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1.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 879-882.e2, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719463

ABSTRACT

The inflammatory response to SARS-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is thought to underpin COVID-19 pathogenesis. We conducted daily transcriptomic profiling of three COVID-19 cases and found that the early immune response in COVID-19 patients is highly dynamic. Patient throat swabs were tested daily for SARS-CoV-2, with the virus persisting for 3 to 4 weeks in all three patients. Cytokine analyses of whole blood revealed increased cytokine expression in the single most severe case. However, most inflammatory gene expression peaked after respiratory function nadir, except expression in the IL1 pathway. Parallel analyses of CD4 and CD8 expression suggested that the pro-inflammatory response may be intertwined with T cell activation that could exacerbate disease or prolong the infection. Collectively, these findings hint at the possibility that IL1 and related pro-inflammatory pathways may be prognostic and serve as therapeutic targets for COVID-19. This work may also guide future studies to illuminate COVID-19 pathogenesis and develop host-directed therapies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Biological Variation, Individual , COVID-19 , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324729

ABSTRACT

Background: Host determinants of severe coronavirus disease 2019 include advanced age, comorbidities and male sex. Virologic factors may also be important in determining clinical outcome and transmission rates, but limited patient-level data is available. Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study at seven public hospitals in Singapore. Clinical and laboratory data were collected and compared between individuals infected with different SARS-CoV-2 clades. Firth’s logistic regression was used to examine the association between SARS-CoV-2 clade and development of hypoxia, and quasi-Poisson regression to compare transmission rates. Plasma samples were tested for immune mediator levels and the kinetics of viral replication in cell culture were compared. Findings: 319 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection had clinical and virologic data available for analysis. 29 (9%) were infected with clade S, 90 (28%) with clade L/V, 96 (30%) with clade G (containing D614G variant), and 104 (33%) with other clades ‘O’ were assigned to lineage B.6. After adjusting for age and other covariates, infections with clade S (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0·030 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 0·0002-0·29)) or clade O (B·6) (aOR 0·26 (95% CI 0·064-0·93)) were associated with lower odds of developing hypoxia requiring supplemental oxygen compared with clade L/V. Patients infected with clade L/V had more pronounced systemic inflammation with higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. No significant difference in the severity of clade G infections was observed (aOR 0·95 (95% CI: 0·35-2·52). Though viral loads were significantly higher, there was no evidence of increased transmissibility of clade G, and replicative fitness in cell culture was similar for all clades. Interpretation: Infection with clades L/V was associated with increased severity and more systemic release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Infection with clade G was not associated with changes in severity, and despite higher viral loads there was no evidence of increased transmissibility.Funding Statement: This study was funded by grants from the Singapore National Medical Research Council (COVID19RF- 001, COVID19RF2-0001, COVID19RF-007, and COVID19RF-60) and Biomedical Research Council (project number H20/04/g1/006).Declaration of Interests: No conflicts of interest declared.Ethics Approval Statement: The epidemiological investigation was conducted under the Infectious Diseases Act (Singapore). Study protocols were approved by ethics committees of the National Healthcare Group and SingHealth. Written informed consent was obtained from participants for clinical data and biological sample collection as part of the PROTECT study (2012/00917;2018/3045). A waiver of informed consent for retrospective data collection only was granted for individuals admitted to the National Centre of Infectious Diseases (2020/01122). Healthy donor samples were collected under study numbers 2017/2806 and NUS IRB 04-140.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312783

ABSTRACT

Background: To determine the utility of chest radiography (CXR) for assessing and prognosticating COVID-19 disease with an objective radiographic scoring system. Methods: A multicenter, prospective study was conducted, forty patients were included. Seventy-eight CXR’s were performed on the first derivation cohort of twenty patients with COVID-19 (median age 47.5 years, 10 females and four with comorbidities) admitted between 22 January 2020 and 1 February 2020. Each CXR was scored by three radiologists in consensus and graded on a 72-point COVID-19 Radiographic Score (CRS). This was correlated with supplemental oxygen requirement, C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and lymphocyte count. To validate our findings, the parameters of another validation cohort of twenty patients with 65 CXRs were analysed. Results: In the derivation cohort, seven patients needed supplemental oxygen and one was intubated for mechanical ventilation with no death. The maximum CRS was significantly different between patients on and not on supplemental oxygen (p=<.001). There was strong correlation between maximum CRS and lowest oxygen saturation (r= -.849), maximum CRP (r= .832) and maximum LDH (r= .873). These findings were consistent in the validation cohort. An increment of 2 points in CRS had an accuracy of 0.938 with 100.0% sensitivity (95% CI 100.0-100.0) and 83.3% (95% CI 65.1-100.0) specificity in predicting supplemental oxygen requirement. Conclusion: Using an objective scoring system (CRS), the degree of abnormalities on CXR correlates closely with known markers of disease severity. CRS may further be applied to predict patients who require oxygen supplementation during the course of their disease.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311276

