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Genome Res ; 32(2): 228-241, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642462


The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is still elusive, which impedes disease progression prediction, differential diagnosis, and targeted therapy. Plasma cell-free RNAs (cfRNAs) carry unique information from human tissue and thus could point to resourceful solutions for pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. Here, we performed a comparative analysis of cfRNA profiles between COVID-19 patients and healthy donors using serial plasma. Analyses of the cfRNA landscape, potential gene regulatory mechanisms, dynamic changes in tRNA pools upon infection, and microbial communities were performed. A total of 380 cfRNA molecules were up-regulated in all COVID-19 patients, of which seven could serve as potential biomarkers (AUC > 0.85) with great sensitivity and specificity. Antiviral (NFKB1A, IFITM3, and IFI27) and neutrophil activation (S100A8, CD68, and CD63)-related genes exhibited decreased expression levels during treatment in COVID-19 patients, which is in accordance with the dynamically enhanced inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients. Noncoding RNAs, including some microRNAs (let 7 family) and long noncoding RNAs (GJA9-MYCBP) targeting interleukin (IL6/IL6R), were differentially expressed between COVID-19 patients and healthy donors, which accounts for the potential core mechanism of cytokine storm syndromes; the tRNA pools change significantly between the COVID-19 and healthy group, leading to the accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 biased codons, which facilitate SARS-CoV-2 replication. Finally, several pneumonia-related microorganisms were detected in the plasma of COVID-19 patients, raising the possibility of simultaneously monitoring immune response regulation and microbial communities using cfRNA analysis. This study fills the knowledge gap in the plasma cfRNA landscape of COVID-19 patients and offers insight into the potential mechanisms of cfRNAs to explain COVID-19 pathogenesis.

COVID-19 , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids , RNA/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Hum Immunol ; 83(2): 119-129, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499900


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Great international efforts have been put into the development of prophylactic vaccines and neutralizing antibodies. However, the knowledge about the B cell immune response induced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still limited. Here, we report a comprehensive characterization of the dynamics of immunoglobin heavy chain (IGH) repertoire in COVID-19 patients. By using next-generation sequencing technology, we examined the temporal changes in the landscape of the patient's immunological status and found dramatic changes in the IGH within the patient's immune system after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Although different patients have distinct immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, by employing clonotype overlap, lineage expansion, and clonotype network analyses, we observed a higher clonotype overlap and substantial lineage expansion of B cell clones 2-3 weeks after the onset of illness, which is of great importance to B-cell immune responses. Meanwhile, for preferences of V gene usage during SARS-CoV-2 infection, IGHV3-74 and IGHV4-34, and IGHV4-39 in COVID-19 patients were more abundant than those of healthy controls. Overall, we present an immunological resource for SARS-CoV-2 that could promote both therapeutic development as well as mechanistic research.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
Immunity ; 53(3): 685-696.e3, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-716745


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses a current world-wide public health threat. However, little is known about its hallmarks compared to other infectious diseases. Here, we report the single-cell transcriptional landscape of longitudinally collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in both COVID-19- and influenza A virus (IAV)-infected patients. We observed increase of plasma cells in both COVID-19 and IAV patients and XIAP associated factor 1 (XAF1)-, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-, and FAS-induced T cell apoptosis in COVID-19 patients. Further analyses revealed distinct signaling pathways activated in COVID-19 (STAT1 and IRF3) versus IAV (STAT3 and NFκB) patients and substantial differences in the expression of key factors. These factors include relatively increase of interleukin (IL)6R and IL6ST expression in COVID-19 patients but similarly increased IL-6 concentrations compared to IAV patients, supporting the clinical observations of increased proinflammatory cytokines in COVID-19 patients. Thus, we provide the landscape of PBMCs and unveil distinct immune response pathways in COVID-19 and IAV patients.

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2