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Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524173


With the exception of inactivated vaccines, all SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently used for clinical application focus on the spike envelope glycoprotein as a virus-specific antigen. Compared to other SARS-CoV-2 genes, mutations in the spike protein gene are more rapidly selected and spread within the population, which carries the risk of impairing the efficacy of spike-based vaccines. It is unclear to what extent the loss of neutralizing antibody epitopes can be compensated by cellular immune responses, and whether the use of other SARS-CoV-2 antigens might cause a more diverse immune response and better long-term protection, particularly in light of the continued evolution towards new SARS-CoV-2 variants. To address this question, we explored immunogenicity and protective effects of adenoviral vectors encoding either the full-length spike protein (S), the nucleocapsid protein (N), the receptor binding domain (RBD) or a hybrid construct of RBD and the membrane protein (M) in a highly susceptible COVID-19 hamster model. All adenoviral vaccines provided life-saving protection against SARS-CoV-2-infection. The most efficient protection was achieved after exposure to full-length spike. However, the nucleocapsid protein, which triggered a robust T-cell response but did not facilitate the formation of neutralizing antibodies, controlled early virus replication efficiently and prevented severe pneumonia. Although the full-length spike protein is an excellent target for vaccines, it does not appear to be the only option for future vaccine design.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cricetinae , Female , Inflammation , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology
Cancer Med ; 10(1): 208-219, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932418


BACKGROUND: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European gynaecological cancer patients under active treatment or follow-up has not been documented. We sought to capture the patient perceptions of the COVID-19 implications and the worldwide imposed treatment modifications. METHODS: A patient survey was conducted in 16 European countries, using a new COVID-19-related questionnaire, developed by ENGAGe and the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale questionnaire (HADS). The survey was promoted by national patient advocacy groups and charitable organisations. FINDINGS: We collected 1388 forms; 592 online and 796 hard-copy (May, 2020). We excluded 137 due to missing data. Median patients' age was 55 years (range: 18-89), 54.7% had ovarian cancer and 15.5% were preoperative. Even though 73.2% of patients named cancer as a risk factor for COVID-19, only 17.5% were more afraid of COVID-19 than their cancer condition, with advanced age (>70 years) as the only significant risk factor for that. Overall, 71% were concerned about cancer progression if their treatment/follow-up was cancelled/postponed. Most patients (64%) had their care continued as planned, but 72.3% (n = 892) said that they received no information around overall COVID-19 infection rates of patients and staff, testing or measures taken in their treating hospital. Mean HADS Anxiety and Depression Scores were 8.8 (range: 5.3-12) and 8.1 (range: 3.8-13.4), respectively. Multivariate analysis identified high HADS-depression scores, having experienced modifications of care due to the pandemic and concern about not being able to visit their doctor as independent predictors of patients' anxiety. INTERPRETATION: Gynaecological cancer patients expressed significant anxiety about progression of their disease due to modifications of care related to the COVID-19 pandemic and wished to pursue their treatment as planned despite the associated risks. Healthcare professionals should take this into consideration when making decisions that impact patients care in times of crisis and to develop initiatives to improve patients' communication and education.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Genital Neoplasms, Female/psychology , Genital Neoplasms, Female/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Depression/psychology , Europe , Fear/psychology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Young Adult
Int J Gynecol Cancer ; 30(8): 1097-1100, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505825