ABSTRACT

Purpose: COVID-19, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has a wide disease spectrum ranging from asymptomatic to severe. While it is widely accepted that specific humoral immune responses are critical in controlling the infection, the relationship between the humoral immune response and disease severity is currently unclear.MethodsUsing a flow cytometry-based assay to detect specific antibodies against full length S protein, we compared the antibody levels between patients from different severity groups. We also analysed the cytokine profiles of patients from different severity groups by multiplex microbead-based immunoassay . ResultsWe found an association between specific IgM, IgA and IgG against the spike protein and disease severity. By comparing the ratio of Th1 IgG1 and IgG3 to Th2 IgG2 and IgG4, we observed that all severity groups exhibited a ratio that was skewed towards a stronger Th1 response over Th2 response. In addition to the strong Th1 response, patients with severe disease also developed a Th2 response, as exemplified by the smaller ratio of IgG1 and IgG3 over IgG2 and IgG4 and the smaller Th1/Th2 cytokine ratios, compared to patients with mild disease severity. ConclusionThe results suggest that acute severity or disease resolution is associated with a specific immunological phenotype. A smaller skew towards a Th1 response over Th2 response, during infection, may contribute to disease progression, while a greater skew towards a Th1 response over Th2 response may contribute to a better disease outcome. This may suggest potential therapeutic approaches to COVID-19 disease management.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311275

ABSTRACT

Early detection of infections is crucial to limit the spread of coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). Here, we developed a flow cytometry-based assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (S protein) antibodies in COVID-19 patients. The assay detected specific IgM and IgG in COVID-19 patients and also the acquisition of all IgG subclasses, with IgG1 being the most dominant. The antibody response was significantly higher at a later stage of the infection. Furthermore, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients also developed specific IgM and IgG, with IgG1 as the most dominant subclass. Although the antibody levels were lower in asymptomatic infections, the assay was highly sensitive and detected 97% of asymptomatic infections. These findings demonstrated that the assay could be used for serological analysis of symptomatic patients, and also as a sensitive tool to detect asymptomatic infections, which may go undetected.Funding: Biomedical Research Council (BMRC), the A*ccelerate GAP-funded project (ACCL/19-GAP064-R20H-H) from Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and National Medical Research Council (NMRC) COVID-19 Research fund (COVID19RF-001, COVID-19RF-007, COVID-19RF-60).Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.Ethical Approval: The study design and protocols for COVID-19, recovered SARS and seasonal human CoV patient cohorts were approved by National Healthcare Group (NHG) Domain Specific Review Board (DSRB) and performed, following ethical guidelines in the approved studies 2012/00917, 2020/00091 and 2020/00076 respectively. Healthy donor samples were collected in accordance with approved studies 2017/2806 and NUS IRB 04-140. Written informed consent was obtained from participants in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki for Human Research.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313670

ABSTRACT

RNA vaccines against Covid-19 have demonstrated ~95% efficacy in Phase III clinical trials. Although complete vaccination consisted of two-doses, the onset of protection for both licensed RNA vaccines was observed as early as 12 days after a single dose. The adaptive immune response that coincides with this onset of protection could represent the necessary elements of immunity against Covid-19. Herein, we tracked the early adaptive immune responses after Covid-19 RNA vaccination, in a cohort of 20 healthcare workers. Our findings suggest that early T cell and binding antibody responses, rather than either receptor-blocking or virus neutralizing activity, induced early protection against Covid-19.Funding: This study was partially funded through a generousdonation from The Hourglass to support Covid-19 research in ViREMiCS. SK receives salary support from the Transition Award, RdA receives funding from the Open Research Fund Young Investigator Award, JGL and EEO receive salary support from the Clinician Scientist Award, and AB receives salary support from the Singapore Translational Research Award, all administered by the National Medical Research Council of Singapore.Conflict of Interest: Duke-NUS Medical School is in partnership with Arcturus Therapeutics to develop a self-replicating RNA vaccine against Covid-19, with EEO as the principal investigator. No monetary or personal benefits are derived from this partnership.Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the SingHealth Centralized Institutional Review Board (CIRB/F2021/2014). Healthcare workers (HCWs) from the Singapore Health Services institutions whowere eligible for Covid-19 vaccination were invited to participate in this study, and written informed consent was obtained.

