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1.
HLA ; 99(3): 183-191, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621962

ABSTRACT

The polymorphism of the HLA system has been extensively studied in COVID-19 infection, however there are no data about the role of HLA on vaccine response. We report here the HLA-A, -B, -C, and DRB1 allelic frequencies of n = 111 individuals after BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, selected on the basis of lower antibody levels (<5% percentile) after the second dose among a total of n = 2569 vaccinees, and compare them with the frequencies of a reference population. We found that differences in the frequencies of the alleles HLA-A*03:01, A*33:03, B*58:01 and at least one haplotype (HLA-A*24:02~C*07:01~B*18:01~DRB1*11:04) are associated with a weaker antibody response after vaccination, together with the age of vaccinees. Our results might suggest a role played by some HLA alleles or haplotypes in antibody production after the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, giving insights into the tracking of potentially susceptible individuals across populations. Further studies are needed to better define our exploratory findings and dissect the role of HLA polymorphism on response to anti-COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , HLA-DRB1 Chains , Alleles , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Gene Frequency , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Haplotypes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 724060, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430701

ABSTRACT

Thirty-five peptides selected from functionally-relevant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S), membrane (M), and envelope (E) proteins were suitably modified for immunising MHC class II (MHCII) DNA-genotyped Aotus monkeys and matched with HLA-DRß1* molecules for use in humans. This was aimed at producing the first minimal subunit-based, chemically-synthesised, immunogenic molecules (COLSARSPROT) covering several HLA alleles. They were predicted to cover 48.25% of the world's population for 6 weeks (short-term) and 33.65% for 15 weeks (long-lasting) as they induced very high immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) and ELISA titres against S, M and E parental native peptides, SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies and host cell infection. The same immunological methods that led to identifying new peptides for inclusion in the COLSARSPROT mixture were used for antigenicity studies. Peptides were analysed with serum samples from patients suffering mild or severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, thereby increasing chemically-synthesised peptides' potential coverage for the world populations up to 62.9%. These peptides' 3D structural analysis (by 1H-NMR acquired at 600 to 900 MHz) suggested structural-functional immunological association. This first multi-protein, multi-epitope, minimal subunit-based, chemically-synthesised, highly immunogenic peptide mixture highlights such chemical synthesis methodology's potential for rapidly obtaining very pure, highly reproducible, stable, cheap, easily-modifiable peptides for inducing immune protection against COVID-19, covering a substantial percentage of the human population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus M Proteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Aotidae , COVID-19/prevention & control , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
3.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 107, 2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients' adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients' Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, AB0 blood group antigens, and the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of the C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5). PATIENT AND METHODS: An exploratory observational study including 157 adult COVID-19 convalescent patients was performed with a median follow-up of 250 days. The impact of different HLA genotypes, AB0 blood group antigens, and the CCR5 mutant CD195 were investigated for their role in the clinical course of COVID-19. In addition, this study addressed levels of severity and morbidity of COVID-19. The association of the immunogenetic background parameters were further related to patients' humoral antiviral immune response patterns by longitudinal observation. RESULTS: Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01). They were associated with reduced durations of disease instead decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels. They had a higher virus neutralizing capacity compared to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:02 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A suggestive association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation status with prolonged disease duration was implied by univariate analyses but could not be confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing. CONCLUSION: The current study shows that the presence of HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01 is of even stronger association with reduced disease duration in mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations also including novel SARS-CoV-2 variants will be required to assess the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses in the future.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mutation , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Front Immunol ; 11: 605688, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389170

