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1.
J Med Virol ; 95(6): e28831, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239959

ABSTRACT

Despite the higher transmissibility of Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC), several reports have suggested lower risk for hospitalization and severe outcomes compared to previous variants of SARS-CoV-2. This study, enrolling all COVID-19 adults admitted to a reference hospital who underwent both the S-gene-target-failure test and VOC identification by Sanger sequencing, aimed to describe the evolving prevalence of Delta and Omicron variants and to compare the main in-hospital outcomes of severity, during a trimester (December 2021 to March 2022) of VOCs' cocirculation. Factors associated with clinical progression to noninvasive ventilation (NIV)/mechanical ventilation (MV)/death within 10 days and to MV/admission to intensive care unit (ICU)/death within 28 days, were investigated through multivariable logistic regressions. Overall, VOCs were: Delta n = 130/428, Omicron n = 298/428 (sublineages BA.1 n = 275 and BA.2 n = 23). Until mid-February, Delta predominance shifted to BA.1, which was gradually displaced by BA.2 until mid-March. Participants with Omicron VOC were more likely to be older, fully vaccinated, with multiple comorbidities and to have a shorter time from symptoms' onset, and less likely to have systemic symptoms and respiratory complications. Although the need of NIV within 10 days and MV within 28 days from hospitalization and the admission to ICU were less frequent for patients with Omicron compared to those with Delta infections, mortality was similar between the two VOCs. In the adjusted analysis, multiple comorbidities and a longer time from symptoms' onset predicted 10-day clinical progression, while complete vaccination halved the risk. Multimorbidity was the only risk factor associated with 28-day clinical progression. In our population, in the first trimester of 2022, Omicron rapidly displaced Delta in COVID-19 hospitalized adults. Clinical profile and presentation differed between the two VOCs and, although Omicron infections showed a less severe clinical picture, no substantial differences for clinical progression were found. This finding suggests that any hospitalization, especially in more vulnerable individuals, may be at risk for severe progression, which is more related to the underlying frailty of patients than to the intrinsic severity of the viral variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Disease Progression
2.
Biomedicines ; 11(5)2023 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242417

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2-anti-spike antibody (anti-S/RBD) titers are often used as a marker of immune protection and to anticipate the risk of breakthrough infections, although no clear cut-off is available. We describe the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections in COVID-19-free personnel of our hospital, according to B- and T-cell immune response elicited one month after mRNA third dose vaccination. METHODS: The study included 487 individuals for whom data on anti-S/RBD were available. Neutralizing antibody titers (nAbsT) against the ancestral Whuan SARS-CoV-2, and the BA.1 Omicron variant, and SARS-CoV-2 T-cell specific response were measured in subsets of 197 (40.5%), 159 (32.6%), and 127 (26.1%) individuals, respectively. RESULTS: On a total of 92,063 days of observation, 204 participants (42%) had SARS-CoV-2 infection. No significant differences in the probability of SARS-CoV-2 infection for different levels of anti-S/RBD, nAbsT, Omicron nAbsT, or SARS-CoV-2 T cell specific response, and no protective thresholds for infection were found. CONCLUSIONS: Routine testing for vaccine-induced humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is not recommended if measured as parameters of 'protective immunity' from SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination. Whether these findings apply to new Omicron-specific bivalent vaccines is going to be evaluated.

3.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 13(9)2023 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319493

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by fast evolution with the appearance of several variants. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology is considered the gold standard for monitoring known and new SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, the complexity of this technology renders this approach impracticable in laboratories located in areas with limited resources. We analyzed the capability of the ThermoFisher TaqPath COVID-19 RT-PCR (TaqPath) and the Seegene Novaplex SARS-CoV-2 Variant assay (Novaplex) to detect Omicron variants; the Allplex VariantII (Allplex) was also evaluated for Delta variants. Sanger sequencing (SaS) was the reference method. The results obtained with n = 355 nasopharyngeal samples were: negative with TaqPath, although positive with other qualitative molecular assays (n = 35); undetermined (n = 40) with both the assays; negative for the ∆69/70 mutation and confirmed as the Delta variant via SaS (n = 100); positive for ∆69/70 and confirmed as Omicron BA.1 via SaS (n = 80); negative for ∆69/70 and typed as Omicron BA.2 via SaS (n = 80). Novaplex typed 27.5% of samples as undetermined with TaqPath, 11.4% of samples as negative with TaqPath, and confirmed 100% of samples were Omicron subtypes. In total, 99/100 samples were confirmed as the Delta variant with Allplex with a positive per cent agreement (PPA) of 98% compared to SaS. As undermined samples with Novaplex showed RdRp median Ct values (Ct = 35.4) statistically higher than those of typed samples (median Ct value = 22.0; p < 0.0001, Mann-Whitney test), the inability to establish SARS-CoV-2 variants was probably linked to the low viral load. No amplification was obtained with SaS among all 35 negative TaqPath samples. Overall, 20% of samples which were typed as negative or undetermined with TaqPath, and among them, twelve were not typed even by SaS, but they were instead correctly identified with Novaplex. Although full-genome sequencing remains the elected method to characterize new strains, our data show the high ability of a SNP-based assay to identify VOCs, also resolving samples typed as undetermined with TaqPath.

4.
Liver Int ; 43(5): 1120-1125, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272714

ABSTRACT

Weaker responses have been described after two doses of anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination in liver transplant recipients (LTRs). At the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases, 122 LTRs (84% males, median age 64 years) were tested for humoral and cell-mediated immune response after a third doses of anti-SARS-CoV2 mRNA vaccines. Humoral response was measured by quantifying anti-receptor binding domain and neutralizing antibodies; cell-mediated response was measured by quantifying IFN-γ after stimulation of T cells with SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides. Humoral and cellular responses improved significantly compared to the second vaccine dose; 86.4% of previous non-responders to the first 2 vaccine doses (N = 22) became responders. Mycophenolate mofetil-containing regimens were not associated with lower response rates to a third vaccine; shorter time since transplantation (<6 years) was associated with lower humoral and cellular responses to third vaccine. Protective antibodies against Omicron variant were detected in 60% of patients 12 weeks after third vaccine dose.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Male , Humans , Middle Aged , Female , Immunity, Humoral , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , RNA, Messenger , Antibodies, Viral , Transplant Recipients
5.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1104124, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2244588

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Immunocompromised patients have been shown to have an impaired immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. Methods: Here we compared the B-cell, T-cell and neutralizing antibody response to WT and Omicron BA.2 SARS-CoV-2 virus after the fourth dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with hematological malignancies (HM, n=71), solid tumors (ST, n=39) and immune-rheumatological (IR, n=25) diseases. The humoral and T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were analyzed by quantifying the anti-RBD antibodies, their neutralization activity and the IFN-γ released after spike specific stimulation. Results: We show that the T-cell response is similarly boosted by the fourth dose across the different subgroups, while the antibody response is improved only in patients not receiving B-cell targeted therapies, independent on the pathology. However, 9% of patients with anti-RBD antibodies did not have neutralizing antibodies to either virus variants, while an additional 5.7% did not have neutralizing antibodies to Omicron BA.2, making these patients particularly vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The increment of neutralizing antibodies was very similar towards Omicron BA.2 and WT virus after the third or fourth dose of vaccine, suggesting that there is no preferential skewing towards either virus variant with the booster dose. The only limited step is the amount of antibodies that are elicited after vaccination, thus increasing the probability of developing neutralizing antibodies to both variants of virus. Discussion: These data support the recommendation of additional booster doses in frail patients to enhance the development of a B-cell response directed against Omicron and/or to enhance the T-cell response in patients treated with anti-CD20.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2229082

