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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 797390, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686476

ABSTRACT

Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors are immunomodulatory drugs approved to treat diseases associated with chronic inflammatory conditions, such as COPD, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Tanimilast (international non-proprietary name of CHF6001) is a novel, potent and selective inhaled PDE4 inhibitor in advanced clinical development for the treatment of COPD. To begin testing its potential in limiting hyperinflammation and immune dysregulation associated to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we took advantage of an in vitro model of dendritic cell (DC) activation by SARS-CoV-2 genomic ssRNA (SCV2-RNA). In this context, Tanimilast decreased the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), chemokines (CCL3, CXCL9, and CXCL10) and of Th1-polarizing cytokines (IL-12, type I IFNs). In contrast to ß-methasone, a reference steroid anti-inflammatory drug, Tanimilast did not impair the acquisition of the maturation markers CD83, CD86 and MHC-II, nor that of the lymph node homing receptor CCR7. Consistent with this, Tanimilast did not reduce the capability of SCV2-RNA-stimulated DCs to activate CD4+ T cells but skewed their polarization towards a Th2 phenotype. Both Tanimilast and ß-methasone blocked the increase of MHC-I molecules in SCV2-RNA-activated DCs and restrained the proliferation and activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Our results indicate that Tanimilast can modulate the SCV2-RNA-induced pro-inflammatory and Th1-polarizing potential of DCs, crucial regulators of both the inflammatory and immune response. Given also the remarkable safety demonstrated by Tanimilast, up to now, in clinical studies, we propose this inhaled PDE4 inhibitor as a promising immunomodulatory drug in the scenario of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells , Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitors/pharmacology , RNA/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Activation/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Virus Activation/immunology
2.
J Immunol ; 208(2): 429-443, 2022 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674944

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces T cell, B cell, and Ab responses that are detected for several months in recovered individuals. Whether this response resembles a typical respiratory viral infection is a matter of debate. In this study, we followed T cell and Ab responses in 24 mainly nonhospitalized human subjects who had recovered from PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection at two time points (median of 45 and 145 d after symptom onset). Ab responses were detected in 95% of subjects, with a strong correlation between plasma and salivary anti-spike (anti-S) and anti-receptor binding domain IgG, as well as a correlation between circulating T follicular helper cells and the SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG response. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 peptides were determined using intracellular cytokine staining, activation markers, proliferation, and cytokine secretion. All study subjects had a T cell response to at least one SARS-CoV-2 Ag based on at least one T cell assay. CD4+ responses were largely of the Th1 phenotype, but with a lower ratio of IFN-γ- to IL-2-producing cells and a lower frequency of CD8+:CD4+ T cells than in influenza A virus (IAV)-specific memory responses within the same subjects. Analysis of secreted molecules also revealed a lower ratio of IFN-γ to IL-2 and an altered cytotoxic profile for SARS-CoV-2 S- and nucleocapsid-specific responses compared with IAV-specific responses. These data suggest that the memory T cell phenotype after a single infection with SARS-CoV-2 persists over time, with an altered cytokine and cytotoxicity profile compared with long-term memory to whole IAV within the same subjects.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors
3.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674830

ABSTRACT

The progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of variants of concern (VOC), which may compromise the efficacy of the currently administered vaccines. Antigenic drift can potentially bring about reduced protective T cell immunity and, consequently, more severe disease manifestations. To assess this possibility, the T cell responses to the wild-type Wuhan-1 SARS-CoV-2 ancestral spike protein and the Omicron B.1.1.529 spike protein were compared. Accordingly, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were collected from eight healthy volunteers 4-5 months following a third vaccination with BNT162b2, and stimulated with overlapping peptide libraries representing the spike of either the ancestral or the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. Quantification of the specific T cells was carried out by a fluorescent ELISPOT assay, monitoring cells secreting interferon-gamma (IFNg), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-4 (IL-4). For all the examined individuals, comparable levels of reactivity to both forms of spike protein were determined. In addition, a dominant Th1 response was observed, manifested mainly by IFNg-secreting cells and only limited numbers of IL-10- and IL-4-secreting cells. The data demonstrate stable T cell activity in response to the emerging Omicron variant in the tested individuals; therefore, the protective immunity to the variant following BNT162b2 vaccination is not significantly affected.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/analysis , Cytokines/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/analysis , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Young Adult
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 785946, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674333

ABSTRACT

Although cellular and molecular mediators of the immune system have the potential to be prognostic indicators of disease outcomes, temporal interference between diseases might affect the immune mediators, and make them difficult to predict disease complications. Today one of the most important challenges is predicting the prognosis of COVID-19 in the context of other inflammatory diseases such as traumatic injuries. Many diseases with inflammatory properties are usually polyphasic and the kinetics of inflammatory mediators in various inflammatory diseases might be different. To find the most appropriate evaluation time of immune mediators to accurately predict COVID-19 prognosis in the trauma environment, researchers must investigate and compare cellular and molecular alterations based on their kinetics after the start of COVID-19 symptoms and traumatic injuries. The current review aimed to investigate the similarities and differences of common inflammatory mediators (C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, ferritin, and serum amyloid A), cytokine/chemokine levels (IFNs, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, and IL-4), and immune cell subtypes (neutrophil, monocyte, Th1, Th2, Th17, Treg and CTL) based on the kinetics between patients with COVID-19 and trauma. The mediators may help us to accurately predict the severity of COVID-19 complications and follow up subsequent clinical interventions. These findings could potentially help in a better understanding of COVID-19 and trauma pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Wounds and Injuries/diagnosis , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Prognosis , Wounds and Injuries/complications , Wounds and Injuries/immunology
5.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(2): 100528, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649494

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caused an ongoing global health crisis. Here, we present as a vaccine candidate synthetic SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein-coated lipid vesicles that resemble virus-like particles. Soluble S glycoprotein trimer stabilization by formaldehyde cross-linking introduces two major inter-protomer cross-links that keep all receptor-binding domains in the "down" conformation. Immunization of cynomolgus macaques with S coated onto lipid vesicles (S-LVs) induces high antibody titers with potent neutralizing activity against the vaccine strain, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants as well as T helper (Th)1 CD4+-biased T cell responses. Although anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific antibody responses are initially predominant, the third immunization boosts significant non-RBD antibody titers. Challenging vaccinated animals with SARS-CoV-2 shows a complete protection through sterilizing immunity, which correlates with the presence of nasopharyngeal anti-S immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA titers. Thus, the S-LV approach is an efficient and safe vaccine candidate based on a proven classical approach for further development and clinical testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Liposomes , Macaca fascicularis , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Th1 Cells/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/immunology , Vero Cells
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 761382, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638133

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to several pioneering scientific discoveries resulting in no effective solutions with the exception of vaccination. Moderate exercise is a significant non-pharmacological strategy, to reduce the infection-related burden of COVID-19, especially in patients who are obese, elderly, and with additional comorbidities. The imbalance of T helper type 1 (Th1) or T helper type 2 (Th2) cells has been well documented among populations who have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are at maximum risk of infection and mortality. Moderate and low intensity exercise can benefit persons at risk from the disease and survivors by favorable modulation in Th1/Th2 ratios. Moreover, in COVID-19 patients, mild to moderate intensity aerobic exercise also increases immune system function but high intensity aerobic exercise may have adverse effects on immune responses. In addition, sustained hypoxia in COVID-19 patients has been reported to cause organ failure and cell death. Hypoxic conditions have also been highlighted to be triggered in COVID-19-susceptible individuals and COVID-19 survivors. This suggests that hypoxia inducible factor (HIF 1α) might be an important focus for researchers investigating effective strategies to minimize the effects of the pandemic. Intermittent hypoxic preconditioning (IHP) is a method of exposing subjects to short bouts of moderate hypoxia interspersed with brief periods of normal oxygen concentrations (recovery). This methodology inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory factors, activates HIF-1α to activate target genes, and subsequently leads to a higher production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This increases angiogenesis and increases oxygen transport capacity. These factors can help alleviate virus induced cardiopulmonary hemodynamic disorders and endothelial dysfunction. Therefore, during the COVID-19 pandemic we propose that populations should engage in low to moderate exercise individually designed, prescribed and specific, that utilizes IHP including pranayama (yoga), swimming and high-altitude hiking exercise. This would be beneficial in affecting HIF-1α to combat the disease and its severity. Therefore, the promotion of certain exercises should be considered by all sections of the population. However, exercise recommendations and prescription for COVID-19 patients should be structured to match individual levels of capability and adaptability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Exercise/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Aging , COVID-19/pathology , Comorbidity , Humans , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunomodulation/immunology , Pandemics , Th1-Th2 Balance
7.
Sci Adv ; 8(3): eabj9815, 2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634773

