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1.
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 9(2)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745397

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Information about humoral and cellular responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and antibody persistence in convalescent (COVID-19) patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) is scarce. The objectives of this study were to investigate factors influencing humoral and cellular responses to SARS-CoV-2 and its persistence in convalescent COVID-19 PwMS. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of confirmed COVID-19 convalescent PwMS identified between February 2020 and May 2021 by SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. We examined relationships between demographics, MS characteristics, disease-modifying therapy (DMT), and humoral (immunoglobulin G against spike and nucleocapsid proteins) and cellular (interferon-gamma [IFN-γ]) responses to SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: A total of 121 (83.45%) of 145 PwMS were seropositive, and 25/42 (59.5%) presented a cellular response up to 13.1 months after COVID-19. Anti-CD20-treated patients had lower antibody titers than those under other DMTs (p < 0.001), but severe COVID-19 and a longer time from last infusion increased the likelihood of producing a humoral response. IFN-γ levels did not differ among DMT. Five of 7 (71.4%) anti--CD20-treated seronegative patients had a cellular response. The humoral response persisted for more than 6 months in 41/56(81.13%) PwMS. In multivariate analysis, seropositivity decreased due to anti-CD20 therapy (OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01-0.55]) and increased in males (OR 3.59 [1.02-12.68]), whereas the cellular response decreased in those with progressive disease (OR 0.04 [0.001-0.88]). No factors were associated with antibody persistence. DISCUSSION: Humoral and cellular responses to SARS-CoV-2 are present in COVID-19 convalescent PwMS up to 13.10 months after COVID-19. The humoral response decreases under anti-CD20 treatment, although the cellular response can be detected in anti-CD20-treated patients, even in the absence of antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Antigens, CD20/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Interferon-gamma/biosynthesis , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Sclerosis/complications , Nucleocapsid/chemistry , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Retrospective Studies
2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 796682, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731771

ABSTRACT

In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), natural killer T (NKT) cells act as primary initiators of immune responses. However, a decrease of circulating NKT cells has been observed in COVID-19 different stages, of which the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here, by performing single-cell RNA sequencing analysis in three large cohorts of COVID-19 patients, we found that increased expression of Tim-3 promotes depletion of NKT cells during the progression stage of COVID-19, which is associated with disease severity and outcome of patients with COVID-19. Tim-3+ NKT cells also expressed high levels of CD147 and CD26, which are potential SARS-CoV-2 spike binding receptors. In the study, Tim-3+ NKT cells showed high enrichment of apoptosis, higher expression levels of mitochondrial genes and caspase genes, with a larger pseudo time value. In addition, Tim-3+ NKT cells in COVID-19 presented a stronger capacity to secrete IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10 compared with healthy individuals, they also demonstrated high expression of co-inhibitory receptors such as PD-1, CTLA-4, and LAG-3. Moreover, we found that IL-12 secreted by dendritic cells (DCs) was positively correlated with up-regulated expression of Tim-3 in NKT cells in COVID-19 patients. Overall, this study describes a novel mechanism by which up-regulated Tim-3 expression induced the depletion and dysfunction of NKT cells in COVID-19 patients. These findings not only have possible implications for the prediction of severity and prognosis in COVID-19 but also provide a link between NKT cells and future new therapeutic strategies in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/immunology , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-10/immunology , Interleukin-4/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 798813, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725390

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
5.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0261979, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703403

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neutralizing antibodies are important for protection against the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus, and long-term memory responses determine the risk of re-infection or boosting after vaccination. T-cellular responses are considered important for partial protection against novel variants of concern. METHODS: A prospective cohort of hospitalized (n = 14) and community (n = 38) patients with rt-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited. Blood samples and clinical data were collected when diagnosed and at 6 months. Serum samples were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2-spike specific antibodies using ELISA (IgG, IgA, IgM), pseudotype neutralization and microneutralization assays. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were investigated for virus-specific T-cell responses in the interferon-γ and interleukin-2 fluorescent-linked immunosorbent spot (FluroSpot) assay. RESULTS: We found durable SARS-CoV-2 spike- and internal protein specific T-cellular responses in patients with persistent antibodies at 6 months. Significantly higher IL-2 and IFN-γ secreting T-cell responses as well as SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies were detected in hospitalized compared to community patients. The immune response was impacted by age, gender, comorbidity and severity of illness, reflecting clinical observations. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cellular and antibody responses persisted for 6 months post confirmed infection. In previously infected patients, re-exposure or vaccination will boost long-term immunity, possibly providing protection against re-infection with variant viruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors
7.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674830

ABSTRACT

The progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of variants of concern (VOC), which may compromise the efficacy of the currently administered vaccines. Antigenic drift can potentially bring about reduced protective T cell immunity and, consequently, more severe disease manifestations. To assess this possibility, the T cell responses to the wild-type Wuhan-1 SARS-CoV-2 ancestral spike protein and the Omicron B.1.1.529 spike protein were compared. Accordingly, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were collected from eight healthy volunteers 4-5 months following a third vaccination with BNT162b2, and stimulated with overlapping peptide libraries representing the spike of either the ancestral or the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. Quantification of the specific T cells was carried out by a fluorescent ELISPOT assay, monitoring cells secreting interferon-gamma (IFNg), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-4 (IL-4). For all the examined individuals, comparable levels of reactivity to both forms of spike protein were determined. In addition, a dominant Th1 response was observed, manifested mainly by IFNg-secreting cells and only limited numbers of IL-10- and IL-4-secreting cells. The data demonstrate stable T cell activity in response to the emerging Omicron variant in the tested individuals; therefore, the protective immunity to the variant following BNT162b2 vaccination is not significantly affected.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/analysis , Cytokines/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/analysis , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Young Adult
8.
J Virol Methods ; 302: 114472, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641489

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence suggests that T-cells play a significant role in COVID-19 immunity both in the context of natural infection and vaccination. Easy to use IGRA assays including QFN SARS are considered attractive alternatives to more "traditional" but laborious methods for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses. In our Letter we are proposing explanations to an apparently lower than expected T-cell responses (44 % reactive individuals) reported by Krüttgen et al in a small cohort of healthy double vaccinated individuals. These results could have been affected by reporting raw optical density values instead of calculated Interferon-É£ concentrations which is supported by unexpectedly low mitogen responses in healthy individuals. This study highlights an importance of adhering to good laboratory practice principles as well as overall importance of accurate T-cell immunity assessment using IGRA assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma Release Tests , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
9.
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
11.
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 74(2): 284-294, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594369

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate seroreactivity and disease flares after COVID-19 vaccination in a multiethnic/multiracial cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: Ninety SLE patients and 20 healthy controls receiving a complete COVID-19 vaccine regimen were included. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization were used to evaluate B cell responses; interferon-γ (IFNγ) production was measured by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay in order to assess T cell responses. Disease activity was measured by the hybrid SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and flares were identified according to the Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment-SLEDAI flare index. RESULTS: Overall, fully vaccinated SLE patients produced significantly lower IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD compared to fully vaccinated controls. Twenty-six SLE patients (28.8%) generated an IgG response below that of the lowest control (<100 units/ml). In logistic regression analyses, the use of any immunosuppressant or prednisone and a normal anti-double-stranded DNA antibody level prior to vaccination were associated with decreased vaccine responses. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD strongly correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers and correlated with antigen-specific IFNγ production determined by ELISpot. In a subset of patients with poor antibody responses, IFNγ production was similarly diminished. Pre- and postvaccination SLEDAI scores were similar in both groups. Postvaccination flares occurred in 11.4% of patients; 1.3% of these were severe. CONCLUSION: In a multiethnic/multiracial study of SLE patients, 29% had a low response to the COVID-19 vaccine which was associated with receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Reassuringly, severe disease flares were rare. While minimal protective levels remain unknown, these data suggest that protocol development is needed to assess the efficacy of booster vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/drug therapy , /therapeutic use , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/physiopathology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Prednisone/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Symptom Flare Up
13.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S82-S87, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575296

