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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017815

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 vaccines prevent severe disease effectively, post-vaccination 'breakthrough' COVID-19 infections and transmission among vaccinated individuals remain ongoing concerns. We present an in-depth characterization of transmission and immunity among vaccinated individuals in a household, revealing complex dynamics and unappreciated comorbidities, including autoimmunity to type1 interferon in the presumptive index case.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852986

ABSTRACT

Binding levels and neutralization activity of anti-type 1 interferon (T1IFN) autoantibodies peaked during acute COVID-19 and markedly decreased thereafter. Most patients maintained some ability to neutralize T1IFN into convalescence despite lower levels of binding IgG. Identifying these autoantibodies in healthy individuals before they develop critical viral disease may be challenging.

3.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 723532, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736774

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), also known as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type-1 (APS-1), is a rare monogenic autoimmune disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene. AIRE deficiency impairs immune tolerance in the thymus and results in the peripheral escape of self-reactive T lymphocytes and the generation of several cytokine- and tissue antigen-targeted autoantibodies. APECED features a classic triad of characteristic clinical manifestations consisting of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), hypoparathyroidism, and primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease). In addition, APECED patients develop several non-endocrine autoimmune manifestations with variable frequencies, whose recognition by pediatricians should facilitate an earlier diagnosis and allow for the prompt implementation of targeted screening, preventive, and therapeutic strategies. This review summarizes our current understanding of the genetic, immunological, clinical, diagnostic, and treatment features of APECED.

4.
Curr Opin Immunol ; 72: 286-297, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606955

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) is caused by mutations in the Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) gene, which impair the thymic negative selection of self-reactive T-cells and underlie the development of autoimmunity that targets multiple endocrine and non-endocrine tissues. Beyond autoimmunity, APECED features heightened susceptibility to certain specific infections, which is mediated by anti-cytokine autoantibodies and/or T-cell driven autoimmune tissue injury. These include the 'signature' APECED infection chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), but also life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia, bronchiectasis-associated bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis by encapsulated bacteria. Here we discuss the expanding understanding of the immunological mechanisms that contribute to infection susceptibility in this prototypic syndrome of impaired central tolerance, which provide the foundation for devising improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for affected patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Candidiasis, Cutaneous/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Animals , Autoimmunity , Bronchiectasis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Candidiasis, Cutaneous/epidemiology , Candidiasis, Cutaneous/genetics , Clonal Selection, Antigen-Mediated/genetics , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Immune Tolerance/genetics , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/epidemiology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556902

ABSTRACT

Binding levels and neutralization activity of anti-type 1 interferon (T1IFN) autoantibodies peaked during acute COVID-19 and markedly decreased thereafter. Most patients maintained some ability to neutralize T1IFN into convalescence despite lower levels of binding IgG. Identifying these autoantibodies in healthy individuals before they develop critical viral disease may be challenging.

6.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 62-74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514418

ABSTRACT

The molecular mechanisms governing orderly shutdown and retraction of CD4+ type 1 helper T (TH1) cell responses remain poorly understood. Here we show that complement triggers contraction of TH1 responses by inducing intrinsic expression of the vitamin D (VitD) receptor and the VitD-activating enzyme CYP27B1, permitting T cells to both activate and respond to VitD. VitD then initiated the transition from pro-inflammatory interferon-γ+ TH1 cells to suppressive interleukin-10+ cells. This process was primed by dynamic changes in the epigenetic landscape of CD4+ T cells, generating super-enhancers and recruiting several transcription factors, notably c-JUN, STAT3 and BACH2, which together with VitD receptor shaped the transcriptional response to VitD. Accordingly, VitD did not induce interleukin-10 expression in cells with dysfunctional BACH2 or STAT3. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid CD4+ T cells of patients with COVID-19 were TH1-skewed and showed de-repression of genes downregulated by VitD, from either lack of substrate (VitD deficiency) and/or abnormal regulation of this system.


