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1.
Vox Sang ; 117(2): 185-192, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685455

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Passive immunization using investigational COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is a promising therapeutic strategy and could improve outcome if transfused early and contain high levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We report the management of a national CCP collection and distribution program in Israel. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1 April 2020 to 15 January 2021, 4020 volunteer donors donated 5221 CCP units and 837 (20.8%) donors donated more than once. Anti-nucleocapsid IgG antibodies were determined using chemiluminescent immunoassay method (Abbott). A statistical model based on repeated IgG tests in sequential donations was created to predict the time of antibody decline below sample/cut-off (S/CO) level of 4.0. RESULTS: Ninety-six percent of CCP donors suffered a mild disease or were asymptomatic. Older donors had higher antibody levels. Higher antibody levels (S/CO ≥4) were detected in 35.2% of the donors. Low positive (S/CO ≥1.4-3.99) were found in 37%, and 27.8% had undetectable antibodies (S/CO ≤1.4). The model predicted decrease antibody thresholds of 0.55%/day since the first CCP donation, providing guidance for the effective timing of future collections from donors with high antibody levels. CONCLUSIONS: An efficient CCP collection and distribution program was achieved, based on performing initial and repeated plasma collections, preferably from donors with higher antibody levels, and only antibody-rich units were supplied for therapeutic use. The inventory met the quantity and quality standards of the authorities, enabled to respond to the growing demand of the medical system and provide a product that may contribute to improve prognosis in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Blood Donors , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Israel , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Eur J Intern Med ; 89: 87-96, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313078

ABSTRACT

Elucidating the characteristics of human immune response against SARS-CoV-2 is of high priority and relevant for determining vaccine strategies. We report the results of a follow-up evaluation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 148 convalescent plasma donors who participated in a phase 2 study at a median of 8.3 months (range 6.8-10.5 months) post first symptom onset. Monitoring responses over time, we found contraction of antibody responses for all four antigens tested, with Spike antibodies showing higher persistence than Nucleocapsid antibodies. A piecewise linear random-effects multivariate regression analysis showed a bi-phasic antibody decay with a more pronounced decrease during the first 6 months post symptoms onset by analysis of two intervals. Interestingly, antibodies to Spike showed better longevity whereas their neutralization ability contracted faster. As a result, neutralizing antibodies were detected in only 76% of patients at the last time point. In a multivariate analysis, older age and hospitalization were independently associated with higher Spike, Spike-RBD, Nucleocapsid, N-RBD antibodies and neutralizing antibody levels. Results on persistence and neutralizing ability of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, especially against Spike and Spike-RBD, should be considered in the design of future vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Kinetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med ; 23(5): 28, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298597

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: With increasing survival of patients with stage D heart failure, the demand for heart transplantation has increased. The supply of donor hearts remains relatively limited. Strategies have been investigated and new technologies have been developed to expand the current donor pool. These new approaches will be discussed herein. RECENT FINDINGS: Donor hearts are often considered "marginal" due to risk factors such as older age, size mismatch with the intended recipient, prolonged ischemic time, presence of left ventricular hypertrophy, and hepatitis B/C infection. We reviewed recent data regarding the use of donor hearts with these risk factors and suggest ways to safely liberalize current donor heart acceptance criteria. New technologies such as temperature-controlled transport systems and ex vivo cardiac perfusion methods have also demonstrated promising short-term and intermediate outcomes as compared with routine cold storage, by promoting heart preservation and enabling heart procurement from remote sites with shorter cold ischemic time. Recent use of hearts from donation after circulatory death donors has demonstrated comparable outcomes to conventional donation after brain death, which can further expand the current donor pool. SUMMARY: Careful selection of "marginal" donor hearts, use of ex vivo cardiac perfusion, and acceptance of hearts after circulatory death may expand our current cardiac donor pool with comparable outcomes to conventional donor selection and preparation methods.

