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1.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327273

ABSTRACT

Children infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) develop less severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than adults. The mechanisms for the age-specific differences and the implications for infection-induced immunity are beginning to be uncovered. We show by longitudinal multimodal analysis that SARS-CoV-2 leaves a small footprint in the circulating T cell compartment in children with mild/asymptomatic COVID-19 compared to adult household contacts with the same disease severity who had more evidence of systemic T cell interferon activation, cytotoxicity and exhaustion. Children harbored diverse polyclonal SARS-CoV-2-specific naive T cells whereas adults harbored clonally expanded SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells. More naive interferon-activated CD4+ T cells were recruited into the memory compartment and recovery was associated with the development of robust CD4+ memory T cell responses in adults but not children. These data suggest that rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 in children may compromise their cellular immunity and ability to resist reinfection.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 889, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630723

ABSTRACT

Predicting the severity of COVID-19 remains an unmet medical need. Our objective was to develop a blood-based host-gene-expression classifier for the severity of viral infections and validate it in independent data, including COVID-19. We developed a logistic regression-based classifier for the severity of viral infections and validated it in multiple viral infection settings including COVID-19. We used training data (N = 705) from 21 retrospective transcriptomic clinical studies of influenza and other viral illnesses looking at a preselected panel of host immune response messenger RNAs. We selected 6 host RNAs and trained logistic regression classifier with a cross-validation area under curve of 0.90 for predicting 30-day mortality in viral illnesses. Next, in 1417 samples across 21 independent retrospective cohorts the locked 6-RNA classifier had an area under curve of 0.94 for discriminating patients with severe vs. non-severe infection. Next, in independent cohorts of prospectively (N = 97) and retrospectively (N = 100) enrolled patients with confirmed COVID-19, the classifier had an area under curve of 0.89 and 0.87, respectively, for identifying patients with severe respiratory failure or 30-day mortality. Finally, we developed a loop-mediated isothermal gene expression assay for the 6-messenger-RNA panel to facilitate implementation as a rapid assay. With further study, the classifier could assist in the risk assessment of COVID-19 and other acute viral infections patients to determine severity and level of care, thereby improving patient management and reducing healthcare burden.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gene Expression Regulation , RNA, Messenger/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Acute Disease , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296942

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of the factors contributing to the development of protective immunity after vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines is fragmentary. Thus we employed high-temporal-resolution transcriptome profiling and in-depth characterization of antibody production approaches to investigate responses to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. There were marked differences in the timing and amplitude of the responses to the priming and booster doses. Notably, two distinct interferon signatures were identified, that differed based on their temporal patterns of induction. The first signature (S1), which was preferentially induced by type I interferon, peaked at day 2 post-prime and at day 1 post-boost, and in both instances was associated with subsequent development of the antibody response. In contrast, the second interferon signature (S2) peaked at day 1 both post-prime and post-boost but was found to be potently induced only post-boost, where it coincided with a robust inflammation peak. Notably, we also observed post-prime-like (S1++,S20/+) and post-boost-like (S1++,S2++) patterns of interferon response among COVID-19 patients. A post-boost-like signature was observed in most severely ill patients at admission to the intensive care unit and was associated with a shorter hospital stay. Interestingly, severely ill patients who stayed hospitalized the longest showed a peculiar pattern of interferon induction (S1-/0,S2+), that we did not observe following the administration of mRNA vaccines. In summary, high temporal resolution profiling revealed an elaborate array of immune responses elicited by priming and booster doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Furthermore, it contributed to the identification of distinct interferon-response phenotypes underpinning vaccine immunogenicity and the course of COVID-19 disease.

4.
Eur Respir J ; 2021 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484297

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that emerged in late 2019 has spread globally, causing a pandemic of respiratory illness designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A better definition of the pulmonary host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is required to understand viral pathogenesis and to validate putative COVID-19 biomarkers that have been proposed in clinical studies. Here, we use targeted transcriptomics of FFPE tissue using the Nanostring GeoMX™ platform to generate an in-depth picture of the pulmonary transcriptional landscape of COVID-19, pandemic H1N1 influenza and uninfected control patients. Host transcriptomics showed a significant upregulation of genes associated with inflammation, type I interferon production, coagulation and angiogenesis in the lungs of COVID-19 patients compared to non-infected controls. SARS-CoV-2 was non-uniformly distributed in lungs (emphasising the advantages of spatial transcriptomics) with the areas of high viral load associated with an increased type I interferon response. Once the dominant cell type present in the sample, within patient correlations and patient-patient variation had been controlled for, only a very limited number of genes were differentially expressed between the lungs of fatal influenza and COVID-19 patients. Strikingly, the interferon-associated gene IFI27, previously identified as a useful blood biomarker to differentiate bacterial and viral lung infections, was significantly upregulated in the lungs of COVID-19 patients compared to patients with influenza. Collectively, these data demonstrate that spatial transcriptomics is a powerful tool to identify novel gene signatures within tissues, offering new insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-COV-2 to aid in patient triage and treatment.

