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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1251, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740439

ABSTRACT

The trajectories of acquired immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection are not fully understood. We present a detailed longitudinal cohort study of UK healthcare workers prior to vaccination, presenting April-June 2020 with asymptomatic or symptomatic infection. Here we show a highly variable range of responses, some of which (T cell interferon-gamma ELISpot, N-specific antibody) wane over time, while others (spike-specific antibody, B cell memory ELISpot) are stable. We use integrative analysis and a machine-learning approach (SIMON - Sequential Iterative Modeling OverNight) to explore this heterogeneity. We identify a subgroup of participants with higher antibody responses and interferon-gamma ELISpot T cell responses, and a robust trajectory for longer term immunity associates with higher levels of neutralising antibodies against the infecting (Victoria) strain and also against variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). These variable trajectories following early priming may define subsequent protection from severe disease from novel variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(1): 53-68.e12, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536483

ABSTRACT

Alpha-B.1.1.7, Beta-B.1.351, Gamma-P.1, and Delta-B.1.617.2 variants of SARS-CoV-2 express multiple mutations in the spike protein (S). These may alter the antigenic structure of S, causing escape from natural or vaccine-induced immunity. Beta is particularly difficult to neutralize using serum induced by early pandemic SARS-CoV-2 strains and is most antigenically separated from Delta. To understand this, we generated 674 mAbs from Beta-infected individuals and performed a detailed structure-function analysis of the 27 most potent mAbs: one binding the spike N-terminal domain (NTD), the rest the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Two of these RBD-binding mAbs recognize a neutralizing epitope conserved between SARS-CoV-1 and -2, while 18 target mutated residues in Beta: K417N, E484K, and N501Y. There is a major response to N501Y, including a public IgVH4-39 sequence, with E484K and K417N also targeted. Recognition of these key residues underscores why serum from Beta cases poorly neutralizes early pandemic and Delta viruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests/methods , Protein Binding/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
3.
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
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009804, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416909

ABSTRACT

Prior studies have demonstrated that immunologic dysfunction underpins severe illness in COVID-19 patients, but have lacked an in-depth analysis of the immunologic drivers of death in the most critically ill patients. We performed immunophenotyping of viral antigen-specific and unconventional T cell responses, neutralizing antibodies, and serum proteins in critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, using influenza infection, SARS-CoV-2-convalescent health care workers, and healthy adults as controls. We identify mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell activation as an independent and significant predictor of death in COVID-19 (HR = 5.92, 95% CI = 2.49-14.1). MAIT cell activation correlates with several other mortality-associated immunologic measures including broad activation of CD8+ T cells and non-Vδ2 γδT cells, and elevated levels of cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, CXCL10, CCL2, and IL-6. MAIT cell activation is also a predictor of disease severity in influenza (ECMO/death HR = 4.43, 95% CI = 1.08-18.2). Single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals a shift from focused IFNα-driven signals in COVID-19 ICU patients who survive to broad pro-inflammatory responses in fatal COVID-19 -a feature not observed in severe influenza. We conclude that fatal COVID-19 infection is driven by uncoordinated inflammatory responses that drive a hierarchy of T cell activation, elements of which can serve as prognostic indicators and potential targets for immune intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, CD/immunology , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lectins, C-Type/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Patient Acuity
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5061, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361634

ABSTRACT

The extent to which immune responses to natural infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and immunization with vaccines protect against variants of concern (VOC) is of increasing importance. Accordingly, here we analyse antibodies and T cells of a recently vaccinated, UK cohort, alongside those recovering from natural infection in early 2020. We show that neutralization of the VOC compared to a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, is reduced: more profoundly against B.1.351 than for B.1.1.7, and in responses to infection or a single dose of vaccine than to a second dose of vaccine. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses are generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. Vaccination is required to generate high potency immune responses to protect against these and other emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Carrier Proteins , Epitopes , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
6.
Brain Behav Immun ; 95: 413-428, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198626

ABSTRACT

Double stranded RNA is generated during viral replication. The synthetic analogue poly I:C is frequently used to mimic anti-viral innate immune responses in models of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including schizophrenia, autism, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Many studies perform limited analysis of innate immunity despite these responses potentially differing as a function of dsRNA molecular weight and age. Therefore fundamental questions relevant to impacts of systemic viral infection on brain function and integrity remain. Here, we studied innate immune-inducing properties of poly I:C preparations of different lengths and responses in adult and aged mice. High molecular weight (HMW) poly I:C (1-6 kb, 12 mg/kg) produced more robust sickness behavior and more robust IL-6, IFN-I and TNF-α responses than poly I:C of < 500 bases (low MW) preparations. This was partly overcome with higher doses of LMW (up to 80 mg/kg), but neither circulating IFNß nor brain transcription of Irf7 were significantly induced by LMW poly I:C, despite brain Ifnb transcription, suggesting that brain IFN-dependent gene expression is predominantly triggered by circulating IFNß binding of IFNAR1. In aged animals, poly I:C induced exaggerated IL-6, IL-1ß and IFN-I in the plasma and similar exaggerated brain cytokine responses. This was associated with acute working memory deficits selectively in aged mice. Thus, we demonstrate dsRNA length-, IFNAR1- and age-dependent effects on anti-viral inflammation and cognitive function. The data have implications for CNS symptoms of acute systemic viral infection such as those with SARS-CoV-2 and for models of maternal immune activation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Animals , Humans , Illness Behavior , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Poly I-C , RNA, Double-Stranded , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2055, 2021 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171493

ABSTRACT

Identification of protective T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 requires distinguishing people infected with SARS-CoV-2 from those with cross-reactive immunity to other coronaviruses. Here we show a range of T cell assays that differentially capture immune function to characterise SARS-CoV-2 responses. Strong ex vivo ELISpot and proliferation responses to multiple antigens (including M, NP and ORF3) are found in 168 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected volunteers, but are rare in 119 uninfected volunteers. Highly exposed seronegative healthcare workers with recent COVID-19-compatible illness show T cell response patterns characteristic of infection. By contrast, >90% of convalescent or unexposed people show proliferation and cellular lactate responses to spike subunits S1/S2, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive T cell populations. The detection of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 is therefore critically dependent on assay and antigen selection. Memory responses to specific non-spike proteins provide a method to distinguish recent infection from pre-existing immunity in exposed populations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Proliferation , Cytokines/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
8.
Elife ; 92020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727516

ABSTRACT

We conducted voluntary Covid-19 testing programmes for symptomatic and asymptomatic staff at a UK teaching hospital using naso-/oro-pharyngeal PCR testing and immunoassays for IgG antibodies. 1128/10,034 (11.2%) staff had evidence of Covid-19 at some time. Using questionnaire data provided on potential risk-factors, staff with a confirmed household contact were at greatest risk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.82 [95%CI 3.45-6.72]). Higher rates of Covid-19 were seen in staff working in Covid-19-facing areas (22.6% vs. 8.6% elsewhere) (aOR 2.47 [1.99-3.08]). Controlling for Covid-19-facing status, risks were heterogenous across the hospital, with higher rates in acute medicine (1.52 [1.07-2.16]) and sporadic outbreaks in areas with few or no Covid-19 patients. Covid-19 intensive care unit staff were relatively protected (0.44 [0.28-0.69]), likely by a bundle of PPE-related measures. Positive results were more likely in Black (1.66 [1.25-2.21]) and Asian (1.51 [1.28-1.77]) staff, independent of role or working location, and in porters and cleaners (2.06 [1.34-3.15]).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hospitals, Teaching/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
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