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1.
Nature ; 611(7934): 139-147, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016757

ABSTRACT

Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection1 has been associated with highly inflammatory immune activation since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic2-5. More recently, these responses have been associated with the emergence of self-reactive antibodies with pathologic potential6-10, although their origins and resolution have remained unclear11. Previously, we and others have identified extrafollicular B cell activation, a pathway associated with the formation of new autoreactive antibodies in chronic autoimmunity12,13, as a dominant feature of severe and critical COVID-19 (refs. 14-18). Here, using single-cell B cell repertoire analysis of patients with mild and severe disease, we identify the expansion of a naive-derived, low-mutation IgG1 population of antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) reflecting features of low selective pressure. These features correlate with progressive, broad, clinically relevant autoreactivity, particularly directed against nuclear antigens and carbamylated proteins, emerging 10-15 days after the onset of symptoms. Detailed analysis of the low-selection compartment shows a high frequency of clonotypes specific for both SARS-CoV-2 and autoantigens, including pathogenic autoantibodies against the glomerular basement membrane. We further identify the contraction of this pathway on recovery, re-establishment of tolerance standards and concomitant loss of acute-derived ASCs irrespective of antigen specificity. However, serological autoreactivity persists in a subset of patients with postacute sequelae, raising important questions as to the contribution of emerging autoreactivity to continuing symptomology on recovery. In summary, this study demonstrates the origins, breadth and resolution of autoreactivity in severe COVID-19, with implications for early intervention and the treatment of patients with post-COVID sequelae.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies , B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , Humans , Autoantibodies/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Autoantigens/immunology , Basement Membrane/immunology
2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 945021, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2005871

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies to multiple targets are found during acute COVID-19. Whether all, or some, persist after 6 months, and their correlation with sustained anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity, is still controversial. Herein, we measured antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens (Wuhan-Hu-1 nucleoprotein (NP), whole spike (S), spike subunits (S1, S2 and receptor binding domain (RBD)) and Omicron spike) and 102 human proteins with known autoimmune associations, in plasma from healthcare workers 8 months post-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (n=31 with confirmed COVID-19 disease and n=21 uninfected controls (PCR and anti-SARS-CoV-2 negative) at baseline). IgG antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 antigens were significantly higher in the convalescent cohort than the healthy cohort, highlighting lasting antibody responses up to 8 months post-infection. These were also shown to be cross-reactive to the Omicron variant spike protein at a similar level to lasting anti-RBD antibodies (correlation r=0.89). Individuals post COVID-19 infection recognised a common set of autoantigens, specific to this group in comparison to the healthy controls. Moreover, the long-term level of anti-Spike IgG was associated with the breadth of autoreactivity post-COVID-19. There were further moderate positive correlations between anti-SARS-CoV-2 responses and 11 specific autoantigens. The most commonly recognised autoantigens were found in the COVID-19 convalescent cohort. Although there was no overall correlation in self-reported symptom severity and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, anti-calprotectin antibodies were associated with return to healthy normal life 8 months post infection. Calprotectin was also the most common target for autoantibodies, recognized by 22.6% of the overall convalescent cohort. Future studies may address whether, counter-intuitively, such autoantibodies may play a protective role in the pathology of long-COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantigens , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
J Mol Cell Cardiol ; 170: 121-123, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is growing recognition that COVID-19 does cause cardiac sequelae. The underlying mechanisms involved are still poorly understood to date. Viral infections, including COVID-19, have been hypothesized to contribute to autoimmunity, by exposing previously hidden cryptic epitopes on damaged cells to an activated immune system. Given the high incidence of cardiac involvement seen in COVID-19, our aim was to determine the frequency of anti-DSG2 antibodies in a population of post COVID-19 patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: 300 convalescent serum samples were obtained from a group of post COVID-19 infected patients from October 2020 to February 2021. 154 samples were drawn 6 months post-COVID-19 infection and 146 samples were drawn 9 months post COVID infection. 17 samples were obtained from the same patient at the 6- and 9- month mark. An electrochemiluminescent-based immunoassay utilizing the extracellular domain of DSG2 for antibody capture was used. The mean signal intensity of anti-DSG2 antibodies in the post COVID-19 samples was significantly higher than that of a healthy control population (19 ± 83.2 in the post-COVID-19 sample vs. 2.1 ± 7.2 (p < 0. 0001) in the negative control healthy population). Of note, 29.3% of the post COVID-19 infection samples demonstrated a signal higher than the 90th percentile of the control population and 8.7% were higher than the median found in ARVC patients. The signal intensity between the 6-month and 9-month samples did not differ significantly. CONCLUSIONS: We report for the first time that recovered COVID-19 patients demonstrate significantly higher and sustained levels of anti-DSG2 autoantibodies as compared to a healthy control population, comparable to that of a diagnosed ARVC group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Desmoglein 2/immunology , Humans
4.
J Clin Immunol ; 42(2): 232-239, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838372

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To study the effect of interferon-α2 auto-antibodies (IFN-α2 Abs) on clinical and virological outcomes in critically ill COVID-19 patients and the risk of IFN-α2 Abs transfer during convalescent plasma treatment. METHODS: Sera from healthy controls, cases of COVID-19, and other respiratory illness were tested for IFN-α2 Abs by ELISA and a pseudo virus-based neutralization assay. The effects of disease severity, sex, and age on the risk of having neutralizing IFN-α2 Abs were determined. Longitudinal analyses were performed to determine association between IFN-α2 Abs and survival and viral load and whether serum IFN-α2 Abs appeared after convalescent plasma transfusion. RESULTS: IFN-α2 neutralizing sera were found only in COVID-19 patients, with proportions increasing with disease severity and age. In the acute stage of COVID-19, all sera from patients with ELISA-detected IFN-α2 Abs (13/164, 7.9%) neutralized levels of IFN-α2 exceeding physiological concentrations found in human plasma and this was associated with delayed viral clearance. Convalescent plasma donors that were anti-IFN-α2 ELISA positive (3/118, 2.5%) did not neutralize the same levels of IFN-α2. Neutralizing serum IFN-α2 Abs were associated with delayed viral clearance from the respiratory tract. CONCLUSIONS: IFN-α2 Abs were detected by ELISA and neutralization assay in COVID-19 patients, but not in ICU patients with other respiratory illnesses. The presence of neutralizing IFN-α2 Abs in critically ill COVID-19 is associated with delayed viral clearance. IFN-α2 Abs in COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors were not neutralizing in the conditions tested.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Interferon alpha-2/immunology , Plasma/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Blood Component Transfusion/methods , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
5.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 13: 840668, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793031

ABSTRACT

Background: This is the first study, that aimed: a) to compare immune response, namely the kinetics of neutralizing antibodies (Nabs), after vaccination with BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Comirnaty, Pfizer/BioNTech) between patients with autoimmune thyroiditis and controls, and b) to investigate changes in thyroid function in healthy subjects with no history of thyroid dysfunction before and after vaccination with BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Comirnaty, Pfizer/BioNTech). Methods: The entire study consisted of two sub-studies. In the first sub-study, NAbs levels after BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination were compared between 56 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis and 56 age and gender-matched healthy controls from the day of the first dose until a period of up to three months after the second dose. In the second sub-study, thyroid hormones (T3, T4, TSH) and thyroid auto-antibodies levels (anti-TG, anti-TPO) of 72 healthy subjects with no history of thyroid disease were examined before (D1) and one month after completion of the second dose (D50). Results: Among patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, the median neutralizing inhibition on D22, immediately before second dose, was 62.5%. One month later (D50), values increased to 96.7%, while three months after the second dose NAbs titers remained almost the same (94.5%). In the healthy group, median NAbs levels at D22 were 53.6%. On D50 the median inhibition values increased to 95.1%, while after three months they were 89.2%. The statistical analysis did not show significant differences between two groups (p-values 0.164, 0.390, 0.105 for D22, D50 and three months). Regarding changes in thyroid function, the mean value for T4 before vaccination was 89.797 nmol/L and one month after the second dose was 89.11 nmol/L (p-value=0.649). On D1 the mean T3 value was 1.464 nmol/L, which dropped to 1.389 nmol/L on D50 (p-value = 0.004). For TSH, mean levels were 2.064 mIU/ml on D1 and fell to 1.840 mIU/ml one month after the second dose (p-value=0.037). Despite decrease, all thyroid hormone levels remained within the normal range. No changes were found for anti-TPO or anti-TG. Conclusions: This study provided evidence that patients with autoimmune thyroiditis present similar immunological response to COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Comirnaty, Pfizer/BioNTech) with healthy subjects, while vaccination may affect thyroid function.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Thyroiditis, Autoimmune/immunology , Adult , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , /genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Thyroid Gland/metabolism , Thyroid Hormones/blood , Thyroid Hormones/metabolism , Thyroiditis, Autoimmune/metabolism , Vaccination
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 752557, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789371

ABSTRACT

Objective: To analyze and compare different clinical, laboratory, and magnetic resonance imaging characteristics between pediatric and adult patients with first-attack myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) and to explore predictive factors for severity at disease onset. Methods: Patients diagnosed with MOGAD at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University from January 2013 to August 2021 were enrolled in this retrospective study. Age at disease onset, sex, comorbidities, laboratory tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics, and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores were collected and analyzed. The association between risk factors and initial EDSS scores at disease onset was analyzed using logistic regression models and Spearman correlation analyses. A receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate the predictive ability of the uric acid and homocysteine (Hcy) levels for the severity of neurological dysfunction at the onset of MOGAD. Results: Sixty-seven patients (female, n=34; male, n=33) with first-attack MOGAD were included in this study. The mean age at onset was 26.43 ± 18.22 years (range: 3-79 years). Among patients <18 years of age, the most common presenting symptoms were loss of vision (36.0%), and nausea and vomiting (24.0%), and the most common disease spectrum was acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) (40.0%). Among patients aged ≥18 years, the most common presenting symptoms were loss of vision (35.7%), paresthesia (33.3%), and paralysis (26.2%), and the most common disease spectrum was optic neuritis (35.7%). The most common lesions were cortical gray matter/paracortical white matter lesions in both pediatric and adult patients. Uric acid [odds ratio (OR)=1.014; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.006-1.022; P=0.000] and serum Hcy (OR=1.125; 95% CI=1.017-1.246; P=0.023) levels were significantly associated with the severity of neurological dysfunction at disease onset. Uric acid levels (r=0.2583; P=0.035) and Hcy levels (r=0.3971; P=0.0009) were positively correlated with initial EDSS scores. The areas under the ROC curve were 0.7775 (95% CI= 0.6617‒0.8933; P<0.001) and 0.6767 (95% CI=0.5433‒0.8102, P=0.014) for uric acid and Hcy levels, respectively. Conclusion: The clinical phenotype of MOGAD varies in patients of different ages. The most common disease spectrum was ADEM in patients aged<18 years, while optic neuritis was commonly found in patients aged ≥18 years. The uric acid and Hcy levels are risk factors for the severity of neurological dysfunction at disease onset in patients with first-attack MOGAD.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/epidemiology , Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Age of Onset , Aged , Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis/diagnosis , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/diagnostic imaging , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/metabolism , Biomarkers , Central Nervous System/diagnostic imaging , Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins/analysis , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Homocysteine/blood , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Blind Method , Uric Acid/blood , Young Adult
8.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1220, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735246

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 shares the feature of autoantibody production with systemic autoimmune diseases. In order to understand the role of these immune globulins in the pathogenesis of the disease, it is important to explore the autoantibody spectra. Here we show, by a cross-sectional study of 246 individuals, that autoantibodies targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and RAS-related molecules associate with the clinical severity of COVID-19. Patients with moderate and severe disease are characterized by higher autoantibody levels than healthy controls and those with mild COVID-19 disease. Among the anti-GPCR autoantibodies, machine learning classification identifies the chemokine receptor CXCR3 and the RAS-related molecule AGTR1 as targets for antibodies with the strongest association to disease severity. Besides antibody levels, autoantibody network signatures are also changing in patients with intermediate or high disease severity. Although our current and previous studies identify anti-GPCR antibodies as natural components of human biology, their production is deregulated in COVID-19 and their level and pattern alterations might predict COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/immunology , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoimmunity , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/classification , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Machine Learning , Male , Multivariate Analysis , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Receptors, CXCR3/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Front Immunol ; 13: 732197, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686479

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe pulmonary disease, which is one of the major complications in COVID-19 patients. Dysregulation of the immune system and imbalances in cytokine release and immune cell activation are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, the inflammatory, antigen, and auto-immune profile of patients presenting COVID-19-associated severe ARDS has been analyzed using functional proteomics approaches. Both, innate and humoral responses have been characterized through acute-phase protein network and auto-antibody signature. Severity and sepsis by SARS-CoV-2 emerged to be correlated with auto-immune profiles of patients and define their clinical progression, which could provide novel perspectives in therapeutics development and biomarkers of COVID-19 patients. Humoral response in COVID-19 patients' profile separates with significant differences patients with or without ARDS. Furthermore, we found that this profile can be correlated with COVID-19 severity and results more common in elderly patients.


Subject(s)
Autoantigens/immunology , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
Nature ; 603(7902): 587-598, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655590

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is benign in most individuals but, in around 10% of cases, it triggers hypoxaemic COVID-19 pneumonia, which leads to critical illness in around 3% of cases. The ensuing risk of death (approximately 1% across age and gender) doubles every five years from childhood onwards and is around 1.5 times greater in men than in women. Here we review the molecular and cellular determinants of critical COVID-19 pneumonia. Inborn errors of type I interferons (IFNs), including autosomal TLR3 and X-chromosome-linked TLR7 deficiencies, are found in around 1-5% of patients with critical pneumonia under 60 years old, and a lower proportion in older patients. Pre-existing auto-antibodies neutralizing IFNα, IFNß and/or IFNω, which are more common in men than in women, are found in approximately 15-20% of patients with critical pneumonia over 70 years old, and a lower proportion in younger patients. Thus, at least 15% of cases of critical COVID-19 pneumonia can be explained. The TLR3- and TLR7-dependent production of type I IFNs by respiratory epithelial cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, respectively, is essential for host defence against SARS-CoV-2. In ways that can depend on age and sex, insufficient type I IFN immunity in the respiratory tract during the first few days of infection may account for the spread of the virus, leading to pulmonary and systemic inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Age Distribution , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Illness , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Interferon Type I/genetics , Sex Distribution , Toll-Like Receptor 3/deficiency , Toll-Like Receptor 7/deficiency , Toll-Like Receptor 7/genetics
11.
Mol Med ; 27(1): 160, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631040

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 clinical presentation differs considerably between individuals, ranging from asymptomatic, mild/moderate and severe disease which in some cases are fatal or result in long-term effects. Identifying immune mechanisms behind severe disease development informs screening strategies to predict who are at greater risk of developing life-threatening complications. However, to date clear prognostic indicators of individual risk of severe or long COVID remain elusive. Autoantibodies recognize a range of self-antigens and upon antigen recognition and binding, important processes involved in inflammation, pathogen defence and coagulation are modified. Recent studies report a significantly higher prevalence of autoantibodies that target immunomodulatory proteins including cytokines, chemokines, complement components, and cell surface proteins in COVID-19 patients experiencing severe disease compared to those who experience mild or asymptomatic infections. Here we discuss the diverse impacts of autoantibodies on immune processes and associations with severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantibodies/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Autoimmunity/physiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
12.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580999

ABSTRACT

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare disorder characterized by dysregulation of the alternate pathway. The diagnosis of aHUS is one of exclusion, which complicates its early detection and corresponding intervention to mitigate its high rate of mortality and associated morbidity. Heterozygous mutations in complement regulatory proteins linked to aHUS are not always phenotypically active, and may require a particular trigger for the disease to manifest. This list of triggers continues to expand as more data is aggregated, particularly centered around COVID-19 and pediatric vaccinations. Novel genetic mutations continue to be identified though advancements in technology as well as greater access to cohorts of interest, as in diacylglycerol kinase epsilon (DGKE). DGKE mutations associated with aHUS are the first non-complement regulatory proteins associated with the disease, drastically changing the established framework. Additional markers that are less understood, but continue to be acknowledged, include the unique autoantibodies to complement factor H and complement factor I which are pathogenic drivers in aHUS. Interventional therapeutics have undergone the most advancements, as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties are modified as needed in addition to their as biosimilar counterparts. As data continues to be gathered in this field, future advancements will optimally decrease the mortality and morbidity of this disease in children.


Subject(s)
Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/genetics , Complement Factor H/genetics , Complement Factor I/genetics , Diacylglycerol Kinase/genetics , Mutation , Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/drug therapy , Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Child , Complement Factor H/immunology , Complement Factor I/immunology , Diacylglycerol Kinase/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
13.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580419

ABSTRACT

A microarray-based assay to detect IgG and IgM antibodies against betacoronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, SARS, MERS, OC43, and HKU1), other respiratory viruses and type I interferons (IFN-Is) was developed. This multiplex assay was applied to track antibody cross-reactivity due to previous contact with similar viruses and to identify antibodies against IFN-Is as the markers for severe COVID-19. In total, 278 serum samples from convalescent plasma donors, COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and patients who recovered from mild/moderate COVID-19, vaccine recipients, prepandemic and pandemic patients with autoimmune endocrine disorders, and a heterogeneous prepandemic cohort including healthy individuals and chronically ill patients were analyzed. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 microarray results agreed well with the ELISA results. Regarding ICU patients, autoantibodies against IFN-Is were detected in 10.5% of samples, and 10.5% of samples were found to simultaneously contain IgM antibodies against more than two different viruses. Cross-reactivity between IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and IgG against the OC43 and HKU1 spike proteins was observed, resulting in positive signals for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid in prepandemic samples from patients with autoimmune endocrine disorders. The presence of IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid in the absence of IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD should be interpreted with caution.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viruses/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cross Reactions , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Protein Array Analysis , Respiratory Tract Diseases/immunology , Respiratory Tract Diseases/virology , Viruses/classification
14.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 52(2): e13713, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541727

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and some anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines trigger a humoral autoimmune response against a broad range of endogenous components, which may affect recipients' prognosis in predisposed individuals. Autoantibodies directed against apolipoprotein A-1 (AAA1 IgG) the major protein fraction of High Density Lipoprotein have been shown to be raised in COVID-19 and in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and other populations where they have been associated with poorer outcomes. We wanted to assess the impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination on AAA1 autoimmune biomarkers in RA patients. METHODS: 20 healthy controls and 77 RA mRNA-based vaccinated patients were collected at baseline, 3 weeks after the first vaccination, 2 and 8 weeks after the second vaccination. AAA1 and SARS-CoV-2 serologies were measured by immunoassays. Systemic and local symptoms occurring during the vaccination protocol were recorded. RESULTS: mRNA-based vaccination induced a significant increase in median AAA1 IgG levels in both healthy controls and RA patients overtime. However, in both populations, these medians trend did not translate into significant increase in AAA1 IgG seropositivity rates despite evolving from 5 to 10% in healthy controls, and from 9 to 12.9% in RA patients. No associations were retrieved between AAA1 IgG and symptoms of any kind during the vaccination protocol. CONCLUSIONS: mRNA-based vaccination seems to induce a light AAA1 IgG response in immunocompetent individuals within 2 months after the last injection. Although we did not observe any warning signs, the formal demonstration of the harmlessness of such biological warrants further studies.


Subject(s)
Apolipoprotein A-I/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/adverse effects , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/adverse effects , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , BNT162 Vaccine/adverse effects , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunocompetence , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , mRNA Vaccines/therapeutic use
16.
Hum Immunol ; 83(2): 130-133, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509823

ABSTRACT

The stimulation of AT1R (Angiotensin II Receptor Type 1) by Angiotensin II has, in addition to the effects on the renin-angiotensin system, also pro-inflammatory effects through stimulation of ADAM17 and subsequent production of INF-gamma and Interleukin-6. This pro-inflammatory action stimulate the cytokine storm that characterizes the most severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We studied the effect of AT1Rab on the AT1R on 74 subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection with respiratory symptoms requiring hospitalization. We divided the patients into 2 groups: 34 with moderate and 40 with severe symptoms that required ICU admission. Hospitalized subjects showed a 50% reduction in the frequency of AT1Rab compared to healthy reference population. Of the ICU patients, 33/40 (82.5%) were AT1Rab negative and 16/33 of them (48.5%) died. All 7 patients positive for AT1Rab survived. These preliminary data seem to indicate a protective role played by AT1R autoantibodies on inflammatory activation in SARS-CoV-2 infection pathology.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoantigens/immunology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
17.
Neurotherapeutics ; 18(4): 2397-2418, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509358

