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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 735866, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590052

ABSTRACT

Bats are the only mammals with self-powered flight and account for 20% of all extant mammalian diversity. In addition, they harbor many emerging and reemerging viruses, including multiple coronaviruses, several of which are highly pathogenic in other mammals, but cause no disease in bats. How this symbiotic relationship between bats and viruses exists is not yet fully understood. Existing evidence supports a specific role for the innate immune system, in particular type I interferon (IFN) responses, a major component of antiviral immunity. Previous studies in bats have shown that components of the IFN pathway are constitutively activated at the transcriptional level. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the type I IFN response in bats is also constitutively activated at the protein level. For this, we utilized highly sensitive Single Molecule (Simoa) digital ELISA assays, previously developed for humans that we adapted to bat samples. We prospectively sampled four non-native chiroptera species from French zoos. We identified a constitutive expression of IFNα protein in the circulation of healthy bats, and concentrations that are physiologically active in humans. Expression levels differed according to the species examined, but were not associated with age, sex, or health status suggesting constitutive IFNα protein expression independent of disease. These results confirm a unique IFN response in bat species that may explain their ability to coexist with multiple viruses in the absence of pathology. These results may help to manage potential zoonotic viral reservoirs and potentially identify new anti-viral strategies.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/blood , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-alpha/blood , Viruses/immunology , Animals , Cell Line , Chiroptera/genetics , Chiroptera/immunology , Chiroptera/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Interferon-alpha/genetics , Species Specificity , Symbiosis , Transcription, Genetic , Viruses/pathogenicity
2.
Immunity ; 54(11): 2650-2669.e14, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442406

ABSTRACT

Longitudinal analyses of the innate immune system, including the earliest time points, are essential to understand the immunopathogenesis and clinical course of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here, we performed a detailed characterization of natural killer (NK) cells in 205 patients (403 samples; days 2 to 41 after symptom onset) from four independent cohorts using single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics together with functional studies. We found elevated interferon (IFN)-α plasma levels in early severe COVD-19 alongside increased NK cell expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and genes involved in IFN-α signaling, while upregulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced genes was observed in moderate diseases. NK cells exert anti-SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) activity but are functionally impaired in severe COVID-19. Further, NK cell dysfunction may be relevant for the development of fibrotic lung disease in severe COVID-19, as NK cells exhibited impaired anti-fibrotic activity. Our study indicates preferential IFN-α and TNF responses in severe and moderate COVID-19, respectively, and associates a prolonged IFN-α-induced NK cell response with poorer disease outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Base Sequence , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-alpha/blood , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , RNA-Seq , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome/genetics , United Kingdom , United States
3.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(4): 989-994, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1187983

ABSTRACT

Low concentrations of type-I interferon (IFN) in blood seem to be associated with more severe forms of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, following the type-I interferon response (IR) in early stage disease is a major challenge. We evaluated detection of a molecular interferon signature on a FilmArray® system, which includes PCR assays for four interferon stimulated genes. We analyzed three types of patient populations: (i) children admitted to a pediatric emergency unit for fever and suspected infection, (ii) ICU-admitted patients with severe COVID-19, and (iii) healthcare workers with mild COVID-19. The results were compared to the reference tools, that is, molecular signature assessed with Nanostring® and IFN-α2 quantification by SIMOA® (Single MOlecule Array). A strong correlation was observed between the IR measured by the FilmArray®, Nanostring®, and SIMOA® platforms (r-Spearman 0.996 and 0.838, respectively). The FilmArray® panel could be used in the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate the IR in 45-min with 2 min hand-on-time at hospitalization and to monitor the IR in future clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Interferon-alpha/blood , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Interferon Type I/blood , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon-alpha/genetics , Male
4.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 140, 2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181117