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with solid or hematological tumors, neurological and immune-inflammatory disorders are potentially fragile subjects at increased risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 and an inadequate response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. METHODS: We designed a prospective Italian multicentrer study to assess humoral and T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients (n = 378) with solid tumors (ST), hematological malignancies (HM), neurological disorders (ND) and immunorheumatological diseases (ID). A group of healthy controls was also included. We analyzed the immunogenicity of the primary vaccination schedule and booster dose. RESULTS: The overall seroconversion rate in patients after 2 doses was 62.1%. Significantly lower rates were observed in HM (52.4%) and ID (51.9%) than in ST (95.6%) and ND (70.7%); a lower median antibody level was detected in HM and ID versus ST and ND (P < 0.0001). Similar rates of patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response were found in all disease groups, with a higher level observed in ND. The booster dose improved the humoral response in all disease groups, although to a lesser extent in HM patients, while the T-cell response increased similarly in all groups. In the multivariable logistic model, independent predictors of seroconversion were disease subgroup, treatment type and age. Ongoing treatment known to affect the immune system was associated with the worst humoral response to vaccination (P < 0.0001) but had no effect on T-cell responses. CONCLUSIONS: Immunosuppressive treatment more than disease type per se is a risk factor for a low humoral response after vaccination. The booster dose can improve both humoral and T-cell responses.

7.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 151(4): 911-921, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lymphopenia, particularly when restricted to the T-cell compartment, has been described as one of the major clinical hallmarks in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and proposed as an indicator of disease severity. Although several mechanisms fostering COVID-19-related lymphopenia have been described, including cell apoptosis and tissue homing, the underlying causes of the decline in T-cell count and function are still not completely understood. OBJECTIVE: Given that viral infections can directly target thymic microenvironment and impair the process of T-cell generation, we sought to investigate the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on thymic function. METHODS: We performed molecular quantification of T-cell receptor excision circles and κ-deleting recombination excision circles to assess, respectively, T- and B-cell neogenesis in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We developed a system for in vitro culture of primary human thymic epithelial cells (TECs) to mechanistically investigate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on TEC function. RESULTS: We showed that patients with COVID-19 had reduced thymic function that was inversely associated with the severity of the disease. We found that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, through which SARS-CoV-2 enters the host cells, was expressed by thymic epithelium, and in particular by medullary TECs. We also demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 can target TECs and downregulate critical genes and pathways associated with epithelial cell adhesion and survival. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that the human thymus is a target of SARS-CoV-2 and thymic function is altered following infection. These findings expand our current knowledge of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on T-cell homeostasis and suggest that monitoring thymic activity may be a useful marker to predict disease severity and progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphopenia , Humans , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thymus Gland , Lymphopenia/genetics , Patient Acuity
8.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 226: 115137, 2023 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228000

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy is one of the most promising immunotherapies that have shown the potential to prevent or neutralize the effects of COVID-19 in patients at very early stages, with a few formulations recently approved by the European and American medicine agencies. However, a main bottleneck for their general implementation resides in the time-consuming, laborious, and highly-specialized techniques employed for the manufacturing and assessing of these therapies, excessively increasing their prices and delaying their administration to the patients. We propose a biomimetic nanoplasmonic biosensor as a novel analytical technique for the screening and evaluation of COVID-19 mAb therapies in a simpler, faster, and reliable manner. By creating an artificial cell membrane on the plasmonic sensor surface, our label-free sensing approach enables real-time monitoring of virus-cell interactions as well as direct analysis of antibody blocking effects in only 15 min assay time. We have achieved detection limits in the 102 TCID50/mL range for the study of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, which allows to perform neutralization assays by only employing a low-volume sample with common viral loads. We have demonstrated the accuracy of the biosensor for the evaluation of two different neutralizing antibodies targeting both Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2, with half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) determined in the ng/mL range. Our user-friendly and reliable technology could be employed in biomedical and pharmaceutical laboratories to accelerate, cheapen, and simplify the development of effective immunotherapies for COVID-19 and other serious infectious diseases or cancer.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Humans , Biomimetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents
9.
Front Immunol ; 13: 981693, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142011

