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1.
Pathogens ; 11(2)2022 Jan 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715591

ABSTRACT

The development of pathogen reduction technologies (PRT) for labile blood components is a long-pursued goal in transfusion medicine. While PRT for red blood cells and whole blood are still in an early phase of development, different PRT platforms for plasma and platelets are commercially available and routinely used in several countries. This review describes complementary strategies recommended by the US FDA to mitigate the risk of septic reactions in platelet recipients, including PRT and large-volume delayed sampling, and summarizes the main findings of recent reports discussing economical and organizational issues of platelet PRT implementation. Sophisticated mathematical analytical models are available to determine the impact of PRT on platelet costs, shortages and outdates in different settings. PRT implementation requires careful planning to ensure the availability of sufficient economical, technological and human resources. A phased approach was used in most PRT implementation programs, starting with adult and pediatric immunocompromised patients at higher risk of developing septic platelet transfusion reactions. Overall, the reviewed studies show that significant progress has been made in this area, although additional efforts will be necessary to reduce the storage lesion of PRT platelets and to expand the sustainable applicability of PRT to all labile blood components.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316398

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus infection is responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is characterised by a hyperinflammatory response that plays a major role in determining the respiratory and immune-mediated complications of this condition. While isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from whole blood of COVID-19 patients by density gradient centrifugation, we noticed some changes in the floating properties and in the sedimentation of the cells on density medium. Investigating this further, we found that in early phase COVID-19 patients, characterised by reduced circulating lymphocytes and monocytes, the PBMC fraction contained surprisingly high levels of neutrophils. Furthermore, the neutrophil population exhibited alterations in the cell size and in the internal complexity, consistent with the presence of low density neutrophils (LDNs) and immature forms which may explain the shift seen in the floating abilities and that may be predictive of the severity of the disease. The percentage of this subset of neutrophils found in the PBMC band was rather spread (35.4±27.2%, with a median 28.8% and IQR 11.6-56.1, Welch’s t -test early phase COVID-19 versus blood donor healthy controls P<0.0001). Results confirm the presence of an increased number of LDNs in patients with early stage COVID-19, which correlates with disease severity and may be recovered by centrifugation on a density gradient together with PBMCs.

4.
J Clin Invest ; 131(23)2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546628

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThere is considerable variability in COVID-19 outcomes among younger adults, and some of this variation may be due to genetic predisposition.MethodsWe combined individual level data from 13,888 COVID-19 patients (n = 7185 hospitalized) from 17 cohorts in 9 countries to assess the association of the major common COVID-19 genetic risk factor (chromosome 3 locus tagged by rs10490770) with mortality, COVID-19-related complications, and laboratory values. We next performed metaanalyses using FinnGen and the Columbia University COVID-19 Biobank.ResultsWe found that rs10490770 risk allele carriers experienced an increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.7). Risk allele carriers had increased odds of several COVID-19 complications: severe respiratory failure (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.6-2.6), venous thromboembolism (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4), and hepatic injury (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0). Risk allele carriers age 60 years and younger had higher odds of death or severe respiratory failure (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.8-3.9) compared with those of more than 60 years (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-1.8; interaction, P = 0.038). Among individuals 60 years and younger who died or experienced severe respiratory failure, 32.3% were risk-variant carriers compared with 13.9% of those not experiencing these outcomes. This risk variant improved the prediction of death or severe respiratory failure similarly to, or better than, most established clinical risk factors.ConclusionsThe major common COVID-19 genetic risk factor is associated with increased risks of morbidity and mortality, which are more pronounced among individuals 60 years or younger. The effect was similar in magnitude and more common than most established clinical risk factors, suggesting potential implications for future clinical risk management.


Subject(s)
Alleles , COVID-19 , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Gene Frequency , Genetic Loci , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Risk Factors
5.
Transfusion ; 61(12): 3381-3389, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A large proportion of SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals does not develop severe symptoms. Serological tests help in evaluating the spread of infection and disease immunization. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the trends and risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection in blood donors. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We screened 8798 asymptomatic donors presenting in Milan from July 2020 to February 2021 (10,680 presentations) before the vaccination campaign for anti-nucleoprotein (NP) antibodies, and for anti-spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies and nasopharyngeal swab PCR in those who tested positive. RESULTS: The prevalence of anti-NP+/RBD+ tests increased progressively with time up to ~15% (p < .0001), preceded by a peak of PCR+ tests. Anti-RBD titers were higher in anti-NP IgG+/IgM+ than in IgG+/IgM- individuals and in those with a history of infection (p < .0001); of these 197/630 (31.2%) displayed high titers (>80 AU/ml). Anti-RBD titers declined during follow-up, depending on baseline titers (p < .0001) and time (p = .025). Risk factors for seroconversion were a later presentation date and non-O ABO blood group (p < .001). A positive PCR was detected in 0.7% of participants in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 viremia. CONCLUSIONS: During the second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Northern Italy, we detected an increase in seroprevalence in healthy blood donors from ~4% to ~15%, with a trend paralleling that observed in the general population. Seroconversion was more frequent in carriers of non-O blood groups. The persistence of anti-RBD antibodies was short-lived.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
J Autoimmun ; 124: 102728, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440155

