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1.
Nature ; 602(7896): 321-327, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585831

ABSTRACT

It is not fully understood why COVID-19 is typically milder in children1-3. Here, to examine the differences between children and adults in their response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analysed paediatric and adult patients with COVID-19 as well as healthy control individuals (total n = 93) using single-cell multi-omic profiling of matched nasal, tracheal, bronchial and blood samples. In the airways of healthy paediatric individuals, we observed cells that were already in an interferon-activated state, which after SARS-CoV-2 infection was further induced especially in airway immune cells. We postulate that higher paediatric innate interferon responses restrict viral replication and disease progression. The systemic response in children was characterized by increases in naive lymphocytes and a depletion of natural killer cells, whereas, in adults, cytotoxic T cells and interferon-stimulated subpopulations were significantly increased. We provide evidence that dendritic cells initiate interferon signalling in early infection, and identify epithelial cell states associated with COVID-19 and age. Our matching nasal and blood data show a strong interferon response in the airways with the induction of systemic interferon-stimulated populations, which were substantially reduced in paediatric patients. Together, we provide several mechanisms that explain the milder clinical syndrome observed in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Adult , Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Chicago , Cohort Studies , Disease Progression , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , London , Male , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Single-Cell Analysis , Trachea/virology , Young Adult
2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7092, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561304

ABSTRACT

The nasal epithelium is a plausible entry point for SARS-CoV-2, a site of pathogenesis and transmission, and may initiate the host response to SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral interferon (IFN) responses are critical to outcome of SARS-CoV-2. Yet little is known about the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and innate immunity in this tissue. Here we apply single-cell RNA sequencing and proteomics to a primary cell model of human nasal epithelium differentiated at air-liquid interface. SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates widespread tropism for nasal epithelial cell types. The host response is dominated by type I and III IFNs and interferon-stimulated gene products. This response is notably delayed in onset relative to viral gene expression and compared to other respiratory viruses. Nevertheless, once established, the paracrine IFN response begins to impact on SARS-CoV-2 replication. When provided prior to infection, recombinant IFNß or IFNλ1 induces an efficient antiviral state that potently restricts SARS-CoV-2 viral replication, preserving epithelial barrier integrity. These data imply that the IFN-I/III response to SARS-CoV-2 initiates in the nasal airway and suggest nasal delivery of recombinant IFNs to be a potential chemoprophylactic strategy.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/virology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Kinetics , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication/drug effects
3.
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
4.
Mucosal Immunol ; 14(5): 1144-1159, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550272

ABSTRACT

Increased IgE is a typical feature of allergic rhinitis. Local class-switch recombination has been intimated but B cell precursors and mechanisms remain elusive. Here we describe the dynamics underlying the generation of IgE-antibody secreting cells (ASC) in human nasal polyps (NP), mucosal tissues rich in ASC without germinal centers (GC). Using VH next generation sequencing, we identified an extrafollicular (EF) mucosal IgD+ naïve-like intermediate B cell population with high connectivity to the mucosal IgE ASC. Mucosal IgD+ B cells, express germline epsilon transcripts and predominantly co-express IgM. However, a small but significant fraction co-express IgG or IgA instead which also show connectivity to ASC IgE. Phenotypically, NP IgD+ B cells display an activated profile and molecular evidence of BCR engagement. Transcriptionally, mucosal IgD+ B cells reveal an intermediate profile between naïve B cells and ASC. Single cell IgE ASC analysis demonstrates lower mutational frequencies relative to IgG, IgA, and IgD ASC consistent with IgE ASC derivation from mucosal IgD+ B cell with low mutational load. In conclusion, we describe a novel mechanism of GC-independent, extrafollicular IgE ASC formation at the nasal mucosa whereby activated IgD+ naïve B cells locally undergo direct and indirect (through IgG and IgA), IgE class switch.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation/immunology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Immunoglobulin D/immunology , Immunoglobulin E/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Adult , Antibody Formation/genetics , Antibody-Producing Cells/immunology , Antibody-Producing Cells/metabolism , Computational Biology , Gene Expression Profiling , Germinal Center/immunology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Hypersensitivity/etiology , Hypersensitivity/metabolism , Immunoglobulin Class Switching/genetics , Immunoglobulin Class Switching/immunology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/genetics , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Immunophenotyping , Nasal Polyps/etiology , Nasal Polyps/metabolism , Nasal Polyps/pathology , Pollen/immunology , Seasons , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin
5.
J Clin Immunol ; 41(8): 1723-1732, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to high viral loads in the upper respiratory tract that may be determinant in virus dissemination. The extent of intranasal antiviral response in relation to symptoms is unknown. Understanding how local innate responses control virus is key in the development of therapeutic approaches. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were enrolled in an observational study conducted at the Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland, investigating virological and immunological characteristics. Nasal wash and serum specimens from a subset of patients were collected to measure viral load, IgA specific for the S1 domain of the spike protein, and a cytokine panel at different time points after infection; cytokine levels were analyzed in relation to symptoms. RESULTS: Samples from 13 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and six controls were analyzed. We found an increase in CXCL10 and IL-6, whose levels remained elevated for up to 3 weeks after symptom onset. SARS-CoV-2 infection also induced CCL2 and GM-CSF, suggesting local recruitment and activation of myeloid cells. Local cytokine levels correlated with viral load but not with serum cytokine levels, nor with specific symptoms, including anosmia. Some patients had S1-specific IgA in the nasal cavity while almost none had IgG. CONCLUSION: The nasal epithelium is an active site of cytokine response against SARS-CoV-2 that can last more than 2 weeks; in this mild COVID-19 cohort, anosmia was not associated with increases in any locally produced cytokines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Inflammation/etiology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
6.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 66(2): 206-222, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501858

