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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 840126, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775673

ABSTRACT

Morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 is increased in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). Age and comorbidities and also impaired type I interferon immunity were identified as relevant risk factors. In patients with primary antibody deficiency (PAD) and lack of specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2, clinical disease outcome is very heterogeneous. Despite extensive clinical reports, underlying immunological mechanisms are poorly characterized and levels of T cellular and innate immunity in severe cases remain to be determined. In the present study, we report clinical and immunological findings of 5 PAD patients with severe and fatal COVID-19 and undetectable specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (NCAP) peptide pools were analyzed comparatively by flow cytometry in PAD patients, convalescents and naïve healthy individuals. All examined PAD patients developed a robust T cell response. The presence of polyfunctional cytokine producing activated CD4+ T cells indicates a memory-like phenotype. An analysis of innate immune response revealed elevated CD169 (SIGLEC1) expression on monocytes, a surrogate marker for type I interferon response, and presence of type I interferon autoantibodies was excluded. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detectable in peripheral blood in three severe COVID-19 patients with PAD. Viral clearance in blood was observed after treatment with COVID-19 convalescent plasma/monoclonal antibody administration. However, prolonged mucosal viral shedding was observed in all patients (median 67 days) with maximum duration of 127 days. PAD patients without specific humoral SARS-CoV-2 immunity may suffer from severe or fatal COVID-19 despite robust T cell and normal innate immune response. Intensified monitoring for long persistence of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding and (prophylactic) convalescent plasma/specific IgG as beneficial treatment option in severe cases with RNAemia should be considered in seronegative PAD patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Passive , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
2.
J Transl Med ; 20(1): 138, 2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759761

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fatigue, exertion intolerance and post-exertional malaise are among the most frequent symptoms of Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS), with a subset of patients fulfilling criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). As SARS-CoV-2 infects endothelial cells, causing endotheliitis and damaging the endothelium, we investigated endothelial dysfunction (ED) and endothelial biomarkers in patients with PCS. METHODS: We studied the endothelial function in 30 PCS patients with persistent fatigue and exertion intolerance as well as in 15 age- and sex matched seronegative healthy controls (HCs). 14 patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS. The other patients were considered to have PCS. Peripheral endothelial function was assessed by the reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) using peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) in patients and HCs. In a larger cohort of patients and HCs, including post-COVID reconvalescents (PCHCs), Endothelin-1 (ET-1), Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), Endocan (ESM-1), IL-8, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 were analysed as endothelial biomarkers. RESULTS: Five of the 14 post-COVID ME/CFS patients and five of the 16 PCS patients showed ED defined by a diminished RHI (< 1.67), but none of HCs exhibited this finding. A paradoxical positive correlation of RHI with age, blood pressure and BMI was found in PCS but not ME/CFS patients. The ET-1 concentration was significantly elevated in both ME/CFS and PCS patients compared to HCs and PCHCs. The serum Ang-2 concentration was lower in both PCS patients and PCHCs compared to HCs. CONCLUSION: A subset of PCS patients display evidence for ED shown by a diminished RHI and altered endothelial biomarkers. Different associations of the RHI with clinical parameters as well as varying biomarker profiles may suggest distinct pathomechanisms among patient subgroups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , Endothelial Cells , Endothelium , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313936

ABSTRACT

A subset of patients has long-lasting symptoms after mild to moderate COVID-19. In a prospective observational cohort study we analysed clinical and laboratory parameters in 42 patients (29 female/13 male, median age 36.5 years) with persistent moderate to severe fatigue and exertion intolerance six months following COVID-19 referred to as Chronic COVID-19 Syndrome (CCS). Most patients were moderately to severely impaired in daily live. 19 patients fulfilled the 2003 Canadian Consensus Criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome referred to as CFS/CCS. Hand grip strength (HGS) was diminished in most patients. Association of several biomarker with key symptoms of physical and mental fatigue and post exertional malaise indicate low level inflammation and hypoperfusion as potential pathomechanisms.

4.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626235

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
5.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483137

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 687449, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332119

ABSTRACT

Despite RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19, specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike are undetectable in serum in approximately 10% of convalescent patients after mild disease course. This raises the question of induction and persistence of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in these convalescent individuals. Using flow cytometry, we assessed specific SARS-CoV-2 and human endemic coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, -OC43) reactive T cells after stimulation with spike and nucleocapsid peptide pools and analyzed cytokine polyfunctionality (IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2) in seropositive and seronegative convalescent COVID-19 patients as well as in unexposed healthy controls. Stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid (NCAP) as well as HCoV spike peptide pools elicited a similar T cell response in seropositive and seronegative post COVID-19 patients. Significantly higher frequencies of polyfunctional cytokine nucleocapsid reactive CD4+ T cells (triple positive for IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2) were observed in both, seropositive (p = 0.008) and seronegative (p = 0.04), COVID-19 convalescent compared to healthy controls and were detectable up to day 162 post RT-PCR positivity in seronegative convalescents. Our data indicate an important role of NCAP-specific T cells for viral control.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cells, Cultured , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Infection ; 49(4): 757-762, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171404

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Type I interferons are important in the defense of viral infections. Recently, neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies against type I interferons were found in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. Here, we analyzed expression of CD169/SIGLEC1, a well described downstream molecule in interferon signaling, and found increased monocytic CD169/SIGLEC1 expression levels in patients with mild, acute COVID-19, compared to patients with severe disease. We recommend further clinical studies to evaluate the value of CD169/SIGLEC1 expression in patients with COVID-19 with or without auto-antibodies against type I interferons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/blood , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/biosynthesis , Up-Regulation
8.
Front Immunol ; 11: 628971, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083815

ABSTRACT

Clinical trials on the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma remain inconclusive. While data on safety is increasingly available, evidence for efficacy is still sparse. Subgroup analyses hint to a dose-response relationship between convalescent plasma neutralizing antibody levels and mortality. In particular, patients with primary and secondary antibody deficiency might benefit from this approach. However, testing of neutralizing antibodies is limited to specialized biosafety level 3 laboratories and is a time- and labor-intense procedure. In this single center study of 206 COVID-19 convalescent patients, clinical data, results of commercially available ELISA testing of SARS-CoV-2 spike-IgG and -IgA, and levels of neutralizing antibodies, determined by plaque reduction neutralization testing (PRNT), were analyzed. At a medium time point of 58 days after symptom onset, only 12.6% of potential plasma donors showed high levels of neutralizing antibodies (PRNT50 ≥ 1:320). Multivariable proportional odds logistic regression analysis revealed need for hospitalization due to COVID-19 (odds ratio 6.87; p-value 0.0004) and fever (odds ratio 3.00; p-value 0.0001) as leading factors affecting levels of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers in convalescent plasma donors. Using penalized estimation, a predictive proportional odds logistic regression model including the most important variables hospitalization, fever, age, sex, and anosmia or dysgeusia was developed. The predictive discrimination for PRNT50 ≥ 1:320 was reasonably good with AUC: 0.86 (with 95% CI: 0.79-0.92). Combining clinical and ELISA-based pre-screening, assessment of neutralizing antibodies could be spared in 75% of potential donors with a maximal loss of 10% of true positives (PRNT50 ≥ 1:320).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Convalescence , Female , Fever , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Young Adult
9.
Front Immunol ; 11: 607918, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021890

ABSTRACT

The inability of patients with CVID to mount specific antibody responses to pathogens has raised concerns on the risk and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but there might be a role for protective T cells in these patients. SARS-CoV-2 reactive T cells have been reported for SARS-CoV-2 unexposed healthy individuals. Until now, there is no data on T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection in CVID. This study aimed to evaluate reactive T cells to human endemic corona viruses (HCoV) and to study pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 reactive T cells in unexposed CVID patients. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2- and HCoV-229E and -OC43 reactive T cells in response to seven peptide pools, including spike and nucleocapsid (NCAP) proteins, in 11 unexposed CVID, 12 unexposed and 11 post COVID-19 healthy controls (HC). We further characterized reactive T cells by IFNγ, TNFα and IL-2 profiles. SARS-CoV-2 spike-reactive CD4+ T cells were detected in 7 of 11 unexposed CVID patients, albeit with fewer multifunctional (IFNγ/TNFα/IL-2) cells than unexposed HC. CVID patients had no SARS-CoV-2 NCAP reactive CD4+ T cells and less reactive CD8+ cells compared to unexposed HC. We observed a correlation between T cell reactivity against spike of SARS-CoV-2 and HCoVs in unexposed, but not post COVID-19 HC, suggesting cross-reactivity. T cell responses in post COVID-19 HC could be distinguished from unexposed HC by higher frequencies of triple-positive NCAP reactive CD4+ T cells. Taken together, SARS-CoV-2 reactive T cells are detectable in unexposed CVID patients albeit with lower recognition frequencies and polyfunctional potential. Frequencies of triple-functional reactive CD4+ cells might provide a marker to distinguish HCoV cross-reactive from SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses. Our data provides evidence, that anti-viral T cell immunity is not relevantly impaired in most CVID patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/immunology , Coronaviridae/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/blood , Cross Reactions , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
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