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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 896151, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952332

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the introduction of various vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 at the end of 2020, infection rates have continued to climb worldwide. This led to the establishment of a third dose vaccination in several countries, known as a booster. To date, there has been little real-world data about the immunological effect of this strategy. Methods: We compared the humoral- and cellular immune response before and after the third dose of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine BNT162b2, following different prime-boost regimen in a prospective observational study. Humoral immunity was assessed by determining anti-SARS-CoV-2 binding antibodies using a standardized quantitative assay. In addition, neutralizing antibodies were measured using a commercial surrogate ELISA-assay. Interferon-gamma release was measured after stimulating blood-cells with SARS-CoV-2 specific peptides using a commercial assay to evaluate the cellular immune response. Results: We included 243 health-care workers who provided blood samples and questionnaires pre- and post- third vaccination. The median antibody level increased significantly after the third vaccination dose to 2663.1 BAU/ml vs. 101.4 BAU/ml (p < 0.001) before administration of the booster dose. This was also detected for neutralizing antibodies with a binding inhibition of 99.68% ± 0.36% vs. 69.06% ± 19.88% after the second dose (p < 0.001). 96.3% of the participants showed a detectable T-cell-response after the booster dose with a mean interferon-gamma level of 2207.07 mIU/ml ± 1905 mIU/ml. Conclusion: This study detected a BMI-dependent antibody increase after the third dose of BNT162b2 following different vaccination protocols. All participants showed a significant increase in their immune response. This, in combination with the low rate of post-vaccination-symptoms underlines the potential beneficial effect of a BNT162b2-booster dose.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Interferon-gamma , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(30): e2203659119, 2022 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947764

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed whole blood samples (n = 56) retrieved from 30 patients at 1 to 21 (median 9) mo after verified COVID-19 to determine the polarity and duration of antigen-specific T cell reactivity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-derived antigens. Multimeric peptides spanning the entire nucleocapsid protein triggered strikingly synchronous formation of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-12, IL-13, and IL-17 ex vivo until ∼70 d after confirmed infection, whereafter this reactivity was no longer inducible. In contrast, levels of nucleocapsid-induced IL-2 and interferon-γ remained stable and highly correlated at 3 to 21 mo after infection. Similar cytokine dynamics were observed in unvaccinated, convalescent patients using whole-blood samples stimulated with peptides spanning the N-terminal portion of the spike 1 protein. These results unravel two phases of T cell reactivity following natural COVID-19: an early, synchronous response indicating transient presence of multipolar, antigen-specific T helper (TH) cells followed by an equally synchronous and durable TH1-like reactivity reflecting long-lasting T cell memory.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology
3.
Cytokine ; 154: 155874, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1944749

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected and killed millions of people, but little is known about the risk factors that lead to the development of severe, mild or asymptomatic conditions after infection. The individual immune response and the balance of cytokines and chemokines have been shown to be important for the prognosis of patients. Additionally, it is essential to understand how the production of specific antibodies with viral neutralizing capacity is established. In this context, this study aimed to identify positive individuals for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 in a large population of blood donors (n = 7837) to establish their immune response profile and to evaluate its viral neutralization capacity. The prevalence found for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 was 5.6% (n = 441), with male blood donors (61.9%) being more prevalent among the positive ones. The results showed that positive individuals for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 have high serum concentrations of chemokines, TNF, IFN-γ and IL-10. The analyses showed that the positivity index for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 is associated with the neutralizing capacity of the antibodies, which, in turn, is significantly related to lower serum concentrations of CCL5 and CXCL10. The results allow us to hypothesize that the development and maintenance of IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in infected individuals occurs in a pro-inflammatory microenvironment well regulated by IL-10 with great capacity for recruiting cells from the innate and adaptive immune systems.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Chemokines , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interferon-gamma , Interleukin-10 , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(14)2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938841

