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1.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 2021 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621554

ABSTRACT

B cell depleting agents are amongst the most commonly used drugs to treat haemato-oncological and autoimmune diseases. They rapidly induce a state of peripheral B cell aplasia with the potential to interfere with nascent vaccine responses, particularly to novel antigens. We have examined the relationship between B cell reconstitution and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses in two cohorts of patients previously exposed to B cell depleting agents: a cohort of patients treated for haematological B cell malignancy and another treated for rheumatological disease. B cell depletion severely impairs vaccine responsiveness in the first 6 months after administration: SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence was 42.2% and 33.3% in the haemato-oncological patients and rheumatology patients respectively and 22.7% in patients vaccinated while actively receiving anti-lymphoma chemotherapy. After the first 6 months, vaccine responsiveness significantly improved during early B cell reconstitution, however, the kinetics of reconstitution was significantly faster in haemato-oncology patients. The AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and the Pfizer BioNTech 162b vaccine induced equivalent vaccine responses, however shorter intervals between vaccine doses (<1m) improved the magnitude of the antibody response in haeamto-oncology patients. In a subgroup of haemato-oncology patients, with historic exposure to B cell depleting agents (>36m previously) vaccine non-responsiveness was independent of peripheral B cell reconstitution. The findings have important implications for primary vaccination and booster vaccination strategies in individuals clinically vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293006

ABSTRACT

Antibodies specific for the spike glycoprotein (S) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins are typically present during severe COVID-19, and induced to S after vaccination. The binding of viral antigens by antibody can initiate the classical complement pathway. Since complement could play pathological or protective roles at distinct times during SARS-CoV-2 infection we determined levels of antibody-dependent complement activation along the complement cascade. Here, we used an ELISA assay to assess complement protein binding (C1q) and the deposition of C4b, C3b, and C5b to S and N antigens in the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from different test groups: non-infected, single and double vaccinees, non-hospitalised convalescent (NHC) COVID-19 patients and convalescent hospitalised (ITU-CONV) COVID-19 patients. C1q binding correlates strongly with antibody responses, especially IgG1 levels. However, detection of downstream complement components, C4b, C3b and C5b shows some variability associated with the antigen and subjects studied. In the ITU-CONV, detection of C3b-C5b to S was observed consistently, but this was not the case in the NHC group. This is in contrast to responses to N, where median levels of complement deposition did not differ between the NHC and ITU-CONV groups. Moreover, for S but not N, downstream complement components were only detected in sera with higher IgG1 levels. Therefore, the classical pathway is activated by antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens, but the downstream effects of this activation may differ depending on the specific antigen targeted and the disease status of the subject.

4.
Lancet Microbe ; 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510521

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. Methods: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. Findings: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

5.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509912

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with some types of immunodeficiency can experience chronic or relapsing infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This leads to morbidity and mortality, infection control challenges, and the risk of evolution of novel viral variants. The optimal treatment for chronic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unknown. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to characterize a cohort of patients with chronic or relapsing COVID-19 disease and record treatment response. METHODS: We conducted a UK physician survey to collect data on underlying diagnosis and demographics, clinical features, and treatment response of immunodeficient patients with chronic (lasting ≥21 days) or relapsing (≥2 episodes) of COVID-19. RESULTS: We identified 31 patients (median age 49 years). Their underlying immunodeficiency was most commonly characterized by antibody deficiency with absent or profoundly reduced peripheral B-cell levels; prior anti-CD20 therapy, and X-linked agammaglobulinemia. Their clinical features of COVID-19 were similar to those of the general population, but their median duration of symptomatic disease was 64 days (maximum 300 days) and individual patients experienced up to 5 episodes of illness. Remdesivir monotherapy (including when given for prolonged courses of ≤20 days) was associated with sustained viral clearance in 7 of 23 clinical episodes (30.4%), whereas the combination of remdesivir with convalescent plasma or anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs resulted in viral clearance in 13 of 14 episodes (92.8%). Patients receiving no therapy did not clear SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 can present as a chronic or relapsing disease in patients with antibody deficiency. Remdesivir monotherapy is frequently associated with treatment failure, but the combination of remdesivir with antibody-based therapeutics holds promise.