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than 180 million people since the onset of the pandemic. Despite similar viral load and infectivity rates between children and adults, children rarely develop severe illness. Differences in the host response to the virus at the primary infection site are among the mechanisms proposed to account for this disparity. Our objective was to investigate the host response to SARS-CoV-2 in the nasal mucosa in children and adults and compare it with the host response to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza virus. We analyzed clinical outcomes and gene expression in the nasal mucosa of 36 children with SARS-CoV-2, 24 children with RSV, 9 children with influenza virus, 16 adults with SARS-CoV-2, and 7 healthy pediatric and 13 healthy adult controls. In both children and adults, infection with SARS-CoV-2 led to an IFN response in the nasal mucosa. The magnitude of the IFN response correlated with the abundance of viral reads, not the severity of illness, and was comparable between children and adults infected with SARS-CoV-2 and children with severe RSV infection. Expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 did not correlate with age or presence of viral infection. SARS-CoV-2-infected adults had increased expression of genes involved in neutrophil activation and T-cell receptor signaling pathways compared with SARS-CoV-2-infected children, despite similar severity of illness and viral reads. Age-related differences in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may place adults at increased risk of developing severe illness.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Age Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/immunology
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 744887, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497079

ABSTRACT

Background: Although the serological antibody responses induced by SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are well characterized, little is known about their ability to elicit mucosal immunity. Objectives: This study aims to examine and compare the mucosal and systemic responses of recipients of two different vaccination platforms: mRNA (Comirnaty) and inactivated virus (CoronaVac). Methods: Serial blood and nasal epithelial lining fluid (NELF) samples were collected from the recipients of either Comirnaty or CoronaVac. The plasma and NELF immunoglobulins A and G (IgA and IgG) specific to SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein (S1) and their neutralization effects were quantified. Results: Comirnaty induced nasal S1-specific immunoglobulin responses, which were evident as early as 14 ± 2 days after the first dose. In 64% of the subjects, the neutralizing effects of NELF persisted for at least 50 days. Moreover, 85% of Comirnaty recipients exhibited S1-specific IgA and IgG responses in plasma by 14 ± 2 days after the first dose. By 7 ± 2 days after the booster, all plasma samples possessed S1-specific IgA and IgG responses and were neutralizing. The induction of S1-specific plasma antibodies by CoronaVac was IgG dominant, and 83% of the subjects possessed S1-specific IgG by 7 ± 2 days after the booster, with neutralizing effects. Conclusion: Comirnaty induces S1-specific IgA and IgG responses with neutralizing activity in the nasal mucosa; a similar response is not seen with CoronaVac. Clinical Implication: The presence of a nasal response with mRNA vaccine may provide additional protection compared with inactivated virus vaccine. However, whether such widespread immunological response may produce inadvertent adverse effects in other tissues warrants further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Young Adult
8.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 101(Pt A): 108280, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487771

