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2.
Heliyon ; 8(4): e09230, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768134

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a wide spectrum of disease severity. Identifying the immunological characteristics of severe disease and the risk factors for their development are important in the management of COVID-19. This study aimed to identify and rank clinical and immunological features associated with progression to severe COVID-19 in order to investigate an immunological signature of severe disease. One hundred and eight patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR were recruited. Routine clinical and laboratory markers were measured, as well as myeloid and lymphoid whole-blood immunophenotyping and measurement of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and soluble CD25. All analysis was carried out in a routine hospital diagnostic laboratory. Univariate analysis demonstrated that severe disease was most strongly associated with elevated CRP and IL-6, loss of DLA-DR expression on monocytes and CD10 expression on neutrophils. Unbiased machine learning demonstrated that these four features were strongly associated with severe disease, with an average prediction score for severe disease of 0.925. These results demonstrate that these four markers could be used to identify patients developing severe COVID-19 and allow timely delivery of therapeutics.

3.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(3): 434-439, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616555

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Older nursing home residents make up the population at greatest risk of morbidity and mortality from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. No studies have examined the determinants of long-term antibody responses post vaccination in this group. DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Residents from 5 nursing homes assessed before vaccination, and 5 weeks and 6 months post vaccination, with the BNT162b2 messenger RNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. METHODS: Comprehensive clinical assessment was performed, including assessment for comorbidity, frailty, and SARS-CoV-2 infection history. Serum nucleocapsid and anti-spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies were analyzed at all timepoints. An in vitro angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) receptor-spike RBD neutralization assay assessed serum neutralization capacity. RESULTS: Of 86 participants (81.1 ± 10.8 years; 65% female), just under half (45.4%; 39 of 86) had evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. All participants demonstrated a significant antibody response to vaccination at 5 weeks and a significant decline in this response by 6 months. SARS-CoV-2 infection history was the strongest predictor of antibody titer (log-transformed) at both 5 weeks [ß: 3.00; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.32-3.70; P < .001] and 6 months (ß: 3.59; 95% CI: 2.89-4.28; P < .001). Independent of SARS-CoV-2 infection history, both age in years (ß: -0.05; 95% CI: -0.08 to -0.02; P < .001) and frailty (ß: -0.22; 95% CI: -0.33 to -0.11; P < .001) were associated with a significantly lower antibody titer at 6 months. Anti-spike antibody titers at both 5 weeks and 6 months significantly correlated with in vitro neutralization capacity. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: In older nursing home residents, SARS-CoV-2 infection history was the strongest predictor of anti-spike antibody titers at 6 months, whereas age and frailty were independently associated with lower titers at 6 months. Antibody titers significantly correlated with in vitro neutralization capacity. Although older SARS-CoV-2 naïve nursing home residents may be particularly vulnerable to breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection, the relationship between antibody titers, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and clinical outcomes remains to be fully elucidated in this vulnerable population.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 , Frailty , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Frail Elderly , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Nat Immunol ; 23(2): 159-164, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475313

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infections display tremendous interindividual variability, ranging from asymptomatic infections to life-threatening disease. Inborn errors of, and autoantibodies directed against, type I interferons (IFNs) account for about 20% of critical COVID-19 cases among SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. By contrast, the genetic and immunological determinants of resistance to infection per se remain unknown. Following the discovery that autosomal recessive deficiency in the DARC chemokine receptor confers resistance to Plasmodium vivax, autosomal recessive deficiencies of chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) and the enzyme FUT2 were shown to underlie resistance to HIV-1 and noroviruses, respectively. Along the same lines, we propose a strategy for identifying, recruiting, and genetically analyzing individuals who are naturally resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Disease Resistance/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Genetic Heterogeneity , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Phenotype , Protective Factors , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
6.
J Invest Dermatol ; 141(12): 2791-2796, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437509

ABSTRACT

Despite thousands of reported patients with pandemic-associated pernio, low rates of seroconversion and PCR positivity have defied causative linkage to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Pernio in uninfected children is associated with monogenic disorders of excessive IFN-1 immunity, whereas severe COVID-19 pneumonia can result from insufficient IFN-1. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and robust IFN-1 response are seen in the skin of patients with pandemic-associated pernio, suggesting an excessive innate immune skin response to SARS-CoV-2. Understanding the pathophysiology of this phenomenon may elucidate the host mechanisms that drive a resilient immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and could produce relevant therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chilblains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/complications , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/metabolism
7.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(6): 997-1003, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256079

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Much is known about the acute infective process of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative virus of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The marked inflammatory response and coagulopathic state in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may promote pulmonary fibrosis. However, little is known about the incidence and seriousness of post-COVID-19 pulmonary pathology. Objectives: To describe the respiratory recovery and self-reported health after infection at the time of outpatient attendance. Methods: Infection severity was graded into three groups: 1) not requiring admission, 2) requiring hospital admission, and 3) requiring intensive care unit care. Participants underwent chest radiography and a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Fatigue and subjective return to health were assessed, and concentrations of CRP (C-reactive protein), IL-6 (interleukin-6), sCD25 (soluble CD25), and D-dimer were measured. The associations between initial illness and abnormal chest X-ray findings, 6MWT distance, and perception of maximal exertion were investigated. Results: A total of 487 patients were offered an outpatient appointment, of whom 153 (31%) attended for assessment at a median of 75 days after diagnosis. A total of 74 (48%) had required hospital admission during acute infection. Persistently abnormal chest X-ray findings were seen in 4%. The median 6MWT distance covered was 460 m. A reduced distance covered was associated with frailty and length of inpatient stay. A total of 95 (62%) patients believed that they had not returned to full health, whereas 47% met the case definition for fatigue. Ongoing ill health and fatigue were associated with an increased perception of exertion. None of the measures of persistent respiratory disease were associated with initial disease severity. Conclusions: This study highlights the rates of objective respiratory disease and subjective respiratory symptoms after COVID-19 and the complex multifactorial nature of post-COVID-19 ill health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/physiopathology , Frailty/physiopathology , Lung/physiopathology , Recovery of Function , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Female , Health Status , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Exertion , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Walk Test
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 676932, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241170

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The immunological and inflammatory changes following acute COVID-19 are hugely variable. Persistent clinical symptoms following resolution of initial infection, termed long COVID, are also hugely variable, but association with immunological changes has not been described. We investigate changing immunological parameters in convalescent COVID-19 and interrogate their potential relationships with persistent symptoms. Methods: We performed paired immunophenotyping at initial SARS-CoV-2 infection and convalescence (n=40, median 68 days) and validated findings in 71 further patients at median 101 days convalescence. Results were compared to 40 pre-pandemic controls. Fatigue and exercise tolerance were assessed as cardinal features of long COVID using the Chalder Fatigue Scale and 6-minute-walk test. The relationships between these clinical outcomes and convalescent immunological results were investigated. Results: We identify persistent expansion of intermediate monocytes, effector CD8+, activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and reduced naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at 68 days, with activated CD8+ T cells remaining increased at 101 days. Patients >60 years also demonstrate reduced naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and expanded activated CD4+ T cells at 101 days. Ill-health, fatigue, and reduced exercise tolerance were common in this cohort. These symptoms were not associated with immune cell populations or circulating inflammatory cytokines. Conclusion: We demonstrate myeloid recovery but persistent T cell abnormalities in convalescent COVID-19 patients more than three months after initial infection. These changes are more marked with age and are independent of ongoing subjective ill-health, fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance.


Subject(s)
Aging/physiology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Cohort Studies , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
9.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e157, 2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203374

ABSTRACT

Hospital healthcare workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 infection. We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in HCWs in Ireland. Two tertiary referral hospitals in Irish cities with diverging community incidence and seroprevalence were identified; COVID-19 had been diagnosed in 10.2% and 1.8% of staff respectively by the time of the study (October 2020). All staff of both hospitals (N = 9038) were invited to participate in an online questionnaire and blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. Frequencies and percentages for positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody were calculated and adjusted relative risks (aRR) for participant characteristics were calculated using multivariable regression analysis. In total, 5788 HCWs participated (64% response rate). Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was 15% and 4.1% in hospitals 1 and 2, respectively. Thirty-nine percent of infections were previously undiagnosed. Risk for seropositivity was higher for healthcare assistants (aRR 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-3.0), nurses (aRR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2), daily exposure to patients with COVID-19 (aRR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.1), age 18-29 years (aRR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.9), living with other HCWs (aRR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.5), Asian background (aRR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.6) and male sex (aRR: 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4). The HCW seroprevalence was six times higher than community seroprevalence. Risk was higher for those with close patient contact. The proportion of undiagnosed infections call for robust infection control guidance, easy access to testing and consideration of screening in asymptomatic HCWs. With emerging evidence of reduction in transmission from vaccinated individuals, the authors strongly endorse rapid vaccination of all HCWs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
10.
J Thromb Haemost ; 19(4): 1064-1070, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084302

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Persistent fatigue, breathlessness, and reduced exercise tolerance have been reported following acute COVID-19 infection. Although immuno-thrombosis has been implicated in acute COVID-19 pathogenesis, the biological mechanisms underpinning long COVID remain unknown. We hypothesized that pulmonary microvascular immuno-thrombosis may be important in this context. METHODS: One hundred fifty COVID-19 patients were reviewed at St James's Hospital Dublin between May and September 2020 at a median of 80.5 (range 44-155) days after initial diagnosis. These included patients hospitalized during initial illness (n = 69) and others managed entirely as out-patients (n = 81). Clinical examination, chest x-ray, and 6-min walk tests were performed. In addition, a range of coagulation and inflammatory markers were assessed. RESULTS: Increased D-dimer levels (>500 ng/ml) were observed in 25.3% patients up to 4 months post-SARS-CoV-2 infection. On univariate analysis, elevated convalescent D-dimers were more common in COVID-19 patients who had required hospital admission and in patients aged more than 50 years (p < .001). Interestingly, we observed that 29% (n = 11) of patients with elevated convalescent D-dimers had been managed exclusively as out-patients during their illness. In contrast, other coagulation (prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, platelet count) and inflammation (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and sCD25) markers had returned to normal in >90% of convalescent patients. CONCLUSIONS: Elucidating the biological mechanisms responsible for sustained D-dimer increases may be of relevance in long COVID pathogenesis and has implications for clinical management of these patients.