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The interaction of COVID-19 and tuberculosis (TB) are still poor characterized. Here we evaluated the immune response specific for Micobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and SARS-CoV-2 using a whole-blood-based assay-platform in COVID-19 patients either with TB or latent TB infection (LTBI). METHODS: We evaluated IFN-γ level in plasma from whole-blood stimulated with Mtb antigens in the Quantiferon-Plus format or with peptides derived from SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, Wuhan-Hu-1 isolate (CD4-S). RESULTS: We consecutively enrolled 63 COVID-19, 10 TB-COVID-19 and 11 LTBI-COVID-19 patients. IFN-γ response to Mtb-antigens was significantly associated to TB status and therefore it was higher in TB-COVID-19 and LTBI-COVID-19 patients compared to COVID-19 patients (p ≤ 0.0007). Positive responses against CD4-S were found in 35/63 COVID-19 patients, 7/11 LTBI-COVID-19 and only 2/10 TB-COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, the responders in the TB-COVID-19 group were less compared to COVID-19 and LTBI-COVID-19 groups (p = 0.037 and 0.044, respectively). Moreover, TB-COVID-19 patients showed the lowest quantitative IFN-γ response to CD4-S compared to COVID-19-patients (p = 0.0336) and LTBI-COVID-19 patients (p = 0.0178). CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that COVID-19 patients either TB or LTBI have a low ability to build an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 while retaining the ability to respond to Mtb-specific antigens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Tuberculosis , Antigens, Bacterial/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Tuberculosis/immunology
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7222, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565718

ABSTRACT

Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a major complication of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in pediatric patients. Weeks after an often mild or asymptomatic initial infection with SARS-CoV-2 children may present with a severe shock-like picture and marked inflammation. Children with MIS-C present with varying degrees of cardiovascular and hyperinflammatory symptoms. Here we perform a comprehensive analysis of the plasma proteome of more than 1400 proteins in children with SARS-CoV-2. We hypothesize that the proteome would reflect heterogeneity in hyperinflammation and vascular injury, and further identify pathogenic mediators of disease. We show that protein signatures demonstrate overlap between MIS-C, and the inflammatory syndromes macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). We demonstrate that PLA2G2A is an important marker of MIS-C that associates with TMA. We find that IFNγ responses are dysregulated in MIS-C patients, and that IFNγ levels delineate clinical heterogeneity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Proteome , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokine CXCL9 , Child , Group II Phospholipases A2 , Humans , Inflammation , Interleukin-10 , Proteomics , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , Vascular Diseases
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 750279, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551505

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection induces heterogeneous symptoms, ranging from asymptomatic to lethal forms. Severe forms usually occur in the elderly and/or individuals with comorbidities. Children generally remain asymptomatic to primary infection, suggesting that they may have an effective local innate immune response. IFN-I and -III have non-redundant protective roles against SARS-CoV-2, although sometimes damaging the host. The expression and role of anti-viral peptides during SARS-CoV-2 infection have thus far been little studied. We aimed to identify the innate immune molecules present at the SARS-CoV-2 entry point. We analyzed the mRNA levels of type I (IFN-α and -ß) and type III (IFN-λ1-3) interferons and selected antiviral peptides (i.e., ß-defensins 1-3, α-defensins [HNP1-3, HD5] pentraxin-3, surfactant protein D, the cathelicidin LL-37 and interleukin-26) in nasopharyngeal swabs from 226 individuals of various ages, either infected with SARS-CoV-2 (symptomatic or asymptomatic) or negative for the virus. We observed that infection induced selective upregulation of IFN-λ1 expression in pediatric subjects (≤15 years), whereas IFN-α, IFN-ß, IFN-λ2/λ3, and ß-defensin 1-3 expression was unaffected. Conversely, infection triggered upregulation of IFN-α, IFN-ß, IFN-λ2/λ3, and ß-defensin 1-3 mRNA expression in adults (15-65 years) and the elderly (≥ 65 years), but without modulation of IFN-λ1. The expression of these innate molecules was not associated with gender or symptoms. Expression of the interferon-stimulated genes IFITM1 and IFITM3 was upregulated in SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects and reached similar levels in the three age groups. Finally, age-related differences in nasopharyngeal innate immunity were also observed in SARS-CoV-2-negative subjects. This study shows that the expression patterns of IFN-I/-III and certain anti-viral molecules in the nasopharyngeal mucosa of SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects differ with age and suggests that susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 may be related to intrinsic differences in the nature of mucosal anti-viral innate immunity.


