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Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(5): 2048622, 2022 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900981


We report a Human Immune System (HIS)-humanized mouse model ("DRAGA": HLA-A2.HLA-DR4.Rag1KO.IL-2 RγcKO.NOD) for COVID-19 research. DRAGA mice express transgenically HLA-class I and class-II molecules in the mouse thymus to promote human T cell development and human B cell Ig-class switching. When infused with human hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood reconstitute a functional human immune system, as well as human epi/endothelial cells in lung and upper respiratory airways expressing the human ACE2 receptor for SARS-CoV-2. The DRAGA mice were able to sustain SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 25 days. Infected mice showed replicating virus in the lungs, deteriorating clinical condition, and human-like lung immunopathology including human lymphocyte infiltrates, microthrombi and pulmonary sequelae. Among the intra-alveolar and peri-bronchiolar lymphocyte infiltrates, human lung-resident (CD103+) CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were sequestered in epithelial (CD326+) lung niches and secreted granzyme B and perforin, suggesting anti-viral cytotoxic activity. Infected mice also mounted human IgG antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. Hence, HIS-DRAGA mice showed unique advantages as a surrogate in vivo human model for studying SARS-CoV-2 immunopathological mechanisms and testing the safety and efficacy of candidate vaccines and therapeutics.

COVID-19 , HLA-DR4 Antigen , Animals , B-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Disease Models, Animal , Endothelial Cells , HLA-A2 Antigen/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2
Crit Care Explor ; 4(4): e0662, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831398


The Seraph100 Microbind Affinity Blood Filter (Seraph 100) (ExThera Medical, Martinez, CA) is an extracorporeal therapy that can remove pathogens from blood, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The aim of this study was to evaluate safety and efficacy of Seraph 100 treatment for COVID-19. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Nine participating ICUs. PATIENTS: COVID-19 patients treated with Seraph 100 (n = 53) and control patients matched by study site (n = 53). INTERVENTION: Treatment with Seraph 100. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: At baseline, there were no differences between the groups in terms of sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and need for mechanical ventilation. However, patients in the Seraph 100 group were younger (median age, 54 yr; interquartile range [IQR], 41-65) compared with controls (median age, 64 yr; IQR, 56-69; p = 0.009). Charlson comorbidity index scores were lower in the Seraph 100 group (2; IQR, 0-3) compared with the control group (3; IQR, 2-4; p = 0.006). Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores were also lower in Seraph 100 subjects (12; IQR, 9-17) compared with controls (16; IQR, 12-21; p = 0.011). The Seraph 100 group had higher vasopressor-free days with an incidence rate ratio of 1.30 on univariate analysis. This difference was not significant after adjustment. Seraph 100-treated subjects were less likely to die compared with controls (32.1% vs 64.2%; p = 0.001), a difference that remained significant after adjustment. However, no difference in mortality was observed in a post hoc analysis utilizing an external control group. In the full cohort of 86 treated patients, there were 177 total treatments, in which only three serious adverse events were recorded. CONCLUSIONS: Although this study did not demonstrate consistently significant clinical benefit across all endpoints and comparisons, the findings suggest that broad spectrum, pathogen agnostic, blood purification can be safely deployed to meet new pathogen threats while awaiting targeted therapies and vaccines.

BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 544, 2021 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262498


BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a recently emerged pandemic coronavirus (CoV) capable of causing severe respiratory illness. However, a significant number of infected people present as asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic. In this prospective assessment of at-risk healthcare workers (HCWs) we seek to determine whether pre-existing antibody or T cell responses to previous seasonal human coronavirus (HCoV) infections affect immunological or clinical responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. METHODS: A cohort of 300 healthcare workers, confirmed negative for SARS-CoV-2 exposure upon study entry, will be followed for up to 1 year with monthly serology analysis of IgM and IgG antibodies against the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and the four major seasonal human coronavirus - HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-NL63. Participants will complete monthly questionnaires that ask about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure risks, and a standardized, validated symptom questionnaire (scoring viral respiratory disease symptoms, intensity and severity) at least twice monthly and any day when any symptoms manifest. SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing will be performed any time participants develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. For those individuals that seroconvert and/or test positive by SARS-CoV-2 PCR, or receive the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, additional studies of T cell activation and cytokine production in response to SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools and analysis of Natural Killer cell numbers and function will be conducted on that participant's cryopreserved baseline peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Following the first year of this study we will further analyze those participants having tested positive for COVID-19, and/or having received an authorized/licensed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, quarterly (year 2) and semi-annually (years 3 and 4) to investigate immune response longevity. DISCUSSION: This study will determine the frequency of asymptomatic and pauci-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cohort of at-risk healthcare workers. Baseline and longitudinal assays will determine the frequency and magnitude of anti-spike glycoprotein antibodies to the seasonal HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-NL63, and may inform whether pre-existing antibodies to these human coronaviruses are associated with altered COVID-19 disease course. Finally, this study will evaluate whether pre-existing immune responses to seasonal HCoVs affect the magnitude and duration of antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, adjusting for demographic covariates.

COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , Cross Reactions , Humans , Prospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology