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1.
Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanita ; 57(2):121-127, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1733042

ABSTRACT

Introduction. The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) has been asked for rapid technical and scientific advice to the State and Regions during Sars-CoV-2 pandemic preparedness. Methods. An ad hoc Working Group on Scientific Literature updates (WG SL) was set up at ISS (March-May 2020) to screen pre-prints and peer reviewed papers from arXiv, medRxiv, bioRxiv, and Pubmed to provide a real time knowledge and empirical evidence addressed to health-workers. Results. The WG SL screened a total of 4,568 pre-prints and 15,590 peer reviewed papers, delivered as daily summary report of pre-print selection for ISS President activity in the National Scientific Technical Committee framework and a weekly open access publication (COVID Contents) on peer-reviewed papers of interest for health professionals, monitored by a satisfaction questionnaire. Conclusions. Promoting heath literacy, with a cross-cutting approach is a powerful heritage of Public Health Institutes and a proven effective non pharmacological intervention.

2.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1661153

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccination campaign to contrast the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised the issue of vaccine immunogenicity in special populations such as people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) on highly effective disease modifying treatments (DMTs). While humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have been well characterized in the general population and in PwMS, very little is known about cell-mediated responses in conferring protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Methods PwMS on ocrelizumab, fingolimod or natalizumab, vaccinated with two doses of mRNABNT162b2 (Comirnaty®) vaccine were enrolled. Anti-Spike (S) and anti-Nucleoprotein (N) antibody titers, IFN-gamma production upon S and N peptide libraries stimulation, peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute counts were assessed after at least 1 month and within 4 months from vaccine second dose administration. A group of age and sex matched healthy donors (HD) were included as reference group. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 8.2.1. Results Thirty PwMS and 9 HDs were enrolled. All the patients were negative for anti-N antibody detection, nor reported previous symptoms of COVID-19. Peripheral blood lymphocyte counts were assessed in PwMS showing: (i) reduction of circulating B-lymphocytes in PwMS on ocrelizumab;(ii) reduction of peripheral blood B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts in PwMS on fingolimod and (iii) normal B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts with an increase in circulating CD16+CD56+ NK-cells in PwMS on natalizumab. Three patterns of immunological responses were identified in PwMS. In patients on ocrelizumab, anti-S antibody were lacking or reduced, while T-cell responses were normal. In patients on fingolimod both anti-S titers and T-cell mediated responses were impaired. In patients on natalizumab both anti-S titers and T-cell responses were present and comparable to those observed in HD. Conclusions The evaluation of T-cell responses, anti-S titers and peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute count in PwMS on DMTs can help to better characterize the immunological response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The evaluation of T-cell responses in longitudinal cohorts of PwMS will help to clarify their protective role in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. The correlation between DMT treatment and immunological responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines could help to better evaluate vaccination strategies in PwMS.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 750386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515534

ABSTRACT

Antibodies targeting Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 have been suggested to account for the majority of neutralizing activity in COVID-19 convalescent sera and several neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been isolated, characterized and proposed as emergency therapeutics in the form of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are rapidly spreading worldwide from the sites of initial identification. The variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.167.2 (Delta) showed mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein potentially able to cause escape from nAb responses with a consequent reduction of efficacy of vaccines and mAbs-based therapy. We produced the recombinant RBD (rRBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein from the Wuhan-Hu 1 reference sequence in a mammalian system, for mice immunization to isolate new mAbs with neutralizing activity. Here we describe four mAbs that were able to bind the rRBD in Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and the transmembrane full-length spike protein expressed in HEK293T cells by flow cytometry assay. Moreover, the mAbs recognized the RBD in supernatants of SARS-CoV-2 infected VERO E6 cells by Western Blot under non-reducing condition or in supernatants of cells infected with lentivirus pseudotyped for spike protein, by immunoprecipitation assay. Three out of four mAbs lost their binding efficiency to completely N-deglycosylated rRBD and none was able to bind the same recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli, suggesting that the epitopes recognized by three mAbs are generated by the conformational structure of the glycosylated native protein. Of particular relevance, three mAbs were able to inhibit Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 infection of VERO E6 cells in a plaque-reduction neutralization test and the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta VOC in a pseudoviruses-based neutralization test. These mAbs represent important additional tools for diagnosis and therapy of COVID-19 and may contribute to the understanding of the functional structure of SARS-CoV-2 RBD.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
4.
Biomedicines ; 9(9)2021 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390533

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has represented an unprecedented challenge for humankind from health, economic, and social viewpoints. In February 2020, Italy was the first western country to be deeply hit by the pandemic and suffered the highest case/fatality rate among western countries. Brand new anti-COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made available in <1-year from the viral sequence publication. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as autoimmune-autoinflammatory disorders (AIAIDs), primary (PIDs) and secondary (SIDs) immunodeficiencies, have received careful attention for a long time regarding their capacity to safely respond to traditional vaccines. The Italian Immunological Societies, therefore, have promptly faced the issues of safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy/effectiveness of the innovative COVID-19 vaccines, as well as priority to vaccine access, in patients with AIADs, PIDs, and SIDs, by organizing an ad-hoc Task Force. Patients with AIADs, PIDs, and SIDs: (1) Do not present contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines if a mRNA vaccine is used and administered in a stabilized disease phase without active infection. (2) Should usually not discontinue immunosuppressive therapy, which may be modulated depending on the patient's clinical condition. (3) When eligible, should have a priority access to vaccination. In fact, immunizing these patients may have relevant social/health consequences, since these patients, if infected, may develop chronic infection, which prolongs viral spread and facilitates the emergence of viral variants.

5.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(5): 454-470, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155148

ABSTRACT

The natural history of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is extremely variable, ranging from asymptomatic or mild infection, mainly in children, to multi-organ failure, eventually fatal, mainly in the eldest. We propose here the first model explaining how the outcome of first, crucial 10-15 days after infection, depends on the balance between the cumulative dose of viral exposure and the efficacy of the local innate immune response (natural IgA and IgM antibodies, mannose-binding lectin). If SARS-CoV-2 runs the blockade of this innate immunity and spreads from the upper airways to the alveoli in the early phases of the infections, it can replicate with no local resistance, causing pneumonia and releasing high amounts of antigens. The delayed and strong adaptive immune response (high-affinity IgM and IgG antibodies) that follows, causes severe inflammation and triggers mediator cascades (complement, coagulation, and cytokine storm), leading to complications often requiring intensive therapy and being, in some patients, fatal. Low-moderate physical activity can still be recommended. However, extreme physical activity and oral breathing with hyperventilation during the incubation days and early stages of COVID-19 facilitates re-inhalation and early direct penetration of high numbers of own virus particles in the lower airways and the alveoli, without impacting on the airway's mucosae covered by neutralizing antibodies ("viral auto-inhalation" phenomenon). This allows the virus to bypass the efficient immune barrier of the upper airway mucosa in already infected, young, and otherwise healthy athletes. In conclusion, whether the virus or the adaptive immune response reaches the lungs first is a crucial factor deciding the fate of the patient. This "quantitative and time-/sequence-dependent" model has several implications for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of COVID-19 at all ages.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Models, Immunological , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Public Health/methods , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
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