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1.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 150(3): 594-603.e2, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2179904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lymphopenia is predictive of survival in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the cause of the lymphocyte count drop in severe forms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: Monocytic production of reactive oxygen species (ROSs) and T-cell apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry, DNA damage in PBMCs was measured by immunofluorescence, and angiotensin II (AngII) was measured by ELISA in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 at admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) (n = 29) or not admitted to an ICU (n = 29) and in age- and sex-matched healthy controls. RESULTS: We showed that the monocytes of certain patients with COVID-19 spontaneously released ROSs able to induce DNA damage and apoptosis in neighboring cells. Of note, high ROS production was predictive of death in ICU patients. Accordingly, in most patients, we observed the presence of DNA damage in up to 50% of their PBMCs and T-cell apoptosis. Moreover, the intensity of this DNA damage was linked to lymphopenia. SARS-CoV-2 is known to induce the internalization of its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is a protease capable of catabolizing AngII. Accordingly, in certain patients with COVID-19 we observed high plasma levels of AngII. When looking for the stimulus responsible for their monocytic ROS production, we revealed that AngII triggers ROS production by monocytes via angiotensin receptor I. ROSs released by AngII-activated monocytes induced DNA damage and apoptosis in neighboring lymphocytes. CONCLUSION: We conclude that T-cell apoptosis provoked via DNA damage due to the release of monocytic ROSs could play a major role in COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II , COVID-19 , Lymphopenia , Angiotensin II/blood , Apoptosis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , DNA Damage , Humans , Reactive Oxygen Species , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(15)2022 Aug 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990297

ABSTRACT

The immune system is a dynamic feature of each individual and a footprint of our unique internal and external exposures. Indeed, the type and level of exposure to physical and biological agents shape the development and behavior of this complex and diffuse system. Many pathological conditions depend on how our immune system responds or does not respond to a pathogen or a disease or on how the regulation of immunity is altered by the disease itself. T-cells are important players in adaptive immunity and, together with B-cells, define specificity and monitor the internal and external signals that our organism perceives through its specific receptors, TCRs and BCRs, respectively. Today, high-throughput sequencing (HTS) applied to the TCR repertoire has opened a window of opportunity to disclose T-cell repertoire development and behavior down to the clonal level. Although TCR repertoire sequencing is easily accessible today, it is important to deeply understand the available technologies for choosing the best fit for the specific experimental needs and questions. Here, we provide an updated overview of TCR repertoire sequencing strategies, providers and applications to infectious diseases and cancer to guide researchers' choice through the multitude of available options. The possibility of extending the TCR repertoire to HLA characterization will be of pivotal importance in the near future to understand how specific HLA genes shape T-cell responses in different pathological contexts and will add a level of comprehension that was unthinkable just a few years ago.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases , Neoplasms , B-Lymphocytes , Communicable Diseases/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Neoplasms/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , T-Lymphocytes
3.
Sci Immunol ; 5(54)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2161788

ABSTRACT

Understanding the nature of immunity following mild/asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to controlling the pandemic. We analyzed T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in 136 healthcare workers (HCW) 16-18 weeks after United Kingdom lockdown, 76 of whom had mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection captured by serial sampling. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were present in 89% of previously infected HCW. T cell responses tended to be lower following asymptomatic infection than in those reporting case-definition symptoms of COVID-19, while nAb titers were maintained irrespective of symptoms. T cell and antibody responses were sometimes discordant. Eleven percent lacked nAb and had undetectable T cell responses to spike protein but had T cells reactive with other SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our findings suggest that the majority of individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection carry nAb complemented by multispecific T cell responses at 16-18 weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 944713, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141966

ABSTRACT

In late 2021, the omicron variant of SARS Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged and replaced the previously dominant delta strain. Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against omicron has been challenging to estimate in clinical studies or is not available for all vaccines or populations of interest. T cell function can be predictive of vaccine longevity and effectiveness against disease, likely in a more robust way than antibody neutralization. In this mini review, we summarize the evidence on T cell immunity against omicron including effects of boosters, homologous versus heterologous regimens, hybrid immunity, memory responses and vaccine product. Overall, T cell reactivity in post-vaccine specimens is largely preserved against omicron, indicating that vaccines utilizing the parental antigen continue to be protective against disease caused by the omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 926318, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141946

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised individuals, including multiple sclerosis (MS) patients on certain immunotherapy treatments, are considered susceptible to complications from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and specific vaccination regimens have been recommended for suitable protection. MS patients receiving anti-CD20 therapy (aCD20-MS) are considered especially vulnerable due to acquired B-cell depletion and impaired antibody production in response to virus infection and COVID-19 vaccination. Here, the humoral and cellular responses are analyzed in a group of aCD20-MS patients (n=43) compared to a healthy control cohort (n=34) during the first 6 months after a 2-dose cycle mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination. Both IgG antibodies recognizing receptor binding domain (RBD) from CoV-2 spike protein and their blocking activity against RBD-hACE2 binding were significantly reduced in aCD20-MS patients, with a seroconversion rate of only 23.8%. Interestingly, even under conditions of severe B-cell depletion and failed seroconversion, a significantly higher polyfunctional IFNγ+ and IL-2+ T-cell response and strong T-cell proliferation capacity were detected compared to controls. Moreover, no difference in T-cell response was observed between forms of disease (relapsing remitting- vs progressive-MS), anti-CD20 therapy (Rituximab vs Ocrelizumab) and type of mRNA-based vaccine received (mRNA-1273 vs BNT162b2). These results suggest the generation of a partial adaptive immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in B-cell depleted MS individuals driven by a functionally competent T-cell arm. Investigation into the role of the cellular immune response is important to identifying the level of protection against SARS-CoV-2 in aCD20-MS patients and could have potential implications for future vaccine design and application.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Viral Vaccines , Antigens, CD20 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 920227, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141940

ABSTRACT

Objective: To better define the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19, the present study aims to characterize the early immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in household contacts of COVID-19 cases. In particular, innate, T- and B-cell specific responses were evaluated over time. Methods: Household contacts of COVID-19 cases screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal swab for surveillance purposes were enrolled (T0, n=42). Of these, 28 subjects returned for a follow-up test (T1). The innate response was assessed by detecting a panel of soluble factors by multiplex-technology in plasma samples. Cell-mediated response was evaluated by measuring interferon (IFN)-γ levels by ELISA in plasma harvested from whole-blood stimulated with SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools, including spike (S), nucleocapsid (N) and membrane (M) proteins. The serological response was assessed by quantifying anti-Receptor-Binding-Domain (RBD), anti-Nucleocapsid (N), whole virus indirect immunofluorescence, and neutralizing antibodies. Results: At T0, higher levels of plasmatic IFN-α, IL-1ra, MCP-1 and IP-10, and lower levels of IL-1ß, IL-9, MIP-1ß and RANTES were observed in subjects with positive swab compared to individuals with a negative one (p<0.05). Plasmatic IFN-α was the only cytokine detectable in subjects with positive SARS-CoV-2 swabs with high accuracy for swab score positivity (0.93, p<0.0001). Among subjects with positive swabs, significant negative correlations were found among the RT-PCR cycle threshold values reported for genes S and N and IFN-α or IP-10 levels. At T0, the IFN-γ T-cell specific response was detected in 50% (5/10) of subjects with positive swab, while anti-RBD/anti-N antibodies showed a positivity rate of 10% (1/10). At T1, the IFN-γ T-cell specific response was detected in most of the confirmed-infection subjects (77.8%, 7/9), whereas the serological response was still observed in a minority of them (44.4%, 4/9). Overall, the swab test showed a moderate concordance with the T-cell response (78.6%, k=0.467), and a scarce concordance with the serological one (72.9%, k=0.194). Conclusions: Plasmatic IFN-α and the IFN-γ T-cell specific response appear early even in the absence of seroconversion, and show a greater positivity rate than the serological response in household contacts with positive swab.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CXCL10 , Humans , Immunity , Interferon-alpha , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
7.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 986350, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141710

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells that play an important role in both innate and acquired immune responses against pathogens. However, the role of DCs in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear. Virus-like particles (VLPs) that structurally mimic the original virus are one of the candidates COVID-19 vaccines. In the present study, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) VLPs were used as an alternative to live virus to evaluate the interaction of the virus with DCs. The results revealed that SARS-CoV-2 VLPs induced DC maturation by augmenting cell surface molecule expression (CD80, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)) and inflammatory cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1ß, IL-6, and IL-12p70) in DCs via the mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-κB signaling pathways. In addition, mature DCs induced by SARS-CoV-2 VLPs promoted T cell proliferation, which was dependent on VLPs concentration. Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 VLPs regulate the immune response by interacting with DCs. These findings will improve the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Dendritic Cells
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 907125, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123412

ABSTRACT

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients have markedly decreased immune response to vaccinations. In this study we evaluated humoral and T cell-mediated responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-Cov-2) with additional flow cytometric changes in CVID patients receiving booster vaccination with BNT162b2 after two ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The BNT162b2 vaccine raised the anti-spike protein S immunoglobulin G over the cut-off value from 70% to 83% in CVID, anti-neutralizing antibody had been raised over a cut-off value from 70% to 80% but levels after boosting were significantly less in both tests than in healthy controls (*p=0.02; **p=0.009 respectively). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin A became less positive in CVID after boosting, but the difference was not significant. The cumulative interferon-γ positive T cell response by ELISpot was over the cut-off value in 53% of the tested individuals and raised to 83% after boosting. This and flow cytometric control of cumulative CD4+ and CD8+ virus-specific T cell absolute counts in CVID were also statistically not different from healthy individuals after boosting. Additional flow cytometric measures for CD45+ lymphocytes, CD3+, and CD19+ cells have not shown significant differences from controls except for lower CD4+T cell counts at both time points (**p=0.003; **p=0.002), in parallel CD4+ virus-specific T-cell ratio was significantly lower in CVID patients at the first time point (*p: 0.03). After boosting, in more than 33% of both CVID patients and also in their healthy controls we detected a decrease in absolute CD45+, CD3+, CD3+CD4+, and CD3+CD8+, CD19+, and CD16+56+ cell counts. CD16+CD56+ cell counts were significantly lower compared to controls before and after boosting (*p=0.02, *p=0.02). CVID patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy throughout the previous year or autologous stem cell transplantation two years before vaccination had worse responses in anti-spike, anti-neutralizing antibody, CD3+CD4+T, CD19+ B, and natural killer cell counts than the whole CVID group. Vaccinations had few side effects. Based on these data, CVID patients receiving booster vaccination with BNT162b2 after two ChadOx1 can effectively elevate the levels of protection against COVID-19 infection, but the duration of the immune response together with COVID-19 morbidity data needs further investigation among these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Common Variable Immunodeficiency , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing , Antigens, CD19 , BNT162 Vaccine , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Transplantation, Autologous
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 796482, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123406

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccination campaign to contrast the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised the issue of vaccine immunogenicity in special populations such as people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) on highly effective disease modifying treatments (DMTs). While humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have been well characterized in the general population and in PwMS, very little is known about cell-mediated responses in conferring protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Methods: PwMS on ocrelizumab, fingolimod or natalizumab, vaccinated with two doses of mRNABNT162b2 (Comirnaty®) vaccine were enrolled. Anti-Spike (S) and anti-Nucleoprotein (N) antibody titers, IFN-gamma production upon S and N peptide libraries stimulation, peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute counts were assessed after at least 1 month and within 4 months from vaccine second dose administration. A group of age and sex matched healthy donors (HD) were included as reference group. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 8.2.1. Results: Thirty PwMS and 9 HDs were enrolled. All the patients were negative for anti-N antibody detection, nor reported previous symptoms of COVID-19. Peripheral blood lymphocyte counts were assessed in PwMS showing: (i) reduction of circulating B-lymphocytes in PwMS on ocrelizumab; (ii) reduction of peripheral blood B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts in PwMS on fingolimod and (iii) normal B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts with an increase in circulating CD16+CD56+ NK-cells in PwMS on natalizumab. Three patterns of immunological responses were identified in PwMS. In patients on ocrelizumab, anti-S antibody were lacking or reduced, while T-cell responses were normal. In patients on fingolimod both anti-S titers and T-cell mediated responses were impaired. In patients on natalizumab both anti-S titers and T-cell responses were present and comparable to those observed in HD. Conclusions: The evaluation of T-cell responses, anti-S titers and peripheral blood lymphocyte absolute count in PwMS on DMTs can help to better characterize the immunological response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The evaluation of T-cell responses in longitudinal cohorts of PwMS will help to clarify their protective role in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. The correlation between DMT treatment and immunological responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines could help to better evaluate vaccination strategies in PwMS.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy
10.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6992, 2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119412

ABSTRACT

Interferons induced early after SARS-CoV-2 infection are crucial for shaping immunity and preventing severe COVID-19. We previously demonstrated that injection of pegylated interferon-lambda accelerated viral clearance in COVID-19 patients (NCT04354259). To determine if the viral decline is mediated by enhanced immunity, we assess in vivo responses to interferon-lambda by single cell RNA sequencing and measure SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell and antibody responses between placebo and interferon-lambda-treated patients. Here we show that interferon-lambda treatment induces interferon stimulated genes in peripheral immune cells expressing IFNLR1, including plasmacytoid dendritic cells and B cells. Interferon-lambda does not affect SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody levels or the magnitude of virus-specific T cells. However, we identify delayed T cell responses in older adults, suggesting that interferon-lambda can overcome delays in adaptive immunity to accelerate viral clearance in high-risk patients. Altogether, interferon-lambda offers an early COVID-19 treatment option for outpatients to boost innate antiviral defenses without dampening peripheral adaptive immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferons , Humans , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , T-Lymphocytes
11.
Cancer Discov ; 12(4): 958-983, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108398

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relies on the in-depth understanding of protective immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). We characterized the polarity and specificity of memory T cells directed against SARS-CoV-2 viral lysates and peptides to determine correlates with spontaneous, virus-elicited, or vaccine-induced protection against COVID-19 in disease-free and cancer-bearing individuals. A disbalance between type 1 and 2 cytokine release was associated with high susceptibility to COVID-19. Individuals susceptible to infection exhibited a specific deficit in the T helper 1/T cytotoxic 1 (Th1/Tc1) peptide repertoire affecting the receptor binding domain of the spike protein (S1-RBD), a hotspot of viral mutations. Current vaccines triggered Th1/Tc1 responses in only a fraction of all subject categories, more effectively against the original sequence of S1-RBD than that from viral variants. We speculate that the next generation of vaccines should elicit Th1/Tc1 T-cell responses against the S1-RBD domain of emerging viral variants. SIGNIFICANCE: This study prospectively analyzed virus-specific T-cell correlates of protection against COVID-19 in healthy and cancer-bearing individuals. A disbalance between Th1/Th2 recall responses conferred susceptibility to COVID-19 in both populations, coinciding with selective defects in Th1 recognition of the receptor binding domain of spike. See related commentary by McGary and Vardhana, p. 892. This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 873.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
12.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(10): e715-e721, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106237

ABSTRACT

Both myeloid cells, which contribute to innate immunity, and lymphoid cells, which dominate adaptive immunity, partake in defending against SARS-CoV-2. In response to the virus, the otherwise slow haematopoietic production supply chain quickly unleashes its preconfigured myeloid element, which largely resists a bullwhip-like effect. By contrast, the lymphoid element risks a bullwhip-like effect when it produces T cells and B cells that are specifically designed to clear the virus. As T-cell production is telomere-length dependent and telomeres shorten with age, older adults are at higher risk of a T-cell shortfall when contracting SARS-CoV-2 than are younger adults. A poorly calibrated adaptive immune response, stemming from a bullwhip-like effect, compounded by a T-cell deficit, might thus contribute to the propensity of people with inherently short T-cell telomeres to develop severe COVID-19. The immune systems of these individuals might also generate an inadequate T-cell response to anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adaptive Immunity , Aged , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Telomere/genetics
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(9): 1652-1654, 2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097327

ABSTRACT

We compared antibody and T-cell responses against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccine strain spike protein to responses against the Omicron variant in 15 messenger RNA vaccine recipients. While these individuals had significantly lower levels of antibodies that inhibited Omicron spike protein binding to ACE2, there was no difference in T-cell responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
14.
Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with hematological malignancies are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 and have been prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. A significant proportion of them have an impaired vaccine response, both due to the underlying disease and to the treatments. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study to identify the specific risks of the outpatient population with hematological diseases. RESULT: Between 22 December 2021 to 12 February 2022, we followed 338 patients of which 16.9% (n = 57) developed SARS-CoV-2 infection despite previous vaccination (94.7%). COVID-19 patients were more likely to have received immunotherapy (85.5% vs. 41%, p < 10-4), and particularly anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (40% vs. 14.9%, p < 10-4) and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors (BTKi) (7.3% vs. 0.7%, p < 10-2). There was no significant difference in demographic characteristics or hematological malignancies between COVID-19-positive and non-positive patients. Patients hospitalized for COVID-19 had more frequently received immunotherapy than patients with asymptomatic or benign forms (100% vs. 77.3%, p < 0.05). Hospitalized COVID-19 patients had a higher proportion of negative or weakly positive serologies than non-hospitalized patients (92.3% vs. 61%, p < 0.05). Patients who received tixagevimab/cilgavimab prophylaxis (n = 102) were less likely to be COVID-19-positive (4.9 vs. 22%, p < 0.05) without significant difference in hospitalization rates. CONCLUSION: In the immunocompromised population of patients with hematological malignancies, the underlying treatment of blood cancer by immunotherapy appears to be a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and for developing a severe form.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Humans , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , T-Lymphocytes , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Hematologic Neoplasms/drug therapy , Vaccination
15.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33(10): e13863, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088299

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies of anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral and adaptive response in COVID-19 non-vaccinated pediatric convalescents are controversial and further evidence from the pediatric population are needed. OBJECTIVES: To elucidate SARS-CoV-2 humoral and memory B- and T-cells responses in pediatric convalescents as compared with the adult. METHODS: Blood samples were obtained from 80 non-vaccinated, IgG-positive, COVID-19 convalescents (age 8.0-61.0 years), 4.0 months from onset. Frequency of responders and magnitudes of SARS-COV-2 IgG, memory B-cells (MBC) and IFNg- and IL2-secreting memory T-cells (MTC) in response to immuno-dominant peptide pools in pediatric, young adults and middle-aged adults with onset age 8-18 years (N = 20), 19-39 years (N = 30) and 40-61 years (N = 30), respectively, were analyzed. SARS-CoV-2 IgG were detected by ELISA (Euroimmun, Germany). MBC, IFNg-, IL2- and IFNg+IL2-secreting MTC (IFNg-MTC, IL2-MTC and IFNg+IL2-MTC) were detected using FluoroSpot (Mabtech, Sweden). RESULTS: MBC level was lower in pediatric as compared with the middle-aged adults (median 12.75 interquartile range [IQR] 4.27-33.7 and 32.0 IQR 6.0-124.2, respectively, p = .003). MBC level in young adults was lower than in middle-aged adults (median 18.5 IQR 1.7-43.8 and 32.0 IQR 6.0-124.2, respectively, p = .006). The level of IL2-MTC was lower in the pediatric group as compared with middle aged-adults (median 2.1 IQR 0-16.9 and 28.6 IQR 11-49.6, respectively, p < .03) and in young adults lower than in middle-aged adults (median 1.45 IQR 0-18.6 and 28.6 IQR 11-49.6, respectively, p = .02). In addition, the level of IFNg-MTC was lower in pediatric as compared with young adults (median 4.25 IQR 0.0-15.0 and 20.9 IQR 0-75.2, respectively, p = .05). The level of IgG was comparable between pediatric and both young and middle-aged adult groups (4.82 ± 2.95, 3.70 ± 2.65 and 4.9 ± 2.94, respectively, p > .34). CONCLUSION: Non-vaccinated COVID-19 pediatric convalescents have lower adaptive immune responses than adults sustaining the recommendation for vaccination of the pediatric population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Humans , Middle Aged , Young Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin G , Interleukin-2 , B-Lymphocytes , T-Lymphocytes
16.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1025495, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080158

ABSTRACT

Disorders of systemic metabolism can influence immunity. Individuals with obesity are known to have increased inflammation, increased risk to select autoimmune diseases, impaired response to several infections, and impaired vaccine response. For example, over the last decade, it has become clear that individuals with obesity have increased risk of morbidity and mortality from influenza infection. Unsurprisingly, this finding is also observed in the current COVID-19 pandemic: individuals with obesity, particularly severe obesity, have increased risk of poor outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection, including increased rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. Several studies have now demonstrated a critical role for T cells in the context of obesity-associated immune dysfunction in response to viral infection, and one mechanism for this may be altered T cell metabolism. Indeed, recent studies have shown that activated T cells from obese mice have an altered metabolic profile characterized by increased glucose oxidation, both in vitro and in vivo following viral infection. For that reason, treatments that target abnormal immune cell metabolism in obesity may improve outcomes to viral infection. To that end, several recent studies have shown that use of the metabolic drug, metformin, can reverse abnormal T cell metabolism and restore T cell immunity, as well as survival, in response to viral infection. These findings will be discussed in detail here.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metformin , Animals , Mice , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Obesity/complications , Metformin/therapeutic use , Oxidative Stress , Glucose
17.
Front Immunol ; 13: 942192, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080137

ABSTRACT

The cellular immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in response to full mRNA COVID-19 vaccination could be variable among healthy individuals. Studies based only in specific antibody levels could show an erroneous immune protection at long times. For that, we analyze the antibody levels specific to the S protein and the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells by ELISpot and AIM assays in intensive care unit (ICU) workers with no antecedents of COVID-19 and vaccinated with two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. All individuals were seronegative for the SARS-CoV-2 protein S before vaccination (Pre-v), but 34.1% (14/41) of them showed pre-existing T lymphocytes specific for some viral proteins (S, M and N). One month after receiving two doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Post-v1), all cases showed seroconversion with high levels of total and neutralizing antibodies to the spike protein, but six of them (14.6%) had no T cells reactive to the S protein. Specifically, they lack of specific CD8+ T cells, but maintain the contribution of CD4+ T cells. Analysis of the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 at 10 months after full vaccination (Post-v10), exhibited a significant reduction in the antibody levels (p<0.0001) and protein S-reactive T cells (p=0.0073) in all analyzed individuals, although none of the individuals become seronegative and 77% of them maintained a competent immune response. Thus, we can suggest that the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 elicited by the mRNA vaccines was highly variable among ICU workers. A non-negligible proportion of individuals did not develop a specific T cell response mediated by CD8+ T cells after vaccination, that may condition the susceptibility to further viral infections with SARS-CoV-2. By contrast, around 77% of individuals developed strong humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 that persisted even after 10 months. Analysis of the cellular immune response is highly recommended for providing exact information about immune protection against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Intensive Care Units , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination , T-Lymphocytes
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(20)2022 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071512

