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Front Immunol ; 12: 640644, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133916

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and result in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent reports indicate an increased rate of fungal coinfections during COVID-19. With incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis and without any causative therapy available, secondary infections may be detrimental to the prognosis. We monitored 11 COVID-19 patients with ARDS for their immune phenotype, plasma cytokines, and clinical parameters on the day of ICU admission and on day 4 and day 7 of their ICU stay. Whole blood stimulation assays with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes (HKLM), Aspergillus fumigatus, and Candida albicans were used to mimic secondary infections, and changes in immune phenotype and cytokine release were assessed. COVID-19 patients displayed an immune phenotype characterized by increased HLA-DR+CD38+ and PD-1+ CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and elevated CD8+CD244+ lymphocytes, compared to healthy controls. Monocyte activation markers and cytokines IL-6, IL-8, TNF, IL-10, and sIL2Rα were elevated, corresponding to monocyte activation syndrome, while IL-1ß levels were low. LPS, HKLM and Aspergillus fumigatus antigen stimulation provoked an immune response that did not differ between COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, while COVID-19 patients showed an attenuated monocyte CD80 upregulation and abrogated release of IL-6, TNF, IL-1α, and IL-1ß toward Candida albicans. This study adds further detail to the characterization of the immune response in critically ill COVID-19 patients and hints at an increased susceptibility for Candida albicans infection.


Subject(s)
Aspergillus fumigatus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Candida albicans/immunology , Listeria monocytogenes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Male , Middle Aged , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome
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