ABSTRACT

Specific T cells are crucial to control SARS-CoV-2 infection, avoid reinfection and confer protection after vaccination. We have studied patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, compared to patients who recovered from a severe or moderate infection that had occurred about 4 months before the analyses. In all these subjects, we assessed the polyfunctionality of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by quantifying cytokine production after in vitro stimulation with different SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools covering different proteins (M, N and S). In particular, we quantified the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells simultaneously producing interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-17, granzyme B, and expressing CD107a. Recovered patients who experienced a severe disease display high proportions of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells producing Th1 and Th17 cytokines and are characterized by polyfunctional SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells. A similar profile was found in patients experiencing a moderate form of COVID-19 pneumonia. No main differences in polyfunctionality were observed among the CD8+ T cell compartments, even if the proportion of responding cells was higher during the infection. The identification of those functional cell subsets that might influence protection can thus help in better understanding the complexity of immune response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 852904, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938617

ABSTRACT

OVX836 is a recombinant protein-based vaccine targeting the highly conserved influenza nucleoprotein (NP), which aims to confer a broad-spectrum protection against influenza. In a Phase 1 study, OVX836, administered intramuscularly, has been found safe and immunogenic. The 90µg and 180µg dose levels were selected to be further evaluated in this randomized, monocenter, reference-controlled (Influvac Tetra™: quadrivalent seasonal influenza subunit vaccine), parallel group, double-blind, Phase 2a study in 300 healthy volunteers, aged 18-65 years, during the 2019/2020 flu season. Safety, influenza-like illness episodes (ILI; based on the Flu-PRO® questionnaire) and immunogenicity were assessed up to 180 days post-vaccination. OVX836 was safe and presented a reactogenicity profile similar to Influvac Tetra. It induced a significant increase in terms of NP-specific interferon-gamma (IFNγ) spot forming cells (SFCs), NP-specific CD4+ T-cells (essentially polyfunctional cells) and anti-NP IgG responses. OVX836 was superior to Influvac Tetra for all immunological parameters related to NP, and the 180µg dose was significantly superior to the 90µg dose for SFCs and CD4+ T-cells expressing IFNγ. Both the CD4+ T-cell and the anti-NP IgG responses persisted up to Day 180. An efficacy signal was observed with OVX836 at 180µg through reduction of ILI episodes occurring during the flu season as of 14 days post-vaccination. In conclusion, these results encourage further clinical evaluation of OVX836 in order to confirm the signal of efficacy on ILIs and/or laboratory-confirmed influenza cases. NCT04192500 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT04192500).


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Influenza Vaccines/adverse effects , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Interferon-gamma , Middle Aged , Nucleoproteins , Vaccines, Combined , Vaccines, Synthetic , Young Adult
6.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271463, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933390

ABSTRACT

γδ T cells are thought to contribute to immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the mechanisms by which they are activated by the virus are unknown. Using flow cytometry, we investigated if the two most abundant viral structural proteins, spike and nucleocapsid, can activate human γδ T cell subsets, directly or in the presence of dendritic cells (DC). Both proteins failed to induce interferon-γ production by Vδ1 or Vδ2 T cells within fresh mononuclear cells or lines of expanded γδ T cells generated from healthy donors, but the same proteins stimulated CD3+ cells from COVID-19 patients. The nucleocapsid protein stimulated interleukin-12 production by DC and downstream interferon-γ production by co-cultured Vδ1 and Vδ2 T cells, but protease digestion and use of an alternative nucleocapsid preparation indicated that this activity was due to contaminating non-protein material. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins do not have stimulatory activity for DC or γδ T cells. We propose that γδ T cell activation in COVID-19 patients is mediated by immune recognition of viral RNA or other structural proteins by γδ T cells, or by other immune cells, such as DC, that produce γδ T cell-stimulatory ligands or cytokines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dendritic Cells , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
J Interferon Cytokine Res ; 42(7): 329-335, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931775

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to observe the role of vitamin D levels with T helper 1 (Th1)-type cytokines, such as interferon γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) efficacy, in those who had already received 2 injections of inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) vaccines (CoronaVac). We also observed if these cytokines played any significance in the CoronaVac effectiveness for preventing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection. One hundred ninety-four volunteers were monitored for 8 months upon receiving 2 inactivated SARS-CoV2 vaccination injections (CoronaVac, Sinovac Life Sciences). The rate of confirmed Covid-19 infections was the primary outcome. Six to 7 weeks after the second vaccine injection, and blood samples were obtained to measure the serum vitamin D, IFN-γ, and IL-12 levels. Low vitamin D level was defined if vitamin D level <30 ng/mL. Subjects with low vitamin D had lower IFN-γ and IL-12 levels (P = 0.04 and P = 0.04, respectively). The receiver operating characteristics curve analysis revealed that the area under curve for IFN-γ was 0.59, whereas IL-12 was 0.59 for predicting the low vitamin D levels. During follow-up, a higher incidence of Covid-19 infections was observed in subjects with low IFN-γ levels (P = 0.03). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that the cumulative hazard of confirmed Covid-19 cases was increased in subjects with low IFN-γ levels (log-rank test, P = 0.03). We concluded that lower vitamin D level was correlated with a lower Th1 immune response, whereas the adequate IFN-γ level was required to obtain better CoronaVac effectiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vitamin D , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines , Humans , Immunity , Interferon-gamma , Interleukin-12 , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 900522, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903024

ABSTRACT

Invasive fungal diseases (IFD) still cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. Recent data suggest a benefit of checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). We report the case of a diabetic patient with refractory IFD following a SARSCoV-2 infection treated by ICI and interferon-gamma associated with antifungal treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mucormycosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Interferon-gamma/therapeutic use , Mucormycosis/complications , Mucormycosis/drug therapy
9.
Front Immunol ; 13: 798813, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902970

ABSTRACT

A successful vaccination would represent the most efficient means to control the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) that led to millions of deaths worldwide. Novel mRNA-based vaccines confer protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but whether immunity is immediately effective and how long it will remain in recipients are uncertain. We sought to assess the effectiveness of a two-dose regimen since the boosts are often delayed concerning the recommended intervals. Methods: A longitudinal cohort of healthcare workers (HCW, N = 46; 30.4% men; 69.6% women; mean age 36.05 ± 2.2 years) with no SARS-CoV-2 infection as documented by negative polymerase chain reaction was immunophenotyped in PBMC once a week for 4 weeks from the prime immunization (Pfizer mRNA BNT162b2) and had received 2 doses, to study the kinetic response. Results: We identified three risk groups to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection IgG+-based (late responders, R-; early responders, R+; pauci responders, PR). In all receipts, amplification of B cells and NK cells, including IL4-producing B cells and IL4-producing CD8+ T cells, is early stimulated by the vaccine. After the boost, we observed a growing increase of NK cells but a resistance of T cells, IFNγ-producing CD4+T cells, and IFNγ-producing NK cells. Also, hematologic parameters decline until the boost. The positive association of IFNγ-producing NK with IFNγ-producing CD4+T cells by the multiple mixed-effect model, adjusted for confounders (p = 0.036) as well as the correlation matrix (r = 0.6, p < 0.01), suggests a relationship between these two subsets of lymphocytes. Conclusions: These findings introduce several concerns about policy delay in vaccination: based on immunological protection, B cells and the persistent increase of NK cells during 2 doses of the mRNA-based vaccine could provide further immune protection against the virus, while CD8+ T cells increased slightly only in the R+ and PR groups.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Immunization , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interleukin-4/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Male , Th1-Th2 Balance
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(12)2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896884

ABSTRACT

NK degranulation plays an important role in the cytotoxic activity of innate immunity in the clearance of intracellular infections and is an important factor in the outcome of the disease. This work has studied NK degranulation and innate immunological profiles and functionalities in COVID-19 patients and its association with the severity of the disease. A prospective observational study with 99 COVID-19 patients was conducted. Patients were grouped according to hospital requirements and severity. Innate immune cell subpopulations and functionalities were analyzed. The profile and functionality of innate immune cells differ between healthy controls and severe patients; CD56dim NK cells increased and MAIT cells and NK degranulation rates decreased in the COVID-19 subjects. Higher degranulation rates were observed in the non-severe patients and in the healthy controls compared to the severe patients. Benign forms of the disease had a higher granzymeA/granzymeB ratio than complex forms. In a multivariate analysis, the degranulation capacity resulted in a protective factor against severe forms of the disease (OR: 0.86), whereas the permanent expression of NKG2D in NKT cells was an independent risk factor (OR: 3.81; AUC: 0.84). In conclusion, a prompt and efficient degranulation functionality in the early stages of infection could be used as a tool to identify patients who will have a better evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Natural Killer T-Cells , Cell Degranulation , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural , Lymphocyte Activation
11.
J Med Chem ; 65(3): 2558-2570, 2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895561

