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Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(8)2022 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969521


BACKGROUND: The research aimed to investigate the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections and their determinants in a large European cohort of more than 60,000 health workers. METHODS: A multicentric retrospective cohort study, involving 12 European centers, was carried out within the ORCHESTRA project, collecting data up to 18 November 2021 on fully vaccinated health workers. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections was investigated with its association with occupational and social-demographic characteristics (age, sex, job title, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, antibody titer levels, and time from the vaccination course completion). RESULTS: Among 64,172 health workers from 12 European health centers, 797 breakthrough infections were observed (cumulative incidence of 1.2%). The primary analysis using individual data on 8 out of 12 centers showed that age and previous infection significantly modified breakthrough infection rates. In the meta-analysis of aggregated data from all centers, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and the standardized antibody titer were inversely related to the risk of breakthrough infection (p = 0.008 and p = 0.007, respectively). CONCLUSION: The inverse correlation of antibody titer with the risk of breakthrough infection supports the evidence that vaccination plays a primary role in infection prevention, especially in health workers. Cellular immunity, previous clinical conditions, and vaccination timing should be further investigated.

Elife ; 112022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643864


Background: Variants in IFIH1, a gene coding the cytoplasmatic RNA sensor MDA5, regulate the response to viral infections. We hypothesized that IFIH1 rs199076 variants would modulate host response and outcome after severe COVID-19. Methods: Patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with confirmed COVID-19 were prospectively studied and rs1990760 variants determined. Peripheral blood gene expression, cell populations, and immune mediators were measured. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers were exposed to an MDA5 agonist and dexamethasone ex-vivo, and changes in gene expression assessed. ICU discharge and hospital death were modeled using rs1990760 variants and dexamethasone as factors in this cohort and in-silico clinical trials. Results: About 227 patients were studied. Patients with the IFIH1 rs1990760 TT variant showed a lower expression of inflammation-related pathways, an anti-inflammatory cell profile, and lower concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators. Cells with TT variant exposed to an MDA5 agonist showed an increase in IL6 expression after dexamethasone treatment. All patients with the TT variant not treated with steroids survived their ICU stay (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.49, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-4.79). Patients with a TT variant treated with dexamethasone showed an increased hospital mortality (HR: 2.19, 95% CI: 1.01-4.87) and serum IL-6. In-silico clinical trials supported these findings. Conclusions: COVID-19 patients with the IFIH1 rs1990760 TT variant show an attenuated inflammatory response and better outcomes. Dexamethasone may reverse this anti-inflammatory phenotype. Funding: Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CB17/06/00021), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI19/00184 and PI20/01360), and Fundació La Marató de TV3 (413/C/2021).

Patients with severe COVID-19 often need mechanical ventilation to help them breathe and other types of intensive care. The outcome for many of these patients depends on how their immune system reacts to the infection. If the inflammatory response triggered by the immune system is too strong, this can cause further harm to the patient. One gene that plays an important role in inflammation is IFIH1 which encodes a protein that helps the body to recognize viruses. There are multiple versions of this gene which each produce a slightly different protein. It is possible that this variation impacts how the immune system responds to the virus that causes COVID-19. To investigate, Amado-Rodríguez, Salgado del Riego et al. analyzed the IFIH1 gene in 227 patients admitted to an intensive care unit in Spain for severe COVID-19 between March and December 2020. They found that patients with a specific version of the gene called TT experienced less inflammation and were more likely to survive the infection. Physicians typically treat patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 with corticosteroid drugs that reduce the inflammatory response. However, Amado-Rodríguez, Salgado del Riego et al. found that patients with the TT version of the IFIH1 gene were at greater risk of dying if they received corticosteroids. The team then applied the distribution of IFIH1 variants among different ethnic ancestries to data from a previous clinical trial, and simulated the effects of corticosteroid treatment. This 'mock' clinical trial supported their findings from the patient-derived data, which were also validated by laboratory experiments on immune cells from individuals with the TT gene. The work by Amado-Rodríguez, Salgado del Riego et al. suggests that while corticosteroids benefit some patients, they may cause harm to others. However, a real-world clinical trial is needed to determine whether patients with the TT version of the IFIH1 gene would do better without steroids.

COVID-19/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Critical Illness , DEAD-box RNA Helicases/metabolism , Female , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged