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1.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 20(11): 2558-2566.e5, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936142

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Liver transplant recipients (LTRs) show a decreased immune response after 2 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccinations compared with healthy controls (HCs). Here, we investigated the immunogenicity of additional vaccinations. METHODS: In this prospective study, humoral (anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain [anti-S RBD]) and cellular (interferon-gamma release assay) immune responses were determined after mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in 106 LTRs after a third vaccination and in 36 LTRs after a fourth vaccination. Patients with anti-S RBD antibody levels >0.8 arbitrary unit (AU)/mL after vaccination were defined as responders. RESULTS: After 3 vaccinations, 92% (97/106) of LTRs compared with 100% (28/28) of HCs were responders. However, the antibody titer of LTRs was lower compared with HCs (1891.0 vs 21,857.0 AU/mL; P < .001). Between a second and third vaccination (n = 75), the median antibody level increased 67-fold in LTRs. In patients seronegative after 2 vaccinations, a third dose induced seroconversion in 76% (19/25), whereas all HCs were already seropositive after 2 vaccinations. A spike-specific T-cell response was detected in 72% (28/39) after a third vaccination compared with 32% (11/34) after a second vaccination. Independent risk factors for a low antibody response (anti-S RBD <100 AU/mL) were first vaccination within the first year after liver transplant (odds ratio [OR], 8.00; P = .023), estimated glomular filtration rate <45 mL/min (OR, 4.72; P = .006), and low lymphocyte counts (OR, 5.02; P = .008). A fourth vaccination induced a 9-fold increase in the median antibody level and seroconversion in 60% (3/5) of previous non-responders. CONCLUSIONS: A third and fourth SARS-CoV-2 vaccination effectively increases the humoral and cellular immune response of LTRs, but to a lesser extent than in HCs. A fourth vaccination should be generally considered in LTRs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Mice , Animals , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Prospective Studies , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular , Vaccination , RNA, Messenger , Transplant Recipients , Antibodies, Viral
2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(19)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917174

ABSTRACT

To detect potential concern about severe acute hepatitis in children, we conducted a survey among 50 ERN RARE-LIVER centres. By 26 April 2022, 34 centres, including 25 transplant centres, reported an estimated median of 3-5, 0-2 and 3-5 cases in 2021, 2020 and 2019 and a mean of 2 (range: 0-8) cases between January and April 2022 (mean in 10 large liver transplant centres: 3). Twelve centres reported suspicion of an increase, but no rise.


Subject(s)
Hepatitis , Liver Failure, Acute , Liver Transplantation , Acute Disease , Child , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Liver Failure, Acute/diagnosis , Liver Failure, Acute/epidemiology , Liver Failure, Acute/etiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immunogenicity of different COVID-19 vaccine regimens and combinations in naïve and convalescent individuals has not been formally tested in controlled studies, and real-life observational studies are scarce. METHODS: We assessed the SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination-induced immunity of 697 hospital workers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf between 17 and 31 January 2022. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of anti-NC-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicating prior infection was 9.8% (n = 68) and thus lower than the seroprevalence in the general population. All vaccinated individuals had detectable anti-S1-RBD-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (median AU/mL [IQR]: 13,891 [8505-23,543]), indicating strong protection against severe COVID-19. Individuals who received three COVID-19 vaccine doses (median AU/mL [IQR]: 13,856 [8635-22,705]) and those who resolved a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and had received two COVID-19 vaccine doses (median AU/mL [IQR] 13,409 [6934-25,000]) exhibited the strongest humoral immune responses. CONCLUSIONS: The current study indicates that three exposures to the viral spike protein by either SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 vaccination are necessary to elicit particularly strong humoral immune responses, which supports current vaccination recommendations.