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines are needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we report the preclinical development of a lipid nanoparticle­formulated SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine, PTX-COVID19-B. PTX-COVID19-B was chosen among three candidates after the initial mouse vaccination results showed that it elicited the strongest neutralizing antibody response against SARS-CoV-2. Further tests in mice and hamsters indicated that PTX-COVID19-B induced robust humoral and cellular immune responses and completely protected the vaccinated animals from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lung. Studies in hamsters also showed that PTX-COVID19-B protected the upper respiratory tract from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mouse immune sera elicited by PTX-COVID19-B vaccination were able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta lineages. No adverse effects were induced by PTX-COVID19-B in either mice or hamsters. Based on these results, PTX-COVID19-B was authorized by Health Canada to enter clinical trials in December 2020 with a phase 2 clinical trial ongoing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Canada , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Liposomes/pharmacology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nanoparticles , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Th1 Cells/immunology
8.
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598468

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have shown exceptional clinical efficacy, providing robust protection against severe disease. However, our understanding of transcriptional and repertoire changes following full vaccination remains incomplete. We used scRNA-Seq and functional assays to compare humoral and cellular responses to 2 doses of mRNA vaccine with responses observed in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic disease. Our analyses revealed enrichment of spike-specific B cells, activated CD4+ T cells, and robust antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses following vaccination. On the other hand, although clonally expanded CD8+ T cells were observed following both vaccination and natural infection, CD8+ T cell responses were relatively weak and variable. In addition, TCR gene usage was variable, reflecting the diversity of repertoires and MHC polymorphism in the human population. Natural infection induced expansion of CD8+ T cell clones that occupy distinct clusters compared to those induced by vaccination and likely recognize a broader set of viral antigens of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine. Our study highlights a coordinated adaptive immune response in which early CD4+ T cell responses facilitate the development of the B cell response and substantial expansion of effector CD8+ T cells, together capable of contributing to future recall responses.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , /therapeutic use , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Viral , B-Lymphocytes , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Carrier State , Convalescence , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/genetics , Immunity, Humoral/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells , Th17 Cells , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , Young Adult , /therapeutic use
10.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 624483, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574395

ABSTRACT

The immune response type organized against viral infection is determinant in the prognosis of some infections. This work has aimed to study Th polarization in acute COVID-19 and its possible association with the outcome through an observational prospective study. Fifty-eight COVID-19 patients were recruited in the Medicine Department of the hospital "12 de Octubre," 55 patients remaining after losses to follow-up. Four groups were established according to maximum degree of disease progression. T-helper cell percentages and phenotypes, analyzed by flow cytometer, and serum cytokines levels, analyzed by Luminex, were evaluated when the microbiological diagnosis (acute phase) of the disease was obtained. Our study found a significant reduction of %Th1 and %Th17 cells with higher activated %Th2 cells in the COVID-19 patients compared with reference population. A higher percent of senescent Th2 cells was found in the patients who died than in those who survived. Senescent Th2 cell percentage was an independent risk factor for death (OR: 13.88) accompanied by the numbers of total lymphocytes (OR: 0.15) with an AUC of 0.879. COVID-19 patients showed a profile of pro-inflammatory serum cytokines compared to controls, with higher levels of IL-2, IL-6, IL-15, and IP-10. IL-10 and IL-13 were also elevated in patients compared to controls. Patients who did not survive presented significantly higher levels of IL-15 than those who recovered. No significant differences were observed according to disease progression groups. The study has shown that increased levels of IL-15 and a high Th2 response are associated with a fatal outcome of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Prospective Studies , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology
11.
Front Immunol ; 12: 772240, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551510