Subject(s)
Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-10/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vitamin D/metabolism , 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase/metabolism , Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Complement C3a/immunology , Complement C3b/immunology , Humans , JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Receptors, Calcitriol/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 720205, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403477

ABSTRACT

Patients with the monogenic immune dysregulatory syndrome autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), which is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene, uniformly carry neutralizing autoantibodies directed against type-I interferons (IFNs) and many develop autoimmune pneumonitis, both of which place them at high risk for life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. Bamlanivimab and etesevimab are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that target the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and block entry of SARS-CoV-2 in host cells. The use of bamlanivimab and etesevimab early during infection was associated with reduced COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death in patients at high risk for progressing to severe disease, which led the US Food and Drug Administration to issue an emergency use authorization for their administration in non-hypoxemic, non-hospitalized high-risk patients. However, the safety and efficacy of these mAbs has not been evaluated in APECED patients. We enrolled two siblings with APECED on an IRB-approved protocol (NCT01386437) and admitted them prophylactically at the NIH Clinical Center for evaluation of mild-to-moderate COVID-19. We assessed the safety and clinical effects of early treatment with bamlanivimab and etesevimab. The administration of bamlanivimab and etesevimab was well tolerated and was associated with amelioration of COVID-19 symptoms and prevention of invasive ventilatory support, admission to the intensive care, and death in both patients without affecting the production of antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2. If given early in the course of COVID-19 infection, bamlanivimab and etesevimab may be beneficial in APECED and other high-risk patients with neutralizing autoantibodies directed against type-I IFNs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Male , Mutation , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/complications , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/immunology
9.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 148(5): 1192-1197, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385788

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is recommended in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEIs); however, little is known about immunogenicity and safety in these patients. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the impact of genetic diagnosis, age, and treatment on antibody response to COVID-19 vaccine and related adverse events in a cohort of patients with IEIs. METHODS: Plasma was collected from 22 health care worker controls, 81 patients with IEIs, and 2 patients with thymoma; the plasma was collected before immunization, 1 to 6 days before the second dose of mRNA vaccine, and at a median of 30 days after completion of the immunization schedule with either mRNA vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. Anti-spike (anti-S) and anti-nucleocapsid antibody titers were measured by using a luciferase immunoprecipitation systems method. Information on T- and B-cell counts and use of immunosuppressive drugs was extracted from medical records, and information on vaccine-associated adverse events was collected after each dose. RESULTS: Anti-S antibodies were detected in 27 of 46 patients (58.7%) after 1 dose of mRNA vaccine and in 63 of 74 fully immunized patients (85.1%). A lower rate of seroconversion (7 of 11 [63.6%]) was observed in patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy. Previous use of rituximab and baseline counts of less than 1000 CD3+ T cells/mL and less than 100 CD19+ B cells/mL were associated with lower anti-S IgG levels. No significant adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Vaccinating patients with IEIs is safe, but immunogenicity is affected by certain therapies and gene defects. These data may guide the counseling of patients with IEIs regarding prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the need for subsequent boosts.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/drug therapy , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics , Rituximab/therapeutic use , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
10.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(612): eabh2624, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371845

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing autoantibodies against type I interferons (IFNs) have been found in some patients with critical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, the prevalence of these antibodies, their longitudinal dynamics across the disease severity scale, and their functional effects on circulating leukocytes remain unknown. Here, in 284 patients with COVID-19, we found type I IFN­specific autoantibodies in peripheral blood samples from 19% of patients with critical disease and 6% of patients with severe disease. We found no type I IFN autoantibodies in individuals with moderate disease. Longitudinal profiling of over 600,000 peripheral blood mononuclear cells using multiplexed single-cell epitope and transcriptome sequencing from 54 patients with COVID-19 and 26 non­COVID-19 controls revealed a lack of type I IFN­stimulated gene (ISG-I) responses in myeloid cells from patients with critical disease. This was especially evident in dendritic cell populations isolated from patients with critical disease producing type I IFN­specific autoantibodies. Moreover, we found elevated expression of the inhibitory receptor leukocyte-associated immunoglobulin-like receptor 1 (LAIR1) on the surface of monocytes isolated from patients with critical disease early in the disease course. LAIR1 expression is inversely correlated with ISG-I expression response in patients with COVID-19 but is not expressed in healthy controls. The deficient ISG-I response observed in patients with critical COVID-19 with and without type I IFN­specific autoantibodies supports a unifying model for disease pathogenesis involving ISG-I suppression through convergent mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology
11.
Clin Immunol ; 230: 108816, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1336330

