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Front Immunol ; 12: 748881, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551504


Olfactory and taste disorders (OTD) are commonly found as presenting symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with clinically mild COVID-19. Virus-specific T cells are thought to play an important role in the clearance of SARS-CoV-2; therefore the study of T cell specific immune responses in patients with mild symptoms may help to understand their possible role in protection from severe disease. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses to four different peptide megapools covering all SARS-CoV-2 proteins during the acute phase of the disease in 33 individuals with mild or no other symptom beside OTD and in 22 age-matched patients with severe infection. A control group of 15 outpatients with OTD and consistently negative nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA swabs and virus-specific IgG serology was included in the study. Increased frequencies of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were found in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with OTD compared with those with severe COVID-19 and with SARS-CoV-2 negative OTD individuals. Moreover, enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell activation induced by SARS-CoV-2 peptides was associated with higher interferon (IFN)γ production. Increased frequencies of Spike (S1/S2)-specific CD4+ T cells showing enhanced IFNγ secretion and granzyme B content were associated with serum spike-specific IgG in the OTD group. In conclusion, patients with SARS-CoV-2 induced OTD develop highly functional virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during the symptomatic phase of the disease, suggesting that robust and coordinated T-cell responses provide protection against extension of COVID-19 to the lower respiratory tract.

Ageusia/pathology , Anosmia/pathology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
Immunol Res ; 69(6): 553-557, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345196


The persistence of neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the presence of late axonal damage, is still unknown. We performed extensive systemic and neurological follow-up evaluations in 107 out of 193 consecutive patients admitted to the COVID-19 medical unit, University Hospital of Verona, Italy between March and June 2020. We analysed serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in all cases including a subgroup (n = 29) of patients with available onset samples. Comparisons between clinical and biomarker data were then performed. Neurological symptoms were still present in a significant number (n = 49) of patients over the follow-up. The most common reported symptoms were hyposmia (n = 11), fatigue (n = 28), myalgia (n = 14), and impaired memory (n = 11) and were more common in cases with severe acute COVID-19. Follow-up serum NfL values (15.2 pg/mL, range 2.4-62.4) were within normal range in all except 5 patients and did not differentiate patients with vs without persistent neurological symptoms. In patients with available onset and follow-up samples, a significant (p < 0.001) decrease of NfL levels was observed and was more evident in patients with a severe acute disease. Despite the common persistence of neurological symptoms, COVID-19 survivors do not show active axonal damage, which seems a peculiar feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Axons/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/pathology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/pathology , Anosmia/virology , Axons/virology , Disease Progression , Fatigue/pathology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Memory Disorders/pathology , Memory Disorders/virology , Middle Aged , Myalgia/pathology , Myalgia/virology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2
J Neurovirol ; 26(5): 785-789, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-647060


Over the course of the pandemic due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), multiple new clinical manifestations, as the consequence of the tropism of the virus, have been recognized. That includes now the neurological manifestations and conditions, such as headache, encephalitis, as well as olfactory and taste disorders. We present a series of ten cases of RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infected patients diagnosed with viral-associated olfactory and taste loss from four different countries.

Ageusia/complications , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Brain Diseases/complications , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Headache/complications , Olfaction Disorders/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/immunology , Ageusia/pathology , Ageusia/virology , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , Brain Diseases/immunology , Brain Diseases/pathology , Brain Diseases/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe , Female , Headache/immunology , Headache/pathology , Headache/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , North America , Olfaction Disorders/immunology , Olfaction Disorders/pathology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , South America , Time Factors