8.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(4): 612.e1-612.e7, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604269

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Highly effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed but variants of concerns are worrisome, especially B.1.617.2 (Delta) which has rapidly spread across the world. We aim to study if vaccination alters virological and serological kinetics in breakthrough infections. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre retrospective cohort study of patients in Singapore who had received a licensed mRNA vaccine and been admitted to hospital with B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 infection. We compared clinical features, virological and serological kinetics (anti-nucleocapsid, anti-spike and surrogate virus neutralization titres) between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. RESULTS: Out of 218 individuals with B.1.617.2 infection, 84 received an mRNA vaccine of which 71 were fully vaccinated, 130 were unvaccinated and four received a non-mRNA vaccine. Despite significantly older age in the vaccine breakthrough group, only 2.8% (2/71) developed severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen supplementation compared with 53.1% (69/130) in the unvaccinated group (p < 0.001). Odds of severe COVID-19 following vaccination were significantly lower (adjusted odds ratio 0.07 95% CI 0.015-0.335, p 0.001). PCR cycle threshold values were similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups at diagnosis, but viral loads decreased faster in vaccinated individuals. Early, robust boosting of anti-spike protein antibodies was observed in vaccinated patients; however, these titres were significantly lower against B.1.617.2 than the wildtype vaccine strain. DISCUSSION: The mRNA vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic and severe COVID-19 associated with B.1.617.2 infection. Vaccination is associated with faster decline in viral RNA load and a robust serological response. Vaccination remains a key strategy for control of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Kinetics , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 710217, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555700

ABSTRACT

Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection can trigger uncontrolled innate and adaptive immune responses, which are commonly associated with lymphopenia and increased neutrophil counts. However, whether the immune abnormalities observed in mild to severely infected patients persist into convalescence remains unclear. Herein, comparisons were drawn between the immune responses of COVID-19 infected and convalescent adults. Strikingly, survivors of severe COVID-19 had decreased proportions of NKT and Vδ2 T cells, and increased proportions of low-density neutrophils, IgA+/CD86+/CD123+ non-classical monocytes and hyperactivated HLADR+CD38+ CD8+ T cells, and elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as hepatocyte growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor A, long after virus clearance. Our study suggests potential immune correlates of "long COVID-19", and defines key cells and cytokines that delineate true and quasi-convalescent states.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Cohort Studies , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
10.
J Clin Immunol ; 42(2): 214-229, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544509

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) that have become dominant as the pandemic progresses bear the ORF8 mutation together with multiple spike mutations. A 382-nucleotide deletion (Δ382) in the ORF7b and ORF8 regions has been associated with milder disease phenotype and less systemic inflammation in COVID-19 patients. However, its impact on host immunity against SARS-CoV-2 remains undefined. Here, RNA-sequencing was performed to elucidate whole blood transcriptomic profiles and identify contrasting immune signatures between patients infected with either wildtype or Δ382 SARS-CoV-2 variant. Interestingly, the immune landscape of Δ382 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients featured an increased adaptive immune response, evidenced by enrichment of genes related to T cell functionality, a more robust SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity, as well as a more rapid antibody response. At the molecular level, eukaryotic initiation factor 2 signaling was found to be upregulated in patients bearing Δ382, and its associated genes were correlated with systemic levels of T cell-associated and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This study provides more in-depth insight into the host-pathogen interactions of ORF8 with great promise as a therapeutic target to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Mutation/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2932-e2942, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500989

