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1.
Blood Cancer J ; 11(12): 202, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585877

ABSTRACT

There is evidence of reduced SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with hematological malignancies. We hypothesized that tumor and treatment-related immunosuppression can be depicted in peripheral blood, and that immune profiling prior to vaccination can help predict immunogenicity. We performed a comprehensive immunological characterization of 83 hematological patients before vaccination and measured IgM, IgG, and IgA antibody response to four viral antigens at day +7 after second-dose COVID-19 vaccination using multidimensional and computational flow cytometry. Health care practitioners of similar age were the control group (n = 102). Forty-four out of 59 immune cell types were significantly altered in patients; those with monoclonal gammopathies showed greater immunosuppression than patients with B-cell disorders and Hodgkin lymphoma. Immune dysregulation emerged before treatment, peaked while on-therapy, and did not return to normalcy after stopping treatment. We identified an immunotype that was significantly associated with poor antibody response and uncovered that the frequency of neutrophils, classical monocytes, CD4, and CD8 effector memory CD127low T cells, as well as naive CD21+ and IgM+D+ memory B cells, were independently associated with immunogenicity. Thus, we provide novel immune biomarkers to predict COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in hematological patients, which are complementary to treatment-related factors and may help tailoring possible vaccine boosters.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/immunology , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Semin Respir Crit Care Med ; 42(6): 839-858, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585683

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified as a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, central China, in December 2019, and is responsible for the 2019-to-present pandemic. According to the most recent data released by the World Health Organization, more than 200 million people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 so far, and more than 4 million people died worldwide. Although our knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 is constantly growing, data on COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients are still limited. The aim of the present systematic review is to describe clinical picture, disease severity, proposed treatment regimen, and response to vaccination in patients with different types and severity of immunosuppression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immune Tolerance
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 803742, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581314

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised patients are considered high-risk and prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19. We aimed to analyze B-cell subsets in these patients to identify potential predictors of humoral vaccination response. Patients (n=120) suffering from hematologic malignancies or other causes of immunodeficiency and healthy controls (n=79) received a full vaccination series with an mRNA vaccine. B-cell subsets were analyzed prior to vaccination. Two independent anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) or trimeric S protein (TSP) were performed three to four weeks after the second vaccination. Seroconversion occurred in 100% of healthy controls, in contrast to 67% (RBD) and 82% (TSP) of immunocompromised patients, while only 32% (RBD) and 22% (TSP) achieved antibody levels comparable to those of healthy controls. The number of circulating CD19+IgD+CD27- naïve B cells was strongly associated with antibody levels (ρ=0.761, P<0.001) and the only independent predictor for achieving antibody levels comparable to healthy controls (OR 1.07 per 10-µL increase, 95%CI 1.02-1.12, P=0.009). Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified a cut-off at ≥61 naïve B cells per µl to discriminate between patients with and without an optimal antibody response. Consequently, measuring of naïve B cells in immunocompromised hematologic patients could be useful in predicting their humoral vaccination response.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(44): 1553-1559, 2021 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502903

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised persons, defined as those with suppressed humoral or cellular immunity resulting from health conditions or medications, account for approximately 3% of the U.S. adult population (1). Immunocompromised adults are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes (2) and might not acquire the same level of protection from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as do immunocompetent adults (3,4). To evaluate vaccine effectiveness (VE) among immunocompromised adults, data from the VISION Network* on hospitalizations among persons aged ≥18 years with COVID-19-like illness from 187 hospitals in nine states during January 17-September 5, 2021 were analyzed. Using selected discharge diagnoses,† VE against COVID-19-associated hospitalization conferred by completing a 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine ≥14 days before the index hospitalization date§ (i.e., being fully vaccinated) was evaluated using a test-negative design comparing 20,101 immunocompromised adults (10,564 [53%] of whom were fully vaccinated) and 69,116 immunocompetent adults (29,456 [43%] of whom were fully vaccinated). VE of 2 doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was lower among immunocompromised patients (77%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 74%-80%) than among immunocompetent patients (90%; 95% CI = 89%-91%). This difference persisted irrespective of mRNA vaccine product, age group, and timing of hospitalization relative to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant predominance in the state of hospitalization. VE varied across immunocompromising condition subgroups, ranging from 59% (organ or stem cell transplant recipients) to 81% (persons with a rheumatologic or inflammatory disorder). Immunocompromised persons benefit from mRNA COVID-19 vaccination but are less protected from severe COVID-19 outcomes than are immunocompetent persons, and VE varies among immunocompromised subgroups. Immunocompromised persons receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should receive 3 doses and a booster, consistent with CDC recommendations (5), practice nonpharmaceutical interventions, and, if infected, be monitored closely and considered early for proven therapies that can prevent severe outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Laboratories , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Young Adult
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748097, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477829