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants are the best approach to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein is a major target to develop candidate vaccines. α-Galactosylceramide (αGalCer), a potent invariant natural killer T cell (iNKT) agonist, was site-specifically conjugated to the N-terminus of the RBD to form an adjuvant-protein conjugate, which was anchored on the liposome surface. This is the first time that an iNKT cell agonist was conjugated to the protein antigen. Compared to the unconjugated RBD/αGalCer mixture, the αGalCer-RBD conjugate induced significantly stronger humoral and cellular responses. The conjugate vaccine also showed effective cross-neutralization to all variants of concern (B.1.1.7/alpha, B.1.351/beta, P.1/gamma, B.1.617.2/delta, and B.1.1.529/omicron). These results suggest that the self-adjuvanting αGalCer-RBD has great potential to be an effective COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and this strategy might be useful for designing various subunit vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Galactosylceramides/therapeutic use , Peptide Fragments/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Conjugate/therapeutic use , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Adjuvants, Immunologic/therapeutic use , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Galactosylceramides/chemistry , Galactosylceramides/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Liposomes/chemistry , Liposomes/immunology , Liposomes/therapeutic use , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , Peptide Fragments/immunology , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/therapeutic use , Vaccines, Conjugate/chemistry , Vaccines, Conjugate/immunology
12.
Zhongguo Xue Xi Chong Bing Fang Zhi Za Zhi ; 34(2): 149-157, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1893448

