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1.
Immunity ; 55(7): 1299-1315.e4, 2022 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972132

ABSTRACT

As the establishment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cell memory in children remains largely unexplored, we recruited convalescent COVID-19 children and adults to define their circulating memory SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells prior to vaccination. We analyzed epitope-specific T cells directly ex vivo using seven HLA class I and class II tetramers presenting SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, together with Spike-specific B cells. Unvaccinated children who seroconverted had comparable Spike-specific but lower ORF1a- and N-specific memory T cell responses compared with adults. This agreed with our TCR sequencing data showing reduced clonal expansion in children. A strong stem cell memory phenotype and common T cell receptor motifs were detected within tetramer-specific T cells in seroconverted children. Conversely, children who did not seroconvert had tetramer-specific T cells of predominantly naive phenotypes and diverse TCRαß repertoires. Our study demonstrates the generation of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory with common TCRαß motifs in unvaccinated seroconverted children after their first virus encounter.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33(7)2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927618

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Household studies are crucial for understanding the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may be underestimated from PCR testing of respiratory samples alone. We aim to combine the assessment of household mitigation measures; nasopharyngeal, saliva, and stool PCR testing; along with mucosal and systemic SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, to comprehensively characterize SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in households. METHODS: Between March and September 2020, we obtained samples from 92 participants in 26 households in Melbourne, Australia, in a 4-week period following the onset of infection with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 variants. RESULTS: The secondary attack rate was 36% (24/66) when using nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) PCR positivity alone. However, when respiratory and nonrespiratory samples were combined with antibody responses in blood and saliva, the secondary attack rate was 76% (50/66). SARS-CoV-2 viral load of the index case and household isolation measures were key factors that determine secondary transmission. In 27% (7/26) of households, all family members tested positive by NPS for SARS-CoV-2 and were characterized by lower respiratory Ct values than low transmission families (Median 22.62 vs. 32.91; IQR 17.06-28.67 vs. 30.37-34.24). High transmission families were associated with enhanced plasma antibody responses to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens and the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Three distinguishing saliva SARS-CoV-2 antibody features were identified according to age (IgA1 to Spike 1, IgA1 to nucleocapsid protein (NP)), suggesting that adults and children generate distinct mucosal antibody responses during the acute phase of infection. CONCLUSION: Utilizing respiratory and nonrespiratory PCR testing, along with the measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific local and systemic antibodies, provides a more accurate assessment of infection within households and highlights some of the immunological differences in response between children and adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Humans , Immunoglobulin A
3.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; : 2091865, 2022 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927245

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of heterologous COVID-19 primary schedules involving BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) and CoronaVac (Sinovac) in healthy adults, as well as booster response to BNT162b2 following heterologous CoronaVac and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 regimens. Participants were randomized to one of seven groups that received two-dose homologous BNT162b2 or heterologous combinations of CoronaVac, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and BNT162b2, with 4 weeks interval. A total of 210 participants were enrolled, 30 in each group. Median age of participants was 38 (19-60) years, and 108/210 (51.43%) were female. Overall adverse events after the second dose were mild to moderate. We found that groups that received BNT162b2 as second dose induced the highest anti-receptor binding domain IgG response against the ancestral strain [BNT162b2: geometric mean concentration (GMC) 2133-2249 BAU/mL; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 851-1201; CoronaVac: 137-225 BAU/mL], neutralizing antibodies (NAb) against Beta and Delta, and interferon gamma response. All groups induced low to negligible NAb against Omicron after second dose. A BNT162b2 booster (third dose) following heterologous CoronaVac and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 regimens induced >140-fold increase in NAb titers against Omicron. Our findings indicate that heterologous regimens using BNT162b2 as the second dose may be an alternative schedule to maximize immune response. While heterologous two-dose schedules induced low NAb against Omicron, the use of an mRNA vaccine booster dose substantially increased the Omicron response. These findings are relevant for low-income countries considering heterologous primary and booster COVID-19 vaccine schedules.

4.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 1: 47, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860419

ABSTRACT

Background: Children with SARS-CoV-2 infection generally present with milder symptoms or are asymptomatic in comparison with adults, however severe disease occurs in a subset of children. To date, the immune correlates of severe COVID-19 in young children have been poorly characterised. Methods: We report the kinetics of immune responses in relation to clinical and virological features in an infant with acute severe COVID-19 using high-dimensional flow cytometry and multiplex cytokine analysis. Results: Systemic cellular and cytokine profiling show an initial increase in neutrophils and monocytes with depletion of lymphoid cell populations (particularly CD8 + T and NK cells) and elevated inflammatory cytokines. Expansion of memory CD4 + T (but not CD8 + T) cells occurred over time, with a predominant Th2 bias. Marked activation of T cell populations observed during the acute infection gradually resolved as the child recovered. Substantial in vitro activation of T-cell populations and robust cytokine production, in response to inactivated SARS-CoV-2 stimulation, was observed 3 months after infection indicating durable, long-lived cellular immune memory. Conclusions: These findings provide important insights into the immune response of a young infant with severe COVID-19 and will help to inform future research into therapeutic targets for high-risk groups.

