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Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5417, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410404


COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations, including autoimmune features and autoantibody production. Here we develop three protein arrays to measure IgG autoantibodies associated with connective tissue diseases, anti-cytokine antibodies, and anti-viral antibody responses in serum from 147 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Autoantibodies are identified in approximately 50% of patients but in less than 15% of healthy controls. When present, autoantibodies largely target autoantigens associated with rare disorders such as myositis, systemic sclerosis and overlap syndromes. A subset of autoantibodies targeting traditional autoantigens or cytokines develop de novo following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Autoantibodies track with longitudinal development of IgG antibodies recognizing SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins and a subset of non-structural proteins, but not proteins from influenza, seasonal coronaviruses or other pathogenic viruses. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 causes development of new-onset IgG autoantibodies in a significant proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and are positively correlated with immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Antinuclear/blood , Antibodies, Antinuclear/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantigens/immunology , Connective Tissue Diseases/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Proteins/immunology
J Autoimmun ; 123: 102687, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313201


The impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with autoimmune/auto-inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AARD) under immunomodulatory treatment has been a focus of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this observational study, demographic data, disease related features and comorbidities, COVID-19 manifestations and outcome as well as antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 were recorded among 77 consecutive patients with underlying AARD infected by SARS-CoV-2. Analysis of data was performed using univariate and multivariate models. Most patients (68.8%) had a mild COVID-19 course. The predominant clinical manifestations were fatigue (58.4%), low grade fever (45.4%) and upper respiratory tract symptoms (68.8%). About a quarter of patients required hospitalization (23.3%) and the mortality rate was 1.3%. Regarding COVID-19 severity, prior treatment with corticosteroids, mycophenolate mofetil or rituximab was more common in patients who developed a more serious disease course (60.0 vs 29.9%, p = 0.003, 40.0 vs 7.5%, p = 0.003, 10.0 vs 0.0%, p = 0.009, respectively). When disease related features and comorbidities were considered in multivariate models, older age and lung disease in the context of the AARD were found to be independent predictive factors for hospitalization (OR [95%]: 1.09 [1.03-1.15] and 6.43 [1.11-37.19]). Among COVID-19 related features, patients with shortness of breath and high-grade fever were more likely to get hospitalized (OR [95%]: 7.06 [1.36-36.57], 12.04 [2.96-48.86]), while anosmia was independently associated with lower hospitalization risk (OR [95%]: 0.09 [0.01-0.99]). Though the majority of AARD patients displayed a mild COVID-19 course, certain underlying disease features and COVID-19 related manifestations should prompt alertness for the physician to identify patients with AARD at high risk for severe COVID-19 and need for hospitalization.

Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Connective Tissue Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Comorbidity , Connective Tissue Diseases/drug therapy , Connective Tissue Diseases/immunology , Critical Illness , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hypothyroidism/epidemiology , Immunocompromised Host , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammation , Lung Diseases/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Observational Studies as Topic , Review Literature as Topic , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Symptom Assessment
Front Immunol ; 11: 587517, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-887608


Background and Objectives: Understanding the pathophysiology of respiratory failure in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is indispensable for development of therapeutic strategies. Since we observed similarities between COVID-19 and interstitial lung disease in connective tissue disease (CTD-ILD), we investigated features of autoimmunity in SARS-CoV-2-associated respiratory failure. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 22 patients with RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 patients with non-COVID-19-associated pneumonia. Full laboratory testing was performed including autoantibody (AAB; ANA/ENA) screening using indirect immunofluorescence and immunoblot. Fifteen COVID-19 patients underwent high-resolution computed tomography. Transbronchial biopsies/autopsy tissue samples for histopathology and ultrastructural analyses were obtained from 4/3 cases, respectively. Results: Thirteen (59.1%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and five patients (22.7%) died from the disease. ANA titers ≥1:320 and/or positive ENA immunoblots were detected in 11/13 (84.6%) COVID-19 patients with ARDS, in 1/9 (11.1%) COVID-19 patients without ARDS (p = 0.002) and in 4/10 (40%) patients with non-COVID-19-associated pneumonias (p = 0.039). Detection of AABs was significantly associated with a need for intensive care treatment (83.3 vs. 10%; p = 0.002) and occurrence of severe complications (75 vs. 20%, p = 0.03). Radiological and histopathological findings were highly heterogeneous including patterns reminiscent of exacerbating CTD-ILD, while ultrastructural analyses revealed interstitial thickening, fibroblast activation, and deposition of collagen fibrils. Conclusions: We are the first to report overlapping clinical, serological, and imaging features between severe COVID-19 and acute exacerbation of CTD-ILD. Our findings indicate that autoimmune mechanisms determine both clinical course and long-term sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the presence of autoantibodies might predict adverse clinical course in COVID-19 patients.

Connective Tissue Diseases/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoantibodies/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Connective Tissue Diseases/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology