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PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333583


While SARS-CoV-2 infection has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some patients, many others experience milder symptoms. We sought a holistic understanding of the severe/mild distinction in COVID-19 pathology, and its origins. We performed a whole-blood preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major cell types including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 disease display a coordinated pattern of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression across every cell population and these cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Severe COVID-19 patients also paradoxically produce very high anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and have lower viral load as compared to mild disease. Examination of the serum from severe patients demonstrates that they uniquely produce antibodies with multiple patterns of specificity against interferon-stimulated cells and that those antibodies functionally block the production of the mild disease-associated ISG-expressing cells. Overzealous and auto-directed antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many COVID-19 patients and this defines targets for immunotherapies to allow immune systems to provide viral defense. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: In severe COVID-19 patients, the immune system fails to generate cells that define mild disease;antibodies in their serum actively prevents the successful production of those cells.

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-329314


Vaccine-elicited adaptive immunity is an essential prerequisite for effective prevention and control of coronavirus 19 (COVID-19). Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) involves a diverse array of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that target antibody and cell-mediated immunity, yet a comprehensive understanding of how MS DMTs impact SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses is lacking. We completed a detailed analysis of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-elicited spike antigen-specific IgG and T cell responses in a cohort of healthy controls and MS participants in six different treatment categories. Two specific DMT types, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (mAb), resulted in significantly reduced spike-specific IgG responses. Longer duration of anti-CD20 mAb treatment prior to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were associated with absent antibody responses. Except for reduced CD4+ T cell responses in S1P-treated patients, spike-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell reactivity remained robust across all MS treatment types. These findings have important implications for clinical practice guidelines and vaccination recommendations in MS patients and other immunosuppressed populations.