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1.
Int J Infect Dis ; 121: 24-30, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1859786

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We assessed vaccination-induced antibody and cellular responses against spike from the ancestral strain and from the delta (δ) SARS-CoV-2 variant in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) on immunosuppressive therapy in comparison with immunocompetent subjects. METHODS: We enrolled patients with IMID and immunocompetent subjects who completed the vaccination schedule within 4-6 months from the first dose. The interferon (IFN)-γ-response to spike peptides that were derived from the ancestral and the δ SARS-CoV-2 were measured by ELISA. Anti-Receptor Binding Domain IgG antibodies were also evaluated. RESULTS: We enrolled 43 patients with IMID and nine immunocompetent subjects. No significant differences were found after comparing the specific immune response (IFN-γ) between patients with IMID and immunocompetent subjects to the ancestral (p = 0.36) or δ peptide pool (p = 0.51). Nevertheless, IFN-γ-specific responses to the ancestral or to the δ pools were reduced in subjects taking CTLA4-IgG or TNF-α inhibitors compared with subjects treated with IL-6 inhibitors or Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs. Regarding the antibody response, no significant differences were observed between patients with IMID and immunocompetent individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Cellular responses to δ SARS-CoV-2 variant remain largely intact in patients with IMID. However, the magnitude of these responses is dependent on the specific IMID immunosuppressive regimen. Serological response was also similar between the IMID and control groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G
2.
Vaccines ; 10(5):817, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1857399

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.

3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 846753, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809398

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess the kinetics of the humoral and cell-mediated responses after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with different immunosuppressive therapies. Methods: Following vaccine completed schedule, health care workers (HCWs, n = 49) and RA patients (n = 35) were enrolled at 5 weeks (T1) and 6 months (T6) after the first dose of BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination. Serological response was assessed by quantifying anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, while cell-mediated response was assessed by a whole-blood test quantifying the interferon (IFN)-γ response to spike peptides. B-cell phenotype and IFN-γ-specific T-cell responses were evaluated by flow cytometry. Results: After 6 months, anti-RBD antibodies were still detectable in 91.4% of RA patients, although we observed a significant reduction of the titer in patients under Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA-4)-Ig [median: 16.4 binding antibody units (BAU)/ml, interquartile range (IQR): 11.3-44.3, p < 0.0001] or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors (median: 26.5 BAU/ml, IQR: 14.9-108.8, p = 0.0034) compared to controls (median: 152.7 BAU/ml, IQR: 89.3-260.3). All peripheral memory B-cell (MBC) subpopulations, in particular, the switched IgG+ MBCs (CD19+CD27+IgD-IgM-IgG+), were significantly reduced in RA subjects under CTLA-4-Ig compared to those in HCWs (p = 0.0012). In RA patients, a significantly reduced anti-RBD IgG titer was observed at T6 vs. T1, mainly in those treated with CTLA-4-Ig (p = 0.002), interleukin (IL)-6 inhibitors (p = 0.015), and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) ± corticosteroids (CCSs) (p = 0.015). In contrast, a weak nonsignificant reduction of the T-cell response was reported at T6 vs. T1. T-cell response was found in 65.7% of the RA patients at T6, with lower significant magnitude in patients under CTLA-4-Ig compared to HCWs (p < 0.0001). The SARS-CoV-2 IFN-γ-S-specific T-cell response was mainly detected in the CD4+ T-cell compartment. Conclusions: In this study, in RA patients after 6 months from COVID-19 vaccination, we show the kinetics, waning, and impairment of the humoral and, to a less extent, of the T-cell response. Similarly, a reduction of the specific response was also observed in the controls. Therefore, based on these results, a booster dose of the vaccine is crucial to increase the specific immune response regardless of the immunosuppressive therapy.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Abatacept , Antibodies, Viral , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G , Kinetics , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 6687, 2022 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805648