ABSTRACT

Extremely rare reactions characterized by thrombosis and thrombocytopenia have been described in subjects that received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination 5-16 days earlier. Although patients with vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) have high levels of antibodies to platelet factor 4 (PF4)-polyanion complexes, the exact mechanism of the development of thrombosis is still unknown. Here we reported serum studies as well as proteomics and genomics analyses demonstrating a massive complement activation potentially linked to the presence of anti-PF4 antibodies in a patient with severe VITT. At admission, complement activity of the classical and lectin pathways were absent (0% for both) with normal levels of the alternative pathway (73%) in association with elevated levels of the complement activation marker sC5b-9 (630 ng/mL [n.v. 139-462 ng/mL]) and anti-PF4 IgG (1.918 OD [n.v. 0.136-0.300 OD]). The immunoblotting analysis of C2 showed the complete disappearance of its normal band at 110 kDa. Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment allowed to recover complement activity of the classical pathway (91%) and lectin pathway (115%), to reduce levels of sC5b-9 (135 ng/mL) and anti-PF4 IgG (0.681 OD) and to normalize the C2 pattern at immunoblotting. Proteomics and genomics analyses in addition to serum studies showed that the absence of complement activity during VITT was not linked to alterations of the C2 gene but rather to a strong complement activation leading to C2 consumption. Our data in a single patient suggest monitoring complement parameters in other VITT patients considering also the possibility to target complement activation with specific drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Complement C2 , Complement Membrane Attack Complex , Complement Pathway, Classical , Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Complement C2/genetics , Complement C2/metabolism , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/genetics , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/metabolism , Complement Pathway, Classical/drug effects , Complement Pathway, Classical/genetics , Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin/drug effects , Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin/genetics , Female , Humans , Platelet Factor 4/blood , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/blood , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/chemically induced , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/genetics
7.
Sci Immunol ; 6(62)2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352519

ABSTRACT

To understand how a protective immune response against SARS-CoV-2 develops over time, we integrated phenotypic, transcriptional and repertoire analyses on PBMCs from mild and severe COVID-19 patients during and after infection, and compared them to healthy donors (HD). A type I IFN-response signature marked all the immune populations from severe patients during the infection. Humoral immunity was dominated by IgG production primarily against the RBD and N proteins, with neutralizing antibody titers increasing post infection and with disease severity. Memory B cells, including an atypical FCRL5+ T-BET+ memory subset, increased during the infection, especially in patients with mild disease. A significant reduction of effector memory, CD8+ T cells frequency characterized patients with severe disease. Despite such impairment, we observed robust clonal expansion of CD8+ T lymphocytes, while CD4+ T cells were less expanded and skewed toward TCM and TH2-like phenotypes. MAIT cells were also expanded, but only in patients with mild disease. Terminally differentiated CD8+ GZMB+ effector cells were clonally expanded both during the infection and post-infection, while CD8+ GZMK+ lymphocytes were more expanded post-infection and represented bona fide memory precursor effector cells. TCR repertoire analysis revealed that only highly proliferating T cell clonotypes, which included SARS-CoV-2-specific cells, were maintained post-infection and shared between the CD8+ GZMB+ and GZMK+ subsets. Overall, this study describes the development of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and identifies an effector CD8+ T cell population with memory precursor-like features.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunophenotyping , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers , COVID-19/virology , Cell Plasticity/genetics , Cell Plasticity/immunology , Clonal Evolution/immunology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism
8.
Thrombosis Update ; 4:100059, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1284591

ABSTRACT

Background Recent reports of thrombotic events after SARS-Cov-2 vaccination raised concern. However, modifications of the most common coagulation parameters after vaccination are unknown. Aims We measured parameters of coagulation including (i) basic coagulation tests, (ii) procedures aimed to assess the ex-vivo potential capacity to generate thrombin and (iii) in vivo thrombin activity. We also assessed anti-platelet factor 4 (aPF4) with two methods. Design Laboratory measurements were performed for a cohort of subjects (n = 30) before (baseline) and after (7 and 21days after first dose, and 14days after second dose) SARS-Cov-2 vaccination. Results All subjects received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and none developed symptomatic thrombotic events during the study period. None of the parameters showed clinically relevant variations at different time-points before and after vaccination. Only platelet count showed a slight increase, and F1.2 and the thrombin generation parameters ETP and ETP-TM ratio, showed a small decline, at the last time-point after vaccination when compared to baseline. aPF4 was negative in all the subjects, except two, who were positive (one with the chemiluminescent and the other with the ELISA assay). Conclusions The study shows no modifications of the coagulation parameters nor the presence of biochemical signs of coagulation activation following the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

