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Clinical Cancer Research ; 27(6 SUPPL 1), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1816919


Cancer patients display immunomodulation related to malignancy and anti-cancer therapies, but how these factors impact COVID-19 remains unknown. To investigate immune responses in cancer patients with COVID-19, we undertook a prospective case-control study, enrolling hospitalized solid tumor patients with acute COVID-19, as well as age-, gender-, and comorbidity-matched COVID-19 patients without cancer as controls. Using biospecimens collected during hospitalization, we performed virologic measurements as well as in-depth immunophenotyping of cellular, antibody and cytokine responses. We enrolled 17 cancer patients (cases) admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital between March 15 and June 30, 2020 with COVID-19, as well as 17 matched non-cancer patients (controls) admitted with COVID-19. No significant differences were observed between cases and controls based on patient characteristics (age, gender, race, co-morbidities, smoking history, days from symptom onset to COVID-19 diagnosis) or outcomes (COVID-19 severity, length of hospital stay, rate of intubation or mortality). The most common primary tumor sites were lung (4/17) and gastrointestinal (4/17);all cases had received cancer-directed therapy within 6 months of COVID-19 diagnosis, with 13/17 receiving treatment less than 1 month prior to hospitalization. Three of 17 cases had received immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies. Despite having similar SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA loads at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis when compared with controls, cancer cases had increased viral RNA abundance during hospitalization, suggesting slower clearance. Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 were preserved in cancer cases, with cases displaying similar levels of IgM and IgG antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2 epitopes compared to controls. Cytokine profiling revealed higher plasma levels of CCL3, IL1A and CXCL12 in cancer cases compared to controls. Using flow cytometric immunophenotyping, we found that innate immune and non-T cell adaptive immune parameters were similar between cases and controls hospitalized with COVID-19. However, among cancer cases on conventional therapies, T cell lymphopenia was more profound, and these cases demonstrated higher levels of CD8+ exhausted (CD8+CD45RA-PD1+TIM3+ ), CD8+GranzymeB+ and CD4+CD38+HLA-DR+ and CD8+CD38+HLA-DR+ activated T cells when compared with controls;interestingly, these differences were not observed in patients who had received immune checkpoint inhibition. Thus, we found reduced viral RNA clearance and specific alterations in T cell and cytokine responses in cancer patients hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with matched controls with COVID-19. This dysregulated T cell response in cancer patients, which may reflect immune modulation due to chronic antigen stimulation as well as cancer therapies, may lead to altered virologic and clinical outcomes in this population.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 7(SUPPL 1):S165, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1185700


Background: Initial CDC recommendations for passive monitoring of COVID-19 related symptoms among staff may not be sufficient in preventing the introduction and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings. We therefore implemented active monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers (HCWs) at an academic medical center during the COVID-19 epidemic in northeast US. Methods: We recruited a cohort of HCWs at Yale New Haven Hospital who worked in COVID-19 units and did not have COVID-19 related symptoms between March 28 and June 1, 2020. During follow-up, participants provided daily information on symptoms by responding to a web-based questionnaire, self-administered nasopharyngeal (NP) and saliva specimens every 3 days, and blood specimens every 14 days. We performed SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and an anti-spike protein IgM and IgG ELISA to identify virological and serological-confirmed infection, respectively. Results: We enrolled 525 (13%) amongst 4,136 HCW of whom daily information on symptoms and NP, saliva, and blood specimens were obtained for 66% (of 13208), 42% (or 1977), 44% (of 2071) and 65% (of 1099), respectively, of the follow-up measurement points. We identified 16 (3.0% of 525) HCWs with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and an additional 12 (2.3% of 525) who were not tested by PCR or had negative PCR results but had serological evidence of infection. The overall cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 5.3% (28 of 525) amongst HCWs. Cases were not identified by hospital protocols for passive staff self-monitoring for symptoms. Amongst 16 PCR-confirmed cases, 9 (56%) of the 16 PCR-confirmed HCW had symptoms during or after the date of initial detection. We did not identify an epidemiological link between the 28 confirmed cases. Conclusion: We found that a significant proportion (5.3%) of HCWs were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 epidemic. In the setting of universal PPE use, infections were possibly acquired in the community rather than stemming from patient-HCW or HCW-HCW transmission. Passive monitoring of symptoms is inadequate in preventing introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into the healthcare setting due to asymptomatic and oligosymptomatic presentations.

Science Translational Medicine ; 12(564), 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-957899


Children and youth infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have milder disease than do adults, and even among those with the recently described multisystem inflammatory syndrome, mortality is rare. The reasons for the differences in clinical manifestations are unknown but suggest that age-dependent factors may modulate the antiviral immune response. We compared cytokine, humoral, and cellular immune responses in pediatric (children and youth, age <24 years) (n = 65) and adult (n = 60) patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at a metropolitan hospital system in New York City. The pediatric patients had a shorter length of stay, decreased requirement for mechanical ventilation, and lower mortality compared to adults. The serum concentrations of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) and interferon-γ (IFN- γ), but not tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF- α) or IL-6, were inversely related to age. Adults mounted a more robust T cell response to the viral spike protein compared to pediatric patients as evidenced by increased expression of CD25+ on CD4+ T cells and the frequency of IFN- γ+ CD4+ T cells. Moreover, serum neutralizing antibody titers and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis were higher in adults compared to pediatric patients with COVID-19. The neutralizing antibody titer correlated positively with age and negatively with IL-17A and IFN- γ serum concentrations. There were no differences in anti-spike protein antibody titers to other human coronaviruses. Together, these findings demonstrate that the poor outcome in hospitalized adults with COVID-19 compared to children may not be attributable to a failure to generate adaptive immune responses.