: Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease was highly prevalent after hospital discharge and may represent a specific PACS-cluster phenotype, with potential long-term metabolic and cardiovascular health implications.

6.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0251378, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The benefit of tocilizumab on mortality and time to recovery in people with severe COVID pneumonia may depend on appropriate timing. The objective was to estimate the impact of tocilizumab administration on switching respiratory support states, mortality and time to recovery. METHODS: In an observational study, a continuous-time Markov multi-state model was used to describe the sequence of respiratory support states including: no respiratory support (NRS), oxygen therapy (OT), non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), OT in recovery, NRS in recovery. RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-one consecutive adult patients were included in the analyses contributing to 695 transitions across states. The prevalence of patients in each respiratory support state was estimated with stack probability plots, comparing people treated with and without tocilizumab since the beginning of the OT state. A positive effect of tocilizumab on the probability of moving from the invasive and non-invasive mechanical NIV/IMV state to the OT in recovery state (HR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.2-5.2) was observed. Furthermore, a reduced risk of death was observed in patients in NIV/IMV (HR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1-0.7) or in OT (HR = 0.1, 95% CI = 0.0-0.8) treated with tocilizumab. CONCLUSION: To conclude, we were able to show the positive impact of tocilizumab used in different disease stages depicted by respiratory support states. The use of the multi-state Markov model allowed to harmonize the heterogeneous mortality and recovery endpoints and summarize results with stack probability plots. This approach could inform randomized clinical trials regarding tocilizumab, support disease management and hospital decision making.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Respiratory Therapy/methods , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Markov Chains , Middle Aged , Noninvasive Ventilation , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Respiration, Artificial , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
7.
Eur J Immunol ; 50(9): 1283-1294, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670172

ABSTRACT

Studies on the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and humoral immunity are fundamental to elaborate effective therapies including vaccines. We used polychromatic flow cytometry, coupled with unsupervised data analysis and principal component analysis (PCA), to interrogate B cells in untreated patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. COVID-19 patients displayed normal plasma levels of the main immunoglobulin classes, of antibodies against common antigens or against antigens present in common vaccines. However, we found a decreased number of total and naïve B cells, along with decreased percentages and numbers of memory switched and unswitched B cells. On the contrary, IgM+ and IgM- plasmablasts were significantly increased. In vitro cell activation revealed that B lymphocytes showed a normal proliferation index and number of dividing cells per cycle. PCA indicated that B-cell number, naive and memory B cells but not plasmablasts clustered with patients who were discharged, while plasma IgM level, C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and SOFA score with those who died. In patients with pneumonia, the derangement of the B-cell compartment could be one of the causes of the immunological failure to control SARS-Cov2, have a relevant influence on several pathways, organs and systems, and must be considered to develop vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Lung/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/classification , B-Lymphocytes/virology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Cell Proliferation , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunologic Memory , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3434, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-631255

ABSTRACT

The immune system of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 is severely impaired. Detailed investigation of T cells and cytokine production in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia are urgently required. Here we show that, compared with healthy controls, COVID-19 patients' T cell compartment displays several alterations involving naïve, central memory, effector memory and terminally differentiated cells, as well as regulatory T cells and PD1+CD57+ exhausted T cells. Significant alterations exist also in several lineage-specifying transcription factors and chemokine receptors. Terminally differentiated T cells from patients proliferate less than those from healthy controls, whereas their mitochondria functionality is similar in CD4+ T cells from both groups. Patients display significant increases of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines, including T helper type-1 and type-2 cytokines, chemokines and galectins; their lymphocytes produce more tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-17, with the last observation implying that blocking IL-17 could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19 , Cellular Senescence , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Th17 Cells/pathology
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