Subject(s)
Acute-Phase Reaction , COVID-19/blood , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Aged , COVID-19/rehabilitation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(6): 997-1003, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015968

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Much is known about the acute infective process of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative virus of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The marked inflammatory response and coagulopathic state in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may promote pulmonary fibrosis. However, little is known about the incidence and seriousness of post-COVID-19 pulmonary pathology. Objectives: To describe the respiratory recovery and self-reported health after infection at the time of outpatient attendance. Methods: Infection severity was graded into three groups: 1) not requiring admission, 2) requiring hospital admission, and 3) requiring intensive care unit care. Participants underwent chest radiography and a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Fatigue and subjective return to health were assessed, and concentrations of CRP (C-reactive protein), IL-6 (interleukin-6), sCD25 (soluble CD25), and D-dimer were measured. The associations between initial illness and abnormal chest X-ray findings, 6MWT distance, and perception of maximal exertion were investigated. Results: A total of 487 patients were offered an outpatient appointment, of whom 153 (31%) attended for assessment at a median of 75 days after diagnosis. A total of 74 (48%) had required hospital admission during acute infection. Persistently abnormal chest X-ray findings were seen in 4%. The median 6MWT distance covered was 460 m. A reduced distance covered was associated with frailty and length of inpatient stay. A total of 95 (62%) patients believed that they had not returned to full health, whereas 47% met the case definition for fatigue. Ongoing ill health and fatigue were associated with an increased perception of exertion. None of the measures of persistent respiratory disease were associated with initial disease severity. Conclusions: This study highlights the rates of objective respiratory disease and subjective respiratory symptoms after COVID-19 and the complex multifactorial nature of post-COVID-19 ill health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/physiopathology , Frailty/physiopathology , Lung/physiopathology , Recovery of Function , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Female , Health Status , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Exertion , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Walk Test
12.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0240784, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917987

ABSTRACT

Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic COVID-19 infection. However, it is unknown if COVID-19 results in persistent fatigue in those recovered from acute infection. We examined the prevalence of fatigue in individuals recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 illness using the Chalder Fatigue Score (CFQ-11). We further examined potential predictors of fatigue following COVID-19 infection, evaluating indicators of COVID-19 severity, markers of peripheral immune activation and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Of 128 participants (49.5 ± 15 years; 54% female), more than half reported persistent fatigue (67/128; 52.3%) at median of 10 weeks after initial COVID-19 symptoms. There was no association between COVID-19 severity (need for inpatient admission, supplemental oxygen or critical care) and fatigue following COVID-19. Additionally, there was no association between routine laboratory markers of inflammation and cell turnover (leukocyte, neutrophil or lymphocyte counts, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein) or pro-inflammatory molecules (IL-6 or sCD25) and fatigue post COVID-19. Female gender and those with a pre-existing diagnosis of depression/anxiety were over-represented in those with fatigue. Our findings demonstrate a significant burden of post-viral fatigue in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of COVID-19 illness. This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Fatigue/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Virus Res ; 287: 198094, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680841

ABSTRACT

The past century has witnessed major advances in the control of many infectious diseases, yet outbreaks and epidemics caused by (re-) emerging RNA viruses continue to pose a global threat to human health. As illustrated by the global COVID19 pandemic, high healthcare costs, economic disruption and loss of productivity reinforce the unmet medical need to develop new antiviral strategies to combat not only the current pandemic but also future viral outbreaks. Pivotal for effective anti-viral defense is the innate immune system, a first line host response that senses and responds to virus infection. While molecular details of the innate immune response are well characterized, this research field is now being revolutionized with the recognition that cell metabolism has a major impact on the antiviral and inflammatory responses to virus infections. A detailed understanding of the role of metabolic regulation with respect to antiviral and inflammatory responses, together with knowledge of the strategies used by viruses to exploit immunometabolic pathways, will ultimately change our understanding and treatment of pathogenic viral diseases. INITIATE is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN), with the goal to train 15 early stage PhD researchers (ESRs) to become experts in antiviral immunometabolism (https://initiate-itn.eu/). To this end, INITIATE brings together a highly complementary international team of academic and corporate leaders from 7 European countries, with outstanding track records in the historically distinct research fields of virology, immunology and metabolism. The ESRs of INITIATE are trained in these interdisciplinary research fields through individual investigator-driven research projects, specialized scientific training events, workshops on academia-industry interactions, outreach & communication. INITIATE will deliver a new generation of creative and entrepreneurial researchers who will be able to face the inevitable future challenges in combating viral diseases.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biomedical Research/methods , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Education, Medical/methods , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , SARS-CoV-2
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