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 infection [coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)] is associated with severe lymphopenia and impaired immune response, including expansion of myeloid cells with regulatory functions, e.g., so-called low-density neutrophils, containing granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (LDNs/PMN-MDSCs). These cells have been described in both infections and cancer and are known for their immunosuppressive activity. In the case of COVID-19, long-term complications have been frequently observed (long-COVID). In this context, we aimed to investigate the immune response of COVID-19 convalescents after a mild or asymptomatic course of disease. We enrolled 13 convalescents who underwent a mild or asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, confirmed by a positive result of the PCR test, and 13 healthy donors without SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past. Whole blood was used for T-cell subpopulation and LDNs/PMN-MDSCs analysis. LDNs/PMN-MDSCs and normal density neutrophils (NDNs) were sorted out by FACS and used for T-cell proliferation assay with autologous T cells activated with anti-CD3 mAb. Serum samples were used for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing IgG and GM-CSF concentration. Our results showed that in convalescents, even 3 months after infection, an elevated level of LDNs/PMN-MDSCs is still maintained in the blood, which correlates negatively with the level of CD8+ and double-negative T cells. Moreover, LDNs/PMN-MDSCs and NDNs showed a tendency for affecting the production of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 neutralizing antibodies. Surprisingly, our data showed that in addition to LDNs/PMN-MDSCs, NDNs from convalescents also inhibit proliferation of autologous T cells. Additionally, in the convalescent sera, we detected significantly higher concentrations of GM-CSF, indicating the role of emergency granulopoiesis. We conclude that in mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 convalescents, the neutrophil dysfunction, including propagation of PD-L1-positive LDNs/PMN-MDSCs and NDNs, is responsible for long-term endotype of immunosuppression.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/complications , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Proliferation , Female , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/blood , Humans , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 727850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477821

ABSTRACT

Mass SARS-Cov-2 vaccination campaign represents the only strategy to defeat the global pandemic we are facing. Immunocompromised patients represent a vulnerable population at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 and thus should be prioritized in the vaccination programs and in the study of the vaccine efficacy. Nevertheless, most data on efficacy and safety of the available vaccines derive from trials conducted on healthy individuals; hence, studies on immunogenicity of SARS-CoV2 vaccines in such populations are deeply needed. Here, we perform an observational longitudinal study analyzing the humoral and cellular response following the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of patients affected by inborn errors of immunity (IEI) compared to healthy controls (HC). We show that both IEI and HC groups experienced a significant increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 Abs 1 week after the second scheduled dose as well as an overall statistically significant expansion of the Ag-specific CD4+CD40L+ T cells in both HC and IEI. Five IEI patients did not develop any specific CD4+CD40L+ T cellular response, with one of these patients unable to also mount any humoral response. These data raise immunologic concerns about using Ab response as a sole metric of protective immunity following vaccination for SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, these findings suggest that evaluation of vaccine-induced immunity in this subpopulation should also include quantification of Ag-specific T cells.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination , Young Adult
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 708848, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468339

ABSTRACT

Impressive efforts have been made by researchers worldwide in the development of target vaccines against the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and in improving the management of immunomodulating agents. Currently, different vaccine formulations, such as viral vector, mRNA, and protein-based, almost all directed toward the spike protein that includes the domain for receptor binding, have been approved. Although data are not conclusive, patients affected by autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) seem to have a slightly higher disease prevalence, risk of hospitalization, and death from coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) than the general population. Therefore, ARD patients, under immunosuppressive agents, have been included among the priority target groups for vaccine administration. However, specific cautions are needed to optimize vaccine safety and effectiveness in these patients, such as modification in some of the ongoing immunosuppressive therapies and the preferential use of mRNA other than vector-based vaccines. Immunomodulating agents can be a therapeutic opportunity for the management of COVID-19 patients; however, their clinical impact depends on how they are handled. To place in therapy immunomodulating agents in the correct window of opportunity throughout the identification of surrogate markers of disease progression and host immune response is mandatory to optimize patient's outcome.


