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1.
J Infect Dis ; 224(11): 1821-1829, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545975

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has lagged behind adults throughout the pandemic. An understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral dynamics in children would enable data-driven public health guidance. METHODS: Respiratory swabs were collected from children with COVID-19. Viral load was quantified by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); viral culture was assessed by direct observation of cytopathic effects and semiquantitative viral titers. Correlations with age, symptom duration, and disease severity were analyzed. SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences were compared with contemporaneous sequences. RESULTS: One hundred ten children with COVID-19 (median age, 10 years [range, 2 weeks-21 years]) were included in this study. Age did not impact SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Children were most infectious within the first 5 days of illness, and severe disease did not correlate with increased viral loads. Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 sequences were representative of those in the community and novel variants were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic and asymptomatic children can carry high quantities of live, replicating SARS-CoV-2, creating a potential reservoir for transmission and evolution of genetic variants. As guidance around social distancing and masking evolves following vaccine uptake in older populations, a clear understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in children is critical for rational development of public health policies and vaccination strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Load , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
3.
J Clin Invest ; 131(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311202

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDWeeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure, some children develop a severe, life-threatening illness called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in patients with MIS-C, and a severe hyperinflammatory response ensues with potential for cardiac complications. The cause of MIS-C has not been identified to date.METHODSHere, we analyzed biospecimens from 100 children: 19 with MIS-C, 26 with acute COVID-19, and 55 controls. Stools were assessed for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and plasma was examined for markers of breakdown of mucosal barrier integrity, including zonulin. Ultrasensitive antigen detection was used to probe for SARS-CoV-2 antigenemia in plasma, and immune responses were characterized. As a proof of concept, we treated a patient with MIS-C with larazotide, a zonulin antagonist, and monitored the effect on antigenemia and the patient's clinical response.RESULTSWe showed that in children with MIS-C, a prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the GI tract led to the release of zonulin, a biomarker of intestinal permeability, with subsequent trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 antigens into the bloodstream, leading to hyperinflammation. The patient with MIS-C treated with larazotide had a coinciding decrease in plasma SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen levels and inflammatory markers and a resultant clinical improvement above that achieved with currently available treatments.CONCLUSIONThese mechanistic data on MIS-C pathogenesis provide insight into targets for diagnosing, treating, and preventing MIS-C, which are urgently needed for this increasingly common severe COVID-19-related disease in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Haptoglobins/physiology , Intestinal Mucosa/physiopathology , Protein Precursors/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/etiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Adolescent , Antigens, Viral/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Haptoglobins/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Intestinal Mucosa/drug effects , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , Male , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , Permeability/drug effects , Proof of Concept Study , Protein Precursors/antagonists & inhibitors , Protein Precursors/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , Young Adult
4.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(3): 303.e1-303.e17, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237586

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pregnant and lactating women were excluded from initial coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine trials; thus, data to guide vaccine decision making are lacking. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of coronavirus disease 2019 messenger RNA vaccination in pregnant and lactating women compared with: (1) nonpregnant controls and (2) natural coronavirus disease 2019 infection in pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 131 reproductive-age vaccine recipients (84 pregnant, 31 lactating, and 16 nonpregnant women) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study at 2 academic medical centers. Titers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike and receptor-binding domain immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin A, and immunoglobulin M were quantified in participant sera (n=131) and breastmilk (n=31) at baseline, at the second vaccine dose, at 2 to 6 weeks after the second vaccine, and at delivery by Luminex. Umbilical cord sera (n=10) titers were assessed at delivery. Titers were compared with those of pregnant women 4 to 12 weeks from the natural infection (n=37) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A pseudovirus neutralization assay was used to quantify neutralizing antibody titers for the subset of women who delivered during the study period. Postvaccination symptoms were assessed via questionnaire. Kruskal-Wallis tests and a mixed-effects model, with correction for multiple comparisons, were used to assess differences among groups. RESULTS: Vaccine-induced antibody titers were equivalent in pregnant and lactating compared with nonpregnant women (pregnant, median, 5.59; interquartile range, 4.68-5.89; lactating, median, 5.74; interquartile range, 5.06-6.22; nonpregnant, median, 5.62; interquartile range, 4.77-5.98, P=.24). All titers were significantly higher than those induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection during pregnancy (P<.0001). Vaccine-generated antibodies were present in all umbilical cord blood and breastmilk samples. Neutralizing antibody titers were lower in umbilical cord than maternal sera, although this finding did not achieve statistical significance (maternal sera, median, 104.7; interquartile range, 61.2-188.2; cord sera, median, 52.3; interquartile range, 11.7-69.6; P=.05). The second vaccine dose (boost dose) increased severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-specific immunoglobulin G, but not immunoglobulin A, in maternal blood and breastmilk. No differences were noted in reactogenicity across the groups. CONCLUSION: Coronavirus disease 2019 messenger RNA vaccines generated robust humoral immunity in pregnant and lactating women, with immunogenicity and reactogenicity similar to that observed in nonpregnant women. Vaccine-induced immune responses were statistically significantly greater than the response to natural infection. Immune transfer to neonates occurred via placenta and breastmilk.

5.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(3): 303.e1-303.e17, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155382

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pregnant and lactating women were excluded from initial coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine trials; thus, data to guide vaccine decision making are lacking. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of coronavirus disease 2019 messenger RNA vaccination in pregnant and lactating women compared with: (1) nonpregnant controls and (2) natural coronavirus disease 2019 infection in pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 131 reproductive-age vaccine recipients (84 pregnant, 31 lactating, and 16 nonpregnant women) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study at 2 academic medical centers. Titers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike and receptor-binding domain immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin A, and immunoglobulin M were quantified in participant sera (n=131) and breastmilk (n=31) at baseline, at the second vaccine dose, at 2 to 6 weeks after the second vaccine, and at delivery by Luminex. Umbilical cord sera (n=10) titers were assessed at delivery. Titers were compared with those of pregnant women 4 to 12 weeks from the natural infection (n=37) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A pseudovirus neutralization assay was used to quantify neutralizing antibody titers for the subset of women who delivered during the study period. Postvaccination symptoms were assessed via questionnaire. Kruskal-Wallis tests and a mixed-effects model, with correction for multiple comparisons, were used to assess differences among groups. RESULTS: Vaccine-induced antibody titers were equivalent in pregnant and lactating compared with nonpregnant women (pregnant, median, 5.59; interquartile range, 4.68-5.89; lactating, median, 5.74; interquartile range, 5.06-6.22; nonpregnant, median, 5.62; interquartile range, 4.77-5.98, P=.24). All titers were significantly higher than those induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection during pregnancy (P<.0001). Vaccine-generated antibodies were present in all umbilical cord blood and breastmilk samples. Neutralizing antibody titers were lower in umbilical cord than maternal sera, although this finding did not achieve statistical significance (maternal sera, median, 104.7; interquartile range, 61.2-188.2; cord sera, median, 52.3; interquartile range, 11.7-69.6; P=.05). The second vaccine dose (boost dose) increased severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-specific immunoglobulin G, but not immunoglobulin A, in maternal blood and breastmilk. No differences were noted in reactogenicity across the groups. CONCLUSION: Coronavirus disease 2019 messenger RNA vaccines generated robust humoral immunity in pregnant and lactating women, with immunogenicity and reactogenicity similar to that observed in nonpregnant women. Vaccine-induced immune responses were statistically significantly greater than the response to natural infection. Immune transfer to neonates occurred via placenta and breastmilk.

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