ABSTRACT

Antigen-specific tissue-resident memory T cells (Trms) and neutralizing IgA antibodies provide the most effective protection of the lungs from viral infections. To induce those essential components of lung immunity against SARS-CoV-2, we tested various immunization protocols involving intranasal delivery of a novel Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-SARS-2-spike vaccine candidate. We show that a single intranasal MVA-SARS-CoV-2-S application in mice strongly induced pulmonary spike-specific CD8+ T cells, albeit restricted production of neutralizing antibodies. In prime-boost protocols, intranasal booster vaccine delivery proved to be crucial for a massive expansion of systemic and lung tissue-resident spike-specific CD8+ T cells and the development of Th1 - but not Th2 - CD4+ T cells. Likewise, very high titers of IgG and IgA anti-spike antibodies were present in serum and broncho-alveolar lavages that possessed high virus neutralization capacities to all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Importantly, the MVA-SARS-2-spike vaccine applied in intramuscular priming and intranasal boosting treatment regimen completely protected hamsters from developing SARS-CoV-2 lung infection and pathology. Together, these results identify intramuscular priming followed by respiratory tract boosting with MVA-SARS-2-S as a promising approach for the induction of local, respiratory as well as systemic immune responses suited to protect from SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Genetic Vectors , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Lung/immunology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccinia virus/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/immunology
12.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 62-74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514418

ABSTRACT

The molecular mechanisms governing orderly shutdown and retraction of CD4+ type 1 helper T (TH1) cell responses remain poorly understood. Here we show that complement triggers contraction of TH1 responses by inducing intrinsic expression of the vitamin D (VitD) receptor and the VitD-activating enzyme CYP27B1, permitting T cells to both activate and respond to VitD. VitD then initiated the transition from pro-inflammatory interferon-γ+ TH1 cells to suppressive interleukin-10+ cells. This process was primed by dynamic changes in the epigenetic landscape of CD4+ T cells, generating super-enhancers and recruiting several transcription factors, notably c-JUN, STAT3 and BACH2, which together with VitD receptor shaped the transcriptional response to VitD. Accordingly, VitD did not induce interleukin-10 expression in cells with dysfunctional BACH2 or STAT3. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid CD4+ T cells of patients with COVID-19 were TH1-skewed and showed de-repression of genes downregulated by VitD, from either lack of substrate (VitD deficiency) and/or abnormal regulation of this system.


Subject(s)
Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-10/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vitamin D/metabolism , 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase/metabolism , Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Complement C3a/immunology , Complement C3b/immunology , Humans , JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Receptors, Calcitriol/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
13.
Immunology ; 165(2): 250-259, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511322

ABSTRACT

Accurate assessment of SARS-CoV-2 immunity is critical in evaluating vaccine efficacy and devising public health policies. Whilst the exact nature of effective immunity remains incompletely defined, SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses are a critical feature that will likely form a key correlate of protection against COVID-19. Here, we developed and optimized a high-throughput whole blood-based assay to determine the T-cell response associated with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination amongst 231 healthy donors and 68 cancer patients. Following overnight in vitro stimulation with SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides, blood plasma samples were analysed for TH 1-type cytokines. Highly significant differential IFN-γ+ /IL-2+ SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses were seen amongst previously infected COVID-19-positive healthy donors in comparison with unknown / naïve individuals (p < 0·0001). IFN-γ production was more effective at identifying asymptomatic donors, demonstrating higher sensitivity (96·0% vs. 83·3%) but lower specificity (84·4% vs. 92·5%) than measurement of IL-2. A single COVID-19 vaccine dose induced IFN-γ and/or IL-2 SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses in 116 of 128 (90·6%) healthy donors, reducing significantly to 27 of 56 (48·2%) when measured in cancer patients (p < 0·0001). A second dose was sufficient to boost T-cell responses in the majority (90·6%) of cancer patients, albeit IFN-γ+ responses were still significantly lower overall than those induced in healthy donors (p = 0·034). Three-month post-vaccination T-cell responses also declined at a faster rate in cancer patients. Overall, this cost-effective standardizable test ensures accurate and comparable assessments of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses amenable to widespread population immunity testing, and identifies individuals at greater need of booster vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Carrier State/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
14.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 193(Pt B): 1885-1897, 2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509845