ABSTRACT

Vaccine is the main public health measure to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and hospitalization, and a massive scientific effort worldwide resulted in the rapid development of effective vaccines. This work aimed to define the dynamics and persistence of humoral and cell-mediated immune response in Health Care Workers who received a two-dose BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination. Serological response was evaluated by quantifying anti-RBD and neutralizing antibodies while cell-mediated response was performed by a whole blood test quantifying Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2) produced in response to Spike peptides. BNT162b2-mRNA vaccine induced both humoral and cell-mediated immune response against Spike in all HCW early after the second dose. After 12 weeks from vaccination, the titer of anti-RBD antibodies as well as their neutralization function decreased while the Spike-specific T-cells persisted at the same level as soon after vaccine boost. Of note, a correlation between cellular and humoral response persevered, suggesting the persistence of a coordinated immune response. The long lasting cell-mediated immune response after 3 months from vaccination highlight its importance in the maintaining of specific immunity able to expand again to fight eventual new antigen encountering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774349

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/mm 3; intermediate CD4 recovery, ICDR: 200-500/mm 3 high CD4 recovery, HCDR: >500/mm 3). 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 second 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/mm 3 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/mm 3 versus those with >500 cell/mm 3 and HIV-negative controls. A decreased RBD-binding antibody response than HCWs was also observed in PLWH with CD4 T-cell 200-500/mm 3, whereas immune response elicited in PLWH with a CD4 T-cell >500/mm 3 was comparable to HIV-negative population.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317754

ABSTRACT

Background: The pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 remains to be defined. Elucidating SARS-CoV-2 cellular localization within cells and its cytopathic effects requires definition. We performed a comparative ultrastructural study of SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero-6 cells and lung from COVID-19 patients. Main findings: SARS-CoV-2 induces rapid ultrastructural changes and death in Vero cells. Ultrastructural changes in SARS-CoV-2 infection differ from those in SARS-CoV-1. Type II pneumocytes in lung tissue showed prominent altered morphological features with numerous vacuoles and swollen mitochondria with presence of abundant lipid droplets. The accumulation of lipid droplets was the most striking finding we observed in cultured cells and in infected pneumocytes. Virus particles were also found associated with lipo-lysosomes suggesting that they can play an important step in virus assembly. Interpretation: The cytopathology of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be different to that caused by SARS-CoV-1. Our findings highlight important open topics which may represent future targets to contrast the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Neurology ; 98(5): e541-e554, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673960

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the immune-specific response after full severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with different disease-modifying drugs by the detection of both serologic and T-cell responses. METHODS: Healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients with MS, having completed the 2-dose schedule of an mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in the past 2-4 weeks, were enrolled from 2 parallel prospective studies conducted in Rome, Italy, at the National Institute for Infectious diseases Spallanzani-IRCSS and San Camillo Forlanini Hospital. Serologic response was evaluated by quantifying the region-binding domain (RBD) and neutralizing antibodies. Cell-mediated response was analyzed by a whole-blood test quantifying interferon (IFN)-γ response to spike peptides. Cells responding to spike stimulation were identified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. RESULTS: We prospectively enrolled 186 vaccinated individuals: 78 HCWs and 108 patients with MS. Twenty-eight patients with MS were treated with IFN-ß, 35 with fingolimod, 20 with cladribine, and 25 with ocrelizumab. A lower anti-RBD antibody response rate was found in patients treated with ocrelizumab (40%, p < 0.0001) and fingolimod (85.7%, p = 0.0023) compared to HCWs and patients treated with cladribine or IFN-ß. Anti-RBD antibody median titer was lower in patients treated with ocrelizumab (p < 0.0001), fingolimod (p < 0.0001), and cladribine (p = 0.010) compared to HCWs and IFN-ß-treated patients. Serum neutralizing activity was present in all the HCWs tested and in only a minority of the fingolimod-treated patients (16.6%). T-cell-specific response was detected in the majority of patients with MS (62%), albeit with significantly lower IFN-γ levels compared to HCWs. The lowest frequency of T-cell response was found in fingolimod-treated patients (14.3%). T-cell-specific response correlated with lymphocyte count and anti-RBD antibody titer (ρ = 0.554, p < 0.0001 and ρ = 0.255, p = 0.0078 respectively). IFN-γ T-cell response was mediated by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. DISCUSSION: mRNA vaccines induce both humoral and cell-mediated specific immune responses against spike peptides in all HCWs and in the majority of patients with MS. These results carry relevant implications for managing vaccinations, suggesting promoting vaccination in all treated patients with MS. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class III data that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination induces both humoral and cell-mediated specific immune responses against viral spike proteins in a majority of patients with MS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Antibodies, Viral , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 815870, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674353

