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1.
Viruses ; 14(5):946, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1820415

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibody (NAb) detection is critical for evaluating herd immunity and monitoring the efficacy of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this study, quantitative SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels after vaccination were measured by chemiluminescent immunoassays, enzyme immunoassays, and surrogate virus neutralization tests (sVNTs), as well as plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT). Sequential blood samples were collected before and 1 and 3 months after vaccination in 30 healthy participants (two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca [AZ] or Pfizer-BioNTech [BNT]). After vaccination, all sera tested positive for PRNT, with NAb titers ranging from 1:10 to 1:723. Median NAb titers were higher in the BNT vaccine group than in the AZ vaccine group at both one and three months post-vaccination. Excellent overall concordance rates were observed between serological assays and PRNT. In a quantitative correlation analysis, the results of sVNTs showed a strong correlation with those of PRNT. Results of the four binding antibody assays showed a significant correlation with those of PRNT. The serologic assays evaluated in this study could be used as sVNTs to evaluate the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 751869, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634057

ABSTRACT

Background: Immunological characteristics of COVID-19 show pathological hyperinflammation associated with lymphopenia and dysfunctional T cell responses. These features provide a rationale for restoring functional T cell immunity in COVID-19 patients by adoptive transfer of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells. Methods: To generate SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells, we isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 7 COVID-19 recovered and 13 unexposed donors. Consequently, we stimulated cells with SARS-CoV-2 peptide mixtures covering spike, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins. Then, we culture expanded cells with IL-2 for 21 days. We assessed immunophenotypes, cytokine profiles, antigen specificity of the final cell products. Results: Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells could be expanded in both COVID-19 recovered and unexposed groups. Immunophenotypes were similar in both groups showing CD4+ T cell dominance, but CD8+ and CD3+CD56+ T cells were also present. Antigen specificity was determined by ELISPOT, intracellular cytokine assay, and cytotoxicity assays. One out of 14 individuals who were previously unexposed to SARS-CoV-2 failed to show antigen specificity. Moreover, ex-vivo expanded SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells mainly consisted of central and effector memory subsets with reduced alloreactivity against HLA-unmatched cells suggesting the possibility for the development of third-party partial HLA-matching products. Discussion: In conclusion, our findings show that SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell can be readily expanded from both COVID-19 and unexposed individuals and can therefore be manufactured as a biopharmaceutical product to treat severe COVID-19 patients. One Sentence Summary: Ex-vivo expanded SARS-CoV-2 antigen specific T cells developed as third-party partial HLA-matching products may be a promising approach for treating severe COVID-19 patients that do not respond to previous treatment options.


Subject(s)
Adoptive Transfer , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/transplantation , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/transplantation , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Young Adult
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e26257, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574035

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, an initial risk-adapted allocation is crucial for managing medical resources and providing intensive care. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to identify factors that predict the overall survival rate for COVID-19 cases and develop a COVID-19 prognosis score (COPS) system based on these factors. In addition, disease severity and the length of hospital stay for patients with COVID-19 were analyzed. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a nationwide cohort of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases between January and April 2020 in Korea. The cohort was split randomly into a development cohort and a validation cohort with a 2:1 ratio. In the development cohort (n=3729), we tried to identify factors associated with overall survival and develop a scoring system to predict the overall survival rate by using parameters identified by the Cox proportional hazard regression model with bootstrapping methods. In the validation cohort (n=1865), we evaluated the prediction accuracy using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. The score of each variable in the COPS system was rounded off following the log-scaled conversion of the adjusted hazard ratio. RESULTS: Among the 5594 patients included in this analysis, 234 (4.2%) died after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis. In the development cohort, six parameters were significantly related to poor overall survival: older age, dementia, chronic renal failure, dyspnea, mental disturbance, and absolute lymphocyte count <1000/mm3. The following risk groups were formed: low-risk (score 0-2), intermediate-risk (score 3), high-risk (score 4), and very high-risk (score 5-7) groups. The COPS system yielded an area under the curve value of 0.918 for predicting the 14-day survival rate and 0.896 for predicting the 28-day survival rate in the validation cohort. Using the COPS system, 28-day survival rates were discriminatively estimated at 99.8%, 95.4%, 82.3%, and 55.1% in the low-risk, intermediate-risk, high-risk, and very high-risk groups, respectively, of the total cohort (P<.001). The length of hospital stay and disease severity were directly associated with overall survival (P<.001), and the hospital stay duration was significantly longer among survivors (mean 26.1, SD 10.7 days) than among nonsurvivors (mean 15.6, SD 13.3 days). CONCLUSIONS: The newly developed predictive COPS system may assist in making risk-adapted decisions for the allocation of medical resources, including intensive care, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Age Factors , Aged , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Dementia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prognosis , Proportional Hazards Models , ROC Curve , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Rate
6.
Mol Diagn Ther ; 25(5): 617-628, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Since the initial coronavirus disease outbreak in late 2019 (COVID-19), reverse-transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) has become the gold standard test to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, a more sensitive and accurate diagnostic tool was required. Therefore, droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) was suggested as an alternative method. Here, we evaluated the performance of ddPCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 and compared it to the performance of RT-qPCR. METHODS: The analytical performances, including limit of blank and limit of detection, were established using positive and negative SARS-CoV-2 reference materials. A total of 366 RNA extracts (173 positive and 193 negative by RT-qPCR) were collected from four institutions and tested with a Bio-Rad SARS-CoV-2 ddPCR kit that detects the SARS-CoV-2 genome using primers for N1 and N2. RESULTS: Limit of blank was set at 0, and the limits of detection of N1 and N2 were 1.99 copies/µL and 5.18 copies/µL, respectively. Linearity was evaluated using serial dilution samples, which demonstrated good results (R2: 0.999, linear range: 5.88-6825.25 copies/µL for N1 and R2: 0.999, 5.53-5855.47 copies/µL for N2). The results of ddPCR and RT-qPCR revealed substantial agreement (Cohen's kappa: 0.639, p < 0.01). The 63 samples with positive ddPCR but negative RT-qPCR showed low copy numbers, and 55% of them had COVID-19-related symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction demonstrated excellent sensitivity for SARS-Cov-2 detection and consistently agreed with the results from conventional RT-qPCR. Furthermore, ddPCR provided quantitative data that can be used to monitor changes in the viral load of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Calibration , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Reference Values
7.
Ann Lab Med ; 41(6): 577-587, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264321