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection on the proportion, quantity, differentiation and function of mouse and human uterine natural killer cells (uNK cells), so as to explore the role of uNK cells in abortion of early pregnancy caused by T. gondii infection. METHODS: Pregnant mice were injected intraperitoneally with T. gondii tachyzoites on day 6.5 of pregnancy, and the abortion mouse model caused by T. gondii infections was constructed. Mouse uterine lymphocytes were isolated on day 9.5 of pregnancy. Human uterine lymphocytes were isolated from fresh human decidual specimens after abortion in normal early pregnancy and co-cultured with tachyzoites of the T. gondii RH strain for 48 h at T. gondii/uterine lymphocytes ratios of 0.5:1, 1:1 and 2:1. The phenotypes of mouse uNK cells (CD122, NK1.1, DX5) and human uNK cells (CD3, CD56, CD11b, CD27) and the expression of intracellular cytokines interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were detected by flow cytometry. Mouse and human uNK cells were sorted by magnetic beads, and the cytotoxicity of uNK cells was tested using the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay at effector/target cell ratios of 1:1, 5:1, 10:1 and 20:1 with mouse or human uNK cells as effector cells and mouse YAC-1 cells or human K562 cells as target cells. RESULTS: On day 9.5 of pregnancy, the mouse abortion rate was significantly higher in the infected group than that in the control group (83.02% vs. 3.51%; χ2 = 71.359, P < 0.001). Significantly lower absolute number of uNK cells [(4 547 ± 1 610) cells/mouse vs. (8 978 ± 3 339) cells/mouse; U = 2.000, P < 0.05], lower NK1.1 expression on uNK cell surface [(74.53 ± 8.37)% vs. (93.00 ± 1.11)%; U = 0.000, P < 0.05], higher proportion of NK1.1-DX5-cells [(20.10 ± 8.03)% vs. (5.04 ± 0.68)%; U = 0.000, P < 0.05], lower proportion of NK1.1+ DX5+ cells [(21.70 ± 12.48)% vs. (45.75 ± 2.26)%; U = 0.000, P < 0.05] and higher IFN-γ expression [(16.74 ± 1.36)% vs. (8.13 ± 1.90)%; U = 0.000, P < 0.05] were detected in the infected group than in the control group, while no significant difference was seen in TNF-α expression between the two groups [(67.98 ± 9.20)% vs. (52.93 ± 10.42)%; U = 2.000, P > 0.05]. The mouse uNK cells showed a strong cytotoxicity in the infected group, and the cytotoxicity gradually increased with the effector/target cell ratio. The cytotoxicity of uNK cells against YAC-1 cells was 2.30%, 4.32%, 8.12% and 12.65% in the infected group and 1.21%, 1.63%, 2.51% and 3.22% in the control group at effector/target cell ratios of 1:1, 5:1, 10:1 and 20:1, respectively. Following co-culture of human uterine lymphocytes and tachyzoites of the T. gondii RH strain for 48 h, the proportion [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (6.61 ± 1.75)% vs. (17.48 ± 4.81)%; F = 7.307, P < 0.01], and absolute number of human uNK cells in uterine lymphocytes of human uNK cells in uterine lymphocytes [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (12 104 ± 5 726) cells/well vs. (65 285 ± 21 810) cells/well; H = 11.540, P < 0.01] were significantly lower in the infected group than in the control group. A lower proportion of CD56brightCD16- NK cells [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (25.25 ± 5.90)% vs. (36.03 ± 4.51)%; F = 3.213, P > 0.05] and higher proportion of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (11.15 ± 2.15)% vs. (7.09 ± 2.24)%; F = 2.992, P > 0.05] were detected in uNK cells in the infected group than in the control group, and the ratio of CD56brightCD16- cells/CD56dimCD16+ cells was significantly lower in the infected group than in the control group [TOX2:1 group vs. control group: (2.37 ± 0.92) vs. (5.58 ± 2.39); H = 8.228, P < 0.05]. In addition, the proportion of CD11b+CD27- cells in human uNK cells was significantly higher in the infected group than in the control group [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (30.28 ± 6.91)% vs. (17.48 ± 4.67)%; H = 6.556, P < 0.05], while no significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of IFN-γ [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (14.13 ± 1.28)% vs. (15.19 ± 1.64)%; F = 1.639, P > 0.05] or TNF-α expression [TOX 2:1 group vs. control group: (54.76 ± 10.02)% vs. (50.33 ± 3.67)%; F = 0.415, P > 0.05]. Human uNK cells presented a strong cytotoxicity in the infected group, and the cytotoxicity gradually increased with the effector/target cell ratio. The cytotoxicity of human uNK cells against K562 cells was 11.90%, 28.11%, 49.91% and 73.35% in the infected group and 12.21%, 21.63%, 33.51% and 48.22% in the control group at effector/target cell ratios of 1:1, 5:1, 10:1 and 20:1, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: T. gondii infection presents diverse effects on the differentiation and secretion ability of mouse and human uNK cells. However, T. gondii infection causes a reduction in the absolute number and enhances the cytotoxicity of both mouse and human uNK cells.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Spontaneous , Toxoplasma , Toxoplasmosis , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Pregnancy , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics
13.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0050922, 2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891737

ABSTRACT

Cell-mediated immunity is critical for long-term protection against most viral infections, including coronaviruses. We studied 23 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected survivors over a 1-year post-symptom onset (PSO) interval by ex vivo cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) assay. All subjects demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and granzyme B (GzmB) T cell responses at presentation, with greater frequencies in severe disease. Cytokines, mainly produced by CD4+ T cells, targeted all structural proteins (nucleocapsid, membrane, and spike) except envelope, with GzmB and IL-2 greater than IFN-γ. Mathematical modeling predicted that (i) cytokine responses peaked at 6 days for IFN-γ, 36 days for IL-2, and 7 days for GzmB, (ii) severe illness was associated with reduced IFN-γ and GzmB but increased IL-2 production rates, and (iii) males displayed greater production of IFN-γ, whereas females produced more GzmB. Ex vivo responses declined over time, with persistence of IL-2 in 86% and of IFN-γ and GzmB in 70% of subjects at a median of 336 days PSO. The average half-life of SARS-CoV-2-specific cytokine-producing cells was modeled to be 139 days (~4.6 months). Potent T cell proliferative responses persisted throughout observation, were CD4 dominant, and were capable of producing all 3 cytokines. Several immunodominant CD4 and CD8 epitopes identified in this study were shared by seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1 in the nucleocapsid and membrane regions. Both SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones were able to kill target cells, though CD8 tended to be more potent. IMPORTANCE Our findings highlight the relative importance of SARS-CoV-2-specific GzmB-producing T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 control and shared CD4 and CD8 immunodominant epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1, and they indicate robust persistence of T cell memory at least 1 year after infection. Our findings should inform future strategies to induce T cell vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
14.
Aging Cell ; 21(6): e13646, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883166

