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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 709759, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450807

ABSTRACT

The clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 infection range from asymptomatic to severe disease with life-threatening complications. Understanding the persistence of immune responses in asymptomatic individuals merit special attention because of their importance in controlling the spread of the infections. We here studied the antibody and T cell responses, and a wide range of inflammation markers, in 56 SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positive individuals, identified by a population screen after the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These, mostly asymptomatic individuals, were reanalyzed 7-8 months after their infection together with 115 age-matched seronegative controls. We found that 7-8 months after the infection their antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid (N) protein declined whereas we found no decrease in the antibodies to Spike receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) when compared to the findings at seropositivity identification. In contrast to antibodies to N protein, the antibodies to S-RBD correlated with the viral neutralization capacity and with CD4+ T cell responses as measured by antigen-specific upregulation of CD137 and CD69 markers. Unexpectedly we found the asymptomatic antibody-positive individuals to have increased serum levels of S100A12, TGF-alpha, IL18, and OSM, the markers of activated macrophages-monocytes, suggesting long-term persistent inflammatory effect associated with the viral infection in asymptomatic individuals. Our results support the evidence for the long-term persistence of the inflammation process and the need for post-infection clinical monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infected asymptomatic individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-18/blood , Macrophages/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Oncostatin M/blood , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , S100A12 Protein/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor alpha/blood
2.
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 73(10): 1791-1799, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391545

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 triggers severe illness with high mortality in a subgroup of patients. Such a critical course of COVID-19 is thought to be associated with the development of cytokine storm, a condition seen in macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). However, specific data demonstrating a clear association of cytokine storm with severe COVID-19 are still lacking. The aim of this study was to directly address whether immune activation in COVID-19 does indeed mimic the conditions found in these classic cytokine storm syndromes. METHODS: Levels of 22 biomarkers were quantified in serum samples from patients with COVID-19 (n = 30 patients, n = 83 longitudinal samples in total), patients with secondary HLH/MAS (n = 50), and healthy controls (n = 9). Measurements were performed using bead array assays and single-marker enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum biomarker levels were assessed for correlations with disease outcome. RESULTS: In patients with secondary HLH/MAS, we observed pronounced activation of the interleukin-18 (IL-18)-interferon-γ axis, increased serum levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and IL-8, and strongly reduced levels of soluble Fas ligand in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These observations appeared to discriminate immune dysregulation in critical COVID-19 from the well-recognized characteristics of other cytokine storm syndromes. CONCLUSION: Serum biomarker profiles clearly separate COVID-19 from MAS or secondary HLH in terms of distinguishing the severe systemic hyperinflammation that occurs following SARS-CoV-2 infection. These findings could be useful in determining the efficacy of drugs targeting key molecules and pathways specifically associated with systemic cytokine storm conditions in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Interleukin-18/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/diagnosis , Macrophage Activation Syndrome/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/blood , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/complications , Macrophage Activation Syndrome/blood , Macrophage Activation Syndrome/complications , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 719544, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348491

