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1.
Immunity ; 55(3): 542-556.e5, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768197

ABSTRACT

Some patients hospitalized with acute COVID-19 suffer respiratory symptoms that persist for many months. We delineated the immune-proteomic landscape in the airways and peripheral blood of healthy controls and post-COVID-19 patients 3 to 6 months after hospital discharge. Post-COVID-19 patients showed abnormal airway (but not plasma) proteomes, with an elevated concentration of proteins associated with apoptosis, tissue repair, and epithelial injury versus healthy individuals. Increased numbers of cytotoxic lymphocytes were observed in individuals with greater airway dysfunction, while increased B cell numbers and altered monocyte subsets were associated with more widespread lung abnormalities. A one-year follow-up of some post-COVID-19 patients indicated that these abnormalities resolved over time. In summary, COVID-19 causes a prolonged change to the airway immune landscape in those with persistent lung disease, with evidence of cell death and tissue repair linked to the ongoing activation of cytotoxic T cells.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Respiration Disorders/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoproteins , Male , Middle Aged , Proteome , Respiration Disorders/etiology , Respiratory System/pathology
2.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 368-383, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604258

ABSTRACT

Older individuals are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe outcomes, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. In addition, how age modulates SARS-CoV-2 re-infection and vaccine breakthrough infections remain largely unexplored. Here, we investigated age-associated SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, immune responses, and the occurrence of re-infection and vaccine breakthrough infection utilizing a wild-type C57BL/6N mouse model. We demonstrated that interferon and adaptive antibody response upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge are significantly impaired in aged mice compared to young mice, which results in more effective virus replications and severe disease manifestations in the respiratory tract. Aged mice also showed increased susceptibility to re-infection due to insufficient immune protection acquired during the primary infection. Importantly, two-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination conferred limited adaptive immune response among the aged mice, making them susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Collectively, our findings call for tailored and optimized treatments and prevention strategies against SARS-CoV-2 among older individuals.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aging/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Immunity , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vaccination , Virus Replication
3.
Nature ; 601(7893): 410-414, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521758

ABSTRACT

The CVnCoV (CureVac) mRNA vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recently evaluated in a phase 2b/3 efficacy trial in humans1. CV2CoV is a second-generation mRNA vaccine containing non-modified nucleosides but with optimized non-coding regions and enhanced antigen expression. Here we report the results of a head-to-head comparison of the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of CVnCoV and CV2CoV in non-human primates. We immunized 18 cynomolgus macaques with two doses of 12 µg lipid nanoparticle-formulated CVnCoV or CV2CoV or with sham (n = 6 per group). Compared with CVnCoV, CV2CoV induced substantially higher titres of binding and neutralizing antibodies, memory B cell responses and T cell responses as well as more potent neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta variant. Moreover, CV2CoV was found to be comparably immunogenic to the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) vaccine in macaques. Although CVnCoV provided partial protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, CV2CoV afforded more robust protection with markedly lower viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Binding and neutralizing antibody titres were correlated with protective efficacy. These data demonstrate that optimization of non-coding regions can greatly improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a non-modified mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in non-human primates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nucleosides/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Female , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Male , Nucleosides/genetics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/standards , Viral Load , /standards
4.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502527

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has currently created an unprecedented threat to human society and global health. A rapid mass vaccination to create herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is a crucial measure to ease the spread of this disease. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity of a SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine candidate, a SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein encapsulated in N,N,N-trimethyl chitosan particles or S-TMC NPs. Upon intraperitoneal immunization, S-TMC NP-immunized mice elicited a stronger systemic antibody response, with neutralizing capacity against SARS-CoV-2, than mice receiving the soluble form of S-glycoprotein. S-TMC NPs were able to stimulate the circulating IgG and IgA as found in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. In addition, spike-specific T cell responses were drastically activated in S-TMC NP-immunized mice. Surprisingly, administration of S-TMC NPs via the intraperitoneal route also stimulated SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in the respiratory tract, which were demonstrated by the presence of high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA in the lung homogenates and bronchoalveolar lavages of the immunized mice. We found that peritoneal immunization with spike nanospheres stimulates both systemic and respiratory mucosal immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunization/methods , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nanoparticles/therapeutic use , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage
5.
J Immunol ; 207(10): 2581-2588, 2021 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450886

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory pathogen that can cause severe disease in at-risk populations but results in asymptomatic infections or a mild course of disease in the majority of cases. We report the identification of SARS-CoV-2-reactive B cells in human tonsillar tissue obtained from children who were negative for coronavirus disease 2019 prior to the pandemic and the generation of mAbs recognizing the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein from these B cells. These Abs showed reduced binding to Spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 variants and did not recognize Spike proteins of endemic coronaviruses, but subsets reacted with commensal microbiota and exhibited SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing potential. Our study demonstrates pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-reactive Abs in various B cell populations in the upper respiratory tract lymphoid tissue that may lead to the rapid engagement of the pathogen and contribute to prevent manifestations of symptomatic or severe disease.


Subject(s)
Adenoids/immunology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Mucous Membrane/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Child , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Activation , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transcriptome
7.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(10): 1245-1258, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380902

ABSTRACT

Respiratory failure is associated with increased mortality in COVID-19 patients. There are no validated lower airway biomarkers to predict clinical outcome. We investigated whether bacterial respiratory infections were associated with poor clinical outcome of COVID-19 in a prospective, observational cohort of 589 critically ill adults, all of whom required mechanical ventilation. For a subset of 142 patients who underwent bronchoscopy, we quantified SARS-CoV-2 viral load, analysed the lower respiratory tract microbiome using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics and profiled the host immune response. Acquisition of a hospital-acquired respiratory pathogen was not associated with fatal outcome. Poor clinical outcome was associated with lower airway enrichment with an oral commensal (Mycoplasma salivarium). Increased SARS-CoV-2 abundance, low anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response and a distinct host transcriptome profile of the lower airways were most predictive of mortality. Our data provide evidence that secondary respiratory infections do not drive mortality in COVID-19 and clinical management strategies should prioritize reducing viral replication and maximizing host responses to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/microbiology , COVID-19/therapy , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacterial Load , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/microbiology , COVID-19/mortality , Critical Illness , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Male , Microbiota , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/microbiology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load
8.
J Immunol ; 207(5): 1229-1238, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344412

ABSTRACT

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) or seasonal influenza may lead to respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. The pathophysiology of this respiratory failure is attributed to local immune dysregulation, but how the immune response to viral infection in the lower airways of the human lung differs between individuals with respiratory failure and those without is not well understood. We used quantitative multiparameter flow cytometry and multiplex cytokine assays to evaluate matched blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from control human subjects, subjects with symptomatic seasonal influenza who did not have respiratory failure, and subjects with severe seasonal influenza or SARS-CoV-2 infection with respiratory failure. We find that severe cases are associated with an influx of nonclassical monocytes, activated T cells, and plasmablast B cells into the lower airways. Cytokine concentrations were not elevated in the lower airways of moderate influenza patients compared with controls; however, 28 of 35 measured cytokines were significantly elevated in severe influenza, severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, or both. We noted the largest elevations in IL-6, IP-10, MCP-1, and IL-8. IL-1 family cytokines and RANTES were higher in severe influenza infection than severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, only the concentration of IP-10-correlated between blood and BAL during severe infection. Our results demonstrate inflammatory immune dysregulation in the lower airways during severe viral pneumonia that is distinct from lower airway responses seen in human patients with symptomatic, but not severe, illness and suggest that measurement of blood IP-10 concentration may predict this unique dysregulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Influenza A virus/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Insufficiency , Severity of Illness Index
9.
JCI Insight ; 6(14)2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341362

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDThe fungal cell wall constituent 1,3-ß-d-glucan (BDG) is a pathogen-associated molecular pattern that can stimulate innate immunity. We hypothesized that BDG from colonizing fungi in critically ill patients may translocate into the systemic circulation and be associated with host inflammation and outcomes.METHODSWe enrolled 453 mechanically ventilated patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) without invasive fungal infection and measured BDG, innate immunity, and epithelial permeability biomarkers in serially collected plasma samples.RESULTSCompared with healthy controls, patients with ARF had significantly higher BDG levels (median [IQR], 26 pg/mL [15-49 pg/mL], P < 0.001), whereas patients with ARF with high BDG levels (≥40 pg/mL, 31%) had higher odds for assignment to the prognostically adverse hyperinflammatory subphenotype (OR [CI], 2.88 [1.83-4.54], P < 0.001). Baseline BDG levels were predictive of fewer ventilator-free days and worse 30-day survival (adjusted P < 0.05). Integrative analyses of fungal colonization and epithelial barrier disruption suggested that BDG may translocate from either the lung or gut compartment. We validated the associations between plasma BDG and host inflammatory responses in 97 hospitalized patients with COVID-19.CONCLUSIONBDG measurements offered prognostic information in critically ill patients without fungal infections. Further research in the mechanisms of translocation and innate immunity recognition and stimulation may offer new therapeutic opportunities in critical illness.FUNDINGUniversity of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, COVID-19 Pilot Award and NIH grants (K23 HL139987, U01 HL098962, P01 HL114453, R01 HL097376, K24 HL123342, U01 HL137159, R01 LM012087, K08HK144820, F32 HL142172, K23 GM122069).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Candida , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Respiration, Artificial , beta-Glucans/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Candida/immunology , Candida/isolation & purification , Capillary Permeability/immunology , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/microbiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis
10.
Neurosci Lett ; 760: 136042, 2021 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262947