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the onset of the pandemic, only few studies focused on longitudinal immune monitoring in critically ill COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) whereas their hospital stay may last for several weeks. Consequently, the question of whether immune parameters may drive or associate with delayed unfavorable outcome in these critically ill patients remains unsolved. METHODS: We present a dynamic description of immuno-inflammatory derangements in 64 critically ill COVID-19 patients including plasma IFNα2 levels and IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) score measurements. RESULTS: ARDS patients presented with persistently decreased lymphocyte count and mHLA-DR expression and increased cytokine levels. Type-I IFN response was initially induced with elevation of IFNα2 levels and ISG score followed by a rapid decrease over time. Survivors and non-survivors presented with apparent common immune responses over the first 3 weeks after ICU admission mixing gradual return to normal values of cellular markers and progressive decrease of cytokines levels including IFNα2. Only plasma TNF-α presented with a slow increase over time and higher values in non-survivors compared with survivors. This paralleled with an extremely high occurrence of secondary infections in COVID-19 patients with ARDS. CONCLUSIONS: Occurrence of ARDS in response to SARS-CoV2 infection appears to be strongly associated with the intensity of immune alterations upon ICU admission of COVID-19 patients. In these critically ill patients, immune profile presents with similarities with the delayed step of immunosuppression described in bacterial sepsis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units/trends , Interferon-alpha/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Immunity/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 648004, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175544

ABSTRACT

Background: Deficient interferon responses have been proposed as one of the relevant mechanisms prompting severe manifestations of COVID-19. Objective: To evaluate the interferon (IFN)-α levels in a cohort of COVID-19 patients in relation to severity, evolution of the clinical manifestations and immune/inflammatory profile. Methods: This is prospective study recruiting consecutive hospitalized patients with respiratory failure associated with SARS-COV-2 infection and matched controls. After enrollment, patients were assessed every 7 ± 2 days for additional 2 consecutive visits, for a total of 21 days. The severity of the clinical condition was ranked based on the level of respiratory support required. At each time-point blood samples were obtained to assess immune cells and mediators by multiplex immunoassay. Results: Fifty-four COVD-19 and 11 control patients matched for severity were enrolled. At recruitment, lower levels of blood IFN-α were found in COVID-19 patients compared to controls (3.8-fold difference, p < 0.01). Improvements in COVID-19 severity were paralleled by a significant increase of blood IFN-α levels. A significant increase in blood IFN-α was found over the study period in survivors (70% of the study population). A similar trend was found for blood IFN-ß with IFN-ß levels below the threshold of detectability in a substantial proportion of subjects. Significantly higher values of blood lymphocytes and lower levels of IL-10 were found at each time point in patients who survived compared to patients who died. In patients who clinically improved and survived during the study, we found an inverse association between IL-10 and IFN-α levels. Conclusion: The study identifies a blood immune profile defined by deficient IFN-α levels associated with increased IL-10 expression in patients progressing to severe/life threatening COVID-19 conditions, suggesting the involvement of immunological pathways that could be target of pharmacological intervention. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04343053.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interferon-alpha/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Breastfeed Med ; 16(5): 439-442, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157992

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In addition to hand washing and wearing masks, social distancing and reducing exposure time to <15 minutes are the most effective measures against the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, three of these guidelines are very difficult, if not impossible, for nursing babies: they cannot wear masks, stay six feet away from the lactating breasts, nor consistently finish within 15 minutes while nursing. We report a case of a nursing mother with SARS-CoV-2 infection, documenting changes of immune cells and cytokines in breast milk with and without the infection. Case Description: With Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, we obtained expressed breast milk samples from a lactating mother before and during SARS-CoV-2 infection as documented by reverse transcription-PCR. Using flow cytometry analysis, we measured the immune cell profiles and expression of cytokines such as interferon alpha (IFNα) in milk leukocytes before and during infection. Results: There was an eightfold increase in IFNα+ milk leukocytes, from 1% before SARS-CoV-2 infection to 8% when actively infected. The milk macrophages showed the highest increase in IFNα expression. Both T and B lymphocytes showed mild increase. Innate lymphoid cells, neutrophils, and natural killer cells showed no increase in IFNα expression and the dendritic cells actually showed a reduction. Conclusion: We document the presence and high expression of IFNα in the breast milk macrophages of a lactating mother with confirmed COVID-19, compared with her milk before the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Interferon-alpha/blood , Milk, Human/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lactation , Lymphocytes , Macrophages , Milk, Human/immunology , Milk, Human/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 648004, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154220

ABSTRACT

Background: Deficient interferon responses have been proposed as one of the relevant mechanisms prompting severe manifestations of COVID-19. Objective: To evaluate the interferon (IFN)-α levels in a cohort of COVID-19 patients in relation to severity, evolution of the clinical manifestations and immune/inflammatory profile. Methods: This is prospective study recruiting consecutive hospitalized patients with respiratory failure associated with SARS-COV-2 infection and matched controls. After enrollment, patients were assessed every 7 ± 2 days for additional 2 consecutive visits, for a total of 21 days. The severity of the clinical condition was ranked based on the level of respiratory support required. At each time-point blood samples were obtained to assess immune cells and mediators by multiplex immunoassay. Results: Fifty-four COVD-19 and 11 control patients matched for severity were enrolled. At recruitment, lower levels of blood IFN-α were found in COVID-19 patients compared to controls (3.8-fold difference, p < 0.01). Improvements in COVID-19 severity were paralleled by a significant increase of blood IFN-α levels. A significant increase in blood IFN-α was found over the study period in survivors (70% of the study population). A similar trend was found for blood IFN-ß with IFN-ß levels below the threshold of detectability in a substantial proportion of subjects. Significantly higher values of blood lymphocytes and lower levels of IL-10 were found at each time point in patients who survived compared to patients who died. In patients who clinically improved and survived during the study, we found an inverse association between IL-10 and IFN-α levels. Conclusion: The study identifies a blood immune profile defined by deficient IFN-α levels associated with increased IL-10 expression in patients progressing to severe/life threatening COVID-19 conditions, suggesting the involvement of immunological pathways that could be target of pharmacological intervention. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04343053.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interferon-alpha/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Cytokine ; 138: 155365, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917276

ABSTRACT

The hyper-inflammatory response is thought to be a major cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients with COVID-19. Although multiple cytokines are reportedly associated with disease severity, the key mediators of SARS-CoV-2 induced cytokine storm and their predictive values have not been fully elucidated. The present study analyzed maximal and early (within 10 days after disease onset) concentrations of 12-plex cytokines in plasma. We found consistently elevated plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8 and IL-5 in patients who were deceased compared with those who had mild/moderate or severe disease. The early plasma concentrations of IFN-a and IL-2 positively correlated with the length of the disease course. Moreover, correlation network analysis showed that IL-6, IL-8, and IL-5 located at the center of an inter-correlated cytokine network. These findings suggested that IL-8, IL-6, IL-5 might play central roles in cytokine storms associated with COVID-19 and that the early detection of multiple plasma cytokines might help to predict the prognosis of this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Correlation of Data , Female , Humans , Interferon-alpha/blood , Interleukin-2/blood , Interleukin-5/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(6): 2412-2418, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895572

ABSTRACT

The severity of COVID-19 ranges from mild to critical diseases. However, limited data have been published on the detailed kinetics of viral load and host immune response throughout the disease course depending on disease severity. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed viral load, antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, and cytokines/chemokines during the disease course, and identified the factors related to severity. Nasopharyngeal (NP) and plasma specimens were obtained from 31 patients with COVID-19 during hospitalization. Viral RNA in NP specimens was quantified by reverse transcription-PCR. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and cytokines/chemokines in plasma specimens were analyzed by ELISA and cytometric bead array. The viral load in patients with COVID-19 peaked at the early stage of the disease and continuously decreased. Severe and critical cases showed higher viral load and prolonged viral shedding than asymptomatic and mild cases. Whereas plasma IgG was gradually increased and maintained during hospitalization, plasma IgM peaked at 3 weeks after symptom onset and dissipated. The antibody response in severe and critical cases was slightly delayed but stronger than those in others. High levels of interferon (IFN)-α, IFN-γ-induced protein-10, monokine induced by IFN-γ, and interleukin-6 at 5-10 days from symptom onset were associated with the severity of COVID-19. Our data indicate that high viral load in the respiratory tract and excessive production of cytokines and chemokines between 1 and 2 weeks from the symptom onset were significantly associated with the severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asymptomatic Diseases , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Chemokine CXCL9/blood , Female , Humans , Interferon-alpha/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load
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