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1.
Trends in Molecular Medicine ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1799776

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is a major tool for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and mRNA vaccines are central to the ongoing vaccination campaign that is undoubtedly saving thousands of lives. However, adverse effects (AEs) following vaccination have been noted which may relate to a pro-inflammatory action of the employed lipid nanoparticles or the delivered mRNA (i.e., vaccines formulation) as well as to the herein discussed unique nature, expression pattern, binding profile and pro-inflammatory effects of the produced antigens (S protein and/or its subunits-peptide fragments) in human tissues/organs. Current knowledge on this topic mostly originates from cell-based assays or from model organisms, therefore further research on the cellular-molecular basis of the mRNA vaccines induced AEs, will guarantee safety, maintain trust, and direct health policies.

2.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 208, 2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455966

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has caused a still evolving global pandemic. Given the worldwide vaccination campaign, the understanding of the vaccine-induced versus COVID-19-induced immunity will contribute to adjusting vaccine dosing strategies and speeding-up vaccination efforts. METHODS: Anti-spike-RBD IgGs and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) titers were measured in BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated participants (n = 250); we also investigated humoral and cellular immune responses in vaccinated individuals (n = 21) of this cohort 5 months post-vaccination and assayed NAbs levels in COVID-19 hospitalized patients (n = 60) with moderate or severe disease, as well as in COVID-19 recovered patients (n = 34). RESULTS: We found that one (boosting) dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine triggers robust immune (i.e., anti-spike-RBD IgGs and NAbs) responses in COVID-19 convalescent healthy recipients, while naïve recipients require both priming and boosting shots to acquire high antibody titers. Severe COVID-19 triggers an earlier and more intense (versus moderate disease) immune response in hospitalized patients; in all cases, however, antibody titers remain at high levels in COVID-19 recovered patients. Although virus infection promotes an earlier and more intense, versus priming vaccination, immune response, boosting vaccination induces antibody titers significantly higher and likely more durable versus COVID-19. In support, high anti-spike-RBD IgGs/NAbs titers along with spike (vaccine encoded antigen) specific T cell clones were found in the serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, respectively, of vaccinated individuals 5 months post-vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support vaccination efficacy, also suggesting that vaccination likely offers more protection than natural infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Kinetics , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Sci Total Environ ; 804: 150151, 2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401851

ABSTRACT

We measured SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in raw wastewater in Attica, Greece, by RT-qPCR for the environmental surveillance of COVID-19 for 6 months. The lag between RNA load and pandemic indicators (COVID-19 hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions) was calculated using a grid search. Our results showed that RNA load in raw wastewater is a leading indicator of positive COVID-19 cases, new hospitalization and admission into ICUs by 5, 8 and 9 days, respectively. Modelling techniques based on distributed/fixed lag modelling, linear regression and artificial neural networks were utilized to build relationships between SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in wastewater and pandemic health indicators. SARS-CoV-2 mutation analysis in wastewater during the third pandemic wave revealed that the alpha-variant was dominant. Our results demonstrate that clinical and environmental surveillance data can be combined to create robust models to study the on-going COVID-19 infection dynamics and provide an early warning for increased hospital admissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , RNA, Viral , Waste Water , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348644

ABSTRACT

Considering the lack of effective treatments against COVID-19, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is emerging as a cost-effective approach for real-time population-wide SARS-CoV-2 monitoring. Here, we report novel molecular assays for sensitive detection and mutational/variant analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Highly stable regions of SARS-CoV-2 RNA were identified by RNA stability analysis and targeted for the development of novel nested PCR assays. Targeted DNA sequencing (DNA-seq) was applied for the analysis and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 mutations/variants, following hexamers-based reverse transcription and nested PCR-based amplification of targeted regions. Three-dimensional (3D) structure models were generated to examine the predicted structural modification caused by genomic variants. WBE of SARS-CoV-2 revealed to be assay dependent, and significantly improved sensitivity achieved by assay combination (94%) vs. single-assay screening (30%-60%). Targeted DNA-seq allowed the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 mutations/variants in wastewater, which agreed with COVID-19 patients' sequencing data. A mutational analysis indicated the prevalence of D614G (S) and P323L (RdRP) variants, as well as of the Β.1.1.7/alpha variant of concern, in agreement with the frequency of Β.1.1.7/alpha variant in clinical samples of the same period of the third pandemic wave at the national level. Our assays provide an innovative cost-effective platform for real-time monitoring and early-identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants at community/population levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Waste Water/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Humans
5.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(3)2021 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124925

ABSTRACT

Between June and November 2020, we assessed plasma antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid protein in 4996 participants (aged 18-82 years, 34.5% men) from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The weighted overall prevalence was 1.6% and monthly prevalence correlated with viral RNA-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections in Greece, in the same period. Notably, 49% of seropositive cases reported no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection-related clinical symptoms and 33% were unsuspected of their previous infection. Additionally, levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies against the spike-protein receptor-binding domain were similar between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, irrespective of age and gender. Using Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization-approved assays, these results support the need for such studies on pandemic evaluation and highlight the development of robust humoral immune responses even among asymptomatic individuals. The high percentage of unsuspected/asymptomatic active cases, which may contribute to community transmission for more days than that of cases who are aware and self-isolate, underscores the necessity of measures across the population for the efficient control of the pandemic.

6.
Trends Analyt Chem ; 134: 116125, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939319

ABSTRACT

In March 2020 the World Health Organization announced a pandemic outbreak. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative pathogen for the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. The authorities worldwide use clinical science to identify infected people, but this approach is not able to track all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases due to limited sampling capacity of the testing laboratories. This drawback is eliminated by the Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) approach. In this review, we summarized the peer-reviewed published literature (available as of September 28, 2020), in the field of WBE. The commonly used steps (sampling, storage, concentration, isolation, detection) of the analytical protocols were identified. The potential limitations of each stage of the protocols and good practices were discussed. Finally, new methods for the efficient detection of SARS-CoV-2 were proposed.

7.
Life ; 10(9):214, 2020.
Article | MDPI | ID: covidwho-784035

ABSTRACT

Due to early implementation of public health measures, Greece had low number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 severe incidents in hospitalized patients. The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), especially its health-care/medical personnel, has been actively involved in the first line of state responses to COVID-19. To estimate the prevalence of antibodies (Igs) against SARS-CoV-2 among NKUA members, we designed a five consecutive monthly serosurvey among randomly selected NKUA consenting volunteers. Here, we present the results from the first 2500 plasma samples collected during June-July 2020. Twenty-five donors were tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 Igs;thus, the overall seroprevalence was 1.00%. The weighted overall seroprevalence was 0.93% (95% CI: 0.27, 2.09) and varied between males [1.05% (95% CI: 0.18, 2.92)] and females [0.84% (95% CI: 0.13, 2.49)], age-groups and different categories (higher in participants from the School of Health Sciences and in scientific affiliates/faculty members/laboratory assistants), but no statistical differences were detected. Although focused on the specific population of NKUA members, our study shows that the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Igs for the period June-July 2020 remained low and provides knowledge of public health importance for the NKUA members. Given that approximately one in three infections was asymptomatic, continuous monitoring of the progression of the pandemic by assessing Ig seroprevalence is needed.

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