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 might affect vaccine efficacy. Therefore, assessing the capacity of sera to neutralize variants of concern (VOCs) in BSL-2 conditions will help evaluating the immune status of population following vaccination or infection. Methods: Pseudotyped viruses bearing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from Wuhan-Hu-1/D614G strains (wild type, WT), B.1.617.2 (Delta), or B.1.1.529 (Omicron) VOCs were generated to assess the neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) activity by a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay (PVNA). PVNA performance was assessed in comparison to the micro-neutralization test (MNT) based on live viruses. Sera collected from COVID-19 convalescents and vaccinees receiving mRNA (BNT16b2 or mRNA-1273) or viral vector (AZD1222 or Ad26.COV2.S) vaccines were used to measure nAbs elicited by two-dose BNT16b2, mRNA-1273, AZD1222 or one-dose Ad26.CO2.S, at different times from completed vaccination, ~ 1.5 month and ~ 4-6 months. Sera from pre-pandemic and unvaccinated individuals were analyzed as controls. Neutralizing activity following booster vaccinations against VOCs was also determined. Results: PVNA titers correlated with the gold standard MNT assay, validating the reliability of PVNA. Sera analyzed late from the second dose showed a reduced neutralization activity compared to sera collected earlier. Ad26.CO2.S vaccination led to very low or absent nAbs. Neutralization of Delta and Omicron BA.1 VOCs showed significant reduction of nAbs respect to WT strain. Importantly, booster doses enhanced Omicron BA.1 nAbs, with persistent levels at 3 months from boosting. Conclusions: PVNA is a reliable tool for assessing anti-SARS-CoV-2 nAbs helping the establishment of a correlate of protection and the management of vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA Viruses , Ad26COVS1 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Dioxide , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , RNA, Messenger , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Viral Envelope Proteins
10.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2057705

ABSTRACT

Objectives Emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 might affect vaccine efficacy. Therefore, assessing the capacity of sera to neutralize variants of concern (VOCs) in BSL-2 conditions will help evaluating the immune status of population following vaccination or infection. Methods Pseudotyped viruses bearing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from Wuhan-Hu-1/D614G strains (wild type, WT), B.1.617.2 (Delta), or B.1.1.529 (Omicron) VOCs were generated to assess the neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) activity by a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay (PVNA). PVNA performance was assessed in comparison to the micro-neutralization test (MNT) based on live viruses. Sera collected from COVID-19 convalescents and vaccinees receiving mRNA (BNT16b2 or mRNA-1273) or viral vector (AZD1222 or Ad26.COV2.S) vaccines were used to measure nAbs elicited by two-dose BNT16b2, mRNA-1273, AZD1222 or one-dose Ad26.CO2.S, at different times from completed vaccination, ~ 1.5 month and ~ 4-6 months. Sera from pre-pandemic and unvaccinated individuals were analyzed as controls. Neutralizing activity following booster vaccinations against VOCs was also determined. Results PVNA titers correlated with the gold standard MNT assay, validating the reliability of PVNA. Sera analyzed late from the second dose showed a reduced neutralization activity compared to sera collected earlier. Ad26.CO2.S vaccination led to very low or absent nAbs. Neutralization of Delta and Omicron BA.1 VOCs showed significant reduction of nAbs respect to WT strain. Importantly, booster doses enhanced Omicron BA.1 nAbs, with persistent levels at 3 months from boosting. Conclusions PVNA is a reliable tool for assessing anti-SARS-CoV-2 nAbs helping the establishment of a correlate of protection and the management of vaccination strategies.

11.
Cells ; 11(18)2022 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043595

ABSTRACT

Airway epithelial cells represent the main target of SARS-CoV-2 replication but several pieces of evidence suggest that endothelial cells (ECs), lining pulmonary blood vessels, are key players in lung injury in COVID-19 patients. Although in vivo evidence of SARS-CoV-2 affecting the vascular endothelium exists, in vitro data are limited. In the present study, we set up an organotypic model to dissect the crosstalk between airway epithelium and pulmonary endothelial cells during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We showed that SARS-CoV-2 infected airway epithelium triggers the induction of endothelial adhesion molecules in ECs, suggesting a bystander effect of dangerous soluble signals from the infected epithelium. The endothelial activation was correlated with inflammatory cytokines (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8) and with the viral replication in the airway epithelium. Interestingly, SARS-CoV-2 infection determined a modulation of endothelial p21, which could be partially reversed by inhibiting IFN-ß production from ECs when co-cultured with HAE. Altogether, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infected epithelium triggers activation/senescence processes in ECs involving type I IFN-ß production, suggesting possible antiviral/damage mechanisms occurring in the endothelium.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells , Interferon Type I , COVID-19/immunology , Cellular Senescence , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Epithelium , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interleukin-6 , Interleukin-8 , Lung , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pathogens ; 11(9)2022 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043891