5.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(3): e221313, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1733812

ABSTRACT

Importance: The immune response in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection is not well understood. Objective: To compare seroconversion in nonhospitalized children and adults with mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify factors that are associated with seroconversion. Design, Setting, and Participants: This household cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 infection collected weekly nasopharyngeal and throat swabs and blood samples during the acute (median, 7 days for children and 12 days for adults [IQR, 4-13] days) and convalescent (median, 41 [IQR, 31-49] days) periods after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis for analysis. Participants were recruited at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, from May 10 to October 28, 2020. Participants included patients who had a SARS-CoV-2-positive nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab specimen using PCR analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) and cellular (T cell and B cell) responses in children and adults. Seroconversion was defined by seropositivity in all 3 (an in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] and 2 commercial assays: a SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG assay and a SARS-CoV-2 antibody ELISA) serological assays. Results: Among 108 participants with SARS-CoV-2-positive PCR findings, 57 were children (35 boys [61.4%]; median age, 4 [IQR, 2-10] years) and 51 were adults (28 women [54.9%]; median age, 37 [IQR, 34-45] years). Using the 3 established serological assays, a lower proportion of children had seroconversion to IgG compared with adults (20 of 54 [37.0%] vs 32 of 42 [76.2%]; P < .001). This result was not associated with viral load, which was similar in children and adults (mean [SD] cycle threshold [Ct] value, 28.58 [6.83] vs 24.14 [8.47]; P = .09). In addition, age and sex were not associated with seroconversion within children (median age, 4 [IQR, 2-14] years for both seropositive and seronegative groups; seroconversion by sex, 10 of 21 girls [47.6%] vs 10 of 33 boys [30.3%]) or adults (median ages, 37 years for seropositive and 40 years for seronegative adults [IQR, 34-39 years]; seroconversion by sex, 18 of 24 women [75.0%] vs 14 of 18 men [77.8%]) (P > .05 for all comparisons between seronegative and seropositive groups). Symptomatic adults had 3-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels than asymptomatic adults (median, 227.5 [IQR, 133.7-521.6] vs 75.3 [IQR, 36.9-113.6] IU/mL), whereas no differences were observed in children regardless of symptoms. Moreover, differences in cellular immune responses were observed in adults compared with children with seroconversion. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that among patients with mild COVID-19, children may be less likely to have seroconversion than adults despite similar viral loads. This finding has implications for future protection after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and for interpretation of serosurveys that involve children. Further research to understand why seroconversion and development of symptoms are potentially less likely in children after SARS-CoV-2 infection and to compare vaccine responses may be of clinical and scientific importance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Seroconversion , Victoria/epidemiology , Viral Load
6.
JAMA Pediatr ; 175(12): 1292-1293, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598727
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 741639, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497078

ABSTRACT

Children have reduced severity of COVID-19 compared to adults and typically have mild or asymptomatic disease. The immunological mechanisms underlying these age-related differences in clinical outcomes remain unexplained. Here, we quantify 23 immune cell populations in 141 samples from children and adults with mild COVID-19 and their PCR-negative close household contacts at acute and convalescent time points. Children with COVID-19 displayed marked reductions in myeloid cells during infection, most prominent in children under the age of five. Recovery from infection in both children and adults was characterised by the generation of CD8 TCM and CD4 TCM up to 9 weeks post infection. SARS-CoV-2-exposed close contacts also had immunological changes over time despite no evidence of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection on PCR testing. This included an increase in low-density neutrophils during convalescence in both exposed children and adults, as well as increases in CD8 TCM and CD4 TCM in exposed adults. In comparison to children with other common respiratory viral infections, those with COVID-19 had a greater change in innate and T cell-mediated immune responses over time. These findings provide new mechanistic insights into the immune response during and after recovery from COVID-19 in both children and adults.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Convalescence , Environmental Exposure , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunologic Memory , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
9.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(8): 2233-2235, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238860

ABSTRACT

The duration of the humoral immune response in children infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is unknown. We detected specific IgG 6 months after infection in children who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms of coronavirus disease. These findings will inform vaccination strategies and other prevention measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Australia/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Immunoglobulin G
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2037, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164849