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a highly virulent and transmissible pathogen, has proven to be devastating to society. Mucosal vaccines that can induce antigen-specific immune responses in both the systemic and mucosal compartments are considered an effective measure to overcome infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microbes. We have recently developed a nasal vaccine system using cationic liposomes composed of 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane and cholesteryl 3ß-N-(dimethylaminoethyl)carbamate in mice. However, the comprehensive molecular mechanism(s), especially the host soluble mediator involved in this process, by which cationic liposomes promote antigen-specific mucosal immune responses, remain to be elucidated. Herein, we show that intranasal administration of cationic liposomes elicited interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression at the site of administration. Additionally, both nasal passages and splenocytes from mice nasally immunized with cationic liposomes plus ovalbumin (OVA) were polarized to produce IL-6 when re-stimulated with OVA in vitro. Furthermore, pretreatment with anti-IL-6R antibody, which blocks the biological activities of IL-6, attenuated the production of OVA-specific nasal immunoglobulin A (IgA) but not OVA-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses. In this study, we demonstrated that IL-6, exerted by nasally administered cationic liposomes, plays a crucial role in antigen-specific IgA induction.


Subject(s)
Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/metabolism , Interleukin-6/immunology , Vaccines/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibody Formation/drug effects , Antigens/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cations/immunology , Cations/therapeutic use , Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated/immunology , Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated/therapeutic use , Female , Immunity, Mucosal/drug effects , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Liposomes/immunology , Liposomes/therapeutic use , Mice , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Ovalbumin/immunology , Quaternary Ammonium Compounds/immunology , Quaternary Ammonium Compounds/therapeutic use , Spleen/metabolism , Vaccines/administration & dosage
9.
Physiol Rep ; 9(20): e15075, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485552

ABSTRACT

Exercise has substantial health benefits, but the effects of exercise on immune status and susceptibility to respiratory infections are less clear. Furthermore, there is limited research examining the effects of prolonged exercise on local respiratory immunity and antiviral activity. To assess the upper respiratory tract in response to exercise, we collected nasal lavage fluid (NALF) from human subjects (1) at rest, (2) after 45 min of moderate-intensity exercise, and (3) after 180 min of moderate-intensity exercise. To assess immune responses of the lower respiratory tract, we utilized a murine model to examine the effect of exercise duration on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid immune cell content and lung gene expression. NALF cell counts did not change after 45 min of exercise, whereas 180 min significantly increased total cells and leukocytes in NALF. Importantly, fold change in NALF leukocytes correlated with the post-exercise fatigue rating in the 180-min exercise condition. The acellular portion of NALF contained strong antiviral activity against Influenza A in both resting and exercise paradigms. In mice undergoing moderate-intensity exercise, BAL total cells and neutrophils decreased in response to 45 or 90 min of exercise. In lung lobes, increased expression of heat shock proteins suggested that cellular stress occurred in response to exercise. However, a broad upregulation of inflammatory genes was not observed, even at 180 min of exercise. This work demonstrates that exercise duration differentially alters the cellularity of respiratory tract fluids, antiviral activity, and gene expression. These changes in local mucosal immunity may influence resistance to respiratory viruses, including influenza or possibly other pathogens in which nasal mucosa plays a protective role, such as rhinovirus or SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Exercise/physiology , Influenza A virus/immunology , Leukocytes/immunology , Lung/immunology , Nasal Lavage Fluid/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Leukocytes/metabolism , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nasal Lavage/methods , Nasal Lavage Fluid/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Time Factors , Young Adult
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5621, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437680

ABSTRACT

Although serological studies have shown that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 play an important role in protection against (re)infection, the dynamics of mucosal antibodies during primary infection and their potential impact on viral load and the resolution of disease symptoms remain unclear. During the first pandemic wave, we assessed the longitudinal nasal antibody response in index cases with mild COVID-19 and their household contacts. Nasal and serum antibody responses were analysed for up to nine months. Higher nasal receptor binding domain and spike protein-specific antibody levels at study inclusion were associated with lower viral load. Older age was correlated with more frequent COVID-19 related symptoms. Receptor binding domain and spike protein-specific mucosal antibodies were associated with the resolution of systemic, but not respiratory symptoms. Finally, receptor binding domain and spike protein-specific mucosal antibodies remained elevated up to nine months after symptom onset.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load , Young Adult
11.
Front Immunol ; 11: 618685, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389172

ABSTRACT

Understanding humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection will play a critical role in the development of vaccines and antibody-based interventions. We report systemic and mucosal antibody responses in convalescent individuals who experienced varying severity of disease. Whereas assessment of neutralization and antibody-mediated effector functions revealed polyfunctional antibody responses in serum, only robust neutralization and phagocytosis were apparent in nasal wash samples. Serum neutralization and effector functions correlated with systemic SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG response magnitude, while mucosal neutralization was associated with nasal SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA. Antibody depletion experiments support the mechanistic relevance of these correlations. Associations between nasal IgA responses, virus neutralization at the mucosa, and less severe disease suggest the importance of assessing mucosal immunity in larger natural infection cohorts. Further characterization of antibody responses at the portal of entry may define their ability to contribute to protection from infection or reduced risk of hospitalization, informing public health assessment strategies and vaccine development efforts.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity/immunology , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
13.
mBio ; 12(4): e0159821, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360544

ABSTRACT

The gut microbiota plays a critical role in the induction of adaptive immune responses to influenza virus infection. However, the role of nasal bacteria in the induction of the virus-specific adaptive immunity is less clear. Here, we found that disruption of nasal bacteria by intranasal application of antibiotics before influenza virus infection enhanced the virus-specific antibody response in a MyD88-dependent manner. Similarly, disruption of nasal bacteria by lysozyme enhanced antibody responses to intranasally administered influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) vaccine in a MyD88-dependent manner, suggesting that intranasal application of antibiotics or lysozyme could release bacterial pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) from disrupted nasal bacteria that act as mucosal adjuvants by activating the MyD88 signaling pathway. Since commensal bacteria in the nasal mucosal surface were significantly lower than those in the oral cavity, intranasal administration of HA vaccine alone was insufficient to induce the vaccine-specific antibody response. However, intranasal supplementation of cultured oral bacteria from a healthy human volunteer enhanced antibody responses to an intranasally administered HA vaccine. Finally, we demonstrated that oral bacteria combined with an intranasal vaccine protect from influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Our results reveal the role of nasal bacteria in the induction of the virus-specific adaptive immunity and provide clues for developing better intranasal vaccines. IMPORTANCE Intranasal vaccination induces the nasal IgA antibody which is protective against respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, understanding how mucosal immune responses are elicited following viral infection is important for developing better vaccines. Here, we focused on the role of nasal commensal bacteria in the induction of immune responses following influenza virus infection. To deplete nasal bacteria, we intranasally administered antibiotics to mice before influenza virus infection and found that antibiotic-induced disruption of nasal bacteria could release bacterial components which stimulate the virus-specific antibody responses. Since commensal bacteria in nasal mucosa were significantly lower than those in the oral cavity, intranasal administration of split virus vaccine alone was insufficient to induce the vaccine-specific antibody response. However, intranasal supplementation of cultured oral bacteria from a healthy human volunteer enhanced antibody responses to the intranasally administered vaccine. Therefore, both integrity and amounts of nasal bacteria may be critical for an effective intranasal vaccine.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/microbiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vero Cells
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 15927, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345584

ABSTRACT

Previous studies focusing on the age disparity in COVID-19 severity have suggested that younger individuals mount a more robust innate immune response in the nasal mucosa after infection with SARS-CoV-2. However, it is unclear if this reflects increased immune activation or increased immune residence in the nasal mucosa. We hypothesized that immune residency in the nasal mucosa of healthy individuals may differ across the age range. We applied single-cell RNA-sequencing and measured the cellular composition and transcriptional profile of the nasal mucosa in 35 SARS-CoV-2 negative children and adults, ranging in age from 4 months to 65 years. We analyzed in total of ~ 30,000 immune and epithelial cells and found that age and immune cell proportion in the nasal mucosa are inversely correlated, with little evidence for structural changes in the transcriptional state of a given cell type across the age range. Orthogonal validation by epigenome sequencing indicate that it is especially cells of the innate immune system that underlie the age-association. Additionally, we characterize the predominate immune cell type in the nasal mucosa: a resident T cell like population with potent antiviral properties. These results demonstrate fundamental changes in the immune cell makeup of the uninfected nasal mucosa over the lifespan. The resource we generate here is an asset for future studies focusing on respiratory infection and immunization strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Innate , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Transcriptome , Young Adult
15.
Science ; 373(6561): eabj0299, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334532