5.
Trials ; 23(1): 302, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789128

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) are liberally prescribed in patients with liver cirrhosis. Observational studies link PPI therapy in cirrhotic patients with an increased risk for infectious complications, hepatic encephalopathy and an increased risk for hospitalization and mortality. However, patients with liver cirrhosis are also considered to be at risk for peptic ulcer bleeding. The STOPPIT trial evaluates if discontinuation of a pre-existing PPI treatment delays a composite endpoint of re-hospitalization and/or death in patients (recently) hospitalized with liver cirrhosis compared to patients on continued PPI medication. METHODS: The STOPPIT-trial is a prospective, multicentre, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. In total, 476 patients with complicated liver cirrhosis who already receive long-term PPI therapy without evidence-based indication are 1:1 randomized to receive either esomeprazole 20 mg (control group) or placebo (intervention group) for 360 days. Patients with an indication for PPI therapy (such as a recent diagnosis of peptic ulcers, severe reflux esophagitis, severe hemorrhagic gastritis, recent endoscopic therapy for oesophageal varices) are excluded. The primary composite endpoint is the time-to re-hospitalization and/or death. Secondary endpoints include rates of re-hospitalization, mortality, occurrence of infections, hepatic decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure. The safety endpoint is defined as manifestation of an evidence-based indication for PPI re-therapy. The impact of PPI continuation or discontinuation on the intestinal microbiota will be studied. The recruitment will take place at 18 study sites throughout Germany. Recruitment has started in April 2021. DISCUSSION: The STOPPIT trial is the first clinical trial to study the effects of PPI withdrawal on relevant outcome variables in patients with complicated liver cirrhosis. If the hypothesis that PPI withdrawal improves clinical outcomes of cirrhosis patients is confirmed, this would argue for a strong restriction of the currently liberal prescription practice of PPIs in this population. If, on the other hand, the trial demonstrates an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding events in patients after PPI withdrawal, this could create a rationale for a more liberal, prophylactic PPI treatment in patients with liver cirrhosis. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EU clinical trials register EudraCT 2019-005008-16 (registered December 27, 2019). CLINICALTRIALS: gov NCT04448028 (registered June 25, 2020). German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00021290 (registered March 10, 2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Proton Pump Inhibitors , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/diagnosis , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , Proton Pump Inhibitors/adverse effects , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Nat Metab ; 4(3): 310-319, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764213

ABSTRACT

Extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 have gained attention due to their links to clinical outcomes and their potential long-term sequelae1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) displays tropism towards several organs, including the heart and kidney. Whether it also directly affects the liver has been debated2,3. Here we provide clinical, histopathological, molecular and bioinformatic evidence for the hepatic tropism of SARS-CoV-2. We find that liver injury, indicated by a high frequency of abnormal liver function tests, is a common clinical feature of COVID-19 in two independent cohorts of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Using autopsy samples obtained from a third patient cohort, we provide multiple levels of evidence for SARS-CoV-2 liver tropism, including viral RNA detection in 69% of autopsy liver specimens, and successful isolation of infectious SARS-CoV-2 from liver tissue postmortem. Furthermore, we identify transcription-, proteomic- and transcription factor-based activity profiles in hepatic autopsy samples, revealing similarities to the signatures associated with multiple other viral infections of the human liver. Together, we provide a comprehensive multimodal analysis of SARS-CoV-2 liver tropism, which increases our understanding of the molecular consequences of severe COVID-19 and could be useful for the identification of organ-specific pharmacological targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Liver , Proteomics , Tropism
7.
United European Gastroenterol J ; 10(3): 319-329, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739241

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS: In this observational study, we explored the humoral and cellular immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and patients with cholestatic autoimmune liver disease (primary sclerosing cholangitis [PSC] and primary biliary cholangitis [PBC]). METHODS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were determined using the DiaSorin LIAISON and Roche immunoassays in 103 AIH, 64 PSC, and 61 PBC patients and 95 healthy controls >14 days after the second COVID-19 vaccination. The spike-specific T-cell response was assessed using an activation-induced marker assay (AIM) in a subset of individuals. RESULTS: Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was frequently detected in AIH but not in PBC/PSC (10/112 (9%), versus 4/144 (2.7%), p = 0.03). In the remaining patients, seroconversion was measurable in 97% of AIH and 99% of PBC/PSC patients, respectively. However, in 13/94 AIH patients antibody levels were lower than in any healthy control, which contributed to lower antibody levels of the total AIH cohort when compared to PBC/PSC or controls (641 vs. 1020 vs. 1200 BAU/ml, respectively). Notably, antibody levels were comparably low in AIH patients with (n = 85) and without immunosuppression (n = 9). Also, antibody titers significantly declined within 7 months after the second vaccination. In the AIM assay of 20 AIH patients, a spike-specific T-cell response was undetectable in 45% despite a positive serology, while 87% (13/15) of the PBC/PSC demonstrated a spike-specific T-cell response. CONCLUSION: Patients with AIH show an increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rate as well as an impaired B- and T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine compared to PBC and PSC patients, even in the absence of immunosuppression. Thus, antibody responses to vaccination in AIH patients need to be monitored and early booster immunizations considered in low responders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cholangitis, Sclerosing , Cholestasis , Hepatitis, Autoimmune , Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cholangitis, Sclerosing/complications , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/complications , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol ; 72(8): 382-385, 2022 Aug.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721689

