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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332935

ABSTRACT

The highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has replaced previous variants and is less susceptible to neutralizing antibodies elicited by vaccination or infection 1–3 . Currently, BA.2 is the dominant omicron sublineage 4 . Vaccinated individuals with BA.1 infection develop measurable neutralizing antibody titers against BA.1 and BA.2 5 . The ability of BA.2 infection to induce neutralizing antibodies in unvaccinated individuals, either without or with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, is pending definition.

2.
Cell Rep ; 39(2): 110680, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757199

ABSTRACT

Knowledge about the impact of prior severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of the elderly on mRNA vaccination response is needed to appropriately address the demand for additional vaccinations in this vulnerable population. Here, we show that octogenarians, a high-risk population, mount a sustained SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody response for 15 months following infection. This response boosts antibody levels 35-fold upon receiving a single dose of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine 15 months after recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In contrast, antibody responses in naive individuals boost only 6-fold after a second vaccine. Spike-specific angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) antibody binding responses in the previously infected octogenarians following two vaccine doses exceed those found in a naive cohort after two doses. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) demonstrates activation of interferon-induced genetic programs, which persist only in the previously infected. A preferential increase of specific immunoglobulin G heavy chain variable (IGHV) clonal transcripts that are the basis of neutralizing antibodies is observed only in the previously infected nuns.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2784, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704470

ABSTRACT

Fast-spreading variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) energize the COVID-19 pandemic. While viral infections elicit a conserved immune response, it is not known whether SARS-CoV-2 variants, which display enhanced binding to the ACE2 receptor and reduced neutralizing activity by vaccine-elicited antibodies, prompt specific genomic immune responses. To test this, we generated and investigated the transcriptomes in BCs from hospitalized patients infected with either the Alpha variant (n = 36) or with the Alpha variant that had acquired the E484K escape mutation (Alpha+E484K) (n = 13). We identified a gene module preferentially activated in patients infected with the Alpha+E484K variant and in patients infected with the Beta (n = 9) and Gamma (n = 3) variants that also carry by the E484K escape mutation. The E484K signature was enriched for genes preferentially expressed in monocytes and linked to severe viral infection. However, both cohorts had undergone similar treatments and no differences in disease severity were reported suggesting that this signature reflects a variant response and does not necessarily associate with disease outcome. Additionally, longitudinal transcriptome analyses revealed a more persistent retention of immune signatures in Alpha+E484K patients throughout the entire course of COVID-19 disease and convalescence. While the OAS1 Neanderthal mutation has been linked to a milder COVID-19 pathology, we did not identify significant immune transcriptomes differences in the 25 patients homozygous for this mutation. Our study offers insights into distinct molecular immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying the E484K escape mutation throughout the COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Gene Regulatory Networks , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcriptome , 2',5'-Oligoadenylate Synthetase/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327523

ABSTRACT

Heterologous ChAdOx1-BNT162b2 vaccination induces a stronger immune response than two doses of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1. Yet, the molecular transcriptome, the germline allelic variants of immunoglobulin loci and anti-Omicron antibody levels induced by the heterologous vaccination have not been formally investigated. Moreover, there is a paucity of COVID vaccine studies including diverse genetic populations. Here, we show a robust molecular immune transcriptome and antibody repertoire in 51 office workers from the Republic of Korea after a heterologous ChAdOx1-BNT162b2 vaccination or a homologous ChAdOx1-ChAdOx1 vaccination. Anti-spike-specific IgG antibody levels in the heterologous group increased from 14,000 U/ml to 142,000 AU/ml within eight days after the BNT162b2 vaccination. In contrast, antibody levels in the homologous group increased two-fold after the second ChAdOx1 dose. Antibody titers against the Omicron spike protein as compared to the ancestral strain were reduced to a lesser extent in the heterologous group. RNA-seq conducted on immune cells demonstrated a stronger activation of interferon-induced genetic programs in the heterologous cohort. An increase of specific IGHV clonal transcripts encoding neutralizing antibodies was preferentially detected in the heterologous cohort. Enrichment of B cell and CD4+ T cell responses were observed following both heterologous and homologous vaccination using scRNA-seq, but clonally expanded memory B cells were relatively stronger in the ChAdOx1-BNT162b2 cohort. In summary, a heterologous vaccination with ChAdOx1 followed by BNT162b2 provides an innate and adaptive immune response exceeding that seen in homologous ChAdOx1 vaccinations but equivalent to that seen in homologous BNT162b2 vaccination.