6.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291469

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To define the burden of morbidity and mortality arising from COVID-19 in individuals with primary (PID) and secondary immunodeficiency (SID) in the United Kingdom. Methods In March 2020, the United Kingdom Primary Immunodeficiency Network (UKPIN) established a registry of cases to collate the outcomes of individuals with PID and SID following SARS-CoV-2 infection and treatment. Anonymised demographic data, pre-SARS-CoV-2 infection lymphocyte counts, co-morbidities, targeted treatments and outcomes were collected. Three groups were analysed in further detail: individuals with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), individuals with any PID, including CVID, receiving immunoglobulin replacement therapy (IgRT) and individuals with secondary immunodeficiency. Results A total of 310 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with PID or SID have now been reported in the UK. The overall mortality within the cohort was 17.7% (n = 55/310). Individuals with CVID demonstrated an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 18.3% (n = 17/93), individuals with PID receiving IgRT had an IFR of 16.3% (n = 26/159) and individuals with SID, an IFR of 27.2% (n = 25/92). Individuals with PID and SID, had higher inpatient mortality and died at a younger age than the general population. Increasing age, low pre-SARS-CoV-2 infection lymphocyte count and the presence of common co-morbidities increased the risk of mortality in PID. Access to specific COVID-19 treatments in this cohort was limited: only 22.9% (n = 33/144) of patients admitted to hospital received dexamethasone, remdesivir, an anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody-based therapeutic (e.g. REGN-COV2 or convalescent plasma) or tocilizumab as a monotherapy or in combination. Dexamethasone, remdesivir and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody-based therapeutics appeared efficacious in PID and SID. Conclusion Compared to the general population, individuals with PID or SID are at high risk of mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Increasing age, low baseline lymphocyte count and the presence of co-morbidities are additional risk factors for poor outcome in this cohort.

7.
Cell ; 184(23): 5699-5714.e11, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466093

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Priming/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
8.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438095

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical and ethnodemographic correlates of serological responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein following mild-to-moderate COVID-19. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of healthcare workers who had self-isolated due to COVID-19. SETTING: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK (UHBFT). PARTICIPANTS: 956 healthcare workers were recruited by open invitation via UHBFT trust email and social media between 27 April 2020 and the 8 June 2020. INTERVENTION: Participants volunteered a venous blood sample that was tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein antibodies. Results were interpreted in the context of the symptoms of their original illness and ethnodemographic variables. RESULTS: Using an assay that simultaneously measures the combined IgG, IgA and IgM response against the spike glycoprotein (IgGAM), the overall seroprevalence within this cohort was 46.2% (n=442/956). The seroprevalence of immunoglobulin isotypes was 36.3%, 18.7% and 8.1% for IgG, IgA and IgM, respectively. IgGAM identified serological responses in 40.6% (n=52/128) of symptomatic individuals who reported a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Increasing age, non-white ethnicity and obesity were independently associated with greater IgG antibody response against the spike glycoprotein. Self-reported fever and fatigue were associated with greater IgG and IgA responses against the spike glycoprotein. The combination of fever and/or cough and/or anosmia had a positive predictive value of 92.3% for seropositivity in self-isolating individuals a time when Wuhan strain SARS-CoV-2 was predominant. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Assays employing combined antibody detection demonstrate enhanced seroepidemiological sensitivity and can detect prior viral exposure even when PCR swabs have been negative. We demonstrate an association between known ethnodemographic risk factors associated with mortality from COVID-19 and the magnitude of serological responses in mild-to-moderate disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United Kingdom
11.
Immunology ; 164(1): 135-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295026