ABSTRACT

Aim: SARS-CoV-2 infection is a world-wide public health problem. Several aspects of its pathogenesis and the related clinical consequences still need elucidation. In Italy, Sardinia has had very low numbers of infections. Taking advantage of the low genetic polymorphism in the Sardinian population, we analyzed clinical, genetic and immunogenetic factors, with particular attention to HLA class I and II molecules, to evaluate their influence on susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the clinical outcome. Method and Materials: We recruited 619 healthy Sardinian controls and 182 SARS-CoV-2 patients. Thirty-nine patients required hospital care and 143 were without symptoms, pauci-symptomatic or with mild disease. For all participants, we collected demographic and clinical data and analyzed the HLA allele and haplotype frequencies. Results: Male sex and older age were more frequent in hospitalized patients, none of whom had been vaccinated during the previous seasonal flu vaccination campaignes. Compared to the group of asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic patients, hospitalized patients also had a higher frequency of autoimmune diseases and glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PDH) deficiency. None of these patients carried the beta-thalassemia trait, a relatively common finding in the Sardinian population. The extended haplotype HLA-A*02:05, B*58:01, C*07:01, DRB1*03:01 [OR 0.1 (95% CI 0-0.6), Pc = 0.015] was absent in all 182 patients, while the HLA-C*04:01 allele and the three-loci haplotype HLA-A*30:02, B*14:02, C*08:02 [OR 3.8 (95% CI 1.8-8.1), Pc = 0.025] were more frequently represented in patients than controls. In a comparison between in-patients and home care patients, the HLA-DRB1*08:01 allele was exclusively present in the hospitalized patients [OR > 2.5 (95% CI 2.7-220.6), Pc = 0.024]. Conclusion: The data emerging from our study suggest that the extended haplotype HLA-A*02:05, B*58:01, C*07:01, DRB1*03:01 has a protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Sardinian population. Genetic factors that resulted to have a negative influence on the disease course were presence of the HLA-DRB1*08:01 allele and G6PDH deficiency, but not the beta-thalassemic trait. Absence of influenza vaccination could be a predisposing factor for more severe disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , HLA-DRB1 Chains , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Humans , Immunogenetics , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
5.
HLA ; 98(4): 370-379, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334517

ABSTRACT

The experience of individuals with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranges from asymptomatic to life threatening multi-organ dysfunction. Specific HLA alleles may affect the predisposition to severe COVID-19 because of their role in presenting viral peptides to launch the adaptive immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this population-based case-control study in the midwestern United States, we performed high-resolution HLA typing of 234 cases hospitalized for COVID-19 in the St. Louis metropolitan area and compared their HLA allele frequencies with those of 22,000 matched controls from the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). We identified two predisposing alleles, HLA-DRB1*08:02 in the Hispanic group (OR = 9.0, 95% confidence interval: 2.2-37.9; adjusted p = 0.03) and HLA-A*30:02 in younger African Americans with ages below the median (OR = 2.2, 1.4-3.6; adjusted p = 0.01), and several candidate alleles with potential associations with COVID-19 in African American, White, and Hispanic groups. We also detected risk-associated amino acid residues in the peptide binding grooves of some of these alleles, suggesting the presence of functional associations. These findings support the notion that specific HLA alleles may be protective or predisposing factors to COVID-19. Future consortium analysis of pooled cases and controls is warranted to validate and extend these findings, and correlation with viral peptide binding studies will provide additional evidence for the functional association between HLA alleles and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HLA-A Antigens , HLA-DRB1 Chains , Alleles , Case-Control Studies , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , HLA-A Antigens/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Hum Immunol ; 82(10): 719-725, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306985

ABSTRACT

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes with extreme diversity can make a contribution for individual variations to the immune response against SARS-COV-2 infection. This study aimed to explore the distributions of HLA class II alleles frequencies and their relations with disease severity in a group of Iranian COVID-19 patients. This prospective and case-control study was conducted on 144 COVID-19 patients including 46 cases with moderate form, 54 cases with severe and 44 cases with critical disease. HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1 allele families were determined by PCR-SSP method and compared between three groups of the patients and in comparison to 153 ethnic-matched healthy controls. The patients group showed lower frequencies of HLA-DRB1*15 (OR = 0.57, P = 0.06), DRB1*15 ~ DQB1*05 haplotype (P = 0.04) and DRB1*15/DRB1*04 genotype (P = 0.04) in compare with healthy controls. Moderate COVID-19 patients had higher frequencies of HLA-DRB1*04 (P = 0.03), HLA-DRB1*10 (P = 0.05) and DRB1*04/DRB1*11 genotype (P = 0.01). Also, a higher significantly frequency of HLA-DRB1*03 allele group was observed in the critical patients versus controls (P = 0.01). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the presence of DRB1*04 allele group was negatively associated with development of severe and critical disease (OR: 0.289, P = 0.005). Our results indicate a possible contribution of some HLA class II alleles in disease severity and clinical features of COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alleles , Case-Control Studies , Female , Gene Frequency/genetics , Genotype , Haplotypes/genetics , Histocompatibility Testing/methods , Humans , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
7.
HLA ; 98(2): 122-131, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288328