5.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750611

ABSTRACT

ACE2, in concert with the protease TMPRSS2, binds the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and facilitates its cellular entry. The ACE2 gene is expressed in SARS-CoV-2 target cells, including Type II Pneumocytes (Ziegler, 2020), and is activated by interferons. Viral RNA was also detected in breast milk (Wu et al., 2020), raising the possibility that ACE2 expression is under the control of cytokines through the JAK-STAT pathway. Here we show that Ace2 expression in mammary tissue is induced during pregnancy and lactation, which coincides with the establishment of a candidate enhancer. The prolactin-activated transcription factor STAT5 binds to tandem sites that coincide with activating histone enhancer marks and additional transcription components. The presence of pan JAK-STAT components in mammary alveolar cells and in Type II Pneumocytes combined with the autoregulation of both STAT1 and STAT5 suggests a prominent role of cytokine signaling pathways in cells targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Funding: This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)and utilized the computational resources of the NIH HPC Biowulf cluster (http://hpc.nih.gov) Declaration of Interest: The authors declare not competing interests.

6.
iScience ; 24(8): 102928, 2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330910

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infections initiate cytokine storms and activate genetic programs leading to progressive hyperinflammation in multiple organs of patients with COVID-19. While it is known that COVID-19 impacts kidney function, leading to increased mortality, cytokine response of renal epithelium has not been studied in detail. Here, we report on the genetic programs activated in human primary proximal tubule (HPPT) cells by interferons and their suppression by ruxolitinib, a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor used in COVID-19 treatment. Integration of our data with those from patients with acute kidney injury and COVID-19, as well as other tissues, permitted the identification of kidney-specific interferon responses. Additionally, we investigated the regulation of the recently discovered isoform (dACE2) of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Using ChIP-seq, we identified candidate interferon-activated enhancers controlling the ACE2 locus, including the intronic dACE2 promoter. Taken together, our study provides an in-depth understanding of genetic programs activated in kidney cells.

7.
International Journal of Cultural Policy ; : 1-21, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1281798

ABSTRACT

This paper reflects on how cultural policies in South Korea, Japan and China respond to the Covid-19 crisis. It conceptualises the current period as a historically significant moment by exploring the notion of ‘critical juncture’. Then, it presents an empirical analysis of what has actually happened in cultural policies in the three countries by investigating key events, debates, actors and decisions made in 2020. In Korea, the pandemic functions as a force of ‘policy acceleration’ by legitimising and furthering the existing development in cultural policy. In Japan, it triggered ‘policy movement’, where artists emerged as institutional entrepreneurs who fundamentally contest Japan’s non-interventionist cultural policy and ask for policy reform. In China, cultural policy is ‘locked-in’ as the party-state appropriated the crisis in its ideological terms. Despite the lack of visible transformative changes (yet), the consequences of the pandemic are critical enough to determine the future direction of cultural policy. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of International Journal of Cultural Policy is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

8.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 654, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253994

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human airway epithelium activates genetic programs leading to progressive hyperinflammation in COVID-19 patients. Here, we report on transcriptomes activated in primary airway cells by interferons and their suppression by Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Deciphering the regulation of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is paramount for understanding the cell tropism of SARS-CoV-2 infection. ChIP-seq for activating histone marks and Pol II loading identified candidate enhancer elements controlling the ACE2 locus, including the intronic dACE2 promoter. Employing RNA-seq, we demonstrate that interferons activate expression of dACE2 and, to a lesser extent, the genuine ACE2 gene. Interferon-induced gene expression was mitigated by the JAK inhibitors baricitinib and ruxolitinib, used therapeutically in COVID-19 patients. Through integrating RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data we provide an in-depth understanding of genetic programs activated by interferons, and our study highlights JAK inhibitors as suitable tools to suppress these in bronchial cells.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferons/pharmacology , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Transcriptional Activation/drug effects , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome/drug effects
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4243, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091458

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic to severe with lingering symptomatology in some. This prompted investigation of whether or not asymptomatic disease results in measurable immune activation post-infection. Immune activation following asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was characterized through a comparative investigation of the immune cell transcriptomes from 43 asymptomatic seropositive and 52 highly exposed seronegative individuals from the same community 4-6 weeks following a superspreading event. Few of the 95 individuals had underlying health issues. One seropositive individual reported Cystic Fibrosis and one individual reported Incontinentia pigmenti. No evidence of immune activation was found in asymptomatic seropositive individuals with the exception of the Cystic Fibrosis patient. There were no statistically significant differences in immune transcriptomes between asymptomatic seropositive and highly exposed seronegative individuals. Four positive controls, mildly symptomatic seropositive individuals whose blood was examined 3 weeks following infection, showed immune activation. Negative controls were four seronegative individuals from neighboring communities without COVID-19. All individuals remained in their usual state of health through a five-month follow-up after sample collection. In summary, whole blood transcriptomes identified individual immune profiles within a community population and showed that asymptomatic infection within a super-spreading event was not associated with enduring immunological activation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Asymptomatic Infections , Austria , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Seq/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
10.
Res Sq ; 2020 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808086