ABSTRACT

The hallmarks of COVID-19 are higher pathogenicity and mortality in the elderly compared to children. Examining baseline SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive immunological responses, induced by circulating human coronaviruses (hCoVs), is needed to understand such divergent clinical outcomes. Here we show analysis of coronavirus antibody responses of pre-pandemic healthy children (n = 89), adults (n = 98), elderly (n = 57), and COVID-19 patients (n = 50) by systems serology. Moderate levels of cross-reactive, but non-neutralizing, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are detected in pre-pandemic healthy individuals. SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific Fcγ receptor binding accurately distinguishes COVID-19 patients from healthy individuals, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces qualitative changes to antibody Fc, enhancing Fcγ receptor engagement. Higher cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG are observed in healthy elderly, while healthy children display elevated SARS-CoV-2 IgM, suggesting that children have fewer hCoV exposures, resulting in less-experienced but more polyreactive humoral immunity. Age-dependent analysis of COVID-19 patients, confirms elevated class-switched antibodies in elderly, while children have stronger Fc responses which we demonstrate are functionally different. These insights will inform COVID-19 vaccination strategies, improved serological diagnostics and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Middle Aged , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
11.
JNCI Cancer Spectr ; 5(2): pkab011, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123321

ABSTRACT

The current global novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic threatens to derail the uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries with major disruptions to routine immunization and the introduction of new vaccines delayed. This has a major impact on the World Health Organization cervical cancer elimination strategy, where it is dependent on HPV vaccination as well as cervical cancer screening and treatment. We discuss current opportunities and barriers to achieve high uptake of HPV vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries as well as the impact of COVID-19. Implementation of 4 key recommendations for HPV vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries is needed: increased global financial investment; improved vaccine supply and accelerated use of a single-dose schedule; education and social marketing; and adoption of universal school-based delivery. With the commitment of the global health community, the adoption of these strategies would underpin the effective elimination of cervical cancer.


Subject(s)
Alphapapillomavirus/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Papillomavirus Infections/immunology , Papillomavirus Vaccines/immunology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/immunology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Alphapapillomavirus/physiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Developing Countries , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs/economics , Immunization Programs/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Papillomavirus Infections/complications , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Vaccines/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/virology , Vaccination/methods
12.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 2021 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To determine if dried blood spot specimens (DBS) can reliably detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies, we compared the SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody response in paired serum and eluates from DBS specimens. METHODS: A total of 95 paired DBS and serum samples were collected from 74 participants (aged 1-63 years) as part of a household cohort study in Melbourne, Australia. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies specific for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and S1 proteins between serum and eluates from DBS specimens were compared using an FDA-approved ELISA method. RESULTS: Among the 74 participants, 42% (31/74) were children and the rest were adults. A total of 16 children and 13 adults were SARS-CoV-2 positive by polymerase chain reaction. The IgG seropositivity rate was similar between serum and DBS specimens (18.9% (18/95) versus 16.8% (16/95)), respectively. Similar RBD and S1-specific IgG levels were detected between serum and DBS specimens. Serum IgG levels strongly correlated with DBS IgG levels (r = 0.99, P < 0.0001) for both SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Furthermore, antibodies remained stable in DBS specimens for >3 months. CONCLUSIONS: DBS specimens can be reliably used as an alternative to serum samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibody measurement. The use of DBS specimens would facilitate serosurveillance efforts particularly in hard-to-reach populations and inform public health responses including COVID-19 vaccination strategies.

13.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5703, 2020 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-920614

ABSTRACT

Compared to adults, children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have predominantly mild or asymptomatic infections, but the underlying immunological differences remain unclear. Here, we describe clinical features, virology, longitudinal cellular, and cytokine immune profile, SARS-CoV-2-specific serology and salivary antibody responses in a family of two parents with PCR-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and their three children, who tested repeatedly SARS-CoV-2 PCR negative. Cellular immune profiles and cytokine responses of all children are similar to their parents at all timepoints. All family members have salivary anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected, predominantly IgA, that coincide with symptom resolution in 3 of 4 symptomatic members. Plasma from both parents and one child have IgG antibody against the S1 protein and virus-neutralizing activity detected. Using a systems serology approach, we demonstrate higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody features of these family members compared to healthy controls. These data indicate that children can mount an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 without virological confirmation of infection, raising the possibility that immunity in children can prevent the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Relying on routine virological and serological testing may not identify exposed children, with implications for epidemiological and clinical studies across the life-span.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cytokines/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Saliva/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Australia , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Pandemics , Parents , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
PLoS Pathog ; 16(9): e1008798, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751007

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is significantly more severe in adults than in children. The biological reasons for this difference remain to be elucidated. We have compared the most recent virological and immunological data related to COVID-19 between adults and children and contrasted this with earlier data from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by the related SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. Based on these available data, a number of hypotheses are proposed to explain the difference in COVID-19 clinical outcomes between adults and children. NF-kB may be a key factor that could explain the severe clinical manifestations of COVID-19 in adults as well as rare complications associated with paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) in paediatric COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology
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