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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(34): e2201541119, 2022 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984598

ABSTRACT

Whereas pathogen-specific T and B cells are a primary focus of interest during infectious disease, we have used COVID-19 to ask whether their emergence comes at a cost of broader B cell and T cell repertoire disruption. We applied a genomic DNA-based approach to concurrently study the immunoglobulin-heavy (IGH) and T cell receptor (TCR) ß and δ chain loci of 95 individuals. Our approach detected anticipated repertoire focusing for the IGH repertoire, including expansions of clusters of related sequences temporally aligned with SARS-CoV-2-specific seroconversion, and enrichment of some shared SARS-CoV-2-associated sequences. No significant age-related or disease severity-related deficiencies were noted for the IGH repertoire. By contrast, whereas focusing occurred at the TCRß and TCRδ loci, including some TCRß sequence-sharing, disruptive repertoire narrowing was almost entirely limited to many patients aged older than 50 y. By temporarily reducing T cell diversity and by risking expansions of nonbeneficial T cells, these traits may constitute an age-related risk factor for COVID-19, including a vulnerability to new variants for which T cells may provide key protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes
2.
Immunity ; 55(7): 1299-1315.e4, 2022 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977374

ABSTRACT

As the establishment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cell memory in children remains largely unexplored, we recruited convalescent COVID-19 children and adults to define their circulating memory SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells prior to vaccination. We analyzed epitope-specific T cells directly ex vivo using seven HLA class I and class II tetramers presenting SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, together with Spike-specific B cells. Unvaccinated children who seroconverted had comparable Spike-specific but lower ORF1a- and N-specific memory T cell responses compared with adults. This agreed with our TCR sequencing data showing reduced clonal expansion in children. A strong stem cell memory phenotype and common T cell receptor motifs were detected within tetramer-specific T cells in seroconverted children. Conversely, children who did not seroconvert had tetramer-specific T cells of predominantly naive phenotypes and diverse TCRαß repertoires. Our study demonstrates the generation of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory with common TCRαß motifs in unvaccinated seroconverted children after their first virus encounter.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
3.
Scand J Immunol ; 95(5): e13151, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714317

ABSTRACT

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients present higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19), and proper management of the disease in this population requires a better understanding of how the immune system controls the virus. We analyzed the T cell and B cell phenotypes, and their repertoire in a pair of monozygotic twins with RA mismatched for COVID-19 infection. Twin- was not infected, while Twin+ was infected and effectively controlled the infection. We found no significant changes on the αß T cell composition, while γδ T cells and B cells presented considerable expansion of memory population in Twin+ and robust T/B cell responses to several SARS-CoV-2 peptides. T cell receptor ß/γ-chain and immunoglobulin heavy chain next-generation sequencing depicted a remarkable higher diversity in Twin+ compared with Twin-, despite no significant changes being found in variable/joining family usage. Repertoire overlap analyses showed that, although being identical twins, very few clones were shared between them, indicating that COVID-19 may lead to deep changes on the immune cell repertoire in RA patients. Altogether, our results indicate that RA patients may develop robust and persistent COVID-19-specific T/B cell responses; γδ T cells and B cells may play a key role in the management of COVID-19 in RA, and the infection may lead to a profound reshaping of immune cell receptor specificities.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Diseases in Twins/genetics , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Twins, Monozygotic/genetics
4.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110167, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596401

ABSTRACT

Cross-reactivity and direct killing of target cells remain underexplored for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific CD8+ T cells. Isolation of T cell receptors (TCRs) and overexpression in allogeneic cells allows for extensive T cell reactivity profiling. We identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp/NSP12) as highly conserved, likely due to its critical role in the virus life cycle. We perform single-cell TCRαß sequencing in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A∗02:01-restricted, RdRp-specific T cells from SARS-CoV-2-unexposed individuals. Human T cells expressing these TCRαß constructs kill target cell lines engineered to express full-length RdRp. Three TCR constructs recognize homologous epitopes from common cold coronaviruses, indicating CD8+ T cells can recognize evolutionarily diverse coronaviruses. Analysis of individual TCR clones may help define vaccine epitopes that can induce long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Culture Techniques , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A Antigens/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/genetics , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Cells ; 11(1)2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580992

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. T cells play an essential role in the body's fighting against the virus invasion, and the T cell receptor (TCR) is crucial in T cell-mediated virus recognition and clearance. However, little has been known about the features of T cell response in convalescent COVID-19 patients. In this study, using 5'RACE technology and PacBio sequencing, we analyzed the TCR repertoire of COVID-19 patients after recovery for 2 weeks and 6 months compared with the healthy donors. The TCR clustering and CDR3 annotation were exploited to discover groups of patient-specific TCR clonotypes with potential SARS-CoV-2 antigen specificities. We first identified CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones with certain clonal expansion after infection, and then observed the preferential recombination usage of V(D) J gene segments in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients with different convalescent stages. More important, the TRBV6-5-TRBD2-TRBJ2-7 combination with high frequency was shared between CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells of different COVID-19 patients. Finally, we found the dominant characteristic motifs of the CDR3 sequence between recovered COVID-19 and healthy control. Our study provides novel insights on TCR in COVID-19 with different convalescent phases, contributing to our understanding of the immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Immunity/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Amino Acid Sequence , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113: 308-317, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474623