ABSTRACT

This cross-sectional study compared hospital staff who had received influenza or COVID-19 vaccination or who had refused COVID-19 vaccination in terms of attitudes towards each vaccination, uptake of influenza vaccination and reasons for refusing COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine refusers rated the risk of infection for themselves and in general and the effectiveness of the vaccination lowest and the vaccination risk highest compared to the other two groups. They also reported the lowest past uptake of influenza vaccination. Perceived pressure to vaccinate proved to be a relevant barrier. Future vaccination campaigns should maintain a balance between information on vaccines, the need for vaccination, and voluntary uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Personnel, Hospital , Vaccination
10.
Int J Hyg Environ Health ; 238: 113851, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479610

ABSTRACT

In this longitudinal cohort study, we assessed the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroconversion rates and analyzed the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine-induced immunity of 872 hospital workers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf between May 11 and May 31, 2021. The overall seroprevalence of anti-NC-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 4.7% (n = 41), indicating low SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and persistent effectiveness of hospital-wide infection control interventions during the second and third wave of the pandemic. In total, 92.7% (n = 808) out of the entire study cohort, 98.2% (n = 325) of those who had been vaccinated once and all 393 individuals who had been vaccinated twice had detectable anti-S1-RBD-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and no significant differences in vaccine-induced immune response were detected between male and female individuals and between different age groups. Vaccinated study participants with detectable anti-NC-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers (n = 30) developed generally higher anti-S1-RBD-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers compared to anti-NC-SARS-CoV-2 negative individuals (n = 694) (median titer: 7812 vs. 345 BAU/ml, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, study participants who received heterologous vaccination with AZD1222 followed by an mRNA vaccine showed markedly higher anti-S1-RBD-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers than individuals who received two doses of an mRNA vaccine or two doses of AZD1222 (median titer: AZD1222/AZD1222: 1069 BAU/ml, mRNA/mRNA: 1388 BAU/ml, AZD1222/mRNA: 9450 BAU/ml; p < 0.0001). Our results indicate that infection control interventions were generally effective in preventing nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and that COVID-19 vaccines can elicit strong humoral responses in the majority of a real-world cohort of hospital workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 20(1): 162-172.e9, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Detailed information on the immune response after second vaccination of cirrhotic patients and liver transplant (LT) recipients against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely missing. We aimed at comparing the vaccine-induced humoral and T-cell responses of these vulnerable patient groups. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein titers were determined using the DiaSorin LIAISON (anti-S trimer) and Roche Elecsys (anti-S RBD) immunoassays in 194 patients (141 LT, 53 cirrhosis Child-Pugh A-C) and 56 healthy controls before and 10 to 84 days after second vaccination. The spike-specific T-cell response was assessed using an interferon-gamma release assay (EUROIMMUN). A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of low response. RESULTS: After the second vaccination, seroconversion was achieved in 63% of LT recipients and 100% of cirrhotic patients and controls using the anti-S trimer assay. Median anti-SARS-CoV-2 titers of responding LT recipients were lower compared with cirrhotic patients and controls (P < .001). Spike-specific T-cell response rates were 36.6%, 65.4%, and 100% in LT, cirrhosis, and controls, respectively. Altogether, 28% of LT recipients did neither develop a humoral nor a T-cell response after second vaccination. In LT recipients, significant predictors of absent or low humoral response were age >65 years (odds ratio [OR], 4.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48-14.05) and arterial hypertension (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.10-5.68), whereas vaccination failure was less likely with calcineurin inhibitor monotherapy than with other immunosuppressive regimens (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.13-0.99). CONCLUSION: Routine serological testing of the vaccination response and a third vaccination in patients with low or absent response seem advisable. These vulnerable cohorts need further research on the effects of heterologous vaccination and intermittent reduction of immunosuppression before booster vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Liver Cirrhosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
13.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(9): 1165-1168, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349280

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are among the most exposed and potentially most threatened populations of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite some reports on numbers of infections with SARS-CoV­2 in German healthcare workers, the courses of their clinical presentation when affected by COVID-19 are not well described. OBJECTIVE: In this contribution, characteristics and progressions of infected cases among healthcare workers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented. METHODS: Between 1 July and 28 July 2020, 67 healthcare workers, who previously tested positive for SARS-CoV­2 via PCR, were invited via E­mail to participate in an anonymous online questionnaire; 39 persons participated. RESULTS: Participants (58%) were mostly ≤ 39 years old (64%) and female (70%). Most healthcare workers were involved in direct patient management (85%), including contact with SARS-CoV­2 positive patients (62%). All participants reported acute symptoms with a median duration of 19 days. The most frequent symptoms were fatigue (85%), anosmia (67%), cough (64%), headache (62%), and shortness of breath (51%). The disease course was mostly mild with low admission rates (5%). Ongoing symptoms lasting more than four weeks post-symptom-onset, particularly anosmia, fatigue, and shortness of breath, were reported by 38%. This group more frequently had pre-existing conditions (53% vs. 12%, p = 0.010), specifically hypertension (27% vs. 4%, p = 0.062). DISCUSSION: Healthcare workers reported mostly mild courses of COVID-19 despite increased contact with SARS-CoV-2 patients. However, some reported persistent symptoms months after infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Universities
14.
United European Gastroenterol J ; 9(7): 797-808, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it is important to identify risk factors for COVID-19. Registry studies are providing growing evidence on the elevated risk of mortality from COVID-19 in patients with chronic liver disease, especially in advanced stages. Results may, however, have a selection bias towards severe cases. Limited data is available on COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune liver disease (AILD). AIM: To perform an online survey to capture the prevalence of COVID-19 and the state of medical care of patients with AILD in Europe during the pandemic. METHODS: Data was collected via an anonymous patient-oriented, online survey, which was available on the EUSurvey platform in nine European languages between 24th June 2020 and 14th October 2020. Of 1834 contributions, 51 were excluded because participants did not name an underlying AILD, and four were excluded because of duplicate data entry. RESULTS: Of 1,779 participants, 1,752 resided in 20 different countries of the European Union and the United Kingdom (UK). The five countries with the highest numbers of contributions were France (n = 450), Germany (n = 318), the Netherlands (n = 267), Spain (n = 225), and the UK (n = 183). 2.2% of participants (39/1779) had been diagnosed with COVID-19. There were no differences regarding age, sex, AILD, the status of liver cirrhosis, or status post liver transplantation between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 cases. Of the 39 COVID-19 cases, five patients were admitted to a regular ward, one patient was admitted to ICU and required ventilation. CONCLUSION: In our Europe-wide, patient-oriented survey on COVID-19 in patients with AILD, we detected a low rate of COVID-19, comparable to the period prevalence of the general population. These results suggest that patients with AILD are not at elevated risk of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , End Stage Liver Disease/epidemiology , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , End Stage Liver Disease/surgery , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/surgery , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/surgery , Liver Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
15.
J Clin Med ; 10(11)2021 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244046