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) regulates B cell and macrophage signaling, development, survival, and activation. Inhibiting BTK has been hypothesized to ameliorate lung injury in patients with severe COVID-19, however clinical outcome data is inconclusive. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of BTK inhibitors (BTKinibs) in patients with COVID-19. EVIDENCE REVIEW: We searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science:Core on December 30, 2020. Clinical studies with at least 5 COVID-19 patients treated with BTKinibs were included. Case reports and reviews were excluded. FINDINGS: 125 articles were identified, 6 of which met inclusion criteria. The most common clinical outcomes measured were oxygen requirements (4/6) and hospitalization rate or duration (3/6). Three studies showed decreased oxygen requirements in patients who started or continued BTKinibs. All three studies that evaluated hospitalization rate or duration found favorable outcomes in those on BTKinibs. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: BTKinib use was associated with decreased oxygen requirements and decreased hospitalization rates and duration.

12.
Immunol Cell Biol ; 99(9): 917-921, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325006

ABSTRACT

Type-I interferons (IFNs) mediate antiviral activity and have emerged as important immune mediators during coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Several lines of evidence suggest that impaired type-I IFN signaling may predispose to severe COVID-19. However, the pathophysiologic mechanisms that contribute to illness severity remain unclear. In this study, our goal was to gain insight into how type-I IFNs influence outcomes in patients with COVID-19. To achieve this goal, we compared clinical outcomes between 26 patients with neutralizing type-I IFN autoantibodies (AAbs) and 192 patients without AAbs who were hospitalized for COVID-19 at three Italian hospitals. The presence of circulating AAbs to type-I IFNs was associated with an increased risk of admission to the intensive care unit and a delayed time to viral clearance. However, survival was not adversely affected by the presence of type-I IFN AAbs. Our findings provide further support for the role of type-I IFN AAbs in impairing host antiviral defense and promoting the development of critical COVID-19 pneumonia in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-infected individuals.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy
13.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0029421, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305506

ABSTRACT

The pathogenic mechanisms underlying severe SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection remain largely unelucidated. High-throughput sequencing technologies that capture genome and transcriptome information are key approaches to gain detailed mechanistic insights from infected cells. These techniques readily detect both pathogen- and host-derived sequences, providing a means of studying host-pathogen interactions. Recent studies have reported the presence of host-virus chimeric (HVC) RNA in transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and interpreted these findings as evidence of viral integration in the human genome as a potential pathogenic mechanism. Since SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense RNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm, it does not have a nuclear phase in its life cycle. Thus, it is biologically unlikely to be in a location where splicing events could result in genome integration. Therefore, we investigated the biological authenticity of HVC events. In contrast to true biological events like mRNA splicing and genome rearrangement events, which generate reproducible chimeric sequencing fragments across different biological isolates, we found that HVC events across >100 RNA-seq libraries from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and infected cell lines were highly irreproducible. RNA-seq library preparation is inherently error prone due to random template switching during reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA. By counting chimeric events observed when constructing an RNA-seq library from human RNA and spiked-in RNA from an unrelated species, such as the fruit fly, we estimated that ∼1% of RNA-seq reads are artifactually chimeric. In SARS-CoV-2 RNA-seq, we found that the frequency of HVC events was, in fact, not greater than this background "noise." Finally, we developed a novel experimental approach to enrich SARS-CoV-2 sequences from bulk RNA of infected cells. This method enriched viral sequences but did not enrich HVC events, suggesting that the majority of HVC events are, in all likelihood, artifacts of library construction. In conclusion, our findings indicate that HVC events observed in RNA-sequencing libraries from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells are extremely rare and are likely artifacts arising from random template switching of reverse transcriptase and/or sequence alignment errors. Therefore, the observed HVC events do not support SARS-CoV-2 fusion to cellular genes and/or integration into human genomes. IMPORTANCE The pathogenic mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, are not fully understood. In particular, relatively little is known about the reasons some individuals develop life-threatening or persistent COVID-19. Recent studies identified host-virus chimeric (HVC) reads in RNA-sequencing data from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and suggested that HVC events support potential "human genome invasion" and "integration" by SARS-CoV-2. This suggestion has fueled concerns about the long-term effects of current mRNA vaccines that incorporate elements of the viral genome. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus that does not encode a reverse transcriptase and does not include a nuclear phase in its life cycle, so some doubts have rightfully been expressed regarding the authenticity of HVCs and the role played by endogenous retrotransposons in this phenomenon. Thus, it is important to independently authenticate these HVC events. Here, we provide several lines of evidence suggesting that the observed HVC events are likely artifactual.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics
14.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0029421, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226712