ABSTRACT

The airways are constantly exposed to a multitude of inhaled particles and, as such, require a finely tuned discrimination between harmful or potentially threatening stimuli, and discrete responses to maintain homeostasis. Both the immune and nervous systems have the ability to sense environmental (and internal) signals, to integrate the obtained information and to initiate a protective reaction. Lung immunity and innervation are known to be individually involved in these processes, but it is becoming clear that they can also influence one another via a multitude of complex mechanisms. Here, we specifically describe how sensory innervation affects airways immunity with a focus on pathological conditions such as asthma or infections, describing cellular and molecular mechanisms, and highlighting potentially novel therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
Asthma/immunology , Neuroimmunomodulation , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , Sensory Receptor Cells/metabolism , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Respiratory System/innervation
11.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(7): e1009705, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311291

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection is a disease affecting several organ systems. A model that captures all clinical symptoms of COVID-19 as well as long-haulers disease is needed. We investigated the host responses associated with infection in several major organ systems including the respiratory tract, the heart, and the kidneys after SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters. We found significant increases in inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1beta, and TNF) and type II interferons whereas type I interferons were inhibited. Examination of extrapulmonary tissue indicated inflammation in the kidney, liver, and heart which also lacked type I interferon upregulation. Histologically, the heart had evidence of myocarditis and microthrombi while the kidney had tubular inflammation. These results give insight into the multiorgan disease experienced by people with COVID-19 and possibly the prolonged disease in people with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Down-Regulation/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Kidney/immunology , Myocardium/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Myocardium/pathology , Respiratory System/pathology , Respiratory System/virology
12.
Bull Math Biol ; 83(7): 79, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242816

ABSTRACT

The pandemic outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has quickly spread worldwide, creating a serious health crisis. The virus is primarily associated with flu-like symptoms but can also lead to severe pathologies and death. We here present an ordinary differential equation model of the intrahost immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, fitted to experimental data gleaned from rhesus macaques. The model is calibrated to data from a nonlethal infection, but the model can replicate behavior from various lethal scenarios as well. We evaluate the sensitivity of the model to biologically relevant parameters governing the strength and efficacy of the immune response. We also simulate the effect of both anti-inflammatory and antiviral drugs on the host immune response and demonstrate the ability of the model to lessen the severity of a formerly lethal infection with the addition of the appropriately calibrated drug. Our model emphasizes the importance of tight control of the innate immune response for host survival and viral clearance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Models, Immunological , SARS-CoV-2 , Adaptive Immunity , Aging/immunology , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Computer Simulation , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Mathematical Concepts , Pandemics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load/immunology
13.
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
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 668507, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226979

ABSTRACT

SARS-COV-2 virus is responsible for the ongoing devastating pandemic. Since the early phase of the pandemic, the "cytokine-storm" appeared a peculiar aspect of SARS-COV-2 infection which, at least in the severe cases, is responsible for respiratory treat damage and subsequent multi-organ failure. The efforts made in the last few months elucidated that the cytokine-storm results from a complex network involving cytokines/chemokines/infiltrating-immune-cells which orchestrate the aberrant immune response in COVID-19. Clinical and experimental studies aimed at depicting a potential "immune signature" of SARS-COV-2, identified three main "actors," namely the cytokine IL-6, the chemokine CXCL10 and the infiltrating immune cell type macrophages. Although other cytokines, chemokines and infiltrating immune cells are deeply involved and their role should not be neglected, based on currently available data, IL-6, CXCL10, and infiltrating macrophages could be considered prototype factors representing each component of the immune system. It rapidly became clear that a strong and continuous interplay among the three components of the immune response is mandatory in order to produce a severe clinical course of the disease. Indeed, while IL-6, CXCL10 and macrophages alone would not be able to fully drive the onset and maintenance of the cytokine-storm, the establishment of a IL-6/CXCL10/macrophages axis is crucial in driving the sequence of events characterizing this condition. The present review is specifically aimed at overviewing current evidences provided by both in vitro and in vivo studies addressing the issue of the interplay among IL-6, CXCL10 and macrophages in the onset and progression of cytokine storm. SARS-COV-2 infection and the "cytokine storm."


