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JCI Insight ; 7(16)2022 08 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1950563


Dysregulation in neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and degradation may play a role in the pathogenesis and severity of COVID-19; however, its role in the pediatric manifestations of this disease, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and chilblain-like lesions (CLLs), otherwise known as "COVID toes," remains unclear. Studying multinational cohorts, we found that, in CLLs, NETs were significantly increased in serum and skin. There was geographic variability in the prevalence of increased NETs in MIS-C, in association with disease severity. MIS-C and CLL serum samples displayed decreased NET degradation ability, in association with C1q and G-actin or anti-NET antibodies, respectively, but not with genetic variants of DNases. In adult COVID-19, persistent elevations in NETs after disease diagnosis were detected but did not occur in asymptomatic infection. COVID-19-affected adults displayed significant prevalence of impaired NET degradation, in association with anti-DNase1L3, G-actin, and specific disease manifestations, but not with genetic variants of DNases. NETs were detected in many organs of adult patients who died from COVID-19 complications. Infection with the Omicron variant was associated with decreased NET levels when compared with other SARS-CoV-2 strains. These data support a role for NETs in the pathogenesis and severity of COVID-19 in pediatric and adult patients.

COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Actins/metabolism , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Child , Deoxyribonuclease I , Humans , Neutrophils , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Cell ; 184(7): 1836-1857.e22, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1077815


COVID-19 exhibits extensive patient-to-patient heterogeneity. To link immune response variation to disease severity and outcome over time, we longitudinally assessed circulating proteins as well as 188 surface protein markers, transcriptome, and T cell receptor sequence simultaneously in single peripheral immune cells from COVID-19 patients. Conditional-independence network analysis revealed primary correlates of disease severity, including gene expression signatures of apoptosis in plasmacytoid dendritic cells and attenuated inflammation but increased fatty acid metabolism in CD56dimCD16hi NK cells linked positively to circulating interleukin (IL)-15. CD8+ T cell activation was apparent without signs of exhaustion. Although cellular inflammation was depressed in severe patients early after hospitalization, it became elevated by days 17-23 post symptom onset, suggestive of a late wave of inflammatory responses. Furthermore, circulating protein trajectories at this time were divergent between and predictive of recovery versus fatal outcomes. Our findings stress the importance of timing in the analysis, clinical monitoring, and therapeutic intervention of COVID-19.

COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Dendritic Cells/cytology , Female , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/cytology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Transcriptome/immunology , Young Adult
JCI Insight ; 6(1)2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027164


Immune and inflammatory responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contribute to disease severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the utility of specific immune-based biomarkers to predict clinical outcome remains elusive. Here, we analyzed levels of 66 soluble biomarkers in 175 Italian patients with COVID-19 ranging from mild/moderate to critical severity and assessed type I IFN-, type II IFN-, and NF-κB-dependent whole-blood transcriptional signatures. A broad inflammatory signature was observed, implicating activation of various immune and nonhematopoietic cell subsets. Discordance between IFN-α2a protein and IFNA2 transcript levels in blood suggests that type I IFNs during COVID-19 may be primarily produced by tissue-resident cells. Multivariable analysis of patients' first samples revealed 12 biomarkers (CCL2, IL-15, soluble ST2 [sST2], NGAL, sTNFRSF1A, ferritin, IL-6, S100A9, MMP-9, IL-2, sVEGFR1, IL-10) that when increased were independently associated with mortality. Multivariate analyses of longitudinal biomarker trajectories identified 8 of the aforementioned biomarkers (IL-15, IL-2, NGAL, CCL2, MMP-9, sTNFRSF1A, sST2, IL-10) and 2 additional biomarkers (lactoferrin, CXCL9) that were substantially associated with mortality when increased, while IL-1α was associated with mortality when decreased. Among these, sST2, sTNFRSF1A, IL-10, and IL-15 were consistently higher throughout the hospitalization in patients who died versus those who recovered, suggesting that these biomarkers may provide an early warning of eventual disease outcome.

COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Calgranulin B/genetics , Calgranulin B/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokine CCL2/genetics , Chemokine CCL2/immunology , Chemokine CXCL9/genetics , Chemokine CXCL9/immunology , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Female , Ferritins/genetics , Ferritins/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/genetics , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/immunology , Interleukin-10/genetics , Interleukin-10/immunology , Interleukin-15/genetics , Interleukin-15/immunology , Interleukin-2/genetics , Interleukin-2/immunology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lactoferrin/genetics , Lactoferrin/immunology , Lipocalin-2/genetics , Lipocalin-2/immunology , Male , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/genetics , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/immunology , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/immunology