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody assays have high clinical utility in managing the pandemic. We compared antibody responses and seroconversion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients using different immunoassays. METHODS: We evaluated 12 commercial immunoassays, including three automated chemiluminescent immunoassays (Abbott, Roche, and Siemens), three enzyme immunoassays (Bio-Rad, Euroimmun, and Vircell), five lateral flow immunoassays (Boditech Med, SD biosensor, PCL, Sugentech, and Rapigen), and one surrogate neutralizing antibody assay (GenScript) in sequential samples from 49 COVID-19 patients and 10 seroconversion panels. RESULTS: The positive percent agreement (PPA) of assays for a COVID-19 diagnosis ranged from 84.0% to 98.5% for all samples (>14 days after symptom onset), with IgM or IgA assays showing higher PPAs. Seroconversion responses varied across the assay type and disease severity. Assays targeting the spike or receptor-binding domain protein showed a tendency for early seroconversion detection and higher index values in patients with severe disease. Index values from SARS-CoV-2 binding antibody assays (three automated assays, one LFIA, and three EIAs) showed moderate to strong correlations with the neutralizing antibody percentage (r=0.517-0.874), and stronger correlations in patients with severe disease and in assays targeting spike protein. Agreement among the 12 assays was good (74.3%-96.4%) for detecting IgG or total antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Positivity rates and seroconversion of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies vary depending on the assay kits, disease severity, and antigen target. This study contributes to a better understanding of antibody response in symptomatic COVID-19 patients using currently available assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(3)2021 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050587

ABSTRACT

We aimed to identify whether lymphopenia is a reliable prognostic marker for COVID-19. Using data derived from a Korean nationwide longitudinal cohort of 5628 COVID-19 patients, we identified propensity-matched cohorts (n = 770) with group I of severe lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte counts [ALC]: <500/mm3, n = 110), group II of mild-to-moderate lymphopenia (ALC: ≥500-<1000/mm3, n = 330), and group III, no lymphopenia (ALC: ≥1000/mm3, n = 330). A significantly higher mortality rate was associated with lymphopenia severity: 40% in group I, 22.7% in group II, and 13.0% in group III (p < 0.001). At 28 days, the estimated inferior overall survival associated with intensified lymphopenia: 62.7% in group I, 79.9% in group II, and 89.0% in group III (p < 0.001). Lymphopenia contributed significantly toward a greater need for interventions in all groups but at varying degrees: requirements of invasive ventilation, intensive oxygen supply, or adequate oxygen supply, respectively (p < 0.001). The lymphopenia intensity was independently associated with higher COVID-19 mortality in multivariable analysis; adjusted odds ratios of 5.63 (95% CI, 3.0-10.72), and 2.47 (95% CI, 1.5-4.13) for group I and group II, respectively. Lymphopenia and its severity levels may serve as reliable predictive factors for COVID-19 clinical outcomes; thus, lymphopenia may provide the prognostic granularity required for clinical use in the management of patients with COVID-19.

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