ABSTRACT

Background: Hyperinflammation with dysregulated production of galectins and cytokines may develop in COVID-19 or adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD). Given the similar clinical features in both diseases, it is necessary to identify biomarkers that can differentiate COVID-19 from AOSD. However, the related data remain scarce currently. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, plasma levels of galectin-3, galectin-9, and soluble TIM-3 (sTIM-3) were determined by ELISA in 55 COVID-19 patients (31 non-severe and 24 severe), 23 active AOSD patients, and 31 healthy controls (HC). The seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was examined using an immunochromatographic assay, and cytokine profiles were determined with the MULTIPLEX platform. Results: Significantly higher levels of galectin-3, galectin-9, IL-1ß, IL-1Ra, IL-10, IFN-α2, IL-6, IL-18, and TNF-α were observed in severe COVID-19 and active AOSD patients compared with HC (all p<0.001). AOSD, but not COVID-19, showed significantly higher IFN-γ and IL-17A compared with HC (both p<0.01). Moreover, active AOSD patients had 68-fold higher IL-18 levels and 5-fold higher ferritin levels than severe COVID-19 patients (both p<0.001). IL-18 levels at the cut-off value 190.5pg/mL had the highest discriminative power for active AOSD and severe COVID-19, with AUC 0.948, sensitivity 91.3%, specificity 95.8%, and accuracy of 91.5% (p<0.005). Multivariate regression analysis revealed IL-18 as a significant predictor of active AOSD (p<0.05). Conclusion: Active AOSD patients share features of hyperinflammation and cytokine storm with severe COVID-19 patients but possess a distinct cytokine profile, including elevated IL-18, IL-6, IFN-γ, and IL-17A. IL-18 is a potential discriminator between AOSD and COVID-19 and may significantly predict active AOSD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interleukin-18 , SARS-CoV-2 , Still's Disease, Adult-Onset , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Interleukin-18/blood , Interleukin-18/immunology , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Still's Disease, Adult-Onset/blood , Still's Disease, Adult-Onset/immunology
4.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2090-2098, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227749

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many laboratory parameters have been associated with morbidity and mortality in SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which emerged in an animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has infected over 20 million people. This study investigated the relationship between serum interleukin (IL)-18, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), and alpha defensin levels and the clinical course and prognosis of COVID-19. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 100 patients who were admitted to the chest diseases department and intensive care unit of our hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19 by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of nasopharyngeal swab samples between March 24 and May 31, 2020. The control group consisted of 50 nonsymptomatic health workers with negative real-time PCR results in routine COVID-19 screening in our hospital. RESULTS: Serum alpha defensin, IL-1Ra, and IL-18 levels were significantly higher in patients who developed macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) compared to patients who did not (p < .001 for all). Alpha defensin, IL-1Ra, and IL-18 levels were significantly higher in COVID-19 patients with and without MAS or ARDS when compared to the control group (p < .001 for all). When the 9 patients who died were compared with the 91 surviving patients, IL-1Ra and IL-18 levels were found to be significantly higher in the nonsurvivors (p < .001). CONCLUSION: Our findings of correlations between alpha defensin and levels of IL-1Ra and IL-18, which were previously shown to be useful in COVID-19 treatment and follow-up, indicates that it may also be promising in treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/blood , Interleukin-18/blood , Macrophage Activation Syndrome/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , alpha-Defensins/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Turkey
5.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 97: 107684, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188658

ABSTRACT

A cell-surface heparan proteoglycan called Syndecan-1 (SDC-1) has multiple roles in healthy and pathogenic conditions, including respiratory viral infection. In this study, we explore the dynamic alternation in the levels of SDC-1 in cases with COVID-19. A total of 120 cases definitely diagnosed with COVID-19 were admitted to the Firoozgar Hospital, Tehran, Iran, from December 1, 2020, to January 29, 2021, and included in our study. Also, 58 healthy subjects (HS) were chosen as the control group. Patients were classified into two groups: 1) ICU patients and (63 cases) 2) non-ICU patients (57 cases). The dynamic changes of serum SCD-1, CRP, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18, and Vit D levels a well as the disease activity were investigated in three-time points (T1-T3). Our results indicated that the COVID-19 patients had significantly increased SCD-1, CRP, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-18 levels than in HS, while the Vit D levels in COVID-19 patients were significantly lower than HS. Further analysis demonstrated that the SCD-1, CRP, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-18 levels in ICU patients were significantly higher than in non-ICU patients. Tracking dynamic changes in the above markers indicated that on the day of admission, the SCD-1, CRP, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-18 levels were gradually increased on day 5 (T2) and then gradually decreased on day 10 (T3). ROC curve analysis suggests that markers mentioned above, SDC-1, IL-6, and IL-18 are valuable indicators in evaluating the activity of COVID-19. All in all, it seems that the serum SDC-1 levels alone or combined with other markers might be a good candidate for disease activity monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Syndecan-1/blood , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Critical Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-18/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , ROC Curve , Receptors, Immunologic/blood , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Vitamin D/blood
6.
Elife ; 102021 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063493