Subject(s)
Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination
8.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 417-423, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439701

ABSTRACT

A 36-year-old male with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma on maintenance rituximab therapy presented to the emergency department with high fever and fatigue. A chest X-ray showed a lobar infiltrate, 40 days before admission the patient suffered from a mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and fully recovered. PCR nasopharyngeal swab was negative for COVID-19. Comprehensive biochemical, radiological, and pathological evaluation including 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography and transbronchial lung biopsy found no pathogen or lymphoma recurrence. Treatment for pneumonia with antibiotic and antifungal agents was nonbeneficial. A diagnosis of secondary organizing pneumonia (OP) was made after pneumonia migration and a rapid response to corticosteroids. OP secondary to a viral respiratory infection has been well described. Raising awareness for post-COVID-19 OP has therapeutic and prognostic importance because those patients benefit from steroid therapy. We believe the condition described here is underdiagnosed and undertreated by doctors worldwide. Because of the ongoing global pandemic we are now encountering a new kind of patient, patients that have recovered from COVID-19. We hope that this case may contribute to gaining more knowledge about this growing patient population.


Subject(s)
Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/diagnosis , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/drug therapy , Adult , Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological/therapeutic use , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/pathology , Humans , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse/drug therapy , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Positron-Emission Tomography , Rituximab/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Clin Immunol ; 232: 108860, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433070

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since July 13, 2021, a third SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 was approved in Israel to immunocompromised and seniors 60 years of age or older. We aimed to evaluate vaccine's reactogenicity. METHODS: A retrospective cohort, using electronic surveys sent to booster vaccine recipients, during July 20-August 10, 2021. RESULTS: 17,820 participated in the survey, with a response rate of 30.2%. 3195 (17.9%) were immunocompromised. Fatigue, myalgia and fever were the most frequent systemic side effects reported (19.6%, 9.2% and 8.1% respectively among immunocompromised; 21.3%, 9.9% and 9.2% respectively among seniors). 67.3% of immunocompromised and 62% of seniors reported experiencing a better or a similar response to the third dose, compared to the second. CONCLUSIONS: Local and systemic reactions after third BNT162b2 vaccine, reported by immunocompromised and seniors, were similar to those observed following previous vaccines and mostly self-resolved. These findings may aid promoting confidence among vaccine providers and recipients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Israel , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(38): 1337-1343, 2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436415

ABSTRACT

Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use among adults in the United States (1,2). Two 2-dose mRNA vaccines, mRNA-1273 from Moderna and BNT162b2 from Pfizer-BioNTech, received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020 for persons aged ≥18 years and aged ≥16 years, respectively. A 1-dose viral vector vaccine (Ad26.COV2 from Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]) received EUA in February 2021 for persons aged ≥18 years (3). The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received FDA approval for persons aged ≥16 years on August 23, 2021 (4). Current guidelines from FDA and CDC recommend vaccination of eligible persons with one of these three products, without preference for any specific vaccine (4,5). To assess vaccine effectiveness (VE) of these three products in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization, CDC and collaborators conducted a case-control analysis among 3,689 adults aged ≥18 years who were hospitalized at 21 U.S. hospitals across 18 states during March 11-August 15, 2021. An additional analysis compared serum antibody levels (anti-spike immunoglobulin G [IgG] and anti-receptor binding domain [RBD] IgG) to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among 100 healthy volunteers enrolled at three hospitals 2-6 weeks after full vaccination with the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with immunocompromising conditions were excluded. VE against COVID-19 hospitalizations was higher for the Moderna vaccine (93%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 91%-95%) than for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (88%; 95% CI = 85%-91%) (p = 0.011); VE for both mRNA vaccines was higher than that for the Janssen vaccine (71%; 95% CI = 56%-81%) (all p<0.001). Protection for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine declined 4 months after vaccination. Postvaccination anti-spike IgG and anti-RBD IgG levels were significantly lower in persons vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine than the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Although these real-world data suggest some variation in levels of protection by vaccine, all FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Young Adult
13.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1345-1350, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394067