5.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(11): e13714, 2021 11 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471196

ABSTRACT

Risk stratification of COVID-19 patients is essential for pandemic management. Changes in the cell fitness marker, hFwe-Lose, can precede the host immune response to infection, potentially making such a biomarker an earlier triage tool. Here, we evaluate whether hFwe-Lose gene expression can outperform conventional methods in predicting outcomes (e.g., death and hospitalization) in COVID-19 patients. We performed a post-mortem examination of infected lung tissue in deceased COVID-19 patients to determine hFwe-Lose's biological role in acute lung injury. We then performed an observational study (n = 283) to evaluate whether hFwe-Lose expression (in nasopharyngeal samples) could accurately predict hospitalization or death in COVID-19 patients. In COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury, hFwe-Lose is highly expressed in the lower respiratory tract and is co-localized to areas of cell death. In patients presenting in the early phase of COVID-19 illness, hFwe-Lose expression accurately predicts subsequent hospitalization or death with positive predictive values of 87.8-100% and a negative predictive value of 64.1-93.2%. hFwe-Lose outperforms conventional inflammatory biomarkers and patient age and comorbidities, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) 0.93-0.97 in predicting hospitalization/death. Specifically, this is significantly higher than the prognostic value of combining biomarkers (serum ferritin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio), patient age and comorbidities (AUROC of 0.67-0.92). The cell fitness marker, hFwe-Lose, accurately predicts outcomes in COVID-19 patients. This finding demonstrates how tissue fitness pathways dictate the response to infection and disease and their utility in managing the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , Flowers , Humans , Pandemics , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
6.
BMJ Open ; 11(1): e044497, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013055

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Accurate triage is an important first step to effectively manage the clinical treatment of severe cases in a pandemic outbreak. In the current COVID-19 global pandemic, there is a lack of reliable clinical tools to assist clinicians to perform accurate triage. Host response biomarkers have recently shown promise in risk stratification of disease progression; however, the role of these biomarkers in predicting disease progression in patients with COVID-19 is unknown. Here, we present a protocol outlining a prospective validation study to evaluate the biomarkers' performance in predicting clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This prospective validation study assesses patients infected with COVID-19, in whom blood samples are prospectively collected. Recruited patients include a range of infection severity from asymptomatic to critically ill patients, recruited from the community, outpatient clinics, emergency departments and hospitals. Study samples consist of peripheral blood samples collected into RNA-preserving (PAXgene/Tempus) tubes on patient presentation or immediately on study enrolment. Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) will be performed on total RNA extracted from collected blood samples using primers specific to host response gene expression biomarkers that have been previously identified in studies of respiratory viral infections. The RT-PCR data will be analysed to assess the diagnostic performance of individual biomarkers in predicting COVID-19-related outcomes, such as viral pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome or bacterial pneumonia. Biomarker performance will be evaluated using sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, likelihood ratios and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This research protocol aims to study the host response gene expression biomarkers in severe respiratory viral infections with a pandemic potential (COVID-19). It has been approved by the local ethics committee with approval number 2020/ETH00886. The results of this project will be disseminated in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/methods , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Time Factors
8.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 291, 2020 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691020

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Covid-19 morbidity and mortality are associated with a dysregulated immune response. Tools are needed to enhance existing immune profiling capabilities in affected patients. Here we aimed to develop an approach to support the design of targeted blood transcriptome panels for profiling the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: We designed a pool of candidates based on a pre-existing and well-characterized repertoire of blood transcriptional modules. Available Covid-19 blood transcriptome data was also used to guide this process. Further selection steps relied on expert curation. Additionally, we developed several custom web applications to support the evaluation of candidates. RESULTS: As a proof of principle, we designed three targeted blood transcript panels, each with a different translational connotation: immunological relevance, therapeutic development relevance and SARS biology relevance. CONCLUSION: Altogether the work presented here may contribute to the future expansion of immune profiling capabilities via targeted profiling of blood transcript abundance in Covid-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Transcriptome , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immune System , Internet , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2 , Software
9.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 870, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615558

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for new therapeutic strategies to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to curtail its most severe complications. Severely ill patients experience pathologic manifestations of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and clinical reports demonstrate striking neutrophilia, elevated levels of multiple cytokines, and an exaggerated inflammatory response in fatal COVID-19. Mechanical respirator devices are the most widely applied therapy for ARDS in COVID-19, yet mechanical ventilation achieves strikingly poor survival. Many patients, who recover, experience impaired cognition or physical disability. In this review, we argue the need to develop therapies aimed at inhibiting neutrophil recruitment, activation, degranulation, and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release. Moreover, we suggest that currently available pharmacologic approaches should be tested as treatments for ARDS in COVID-19. In our view, targeting host-mediated immunopathology holds promise to alleviate progressive pathologic complications of ARDS and reduce morbidities and mortalities in severely ill patients with COVID-19.

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