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein is a leading vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The S1 domain of S protein, which contains a critical receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigen, potentially induces protective immunoreactivities against SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we presented preclinical evaluations of a novel insect cell-derived SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S1 (rS1) protein as a potent COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The native antigenicity of rS1 was characterized by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with a neutralizing monoclonal antibody targeting the RBD antigen. To improve its immunogenicity, rS1-adjuvanted with fucoidan/trimethylchitosan nanoparticles (FUC-TMC NPs) and cytosine-phosphate-guanosine-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODNs) were investigated using a mouse model. The S1-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers, FluoroSpot assay, pseudovirus- and prototype SARS-CoV-2-based neutralization assays were assessed. The results showed that the rS1/CpG/ FUC-TMC NPs (rS1/CpG/NPs) formulation induced a broad-spectrum IgG response with potent, long-lasting, and cross-protective neutralizing activity against the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, along with a Th1-biased cellular response. Thus, the rS1/CpG/NPs formulation presents a promising vaccination approach against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nanoparticles , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Th1 Cells/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nanoparticles/therapeutic use , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/chemistry , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769059, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505989

ABSTRACT

The prognosis of severe COVID-19 patients has motivated research communities to uncover mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis also on a regional level. In this work, we aimed to understand the immunological dynamics of severe COVID-19 patients with different degrees of illness, and upon long-term recovery. We analyzed immune cellular subsets and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody isotypes of 66 COVID-19 patients admitted to the Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile, which were categorized according to the WHO ten-point clinical progression score. These included 29 moderate patients (score 4-5) and 37 severe patients under either high flow oxygen nasal cannula (18 patients, score 6), or invasive mechanical ventilation (19 patients, score 7-9), plus 28 convalescent patients and 28 healthy controls. Furthermore, six severe patients that recovered from the disease were longitudinally followed over 300 days. Our data indicate that severe COVID-19 patients display increased frequencies of plasmablasts, activated T cells and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies compared to moderate and convalescent patients. Remarkably, within the severe COVID-19 group, patients rapidly progressing into invasive mechanical ventilation show higher frequencies of plasmablasts, monocytes, eosinophils, Th1 cells and SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG than patients under high flow oxygen nasal cannula. These findings demonstrate that severe COVID-19 patients progressing into invasive mechanical ventilation show a distinctive type of immunity. In addition, patients that recover from severe COVID-19 begin to regain normal proportions of immune cells 100 days after hospital discharge and maintain high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG throughout the study, which is an indicative sign of immunological memory. Thus, this work can provide useful information to better understand the diverse outcomes of severe COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Eosinophils/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Convalescence , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
16.
Science ; 374(6573): 1343-1353, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483979

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibody responses gradually wane against several variants of concern (VOCs) after vaccination with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine messenger RNA-1273 (mRNA-1273). We evaluated the immune responses in nonhuman primates that received a primary vaccination series of mRNA-1273 and were boosted about 6 months later with either homologous mRNA-1273 or heterologous mRNA-1273.ß, which encompasses the spike sequence of the B.1.351 Beta variant. After boost, animals had increased neutralizing antibody responses across all VOCs, which was sustained for at least 8 weeks after boost. Nine weeks after boost, animals were challenged with the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant. Viral replication was low to undetectable in bronchoalveolar lavage and significantly reduced in nasal swabs in all boosted animals, suggesting that booster vaccinations may be required to sustain immunity and protection.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunization, Secondary , Macaca mulatta , Nose/immunology , Nose/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Virus Replication
17.
J Virol ; 95(20): e0059221, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440799