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic the Real Time sharing of genome sequences of circulating virus supported the diagnostics and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and its transmission dynamics. SARS-CoV-2 straightaway showed its tendency to mutate and adapt to the host, culminating in the emergence of variants; so it immediately became of crucial importance to be able to detect them quickly but also to be able to monitor in depth the changes on the whole genome to early identify the new possibly emerging variants. In this scenario, this manuscript aims to provide an overview of the existing methods for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants (from rapid method based on identification of one or more specific mutations to Whole Genome sequencing approach-WGS), taking into account limitations, advantages and applications of them in the field of diagnosis and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2.

13.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 111, 2022 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2042324

ABSTRACT

Despite the successful deployment of efficacious vaccines and therapeutics, the development of novel vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 remains a major goal to increase vaccine doses availability and accessibility for lower income setting. We report here on the kinetics of Spike-specific humoral and T-cell response in young and old volunteers over 6 months follow-up after a single intramuscular administration of GRAd-COV2, a gorilla adenoviral vector-based vaccine candidate currently in phase-2 of clinical development. At all three tested vaccine dosages, Spike binding and neutralizing antibodies were induced and substantially maintained up to 3 months, to then contract at 6 months. Potent T-cell responses were readily induced and sustained throughout the study period, with only minor decline. No major differences in immune response to GRAd-COV2 vaccination were observed in the two age cohorts. In light of its favorable safety and immunogenicity, GRAd-COV2 is a valuable candidate for further clinical development and potential addition to the COVID-19 vaccine toolbox to help fighting SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

14.
J Clin Virol ; 157: 105299, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2041915

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 has evolved, leading to the emergence of new Variants Of Concern (VOCs) with significant impact on transmissibility. Although the transmission process is complex, higher nasopharyngeal viral load (NP-VL) can be considered as a proxy for greater transmissibility. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this analysis was to compare NP-VL across a set of representative VOCs observed in mildly symptomatic patients. STUDY DESIGN: Observational single-center comparative analysis of patients with early mild-to-moderate COVID-19, enrolled within the early treatment access program of Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute (March 2021-March 2022). NP-VL before drug administration was estimated through RT-PCR, based on cycle threshold values (CTs); VOCs were identified by Sanger sequencing. VOCs' average treatment effect (ATE) was estimated on the CTs fitted in the log2 scale, controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: A total of 707 patients were included. VOCs were: 10% Alpha, 3% Gamma, 34% Delta, 34% BA.1, 19% BA.2. Mean CTs for BA.1 and BA.2 were lower than Delta and BA.1, respectively. After adjusting for calendar time, age, immunodeficiency and vaccination, CTs for Gamma were lower than those seen for Alpha and higher than Delta, for Delta were similar to BA.1, for BA.2 were lower than Delta and BA.1. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis shows higher NP-VL of BA.2 compared to previously circulating VOCs, even after controlling for factors potentially contributing to the amount of nasopharyngeal viral RNA, included vaccination, supporting the increased transmissibility of BA.2. Further studies are necessary to clarify this mechanism and to provide guidance for public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Viral Load , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis
15.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4922, 2022 08 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000884

ABSTRACT

In order to investigate safety and immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine third dose in people living with HIV (PLWH), we analyze anti-RBD, microneutralization assay and IFN-γ production in 216 PLWH on ART with advanced disease (CD4 count <200 cell/mm3 and/or previous AIDS) receiving the third dose of a mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) after a median of 142 days from the second dose. Median age is 54 years, median CD4 nadir 45 cell/mm3 (20-122), 93% HIV-RNA < 50 c/mL. In 68% of PLWH at least one side-effect, generally mild, is recorded. Humoral response after the third dose was strong and higher than that achieved with the second dose (>2 log2 difference), especially when a heterologous combination with mRNA-1273 as third shot is used. In contrast, cell-mediated immunity remain stable. Our data support usefulness of third dose in PLWH currently receiving suppressive ART who presented with severe immune dysregulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Viruses ; 14(8)2022 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969515

ABSTRACT

The aim was to measure neutralizing antibody levels against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (BA.1) variant in serum samples obtained from vaccinated PLWH and healthcare workers (HCW) and compare them with those against the Wuhan-D614G (W-D614G) strain, before and after the third dose of a mRNA vaccine. We included 106 PLWH and 28 HCWs, for a total of 134 participants. Before the third dose, the proportion of participants with undetectable nAbsT against BA.1 was 88% in the PLWH low CD4 nadir group, 80% in the high nadir group and 100% in the HCW. Before the third dose, the proportion of participants with detectable nAbsT against BA.1 was 12% in the PLWH low nadir group, 20% in the high nadir group and 0% in HCW, respectively. After 2 weeks from the third dose, 89% of the PLWH in the low nadir group, 100% in the high nadir group and 96% of HCW elicited detectable nAbsT against BA.1. After the third dose, the mean log2 nAbsT against BA.1 in the HCW and PLWH with a high nadir group was lower than that seen against W-D614G (6.1 log2 (±1.8) vs. 7.9 (±1.1) and 6.4 (±1.3) vs. 8.6 (±0.8)), respectively. We found no evidence of a different level of nAbsT neutralization by BA.1 vs. W-D614G between PLWH with a high CD4 nadir and HCW (0.40 (-1.64, 2.43); p = 0.703). Interestingly, in PLWH with a low CD4 nadir, the mean log2 difference between nAbsT against BA.1 and W-D614G was smaller in those with current CD4 counts 201-500 vs. those with CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm3 (-0.80 (-1.52, -0.08); p = 0.029), suggesting that in this target population with a low CD4 nadir, current CD4 count might play a role in diversifying the level of SARS-CoV-2 neutralization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
17.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939028

ABSTRACT

The main aim of this study was to describe the clinical and immunological outcomes, as well as the inflammatory profile, of patients with advanced HIV in an assisted-living facility in which an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred. SARS-CoV-2 humoral and specific T-cell response were analyzed in patients with HIV infection and COVID-19; as a secondary objective of the analysis, levels of the inflammatory markers (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα) were tested in the HIV/COVID-19 group, in HIV-positive patients without COVID-19, and in HIV-negative patients with mild/moderate COVID-19. Antibody kinetics and ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated by ELISA assay, as well as the inflammatory cytokines; SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell response was quantified by ELISpot assay. Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for comparisons. Thirty patients were included with the following demographics: age, 57 years old (IQR, 53-62); 76% male; median HIV duration of infection, 18 years (15-29); nadir of CD4, 57/mmc (23-100) current CD4 count, 348/mmc (186-565). Furthermore, 83% had at least one comorbidity. The severity of COVID-19 was mild/moderate, and the overall mortality rate was 10% (3/30). Additionally, 90% of patients showed positive antibody titers and neutralizing activity, with a 100% positive SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell response over time, suggesting the ability to induce an effective specific immunity. Significantly higher levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α in COVID-19 without HIV vs. HIV/COVID-19 patients (p < 0.05) were observed. HIV infection did not seem to negatively impact COVID-19-related inflammatory state and immunity. Further data are mandatory to evaluate the persistence of these immunity and its ability to expand after exposure and/or vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Interleukin-6 , Interleukin-8 , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1928683

