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1.
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589173

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of biological DMARD treatment on the prevalence, seroconversion rate and longevity of the humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in IMID patients. METHODS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were measured in a prospective cohort of healthcare and non-healthcare controls and IMID patients receiving no treatment or treated with conventional or biological DMARDs during the first and second COVID-19 waves. Regression models adjusting for age, sex, sampling-time and exposure risk behavior were used for calculating relative risks of seropositivity. Seroconversion rates were assessed in participants with PCR-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Antibody response longevity was evaluated by re-assessing participants who tested positive during the first wave. RESULTS: 4508 participants (2869 IMID patients, 1639 total controls) were analyzed. Unadjusted (RR 0.44; 95% CI: 0.31-0.62) and adjusted (RR 0.50; 95% CI: 0.34-0.73) relative risks for SARS-CoV2 IgG were significantly (p<0.001) lower in IMID patients treated with bDMARDs compared to non-healthcare controls, primarily driven by TNF-alpha, IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors-treated patients. Adjusted relative risks of untreated IMID patients (1.12; 0.75-1.67) or IMID patients receiving csDMARDs (0.70; 0.45-1.08) were not significantly different from non-healthcare controls. Lack of seroconversion in PCR+ participants was more common (38.7%) among bDMARD-treated patients than in non-healthcare controls (16%). Overall 44% of positive participants lost SARS-CoV2 antibodies at follow-up, with higher rates in IMID patients treated with bDMARDs (RR:2.86; 95%CI: 1.43-5.74). CONCLUSIONS: IMID patients treated with bDMARDs have a lower prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, seroconvert less frequently after SARS-CoV-2 infection and may exhibit a reduced longevity of their humoral immune response. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

2.
Gastroenterology ; 160(3): 925-928.e4, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575253
3.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 3(10): e724-e736, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373323

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases were considered to be at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of severe COVID-19. Data collected over the past year, however, suggest that a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, psoriasis, or inflammatory bowel diseases does not increase risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection or severe COVID-19 compared with people without these diseases. Furthermore, substantial data suggest that certain medications frequently used in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, in particular cytokine inhibitors, might even lower the risk for severe COVID-19. Conversely, glucocorticoids and potentially B-cell-depleting treatments seem to worsen COVID-19 outcomes. Additionally, the first data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with these diseases suggest that tolerability of vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases is good, although the immune response to vaccination can be somewhat reduced in this patient group, particularly those taking methotrexate or CD20-targeted treatment.

4.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(10): 2478-2484, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340251

ABSTRACT

Treatment with convalescent plasma has been shown to be safe in coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) infection, although efficacy reported in immunocompetent patients varies. Nevertheless, neutralizing antibodies are a key requisite in the fight against viral infections. Patients depleted of antibody-producing B cells, such as those treated with rituximab (anti-CD20) for hematological malignancies, lack a fundamental part of their adaptive immunity. Treatment with convalescent plasma appears to be of general benefit in this particularly vulnerable cohort. We analyzed clinical course and inflammation markers of three B-cell-depleted patients suffering from COVID-19 who were treated with convalescent plasma. In addition, we measured serum antibody levels as well as peripheral blood CD38/HLA-DR-positive T-cells ex vivo and CD137-positive T-cells after in vitro stimulation with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived peptides in these patients. We observed that therapy with convalescent plasma was effective in all three patients and analysis of CD137-positive T-cells after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 peptides showed an increase in peptide-specific T-cells after application of convalescent plasma. In conclusion, we here demonstrate efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in three B-cell-depleted patients and present data that suggest that while application of convalescent plasma elevates systemic antibody levels only transiently, it may also boost specific T-cell responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocyte Depletion , Lymphoma, B-Cell/drug therapy , Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy , Rituximab/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9/metabolism
5.
Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(10): 705-715, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287810

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an ongoing global health crisis causing major challenges for clinical care in patients with gastrointestinal diseases. Although triggering of anti-viral immune responses is essential for clearance of infection, some patients have severe lung inflammation and multiorgan failure due to marked immune cell dysregulation and cytokine storm syndrome. Importantly, the activation of cytotoxic follicular helper T cells and a reduction of regulatory T cells have a crucial, negative prognostic role. These findings lead to the question of whether immunosuppressive and biologic therapies for gastrointestinal diseases affect the incidence or prognosis of COVID-19 and, thus, whether they should be adjusted to prevent or affect the course of the disease. In this Review, data on the use of such therapies are discussed with a primary focus on inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune hepatitis and liver transplantation. In particular, the roles of corticosteroids, classic immunosuppressive agents (such as thiopurines and mycophenolate mofetil), small molecules (such as Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors), and biologic agents (such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, vedolizumab and ustekinumab) are reviewed. Finally, the use of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines for the prevention of infection in patients with gastrointestinal diseases and concomitant immunosuppressive or biologic therapy will be discussed.


Subject(s)
Biological Factors/adverse effects , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/drug therapy , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Biological Factors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/complications , Gastrointestinal Diseases/immunology , Global Health , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Incidence , Prognosis
6.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1339-1344, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243691

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the humoral and cellular immune response to messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) on immunomodulatory treatment. METHODS: Established patients at New York University Langone Health with IMID (n=51) receiving the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination were assessed at baseline and after second immunisation. Healthy subjects served as controls (n=26). IgG antibody responses to the spike protein were analysed for humoral response. Cellular immune response to SARS-CoV-2 was further analysed using high-parameter spectral flow cytometry. A second independent, validation cohort of controls (n=182) and patients with IMID (n=31) from Erlangen, Germany, were also analysed for humoral immune response. RESULTS: Although healthy subjects (n=208) and patients with IMID on biologic treatments (mostly on tumour necrosis factor blockers, n=37) demonstrate robust antibody responses (over 90%), those patients with IMID on background methotrexate (n=45) achieve an adequate response in only 62.2% of cases. Similarly, patients with IMID on methotrexate do not demonstrate an increase in CD8+ T-cell activation after vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: In two independent cohorts of patients with IMID, methotrexate, a widely used immunomodulator for the treatment of several IMIDs, adversely affected humoral and cellular immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Although precise cut-offs for immunogenicity that correlate with vaccine efficacy are yet to be established, our findings suggest that different strategies may need to be explored in patients with IMID taking methotrexate to increase the chances of immunisation efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 as has been demonstrated for augmenting immunogenicity to other viral vaccines.

7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 639329, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219713

ABSTRACT

Background: Infection with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a wide range of symptoms including gastrointestinal manifestations, and intestinal epithelial cells are a target of the virus. However, it is unknown how the intestinal immune system contributes to systemic immune responses in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: We characterized peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with active COVID-19 and convalescent patients as well as healthy controls by flow cytometry. Results: The frequency and absolute number of circulating memory T and B cells expressing the gut homing integrin α4ß7 integrin was reduced during COVID-19, whether gastrointestinal symptoms were present or not. While total IgA-expressing B cells were increased, gut-imprinted B cells with IgA expression were stable. Conclusion: COVID-19 is associated with a decrease in circulating adaptive immune cells expressing the key gut homing marker α4ß7 suggesting that these cells are preferentially recruited to extra-intestinal tissues independently of α4ß7 or that the systemic immune response against SARS-CoV-2 is at least numerically dominated by extraintestinal, particularly pulmonary, immune cell priming.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Integrin alpha4/metabolism , Integrins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/cytology , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
8.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1312-1316, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220000

