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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(30): e2203659119, 2022 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991766

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
2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 807454, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686483

ABSTRACT

Background: Innate immunity, armed with pattern recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLR), is critical for immune cell activation and the connection to anti-microbial adaptive immunity. However, information regarding the impact of age on the innate immunity in response to SARS-CoV2 adenovirus vector vaccines and its association with specific immune responses remains scarce. Methods: Fifteen subjects between 25-35 years (the young group) and five subjects between 60-70 years (the older adult group) were enrolled before ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccination. We determined activation markers and cytokine production of monocyte, natural killer (NK) cells and B cells ex vivo stimulated with TLR agonist (poly (I:C) for TLR3; LPS for TLR4; imiquimod for TLR7; CpG for TLR9) before vaccination and 3-5 days after each jab with flow cytometry. Anti-SARS-CoV2 neutralization antibody titers (surrogate virus neutralization tests, sVNTs) were measured using serum collected 2 months after the first jab and one month after full vaccination. Results: The older adult vaccinees had weaker vaccine-induced sVNTs than young vaccinees after 1st jab (47.2±19.3% vs. 21.2±22.2%, p value<0.05), but this difference became insignificant after the 2nd jab. Imiquimod, LPS and CpG strongly induced CD86 expression in IgD+CD27- naïve and IgD-CD27+ memory B cells in the young group. In contrast, only the IgD+ CD27- naïve B cells responded to these TLR agonists in the older adult group. Imiquimode strongly induced the CD86 expression in CD14+ monocytes in the young group but not in the older adult group. After vaccination, the young group had significantly higher IFN-γ expression in CD3- CD56dim NK cells after the 1st jab, whilst the older adult group had significantly higher IFN-γ and granzyme B expression in CD56bright NK cells after the 2nd jab (all p value <0.05). The IFN-γ expression in CD56dim and CD56bright NK cells after the first vaccination and CD86 expression in CD14+ monocyte and IgD-CD27-double-negative B cells after LPS and imiquimod stimulation correlated with vaccine-induced antibody responses. Conclusions: The innate immune responses after the first vaccination correlated with the neutralizing antibody production. Older people may have defective innate immune responses by TLR stimulation and weak or delayed innate immune activation profile after vaccination compared with young people.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Imiquimod/pharmacology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunosenescence/immunology , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Poly I-C/administration & dosage , Poly I-C/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology , Vaccination
3.
N Engl J Med ; 386(10): 951-963, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642068

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, which was approved as a single-shot immunization regimen, has been shown to be effective against severe coronavirus disease 2019. However, this vaccine induces lower severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (S)-specific antibody levels than those induced by messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines. The immunogenicity and reactogenicity of a homologous or heterologous booster in persons who have received an Ad26.COV2.S priming dose are unclear. METHODS: In this single-blind, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial involving health care workers who had received a priming dose of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, we assessed immunogenicity and reactogenicity 28 days after a homologous or heterologous booster vaccination. The participants were assigned to receive no booster, an Ad26.COV2.S booster, an mRNA-1273 booster, or a BNT162b2 booster. The primary end point was the level of S-specific binding antibodies, and the secondary end points were the levels of neutralizing antibodies, S-specific T-cell responses, and reactogenicity. A post hoc analysis was performed to compare mRNA-1273 boosting with BNT162b2 boosting. RESULTS: Homologous or heterologous booster vaccination resulted in higher levels of S-specific binding antibodies, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses than a single Ad26.COV2.S vaccination. The increase in binding antibodies was significantly larger with heterologous regimens that included mRNA-based vaccines than with the homologous booster. The mRNA-1273 booster was most immunogenic and was associated with higher reactogenicity than the BNT162b2 and Ad26.COV2.S boosters. Local and systemic reactions were generally mild to moderate in the first 2 days after booster administration. CONCLUSIONS: The Ad26.COV2.S and mRNA boosters had an acceptable safety profile and were immunogenic in health care workers who had received a priming dose of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. The strongest responses occurred after boosting with mRNA-based vaccines. Boosting with any available vaccine was better than not boosting. (Funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ZonMw; SWITCH ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04927936.).


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , /immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
4.
J Cell Mol Med ; 26(4): 1293-1305, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626165

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are highly efficient against severe forms of the disease, hospitalization and death. Nevertheless, insufficient protection against several circulating viral variants might suggest waning immunity and the need for an additional vaccine dose. We conducted a longitudinal study on the kinetics and persistence of immune responses in healthcare workers vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine with or without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. No new infections were diagnosed during follow-up. At 6 months, post-vaccination or post-infection, despite a downward trend in the level of anti-S IgG antibodies, the neutralizing activity does not decrease significantly, remaining higher than 75% (85.14% for subjects with natural infection, 88.82% for vaccinated after prior infection and 78.37% for vaccinated only). In a live-virus neutralization assay, the highest neutralization titres were present at baseline and at 6 months follow-up in persons vaccinated after prior infection. Anti-S IgA levels showed a significant descending trend in vaccinated subjects (p < 0.05) after 14 weeks. Cellular immune responses are present even in vaccinated participants with declining antibody levels (index ratio 1.1-3) or low neutralizing activity (30%-40%) at 6 months, although with lower T-cell stimulation index (p = 0.046) and IFN-γ secretion (p = 0.0007) compared to those with preserved humoral responses.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Kinetics , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
5.
Microvasc Res ; 140: 104303, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568955

ABSTRACT

Systemic inflammatory response, as observed in sepsis and severe COVID-19, may lead to endothelial damage. Therefore, we aim to compare the extent of endothelial injury and its relationship to inflammation in both diseases. We included patients diagnosed with sepsis (SEPSIS group, n = 21), mild COVID-19 (MILD group, n = 31), and severe COVID-19 (SEVERE group, n = 24). Clinical and routine laboratory data were obtained, circulating cytokines (INF-γ, TNF-α, and IL-10) and endothelial injury markers (E-Selectin, Tissue Factor (TF) and von Willebrand factor (vWF)) were measured. Compared to the SEPSIS group, patients with severe COVID-19 present similar clinical and laboratory data, except for lower circulating IL-10 and E-Selectin levels. Compared to the MILD group, patients in the SEVERE group showed higher levels of TNF-α, IL-10, and TF. There was no clear relationship between cytokines and endothelial injury markers among the three studied groups; however, in SEVERE COVID-19 patients, there is a positive relationship between INF-γ with TF and a negative relationship between IL-10 and vWF. In conclusion, COVID-19 and septic patients have a similar pattern of cytokines and endothelial dysfunction markers. These findings highlight the importance of endothelium dysfunction in COVID-19 and suggest that endothelium should be better evaluated as a therapeutic target for the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/pathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/blood , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers , Blood Cell Count , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , E-Selectin/blood , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukin-10/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sepsis/blood , Sepsis/complications , Sepsis/physiopathology , Severity of Illness Index , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/etiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Thromboplastin/analysis , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/analysis , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
6.
J Cell Mol Med ; 26(2): 274-286, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566302

ABSTRACT

Based on the recent reports, cardiovascular events encompass a large portion of the mortality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which drawn cardiologists into the management of the admitted ill patients. Given that common laboratory values may provide key insights into the illness caused by the life-threatening SARS-CoV-2 virus, it would be more helpful for screening, clinical management and on-time therapeutic strategies. Commensurate with these issues, this review article aimed to discuss the dynamic changes of the common laboratory parameters during COVID-19 and their association with cardiovascular diseases. Besides, the values that changed in the early stage of the disease were considered and monitored during the recovery process. The time required for returning biomarkers to basal levels was also discussed. Finally, of particular interest, we tended to abridge the latest updates regarding the cardiovascular biomarkers as prognostic and diagnostic criteria to determine the severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Cardiovascular Diseases/blood , Cardiovascular System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cardiovascular Diseases/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cardiovascular Diseases/immunology , Cardiovascular System/pathology , Cardiovascular System/virology , Chemokine CCL2/blood , Creatine Kinase, MB Form/blood , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Homocysteine/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , L-Lactate Dehydrogenase/blood , Natriuretic Peptide, Brain/blood , Peptide Fragments/blood , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Troponin I/blood , Troponin T/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748881, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551504

ABSTRACT

Olfactory and taste disorders (OTD) are commonly found as presenting symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with clinically mild COVID-19. Virus-specific T cells are thought to play an important role in the clearance of SARS-CoV-2; therefore the study of T cell specific immune responses in patients with mild symptoms may help to understand their possible role in protection from severe disease. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses to four different peptide megapools covering all SARS-CoV-2 proteins during the acute phase of the disease in 33 individuals with mild or no other symptom beside OTD and in 22 age-matched patients with severe infection. A control group of 15 outpatients with OTD and consistently negative nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA swabs and virus-specific IgG serology was included in the study. Increased frequencies of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were found in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with OTD compared with those with severe COVID-19 and with SARS-CoV-2 negative OTD individuals. Moreover, enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell activation induced by SARS-CoV-2 peptides was associated with higher interferon (IFN)γ production. Increased frequencies of Spike (S1/S2)-specific CD4+ T cells showing enhanced IFNγ secretion and granzyme B content were associated with serum spike-specific IgG in the OTD group. In conclusion, patients with SARS-CoV-2 induced OTD develop highly functional virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during the symptomatic phase of the disease, suggesting that robust and coordinated T-cell responses provide protection against extension of COVID-19 to the lower respiratory tract.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/pathology , Anosmia/pathology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 149(3): 912-922, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is an acute, febrile, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-associated syndrome, often with cardiohemodynamic dysfunction. Insight into mechanism of disease is still incomplete. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to analyze immunologic features of MIS-C patients compared to febrile controls (FC). METHODS: MIS-C patients were defined by narrow criteria, including having evidence of cardiohemodynamic involvement and no macrophage activation syndrome. Samples were collected from 8 completely treatment-naive patients with MIS-C (SARS-CoV-2 serology positive), 3 patients with unclassified MIS-C-like disease (serology negative), 14 FC, and 5 MIS-C recovery (RCV). Three healthy controls (HCs) were used for comparisons of normal range. Using spectral flow cytometry, we assessed 36 parameters in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and 29 in T cells. We used biaxial analysis and uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP). RESULTS: Significant elevations in cytokines including CXCL9, M-CSF, and IL-27 were found in MIS-C compared to FC. Classic monocytes and type 2 dendritic cells (DCs) were downregulated (decreased CD86, HLA-DR) versus HCs; however, type 1 DCs (CD11c+CD141+CLEC9A+) were highly activated in MIS-C patients versus FC, expressing higher levels of CD86, CD275, and atypical conventional DC markers such as CD64, CD115, and CX3CR1. CD169 and CD38 were upregulated in multiple monocyte subtypes. CD56dim/CD57-/KLRGhi/CD161+/CD38- natural killer (NK) cells were a unique subset in MIS-C versus FC without macrophage activation syndrome. CONCLUSION: Orchestrated by complex cytokine signaling, type 1 DC activation and NK dysregulation are key features in the pathophysiology of MIS-C. NK cell findings may suggest a relationship with macrophage activation syndrome, while type 1 DC upregulation implies a role for antigen cross-presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/blood , Adolescent , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Priming , Cytokines/blood , Dendritic Cells/classification , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/blood , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukins/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Membrane Glycoproteins/blood , Models, Immunological , Monocytes/immunology , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/blood , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Up-Regulation
9.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to establish an acute treatment protocol to increase serum vitamin D, evaluate the effectiveness of vitamin D3 supplementation, and reveal the potential mechanisms in COVID-19. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the data of 867 COVID-19 cases. Then, a prospective study was conducted, including 23 healthy individuals and 210 cases. A total of 163 cases had vitamin D supplementation, and 95 were followed for 14 days. Clinical outcomes, routine blood biomarkers, serum levels of vitamin D metabolism, and action mechanism-related parameters were evaluated. RESULTS: Our treatment protocol increased the serum 25OHD levels significantly to above 30 ng/mL within two weeks. COVID-19 cases (no comorbidities, no vitamin D treatment, 25OHD <30 ng/mL) had 1.9-fold increased risk of having hospitalization longer than 8 days compared with the cases with comorbidities and vitamin D treatment. Having vitamin D treatment decreased the mortality rate by 2.14 times. The correlation analysis of specific serum biomarkers with 25OHD indicated that the vitamin D action in COVID-19 might involve regulation of INOS1, IL1B, IFNg, cathelicidin-LL37, and ICAM1. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D treatment shortened hospital stay and decreased mortality in COVID-19 cases, even in the existence of comorbidities. Vitamin D supplementation is effective on various target parameters; therefore, it is essential for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/administration & dosage , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/blood , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/genetics , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Dietary Supplements , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/blood , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/genetics , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-1beta/genetics , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/blood , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/genetics , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/metabolism , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D/pharmacology , Vitamins/administration & dosage , Vitamins/pharmacology
10.
Respir Med ; 189: 106669, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482946