ABSTRACT

Immune correlates of protection can be used as surrogate endpoints for vaccine efficacy. Here, nonhuman primates (NHPs) received either no vaccine or doses ranging from 0.3 to 100 µg of the mRNA-1273 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine. mRNA-1273 vaccination elicited circulating and mucosal antibody responses in a dose-dependent manner. Viral replication was significantly reduced in bronchoalveolar lavages and nasal swabs after SARS-CoV-2 challenge in vaccinated animals and most strongly correlated with levels of anti­S antibody and neutralizing activity. Lower antibody levels were needed for reduction of viral replication in the lower airway than in the upper airway. Passive transfer of mRNA-1273­induced immunoglobulin G to naïve hamsters was sufficient to mediate protection. Thus, mRNA-1273 vaccine­induced humoral immune responses are a mechanistic correlate of protection against SARS-CoV-2 in NHPs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Immunization Schedule , Immunization, Passive , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mesocricetus , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency , Virus Replication
16.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 292, 2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333904

ABSTRACT

Sex differences in the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity have been controversial, and the underlying mechanisms of COVID-19 in a sex-specific manner remain understudied. Here we inspected sex differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), sera inflammatory biomarker profiling, and single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) profiles across nasal, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from COVID-19 patients with varying degrees of disease severities. Our propensity score-matching observations revealed that male individuals have a 29% elevated likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 positivity, with a hazard ratio (HR) 1.32 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-1.48) for hospitalization and HR 1.51 (95% CI 1.24-1.84) for admission to ICU. Sera from male patients at hospital admission had elevated neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and elevated expression of inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and procalcitonin). We found that SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, including ACE2, TMPRSS2, FURIN, and NRP1, have elevated expression in nasal squamous cells from male individuals with moderate and severe COVID-19. We observed male-biased transcriptional activation in SARS-CoV-2-infected macrophages from BALF and sputum samples, which offers potential molecular mechanism for sex-biased susceptibility to viral infection. Cell-cell interaction network analysis reveals potential epithelium-immune cell interactions and immune vulnerability underlying male-elevated disease severity and mortality in COVID-19. Mechanistically, monocyte-elevated expression of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) is associated with severe outcomes in males with COVID-19. In summary, these findings provide basis to decipher immune responses underlying sex differences and designing sex-specific targeted interventions and patient care for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cell Communication/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sex Characteristics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Single-Cell Analysis
17.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(5): e1009229, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239922

ABSTRACT

While MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus) provokes a lethal disease in humans, camelids, the main virus reservoir, are asymptomatic carriers, suggesting a crucial role for innate immune responses in controlling the infection. Experimentally infected camelids clear infectious virus within one week and mount an effective adaptive immune response. Here, transcription of immune response genes was monitored in the respiratory tract of MERS-CoV infected alpacas. Concomitant to the peak of infection, occurring at 2 days post inoculation (dpi), type I and III interferons (IFNs) were maximally transcribed only in the nasal mucosa of alpacas, while interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) were induced along the whole respiratory tract. Simultaneous to mild focal infiltration of leukocytes in nasal mucosa and submucosa, upregulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 and dampened transcription of pro-inflammatory genes under NF-κB control were observed. In the lung, early (1 dpi) transcription of chemokines (CCL2 and CCL3) correlated with a transient accumulation of mainly mononuclear leukocytes. A tight regulation of IFNs in lungs with expression of ISGs and controlled inflammatory responses, might contribute to virus clearance without causing tissue damage. Thus, the nasal mucosa, the main target of MERS-CoV in camelids, seems central in driving an efficient innate immune response based on triggering ISGs as well as the dual anti-inflammatory effects of type III IFNs and IL10.


Subject(s)
Camelids, New World , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Camelids, New World/immunology , Camelids, New World/metabolism , Camelids, New World/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Resistance/drug effects , Disease Resistance/genetics , Disease Resistance/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/veterinary , Inflammation/virology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/pharmacology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Respiratory System/drug effects , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
18.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206005

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causing the COVID-19 pandemic calls for immediate interventions to avoid viral transmission, disease progression, and subsequent excessive inflammation and tissue destruction. Primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells are among the first targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we show that ColdZyme medical device mouth spray efficiently protected against virus entry, excessive inflammation, and tissue damage. Applying ColdZyme to fully differentiated, polarized human epithelium cultured at an air-liquid interphase (ALI) completely blocked binding of SARS-CoV-2 and increased local complement activation mediated by the virus as well as productive infection of the tissue model. While SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in exaggerated intracellular complement activation immediately following infection and a drop in transepithelial resistance, these parameters were bypassed by single pretreatment of the tissues with ColdZyme mouth spray. Crucially, our study highlights the importance of testing already evaluated and safe drugs such as ColdZyme mouth spray for maintaining epithelial integrity and hindering SARS-CoV-2 entry within standardized three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models mimicking the in vivo human airway epithelium.IMPORTANCE Although our understanding of COVID-19 continuously progresses, essential questions regarding prophylaxis and treatment remain open. A hallmark of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection is a hitherto-undescribed mechanism leading to excessive inflammation and tissue destruction associated with enhanced pathogenicity and mortality. To tackle the problem at the source, transfer of SARS-CoV-2, subsequent binding, infection, and inflammatory responses have to be avoided. In this study, we used fully differentiated, mucus-producing, and ciliated human airway epithelial cultures to test the efficacy of ColdZyme medical device mouth spray in terms of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Importantly, we found that pretreatment of the in vitro airway cultures using ColdZyme mouth spray resulted in significantly shielding the epithelial integrity, hindering virus binding and infection, and blocking excessive intrinsic complement activation within the airway cultures. Our in vitro data suggest that ColdZyme mouth spray may have an impact in prevention of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Bronchi/cytology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Complement C3/immunology , Epithelial Cells , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Oral Sprays , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Attachment/drug effects
19.
J Virol ; 95(14): e0013021, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203943

ABSTRACT

The nasal mucosa constitutes the primary entry site for respiratory viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). While the imbalanced innate immune response of end-stage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been extensively studied, the earliest stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection at the mucosal entry site have remained unexplored. Here, we employed SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus infection in native multi-cell-type human nasal turbinate and lung tissues ex vivo, coupled with genome-wide transcriptional analysis, to investigate viral susceptibility and early patterns of local mucosal innate immune response in the authentic milieu of the human respiratory tract. SARS-CoV-2 productively infected the nasal turbinate tissues, predominantly targeting respiratory epithelial cells, with a rapid increase in tissue-associated viral subgenomic mRNA and secretion of infectious viral progeny. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 infection triggered robust antiviral and inflammatory innate immune responses in the nasal mucosa. The upregulation of interferon-stimulated genes, cytokines, and chemokines, related to interferon signaling and immune-cell activation pathways, was broader than that triggered by influenza virus infection. Conversely, lung tissues exhibited a restricted innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2, with a conspicuous lack of type I and III interferon upregulation, contrasting with their vigorous innate immune response to influenza virus. Our findings reveal differential tissue-specific innate immune responses in the upper and lower respiratory tracts that are specific to SARS-CoV-2. The studies shed light on the role of the nasal mucosa in active viral transmission and immune defense, implying a window of opportunity for early interventions, whereas the restricted innate immune response in early-SARS-CoV-2-infected lung tissues could underlie the unique uncontrolled late-phase lung damage of advanced COVID-19. IMPORTANCE In order to reduce the late-phase morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, there is a need to better understand and target the earliest stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human respiratory tract. Here, we have studied the initial steps of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the consequent innate immune responses within the natural multicellular complexity of human nasal mucosal and lung tissues. Comparing the global innate response patterns of nasal and lung tissues infected in parallel with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus, we found distinct virus-host interactions in the upper and lower respiratory tract, which could determine the outcome and unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies in the nasal mucosal infection model can be employed to assess the impact of viral evolutionary changes and evaluate new therapeutic and preventive measures against SARS-CoV-2 and other human respiratory pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Lung/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , Humans , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/pathology , Lung/pathology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Organ Specificity/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Vero Cells
20.
Anat Rec (Hoboken) ; 304(6): 1185-1193, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1184569

ABSTRACT

Estrogen is an important hormone for health in both genders. It is indispensable to glucose homeostasis, immune robustness, bone health, cardiovascular health, and neural functions. The main way that estrogen acts in the cells is through estrogen receptors (ERs). The presence of specific estrogen receptors is required for estrogen to have its characteristic ubiquitous action in almost all tissues. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and estrogen receptor beta (ERß) are the major isoforms of estrogen that are highly specific in humans and enable selective hormonal actions in different tissues. This article reviews some of the observed estrogen actions and effects in different tissues and cells through these specific receptors. This ubiquitous, almost ordinary hormone may reveal itself as a significant factor that helped us to better understand the complexity of the human immune system response against respiratory infections, including the COVID-19, and especially in the current state of this painful pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Estrogen Receptor alpha/immunology , Estrogen Receptor beta/immunology , Immune System/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Estrogen Receptor alpha/metabolism , Estrogen Receptor beta/metabolism , Humans , Immune System/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
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