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To better understand the factors that influence the humoral immune response to vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). METHODS: Patients and controls from a large COVID-19 study, with (1) no previous history of COVID-19, (2) negative baseline anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG test and (3) SARS-CoV-2 vaccination at least 10 days before serum collection were measured for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Demographic, disease-specific and vaccination-specific data were recorded. RESULTS: Vaccination responses from 84 patients with IMID and 182 controls were analysed. While all controls developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, five patients with IMID failed to develop a response (p=0.003). Moreover, 99.5% of controls but only 90.5% of patients with IMID developed neutralising antibody activity (p=0.0008). Overall responses were delayed and reduced in patients (mean (SD): 6.47 (3.14)) compared with controls (9.36 (1.85); p<0.001). Estimated marginal means (95% CI) adjusted for age, sex and time from first vaccination to sampling were 8.48 (8.12-8.85) for controls and 6.90 (6.45-7.35) for IMIDs. Significantly reduced vaccination responses pertained to untreated, conventionally and anticytokine treated patients with IMID. CONCLUSIONS: Immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 are delayed and reduced in patients with IMID. This effect is based on the disease itself rather than concomitant treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Crohns Colitis ; 15(5): 864-868, 2021 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216644

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: A similar course of COVID-19 in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases [IBD] and in the general population has been reported. However, disease prevalence in IBD patients is presently unknown. In this prospective observational study, we aimed at determining SARS-CoV2 infection prevalence in IBD patients treated with biologic therapy. METHODS: From IBD patients under biologic therapy and recruited from three different locations in Italy and Germany, 354 sera were evaluated for antibody presence by RBD ELISA. Control groups were: i] age-matched healthy subjects tested in the same time period in Milan, Italy; ii] healthy subjects collected in the pre-COVID era; iii] IBD patients under biologic therapy collected in the pre-COVID era. RESULTS: Eight out of 354 patients tested positive for the anti-RBD-SARS-CoV2 IgG antibody [prevalence 2.3%]. The percentage of IgG-positive patients among those recruited from Milan was significantly higher than among those recruited from other locations [prevalence 5.4% vs 0.4%, p <0.005]. IgG-positive patients reported a significantly higher incidence of fever, anosmia, and ageusia, and were more likely to have entered into close contact with COVID-19-positive subjects before the study enrolment. CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV2 in IBD patients treated with biologic therapy reflects values measured in the local general population. Specific symptoms and contact history with SARS-CoV2-infected individuals strongly increase the likelihood of SARS-CoV2 seropositivity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Biological Therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Fever/virology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies
10.
Gut ; 70(9): 1605-1608, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203978
11.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(6): 1436-1448, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156872

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease leading to bilateral pneumonia and respiratory failure. The underlying reasons why a smaller percentage of patients present with severe pulmonary symptoms whereas the majority is only mildly affected are to date not well understood. Comparing the immunological phenotype in healthy donors and patients with mild versus severe COVID-19 shows that in COVID-19 patients, NK-/B-cell activation and proliferation are enhanced independent of severity. As an important precondition for effective antibody responses, T-follicular helper cells and antibody secreting cells are increased both in patients with mild and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Beyond this, T cells in COVID-19 patients exhibit a stronger activation profile with differentiation toward effector cell phenotypes. Importantly, when looking at the rates of pulmonary complications in COVID-19 patients, the chemokine receptor CCR4 is higher expressed by both CD4 and CD8 T cells of patients with severe COVID-19. This raises the hypothesis that CCR4 upregulation on T cells in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 promotes stronger T-cell attraction to the lungs leading to increased immune activation with presumably higher pulmonary toxicity. Our study contributes significantly to the understanding of the immunological changes during COVID-19, as new therapeutic agents, preferentially targeting the immune system, are highly warranted.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Receptors, CCR4/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Up-Regulation/immunology , Adult , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 472-473, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096000
13.
Gastroenterology ; 160(3): 925-928.e4, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977281
14.
Cells ; 9(12)2020 12 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-971834