Subject(s)
/analysis , Interferon Type I/biosynthesis , Interferon-gamma/biosynthesis , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , beta-Defensins/biosynthesis , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interferons/biosynthesis , Interferons/immunology , Interleukins/biosynthesis , Interleukins/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/immunology , Young Adult , beta-Defensins/immunology
16.
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
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 747830, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551503

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus responsible of the current pandemic ongoing all around the world. Since its discovery in 2019, several circulating variants have emerged and some of them are associated with increased infections and death rate. Despite the genetic differences among these variants, vaccines approved for human use have shown a good immunogenic and protective response against them. In Chile, over 70% of the vaccinated population is immunized with CoronaVac, an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The immune response elicited by this vaccine has been described against the first SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated from Wuhan, China and the D614G strain (lineage B). To date, four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern described have circulated worldwide. Here, we describe the neutralizing capacities of antibodies secreted by volunteers in the Chilean population immunized with CoronaVac against variants of concern Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) Gamma (P.1) and Delta (B.617.2). Methods: Volunteers enrolled in a phase 3 clinical trial were vaccinated with two doses of CoronaVac in 0-14 or 0-28 immunization schedules. Sera samples were used to evaluate the capacity of antibodies induced by the vaccine to block the binding between Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) from variants of concern and the human ACE2 receptor by an in-house ELISA. Further, conventional microneutralization assays were used to test neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, interferon-γ-secreting T cells against Spike from variants of concern were evaluated in PBMCs from vaccinated subjects using ELISPOT. Results: CoronaVac promotes the secretion of antibodies able to block the RBD of all the SARS-CoV-2 variants studied. Seropositivity rates of neutralizing antibodies in the population evaluated were over 97% for the lineage B strain, over 80% for Alpha and Gamma variants, over 75% for Delta variant and over 60% for the Beta variant. Geometric means titers of blocking antibodies were reduced when tested against SARS-CoV-2 variants as compared to ancestral strain. We also observed that antibodies from vaccinated subjects were able to neutralize the infection of variants D614G, Alpha, Gamma and Delta in a conventional microneutralization assay. Importantly, after SARS-CoV-2 infection, we observed that the blocking capacity of antibodies from vaccinated volunteers increased up to ten times for all the variants tested. We compared the number of interferon-γ-secreting T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 Spike WT and variants of concern from vaccinated subjects and we did not detect significant differences. Conclusion: Immunization with CoronaVac in either immunization schedule promotes the secretion of antibodies able to block SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and partially neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, it stimulates cellular responses against all variants of concern.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Vaccination , Young Adult
18.
Nature ; 601(7894): 617-622, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528018

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is central for the control of viral infections. CoVac-1 is a peptide-based vaccine candidate, composed of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes derived from various viral proteins1,2, combined with the Toll-like receptor 1/2 agonist XS15 emulsified in Montanide ISA51 VG, aiming to induce profound SARS-CoV-2 T cell immunity to combat COVID-19. Here we conducted a phase I open-label trial, recruiting 36 participants aged 18-80 years, who received a single subcutaneous CoVac-1 vaccination. The primary end point was safety analysed until day 56. Immunogenicity in terms of CoVac-1-induced T cell response was analysed as the main secondary end point until day 28 and in the follow-up until month 3. No serious adverse events and no grade 4 adverse events were observed. Expected local granuloma formation was observed in all study participants, whereas systemic reactogenicity was absent or mild. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses targeting multiple vaccine peptides were induced in all study participants, mediated by multifunctional T helper 1 CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. CoVac-1-induced IFNγ T cell responses persisted in the follow-up analyses and surpassed those detected after SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as after vaccination with approved vaccines. Furthermore, vaccine-induced T cell responses were unaffected by current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Together, CoVac-1 showed a favourable safety profile and induced broad, potent and variant of concern-independent T cell responses, supporting the presently ongoing evaluation in a phase II trial for patients with B cell or antibody deficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Administration, Cutaneous , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Female , Granuloma/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/adverse effects , Young Adult
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 753849, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523705