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Evidence suggests that B cell-depleting therapy with rituximab (RTX) affects humoral immune response after vaccination. It remains unclear whether RTX-treated patients can develop a humoral and T-cell-mediated immune response against SARS-CoV-2 after immunisation. METHODS: Patients under RTX treatment (n=74) were vaccinated twice with either mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2. Antibodies were quantified using the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein and neutralisation tests. SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses were quantified by IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays. Prepandemic healthy individuals (n=5), as well as healthy individuals (n=10) vaccinated with BNT162b2, served as controls. RESULTS: All healthy controls developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 RBD of the spike protein, but only 39% of the patients under RTX treatment seroconverted. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 RBD significantly correlated with neutralising antibodies (τ=0.74, p<0.001). Patients without detectable CD19+ peripheral B cells (n=36) did not develop specific antibodies, except for one patient. Circulating B cells correlated with the levels of antibodies (τ=0.4, p<0.001). However, even patients with a low number of B cells (<1%) mounted detectable SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected in 58% of the patients, independent of a humoral immune response. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that vaccination can induce SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in RTX-treated patients, once peripheral B cells at least partially repopulate. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells that evolved in more than half of the vaccinated patients may exert protective effects independent of humoral immune responses.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Rituximab/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/drug effects , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
16.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1317-1321, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388467

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The registration trials of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 did not address patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD). OBJECTIVE: To assess the humoral response after two doses of mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, in patients with IRD treated with immunomodulating drugs and the impact on IRD activity. METHODS: Consecutive patients treated at the rheumatology institute, who received their first SARS-CoV-2 (Pfizer) vaccine, were recruited to the study, at their routine visit. They were reassessed 4-6 weeks after receiving the second dose of vaccine, and blood samples were obtained for serology. IRD activity assessment and the vaccine side effects were documented during both visits. IgG antibodies (Abs) against SARS-CoV-2 were detected using the SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant (Abbott) assay. RESULTS: Two hundred and sixty-four patients with stable disease, (mean(SD) age 57.6 (13.18) years, disease duration 11.06 (7.42) years), were recruited. The immunomodulatory therapy was not modified before or after the vaccination. After the second vaccination, 227 patients (86%) mounted IgG Ab against SARS-CoV-2 (mean (SD) 5830.8 (8937) AU/mL) and 37 patients (14%) did not, 22/37 were treated with B cell-depleting agents. The reported side effects of the vaccine were minor. The rheumatic disease remained stable in all patients. CONCLUSIONS: The vast majority of patients with IRD developed a significant humoral response following the administration of the second dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 virus. Only minor side effects were reported and no apparent impact on IRD activity was noted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antirheumatic Agents , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 99: 108021, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380684

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of vaccination programs against COVID-19 in different countries, several populations such as patients with specific immunological conditions have been considered as the priorities for immunization. In this regard, patients with autoimmune diseases or those receiving immunosuppressive agents and anti-cancer therapies, need special attention. However, no confirmed data is presently available regarding COVID-19 vaccines in these populations due to exclusion from the conducted clinical trials. Given the probable suppression or over-activation of the immune system in such patients, reaching a consensus for their vaccination is critical, besides gathering data and conducting trials, which could probably clarify this matter in the future. In this review, besides a brief on the available COVID-19 vaccines, considerations and available knowledge about administering similar vaccines in patients with cancer, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, solid organ transplantation, multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and rheumatologic and dermatologic autoimmune disorders are summarized to help in decision making. As discussed, live-attenuated viruses, which should be avoided in these groups, are not employed in the present COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, the main concern regarding efficacy could be met using a potent COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, the vaccination timing for maximum efficacy could be decided according to the patient's condition, indicated medications, and the guides provided here. Post-vaccination monitoring is also advised to ensure an adequate immune response. Further studies in this area are urgently warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Humans , Immune System Diseases/immunology , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 704110, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376699