11.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243964

ABSTRACT

The current challenge worldwide is the administration of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines. Even if rarely, severe vascular adverse reactions temporally related to vaccine administration have induced diffidence in the population at large. In particular, researchers worldwide are focusing on the so-called "thrombosis and thrombocytopenia after COVID-19 vaccination". This study aims to establish a practical workflow to define the relationship between adverse events following immunization (AEFI) and COVID-19 vaccination, following the basic framework of the World Health Organization (WHO). Post-mortem investigation plays a pivotal role to support this causality relationship when death occurs. To demonstrate the usefulness and feasibility of the proposed workflow, we applied it to two exemplificative cases of suspected AEFI following COVID-19 vaccination. Based on the proposed model, we took into consideration any possible causality relationship between COVID-19 vaccine administration and AEFI. This led us to conclude that vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCov-19 may cause the rare development of immune thrombocytopenia mediated by platelet-activating antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4), which clinically mimics heparin-induced autoimmune thrombocytopenia. We suggest the adoption of the proposed methodology in order to confirm or rule out a causal relationship between vaccination and the occurrence of AEFI.

13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4904, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112008

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus infection is responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is characterised by a hyperinflammatory response that plays a major role in determining the respiratory and immune-mediated complications of this condition. While isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from whole blood of COVID-19 patients by density gradient centrifugation, we noticed some changes in the floating properties and in the sedimentation of the cells on density medium. Investigating this further, we found that in early phase COVID-19 patients, characterised by reduced circulating lymphocytes and monocytes, the PBMC fraction contained surprisingly high levels of neutrophils. Furthermore, the neutrophil population exhibited alterations in the cell size and in the internal complexity, consistent with the presence of low density neutrophils (LDNs) and immature forms, which may explain the shift seen in the floating abilities and that may be predictive of the severity of the disease. The percentage of this subset of neutrophils found in the PBMC band was rather spread (35.4 ± 27.2%, with a median 28.8% and IQR 11.6-56.1, Welch's t-test early phase COVID-19 versus blood donor healthy controls P < 0.0001). Results confirm the presence of an increased number of LDNs in patients with early stage COVID-19, which correlates with disease severity and may be recovered by centrifugation on a density gradient together with PBMCs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Cell Separation , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , Centrifugation, Density Gradient , Female , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/pathology , Male , Middle Aged
14.
Blood Transfus ; 19(3): 181-189, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067611

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Milan metropolitan area in Northern Italy was among the most severely hit by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The aim of this study was to examine the seroprevalence trends of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy asymptomatic adults, and the risk factors and laboratory correlates of positive tests. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of blood donors, who were asymptomatic at the time of evaluation, at the beginning of the first phase (February 24th to April 8th 2020; n=789). Presence of IgM/IgG antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2-Nucleocapsid protein was assessed by a lateral flow immunoassay. RESULTS: The test had a 100/98.3 sensitivity/specificity (n=32/120 positive/negative controls, respectively), and the IgG test was validated in a subset by an independent ELISA against the Spike protein (n=34, p<0.001). At the start of the outbreak, the overall adjusted seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 2.7% (95% CI: 0.3-6%; p<0.0001 vs 120 historical controls). During the study period, characterised by a gradual implementation of social distancing measures, there was a progressive increase in the adjusted seroprevalence to 5.2% (95% CI: 2.4-9.0; 4.5%, 95% CI: 0.9-9.2% according to a Bayesian estimate) due to a rise in IgG reactivity to 5% (95% CI: 2.8-8.2; p=0.004 for trend), but there was no increase in IgM+ (p=not significant). At multivariate logistic regression analysis, IgG reactivity was more frequent in younger individuals (p=0.043), while IgM reactivity was more frequent in individuals aged >45 years (p=0.002). DISCUSSION: SARS-CoV-2 infection was already circulating in Milan at the start of the outbreak. The pattern of IgM/IgG reactivity was influenced by age: IgM was more frequently detected in participants aged >45 years. By the end of April, 2.4-9.0% of healthy adults had evidence of seroconversion.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Blood Donors/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Confidence Intervals , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , Seroconversion , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
J Autoimmun ; 117: 102595, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014585