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are proving to be very effective in preventing severe illness; however, although rare, post-vaccine infections have been reported. The present study focuses on virological and serological features of 94 infections that occurred in Lazio Region (Central Italy) between 27 December 2020, and 30 March 2021, after one or two doses of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine. METHODS: We evaluated clinical features, virological (viral load; viral infectiousness; genomic characterisation), and serological (anti-nucleoprotein Ig; anti-Spike RBD IgG; neutralising antibodies, nAb) characteristics of 94 post-vaccine infections at the time of diagnosis. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) and serum samples were collected in the framework of the surveillance activities on SARS-CoV-2 variants established in Lazio Region (Central Italy) and analysed at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani" in Rome. RESULTS: The majority (92.6%) of the post-vaccine infections showed pauci/asymptomatic or mild clinical course, with symptoms and hospitalisation rate significantly less frequent in patients infected after full vaccination course as compared to patients who received a single dose vaccine. Although differences were not statistically significant, viral loads and isolation rates were lower in NPSs from patients infected after receiving two vaccine doses as compared to patients with one dose. Most cases (84%) had nAb in serum at the time of infection diagnosis, which is a sub-group of vaccinees, were found similarly able to neutralise Alpha and Gamma variants. Asymptomatic individuals showed higher nAb titres as compared to symptomatic cases (median titre: 1:120 vs. 1:40, respectively). Finally, the proportion of post-vaccine infections attributed either to Alpha and Gamma variants was similar to the proportion observed in the contemporary unvaccinated population in the Lazio region, and mutational analysis did not reveal enrichment of a defined set of Spike protein substitutions depending on the vaccination status. CONCLUSION: Our study conducted using real-life data, emphasised the importance of monitoring vaccine breakthrough infections, through the characterisation of virological, immunological, and clinical features associated with these events, in order to tune prevention measures in the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

9.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667350

ABSTRACT

To investigate the dynamic association among binding and functional antibodies in health-care-workers receiving two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19-vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 anti-RBD IgG, anti-Trimeric-S IgG, and neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) were measured in serum samples collected at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months from full vaccination. Despite the high correlation, results for anti-RBD and anti-Trimeric S IgG were numerically different even after recalculation to BAU/mL following WHO standards indications. Moreover, after a peak response at 2 weeks, anti-RBD IgG levels showed a 4.5 and 13 fold decrease at 3 and 6 months, respectively, while the anti-Trimeric S IgG presented a less pronounced decay of 2.8 and 4.7 fold. Further different dynamics were observed for Nabs titers, resulting comparable at 3 and 6 months from vaccination. We also demonstrated that at NAbs titers ≥40, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and the optimal cutoff point decreased with time from vaccination for both anti-RBD and anti-Trimeric S IgG. The mutating relation among the anti-RBD IgG, anti-Trimeric S IgG, and neutralizing antibodies are indicative of antibody maturation upon vaccination. The lack of standardized laboratory procedures is one factor interfering with the definition of a correlate of protection from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Kinetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination
10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294112

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 and predictive role on immune response to vaccination in PLWH.<br><br>Methods: PLWH attending a single-center SARS-CoV-2 vaccination program in Italy, were included in a prospective evaluation for immunogenicity after receiving BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273. PLWH were stratified according to current CD4 T-cell count (severe immunodeficiency, SID: <200/mm 3 ;minor immunodeficiency, MID: 200-500/mm 3 ;no immunodeficiency, NID: >500/mm 3 ). RBD-binding IgG, SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and cell-mediated (IFN-γ/IL-2) immune response were measured. As control group, not-matched HIV-negative healthcare workers (HCWs) were used.<br><br>Findings: Participants were 166 PLWH (SID=32;MID=56;NID=78) on ART. After 1 month from the booster dose, detectable RBD-binding IgG in 86.7% of SID, in 100% of MID, in 98.7% of NID (SID vs NID, p=0.021) and nAbs (titre ≥1:10) in 70.0%, 88.2% and 93.1%, respectively (SID vs NID, p=0.002), were elicited. Compared to NID, magnitude of anti-RBD, nAbs and IFN-γ production was significantly lower in SID and comparable in MID. After adjusting for confounders, current CD4 T-cell <200/mm 3 significantly predicted a poor magnitude of anti-RDB, nAbs and IFN-γ production. As compared with HCWs, SID elicited a consistently reduced immunogenicity for all parameters, MID only a reduced RBD-binding antibody response, NID a comparable response to HIV-negative controls for all parameters.<br><br>Interpretation: Neutralizing and cell-mediated immune response against SARS-CoV-2 were elicited in most of PLWH receiving ART, albeit significantly poorer in those with current CD4 T-cell <200/mm 3 versus those with CD4 T-cell >500/mm 3 and HIV-negative controls. A marginal decreased immunogenicity than HCWs was also observed in PLWH with CD4 T-cell 200-500/mm 3 , whereas immune response elicited in PLWH with a CD4 T-cell >500/mm 3 was comparable to HIV-negative population.<br><br>Funding: Italian Ministry of Health;European Commission, European Virus Archive – GLOBAL.<br><br>Declaration of Interest: None to declare. <br><br>Ethical Approval: The study was approved by the Scientific Committee of the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA) and by the Ethical Committee of the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute, as National Review Board for COVID-19 pandemic in Italy (approval number 323/2021).

11.
Neurology ; 98(5): e541-e554, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the immune-specific response after full severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with different disease-modifying drugs by the detection of both serologic and T-cell responses. METHODS: Healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients with MS, having completed the 2-dose schedule of an mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in the past 2-4 weeks, were enrolled from 2 parallel prospective studies conducted in Rome, Italy, at the National Institute for Infectious diseases Spallanzani-IRCSS and San Camillo Forlanini Hospital. Serologic response was evaluated by quantifying the region-binding domain (RBD) and neutralizing antibodies. Cell-mediated response was analyzed by a whole-blood test quantifying interferon (IFN)-γ response to spike peptides. Cells responding to spike stimulation were identified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. RESULTS: We prospectively enrolled 186 vaccinated individuals: 78 HCWs and 108 patients with MS. Twenty-eight patients with MS were treated with IFN-ß, 35 with fingolimod, 20 with cladribine, and 25 with ocrelizumab. A lower anti-RBD antibody response rate was found in patients treated with ocrelizumab (40%, p < 0.0001) and fingolimod (85.7%, p = 0.0023) compared to HCWs and patients treated with cladribine or IFN-ß. Anti-RBD antibody median titer was lower in patients treated with ocrelizumab (p < 0.0001), fingolimod (p < 0.0001), and cladribine (p = 0.010) compared to HCWs and IFN-ß-treated patients. Serum neutralizing activity was present in all the HCWs tested and in only a minority of the fingolimod-treated patients (16.6%). T-cell-specific response was detected in the majority of patients with MS (62%), albeit with significantly lower IFN-γ levels compared to HCWs. The lowest frequency of T-cell response was found in fingolimod-treated patients (14.3%). T-cell-specific response correlated with lymphocyte count and anti-RBD antibody titer (ρ = 0.554, p < 0.0001 and ρ = 0.255, p = 0.0078 respectively). IFN-γ T-cell response was mediated by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. DISCUSSION: mRNA vaccines induce both humoral and cell-mediated specific immune responses against spike peptides in all HCWs and in the majority of patients with MS. These results carry relevant implications for managing vaccinations, suggesting promoting vaccination in all treated patients with MS. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class III data that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination induces both humoral and cell-mediated specific immune responses against viral spike proteins in a majority of patients with MS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Antibodies, Viral , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
12.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 131, 2021 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503480