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an ongoing global health emergency. T-cell receptors (TCRs) are crucial mediators of antiviral adaptive immunity. This study sought to comprehensively characterize the TCR repertoire changes in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A large sample size multi-center randomized controlled trial was implemented to study the features of the TCR repertoire and identify COVID-19 disease-related TCR sequences. RESULTS: It was found that some T-cell receptor beta chain (TCRß) features differed markedly between COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, including decreased repertoire diversity, longer complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) length, skewed utilization of the TCRß variable gene/joining gene (TRBV/J), and a high degree of TCRß sharing in COVID-19 patients. Moreover, this analysis showed that TCR repertoire diversity declines with aging, which may be a cause of the higher infection and mortality rates in elderly patients. Importantly, a set of TCRß clones that can distinguish COVID-19 patients from healthy controls with high accuracy was identified. Notably, this diagnostic model demonstrates 100% specificity and 82.68% sensitivity at 0-3 days post diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: This study lays the foundation for immunodiagnosis and the development of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta , Aging , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics
7.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 205(3): 363-378, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249405

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly throughout the world, leading to a global effort to develop vaccines and treatments. Despite extensive progress, there remains a need for treatments to bolster the immune responses in infected immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients who recently underwent a haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Immunological protection against COVID-19 is mediated by both short-lived neutralizing antibodies and long-lasting virus-reactive T cells. Therefore, we propose that T cell therapy may augment efficacy of current treatments. For the greatest efficacy with minimal adverse effects, it is important that any cellular therapy is designed to be as specific and directed as possible. Here, we identify T cells from COVID-19 patients with a potentially protective response to two major antigens of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Spike and Nucleocapsid protein. By generating clones of highly virus-reactive CD4+ T cells, we were able to confirm a set of nine immunodominant epitopes and characterize T cell responses against these. Accordingly, the sensitivity of T cell clones for their specific epitope, as well as the extent and focus of their cytokine response was examined. Moreover, using an advanced T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing approach, we determined the paired TCR-αß sequences of clones of interest. While these data on a limited population require further expansion for universal application, the results presented here form a crucial first step towards TCR-transgenic CD4+ T cell therapy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Amino Acid Sequence , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Clone Cells/immunology , Clone Cells/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Immunodominant Epitopes/genetics , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Immunity ; 54(5): 1066-1082.e5, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216346

ABSTRACT

To better understand primary and recall T cell responses during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is important to examine unmanipulated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cells. By using peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tetramers for direct ex vivo analysis, we characterized CD8+ T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 patients and unexposed individuals. Unlike CD8+ T cells directed toward subdominant epitopes (B7/N257, A2/S269, and A24/S1,208) CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant B7/N105 epitope were detected at high frequencies in pre-pandemic samples and at increased frequencies during acute COVID-19 and convalescence. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells in pre-pandemic samples from children, adults, and elderly individuals predominantly displayed a naive phenotype, indicating a lack of previous cross-reactive exposures. T cell receptor (TCR) analyses revealed diverse TCRαß repertoires and promiscuous αß-TCR pairing within B7/N105+CD8+ T cells. Our study demonstrates high naive precursor frequency and TCRαß diversity within immunodominant B7/N105-specific CD8+ T cells and provides insight into SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell origins and subsequent responses.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Motifs , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Child , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
J Clin Invest ; 131(10)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133410

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a hyperinflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, shares clinical features with toxic shock syndrome, which is triggered by bacterial superantigens. Superantigen specificity for different Vß chains results in Vß skewing, whereby T cells with specific Vß chains and diverse antigen specificity are overrepresented in the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Here, we characterized the TCR repertoire of MIS-C patients and found a profound expansion of TCRß variable gene 11-2 (TRBV11-2), with up to 24% of clonal T cell space occupied by TRBV11-2 T cells, which correlated with MIS-C severity and serum cytokine levels. Analysis of TRBJ gene usage and complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) length distribution of MIS-C expanded TRBV11-2 clones revealed extensive junctional diversity. Patients with TRBV11-2 expansion shared HLA class I alleles A02, B35, and C04, indicating what we believe is a novel mechanism for CDR3-independent T cell expansion. In silico modeling indicated that polyacidic residues in the Vß chain encoded by TRBV11-2 (Vß21.3) strongly interact with the superantigen-like motif of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, suggesting that unprocessed SARS-CoV-2 spike may directly mediate TRBV11-2 expansion. Overall, our data indicate that a CDR3-independent interaction between SARS-CoV-2 spike and TCR leads to T cell expansion and possibly activation, which may account for the clinical presentation of MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Child , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , Female , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Male , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/genetics
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