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CXCL10/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Chemokines/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
15.
Br J Nutr ; 125(6): 628-632, 2021 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221095

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, severe disease and mortality have been observed in obese patients. We discuss how obesity and obesity-associated factors such as 'meta-flammation', dietary fat intake and paradoxical suppression of the innate immune response within the pulmonary compartment may be crucial determinants in the host response to a novel viral pathogen. Modulation of immune cell bioenergetics and metabolic potential plays a central role in the innate immune response to infection, and as we strive to combat this new global health threat, immunometabolism of the innate immune system warrants attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immune System/virology , Obesity/immunology , Obesity/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Dietary Fats/immunology , Eating/immunology , Energy Metabolism/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation , Obesity/mortality , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology
16.
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
17.
Nature ; 592(7853): 283-289, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101660

ABSTRACT

A safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 is urgently needed in quantities that are sufficient to immunize large populations. Here we report the preclinical development of two vaccine candidates (BNT162b1 and BNT162b2) that contain nucleoside-modified messenger RNA that encodes immunogens derived from the spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2, formulated in lipid nanoparticles. BNT162b1 encodes a soluble, secreted trimerized receptor-binding domain (known as the RBD-foldon). BNT162b2 encodes the full-length transmembrane S glycoprotein, locked in its prefusion conformation by the substitution of two residues with proline (S(K986P/V987P); hereafter, S(P2) (also known as P2 S)). The flexibly tethered RBDs of the RBD-foldon bind to human ACE2 with high avidity. Approximately 20% of the S(P2) trimers are in the two-RBD 'down', one-RBD 'up' state. In mice, one intramuscular dose of either candidate vaccine elicits a dose-dependent antibody response with high virus-entry inhibition titres and strong T-helper-1 CD4+ and IFNγ+CD8+ T cell responses. Prime-boost vaccination of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with the BNT162b candidates elicits SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing geometric mean titres that are 8.2-18.2× that of a panel of SARS-CoV-2-convalescent human sera. The vaccine candidates protect macaques against challenge with SARS-CoV-2; in particular, BNT162b2 protects the lower respiratory tract against the presence of viral RNA and shows no evidence of disease enhancement. Both candidates are being evaluated in phase I trials in Germany and the USA1-3, and BNT162b2 is being evaluated in an ongoing global phase II/III trial (NCT04380701 and NCT04368728).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aging/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cell Line , Clinical Trials as Topic , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Internationality , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Protein Multimerization , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Solubility , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
19.
J Clin Invest ; 131(6)2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045635

ABSTRACT

The immunopathology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains enigmatic, causing immunodysregulation and T cell lymphopenia. Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSCs) are T cell suppressors that expand in inflammatory conditions, but their role in acute respiratory infections remains unclear. We studied the blood and airways of patients with COVID-19 across disease severities at multiple time points. M-MDSC frequencies were elevated in blood but not in nasopharyngeal or endotracheal aspirates of patients with COVID-19 compared with healthy controls. M-MDSCs isolated from patients with COVID-19 suppressed T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production partly via an arginase 1-dependent (Arg-1-dependent) mechanism. Furthermore, patients showed increased Arg-1 and IL-6 plasma levels. Patients with COVID-19 had fewer T cells and downregulated expression of the CD3ζ chain. Ordinal regression showed that early M-MDSC frequency predicted subsequent disease severity. In conclusion, M-MDSCs expanded in the blood of patients with COVID-19, suppressed T cells, and were strongly associated with disease severity, indicating a role for M-MDSCs in the dysregulated COVID-19 immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arginase/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/blood , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/pathology , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/pathology , Pandemics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/pathology , Young Adult
20.
Nat Biotechnol ; 38(8): 970-979, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023942

ABSTRACT

To investigate the immune response and mechanisms associated with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we performed single-cell RNA sequencing on nasopharyngeal and bronchial samples from 19 clinically well-characterized patients with moderate or critical disease and from five healthy controls. We identified airway epithelial cell types and states vulnerable to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In patients with COVID-19, epithelial cells showed an average three-fold increase in expression of the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2, which correlated with interferon signals by immune cells. Compared to moderate cases, critical cases exhibited stronger interactions between epithelial and immune cells, as indicated by ligand-receptor expression profiles, and activated immune cells, including inflammatory macrophages expressing CCL2, CCL3, CCL20, CXCL1, CXCL3, CXCL10, IL8, IL1B and TNF. The transcriptional differences in critical cases compared to moderate cases likely contribute to clinical observations of heightened inflammatory tissue damage, lung injury and respiratory failure. Our data suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of the CCR1 and/or CCR5 pathways might suppress immune hyperactivation in critical COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Respiratory System/pathology , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , Cell Communication , Cell Differentiation , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immune System/pathology , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , Severity of Illness Index
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