5.
Transfusion ; 61(9): 2677-2687, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268131

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibody response duration following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection tends to be variable and depends on severity of disease and method of detection. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: COVID-19 convalescent plasma from 18 donors was collected longitudinally for a maximum of 63-129 days following resolution of symptoms. All the samples were initially screened by the Ortho total Ig test to confirm positivity and subsequently tested with seven additional direct sandwich or indirect binding assays (Ortho, Roche, Abbott, Broad Institute) directed against a variety of antigen targets (S1, receptor binding domain, and nucleocapsid [NC]), along with two neutralization assays (Broad Institute live virus PRNT and Vitalant Research Institute [VRI] Pseudovirus reporter viral particle neutralization [RVPN]). RESULTS: The direct detection assays (Ortho total Ig total and Roche total Ig) showed increasing levels of antibodies over the time period, in contrast to the indirect IgG assays that showed a decline. Neutralization assays also demonstrated declining responses; the VRI RVPN pseudovirus had a greater rate of decline than the Broad PRNT live virus assay. DISCUSSION: These data show that in addition to variable individual responses and associations with disease severity, the detection assay chosen contributes to the heterogeneous results in antibody stability over time. Depending on the scope of the research, one assay may be preferable over another. For serosurveillance studies, direct, double Ag-sandwich assays appear to be the best choice due to their stability; in particular, algorithms that include both S1- and NC-based assays can help reduce the rate of false-positivity and discriminate between natural infection and vaccine-derived seroreactivity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serologic Tests/methods , Serologic Tests/standards , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Clin Biochem ; 95: 77-80, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265657

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Commercially available serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 detect antibodies to either the nucleocapsid or spike protein. Here we compare the performance of the Beckman-Coulter SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG assay to that of the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid IgG and Roche Anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid total antibody assays. In addition, we document the trend in nucleocapsid and spike antibodies in sequential samples collected from convalescent plasma donors. METHODS: Plasma or serum samples from 20 individual SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive inpatients (n = 172), 20 individual convalescent donors with a previous RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 20), were deemed positive SARS-CoV-2 samples. RT-PCR-negative inpatients (n = 24), and 109 pre-SARS-CoV-2 samples were determined to be SARS-CoV-2 negative. Samples were assayed by the Abbott, Roche, and Beckman assays. RESULTS: All three assays demonstrated 100% specificity. Abbott, Beckman, and Roche platforms had sensitivities of 98%, 93%, and 90% respectively, with the difference in sensitivity attributed primarily to samples from immunocompromised patients. After the exclusion of samples immunocompromised patients, all assays exhibited ≥ 95% sensitivity. In sequential samples collected from the same individuals, the Roche nucleocapsid antibody assay demonstrated continually increasing signal intensity, with maximal values observed at the last time point examined. In contrast, the Beckman spike IgG antibody signal peaked between 14 and 28 days post positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR and steadily declined in subsequent samples. Subsequent collections 51-200 days (median of 139 days) post positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR from five inpatients and five convalescent donors revealed that spike and nucleocapsid antibodies remained detectable for several months after confirmed infection. CONCLUSIONS: The three assays are sensitive and specific for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Nucleocapsid and spike antibodies were detectable for up to 200 days post-positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR but demonstrated markedly different trends in signal intensity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Nucleocapsid/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Longitudinal Studies , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
J Clin Invest ; 131(10)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDRecent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to crossrecognition by T cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T cell crossreactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2.METHODSWe used the viral functional expansion of specific T cells (ViraFEST) platform to identify T cell responses crossreactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC crossreactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system.RESULTSMemory CD4+ T cell clonotypes that crossrecognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Crossreactive T cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to monospecific CD4+ T cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 relative to CCC.CONCLUSIONSOur data confirm, for what we believe is the first time, the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes crossrecognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of crossreactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that preexisting CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these crossreactive T cell responses affect clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.FUNDINGNIH funding (U54CA260492, P30CA006973, P41EB028239, R01AI153349, R01AI145435-A1, R21AI149760, and U19A1088791) was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, The Johns Hopkins University Provost, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this study.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Male , Middle Aged
8.
Sci Immunol ; 6(59)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243688

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations in the spike (S) protein has raised concern about potential immune escape. Here, we studied humoral and cellular immune responses to wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern in a cohort of 121 BNT162b2 mRNA-vaccinated health care workers (HCW). Twenty-three HCW recovered from mild COVID-19 disease and exhibited a recall response with high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific functional antibodies and virus-specific T cells after a single vaccination. Specific immune responses were also detected in seronegative HCW after one vaccination, but a second dose was required to reach high levels of functional antibodies and cellular immune responses in all individuals. Vaccination-induced antibodies cross-neutralized the variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, but the neutralizing capacity and Fc-mediated functionality against B.1.351 was consistently 2- to 4-fold lower than to the homologous virus. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with peptide pools spanning the mutated S regions of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 to detect cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells with variants. Importantly, we observed no differences in CD4+ T-cell activation in response to variant antigens, indicating that the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 S proteins do not escape T-cell-mediated immunity elicited by the wild type S protein. In conclusion, this study shows that some variants can partially escape humoral immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection or BNT162b2 vaccination, but S-specific CD4+ T-cell activation is not affected by the mutations in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
9.
J Clin Invest ; 131(10)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDRecent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to crossrecognition by T cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T cell crossreactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2.METHODSWe used the viral functional expansion of specific T cells (ViraFEST) platform to identify T cell responses crossreactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC crossreactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system.RESULTSMemory CD4+ T cell clonotypes that crossrecognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Crossreactive T cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to monospecific CD4+ T cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 relative to CCC.CONCLUSIONSOur data confirm, for what we believe is the first time, the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes crossrecognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of crossreactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that preexisting CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these crossreactive T cell responses affect clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.FUNDINGNIH funding (U54CA260492, P30CA006973, P41EB028239, R01AI153349, R01AI145435-A1, R21AI149760, and U19A1088791) was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, The Johns Hopkins University Provost, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this study.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Male , Middle Aged
10.
Trials ; 22(1): 342, 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232436

