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1.
J Hematol Oncol ; 14(1): 174, 2021 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473657

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Factors affecting response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) recipients remain to be elucidated. METHODS: Forty allo-HCT recipients were included in a study of immunization with BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine at days 0 and 21. Binding antibodies (Ab) to SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) were assessed at days 0, 21, 28, and 49 while neutralizing Ab against SARS-CoV-2 wild type (NT50) were assessed at days 0 and 49. Results observed in allo-HCT patients were compared to those obtained in 40 healthy adults naive of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Flow cytometry analysis of peripheral blood cells was performed before vaccination to identify potential predictors of Ab responses. RESULTS: Three patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab before vaccination. Among the 37 SARS-CoV-2 naive patients, 20 (54%) and 32 (86%) patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab 21 days and 49 days postvaccination. Comparing anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients and healthy adults, we observed significantly lower anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients at days 21, 28 and 49. Further, 49% of allo-HCT patients versus 88% of healthy adults had detectable NT50 Ab at day 49 while allo-HCT recipients had significantly lower NT50 Ab titers than healthy adults (P = 0.0004). Ongoing moderate/severe chronic GVHD (P < 0.01) as well as rituximab administration in the year prior to vaccination (P < 0.05) correlated with low anti-RBD and NT50 Ab titers at 49 days after the first vaccination in multivariate analyses. Compared to healthy adults, allo-HCT patients without chronic GVHD or rituximab therapy had comparable anti-RBD Ab levels and NT50 Ab titers at day 49. Flow cytometry analyses before vaccination indicated that Ab responses in allo-HCT patients were strongly correlated with the number of memory B cells and of naive CD4+ T cells (r > 0.5, P < 0.01) and more weakly with the number of follicular helper T cells (r = 0.4, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Chronic GVHD and rituximab administration in allo-HCT recipients are associated with reduced Ab responses to BNT162b2 vaccination. Immunological markers could help identify allo-HCT patients at risk of poor Ab response to mRNA vaccination. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered at clinicaltrialsregister.eu on 11 March 2021 (EudractCT # 2021-000673-83).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Middle Aged , Transplantation Conditioning , Transplantation Immunology , Transplantation, Homologous
2.
J Clin Invest ; 131(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311203

ABSTRACT

Novel mRNA-based vaccines have been proven to be powerful tools in combating the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, with BNT162b2 (trade name: Comirnaty) efficiently protecting individuals from COVID-19 across a broad age range. Still, it remains largely unknown how renal insufficiency and immunosuppressive medication affect development of vaccine-induced immunity. We therefore comprehensively analyzed humoral and cellular responses in kidney transplant recipients after the standard second vaccination dose. As opposed to all healthy vaccinees and the majority of hemodialysis patients, only 4 of 39 and 1 of 39 transplanted individuals showed IgA and IgG seroconversion at day 8 ± 1 after booster immunization, with minor changes until day 23 ± 5, respectively. Although most transplanted patients mounted spike-specific T helper cell responses, frequencies were significantly reduced compared with those in controls and dialysis patients and this was accompanied by a broad impairment in effector cytokine production, memory differentiation, and activation-related signatures. Spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses were less abundant than their CD4+ counterparts in healthy controls and hemodialysis patients and almost undetectable in transplant patients. Promotion of anti-HLA antibodies or acute rejection was not detected after vaccination. In summary, our data strongly suggest revised vaccination approaches in immunosuppressed patients, including individual immune monitoring for protection of this vulnerable group at risk of developing severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunologic Memory , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Immunologic , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Transplantation Immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 658896, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278393

