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PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262149, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677576


There is an urgent need for better diagnostic and analytical methods for vaccine research and infection control in virology. This has been highlighted by recently emerging viral epidemics and pandemics (Zika, SARS-CoV-2), and recurring viral outbreaks like the yellow fever outbreaks in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (2016) and in Brazil (2016-2018). Current assays to determine neutralising activity against viral infections in sera are costly in time and equipment and suffer from high variability. Therefore, both basic infection research and diagnostic population screenings would benefit from improved methods to determine virus-neutralising activity in patient samples. Here we describe a robust, objective, and scalable Fluorescence Reduction Neutralisation Test (FluoRNT) for yellow fever virus, relying on flow cytometric detection of cells infected with a fluorescent Venus reporter containing variant of the yellow fever vaccine strain 17D (YF-17D-Venus). It accurately measures neutralising antibody titres in human serum samples within as little as 24 h. Samples from 32 vaccinees immunised with YF-17D were tested for neutralising activity by both a conventional focus reduction neutralisation test (FRNT) and FluoRNT. Both types of tests proved to be equally reliable for the detection of neutralising activity, however, FluoRNT is significantly more precise and reproducible with a greater dynamic range than conventional FRNT. The FluoRNT assay protocol is substantially faster, easier to control, and cheaper in per-assay costs. FluoRNT additionally reduces handling time minimising exposure of personnel to patient samples. FluoRNT thus brings a range of desirable features that can accelerate and standardise the measurement of neutralising anti-yellow fever virus antibodies. It could be used in applications ranging from vaccine testing to large cohort studies in systems virology and vaccinology. We also anticipate the potential to translate the methodology and analysis of FluoRNT to other flaviviruses such as West Nile, Dengue and Zika or to RNA viruses more generally.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Yellow Fever/immunology , Yellow fever virus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Fluorescence , Humans , Neutralization Tests/economics , Neutralization Tests/methods , Vero Cells , Yellow Fever/blood , Yellow Fever/virology
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009742, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456098


Disease manifestations in COVID-19 range from mild to severe illness associated with a dysregulated innate immune response. Alterations in function and regeneration of dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes may contribute to immunopathology and influence adaptive immune responses in COVID-19 patients. We analyzed circulating DC and monocyte subsets in 65 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild/moderate or severe disease from acute illness to recovery and in healthy controls. Persisting reduction of all DC subpopulations was accompanied by an expansion of proliferating Lineage-HLADR+ cells lacking DC markers. Increased frequency of CD163+ CD14+ cells within the recently discovered DC3 subpopulation in patients with more severe disease was associated with systemic inflammation, activated T follicular helper cells, and antibody-secreting cells. Persistent downregulation of CD86 and upregulation of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in conventional DCs (cDC2 and DC3) and classical monocytes associated with a reduced capacity to stimulate naïve CD4+ T cells correlated with disease severity. Long-lasting depletion and functional impairment of DCs and monocytes may have consequences for susceptibility to secondary infections and therapy of COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Regeneration/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antigens, CD/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/pathology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology
J Exp Med ; 217(9)2020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-650636


An exacerbated and unbalanced immune response may account for the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2. In this Viewpoint, we summarize recent evidence for the role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and propose CXCR2 inhibition as a promising treatment option to block neutrophil recruitment and activation.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Humans , Inflammation , SARS-CoV-2