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1.
JCI Insight ; 7(10)2022 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794307

ABSTRACT

T cells play a prominent role in orchestrating the immune response to viral diseases, but their role in the clinical presentation and subsequent immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains poorly understood. As part of a population-based survey of the municipality of Vo', Italy, conducted after the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we sampled the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires of the population 2 months after the initial PCR survey and followed up positive cases 9 and 15 months later. At 2 months, we found that 97.0% (98 of 101) of cases had elevated levels of TCRs associated with SARS-CoV-2. T cell frequency (depth) was increased in individuals with more severe disease. Both depth and diversity (breadth) of the TCR repertoire were positively associated with neutralizing antibody titers, driven mostly by CD4+ T cells directed against spike protein. At the later time points, detection of these TCRs remained high, with 90.7% (78 of 96) and 86.2% (25 of 29) of individuals having detectable signal at 9 and 15 months, respectively. Forty-three individuals were vaccinated by month 15 and showed a significant increase in TCRs directed against spike protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate the central role of T cells in mounting an immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 that persists out to 15 months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
3.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0025021, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434908

ABSTRACT

During the last year, mass screening campaigns have been carried out to identify immunological response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and establish a possible seroprevalence. The obtained results gained new importance with the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, as the lack of doses has persuaded several countries to introduce different policies for individuals who had a history of COVID-19. Lateral flow assays (LFAs) may represent an affordable tool to support population screening in low-middle-income countries, where diagnostic tests are lacking and epidemiology is still widely unknown. However, LFAs have demonstrated a wide range of performance, and the question of which one could be more valuable in these settings still remains. We evaluated the performance of 11 LFAs in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection, analyzing samples collected from 350 subjects. In addition, samples from 57 health care workers collected at 21 to 24 days after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were also evaluated. LFAs demonstrated a wide range of specificity (92.31% to 100%) and sensitivity (50% to 100%). The analysis of postvaccination samples was used to describe the most suitable tests to detect IgG response against S protein receptor binding domain (RBD). Tuberculosis (TB) therapy was identified as a potential factor affecting the specificity of LFAs. This analysis identified which LFAs represent a valuable tool not only for the detection of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection but also for the detection of IgG elicited in response to vaccination. These results demonstrated that different LFAs may have different applications and the possible risks of their use in high-TB-burden settings. IMPORTANCE Our study provides a fresh perspective on the possible employment of SARS-CoV-2 LFA antibody tests. We developed an in-depth, large-scale analysis comparing LFA performance to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) and evaluating their sensitivity and specificity in identifying COVID-19 patients at different time points from symptom onset. Moreover, for the first time, we analyzed samples of patients undergoing treatment for endemic poverty-related diseases, especially tuberculosis, and we evaluated the impact of this therapy on test specificity in order to assess possible performance in TB high-burden countries.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Electrochemical Techniques , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Point-of-Care Testing , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Young Adult
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4383, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317806

ABSTRACT

In February and March 2020, two mass swab testing campaigns were conducted in Vo', Italy. In May 2020, we tested 86% of the Vo' population with three immuno-assays detecting antibodies against the spike and nucleocapsid antigens, a neutralisation assay and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Subjects testing positive to PCR in February/March or a serological assay in May were tested again in November. Here we report on the results of the analysis of the May and November surveys. We estimate a seroprevalence of 3.5% (95% Credible Interval (CrI): 2.8-4.3%) in May. In November, 98.8% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 93.7-100.0%) of sera which tested positive in May still reacted against at least one antigen; 18.6% (95% CI: 11.0-28.5%) showed an increase of antibody or neutralisation reactivity from May. Analysis of the serostatus of the members of 1,118 households indicates a 26.0% (95% CrI: 17.2-36.9%) Susceptible-Infectious Transmission Probability. Contact tracing had limited impact on epidemic suppression.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Nucleocapsid , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
Nature ; 584(7821): 425-429, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-628367

ABSTRACT

On 21 February 2020, a resident of the municipality of Vo', a small town near Padua (Italy), died of pneumonia due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection1. This was the first coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)-related death detected in Italy since the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province2. In response, the regional authorities imposed the lockdown of the whole municipality for 14 days3. Here we collected information on the demography, clinical presentation, hospitalization, contact network and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasopharyngeal swabs for 85.9% and 71.5% of the population of Vo' at two consecutive time points. From the first survey, which was conducted around the time the town lockdown started, we found a prevalence of infection of 2.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.1-3.3%). From the second survey, which was conducted at the end of the lockdown, we found a prevalence of 1.2% (95% CI: 0.8-1.8%). Notably, 42.5% (95% CI: 31.5-54.6%) of the confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections detected across the two surveys were asymptomatic (that is, did not have symptoms at the time of swab testing and did not develop symptoms afterwards). The mean serial interval was 7.2 days (95% CI: 5.9-9.6). We found no statistically significant difference in the viral load of symptomatic versus asymptomatic infections (P = 0.62 and 0.74 for E and RdRp genes, respectively, exact Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test). This study sheds light on the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, their infectivity (as measured by the viral load) and provides insights into its transmission dynamics and the efficacy of the implemented control measures.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Load , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Young Adult
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