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1.
EBioMedicine ; 81: 104129, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906949

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is currently no consensus on the diagnosis, definition, symptoms, or duration of COVID-19 illness. The diagnostic complexity of Long COVID is compounded in many patients who were or might have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not tested during the acute illness and/or are SARS-CoV-2 antibody negative. METHODS: Given the diagnostic conundrum of Long COVID, we set out to investigate SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or Long COVID from a cohort of mostly non-hospitalised patients. FINDINGS: We discovered that IL-2 release (but not IFN-γ release) from T cells in response to SARS-CoV-2 peptides is both sensitive (75% +/-13%) and specific (88%+/-7%) for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection >6 months after a positive PCR test. We identified that 42-53% of patients with Long COVID, but without detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, nonetheless have detectable SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses. INTERPRETATION: Our study reveals evidence (detectable T cell mediated IL-2 release) of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in seronegative patients with Long COVID. FUNDING: This work was funded by the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (900276 to NS), NIHR award (G112259 to NS) and supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. NJM is supported by the MRC (TSF MR/T032413/1) and NHSBT (WPA15-02). PJL is supported by the Wellcome Trust (PRF 210688/Z/18/Z, 084957/Z/08/Z), a Medical Research Council research grant MR/V011561/1 and the United Kingdom Research and a Innovation COVID Immunology Consortium grant (MR/V028448/1).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Interleukin-2 , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Cell Rep ; 38(7): 110393, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719435

ABSTRACT

B cells are important in immunity to both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and vaccination, but B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire development in these contexts has not been compared. We analyze serial samples from 171 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals and 63 vaccine recipients and find the global BCR repertoire differs between them. Following infection, immunoglobulin (Ig)G1/3 and IgA1 BCRs increase, somatic hypermutation (SHM) decreases, and, in severe disease, IgM and IgA clones are expanded. In contrast, after vaccination, the proportion of IgD/M BCRs increase, SHM is unchanged, and expansion of IgG clones is prominent. VH1-24, which targets the N-terminal domain (NTD) and contributes to neutralization, is expanded post infection except in the most severe disease. Infection generates a broad distribution of SARS-CoV-2-specific clones predicted to target the spike protein, while a more focused response after vaccination mainly targets the spike's receptor-binding domain. Thus, the nature of SARS-CoV-2 exposure differentially affects BCR repertoire development, potentially informing vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Vaccination , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clonal Evolution , Humans , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/genetics , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/immunology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/genetics , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/genetics , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/immunology , Kinetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
iScience ; 25(3): 103971, 2022 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699877

ABSTRACT

Clotting Factor V (FV) is primarily synthesized in the liver and when cleaved by thrombin forms pro-coagulant Factor Va (FVa). Using whole blood RNAseq and scRNAseq of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we find that FV mRNA is expressed in leukocytes, and identify neutrophils, monocytes, and T regulatory cells as sources of increased FV in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Proteomic analysis confirms increased FV in circulating neutrophils in severe COVID-19, and immunofluorescence microscopy identifies FV in lung-infiltrating leukocytes in COVID-19 lung disease. Increased leukocyte FV expression in severe disease correlates with T-cell lymphopenia. Both plasma-derived and a cleavage resistant recombinant FV, but not thrombin cleaved FVa, suppress T-cell proliferation in vitro. Anticoagulants that reduce FV conversion to FVa, including heparin, may have the unintended consequence of suppressing the adaptive immune system.

4.
iScience ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695175

ABSTRACT

Clotting Factor V (FV) is primarily synthesised in the liver and when cleaved by thrombin forms pro-coagulant Factor Va (FVa). Using whole blood RNAseq and scRNAseq of peripheral blood mononuclear cells we find that FV mRNA is expressed in leukocytes, and identify neutrophils, monocytes and T regulatory cells as sources of increased FV in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Proteomic analysis confirms increased FV in circulating neutrophils in severe COVID-19, and immunofluorescence microscopy identifies FV in lung-infiltrating leukocytes in COVID-19 lung disease. Increased leukocyte FV expression in severe disease correlates with T cell lymphopenia. Both plasma-derived and a cleavage resistant recombinant FV, but not thrombin cleaved FVa, suppress T cell proliferation in vitro. Anticoagulants that reduce FV conversion to FVa, including heparin, may have the unintended consequence of suppressing the adaptive immune system. Graphical