ABSTRACT

The vulnerable population of kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) are low responders to COVID-19 vaccines, so specific immune surveillance is needed. The interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) release assay (IGRA) is effective in assessing T cell-mediated immunity. We assessed SARS-CoV-2-directed T cell responses in KTRs with absent antibody production after a third dose of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, using two different IGRAs. A cohort of 57 KTRs, who were actively followed up, received a third dose of the mRNA-1273 vaccine. After the evaluation of humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2, 14 seronegative patients were tested with two commercial IGRAs (SD Biosensor and Euroimmun). Out of 14 patients, one and three samples were positive by IGRAs with Euroimmun and SD Biosensor, respectively. The overall agreement between the two assays was 85.7% (κ = 0.444). In addition, multivariate linear regression analysis showed no statistically significant association between the IFN-γ concentration, and the independent variables analyzed (age, gender, years since transplant, total lymphocytes cells/mcl, CD3+ cells/mcl, CD3+ CD4+ cells/mcl, CD3+ CD8+ cells/mcl, CD19+ cells/mcl, CD3-CD16+CD56+ cells/mcl) (p > 0.01). In a vulnerable setting, assessing cellular immune response to complement the humoral response may be advantageous. Since the two commercial IGRAs showed a good agreement on negative samples, the three discordant samples highlight the need for further investigations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Kidney Transplantation , Humans , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Interferon-gamma/analysis , T-Lymphocytes/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines , Antibody Formation , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Transplant Recipients , Antibodies, Viral
19.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(10): e15821, 2022 10 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2067354

ABSTRACT

New variants in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are more contagious (Alpha/Delta), evade neutralizing antibodies (Beta), or both (Omicron). This poses a challenge in vaccine development according to WHO. We designed a more universal SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine containing receptor-binding domain loops from the huCoV-19/WH01, the Alpha, and the Beta variants, combined with the membrane and nucleoproteins. The vaccine induced spike antibodies crossreactive between huCoV-19/WH01, Beta, and Delta spike proteins that neutralized huCoV-19/WH01, Beta, Delta, and Omicron virus in vitro. The vaccine primed nucleoprotein-specific T cells, unlike spike-specific T cells, recognized Bat-CoV sequences. The vaccine protected mice carrying the human ACE2 receptor against lethal infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant. Interestingly, priming of cross-reactive nucleoprotein-specific T cells alone was 60% protective, verifying observations from humans that T cells protect against lethal disease. This SARS-CoV vaccine induces a uniquely broad and functional immunity that adds to currently used vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , Nucleoproteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics
20.
Cells ; 11(19)2022 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065731

ABSTRACT

Here, we aim to describe COVID-19 pathology across different tissues to clarify the disease's pathophysiology. Lungs, kidneys, hearts, and brains from nine COVID-19 autopsies were compared by using antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, macrophages-microglia, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and activated platelets. Alzheimer's Disease pathology was also assessed. PCR techniques were used to verify the presence of viral RNA. COVID-19 cases had a short clinical course (0-32 days) and their mean age was 77.4 y/o. Hypoxic changes and inflammatory infiltrates were present across all tissues. The lymphocytic component in the lungs and kidneys was predominant over that of other tissues (p < 0.001), with a significantly greater presence of T-lymphocytes in the lungs (p = 0.020), which showed the greatest presence of viral antigens. The heart showed scant SARS-CoV-2 traces in the endothelium-endocardium, foci of activated macrophages, and rare lymphocytes. The brain showed scarce SARS-CoV-2 traces, prominent microglial activation, and rare lymphocytes. The pons exhibited the highest microglial activation (p = 0.017). Microthrombosis was significantly higher in COVID-19 lungs (p = 0.023) compared with controls. The most characteristic pathological features of COVID-19 were an abundance of T-lymphocytes and microthrombosis in the lung and relevant microglial hyperactivation in the brainstem. This study suggests that the long-term sequelae of COVID-19 derive from persistent inflammation, rather than persistent viral replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Aged , Antigens, Viral , Brain/pathology , Humans , Kidney , Lung/pathology , Macrophages , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Thrombosis/pathology
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