ABSTRACT

Here we report on the humoral and cellular immune response in eight volunteers who autonomously chose to adhere to the Italian national COVID-19 vaccination campaign more than 3 months after receiving a single-administration GRAd-COV2 vaccine candidate in the context of the phase-1 clinical trial. We observed a clear boost of both binding/neutralizing antibodies as well as T-cell responses upon receipt of the heterologous BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1-nCOV19 vaccines. These results, despite the limitation of the small sample size, support the concept that a single dose of an adenoviral vaccine may represent an ideal tool to effectively prime a balanced immune response, which can be boosted to high levels by a single dose of a different vaccine platform.

13.
Liver Int ; 42(1): 180-186, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488231

ABSTRACT

Limited data are available on risks and benefits of anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination in solid organ transplant recipients, and weaker responses have been described. At the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases, 61 liver transplant recipients underwent testing to describe the dynamics of humoral and cell-mediated immune response after two doses of anti-SARS-CoV2 mRNA vaccines and compared with 51 healthy controls. Humoral response was measured by quantifying both anti-spike and neutralizing antibodies; cell-mediated response was measured by PBMC proliferation assay with IFN-γ and IL-2 production. Liver transplant recipients showed lower response rates compared with controls in both humoral and cellular arms; shorter time since transplantation and multi-drug immunosuppressive regimen containing mycophenolate mofetil were predictive of reduced response to vaccination. Specific antibody and cytokine production, though reduced, were highly correlated in transplant recipients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients , Vaccination
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 740249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448730

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, treated with different immunosuppressive therapies, the induction of SARS-CoV-2-specific immune response after vaccination in terms of anti-region-binding-domain (RBD)-antibody- and T-cell-specific responses against spike, and the vaccine safety in terms of clinical impact on disease activity. Methods: Health care workers (HCWs) and RA patients, having completed the BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination in the last 2 weeks, were enrolled. Serological response was evaluated by quantifying anti-RBD antibodies, while the cell-mediated response was evaluated by a whole-blood test quantifying the interferon (IFN)-γ-response to spike peptides. FACS analysis was performed to identify the cells responding to spike stimulation. RA disease activity was evaluated by clinical examination through the DAS28crp, and local and/or systemic clinical adverse events were registered. In RA patients, the ongoing therapeutic regimen was modified during the vaccination period according to the American College of Rheumatology indications. Results: We prospectively enrolled 167 HCWs and 35 RA patients. Anti-RBD-antibodies were detected in almost all patients (34/35, 97%), although the titer was significantly reduced in patients under CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 465 BAU/mL, IQR: 103-1189, p<0.001) or IL-6-inhibitors (median: 492 BAU/mL, IQR: 161-1007, p<0.001) compared to HCWs (median: 2351 BAU/mL, IQR: 1389-3748). T-cell-specific response scored positive in most of RA patients [24/35, (69%)] with significantly lower IFN-γ levels in patients under biological therapy such as IL-6-inhibitors (median: 33.2 pg/mL, IQR: 6.1-73.9, p<0.001), CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 10.9 pg/mL, IQR: 3.7-36.7, p<0.001), and TNF-α-inhibitors (median: 89.6 pg/mL, IQR: 17.8-224, p=0.002) compared to HCWs (median: 343 pg/mL, IQR: 188-756). A significant correlation between the anti-RBD-antibody titer and spike-IFN-γ-specific T-cell response was found in RA patients (rho=0.432, p=0.009). IFN-γ T-cell response was mediated by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Finally, no significant increase in disease activity was found in RA patients following vaccination. Conclusion: This study showed for the first time that antibody-specific and whole-blood spike-specific T-cell responses induced by the COVID-19 mRNA-vaccine were present in the majority of RA patients, who underwent a strategy of temporary suspension of immunosuppressive treatment during vaccine administration. However, the magnitude of specific responses was dependent on the immunosuppressive therapy administered. In RA patients, BNT162b2 vaccine was safe and disease activity remained stable.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunotherapy/adverse effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
15.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 09 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438527