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this single center retrospective study was to investigate the relationship between HLA and ABO polymorphisms and COVID-19 susceptibility and severity in kidney transplant recipients. It included 720 recipients who had COVID-19 and 1680 controls composed by recipients in follow-up who did not contact the transplantation center for COVID-19 symptoms, up to the moment of their inclusion in the study. HLA-A, -B, and -DRB1 allele groups and ABO frequencies were compared between recipients with COVID-19 (all cases, or separately mild/moderate and severe disease) and controls. The HLA association study was conducted in two case-control series and only associations that showed a p-value <0.05 in both series were considered. No HLA association regarding COVID-19 occurrence or severity met this criterion. Homozygosity at HLA-A locus was associated with COVID-19 susceptibility (odds ratio 1.4) but not severity. Blood groups A and O were associated with susceptibility and resistance to COVID-19, respectively. COVID-19 severity was associated only with older age and cardiac disease, in a multivariate analysis. We conclude that an influence of HLA on COVID-19 susceptibility is supported by the association with homozygosity at HLA-A locus but that there is no evidence for a role of any particular HLA-A, -B, or -DRB1 polymorphism. Thus, we suggest that what matters is the overall capability of an individual's HLA molecules to present SARS-CoV-2 peptides to T cells, a factor that might have a great influence on the breadth of the immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Alleles , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , HLA-A Antigens/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 230, 2021 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280592

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infections are a major disease burden worldwide. While they are caused by external pathogens, host genetics also plays a part in susceptibility to infections. Past studies have reported diverse associations between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and infections, but many were limited by small sample sizes and/or focused on only one infection. METHODS: We performed an immunogenetic association study examining 13 categories of severe infection (bacterial, viral, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, genital, hepatitis, otitis, pregnancy-related, respiratory, sepsis, skin infection, urological and other infections), as well as a phenotype for having any infection, and seven classical HLA loci (HLA-A, B, C, DPB1, DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1). Additionally, we examined associations between infections and specific alleles highlighted in our previous studies of psychiatric disorders and autoimmune disease, as these conditions are known to be linked to infections. RESULTS: Associations between HLA loci and infections were generally not strong. Highlighted associations included associations between DQB1*0302 and DQB1*0604 and viral infections (P = 0.002835 and P = 0.014332, respectively), DQB1*0503 and sepsis (P = 0.006053), and DQA1*0301 with "other" infections (a category which includes infections not included in our main categories e.g. protozoan infections) (P = 0.000369). Some HLA alleles implicated in autoimmune diseases showed association with susceptibility to infections, but the latter associations were generally weaker, or with opposite trends (in the case of HLA-C alleles, but not with alleles of HLA class II genes). HLA alleles associated with psychiatric disorders did not show association with susceptibility to infections. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that classical HLA alleles do not play a large role in the etiology of severe infections. The discordant association trends with autoimmune disease for some alleles could contribute to mechanistic theories of disease etiology.


Subject(s)
HLA-A Antigens , Mental Disorders , Alleles , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , HLA-A Antigens/genetics , HLA-DQ beta-Chains/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Haplotypes , Humans , Mental Disorders/genetics
9.
HLA ; 98(1): 14-22, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199731

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 varies markedly, not only between individual patients but also between different populations. We hypothesised that differences in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes might influence this variation. Using next generation sequencing, we analysed the class I and class II classical HLA genes of 147 individuals of European descent experiencing variable clinical outcomes following COVID-19 infection. Forty-nine of these patients were admitted to hospital with severe respiratory disease. They had no significant pre-existing comorbidities. We compared the results to those obtained from a group of 69 asymptomatic hospital workers who evidence of COVID exposure based on blood antibody testing. Allele frequencies in both the severe and asymptomatic groups were compared to local and national healthy controls with adjustments made for age and sex. With the inclusion of hospital staff who had reported localised symptoms only (limited to loss of smell/taste, n = 13) or systemic symptoms not requiring hospital treatment (n = 16), we carried out ordinal logistic regression modelling to determine the relative influence of age, BMI, sex and the presence of specific HLA genes on symptomatology. We found a significant difference in the allele frequency of HLA-DRB1*04:01 in the severe patient compared to the asymptomatic staff group (5.1% vs. 16.7%, P = .003 after adjustment for age and sex). There was a significantly lower frequency of the haplotype DQA1*01:01-DQB1*05:01-DRB1*01:01 in the asymptomatic group compared to the background population (P = .007). Ordinal logistic regression modelling confirmed the significant influence of DRB1*04:01 on the clinical severity of COVID-19 observed in the cohorts. These alleles are found in greater frequencies in the North Western European population. This regional study provides evidence that HLA genotype influences clinical outcome in COVID-19 infection. Validation studies must take account of the complex genetic architecture of the immune system across different geographies and ethnicities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Alleles , Gene Frequency , Genotype , HLA-DQ Antigens/genetics , HLA-DQ alpha-Chains , HLA-DQ beta-Chains/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Haplotypes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
HLA ; 98(1): 37-42, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199730