ABSTRACT

The pathogenic mechanisms underlying severe SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection remain largely unelucidated. High-throughput sequencing technologies that capture genome and transcriptome information are key approaches to gain detailed mechanistic insights from infected cells. These techniques readily detect both pathogen- and host-derived sequences, providing a means of studying host-pathogen interactions. Recent studies have reported the presence of host-virus chimeric (HVC) RNA in transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and interpreted these findings as evidence of viral integration in the human genome as a potential pathogenic mechanism. Since SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense RNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm, it does not have a nuclear phase in its life cycle. Thus, it is biologically unlikely to be in a location where splicing events could result in genome integration. Therefore, we investigated the biological authenticity of HVC events. In contrast to true biological events like mRNA splicing and genome rearrangement events, which generate reproducible chimeric sequencing fragments across different biological isolates, we found that HVC events across >100 RNA-seq libraries from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and infected cell lines were highly irreproducible. RNA-seq library preparation is inherently error prone due to random template switching during reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA. By counting chimeric events observed when constructing an RNA-seq library from human RNA and spiked-in RNA from an unrelated species, such as the fruit fly, we estimated that ∼1% of RNA-seq reads are artifactually chimeric. In SARS-CoV-2 RNA-seq, we found that the frequency of HVC events was, in fact, not greater than this background "noise." Finally, we developed a novel experimental approach to enrich SARS-CoV-2 sequences from bulk RNA of infected cells. This method enriched viral sequences but did not enrich HVC events, suggesting that the majority of HVC events are, in all likelihood, artifacts of library construction. In conclusion, our findings indicate that HVC events observed in RNA-sequencing libraries from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells are extremely rare and are likely artifacts arising from random template switching of reverse transcriptase and/or sequence alignment errors. Therefore, the observed HVC events do not support SARS-CoV-2 fusion to cellular genes and/or integration into human genomes. IMPORTANCE The pathogenic mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, are not fully understood. In particular, relatively little is known about the reasons some individuals develop life-threatening or persistent COVID-19. Recent studies identified host-virus chimeric (HVC) reads in RNA-sequencing data from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and suggested that HVC events support potential "human genome invasion" and "integration" by SARS-CoV-2. This suggestion has fueled concerns about the long-term effects of current mRNA vaccines that incorporate elements of the viral genome. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus that does not encode a reverse transcriptase and does not include a nuclear phase in its life cycle, so some doubts have rightfully been expressed regarding the authenticity of HVCs and the role played by endogenous retrotransposons in this phenomenon. Thus, it is important to independently authenticate these HVC events. Here, we provide several lines of evidence suggesting that the observed HVC events are likely artifactual.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics
15.
Sci Immunol ; 6(58)2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172732

ABSTRACT

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present a wide range of acute clinical manifestations affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys and gut. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 2, the best-characterized entry receptor for the disease-causing virus SARS-CoV-2, is highly expressed in the aforementioned tissues. However, the pathways that underlie the disease are still poorly understood. Here, we unexpectedly found that the complement system was one of the intracellular pathways most highly induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung epithelial cells. Infection of respiratory epithelial cells with SARS-CoV-2 generated activated complement component C3a and could be blocked by a cell-permeable inhibitor of complement factor B (CFBi), indicating the presence of an inducible cell-intrinsic C3 convertase in respiratory epithelial cells. Within cells of the bronchoalveolar lavage of patients, distinct signatures of complement activation in myeloid, lymphoid and epithelial cells tracked with disease severity. Genes induced by SARS-CoV-2 and the drugs that could normalize these genes both implicated the interferon-JAK1/2-STAT1 signaling system and NF-κB as the main drivers of their expression. Ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, normalized interferon signature genes and all complement gene transcripts induced by SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelial cell lines, but did not affect NF-κB-regulated genes. Ruxolitinib, alone or in combination with the antiviral remdesivir, inhibited C3a protein produced by infected cells. Together, we postulate that combination therapy with JAK inhibitors and drugs that normalize NF-κB-signaling could potentially have clinical application for severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Complement Activation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Janus Kinase 2/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , MAP Kinase Signaling System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Complement C3a/metabolism , Complement Factor B/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology
16.
Cell ; 184(7): 1836-1857.e22, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1077815

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
17.
JCI Insight ; 6(1)2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027164

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(2): 351-356, 2021 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695425

ABSTRACT

Cancer patients are traditionally considered at high risk for complicated respiratory viral infections, due to their underlying immunosuppression. In line with this notion, early case series reported high mortality rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in patients with malignancy. However, subsequent large, prospective, epidemiological surveys indicate that the risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be largely attributed to the multiple confounders operating in this highly heterogeneous population of patients, rather than the cancer or its treatment per se. We critically discuss the conundrums of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer patients and underscore mechanistic insights on the outcome of COVID-19 as it relates to cancer therapy and the type and status of the underlying malignancy. Not all cancer patients are similarly at risk for a complicated COVID-19 course. A roadmap is needed for translational and clinical research on COVID-19 in this challenging group of patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Res Sq ; 2020 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-671958

ABSTRACT

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present with a range of devastating acute clinical manifestations affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys and gut. The best-characterized entry receptor for the disease-causing virus SARS-CoV2, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 2, is highly expressed in these tissues. However, the pathways that underlie the disease are still poorly understood. Here we show that the complement system is unexpectedly one of the intracellular pathways most highly induced by SARS-CoV2 infection in lung epithelial and liver cells. Within cells of the bronchoalveolar lavage of patients, distinct signatures of complement activation in myeloid, lymphoid and epithelial cells tracked with disease severity. Modelling the regulome of host genes induced by COVID-19 and the drugs that could normalize these genes both implicated the JAK1/2-STAT1 signaling system downstream of type I interferon receptors, and NF-kB. Ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor and the top predicted pharmaceutical candidate, normalized interferon signature genes, IL-6 (the best characterized severity marker in COVID-19) and all complement genes induced by SARS-CoV2, but did not affect NF-kB-regulated genes. We predict that combination therapy with JAK inhibitors and other agents with the potential to normalize NF-kB-signaling, such as anti-viral agents, may serve as an effective clinical strategy.

20.
Sci Immunol ; 5(48)2020 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-545978

ABSTRACT

Patients with severe COVID-19 have a hyperinflammatory immune response suggestive of macrophage activation. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) regulates macrophage signaling and activation. Acalabrutinib, a selective BTK inhibitor, was administered off-label to 19 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 (11 on supplemental oxygen; 8 on mechanical ventilation), 18 of whom had increasing oxygen requirements at baseline. Over a 10-14 day treatment course, acalabrutinib improved oxygenation in a majority of patients, often within 1-3 days, and had no discernable toxicity. Measures of inflammation - C-reactive protein and IL-6 - normalized quickly in most patients, as did lymphopenia, in correlation with improved oxygenation. At the end of acalabrutinib treatment, 8/11 (72.7%) patients in the supplemental oxygen cohort had been discharged on room air, and 4/8 (50%) patients in the mechanical ventilation cohort had been successfully extubated, with 2/8 (25%) discharged on room air. Ex vivo analysis revealed significantly elevated BTK activity, as evidenced by autophosphorylation, and increased IL-6 production in blood monocytes from patients with severe COVID-19 compared with blood monocytes from healthy volunteers. These results suggest that targeting excessive host inflammation with a BTK inhibitor is a therapeutic strategy in severe COVID-19 and has led to a confirmatory international prospective randomized controlled clinical trial.


Subject(s)
Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors , Benzamides/pharmacology , Benzamides/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pyrazines/pharmacology , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
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