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1.
Genome Med ; 14(1): 61, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951320

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) with immune escape properties, such as Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529), questions the extent of the antibody-mediated protection against the virus. Here we investigated the long-term antibody persistence in previously infected subjects and the extent of the antibody-mediated protection against B.1, B.1.617.2 and BA.1 variants in unvaccinated subjects previously infected, vaccinated naïve and vaccinated previously infected subjects. METHODS: Blood samples collected 15 months post-infection from unvaccinated (n=35) and vaccinated (n=41) previously infected subjects (Vo' cohort) were tested for the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens using the Abbott, DiaSorin, and Roche immunoassays. The serum neutralising reactivity was assessed against B.1, B.1.617.2 (Delta), and BA.1 (Omicron) SARS-CoV-2 strains through micro-neutralisation. The antibody titres were compared to those from previous timepoints, performed at 2- and 9-months post-infection on the same individuals. Two groups of naïve subjects were used as controls, one from the same cohort (unvaccinated n=29 and vaccinated n=20) and a group of vaccinated naïve healthcare workers (n=61). RESULTS: We report on the results of the third serosurvey run in the Vo' cohort. With respect to the 9-month time point, antibodies against the S antigen significantly decreased (P=0.0063) among unvaccinated subjects and increased (P<0.0001) in vaccinated individuals, whereas those against the N antigen decreased in the whole cohort. When compared with control groups (naïve Vo' inhabitants and naïve healthcare workers), vaccinated subjects that were previously infected had higher antibody levels (P<0.0001) than vaccinated naïve subjects. Two doses of vaccine elicited stronger anti-S antibody response than natural infection (P<0.0001). Finally, the neutralising reactivity of sera against B.1.617.2 and BA.1 was 4-fold and 16-fold lower than the reactivity observed against the original B.1 strain. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm that vaccination induces strong antibody response in most individuals, and even stronger in previously infected subjects. Neutralising reactivity elicited by natural infection followed by vaccination is increasingly weakened by the recent emergence of VOCs. While immunity is not completely compromised, a change in vaccine development may be required going forward, to generate cross-protective pan-coronavirus immunity in the global population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
2.
JCI Insight ; 7(10)2022 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794307

ABSTRACT

T cells play a prominent role in orchestrating the immune response to viral diseases, but their role in the clinical presentation and subsequent immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains poorly understood. As part of a population-based survey of the municipality of Vo', Italy, conducted after the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we sampled the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires of the population 2 months after the initial PCR survey and followed up positive cases 9 and 15 months later. At 2 months, we found that 97.0% (98 of 101) of cases had elevated levels of TCRs associated with SARS-CoV-2. T cell frequency (depth) was increased in individuals with more severe disease. Both depth and diversity (breadth) of the TCR repertoire were positively associated with neutralizing antibody titers, driven mostly by CD4+ T cells directed against spike protein. At the later time points, detection of these TCRs remained high, with 90.7% (78 of 96) and 86.2% (25 of 29) of individuals having detectable signal at 9 and 15 months, respectively. Forty-three individuals were vaccinated by month 15 and showed a significant increase in TCRs directed against spike protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate the central role of T cells in mounting an immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 that persists out to 15 months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5736, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778634

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including < 80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 (20B) most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 (20D) developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, within the limitations of phylogeographical reconstruction, the estimated ancestral scenario suggests an important role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314810

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314809

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including <80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

6.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687058

ABSTRACT

In February 2020, the municipality of Vo', a small town near Padua (Italy) was quarantined due to the first coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)-related death detected in Italy. To investigate the viral prevalence and clinical features, the entire population was swab tested in two sequential surveys. Here we report the analysis of 87 viral genomes, which revealed that the unique ancestor haplotype introduced in Vo' belongs to lineage B, carrying the mutations G11083T and G26144T. The viral sequences allowed us to investigate the viral evolution while being transmitted within and across households and the effectiveness of the non-pharmaceutical interventions implemented in Vo'. We report, for the first time, evidence that novel viral haplotypes can naturally arise intra-host within an interval as short as two weeks, in approximately 30% of the infected individuals, regardless of symptom severity or immune system deficiencies. Moreover, both phylogenetic and minimum spanning network analyses converge on the hypothesis that the viral sequences evolved from a unique common ancestor haplotype that was carried by an index case. The lockdown extinguished both the viral spread and the emergence of new variants.


Subject(s)
Family Characteristics , Genome, Viral , Haplotypes , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification
7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296781

ABSTRACT

In February and March 2020, one of the first Italian clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in the municipality of Vo’. Positive subjects were followed up at 2 and 9 months post-infection with different immuno-assays and a micro-neutralisation test. Here we report on the results of the third serosurvey conducted in the same population in June 2021, 15 months post-infection, when we tested 61% of the infected individuals (n=76). Antibodies against the spike (S) antigen significantly decreased (P<0.006, Kruskal-Wallis test) among unvaccinated subjects (n=35) and increased (P<0.0001) in vaccinated individuals (n=41), whereas those against the nucleocapsid (N) decreased in the whole cohort. From the comparison with two control groups (naïve Vo’ inhabitants (n=20) and healthcare workers (HCW, n=61)), subjects vaccinated post exposure (hybrid immunity) had higher antibody levels (P<0.0001) than subjects vaccinated when naïve. Two doses of vaccine elicited stronger anti-S antibody response than natural infection (P<0.0001). Finally, the neutralising reactivity of sera against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) was lower than compared to the B.1 strain (median 1:320 versus 1:1280 1/dil, P<0.0001, and 1:640 versus 1:2560 1/dil, P=0.0014, after one or two vaccine doses, respectively), although subjects with hybrid immunity maintained neutralising titres above 1:40 1/dil.

8.
Radiol Med ; 126(3): 498-502, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915235

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In overwhelmed emergency departments (EDs) facing COVID-19 outbreak, a swift diagnosis is imperative. CT role was widely debated for its limited specificity. Here we report the diagnostic role of CT in two EDs in Lombardy, epicenter of Italian outbreak. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Admitting chest CT from 142 consecutive patients with suspected COVID-19 were retrospectively analyzed. CT scans were classified in "highly likely," "likely," and "unlikely" COVID-19 pneumonia according to the presence of typical, indeterminate, and atypical findings, or "negative" in the absence of findings, or "alternative diagnosis" when a different diagnosis was found. Nasopharyngeal swab results, turnaround time, and time to positive results were collected. CT diagnostic performances were assessed considering RT-PCR as reference standard. RESULTS: Most of cases (96/142, 68%) were classified as "highly likely" COVID-19 pneumonia. Ten (7%) and seven (5%) patients were classified as "likely" and "unlikely" COVID-19 pneumonia, respectively. In 21 (15%) patients a differential diagnosis was provided, including typical pneumonia, pulmonary edema, neoplasia, and pulmonary embolism. CT was negative in 8/142 (6%) patients. Mean turnaround time for the first COVID-19 RT-PCR was 30 ± 13 h. CT diagnostic accuracy in respect of the first test swab was 79% and increased to 91.5% after repeated swabs and/or BAL, for 18 false-negative first swab. CT performance was good with 76% specificity, 99% sensitivity, 90% positive predictive value and 97% negative predictive value. CONCLUSION: Chest CT was useful to streamline patients' triage while waiting for RT-PCR in the ED, supporting the clinical suspicion of COVID-19 or providing alternative diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Emergency Service, Hospital , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Triage
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