ABSTRACT

Specific memory B cells and antibodies are a reliable read-out of vaccine efficacy. We analysed these biomarkers after one and two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine. The second dose significantly increases the level of highly specific memory B cells and antibodies. Two months after the second dose, specific antibody levels decline, but highly specific memory B cells continue to increase, thus predicting a sustained protection from COVID-19. We show that although mucosal IgA is not induced by the vaccination, memory B cells migrate in response to inflammation and secrete IgA at mucosal sites. We show that the first vaccine dose may lead to an insufficient number of highly specific memory B cells and low concentration of serum antibodies, thus leaving vaccinees without the immune robustness needed to ensure viral elimination and herd immunity. We also clarify that the reduction of serum antibodies does not diminish the force and duration of the immune protection induced by vaccination. The vaccine does not induce sterilizing immunity. Infection after vaccination may be caused by the lack of local preventive immunity because of the absence of mucosal IgA.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cryopreservation , Female , Health Personnel , Healthy Volunteers , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Lactation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucous Membrane/immunology , Patient Safety , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
16.
Clin Chem Lab Med ; 59(12): 2010-2018, 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398962

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Simple and standardized methods to establish correlates to vaccine-elicited SARS-CoV-2 protection are needed. METHODS: An observational study on antibody response to a mRNA vaccine (Comirnaty) was performed on health care workers (V, n=120). Recovered COVID-19 patients (N, n=94) were used for comparison. Antibody response was evaluated by a quantitative anti-receptor binding domain IgG (anti-RBD) commercial assay and by virus microneutralization test (MNT), in order to establish a threshold of anti-RBD binding antibody units (BAU) able to predict a robust (≥1:80) MNT titer. RESULTS: Significant correlation between BAU and MNT titers was found in both V and N, being stronger in V (rs=0.91 and 0.57 respectively, p<0.001); a higher incremental trend starting from MNT titer 1:80 was observed in the V group. The 99% probability of high MNT titer (≥1:80) was reached at 1,814 and 3,564 BAU/mL, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.99 (CI: 0.99-1.00) and 0.78 (CI: 0.67-0.86) in V and N, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A threshold of 2,000 BAU/mL is highly predictive of strong MNT response in vaccinated individuals and may represent a good surrogate marker of protective response. It remains to be established whether the present results can be extended to BAU titers obtained with other assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Young Adult
17.
Microorganisms ; 9(6)2021 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278501

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is the main public health measure to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and hospitalization, and a massive worldwide scientific effort resulted in the rapid development of effective vaccines. This work aimed to define the dynamics of humoral and cell-mediated immune response in a cohort of health care workers (HCWs) who received a two-dose BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination. The serological response was evaluated by quantifying the anti-RBD and neutralizing antibodies. The cell-mediated response was performed by a whole blood test quantifying Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2), produced in response to spike peptides. The BNT162b2-mRNA vaccine induced both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses against spike peptides in virtually all HCWs without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a moderate inverse relation with age in the anti-RBD response. Spike-specific T cells produced several Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2), which correlated with the specific-serological response. Overall, our study describes the ability of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine to elicit a coordinated neutralizing humoral and spike-specific T cell response in HCWs. Assessing the dynamics of these parameters by an easy immune monitoring protocol can allow for the evaluation of the persistence of the vaccine response in order to define the optimal vaccination strategy.

