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1.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 205(12): 1403-1418, 2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098104

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Lymphopenia is common in severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), yet the immune mechanisms are poorly understood. As inflammatory cytokines are increased in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we hypothesized a role in contributing to reduced T-cell numbers. Objectives: We sought to characterize the functional SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses in patients with severe versus recovered, mild COVID-19 to determine whether differences were detectable. Methods: Using flow cytometry and single-cell RNA sequence analyses, we assessed SARS-CoV-2-specific responses in our cohort. Measurements and Main Results: In 148 patients with severe COVID-19, we found lymphopenia was associated with worse survival. CD4+ lymphopenia predominated, with lower CD4+/CD8+ ratios in severe COVID-19 compared with patients with mild disease (P < 0.0001). In severe disease, immunodominant CD4+ T-cell responses to Spike-1 (S1) produced increased in vitro TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α) but demonstrated impaired S1-specific proliferation and increased susceptibility to activation-induced cell death after antigen exposure. CD4+TNF-α+ T-cell responses inversely correlated with absolute CD4+ counts from patients with severe COVID-19 (n = 76; R = -0.797; P < 0.0001). In vitro TNF-α blockade, including infliximab or anti-TNF receptor 1 antibodies, strikingly rescued S1-specific CD4+ T-cell proliferation and abrogated S1-specific activation-induced cell death in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with severe COVID-19 (P < 0.001). Single-cell RNA sequencing demonstrated marked downregulation of type-1 cytokines and NFκB signaling in S1-stimulated CD4+ cells with infliximab treatment. We also evaluated BAL and lung explant CD4+ T cells recovered from patients with severe COVID-19 and observed that lung T cells produced higher TNF-α compared with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Conclusions: Together, our findings show CD4+ dysfunction in severe COVID-19 is TNF-α/TNF receptor 1-dependent through immune mechanisms that may contribute to lymphopenia. TNF-α blockade may be beneficial in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphopenia , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Cytokines , Humans , Infliximab , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e630-e644, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886372

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We studied humoral responses after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination across varying causes of immunodeficiency. METHODS: Prospective study of fully vaccinated immunocompromised adults (solid organ transplant [SOT], hematologic malignancy, solid cancers, autoimmune conditions, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]) versus nonimmunocompromised healthcare workers (HCWs). The primary outcome was the proportion with a reactive test (seropositive) for immunoglobulin G to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain. Secondary outcomes were comparisons of antibody levels and their correlation with pseudovirus neutralization titers. Stepwise logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with seropositivity. RESULTS: A total of 1271 participants enrolled: 1099 immunocompromised and 172 HCW. Compared with HCW (92.4% seropositive), seropositivity was lower among participants with SOT (30.7%), hematological malignancies (50.0%), autoimmune conditions (79.1%), solid tumors (78.7%), and HIV (79.8%) (P < .01). Factors associated with poor seropositivity included age, greater immunosuppression, time since vaccination, anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, and vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer) or adenovirus vector vaccines versus messenger RNA (mRNA)-1273 (Moderna). mRNA-1273 was associated with higher antibody levels than BNT162b2 or adenovirus vector vaccines after adjusting for time since vaccination, age, and underlying condition. Antibody levels were strongly correlated with pseudovirus neutralization titers (Spearman r = 0.89, P < .0001), but in seropositive participants with intermediate antibody levels, neutralization titers were significantly lower in immunocompromised individuals versus HCW. CONCLUSIONS: Antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccines were lowest among SOT and anti-CD20 monoclonal recipients, and recipients of vaccines other than mRNA-1273. Among those with intermediate antibody levels, pseudovirus neutralization titers were lower in immunocompromised patients than HCWs. Additional SARS-CoV-2 preventive approaches are needed for immunocompromised persons, which may need to be tailored to the cause of immunodeficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , HIV Infections/complications , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(10): ofab170, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526173

ABSTRACT

It has been established that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a membrane-bound regulatory peptide, for host cell entry. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors have been reported to increase ACE2 in type 2 pneumocyte pulmonary tissue. Controversy exists for the continuation of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in the current pandemic. ACE2 serves as a regulatory enzyme in maintaining homeostasis between proinflammatory angiotensin II and anti-inflammatory angiotensin 1,7 peptides. Derangements in these peptides are associated with cardiovascular disease and are implicated in the progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Augmentation of the ACE2/Ang 1,7 axis represents a critical target in the supportive management of coronavirus disease 2019-associated lung disease. Observational data describing the use of RAAS inhibitors in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 have not borne signals of harm to date. However, equipoise persists, requiring an analysis of novel agents including recombinant human-ACE2 and existing RAAS inhibitors while balancing ongoing controversies associated with increased coronavirus infectivity and virulence.

5.
N Engl J Med ; 385(21): 1951-1960, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361668

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early administration of convalescent plasma obtained from blood donors who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) may prevent disease progression in acutely ill, high-risk patients with Covid-19. METHODS: In this randomized, multicenter, single-blind trial, we assigned patients who were being treated in an emergency department for Covid-19 symptoms to receive either one unit of convalescent plasma with a high titer of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or placebo. All the patients were either 50 years of age or older or had one or more risk factors for disease progression. In addition, all the patients presented to the emergency department within 7 days after symptom onset and were in stable condition for outpatient management. The primary outcome was disease progression within 15 days after randomization, which was a composite of hospital admission for any reason, seeking emergency or urgent care, or death without hospitalization. Secondary outcomes included the worst severity of illness on an 8-category ordinal scale, hospital-free days within 30 days after randomization, and death from any cause. RESULTS: A total of 511 patients were enrolled in the trial (257 in the convalescent-plasma group and 254 in the placebo group). The median age of the patients was 54 years; the median symptom duration was 4 days. In the donor plasma samples, the median titer of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies was 1:641. Disease progression occurred in 77 patients (30.0%) in the convalescent-plasma group and in 81 patients (31.9%) in the placebo group (risk difference, 1.9 percentage points; 95% credible interval, -6.0 to 9.8; posterior probability of superiority of convalescent plasma, 0.68). Five patients in the plasma group and 1 patient in the placebo group died. Outcomes regarding worst illness severity and hospital-free days were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The administration of Covid-19 convalescent plasma to high-risk outpatients within 1 week after the onset of symptoms of Covid-19 did not prevent disease progression. (SIREN-C3PO ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04355767.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Disease Progression , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Infusions, Intravenous , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Single-Blind Method , Treatment Failure , Young Adult
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3907, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281720

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) is the pathogenic coronavirus responsible for the global pandemic of COVID-19 disease. The Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 attaches to host lung epithelial cells through the cell surface receptor ACE2, a process dependent on host proteases including TMPRSS2. Here, we identify small molecules that reduce surface expression of TMPRSS2 using a library of 2,560 FDA-approved or current clinical trial compounds. We identify homoharringtonine and halofuginone as the most attractive agents, reducing endogenous TMPRSS2 expression at sub-micromolar concentrations. These effects appear to be mediated by a drug-induced alteration in TMPRSS2 protein stability. We further demonstrate that halofuginone modulates TMPRSS2 levels through proteasomal-mediated degradation that involves the E3 ubiquitin ligase component DDB1- and CUL4-associated factor 1 (DCAF1). Finally, cells exposed to homoharringtonine and halofuginone, at concentrations of drug known to be achievable in human plasma, demonstrate marked resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection in both live and pseudoviral in vitro models. Given the safety and pharmacokinetic data already available for the compounds identified in our screen, these results should help expedite the rational design of human clinical trials designed to combat active COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Homoharringtonine/pharmacology , Piperidines/pharmacology , Quinazolinones/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Protein Synthesis Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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