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1.
J Clin Invest ; 131(12)2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731387

ABSTRACT

The characterization of the adaptive immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection may define current and future clinical practice. To determine the effect of the 2-dose BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccination schedule in individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (COVID-19-recovered subjects) compared with naive subjects, we evaluated SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific T and B cell responses, as well as specific IgA, IgG, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies titers in 22 individuals who received the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, 11 of whom had a previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Evaluations were performed before vaccination and then weekly until 7 days after second injection. Data obtained clearly showed that one vaccine dose is sufficient to increase both cellular and humoral immune response in COVID-19-recovered subjects without any additional improvement after the second dose. On the contrary, the second dose proved mandatory in naive subjects to further enhance the immune response. These findings were further confirmed at the serological level in a larger cohort of naive (n = 68) and COVID-19-recovered (n = 29) subjects, tested up to 50 days after vaccination. These results question whether a second vaccine injection in COVID-19-recovered subjects is required, and indicate that millions of vaccine doses may be redirected to naive individuals, thus shortening the time to reach herd immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunologic Memory/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
2.
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.

3.
Journal of Clinical Investigation ; 131(12):1-7, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1334628

ABSTRACT

The characterization of the adaptive immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection may define current and future clinical practice. To determine the effect of the 2-dose BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccination schedule in individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (COVID-19-recovered subjects) compared with naive subjects, we evaluated SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific T and B cell responses, as well as specific IgA, IgG, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies titers in 22 individuals who received the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, 11 of whom had a previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Evaluations were performed before vaccination and then weekly until 7 days after second injection. Data obtained clearly showed that one vaccine dose is sufficient to increase both cellular and humoral immune response in COVID-19-recovered subjects without any additional improvement after the second dose. On the contrary, the second dose proved mandatory in naive subjects to further enhance the immune response. These findings were further confirmed at the serological level in a larger cohort of naive (n = 68) and COVID-19-recovered (n = 29) subjects, tested up to 50 days after vaccination. These results question whether a second vaccine injection in COVID-19-recovered subjects is required, and indicate that millions of vaccine doses may be redirected to naive individuals, thus shortening the time to reach herd immunity.

6.
Immunol Lett ; 228: 122-128, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-909223

ABSTRACT

As of October 2020 management of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is based on supportive care and off-label or compassionate-use therapies. On March 2020 tocilizumab - an anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody - was suggested as immunomodulatory treatment in severe COVID-19 because hyperinflammatory syndrome occurs in many patients similarly to the cytokine release syndrome that develops after CAR-T cell therapy. In our retrospective observational study, 20 severe COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care were treated with tocilizumab in addition to standard-of-care therapy (SOC) and compared with 13 COVID-19 patients receiving only SOC. Clinical respiratory status, inflammatory markers and vascular radiologic score improved after one week from tocilizumab administration. On the contrary, these parameters were stable or worsened in patients receiving only SOC. Despite major study limitations, improvement of alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient as well as vascular radiologic score after one week may account for improved pulmonary vascular perfusion and could explain the more rapid recovery of COVID-19 patients receiving tocilizumab compared to controls.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Respiration/drug effects , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Combined Modality Therapy , Critical Care , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
8.
Clin Mol Allergy ; 18: 14, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693349

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemia is affecting Countries worldwide with a gendered death excess as being a male represents, especially in the 50-69 years age group, an unfavourable factor. Females are constitutionally prone to defend themselves against pathogens with a stronger efficiency than males. As a fact, several genes involved into the regulation of the innate and adaptive immune response are strategically placed on the X-chromosome and, among them, pathogen-related receptors (PRRs), such as Toll-like receptor 7, suitable to recognize ssRNAs and trigger a gendered successful anti-viral fight. On the other hand, a more regulated IL-6 production and a more contained inflammation after the encounter of a pathogen supply score points in favour of the female sex in the view that an abnormal and exaggerated cytokine release does represent the hallmark of the deathful SARS-CoV-2 infection. The sex-prevalent expression of the attachment and permissive molecules ACE2 and TMPRSS2 further supports the concept of a male-oriented vulnerability. In this review, the possible role of biological and immunological sex differences into the higher morbidity and mortality of SARS-CoV-2 between females and males are discussed.

10.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 8(8): 2575-2581.e2, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611996

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The early identification of patients at risk of clinical deterioration is of interest considering the timeline of COVID-19 after the onset of symptoms. OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of testing serum IL-6 and other serological and clinical biomarkers, to predict a short-term negative clinical course of patients with noncritical COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 208 patients with noncritical COVID-19 pneumonia at admission were consecutively enrolled. Clinical and laboratory findings obtained on admission were analyzed by using survival analysis and stepwise logistic regression for variable selection. Three-day worsening as outcome in a logistic model to generate a prognostic score was used. RESULTS: Clinical worsening occurred in 63 patients (16 = died; 39 = transferred to intensive care unit; 8 worsening of respiratory failure). Forty-five of them worsened within 3 days after admission. The risk of clinical worsening was progressively enhanced along with increasing quartiles of IL-6 levels. Multivariate analysis showed that IL-6 (P = .005), C-reactive protein (CRP) (P = .003), and SaO2/FiO2 (P = .014) were the best predictors for clinical deterioration in the first 3 days after admission. The combined score yielded an area under the curve = 0.88 (95% confidence interval: 0.83-0.93). A nomogram predicting the probability of 3-day worsening was generated. The score also showed good performance for 7-day and 14- or 21-day worsening and in predicting death occurring during all the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Combining IL-6, CRP, and SaO2/FiO2 in a score may help clinicians to identify on admission those patients with COVID-19 who are at high risk for a further 3-day clinical deterioration.


Subject(s)
Clinical Deterioration , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Female , Humans , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Oxygen/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
12.
J Clin Invest ; 130(9): 4694-4703, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401302

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCoronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral immune response is crucial to achieve pathogen clearance; however, in some patients an excessive and aberrant host immune response can lead to an acute respiratory distress syndrome. The comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate pathogen elimination, immunity, and pathology is essential to better characterize disease progression and widen the spectrum of therapeutic options.METHODSWe performed a flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets from 30 patients with COVID-19 and correlated these data with clinical outcomes.RESULTSPatients with COVID-19 showed decreased numbers of circulating T, B, and NK cells and exhibited a skewing of CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated/senescent phenotype. In agreement, CD4+ T and CD8+ T, but also NK cells, displayed reduced antiviral cytokine production capability. Moreover, a reduced cytotoxic potential was identified in patients with COVID-19, particularly in those who required intensive care. The latter group of patients also showed increased serum IL-6 levels that inversely correlated to the frequency of granzyme A-expressing NK cells. Off-label treatment with tocilizumab restored the cytotoxic potential of NK cells.CONCLUSIONThe association between IL-6 serum levels and the impairment of cytotoxic activity suggests the possibility that targeting this cytokine may restore antiviral mechanisms.FUNDINGThis study was supported by funds from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of University of Florence (the ex-60% fund and the "Excellence Departments 2018-2022 Project") derived from Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (Italy).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Interleukin-6/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Granzymes/blood , Granzymes/immunology , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Immunological , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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