ABSTRACT

HLA-A, -C, -B, and -DRB1 genotypes were analyzed in 178 Japanese COVID-19 patients to investigate the association of HLA with severe COVID-19. Analysis of 32 common HLA alleles at four loci revealed a significant association between HLA-DRB1*09:01 and severe COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 3.62; 95% CI, 1.57-8.35; p = 0.00251 [permutation p value = 0.0418]) when age, sex, and other common HLA alleles at the DRB1 locus were adjusted. The DRB1*09:01 allele was more significantly associated with risk for severe COVID-19 compared to preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. These results indicate a potential role for HLA in predisposition to severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HLA-DRB1 Chains , Alleles , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans
11.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 352, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760589

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding how HLA polymorphisms may affect both susceptibility, course and severity of Covid-19 infection could help both at the clinical level to identify individuals at higher risk from the disease and at the epidemiological one to explain the differences in the epidemic trend among countries or even within a specific country. Covid-19 disease in Italy showed a peculiar geographical distribution from the northern most affected regions to the southern ones only slightly touched. METHODS: In this study we analysed the regional frequencies for the most common Italian haplotypes from the Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (HLA-A, -B, -C and -DRB1 at four-digit level). Then we performed Pearson correlation analyses among regional haplotypes estimated frequency in the population and Covid-19 incidence and mortality. RESULTS: In this study we found that the two most frequent HLA haplotypes in the Italian population, HLA-A*:01:01g-B*08:01 g-C*07:01g-DRB1*03:01g and HLA-A*02.01g-B*18.01g-C*07.01g-DRB1*11.04g, had a regional distribution overlapping that of Covid-19 and showed respectively a positive (suggestive of susceptibility) and negative (suggestive of protection) significant correlation with both Covid-19 incidence and mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these results, in order to define such HLA haplotypes as a factor effectively associated to the disease susceptibility, the creation of national networks that can collect patients' samples from all regions for HLA typing should be highly encouraged.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Gene Frequency , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genetics, Population , Geography , HLA-A Antigens/genetics , HLA-B Antigens/genetics , HLA-C Antigens/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Haplotypes , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Int J Immunogenet ; 47(4): 324-328, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-632057

ABSTRACT

We analysed data from 80 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA who had previously been HLA typed to support transplantation. Data were combined from two adjacent centres in Manchester and Leeds to achieve a sufficient number for early analysis. HLA frequencies observed were compared against two control populations: first, against published frequencies in a UK deceased donor population (n = 10,000) representing the target population of the virus, and second, using a cohort of individuals from the combined transplant waiting lists of both centres (n = 308), representing a comparator group of unaffected individuals of the same demographic. We report a significant HLA association with HLA- DQB1*06 (53% vs. 36%; p < .012; OR 1.96; 95% CI 1.94-3.22) and infection. A bias towards an increased representation of HLA-A*26, HLA-DRB1*15, HLA-DRB1*10 and DRB1*11 was also noted but these were either only significant using the UK donor controls, or did not remain significant after correction for multiple tests. Likewise, HLA-A*02, HLA-B*44 and HLA-C*05 may exert a protective effect, but these associations did not remain significant after correction for multiple tests. This is relevant information for the clinical management of patients in the setting of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and potentially in risk-assessing staff interactions with infected patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Histocompatibility Testing , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Alleles , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Gene Frequency , HLA-A Antigens/genetics , HLA-B Antigens/genetics , HLA-C Antigens/genetics , HLA-DQ beta-Chains/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans , Organ Transplantation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
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