18.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264538

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is considered the most effective method of prevention to contain the pandemic. While highly effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are being applied on a large-scale, whether and to what extent the strength of the vaccine-induced immune response could be further potentiated is still an object of debate. Several reports studied the effect of different vaccines on the susceptibility and mortality of COVID-19, with conflicting results. We aimed to evaluate whether previous influenza and/or pneumococcal vaccination had an impact on the specific immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. The study population consists of 710 workers from our Institute who completed the BNT162b2 schedule and have been tested at least once after the second dose, from 27 December 2020 up to 15 April 2021. Of these, 152 (21.4%) had received an influenza and 215 (30.3%) a concomitant influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, a median of 102 days before the second dose of BNT162b2. Overall, 100% of workers were tested for anti-Spike receptor-binding domain (anti-S/RBD) antibodies, 224 workers for neutralization titer (Micro-neutralization assay, MNA), and 155 workers for a spike-specific T cell interferon-γ response (IFN-γ). The levels of anti-S/RBD, MNA and IFN-γ were evaluated and compared according to sex, age, involvement in direct care of COVID-19 patients, and previous influenza/pneumococcal vaccination. At the univariate analysis, no statistically significant association was observed with regard to a previous influenza and pneumococcal vaccination. A significant lower anti-S/RBD response was observed according to an older age and male sex, while MNA titers were significantly associated to sex but not to age. At the multivariable analysis, workers receiving a concomitant influenza and pneumococcal vaccination or only influenza showed a 58% (p 0.01) and 42% (p 0.07) increase in MNA titers, respectively, compared to those who did not receive an influenza/pneumococcal vaccination. Female workers showed an 81% MNA and a 44% anti-S/RBD increase compared to male workers (p < 0.001). Compared to workers aged 21 to 49 years, those aged 50 or older were associated with a reduction in the anti-S/RBD (16%; p 0.005), MNA (31%; p 0.019), and IFN.g (32%) immune response. Maintaining the influenza and pneumococcal immunization program for the coming season, in which COVID-19 could still be spreading, remains strongly recommended to protect those who are more vulnerable and to limit the potential burden of these infections on the healthcare system.

19.
Mol Ther ; 29(8): 2412-2423, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199134

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the emergent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) threatens global public health, and there is an urgent need to develop safe and effective vaccines. Here, we report the generation and the preclinical evaluation of a novel replication-defective gorilla adenovirus-vectored vaccine encoding the pre-fusion stabilized Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. We show that our vaccine candidate, GRAd-COV2, is highly immunogenic both in mice and macaques, eliciting both functional antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infection and block Spike protein binding to the ACE2 receptor, and a robust, T helper (Th)1-dominated cellular response. We show here that the pre-fusion stabilized Spike antigen is superior to the wild type in inducing ACE2-interfering, SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies. To face the unprecedented need for vaccine manufacturing at a massive scale, different GRAd genome deletions were compared to select the vector backbone showing the highest productivity in stirred tank bioreactors. This preliminary dataset identified GRAd-COV2 as a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, supporting the translation of the GRAd-COV2 vaccine in a currently ongoing phase I clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04528641).


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , Adenovirus Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gorilla gorilla/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Gorilla gorilla/virology , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Macaca , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Young Adult
20.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178436

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 serum neutralization assay represents the gold standard for assessing antibody-mediated protection in naturally infected and vaccinated individuals. In the present study, 662 serum samples collected from February 2020 to January 2021 from acute and convalescent COVID-19 patients were tested to determine neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers using a microneutralization test (MNT) for live SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgA, and IgM directed against different viral antigens were measured by high-throughput automated platforms. We observed higher levels of NAbs in elderly (>60 years old) individuals and in patients presenting acute respiratory distress syndrome. SARS-CoV-2 NAbs develop as soon as five days from symptom onset and, despite a decline after the second month, persist for over 11 months, showing variable dynamics. Through correlation and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, we set up a testing algorithm, suitable for the laboratory workload, by establishing an optimal cutoff value of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG for convalescent plasma donors to exclude from MNT samples foreseen to have low/negative NAb titers and ineligible for plasma donation. Overall, MNT, although cumbersome and not suitable for routine testing of large sample sizes, remains the reference tool for the assessment of antibody-mediated immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Smart testing algorithms may optimize the laboratory workflow to monitor antibody-mediated protection in COVID-19 patients, plasma donors, and vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Algorithms , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , ROC Curve
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