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Cytokine storm is one of the consequences of the severe forms of COVID-19 due to excessive immune response. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of plasmapheresis and its role on the inflammatory cytokines levels in patients suffering from severe COVID-19. METHODS: In plasmapheresis group, 22 severe cases of COVID-19 receiving three cycles of plasmapheresis with time interval of 24-36 h and 22 COVID-19 patients as the control group were enrolled. Clinical history and laboratory parameters as well as IL-1, IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-17 cytokines serum levels in the time points of before and after plasmapheresis were studied. RESULTS: In severe COVID-19 patients, plasmapheresis significantly improved clinical and laboratory parameters such as cough, weakness, fever, blood oxygen saturation and CRP levels. Serum levels of IL-1, IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-17 in the group of patients receiving plasmapheresis, had a significant decrease following plasmapheresis courses. Although only IL-6 level in the control group had a significant decrease between the days 1-14 of disease. Also, at both time points of before and after plasmapheresis, serum levels of IL-1, IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-17 were inversely correlated to blood oxygen saturation. CONCLUSION: Based on the obtained results, plasmapheresis therapy in severe forms of COVID-19 can effectively improve the clinical symptoms of the disease and reduce inflammatory markers. Therefore, it is suggested that plasmapheresis can be evaluated in standard treatment protocols for severe forms of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokines/blood , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Plasmapheresis/methods , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukin-1/blood , Interleukin-17/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Treatment Outcome
11.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0258041, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443855

ABSTRACT

Numerous assays evaluating serological and cellular responses have been developed to characterize immune responses against SARS-CoV-2. Serological assays are both cost- and time-effective compared to cellular assays, but cellular immune responses may provide a diagnostic value to determine previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in seronegative individuals. However, potential cross-reactive T cell responses stemming from prior encounters with human coronaviruses (HCoVs) may affect assay specificity. In this study, we evaluated the specificity and sensitivity of a SARS-CoV-2 IFN-γ Release Assay (IGRA) based on the FluoroSpot method employing commercially available SARS-CoV-2-specific peptide pools, as well as an in-house designed SARS-CoV-2 peptide pool restricted to 5 amino acid stretches or less aligning with endemic HCoVs. Blood samples were obtained from healthcare workers (HCW) 5-6 months post SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) IgG and nucleocapsid (N) IgG dual seroconversion (n = 187) and HCW who had been S IgG and N IgG dual seronegative at repeated occasions, including the current sampling time point (n = 102). In addition, samples were obtained 4 to 5 months post infection from 55 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 patients. Assay specificity and sensitivity were calculated with serology as a reference standard for HCW. The in-house generated peptide pool displayed a specificity of 96.1%, while the commercially available peptide pools displayed specificities of 80.4% and 85.3%, respectively. Sensitivity was higher in a cohort of previously hospitalized COVID-19 patients (96.4% and 84.0% for the commercially available peptide pools and 92.7% for the in-house generated peptide pool) compared to the HCW cohort (92.0% and 66.8% for the commercially available peptide pools and 76.0% for the in-house generated peptide pool). Based on these findings, the individual diagnostic value of T cell immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 currently appears to be limited but remain an important research tool ahead.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroconversion
13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(5): 777-782, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381012

ABSTRACT

We analyzed plasma levels of interferons (IFNs) and cytokines, and expression of IFN-stimulated genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 of varying disease severity. Patients hospitalized with mild disease exhibited transient type I IFN responses, while intensive care unit patients had prolonged type I IFN responses. Type II IFN responses were compromised in intensive care unit patients. Type III IFN responses were induced in the early phase of infection, even in convalescent patients. These results highlight the importance of early type I and III IFN responses in controlling coronavirus disease 2019 progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interferons/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Chemokines/blood , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Interferon Type I/blood , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferons/blood , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
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 , BNT162 Vaccine , 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
15.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1807-1818, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360311

ABSTRACT

Male sex was repeatedly identified as a risk factor for death and intensive care admission. However, it is yet unclear whether sex hormones are associated with disease severity in COVID-19 patients. In this study, we analysed sex hormone levels (estradiol and testosterone) of male and female COVID-19 patients (n = 50) admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in comparison to control non-COVID-19 patients at the ICU (n = 42), non-COVID-19 patients with the most prevalent comorbidity (coronary heart diseases) present within the COVID-19 cohort (n = 39) and healthy individuals (n = 50). We detected significantly elevated estradiol levels in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to all control cohorts. Testosterone levels were significantly reduced in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to control cohorts. No statistically significant differences in sex hormone levels were detected in critically ill female COVID-19 patients, albeit similar trends towards elevated estradiol levels were observed. Linear regression analysis revealed that among a broad range of cytokines and chemokines analysed, IFN-γ levels are positively associated with estradiol levels in male and female COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, male COVID-19 patients with elevated estradiol levels were more likely to receive ECMO treatment. Thus, we herein identified that disturbance of sex hormone metabolism might present a hallmark in critically ill male COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Estradiol/blood , Testosterone/blood , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Humans , Hypogonadism/pathology , Intensive Care Units , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Distribution
16.
Cells ; 10(8)2021 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335014

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2020, population-based vaccination programs with new generation mRNA-based vaccines began almost all over the world. The aim of the study was to evaluate the titer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies against the S1 subunit of the virus's spike protein as a marker of the humoral response in 477 patients and the concentration of interferon-gamma as an indicator of cellular response in 28 individuals. In our studies, we used serological enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. IgG was measured in weeks 2 and 3 after the first dose and 1-5 weeks after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine in seropositive and seronegative individuals as well as in symptomatic and asymptomatic convalescents. High levels of antibodies were observed in 98% of our vaccinated cohort, and the presence of protective T cells was confirmed in the blood samples of all participants. The humoral immune response is diversified and is visible as early as 2-3 weeks after the first dose of the mRNA vaccine. The level of protection increased significantly after the second dose, with the increase being much greater in pre-vaccine healthy subjects and less in convalescents. In the second and third weeks after the second dose, the concentration of IgG antibodies was the highest, and in the following weeks, it decreased gradually. Regular serological measurements on eight subjects show that antibody titers are lower four months after vaccination than before the second dose.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interferon-gamma/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Poland , Sex Factors , Time Factors
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 15107, 2021 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322506