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Key knowledge gaps remain in the understanding of viral dynamics and immune response of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: We evaluated these characteristics and established their association with clinical severity in a prospective observational cohort study of 100 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (mean age, 46 years; 56% male; 38% with comorbidities). Respiratory samples (n = 74) were collected for viral culture, serum samples for measurement of IgM/IgG levels (n = 30), and plasma samples for levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (n = 81). Disease severity was correlated with results from viral culture, serologic testing, and immune markers. RESULTS: Fifty-seven (57%) patients developed viral pneumonia, of whom 20 (20%) required supplemental oxygen, including 12 (12%) with invasive mechanical ventilation. Viral culture from respiratory samples was positive for 19 of 74 patients (26%). No virus was isolated when the PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value was >30 or >14 days after symptom onset. Seroconversion occurred at a median (IQR) of 12.5 (9-18) days for IgM and 15.0 (12-20) days for IgG; 54/62 patients (87.1%) sampled at day 14 or later seroconverted. Severe infections were associated with earlier seroconversion and higher peak IgM and IgG levels. Levels of IP-10, HGF, IL-6, MCP-1, MIP-1α, IL-12p70, IL-18, VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and IL-1RA significantly correlated with disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: We found virus viability was associated with lower PCR Ct value in early illness. A stronger antibody response was associated with disease severity. The overactive proinflammatory immune signatures offer targets for host-directed immunotherapy, which should be evaluated in randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
13.
Mol Ther ; 29(6): 1970-1983, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386766

ABSTRACT

A self-transcribing and replicating RNA (STARR)-based vaccine (LUNAR-COV19) has been developed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The vaccine encodes an alphavirus-based replicon and the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike glycoprotein. Translation of the replicon produces a replicase complex that amplifies and prolongs SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein expression. A single prime vaccination in mice led to robust antibody responses, with neutralizing antibody titers increasing up to day 60. Activation of cell-mediated immunity produced a strong viral antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocyte response. Assaying for intracellular cytokine staining for interferon (IFN)γ and interleukin-4 (IL-4)-positive CD4+ T helper (Th) lymphocytes as well as anti-spike glycoprotein immunoglobulin G (IgG)2a/IgG1 ratios supported a strong Th1-dominant immune response. Finally, single LUNAR-COV19 vaccination at both 2 µg and 10 µg doses completely protected human ACE2 transgenic mice from both mortality and even measurable infection following wild-type SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Our findings collectively suggest the potential of LUNAR-COV19 as a single-dose vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Alphavirus/genetics , Alphavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-4/genetics , Interleukin-4/immunology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Replicon/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Th1 Cells/drug effects , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/virology , Transgenes , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/biosynthesis , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
14.
Nature ; 584(7821): 457-462, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373437

ABSTRACT

Memory T cells induced by previous pathogens can shape susceptibility to, and the clinical severity of, subsequent infections1. Little is known about the presence in humans of pre-existing memory T cells that have the potential to recognize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here we studied T cell responses against the structural (nucleocapsid (N) protein) and non-structural (NSP7 and NSP13 of ORF1) regions of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals convalescing from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (n = 36). In all of these individuals, we found CD4 and CD8 T cells that recognized multiple regions of the N protein. Next, we showed that patients (n = 23) who recovered from SARS (the disease associated with SARS-CoV infection) possess long-lasting memory T cells that are reactive to the N protein of SARS-CoV 17 years after the outbreak of SARS in 2003; these T cells displayed robust cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2. We also detected SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in individuals with no history of SARS, COVID-19 or contact with individuals who had SARS and/or COVID-19 (n = 37). SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in uninfected donors exhibited a different pattern of immunodominance, and frequently targeted NSP7 and NSP13 as well as the N protein. Epitope characterization of NSP7-specific T cells showed the recognition of protein fragments that are conserved among animal betacoronaviruses but have low homology to 'common cold' human-associated coronaviruses. Thus, infection with betacoronaviruses induces multi-specific and long-lasting T cell immunity against the structural N protein. Understanding how pre-existing N- and ORF1-specific T cells that are present in the general population affect the susceptibility to and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is important for the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 680188, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311374

ABSTRACT

A significant proportion of COVID-19 patients will progress to critical illness requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. This accentuates the need for a therapy that can reduce the severity of COVID-19. Clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of remdesivir in shortening recovery time and decreasing progression to respiratory failure and mechanical ventilation. However, some studies have highlighted its lack of efficacy in patients on high-flow oxygen and mechanical ventilation. This study uncovers some underlying immune response differences between responders and non-responders to remdesivir treatment. Immunological analyses revealed an upregulation of tissue repair factors BDNF, PDGF-BB and PIGF-1, as well as an increase in ratio of Th2-associated cytokine IL-4 to Th1-associated cytokine IFN-γ. Serological profiling of IgG subclasses corroborated this observation, with significantly higher magnitude of increase in Th2-associated IgG2 and IgG4 responses. These findings help to identify the mechanisms of immune regulation accompanying successful remdesivir treatment in severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines/blood , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Becaplermin/blood , Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Membrane Proteins/blood , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Treatment Outcome
18.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(6): e14045, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219070