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pathomechanism depends on (i) the pathogenicity of the virus, (ii) ability of the immune system to respond to the cytopathic effect of the virus infection, (iii) co-morbidities. Inflammatory cytokine production constitutes a hallmark of COVID-19 that is facilitated by inability of adaptive immunity to control virus invasion. The effect of cytokine release syndrome is deleterious, but the severity of it depends on other confounding factors: age and comorbidities. In this study, we analyze the literature data on the post-transplant course of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplanted (alloHSCT) patients, which is affected by generated inflammatory cytokines. The sequence of events boosting cytokine production was analyzed in relation to clinical and laboratory data highlighting the impact of cytokine generation on the post-transplant course. The collected data were compared to those from studies on COVID-19 patients. The similarities are: (i) the damage/pathogen-associated molecular pattern (DAMP/PAMP) stage is similar except for the initiation hit being sterile in alloHSCT (toxic damage of conditioning regimen) and viral in COVID-19; (ii) genetic host-derived factors play a role; (iii) adaptive immunity fails, DAMP signal(s) increases, over-production of cytokines occurs; (iv) monocytes lacking HLADR expression emerge, being suppressor cells hampering adaptive immunity; (v) immune system homeostasis is broken, the patient's status deteriorates to bed dependency, leading to hypo-oxygenation and malnutrition, which in turn stimulates the intracellular alert pathways with vigorous transcription of cytokine genes. All starts with the interaction between DAMPs with appropriate receptors, which leads to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the inflammatory process spreads, tissue is damaged, DAMPs are released and a vicious cycle occurs. Attempts to modify intracellular signaling pathways in patients with post-alloHSCT graft vs host disease have already been undertaken. The similarities documented in this study show that this approach may also be used in COVID-19 patients for tuning signal transduction processes to interrupt the cycle that powers the cytokine overproduction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Transplantation Immunology/immunology , Allografts , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(5): 1033-1036, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211747

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The humoral response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the hemodialysis population, including its dynamics over time, remains poorly understood. METHODS: To analyze initial and long-term humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 in a hemodialysis population, we retrospectively evaluated findings from SARS-CoV-2 IgG serologic assays targeting the nucleocapsid antigen or spike antigen up to 6 months of follow-up in patients on hemodialysis in the Paris, France, region who had recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). RESULTS: Our analysis included 83 patients (median age 65 years); 59 (71%) were male and 28 (34%) had presented with severe COVID-19. We observed positive initial SARS-CoV-2 IgG antinucleocapsid serology in 74 patients (89%) at a median of 67 days postdiagnosis. By multivariable analysis, immunocompromised status was the only factor significantly associated with lack of an IgG antinucleocapsid antibody response. Follow-up data were available at 6 months postdiagnosis for 60 of 74 patients (81%) with positive initial antinucleocapsid serology, and 15 (25%) of them had negative antinucleocapsid serology at month 6. In total, 14 of 15 sera were tested for antispike antibodies, 3 of 14 (21%) of which were also negative. Overall, 97% of antinucleocapsid-antibody-positive specimens were also antispike-antibody positive. Female sex, age >70 years, and nonsevere clinical presentation were independently associated with faster IgG antinucleocapsid titer decay in multivariable analysis. After adjustment for sex and age >70 years, nonsevere clinical presentation was the only factor associated with faster decay of IgG antispike antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response in patients on hemodialysis and identifies factors that are associated with lack of seroconversion and with IgG titer decay.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kidney Failure, Chronic/complications , Kidney Failure, Chronic/immunology , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Paris/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transplant Recipients , Transplantation Immunology
5.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201724

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a major impact on transplant recipients, with mortality rates up to 20%. Therefore, the effect of established messenger RNA (mRNA)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have to be evaluated for solid organ transplant patients (SOT) since they are known to have poor responses after vaccination. We investigated the SARS-CoV-2 immune response via SARS-CoV-2 IgG detection in 23 renal transplant recipients after two doses of the mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 following the standard protocol. The antibody response was evaluated once with an anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG CLIA 15.8 +/- 3.0 days after the second dose. As a control, SARS-CoV-2 IgG was determined in 23 healthcare workers (HCW) and compared to the patient cohort. Only 5 of 23 (22%) renal transplant recipients were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies after the second dose of vaccine. In contrast, all 23 (100%) HCWs were tested positive for antibodies after the second dose. Thus, the humoral response of renal transplant recipients after two doses of the mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, Kronach, Germany) is impaired and significantly lower compared to healthy controls (22% vs. 100%; p = 0.0001). Individual vaccination strategies might be beneficial in these vulnerable patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Kidney Transplantation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Transplant Recipients , Transplantation Immunology/immunology , Vaccination
8.
Curr Opin Organ Transplant ; 26(2): 258-265, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112124