ABSTRACT

In this study, we directly compared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients hospitalized during the first (27 February-28 July 2020) and second (29 July-31 December 2020) wave of the pandemic at a large tertiary center in northern Germany. Patients who presented during the first (n = 174) and second (n = 331) wave did not differ in age (median [IQR], 59 years [46, 71] vs. 58 years [42, 73]; p = 0.82) or age-adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index (median [IQR], 2 [1, 4] vs. 2 [0, 4]; p = 0.50). During the second wave, a higher proportion of patients were treated as outpatients (11% [n = 20] vs. 20% [n = 67]), fewer patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (43% [n = 75] vs. 29% [n = 96]), and duration of hospitalization was significantly shorter (median days [IQR], 14 [8, 34] vs. 11 [5, 19]; p < 0.001). However, in-hospital mortality was high throughout the pandemic and did not differ between the two periods (16% [n = 27] vs. 16% [n = 54]; p = 0.89). While novel treatment strategies and increased knowledge about the clinical management of COVID-19 may have resulted in a less severe disease course in some patients, in-hospital mortality remained unaltered at a high level. These findings highlight the unabated need for efforts to hamper severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, to increase vaccination coverage, and to develop novel treatment strategies to prevent mortality and decrease morbidity.

16.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178437

ABSTRACT

So far, only a few reports about reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have been published, and they often lack detailed immunological and virological data. We report about a SARS-CoV-2 reinfection with a genetically distinct SARS-CoV-2 variant in an immunocompetent female healthcare worker that has led to a mild disease course. No obvious viral escape mutations were observed in the second virus variant. The infectious virus was shed from the patient during the second infection episode despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies in her blood. Our data indicate that a moderate immune response after the first infection, but not a viral escape, did allow for reinfection and live virus shedding.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Reinfection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Female , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Shedding , Whole Genome Sequencing
17.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(7): 827-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a respiratory disease with a case fatality rate of up to 35%. Given its potential to cause a public health emergency and the absence of efficacious drugs or vaccines, MERS is one of the WHO priority diseases warranting urgent research and development of countermeasures. We aimed to assess safety and tolerability of an anti-MERS-CoV modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based vaccine candidate that expresses the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein, MVA-MERS-S, in healthy adults. METHODS: This open-label, phase 1 trial was done at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany). Participants were healthy men and women aged 18-55 years with no clinically significant health problems as determined during medical history and physical examination, a body-mass index of 18·5-30·0 kg/m2 and weight of more than 50 kg at screening, and a negative pregnancy test for women. A key exclusion criterion was a previous MVA vaccination. For the prime immunisation, participants received doses of 1 × 107 plaque-forming unit (PFU; low-dose group) or 1 × 108 PFU (high-dose group) MVA-MERS-S intramuscularly. A second identical dose was administered intramuscularly as a booster immunisation 28 days after first injection. As a control group for immunogenicity analyses, blood samples were drawn at identical study timepoints from six healthy adults, who did not receive any injections. The primary objectives of the study were safety and tolerability of the two dosage levels and reactogenicity after administration. Immunogenicity was assessed as a secondary endpoint by ELISA and neutralisation tests. T-cell immunity was evaluated by interferon-γ-linked enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot assay. All participants who were vaccinated at least once were included in the safety analysis. Immunogenicity was analysed in the participants who completed 6 months of follow-up. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03615911, and EudraCT, 2014-003195-23 FINDINGS: From Dec 17, 2017, to June 5, 2018, 26 participants (14 in the low-dose group and 12 in the high-dose group) were enrolled and received the first dose of the vaccine according to their group allocation. Of these, 23 participants (12 in the low-dose group and 11 in the high-dose group) received a second dose of MVA-MERS-S according to their group allocation after a 28-day interval and completed follow-up. Homologous prime-boost immunisation with MVA-MERS-S revealed a benign safety profile with only transient mild-to-moderate reactogenicity. Participants had no severe or serious adverse events. 67 vaccine-related adverse events were reported in ten (71%) of 14 participants in the low-dose group, and 111 were reported in ten (83%) of 12 participants in the high-dose group. Solicited local reactions were the most common adverse events: pain was observed in 17 (65%; seven in the low-dose group vs ten in the high-dose group) participants, swelling in ten (38%; two vs eight) participants, and induration in ten (38%; one vs nine) participants. Headaches (observed in seven participants in the low-dose group vs nine in the high-dose group) and fatigue or malaise (ten vs seven participants) were the most common solicited systemic adverse events. All adverse events resolved swiftly (within 1-3 days) and without sequelae. Following booster immunisation, nine (75%) of 12 participants in the low-dose group and 11 (100%) participants in the high-dose group showed seroconversion using a MERS-CoV S1 ELISA at any timepoint during the study. Binding antibody titres correlated with MERS-CoV-specific neutralising antibodies (Spearman's correlation r=0·86 [95% CI 0·6960-0·9427], p=0·0001). MERS-CoV spike-specific T-cell responses were detected in ten (83%) of 12 immunised participants in the low-dose group and ten (91%) of 11 immunised participants in the high-dose group. INTERPRETATION: Vaccination with MVA-MERS-S had a favourable safety profile without serious or severe adverse events. Homologous prime-boost immunisation induced humoral and cell-mediated responses against MERS-CoV. A dose-effect relationship was demonstrated for reactogenicity, but not for vaccine-induced immune responses. The data presented here support further clinical testing of MVA-MERS-S in larger cohorts to advance MERS vaccine development. FUNDING: German Center for Infection Research.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Genetic Vectors , Germany , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Vaccines, DNA , Young Adult
18.
Sci Immunol ; 6(56)2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099742