ABSTRACT

The immune responses and mechanisms limiting symptom progression in asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection remain unclear. We comprehensively characterized transcriptomic profiles, cytokine responses, neutralization capacity of antibodies, and cellular immune phenotypes of asymptomatic patients with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection to identify potential protective mechanisms. Compared to symptomatic patients, asymptomatic patients had higher counts of mature neutrophils and lower proportion of CD169+ expressing monocytes in the peripheral blood. Systemic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were also lower in asymptomatic patients, accompanied by milder pro-inflammatory gene signatures. Mechanistically, a more robust systemic Th2 cell signature with a higher level of virus-specific Th17 cells and a weaker yet sufficient neutralizing antibody profile against SARS-CoV-2 was observed in asymptomatic patients. In addition, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients had higher systemic levels of growth factors that are associated with cellular repair. Together, the data suggest that asymptomatic patients mount less pro-inflammatory and more protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 indicative of disease tolerance. Insights from this study highlight key immune pathways that could serve as therapeutic targets to prevent disease progression in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Carrier State/immunology , Biomarkers/metabolism , Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/pathology , Carrier State/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Monocytes/cytology , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Th17 Cells/cytology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D/metabolism
19.
Med (N Y) ; 2(6): 682-688.e4, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: RNA vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have demonstrated ∼95% efficacy in phase III clinical trials. Although complete vaccination consisted of 2 doses, the onset of protection for both licensed RNA vaccines was observed as early as 12 days after a single dose. The adaptive immune response that coincides with this onset of protection could represent the necessary elements of immunity against COVID-19. METHODS: Serological and T cell analysis was performed in a cohort of 20 healthcare workers after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine. The primary endpoint was the adaptive immune responses detectable at days 7 and 10 after dosing. FINDINGS: Spike-specific T cells and binding antibodies were detectable 10 days after the first dose of the vaccine, in contrast to receptor-blocking and severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibodies, which were mostly undetectable at this early time point. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that early T cell and binding antibody responses, rather than either receptor-blocking or virus neutralizing activity, induced early protection against COVID-19. FUNDING: The study was funded by a generous donation from The Hour Glass to support COVID-19 research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines, Synthetic
20.
EBioMedicine ; 66: 103319, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174196

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Host determinants of severe coronavirus disease 2019 include advanced age, comorbidities and male sex. Virologic factors may also be important in determining clinical outcome and transmission rates, but limited patient-level data is available. METHODS: We conducted an observational cohort study at seven public hospitals in Singapore. Clinical and laboratory data were collected and compared between individuals infected with different SARS-CoV-2 clades. Firth's logistic regression was used to examine the association between SARS-CoV-2 clade and development of hypoxia, and quasi-Poisson regression to compare transmission rates. Plasma samples were tested for immune mediator levels and the kinetics of viral replication in cell culture were compared. FINDINGS: 319 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection had clinical and virologic data available for analysis. 29 (9%) were infected with clade S, 90 (28%) with clade L/V, 96 (30%) with clade G (containing D614G variant), and 104 (33%) with other clades 'O' were assigned to lineage B.6. After adjusting for age and other covariates, infections with clade S (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0·030 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 0·0002-0·29)) or clade O (B·6) (aOR 0·26 (95% CI 0·064-0·93)) were associated with lower odds of developing hypoxia requiring supplemental oxygen compared with clade L/V. Patients infected with clade L/V had more pronounced systemic inflammation with higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. No significant difference in the severity of clade G infections was observed (aOR 0·95 (95% CI: 0·35-2·52). Though viral loads were significantly higher, there was no evidence of increased transmissibility of clade G, and replicative fitness in cell culture was similar for all clades. INTERPRETATION: Infection with clades L/V was associated with increased severity and more systemic release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Infection with clade G was not associated with changes in severity, and despite higher viral loads there was no evidence of increased transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Hypoxia/therapy , Hypoxia/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Singapore/epidemiology , Viral Load
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