ABSTRACT

In the last 25 years, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has had a major impact in the successful treatment of previously untreatable or poorly controlled autoimmune neurological disorders. Derived from thousands of healthy donors, IVIg contains IgG1 isotypes of idiotypic antibodies that have the potential to bind pathogenic autoantibodies or cross-react with various antigenic peptides, including proteins conserved among the "common cold"-pre-pandemic coronaviruses; as a result, after IVIg infusions, some of the patients' sera may transiently become positive for various neuronal antibodies, even for anti-SARS-CoV-2, necessitating caution in separating antibodies derived from the infused IVIg or acquired humoral immunity. IVIg exerts multiple effects on the immunoregulatory network by variably affecting autoantibodies, complement activation, FcRn saturation, FcγRIIb receptors, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Based on randomized controlled trials, IVIg is approved for the treatment of GBS, CIDP, MMN and dermatomyositis; has been effective in, myasthenia gravis exacerbations, and stiff-person syndrome; and exhibits convincing efficacy in autoimmune epilepsy, neuromyelitis, and autoimmune encephalitis. Recent evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the genes encoding FcRn and FcγRIIB may influence the catabolism of infused IgG or its anti-inflammatory effects, impacting on individualized dosing or efficacy. For chronic maintenance therapy, IVIg and subcutaneous IgG are effective in controlled studies only in CIDP and MMN preventing relapses and axonal loss up to 48 weeks; in practice, however, IVIg is continuously used for years in all the aforementioned neurological conditions, like is a "forever necessary therapy" for maintaining stability, generating challenges on when and how to stop it. Because about 35-40% of patients on chronic therapy do not exhibit objective neurological signs of worsening after stopping IVIg but express subjective symptoms of fatigue, pains, spasms, or a feeling of generalized weakness, a conditioning effect combined with fear that discontinuing chronic therapy may destabilize a multi-year stability status is likely. The dilemmas of continuing chronic therapy, the importance of adjusting dosing and scheduling or periodically stopping IVIg to objectively assess necessity, and concerns in accurately interpreting IVIg-dependency are discussed. Finally, the merit of subcutaneous IgG, the ineffectiveness of IVIg in IgG4-neurological autoimmunities, and genetic factors affecting IVIg dosing and efficacy are addressed.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/therapy , Autoimmunity/immunology , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/administration & dosage , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/immunology , Withholding Treatment , Autoantibodies/drug effects , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoimmunity/drug effects , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome
18.
J Neuroimmunol ; 361: 577739, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505871

ABSTRACT

We report the case of a patient with symptoms of myelopathy following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. MRI documented a longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis and further investigation was unremarkable with the exception of positivity for MOG-IgG in serum. This report extends the spectrum of post-COVID-19 neurological syndromes, and documents a very significant improvement to long-term oral corticosteroid therapy in this setting. Further prospective studies are needed to establish the risk of recurrence in this subset of patients.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein/immunology , Myelitis, Transverse/virology , Adult , Autoantigens/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Male , Myelitis, Transverse/immunology , Myelitis, Transverse/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Neuroinflammation ; 18(1): 245, 2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496192

ABSTRACT

Approximately 30% of individuals with severe SARS-CoV-2 infections also develop neurological and psychiatric complaints. In rare cases, the occurrence of autoimmune encephalitis has been reported after SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this systematic review, we have identified eight SARS-CoV-2-associated cases of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. All had cerebrospinal fluid antibodies against the NMDA receptor and a recent onset of working memory deficits, altered mental status, or psychiatric symptoms, such as confusion, agitation, auditory hallucination, catatonia and speech dysfunction. All patients received high-dose steroid and immunoglobulin therapeutics and conditions improved in each case. These findings suggest that clinical attention should be paid to warning signs of autoimmune encephalitis in severe COVID-19 cases. If characteristic features of autoimmune encephalitis are present, autoantibody diagnostics should be performed and confirmed cases should be treated with immunotherapy to minimize neurological impairments.


Subject(s)
Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis/virology , COVID-19/complications , Mental Disorders/virology , Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Mimicry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
20.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257016, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484849

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Activation of the immune system is implicated in the Post-Acute Sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) but the mechanisms remain unknown. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cleaves angiotensin II (Ang II) resulting in decreased activation of the AT1 receptor and decreased immune system activation. We hypothesized that autoantibodies against ACE2 may develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as anti-idiotypic antibodies to anti-spike protein antibodies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We tested plasma or serum for ACE2 antibodies in 67 patients with known SARS-CoV-2 infection and 13 with no history of infection. None of the 13 patients without history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 1 of the 20 outpatients that had a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 had levels of ACE2 antibodies above the cutoff threshold. In contrast, 26/32 (81%) in the convalescent group and 14/15 (93%) of patients acutely hospitalized had detectable ACE2 antibodies. Plasma from patients with antibodies against ACE2 had less soluble ACE2 activity in plasma but similar amounts of ACE2 protein compared to patients without ACE2 antibodies. We measured the capacity of the samples to inhibit ACE2 enzyme activity. Addition of plasma from patients with ACE2 antibodies led to decreased activity of an exogenous preparation of ACE2 compared to patients that did not have antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Many patients with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection have antibodies specific for ACE2. Patients with ACE2 antibodies have lower activity of soluble ACE2 in plasma. Plasma from these patients also inhibits exogenous ACE2 activity. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ACE2 antibodies develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection and decrease ACE2 activity. This could lead to an increase in the abundance of Ang II, which causes a proinflammatory state that triggers symptoms of PASC.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Angiotensin II/blood , Angiotensin II/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantibodies/isolation & purification , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/genetics , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Renin-Angiotensin System/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
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