ABSTRACT

Hyperinflammation contributes to lung injury and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To understand the underlying mechanisms involved in lung pathology, we investigated the role of the lung-specific immune response. We profiled immune cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood collected from COVID-19 patients with severe disease and bacterial pneumonia patients not associated with viral infection. By tracking T cell clones across tissues, we identified clonally expanded tissue-resident memory-like Th17 cells (Trm17 cells) in the lungs even after viral clearance. These Trm17 cells were characterized by a a potentially pathogenic cytokine expression profile of IL17A and CSF2 (GM-CSF). Interactome analysis suggests that Trm17 cells can interact with lung macrophages and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which have been associated with disease severity and lung damage. High IL-17A and GM-CSF protein levels in the serum of COVID-19 patients were associated with a more severe clinical course. Collectively, our study suggests that pulmonary Trm17 cells are one potential orchestrator of the hyperinflammation in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Clone Cells , Humans , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/immunology , Lung/pathology , Myeloid Cells , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology
19.
J Hepatol ; 74(6): 1335-1343, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065332

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to have a devastating impact across the globe. However, little is known about the disease course in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). METHODS: Data for patients with AIH and SARS-CoV-2 infection were combined from 3 international reporting registries and outcomes were compared to those in patients with chronic liver disease of other aetiology (non-AIH CLD) and to patients without liver disease (non-CLD). RESULTS: Between 25th March and 24th October 2020, data were collected for 932 patients with CLD and SARS-CoV-2 infection including 70 with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Fifty-eight (83%) patients with AIH were taking ≥1 immunosuppressive drug. There were no differences in rates of major outcomes between patients with AIH and non-AIH CLD, including hospitalization (76% vs. 85%; p = 0.06), intensive care unit admission (29% vs. 23%; p = 0.240), and death (23% vs. 20%; p = 0.643). Factors associated with death within the AIH cohort included age (odds ratio [OR] 2.16/10 years; 1.07-3.81), and Child-Pugh class B (OR 42.48; 4.40-409.53), and C (OR 69.30; 2.83-1694.50) cirrhosis, but not use of immunosuppression. Propensity score matched (PSM) analysis comparing patients with AIH with non-AIH CLD demonstrated no increased risk of adverse outcomes including death (+3.2%; -9.2%-15.7%). PSM analysis of patients with AIH vs. non-CLD (n = 769) demonstrated increased risk of hospitalization with AIH (+18.4%; 5.6-31.2%), but equivalent risk of all other outcomes including death (+3.2%; -9.1%-15.6%). CONCLUSION: Patients with AIH were not at increased risk of adverse outcomes despite immunosuppressive treatment compared to other causes of CLD and to matched cases without liver disease. LAY SUMMARY: Little is known about the outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), a rare chronic inflammatory liver disease. This study combines data from 3 large registries to describe the course of COVID-19 in this patient group. We show that AIH patients do not appear to have an increased risk of death from COVID-19 compared to patients with other forms of liver disease and compared to patients without liver disease, despite the use of medications which suppress the immune system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Propensity Score
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