ABSTRACT

To investigate prevalence of ongoing activation of inflammation following asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection we characterized immune cell transcriptomes from 43 asymptomatic seropositive and 52 highly exposed seronegative individuals with few underlying health issues following a community superspreading event. Four mildly symptomatic seropositive individuals examined three weeks after infection as positive controls demonstrated immunological activation. Approximately four to six weeks following the event, the two asymptomatic groups showed no significant differences. Two seropositive patients with underlying genetic disease impacting immunological activation were included (Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Nuclear factor-kappa B Essential Modulator (NEMO) deficiency). CF, but not NEMO, associated with significant immune transcriptome differences including some associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection (IL1B, IL17A, respective receptors). All subjects remained in their usual state of health from event through five-month follow-up. Here, asymptomatic infection resolved without evidence of prolonged immunological activation. Inclusion of subjects with underlying genetic disease illustrated the pathophysiological importance of context on impact of immunological response.

11.
Cell Rep ; 32(13): 108199, 2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-746086

ABSTRACT

ACE2 binds the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and facilitates its cellular entry. Interferons activate ACE2 expression in pneumocytes, suggesting a critical role of cytokines in SARS-CoV-2 target cells. Viral RNA was detected in breast milk in at least seven studies, raising the possibility that ACE2 is expressed in mammary tissue during lactation. Here, we show that Ace2 expression in mouse mammary tissue is induced during pregnancy and lactation, which coincides with the activation of intronic enhancers. These enhancers are occupied by the prolactin-activated transcription factor STAT5 and additional regulatory factors, including RNA polymerase II. Deletion of Stat5a results in decommissioning of the enhancers and an 83% reduction of Ace2 mRNA. We also demonstrate that Ace2 expression increases during lactation in lung, but not in kidney and intestine. JAK/STAT components are present in a range of SARS-CoV-2 target cells, opening the possibility that cytokines contribute to the viral load and extrapulmonary pathophysiology.


Subject(s)
Janus Kinases/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pregnancy/metabolism , STAT5 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Enhancer Elements, Genetic , Female , Humans , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Kidney/metabolism , Lactation/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Mammary Glands, Human/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , STAT5 Transcription Factor/genetics , Signal Transduction
12.
SSRN ; : 3601827, 2020 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-679328

ABSTRACT

ACE2, in concert with the protease TMPRSS2, binds the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and facilitates its cellular entry. The ACE2 gene is expressed in SARS-CoV-2 target cells, including Type II Pneumocytes (Ziegler, 2020), and is activated by interferons. Viral RNA was also detected in breast milk (Wu et al., 2020), raising the possibility that ACE2 expression is under the control of cytokines through the JAK-STAT pathway. Here we show that Ace2 expression in mammary tissue is induced during pregnancy and lactation, which coincides with the establishment of a candidate enhancer. The prolactin-activated transcription factor STAT5 binds to tandem sites that coincide with activating histone enhancer marks and additional transcription components. The presence of pan JAK-STAT components in mammary alveolar cells and in Type II Pneumocytes combined with the autoregulation of both STAT1 and STAT5 suggests a prominent role of cytokine signaling pathways in cells targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Funding: This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)and utilized the computational resources of the NIH HPC Biowulf cluster (http://hpc.nih.gov) Declaration of Interest: The authors declare not competing interests.

13.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 528(3): 413-419, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436643

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a worldwide pandemic. It has a high transmission rate among humans, and is a threat to global public health. However, there are no effective prophylactics or therapeutics available. It is necessary to identify vulnerable and susceptible groups for adequate protection and care against this disease. Recent studies have reported that COVID-19 has angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a functional receptor, which may lead to the development of severe cerebrovascular diseases (CVD), including strokes, in patients with risk factors for CVD such as diabetes and smoking. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised caution against COVID-19 for smokers and patients with underlying clinical symptoms, including cardiovascular diseases. Here, we observed ACE2 expression in the brain of rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model and evaluated the effects of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and diabetes on ACE2 expression in vessels. We showed that the levels of ACE2 expression was increased in the cortex penumbra after ischemic injuries. CSE treatment significantly elevated ACE2 expression in human brain vessels. We found that ACE2 expression was upregulated in primary cultured human blood vessels with diabetes compared to healthy controls. This study demonstrates that ACE2 expression is increased in ischemic brains and vessels exposed to diabetes or smoking, makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Brain Ischemia/virology , Brain/blood supply , Diabetes Mellitus , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/biosynthesis , Receptors, Virus/biosynthesis , Smokers , Stroke/virology , Up-Regulation , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Brain/drug effects , Brain Ischemia/genetics , Brain Ischemia/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/genetics , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/complications , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoke/adverse effects , Stroke/genetics , Stroke/metabolism , Up-Regulation/drug effects
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