ABSTRACT

The new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in November 2021, is rapidly spreading all around the world. Omicron has become the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2. There are many ongoing studies evaluating the effectiveness of existing vaccines. Studies on the neutralizing activity of vaccinated sera against the Omicron variant are currently being carried out in many laboratories. In this study, we have shown the neutralizing activity of sera against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant compared to the reference Wuhan D614G variant in individuals vaccinated with two doses of Sputnik V up to 6 months after vaccination and in individuals who experienced SARS-CoV-2 infection either before or after vaccination. As a control to our study we also measured neutralizing antibody titers in individuals vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2. The decrease in NtAb titers to the Omicron variant was 8.1-fold for the group of Sputnik V-vaccinated individuals. When the samples were stratified for the time period after vaccination, a 7.6-fold or 8.8-fold decrease in NtAb titers was noticed after up to 3 and 3-to-6 months after vaccination. We observed a 6.7- and 5-fold decrease in Sputnik V-vaccinated individuals experiencing asymptomatic or symptomatic infection, respectively. These results highlight the observation that the decrease in NtAb to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant compared to the Wuhan variant occurs for different COVID-19 vaccines in use, with some showing no neutralization at all, confirming the necessity of a third booster vaccination.

19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 122: 401-404, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907181

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Considering the spread of new genetic variants and their impact on public health, it is important to have assays that are able to rapidly detect SARS-CoV-2 variants. METHODS: We retrospectively examined 118 positive nasopharyngeal swabs, first characterized by the Sanger sequencing, using the Simplexa® SARS-CoV-2 Variants Direct assay, with the aim of evaluating the performance of the assay to detect N501Y, G496S, Q498R, Y505H, E484K, E484Q, E484A, and L452R mutations. RESULTS: A total of 111/118 nasopharyngeal swabs were in complete agreement with the Sanger sequencing, whereas the remaining seven samples were not amplified due to the low viral load. The evaluation of the ability of the assay to detect the E484Q mutation was performed using a viral isolate of the SARS-CoV-2 Kappa variant, showing concordance in 15/15 samples. Simplexa® SARS-CoV-2 Variant Direct assay was able to detect mutation pattern of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron variants with 100% specificity and 94% sensitivity, whereas 100% sensitivity and specificity for the Kappa variant was observed. CONCLUSION: The assay can be useful to obtain faster results, contributing to a prompt surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants; however, it requires to be confirmed by the Sanger method, especially in the case of pattern of mutations that are different from those expected and also requires updates as new variants emerge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e552-e563, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine immunogenicity in PLWH are currently limited. Aim of the study was to investigate immunogenicity according to current CD4 T-cell count. METHODS: PLWH on ART attending a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination program, were included in a prospective immunogenicity evaluation after receiving BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273. Participants were stratified by current CD4 T-cell count (poor CD4 recovery, PCDR: <200/mm3; intermediate CD4 recovery, ICDR: 200-500/mm3; high CD4 recovery, HCDR: >500/mm3). RBD-binding IgG, SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and IFN-γ release were measured. As control group, HIV-negative healthcare workers (HCWs) were used. FINDINGS: Among 166 PLWH, after 1 month from the booster dose, detectable RBD-binding IgG were elicited in 86.7% of PCDR, 100% of ICDR, 98.7% of HCDR, and a neutralizing titre ≥1:10 elicited in 70.0%, 88.2%, and 93.1%, respectively. Compared to HCDR, all immune response parameters were significantly lower in PCDR. After adjusting for confounders, current CD4 T-cell <200/mm3 significantly predicted a poor magnitude of anti-RDB, nAbs and IFN-γ response. As compared with HCWs, PCDR elicited a consistently reduced immunogenicity for all parameters, ICDR only a reduced RBD-binding antibody response, whereas HCDR elicited a comparable immune response for all parameters. CONCLUSION: Humoral and cell-mediated immune response against SARS-CoV-2 were elicited in most of PLWH, albeit significantly poorer in those with CD4 T-cell <200/mm3 versus those with >500 cell/mm3 and HIV-negative controls. A lower RBD-binding antibody response than HCWs was also observed in PLWH with CD4 T-cell 200-500/mm3, whereas immune response elicited in PLWH with a CD4 T-cell >500/mm3 was comparable to HIV-negative population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , HIV , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G , Lymphocyte Count , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
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