ABSTRACT

Patients diagnosed with malignancy, neurological and immunological disorders, i.e., fragile patients, have been excluded from COVID-19 vaccine trials. However, this population may present immune response abnormalities, and relative reduced vaccine responsiveness. Here we review the limited current evidence on the immune responses to vaccination of patients with different underlying diseases. To address open questions we present the VAX4FRAIL study aimed at assessing immune responses to vaccination in a large transdisease cohort of patients with cancer, neurological and rheumatological diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Clinical Protocols , Humans , Immune System Diseases/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Nervous System Diseases/immunology , Patient Selection , Prospective Studies
19.
mSphere ; 6(4): e0048021, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371851

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs), harboring spike protein N-terminal domain (NTD) or receptor-binding domain (RBD) mutations, exhibit reduced in vitro susceptibility to convalescent-phase serum, commercial antibody cocktails, and vaccine neutralization and have been associated with reinfections. The accumulation of these mutations could be the consequence of intrahost viral evolution due to prolonged infection in immunocompromised hosts. In this study, we document the microevolution of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from sequential tracheal aspirates from an immunosuppressed patient on steroids and convalescent plasma therapy and identify the emergence of multiple NTD and RBD mutations. SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the first swab (day 0) and from three tracheal aspirates (days 7, 21, and 27) were compared at the sequence level. We identified a mixed viral population with five different S protein mutations (141 to 144 deletion, 243 to 244 deletion, E484K, Q493K, and Q493R) at the NTD or RBD region from the second tracheal aspirate sample (day 21) and a predominance of the S protein 141 to 144 LGVY deletion and E484K mutant on day 27. The neutralizing antibodies against various S protein lentiviral pseudovirus mutants, as well as the anti-SARS-CoV-2 total Ig and IgG, showed "U" shape dynamics, in support of the endogenous development of neutralizing antibodies. The patient's compromised immune status, the antirejection regiment, convalescent plasma treatment, and the development of neutralizing antibodies may have resulted in unique selective pressures on the intrahost genomic evolution, and this observation supports the hypotheses that VOCs can independently arise and that immunocompromised patients on convalescent plasma therapy are potential breeding grounds for immune escape mutants. IMPORTANCE Over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, distinct severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineages have arisen in multiple geographic areas around the world. SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), i.e., B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), and B.1.617.2 (delta), harboring mutations and/or deletions in spike protein N-terminal domain (NTD) or receptor-binding domain (RBD) regions showed evidence of increased transmissibility and disease severity and possible reduced vaccine efficacy. In this study, we report the emergence of five different NTD and RBD mutations in an uncommon SARS-CoV-2 B.1.369 lineage from an immunosuppressed patient undergoing steroid and convalescent plasma therapy. The observation highlighted that VOCs can independently arise in immunocompromised populations undergoing anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapy, and enhanced measures will be required to reduce the transmission.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Binding/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
20.
Immunol Res ; 69(6): 576-583, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366407

ABSTRACT

The development of vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection has mainly relied on the induction of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, but there is growing evidence that T cell immune response can contribute to protection as well. In this study, an anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibody assay and an INFγ-release assay (IGRA) were used to detect humoral and cellular responses to the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine in three separate cohorts of COVID-19-naïve patients: 108 healthcare workers (HCWs), 15 elderly people, and 5 autoimmune patients treated with immunosuppressive agents. After the second dose of vaccine, the mean values of anti-RBD antibodies (Abs) and INFγ were 123.33 U/mL (range 27.55-464) and 1513 mIU/mL (range 145-2500) in HCWs and 210.7 U/mL (range 3-500) and 1167 mIU/mL (range 83-2500) in elderly people. No correlations between age and immune status were observed. On the contrary, a weak but significant positive correlation was found between INFγ and anti-RBD Abs values (rho = 0.354, p = 0.003). As to the autoimmune cohort, anti-RBD Abs were not detected in the two patients with absent peripheral CD19+B cells, despite high INFγ levels being observed in all 5 patients after vaccination. Even though the clinical relevance of T cell response has not yet been established as a correlate of vaccine-induced protection, IGRA testing has showed optimal sensitivity and specificity to define vaccine responders, even in patients lacking a cognate antibody response to the vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Interferon-gamma/blood , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
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