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to provide a critical appraisal of the literature on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on organ transplantation, with a specific focus on lung transplantation given the predominant pulmonary involvement of the virus. RECENT FINDINGS: There was a significant decrease in lung transplant volumes during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic due to a combination of reduced availability of donors and an imbalance between waitlist additions and inactivations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was subsequently associated with an exuberant immune response that can lead to the development of postinfectious fibrotic lung disease. Few lung transplants have been performed in previously infected recipients and long-term outcomes remain unknown. Although the lung transplant volume rebounded during the second wave, it is unclear what the long-term effects of healthcare resource limitation and public health measures will have on transplant volumes in the future. Outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection in previous lung transplant recipients appear to be worse than the general public, and, although an immunosuppressed state likely contributes to these outcomes, whether immunosuppression should be altered in those exposed to or infected with SARS-CoV-2 remains unanswered in the absence of unequivocal data. SUMMARY: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of challenges for lung transplant programs across the globe. Multiple research questions remain to be answered in order to optimally manage lung transplant recipients in the context of this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Lung Transplantation/methods , Organ Transplantation/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transplantation Immunology
9.
J Immunol Methods ; 492: 112994, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099182

ABSTRACT

The annual meeting of the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI) was convened virtually over the month of August. Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMLI's scientific committee had chosen the following topics as the focus of its 2020 meeting: Histocompatibility Testing and Transplant Immunology; Secondary Immunodeficiency and Immunotherapy Monitoring; ANA Update; and Emerging Infectious Diseases and New Algorithms for Testing. Given the central role of the discipline in the evaluation of the host response to infection, it was apt to add a separate session on antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2 infections to the original program. The current report provides an overview of the subjects discussed in the course of this meeting.


Subject(s)
Allergy and Immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunotherapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Societies, Medical , Algorithms , Animals , Group Processes , Histocompatibility Testing , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Laboratories , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Transplantation Immunology , Virtual Reality
10.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1091, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-589811

ABSTRACT

Numerous clinical trials of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) as a new treatment for coronavirus-induced disease (COVID-19) have been registered recently, most of them based on intravenous (IV) infusion. There is no approved effective therapy for COVID-19, but MSC therapies have shown first promise in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) pneumonia, inflammation, and sepsis, which are among the leading causes of mortality in COVID-19 patients. Many of the critically ill COVID-19 patients are in a hypercoagulable procoagulant state and at high risk for disseminated intravascular coagulation, thromboembolism, and thrombotic multi-organ failure, another cause of high fatality. It is not yet clear whether IV infusion is a safe and effective route of MSC delivery in COVID-19, since MSC-based products express variable levels of highly procoagulant tissue factor (TF/CD142), compromising the cells' hemocompatibility and safety profile. Of concern, IV infusions of poorly characterized MSC products with unchecked (high) TF/CD142 expression could trigger blood clotting in COVID-19 and other vulnerable patient populations and further promote the risk for thromboembolism. In contrast, well-characterized products with robust manufacturing procedures and optimized modes of clinical delivery hold great promise for ameliorating COVID-19 by exerting their beneficial immunomodulatory effects, inducing tissue repair and organ protection. While the need for MSC therapy in COVID-19 is apparent, integrating both innate and adaptive immune compatibility testing into the current guidelines for cell, tissue, and organ transplantation is critical for safe and effective therapies. It is paramount to only use well-characterized, safe MSCs even in the most urgent and experimental treatments. We here propose three steps to mitigate the risk for these vulnerable patients: (1) updated clinical guidelines for cell and tissue transplantation, (2) updated minimal criteria for characterization of cellular therapeutics, and (3) updated cell therapy routines reflecting specific patient needs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Transplantation Immunology , Administration, Intravenous , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , COVID-19 , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Injections, Intramuscular , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology
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