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genetic variation at a multigene cluster at chromosome 3p21.31 and the ABO blood group have been associated with the risk of developing severe COVID-19, but the mechanism remains unclear. Complement activation has been associated with COVID-19 severity. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether chromosome 3p21.31 and the ABO variants are linked to the activation of the complement cascade in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We considered 72 unrelated European hospitalized patients with genetic data and evaluation of circulating C5a and soluble terminal complement complex C5b-9 (SC5b-9). Twenty-six (36.1%) patients carried the rs11385942 G>GA variant and 44 (66.1%) non-O blood group associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19. RESULTS: C5a and SC5-b9 plasma levels were higher in rs11385949 GA carriers than in non-carriers (P = 0.041 and P = 0.012, respectively), while C5a levels were higher in non-O group than in O group patients (P = 0.019). The association between rs11385949 and SC5b-9 remained significant after adjustment for ABO and disease severity (P = 0.004) and further correction for C5a (P = 0.018). There was a direct relationship between upper airways viral load and SC5b-9 in carriers of the rs11385949 risk allele (P = 0.032), which was not observed in non-carriers. CONCLUSIONS: The rs11385949 G>GA variant, tagging the chromosome 3 gene cluster variation and predisposing to severe COVID-19, is associated with enhanced complement activation, both with C5a and terminal complement complex, while non-O blood group with C5a levels. These findings provide a link between genetic susceptibility to more severe COVID-19 and complement activation.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Complement Activation/genetics , Genotype , Multigene Family/genetics , Aged , Complement C5a/genetics , Disease Progression , Female , Gene Frequency , Genetic Association Studies , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load
17.
Front Immunol ; 11: 560330, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000077

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a recently discovered pathogen responsible of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The immunological changes associated with this infection are largely unknown. Methods: We evaluated the peripheral blood mononuclear cells profile of 63 patients with COVID-19 at diagnosis. We also assessed the presence of association with inflammatory biomarkers and the 28-day mortality. Results: Lymphocytopenia was present in 51 of 63 (80.9%) patients, with a median value of 720 lymphocytes/µl (IQR 520-1,135). This reduction was mirrored also on CD8+ (128 cells/µl, IQR 55-215), natural killer (67 cells/µl, IQR 35-158) and natural killer T (31 cells/µl, IQR 11-78) cells. Monocytes were preserved in total number but displayed among them a subpopulation with a higher forward and side scatter properties, composed mainly of cells with a reduced expression of both CD14 and HLA-DR. Patients who died in the 28 days from admission (N=10, 15.9%), when compared to those who did not, displayed lower mean values of CD3+ (337.4 cells/µl vs 585.9 cells/µl; p=0.028) and CD4+ cells (232.2 cells/µl vs 381.1 cells/µl; p=0.042) and an higher percentage of CD8+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ lymphocytes (13.5% vs 7.6%; p=0.026). Discussion: The early phases of COVID-19 are characterized by lymphocytopenia, predominance of Th2-like lymphocytes and monocytes with altered immune profile, which include atypical mononuclear cells.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , Aged , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphopenia/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
18.
J Autoimmun ; 116: 102560, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-899086

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Animal models and few clinical reports suggest the involvement of the complement system in the onset of severe manifestations of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). However, complement contribution to endotheliopathy and hypercoagulability has not been elucidated yet. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association among complement activation, endothelial damage and disease severity or activity in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In this single-centre cohort study, 148 patients with COVID-19 of different severity were evaluated upon hospital admission and 30 days later. Markers of complement activation (SC5b-9 and C5a) and endothelial perturbation (von Willebrand factor [vWF], tissue-type plasminogen activator [t-PA], plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [PAI-1], soluble thrombomodulin [sTM], and soluble endothelial selectin [sE-selectin]) were measured in plasma. RESULTS: The patients had high plasma levels of SC5b-9 and C5a (p = 0.0001 for both) and vWF, t-PA and PAI-1 (p = 0.0001 for all). Their SC5b-9 levels correlated with those of vWF (r = 0.517, p = 0.0001) and paralleled disease severity (severe vs mild p = 0.0001, severe vs moderate p = 0.026 and moderate vs mild p = 0.001). The levels of sE-selectin were significantly increased only in the patients with severe disease. After 30 days, plasma SC5b-9, C5a and vWF levels had significantly decreased (p = 0.0001 for all), and 43% of the evaluated patients had normal levels. CONCLUSIONS: Complement activation is boosted during the progression of COVID-19 and dampened during remission, thus indicating its role in the pathophysiology of the disease. The association between complement activation and the biomarkers of endothelial damage suggests that complement may contribute to tissue injury and could be the target of specific therapy.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , Complement Activation/physiology , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
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