ABSTRACT

Older age and underlying conditions such as diabetes/obesity or immunosuppression are leading host risk factors for developing severe complications from COVID-19 infection. The pathogenesis of COVID-19-related cytokine storm, tissue damage, and fibrosis may be interconnected with fundamental aging processes, including dysregulated immune responses and cellular senescence. Here, we examined effects of key cytokines linked to cellular senescence on expression of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry receptors. We found exposure of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α + IFN-γ or a cocktail of TNF-α + IFN-γ + IL-6, increased expression of ACE2/DPP4, accentuated the pro-inflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), and decreased cellular proliferative capacity, consistent with progression towards a cellular senescence-like state. IL-6 by itself failed to induce substantial effects on viral entry receptors or SASP-related genes, while synergy between TNF-α and IFN-γ initiated a positive feedback loop via hyper-activation of the JAK/STAT1 pathway, causing SASP amplification. Breaking the interactive loop between senescence and cytokine secretion with JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib or antiviral drug remdesivir prevented hyper-inflammation, normalized SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor expression, and restored HUVECs proliferative capacity. This loop appears to underlie cytokine-mediated viral entry receptor activation and links with senescence and hyper-inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Drug Synergism , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/virology , Interferon-gamma/pharmacology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/biosynthesis , STAT1 Transcription Factor/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/pharmacology
15.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 101(21): e29405, 2022 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874049

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-CoV-2, the pathogenic process of SARS-Cov-2 is related to the angiotensin-2 converting enzyme (ACE-2) on host cells. The genetic polymorphisms among different populations may influence the progression of COVID-19. However, the effects of IFNL4, ACE1, PKR, IFNG, and MBL2 in severe COVID-19 have not been systematically assessed. METHODS: We will include all relevant English and Chinese studies by searching the following electronic databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar before March 31, 2022. Two researchers will independently screen and extract the literature. The methodological quality of the included studies will be evaluated by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. RESULT: This systematic review and meta-analysis will summarize the association of IFNL4, ACE1, PKR, IFNG, MBL2 genetic polymorphisms, and severe COVID-19. The results will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal once completed. CONCLUSION: The conclusion of our study will provide evidence for the early prevention of severe COVID-19. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42022301735.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mannose-Binding Lectin , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Interferon-gamma , Interleukins , Mannose-Binding Lectin/genetics , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
16.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(5): e2213253, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858507

ABSTRACT

Importance: Neurologic symptoms are common in COVID-19, but the central nervous system (CNS) pathogenesis is unclear, and viral RNA is rarely detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Objective: To measure viral antigen and inflammatory biomarkers in CSF in relation to neurologic symptoms and disease severity. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study was performed from March 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, in patients 18 years or older who were admitted to Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, with COVID-19. All patients had CSF samples taken because of neurologic symptoms or within a study protocol. Healthy volunteer and prepandemic control groups were included. Exposure: SARS-CoV-2 infection. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes included CSF SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen (N-Ag) using an ultrasensitive antigen capture immunoassay platform and CSF biomarkers of immune activation (neopterin, ß2-microglobulin, and cytokines) and neuronal injury (neurofilament light protein [NfL]). Results: Forty-four patients (median [IQR] age, 57 [48-69] years; 30 [68%] male; 26 with moderate COVID-19 and 18 with severe COVID-19 based on the World Health Organization Clinical Progression Scale), 10 healthy controls (median [IQR] age, 58 [54-60] years; 5 [50%] male), and 41 patient controls (COVID negative without evidence of CNS infection) (median [IQR] age, 59 [49-70] years; 19 [46%] male) were included in the study. Twenty-one patients were neuroasymptomatic and 23 were neurosymptomatic (21 with encephalopathy). In 31 of 35 patients for whom data were available (89%), CSF N-Ag was detected; viral RNA test results were negative in all. Nucleocapsid antigen was significantly correlated with CSF neopterin (r = 0.38; P = .03) and interferon γ (r = 0.42; P = .01). No differences in CSF N-Ag concentrations were found between patient groups. Patients had markedly increased CSF neopterin, ß2-microglobulin, interleukin (IL) 2, IL-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor α compared with controls. Neurosymptomatic patients had significantly higher median (IQR) CSF interferon γ (86 [47-172] vs 21 [17-81] fg/mL; P = .03) and had a significantly higher inflammatory biomarker profile using principal component analysis compared with neuroasymptomatic patients (0.54; 95% CI, 0.03-1.05; P = .04). Age-adjusted median (IQR) CSF NfL concentrations were higher in patients compared with controls (960 [673-1307] vs 618 [489-786] ng/L; P = .002). No differences were seen in any CSF biomarkers in moderate compared with severe disease. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study of Swedish adults with COVID-19 infection and neurologic symptoms, compared with control participants, viral antigen was detectable in CSF and correlated with CNS immune activation. Patients with COVID-19 had signs of neuroaxonal injury, and neurosymptomatic patients had a more marked inflammatory profile that could not be attributed to differences in COVID-19 severity. These results highlight the clinical relevance of neurologic symptoms and suggest that viral components can contribute to CNS immune responses without direct viral invasion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Antigens, Viral , Biomarkers/cerebrospinal fluid , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma , Male , Middle Aged , Neopterin/cerebrospinal fluid , Neurofilament Proteins , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(5): e2211497, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838112