ABSTRACT

Detecting antibody responses during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential in determining the seroepidemiology of the virus and the potential role of antibody in disease. Scalable, sensitive and specific serological assays are essential to this process. The detection of antibody in hospitalized patients with severe disease has proven relatively straightforward; detecting responses in subjects with mild disease and asymptomatic infections has proven less reliable. We hypothesized that the suboptimal sensitivity of antibody assays and the compartmentalization of the antibody response may contribute to this effect. We systematically developed an ELISA, optimizing different antigens and amplification steps, in serum and saliva from non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. Using trimeric spike glycoprotein, rather than nucleocapsid, enabled detection of responses in individuals with low antibody responses. IgG1 and IgG3 predominate to both antigens, but more anti-spike IgG1 than IgG3 was detectable. All antigens were effective for detecting responses in hospitalized patients. Anti-spike IgG, IgA and IgM antibody responses were readily detectable in saliva from a minority of RT-PCR confirmed, non-hospitalized symptomatic individuals, and these were mostly subjects who had the highest levels of anti-spike serum antibodies. Therefore, detecting antibody responses in both saliva and serum can contribute to determining virus exposure and understanding immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Saliva
12.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 205(2): 99-105, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273082

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has been associated with both transient and persistent systemic symptoms that do not appear to be a direct consequence of viral infection. The generation of autoantibodies has been proposed as a mechanism to explain these symptoms. To understand the prevalence of autoantibodies associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we investigated the frequency and specificity of clinically relevant autoantibodies in 84 individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, suffering from COVID-19 of varying severity in both the acute and convalescent setting. These were compared with results from 32 individuals who were on the intensive therapy unit (ITU) for non-COVID reasons. We demonstrate a higher frequency of autoantibodies in the COVID-19 ITU group compared with non-COVID-19 ITU disease control patients and that autoantibodies were also found in the serum 3-5 months post-COVID-19 infection. Non-COVID patients displayed a diverse pattern of autoantibodies; in contrast, the COVID-19 groups had a more restricted panel of autoantibodies including skin, skeletal muscle and cardiac antibodies. Our results demonstrate that respiratory viral infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with the detection of a limited profile of tissue-specific autoantibodies, detectable using routine clinical immunology assays. Further studies are required to determine whether these autoantibodies are specific to SARS-CoV-2 or a phenomenon arising from severe viral infections and to determine the clinical significance of these autoantibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Specificity , Autoantibodies , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index
17.
Front Public Health ; 9: 569315, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133992

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an urgent requirement for novel diagnostic tests that determine infection with SARS-CoV-2 and the development of an immune response against it. The perspective of end users on the characteristics and clinical use of these assays has not been previously considered. Methods: We surveyed 17,186 health care professions (HCPs) in 29 countries to gauge opinion on the design, use, diagnostic impact and diagnostic accuracy of COVID-19 tests. Results were correlated with national statistics on the burden of disease and testing in individual countries. Results: HCPs overwhelmingly recognized the importance of COVID-19 tests but 37.1% were unsure of the appropriate timing of investigations relative to disease symptoms. Confidence in the diagnostic accuracy of assays varied inversely with COVID-19-related mortality in individual countries but had no relationship with the total number of tests performed. There was global consensus that the most important impact of positive antigen and antibody testing was confidence in returning to work following recovery. Saliva was the preferred sampling fluid for COVID-19 diagnostic tests in all groups surveyed. Conclusions: HCP input can ensure novel assays are fit for purpose in varied global health care settings, but HCPs may require support to effectively use novel diagnostics thus minimizing waste when supplies are limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Global Health , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Saliva
19.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0245532, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045570