5.
EBioMedicine ; 77: 103878, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693688

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prominent early features of COVID-19 include severe, often clinically silent, hypoxia and a pronounced reduction in B cells, the latter important in defence against SARS-CoV-2. This presentation resembles the phenotype of mice with VHL-deficient B cells, in which Hypoxia-Inducible Factors are constitutively active, suggesting hypoxia might drive B cell abnormalities in COVID-19. METHODS: Detailed B cell phenotyping was undertaken by flow-cytometry on longitudinal samples from patients with COVID-19 across a range of severities (NIHR Cambridge BioResource). The impact of hypoxia on the transcriptome was assessed by single-cell and whole blood RNA sequencing analysis. The direct effect of hypoxia on B cells was determined through immunisation studies in genetically modified and hypoxia-exposed mice. FINDINGS: We demonstrate the breadth of early and persistent defects in B cell subsets in moderate/severe COVID-19, including reduced marginal zone-like, memory and transitional B cells, changes also observed in B cell VHL-deficient mice. These findings were associated with hypoxia-related transcriptional changes in COVID-19 patient B cells, and similar B cell abnormalities were seen in mice kept in hypoxic conditions. INTERPRETATION: Hypoxia may contribute to the pronounced and persistent B cell pathology observed in acute COVID-19 pneumonia. Assessment of the impact of early oxygen therapy on these immune defects should be considered, as their correction could contribute to improved outcomes. FUNDING: Evelyn Trust, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, UKRI/NIHR, Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia , Animals , Humans , Hypoxia , Mice , Oxygen , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Cell reports ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1661209

ABSTRACT

Kotagiri et al. find that SARS-CoV-2 infection versus vaccination induces distinct changes in the B cell receptor repertoire, including prominent clonal expansion in IgA and IgM after infection, but IgG after vaccination. A broad anti-spike response to infection contrasts with a narrower RBD-focused one after vaccination, potentially informing vaccination strategies.

7.
Nature ; 596(7872): 417-422, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287811

ABSTRACT

Although two-dose mRNA vaccination provides excellent protection against SARS-CoV-2, there is little information about vaccine efficacy against variants of concern (VOC) in individuals above eighty years of age1. Here we analysed immune responses following vaccination with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine2 in elderly participants and younger healthcare workers. Serum neutralization and levels of binding IgG or IgA after the first vaccine dose were lower in older individuals, with a marked drop in participants over eighty years old. Sera from participants above eighty showed lower neutralization potency against the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta) and P.1. (Gamma) VOC than against the wild-type virus and were more likely to lack any neutralization against VOC following the first dose. However, following the second dose, neutralization against VOC was detectable regardless of age. The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific memory B cells was higher in elderly responders (whose serum showed neutralization activity) than in non-responders after the first dose. Elderly participants showed a clear reduction in somatic hypermutation of class-switched cells. The production of interferon-γ and interleukin-2 by SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cells was lower in older participants, and both cytokines were secreted primarily by CD4 T cells. We conclude that the elderly are a high-risk population and that specific measures to boost vaccine responses in this population are warranted, particularly where variants of concern are circulating.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
8.
Immunity ; 54(6): 1257-1275.e8, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230571

ABSTRACT

The kinetics of the immune changes in COVID-19 across severity groups have not been rigorously assessed. Using immunophenotyping, RNA sequencing, and serum cytokine analysis, we analyzed serial samples from 207 SARS-CoV2-infected individuals with a range of disease severities over 12 weeks from symptom onset. An early robust bystander CD8+ T cell immune response, without systemic inflammation, characterized asymptomatic or mild disease. Hospitalized individuals had delayed bystander responses and systemic inflammation that was already evident near symptom onset, indicating that immunopathology may be inevitable in some individuals. Viral load did not correlate with this early pathological response but did correlate with subsequent disease severity. Immune recovery is complex, with profound persistent cellular abnormalities in severe disease correlating with altered inflammatory responses, with signatures associated with increased oxidative phosphorylation replacing those driven by cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-6. These late immunometabolic and immune defects may have clinical implications.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Biomarkers , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Susceptibility , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Activation/genetics , Oxidative Phosphorylation , Phenotype , Prognosis , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome
9.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 6385, 2020 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977267

ABSTRACT

The response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been hampered by lack of an effective severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antiviral therapy. Here we report the use of remdesivir in a patient with COVID-19 and the prototypic genetic antibody deficiency X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA). Despite evidence of complement activation and a robust T cell response, the patient developed persistent SARS-CoV-2 pneumonitis, without progressing to multi-organ involvement. This unusual clinical course is consistent with a contribution of antibodies to both viral clearance and progression to severe disease. In the absence of these confounders, we take an experimental medicine approach to examine the in vivo utility of remdesivir. Over two independent courses of treatment, we observe a temporally correlated clinical and virological response, leading to clinical resolution and viral clearance, with no evidence of acquired drug resistance. We therefore provide evidence for the antiviral efficacy of remdesivir in vivo, and its potential benefit in selected patients.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adult , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Fever/prevention & control , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Treatment Outcome
10.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(6): 100099, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738567

ABSTRACT

Rapid COVID-19 diagnosis in the hospital is essential, although this is complicated by 30%-50% of nose/throat swabs being negative by SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Furthermore, the D614G spike mutant dominates the pandemic and it is unclear how serological tests designed to detect anti-spike antibodies perform against this variant. We assess the diagnostic accuracy of combined rapid antibody point of care (POC) and nucleic acid assays for suspected COVID-19 disease due to either wild-type or the D614G spike mutant SARS-CoV-2. The overall detection rate for COVID-19 is 79.2% (95% CI 57.8-92.9) by rapid NAAT alone. The combined point of care antibody test and rapid NAAT is not affected by D614G and results in very high sensitivity for COVID-19 diagnosis with very high specificity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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