ABSTRACT

Importance: B-cell-depleting monoclonal antibodies are widely used for treatment of multiple sclerosis but are associated with an impaired response to vaccines. Objective: To identify factors associated with a favorable vaccine response to tozinameran. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study was conducted in a specialized multiple sclerosis clinic at a university hospital from January 21 to December 1, 2021. Of 75 patients evaluated for participation who received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis with planned or ongoing treatment with rituximab, 69 were included in the study, and data from 67 were analyzed. Exposures: Sex, age, number of previous rituximab infusions, accumulated dose of rituximab, previous COVID-19 infection, time since last rituximab treatment, CD19+ B-cell count before vaccination, CD4+ T-cell count, and CD8+ T-cell count were considered potential factors associated with the main outcome. Main Outcomes and Measures: Serological vaccine responses were measured by quantitation of anti-spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG antibodies, and their neutralizing capacities. Cellular responses to spike protein-derived SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools were assessed by counting interferon gamma spot-forming units in a FluoroSpot assay. Results: Among 60 patients with ongoing rituximab treatment (49 women [82%]; mean (SD) age, 43 [10] years), the median (range) disease duration was 9 (1-29) years, and the median (range) dose of rituximab was 2750 (500-10 000) mg during a median (range) time of 2.8 (0.5-8.3) years. The median (range) follow-up from the first vaccination dose was 7.3 (4.3-10.0) months. Vaccine responses were determined before vaccination with tozinameran and 6 weeks after vaccination. By using established cutoff values for anti-spike IgG (264 binding antibody units/mL) and anti-RBD IgG (506 binding antibody units/mL), the proportion of patients with a positive response increased with the number of B cells, which was the only factor associated with these outcomes. A cutoff for the B-cell count of at least 40/µL was associated with an optimal serological response. At this cutoff, 26 of 29 patients (90%) had positive test results for anti-spike IgG and 21 of 29 patients (72%) for anti-RBD IgG, and 27 of 29 patients (93%) developed antibodies with greater than 90% inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. No factor associated with the cellular response was identified. Depending on the peptide pool, 21 of 25 patients (84%) to 22 of 25 patients (88%) developed a T-cell response with interferon gamma production at the B-cell count cutoff of at least 40/µL. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that for an optimal vaccine response from tozinameran, rituximab-treated patients with multiple sclerosis may be vaccinated as soon as possible, with rituximab treatment delayed until B-cell counts have reached at least 40/µL. An additional vaccination with tozinameran should be considered at that point.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Interferon-gamma , Male , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Prospective Studies , Rituximab/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
18.
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 9(4)2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833441