ABSTRACT

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to an adaptive immune response in the host and the formation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. While IgG responses against SARS-CoV-2 have been characterized quite well, less is known about IgA. IgA2 activates immune cells and induces inflammation and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation which may contribute to organ injury and fatal outcome in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein specific antibody levels were measured in plasma samples of 15 noninfected controls and 82 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with no or mild symptoms, moderate symptoms (hospitalization) or severe disease (intensive care unit, ICU). Antibody levels were compared to levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and circulating extracellular DNA (ecDNA) as markers for general inflammation and NET formation, respectively. While levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG were similar in all patient groups, IgA2 antibodies were restricted to severe disease and showed the strongest discrimination between nonfatal and fatal outcome in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. While anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA2 levels correlated with CRP levels in severely diseased patients, only anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA2 correlated with ecDNA. These data suggest that the formation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA2 during SARS-CoV-2 infection is a marker for more severe disease related to NET formation and poor outcome.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
15.
Visc Med ; 37(1): 63-69, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967268

ABSTRACT

Background: About 1 year ago a novel virus - SARS-CoV-2 - began to spread around the world. It can lead to the disease COVID-19, which has caused more than 1 million deaths already. Summary: While it was first recognized as a disease leading to pneumonia and lung failure, we know by now that COVID-19 is more complex. COVID-19 is a systemic hyperinflammatory disease affecting not only the lungs, but also many other organs. Especially the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is often involved in COVID-19. Key Messages: This review provides an overview of the different affected organs of the GI tract and offers information on how gastroenterologists should take care of their patients with different GI disorders.

16.
EBioMedicine ; 58: 102925, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-701831

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus induced disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be complicated by severe organ damage leading to dysfunction of the lungs and other organs. The processes that trigger organ damage in COVID-19 are incompletely understood. METHODS: Samples were donated from hospitalized patients. Sera, plasma, and autopsy-derived tissue sections were examined employing flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and immunohistochemistry. PATIENT FINDINGS: Here, we show that severe COVID-19 is characterized by a highly pronounced formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) inside the micro-vessels. Intravascular aggregation of NETs leads to rapid occlusion of the affected vessels, disturbed microcirculation, and organ damage. In severe COVID-19, neutrophil granulocytes are strongly activated and adopt a so-called low-density phenotype, prone to spontaneously form NETs. In accordance, markers indicating NET turnover are consistently increased in COVID-19 and linked to disease severity. Histopathology of the lungs and other organs from COVID-19 patients showed congestions of numerous micro-vessels by aggregated NETs associated with endothelial damage. INTERPRETATION: These data suggest that organ dysfunction in severe COVID-19 is associated with excessive NET formation and vascular damage. FUNDING: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), EU, Volkswagen-Stiftung.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Microvessels/pathology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Thrombosis/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Humans , Microvessels/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/pathology
17.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3774, 2020 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-672188

ABSTRACT

Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) of the joints, gut and skin are treated with inhibitors of inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines are involved in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Investigating anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in IMIDs we observe a reduced incidence of SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in IMID patients treated with cytokine inhibitors compared to patients receiving no such inhibitors and two healthy control populations, despite similar social exposure. Hence, cytokine inhibitors seem to at least partially protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/antagonists & inhibitors , Immune System Diseases/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Seroconversion , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Risk
18.
Visc Med ; 36(4): 338-342, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-618476

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, represents a potentially major challenge to patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases who are treated with immunomodulatory therapies. We report the case of an 18-year-old ulcerative colitis patient in sustained clinical remission who 4 days after application of her ongoing therapy with the anti-TNF antibody infliximab developed mild respiratory and abdominal symptoms. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 but did not need hospitalization. The clinical symptoms completely resolved within 1 week after onset and there was no change in ulcerative colitis activity. The recently applied anti-TNF therapy did not lead to exacerbation of the infectious symptoms. Current recommendations strongly favor continuation of effective maintenance anti-TNF therapy in inflammatory bowel disease patients, as there is no evidence for aggravated CO-VID-19 upon infection. It is unclear whether anti-TNF treatment might even have assisted in preventing worsening of COVID-19 and improving outcome. Further data in the group of immune-mediated inflammatory disease patients under anti-TNF therapy are urgently needed.

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