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 is critical to vaccine development, epidemiological surveillance and disease control strategies. This systematic review critically evaluates and synthesises the relevant peer-reviewed and pre-print literature published from 01/01/2020-26/06/2020. METHODS: For this systematic review, keyword-structured literature searches were carried out in MEDLINE, Embase and COVID-19 Primer. Papers were independently screened by two researchers, with arbitration of disagreements by a third researcher. Data were independently extracted into a pre-designed Excel template and studies critically appraised using a modified version of the MetaQAT tool, with resolution of disagreements by consensus. Findings were narratively synthesised. RESULTS: 61 articles were included. 55 (90%) studies used observational designs, 50 (82%) involved hospitalised patients with higher acuity illness, and the majority had important limitations. Symptomatic adult COVID-19 cases consistently show peripheral T cell lymphopenia, which positively correlates with increased disease severity, duration of RNA positivity, and non-survival; while asymptomatic and paediatric cases display preserved counts. People with severe or critical disease generally develop more robust, virus-specific T cell responses. T cell memory and effector function has been demonstrated against multiple viral epitopes, and, cross-reactive T cell responses have been demonstrated in unexposed and uninfected adults, but the significance for protection and susceptibility, respectively, remains unclear. CONCLUSION: A complex pattern of T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection has been demonstrated, but inferences regarding population level immunity are hampered by significant methodological limitations and heterogeneity between studies, as well as a striking lack of research in asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic individuals. In contrast to antibody responses, population-level surveillance of the T cell response is unlikely to be feasible in the near term. Focused evaluation in specific sub-groups, including vaccine recipients, should be prioritised.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lymphopenia/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Lymphopenia/etiology , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
20.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0244126, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004459

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Progress in characterising the humoral immune response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been rapid but areas of uncertainty persist. Assessment of the full range of evidence generated to date to understand the characteristics of the antibody response, its dynamics over time, its determinants and the immunity it confers will have a range of clinical and policy implications for this novel pathogen. This review comprehensively evaluated evidence describing the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 published from 01/01/2020-26/06/2020. METHODS: Systematic review. Keyword-structured searches were carried out in MEDLINE, Embase and COVID-19 Primer. Articles were independently screened on title, abstract and full text by two researchers, with arbitration of disagreements. Data were double-extracted into a pre-designed template, and studies critically appraised using a modified version of the Public Health Ontario Meta-tool for Quality Appraisal of Public Health Evidence (MetaQAT) tool, with resolution of disagreements by consensus. Findings were narratively synthesised. RESULTS: 150 papers were included. Most studies (113 or 75%) were observational in design, were based wholly or primarily on data from hospitalised patients (108, 72%) and had important methodological limitations. Few considered mild or asymptomatic infection. Antibody dynamics were well described in the acute phase, up to around three months from disease onset, but the picture regarding correlates of the antibody response was inconsistent. IgM was consistently detected before IgG in included studies, peaking at weeks two to five and declining over a further three to five weeks post-symptom onset depending on the patient group; IgG peaked around weeks three to seven post-symptom onset then plateaued, generally persisting for at least eight weeks. Neutralising antibodies were detectable within seven to 15 days following disease onset, with levels increasing until days 14-22 before levelling and then decreasing, but titres were lower in those with asymptomatic or clinically mild disease. Specific and potent neutralising antibodies have been isolated from convalescent plasma. Cross-reactivity but limited cross-neutralisation with other human coronaviridae was reported. Evidence for protective immunity in vivo was limited to small, short-term animal studies, showing promising initial results in the immediate recovery phase. CONCLUSIONS: Literature on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 is of variable quality with considerable heterogeneity of methods, study participants, outcomes measured and assays used. Although acute phase antibody dynamics are well described, longer-term patterns are much less well evidenced. Comprehensive assessment of the role of demographic characteristics and disease severity on antibody responses is needed. Initial findings of low neutralising antibody titres and possible waning of titres over time may have implications for sero-surveillance and disease control policy, although further evidence is needed. The detection of potent neutralising antibodies in convalescent plasma is important in the context of development of therapeutics and vaccines. Due to limitations with the existing evidence base, large, cross-national cohort studies using appropriate statistical analysis and standardised serological assays and clinical classifications should be prioritised.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
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