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether a third vaccination shows an added effect on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) T-cell responses in patients with multiple sclerosis treated with ocrelizumab or fingolimod. METHODS: This is a substudy of a prospective multicenter study on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated diseases. Patients with MS treated with ocrelizumab, fingolimod, and no disease-modifying therapies and healthy controls were included. The number of interferon (IFN)-γ secreting SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells at multiple time points before and after 3 SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations were evaluated. RESULTS: In ocrelizumab-treated patients (N = 24), IFN-γ-producing SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses were induced after 2 vaccinations with median levels comparable to healthy controls (N = 12) and patients with MS without disease-modifying therapies (N = 10). A third vaccination in ocrelizumab-treated patients (N = 8) boosted T-cell responses that had declined after the second vaccination, but did not lead to higher overall T-cell responses as compared to immediately after a second vaccination. In fingolimod-treated patients, no SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected after second (N = 12) and third (N = 9) vaccinations. DISCUSSION: In ocrelizumab-treated patients with MS, a third SARS-CoV-2 vaccination had no additive effect on the maximal T-cell response but did induce a boost response. In fingolimod-treated patients, no T-cell responses could be detected following both a second and third SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular , Multiple Sclerosis , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Fingolimod Hydrochloride/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Interferon-gamma , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
19.
Arch Virol ; 166(8): 2285-2289, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826502

ABSTRACT

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered multipotent progenitors with the capacity to differentiate into mesoderm-like cells in many species. The immunosuppressive properties of MSCs are important for downregulating inflammatory responses. Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) is the etiological agent of a poult mortality syndrome that affects intestinal epithelial cells. In this study, poult MSCs were isolated, characterized, and infected with TCoV after in vitro culture. The poult-derived MSCs showed fibroblast-like morphology and the ability to undergo differentiation into mesodermal-derived cells and to support virus replication. Infection with TCoV resulted in cytopathic effects and the loss of cell viability. TCoV antigens and new viral progeny were detected at high levels, as were transcripts of the pro-inflammatory factors INFγ, IL-6, and IL-8. These findings suggest that the cytokine storm phenomenon is not restricted to one genus of the family Coronaviridae and that MSCs cannot always balance the process.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus, Turkey/physiology , Cytokines/metabolism , Virus Replication , Animals , Cell Differentiation , Cell Survival , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , Turkeys , Up-Regulation
20.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266691, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779779

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses are associated with COVID-19 recovery, and Class I- and Class II-restricted epitopes have been identified in the spike (S), nucleocapsid (N) and membrane (M) proteins and others. This prospective COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines (CHARM) study enabled assessment of T cell responses against S, N and M proteins in symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected participants. At enrollment all participants were negative by qPCR; follow-up occurred biweekly and bimonthly for the next 6 weeks. Study participants who tested positive by qPCR SARS-CoV-2 test were enrolled in an immune response sub-study. FluoroSpot interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and IL2 responses following qPCR-confirmed infection at enrollment (day 0), day 7 and 14 and more than 28 days later were measured using pools of 17mer peptides covering S, N, and M proteins, or CD4+CD8 peptide pools containing predicted epitopes from multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Among 124 asymptomatic and 105 symptomatic participants, SARS-CoV-2 infection generated IFN-γ responses to the S, N and M proteins that persisted longer in asymptomatic cases. IFN-γ responses were significantly (p = 0.001) more frequent to the N pool (51.4%) than the M pool (18.9%) among asymptomatic but not symptomatic subjects. Asymptomatic IFN-γ responders to the CD4+CD8 pool responded more frequently to the S pool (55.6%) and N pool (57.1%), than the M pool (7.1%), but not symptomatic participants. The frequencies of IFN-γ responses to the S and N+M pools peaked 7 days after the positive qPCR test among asymptomatic (S pool: 22.2%; N+M pool: 28.7%) and symptomatic (S pool: 15.3%; N+M pool 21.9%) participants and dropped by >28 days. Magnitudes of post-infection IFN-γ and IL2 responses to the N+M pool were significantly correlated with IFN-γ and IL2 responses to the N and M pools. These data further support the central role of Th1-biased cell mediated immunity IFN-γ and IL2 responses, particularly to the N protein, in controlling COVID-19 symptoms, and justify T cell-based COVID-19 vaccines that include the N and S proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma , Interleukin-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Asymptomatic Infections , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-2/immunology , Military Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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