ABSTRACT

Background: CD14+ monocytes present antigens to adaptive immune cells via monocytic human leukocyte antigen receptor (mHLA-DR), which is described as an immunological synapse. Reduced levels of mHLA-DR can display an acquired immune defect, which is often found in sepsis and predisposes for secondary infections and fatal outcomes. Monocytic HLA-DR expression is reliably induced by interferon- γ (IFNγ) therapy. Case Report: We report a case of multidrug-resistant superinfected COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. The resistance profiles of the detected Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Citrobacter freundii isolates were equipped with resistance to all four antibiotic classes including carbapenems (4MRGN) and Cefiderocol in the case of K. pneumoniae. A causal therapeutic antibiotic strategy was not available. Therefore, we measured the immune status of the patient aiming to identify a potential acquired immune deficiency. Monocyte HLA-DR expression identified by FACS analysis revealed an expression level of 34% positive monocytes and suggested severe immunosuppression. We indicated IFNγ therapy, which resulted in a rapid increase in mHLA-DR expression (96%), rapid resolution of invasive bloodstream infection, and discharge from the hospital on day 70. Discussion: Superinfection is a dangerous complication of COVID-19 pneumonia, and sepsis-induced immunosuppression is a risk factor for it. Immunosuppression is expressed by a disturbed antigen presentation of monocytes to cells of the adaptive immune system. The case presented here is remarkable as no validated antibiotic regimen existed against the detected bacterial pathogens causing bloodstream infection and severe pneumonia in a patient suffering from COVID-19 ARDS. Possible restoration of the patient's own immunity by IFNγ was a plausible option to boost the patient's immune system, eliminate the identified 4MRGNs, and allow for lung recovery. This led to the conclusion that immune status monitoring is useful in complicated COVID-19-ARDS and that concomitant IFNγ therapy may support antibiotic strategies. Conclusion: After a compromised immune system has been detected by suppressed mHLA-DR levels, the immune system can be safely reactivated by IFNγ.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Drug Resistance, Multiple/immunology , HLA Antigens/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Adult , Humans , Receptors, Interferon/immunology
20.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 62-74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514418

ABSTRACT

The molecular mechanisms governing orderly shutdown and retraction of CD4+ type 1 helper T (TH1) cell responses remain poorly understood. Here we show that complement triggers contraction of TH1 responses by inducing intrinsic expression of the vitamin D (VitD) receptor and the VitD-activating enzyme CYP27B1, permitting T cells to both activate and respond to VitD. VitD then initiated the transition from pro-inflammatory interferon-γ+ TH1 cells to suppressive interleukin-10+ cells. This process was primed by dynamic changes in the epigenetic landscape of CD4+ T cells, generating super-enhancers and recruiting several transcription factors, notably c-JUN, STAT3 and BACH2, which together with VitD receptor shaped the transcriptional response to VitD. Accordingly, VitD did not induce interleukin-10 expression in cells with dysfunctional BACH2 or STAT3. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid CD4+ T cells of patients with COVID-19 were TH1-skewed and showed de-repression of genes downregulated by VitD, from either lack of substrate (VitD deficiency) and/or abnormal regulation of this system.


Subject(s)
Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-10/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vitamin D/metabolism , 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase/metabolism , Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Complement C3a/immunology , Complement C3b/immunology , Humans , JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Receptors, Calcitriol/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
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