ABSTRACT

Although the range of immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is variable, cytokine storm is observed in a subset of symptomatic individuals. To further understand the disease pathogenesis and, consequently, to develop an additional tool for clinicians to evaluate patients for presumptive intervention, we sought to compare plasma cytokine levels between a range of donor and patient samples grouped by a COVID-19 Severity Score (CSS) based on the need for hospitalization and oxygen requirement. Here we utilize a mutual information algorithm that classifies the information gain for CSS prediction provided by cytokine expression levels and clinical variables. Using this methodology, we found that a small number of clinical and cytokine expression variables are predictive of presenting COVID-19 disease severity, raising questions about the mechanism by which COVID-19 creates severe illness. The variables that were the most predictive of CSS included clinical variables such as age and abnormal chest x-ray as well as cytokines such as macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-inducible protein 10, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a plethora of changes in cytokine profiles and that particularly in severely ill patients, these changes are consistent with the presence of macrophage activation syndrome and could furthermore be used as a biomarker to predict disease severity.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/blood , Interleukin-18/blood , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/blood , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Elife ; 102021 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028863

ABSTRACT

Although the range of immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is variable, cytokine storm is observed in a subset of symptomatic individuals. To further understand the disease pathogenesis and, consequently, to develop an additional tool for clinicians to evaluate patients for presumptive intervention, we sought to compare plasma cytokine levels between a range of donor and patient samples grouped by a COVID-19 Severity Score (CSS) based on the need for hospitalization and oxygen requirement. Here we utilize a mutual information algorithm that classifies the information gain for CSS prediction provided by cytokine expression levels and clinical variables. Using this methodology, we found that a small number of clinical and cytokine expression variables are predictive of presenting COVID-19 disease severity, raising questions about the mechanism by which COVID-19 creates severe illness. The variables that were the most predictive of CSS included clinical variables such as age and abnormal chest x-ray as well as cytokines such as macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-inducible protein 10, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a plethora of changes in cytokine profiles and that particularly in severely ill patients, these changes are consistent with the presence of macrophage activation syndrome and could furthermore be used as a biomarker to predict disease severity.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/blood , Interleukin-18/blood , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/blood , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Cytokine ; 137: 155302, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023524

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effectual immune response is crucial to defeat viral infections. However, exuberant immune response with features of macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) lead detrimental consequences in COVID-19 patients. Interleukin (IL)-18 is one of the leading cytokines in MAS which has not been studied in COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of IL-18 with the other inflammatory markers and disease severity in COVID-19 for predicting disease prognosis. METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 who had confirmed diagnosis with SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid RT-PCR were enrolled into the study. Data on demographic and clinical characteristics, and laboratory values of CRP, ferritin, d-dimer and procalcitonin were measured on admission. Patients were followed up prospectively with a standardized approach until hospital discharge or death. Individuals were classified as asymptomatic, mild and severe pneumonia according to their clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics. Worse outcome was defined as requirement of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death. Blood samples were collected at enrollment and serum levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were determined by ELISA. Association between IL-18 and other inflammatory markers and prognosis were analyzed. RESULTS: There were 58 COVID-19 patients (50% male) with a median age of 43 (min 22-max 81) years. Twenty age and sex matched healthy subjects were served as control group. The study population was divided into three groups according to disease severity: asymptomatic (n = 20), mild pneumonia group (n = 27) and a severe group (n = 11). During follow up nine (15.5%) patients required ICU admission and three of them were died eventually. Serum IL-18 were correlated with other inflammatory markers and biochemical markers of organ injury; creatinine, liver enzymes and troponin. Serum IL-18 levels were remarkably higher in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy subjects with being highest in severe pneumonia group (p < 0.001). IL-18 serum concentrations were almost four-fold higher in patients with worse outcome compared to good outcome (p < 0.001). Serum IL-18 above the cut off value of 576 pg/mL on admission was associated with 11.7 fold increased risk of ICU admission. CONCLUSIONS: The serum concentrations of IL-18 correlate with other inflammatory markers and reflect disease severity. Results of the present study shed light on role of IL-18 on COVID-19 pathogenesis and might provide an evidence for the clinical trials on IL-18 antagonists for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Interleukin-18/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Cytokine ; 137: 155302, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802811

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effectual immune response is crucial to defeat viral infections. However, exuberant immune response with features of macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) lead detrimental consequences in COVID-19 patients. Interleukin (IL)-18 is one of the leading cytokines in MAS which has not been studied in COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of IL-18 with the other inflammatory markers and disease severity in COVID-19 for predicting disease prognosis. METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 who had confirmed diagnosis with SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid RT-PCR were enrolled into the study. Data on demographic and clinical characteristics, and laboratory values of CRP, ferritin, d-dimer and procalcitonin were measured on admission. Patients were followed up prospectively with a standardized approach until hospital discharge or death. Individuals were classified as asymptomatic, mild and severe pneumonia according to their clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics. Worse outcome was defined as requirement of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death. Blood samples were collected at enrollment and serum levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were determined by ELISA. Association between IL-18 and other inflammatory markers and prognosis were analyzed. RESULTS: There were 58 COVID-19 patients (50% male) with a median age of 43 (min 22-max 81) years. Twenty age and sex matched healthy subjects were served as control group. The study population was divided into three groups according to disease severity: asymptomatic (n = 20), mild pneumonia group (n = 27) and a severe group (n = 11). During follow up nine (15.5%) patients required ICU admission and three of them were died eventually. Serum IL-18 were correlated with other inflammatory markers and biochemical markers of organ injury; creatinine, liver enzymes and troponin. Serum IL-18 levels were remarkably higher in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy subjects with being highest in severe pneumonia group (p < 0.001). IL-18 serum concentrations were almost four-fold higher in patients with worse outcome compared to good outcome (p < 0.001). Serum IL-18 above the cut off value of 576 pg/mL on admission was associated with 11.7 fold increased risk of ICU admission. CONCLUSIONS: The serum concentrations of IL-18 correlate with other inflammatory markers and reflect disease severity. Results of the present study shed light on role of IL-18 on COVID-19 pathogenesis and might provide an evidence for the clinical trials on IL-18 antagonists for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Interleukin-18/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Severity of Illness Index
10.
JCI Insight ; 5(17)2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676865

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDElevated levels of inflammatory cytokines have been associated with poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients. It is unknown, however, how these levels compare with those observed in critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or sepsis due to other causes.METHODSWe used a Luminex assay to determine expression of 76 cytokines from plasma of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and banked plasma samples from ARDS and sepsis patients. Our analysis focused on detecting statistical differences in levels of 6 cytokines associated with cytokine storm (IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α) between patients with moderate COVID-19, severe COVID-19, and ARDS or sepsis.RESULTSFifteen hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 9 of whom were critically ill, were compared with critically ill patients with ARDS (n = 12) or sepsis (n = 16). There were no statistically significant differences in baseline levels of IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α between patients with COVID-19 and critically ill controls with ARDS or sepsis.CONCLUSIONLevels of inflammatory cytokines were not higher in severe COVID-19 patients than in moderate COVID-19 or critically ill patients with ARDS or sepsis in this small cohort. Broad use of immunosuppressive therapies in ARDS has failed in numerous Phase 3 studies; use of these therapies in unselected patients with COVID-19 may be unwarranted.FUNDINGFunding was received from NHLBI K23 HL125663 (AJR); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation OPP1113682 (AJR and CAB); Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases #1016687 NIH/NIAID U19AI057229-16; Stanford Maternal Child Health Research Institute; and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CAB).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Sepsis/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/blood , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/immunology , Interleukin-18/blood , Interleukin-18/immunology , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/immunology , Interleukin-8/blood , Interleukin-8/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Sepsis/blood , Severity of Illness Index , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
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