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 outbreak brings intense pressure on healthcare systems, with an urgent demand for effective diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic procedures. Here, we employed Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) to analyze three publicly available high throughput COVID-19 datasets, including proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic measurements. Pathway analysis of the selected features was also performed. Analysis of a combined proteomic and metabolomic dataset led to 10 equivalent signatures of two features each, with AUC 0.840 (CI 0.723-0.941) in discriminating severe from non-severe COVID-19 patients. A transcriptomic dataset led to two equivalent signatures of eight features each, with AUC 0.914 (CI 0.865-0.955) in identifying COVID-19 patients from those with a different acute respiratory illness. Another transcriptomic dataset led to two equivalent signatures of nine features each, with AUC 0.967 (CI 0.899-0.996) in identifying COVID-19 patients from virus-free individuals. Signature predictive performance remained high upon validation. Multiple new features emerged and pathway analysis revealed biological relevance by implication in Viral mRNA Translation, Interferon gamma signaling and Innate Immune System pathways. In conclusion, AutoML analysis led to multiple biosignatures of high predictive performance, with reduced features and large choice of alternative predictors. These favorable characteristics are eminent for development of cost-effective assays to contribute to better disease management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/metabolism , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Machine Learning , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Computer Simulation , Databases, Factual , Databases, Genetic , Databases, Protein , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferon-gamma/blood , Metabolomics , Prognosis , Proteomics , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Software
18.
J Immunol Res ; 2021: 6657894, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The 2019 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 caused large outbreaks of COVID-19 worldwide. COVID-19 resembles community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Our aim was to identify lymphocyte subpopulations to distinguish between COVID-19 and CAP. METHODS: We compared the peripheral blood lymphocytes and their subsets in 296 patients with COVID-19 and 130 patients with CAP. Parameters for independent prediction of COVID-19 were calculated by logistic regression. RESULTS: The main lymphocyte subpopulations (CD3+CD4+, CD16+CD56+, and CD4+/CD8+ ratio) and cytokines (TNF-α and IFN-γ) of COVID-19 patients were significantly different from that of CAP patients. CD16+CD56+%, CD4+/CD8+ratio, CD19+, and CD3+CD4+ were identified as predictors of COVID-19 diagnosis by logistic regression. In addition, the CD3+CD4+counts, CD3+CD8+ counts, andTNF-α are independent predictors of disease severity in patients. CONCLUSIONS: Lymphopenia is an important part of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and lymphocyte subsets and cytokines may be useful to predict the severity and clinical outcomes of the disease.


Subject(s)
CD4-CD8 Ratio , COVID-19/blood , Interferon-gamma/blood , Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology , Pneumonia/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19 Testing , Community-Acquired Infections/microbiology , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Lymphopenia/blood , Lymphopenia/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia/immunology , Pneumonia/pathology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 684014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290901

ABSTRACT

T cells play a fundamental role in the early control and clearance of many viral infections of the respiratory system. In SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, lymphopenia with drastically reduced CD4+ and CD8+ T cells correlates with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated disease severity and mortality. In this study, we characterized cellular and humoral immune responses induced in patients with mild, severe and critical COVID-19. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 37 patients with mild, severe and critical COVID-19 and 10 healthy individuals were analyzed by IFNγ ELISpot and multi-color flow cytometry upon stimulation with peptide pools covering complete immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 matrix, nucleocapsid and spike proteins. In addition SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, neutralization abilities and anaphylatoxin levels were evaluated by various commercially available ELISA platforms. Our data clearly demonstrates a significantly stronger induction of SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8+ T lymphocytes and higher IFNγ production in patients with mild compared to patients with severe or critical COVID-19. In all patients SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies with similar neutralizing activity were detected, but highest titers of total IgGs were observed in critical patients. Finally, elevated anaphylatoxin C3a and C5a levels were identified in severe and critical COVID-19 patients probably caused by aberrant immune complex formation due to elevated antibody titers in these patients. Crucially, we provide a full picture of cellular and humoral immune responses of COVID-19 patients and prove that robust polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses concomitant with low anaphylatoxin levels correlate with mild infections. In addition, our data indicates that high SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers are associated with severe disease progression.


Subject(s)
Anaphylatoxins/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Disease Progression , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4043, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290767

ABSTRACT

Memory T cells contribute to rapid viral clearance during re-infection, but the longevity and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells remain unclear. Here we conduct ex vivo assays to evaluate SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in COVID-19 convalescent patients up to 317 days post-symptom onset (DPSO), and find that memory T cell responses are maintained during the study period regardless of the severity of COVID-19. In particular, we observe sustained polyfunctionality and proliferation capacity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells. Among SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells detected by activation-induced markers, the proportion of stem cell-like memory T (TSCM) cells is increased, peaking at approximately 120 DPSO. Development of TSCM cells is confirmed by SARS-CoV-2-specific MHC-I multimer staining. Considering the self-renewal capacity and multipotency of TSCM cells, our data suggest that SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are long-lasting after recovery from COVID-19, thus support the feasibility of effective vaccination programs as a measure for COVID-19 control.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Vaccination
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