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to dramatic economic and health burdens. Although the worldwide SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign has begun, exploration of other vaccine candidates is needed due to uncertainties with the current approved vaccines, such as durability of protection, cross-protection against variant strains, and costs of long-term production and storage. In this study, we developed a methyltransferase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. We generated mtdVSVs expressing SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) protein, S1, or its receptor-binding domain (RBD). All of these recombinant viruses grew to high titers in mammalian cells despite high attenuation in cell culture. The SARS-CoV-2 S protein and its truncations were highly expressed by the mtdVSV vector. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these constructs, mtdVSV-S induced high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and Th1-biased T-cell immune responses in mice. In Syrian golden hamsters, the serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs triggered by mtdVSV-S were higher than the levels of NAbs in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. In addition, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung and nasal turbinate tissues, cytokine storm, and lung pathology. Collectively, our data demonstrate that mtdVSV expressing SARS-CoV-2 S protein is a safe and highly efficacious vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Viral mRNA cap methyltransferase (MTase) is essential for mRNA stability, protein translation, and innate immune evasion. Thus, viral mRNA cap MTase activity is an excellent target for development of live attenuated or live vectored vaccine candidates. Here, we developed a panel of MTase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates expressing full-length S, S1, or several versions of the RBD. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates grew to high titers in cell culture and were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these vaccine candidates, mtdVSV-S induces high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) and Th1-biased immune responses in mice. Syrian golden hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S triggered SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs at higher levels than those in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Thus, mtdVSV is a safe and highly effective vector to deliver SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Brain/virology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/genetics , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Mice , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/enzymology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/physiology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
18.
Immunity ; 54(9): 2133-2142.e3, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433401

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have shown remarkable clinical efficacy, but questions remain about the nature and kinetics of T cell priming. We performed longitudinal antigen-specific T cell analyses on healthy SARS-CoV-2-naive and recovered individuals prior to and following mRNA prime and boost vaccination. Vaccination induced rapid antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses in naive subjects after the first dose, whereas CD8+ T cell responses developed gradually and were variable in magnitude. Vaccine-induced Th1 and Tfh cell responses following the first dose correlated with post-boost CD8+ T cells and neutralizing antibodies, respectively. Integrated analysis revealed coordinated immune responses with distinct trajectories in SARS-CoV-2-naive and recovered individuals. Last, whereas booster vaccination improved T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2-naive subjects, the second dose had little effect in SARS-CoV-2-recovered individuals. These findings highlight the role of rapidly primed CD4+ T cells in coordinating responses to the second vaccine dose in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Immunologic Memory , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Peptides/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
19.
Biosci Rep ; 41(9)2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406416

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease in late 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development efforts have predominantly been aimed at 'Extra-viral' Spike (S) protein as vaccine vehicles, but there are concerns regarding 'viral immune escape' since multiple mutations may enable the mutated virus strains to escape from immunity against S protein. The 'Intra-viral' Nucleocapsid (N-protein) is relatively conserved among mutant strains of coronaviruses during spread and evolution. Herein, we demonstrate novel vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by using the whole conserved N-protein or its fragment/peptides. Using ELISA assay, we showed that high titers of specific anti-N antibodies (IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgM) were maintained for a reasonably long duration (> 5 months), suggesting that N-protein is an excellent immunogen to stimulate host immune system and robust B-cell activation. We synthesized three peptides located at the conserved regions of N-protein among CoVs. One peptide showed as a good immunogen for vaccination as well. Cytokine arrays on post-vaccination mouse sera showed progressive up-regulation of various cytokines such as IFN-γ and CCL5, suggesting that TH1 associated responses are also stimulated. Furthermore, vaccinated mice exhibited an elevated memory T cells population. Here, we propose an unconventional vaccine strategy targeting the conserved N-protein as an alternative vaccine target for coronaviruses. Moreover, we generated a mouse monoclonal antibody specifically against an epitope shared between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and we are currently developing the First-in-Class humanized anti-N-protein antibody to potentially treat patients infected by various CoVs in the future.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Models, Animal , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
20.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 340, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402051

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly worldwide and variants continue to emerge, the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines are urgently needed. Here, we developed an mRNA vaccine based on the trimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein fused to ferritin-formed nanoparticles (TF-RBD). Compared to the trimeric form of the RBD mRNA vaccine (T-RBD), TF-RBD delivered intramuscularly elicited robust and durable humoral immunity as well as a Th1-biased cellular response. After further challenge with live SARS-CoV-2, immunization with a two-shot low-dose regimen of TF-RBD provided adequate protection in hACE2-transduced mice. In addition, the mRNA template of TF-RBD was easily and quickly engineered into a variant vaccine to address SARS-CoV-2 mutations. The TF-RBD multivalent vaccine produced broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies against Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants. This mRNA vaccine based on the encoded self-assembled nanoparticle-based trimer RBD provides a reference for the design of mRNA vaccines targeting SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nanoparticles/therapeutic use , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/pathology , Vaccines, Synthetic/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vero Cells
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