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The general objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that administration of convalescent plasma from donors with previous diagnosis of severe COVID-19 pneumonia is safe and associated with a decrease in all-cause in-hospital mortality among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at 30 days in comparison with standard treatment alone. The secondary objectives are as follows: (1) to assess the efficacy of convalescent plasma to reduce the length of hospitalization, (2) to assess the efficacy of convalescent plasma to reduce the length of ICU stay, and (3) to assess the efficacy of convalescent plasma on reducing the requirement of invasive mechanical ventilation or ICU stay. TRIAL DESIGN: PERUCONPLASMA is a IIb phase open label, randomized, superiority clinical trial with 1:1 allocation taking place in real life routine clinical practice at public hospitals in Lima, Peru. Participants will be randomized to receive convalescent plasma along with local standard treatment or local standard treatment alone. After allocation, all participants will be followed for a total of 30 days or until hospital discharge, whichever occurs first. PARTICIPANTS: The population for the study are patients with severe disease with a confirmed laboratory test for SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalized in 3 tertiary-care hospitals in Lima, Peru. Subjects are eligible for the trial if they meet all of the following inclusion criteria: 1. Age 18 or older 2. Hospitalization due to COVID-19 with laboratory confirmation (either with serologic, molecular, or antigen test along with a compatible clinical presentation) 3. Severe or critical COVID-19 disease Severe illness was defined by 2 or more of the following: Respiratory rate of 22 or more Hypoxemia with oxygen saturation equal or less than 93% Abnormal blood gas analysis (PaO2 < 60 mmHg, PaCO2 > 50 mmHg, or Pa/FiO2 < 300) Critical disease was defined by either: Mechanical ventilation requirement less than 72 h. Shock. 4. Capacity to provide informed consent (patient or patient's direct relative) 5. Availability of convalescent plasma units compatible with ABO blood type of the subject. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Subjects are not eligible for the trial if they meet any of the following criteria: 1. Contraindication for transfusion (e.g., prior anaphylaxis, congestive heart failure) 2. Hemodynamic instability (PA < 60 mmHg refractory to vasopressors) 3. Uncontrolled concomitant infections\ 4. Stupor or coma 5. Platelets < 50,000/µL or disseminated intravascular coagulation 6. Serum creatinine > 3.5 mg/dL or dialysis requirement 7. Total bilirubin > 6 mg/dL or jaundice of unknown etiology 8. Myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome 9. Active or recent (< 7 days) intracranial hemorrhage 10. Pregnancy Donors: The donors have to meet the following criteria: male between 30 and 60 years with a previous diagnosis of severe COVID-19-associated pneumonia within the last 3 months, with resolution of symptoms of at least 28 days. The rationale for including donors with severe disease is to maximize the probability of collecting convalescent plasma units with high titer of neutralizing antibodies, as the technology to measure this specific type of antibodies is not routinely available in Peru. Aliquots of plasma will be stored for future quantification of neutralizing antibodies. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Convalescent plasma from donors with previous severe COVID-19 is the investigational medical product. The experimental group will receive 1 to 2 units of 200 to 250 ml of convalescent plasma along with local standard treatment. The control group will receive local standard treatment alone. The participants randomized to plasma will have evaluations at 6 h and 24 h to specifically evaluate possible post transfusion events. All the participants will be evaluated at day 3, day 7, and day 30 after enrolment. MAIN OUTCOMES: Safety outcome: Incidence of serious adverse reactions related to convalescent plasma transfusion within 24 h after convalescent plasma administration. Efficacy outcomes: Mortality from any cause during hospitalization at 30 days post randomization. Length of hospitalization at 30 days post randomization or until hospital discharge. Duration of mechanical ventilation at 30 days post randomization or until hospital discharge. Length of hospitalization in an intensive care unit at 30 days post randomization or until hospital discharge. Exploratory: Oxygen requirement evolution at days 3 and 7. Score Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) evolution at days 3 and 7. Dynamics of inflammatory marker (lymphocyte, C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)) evolution at days 3 and 7. Proportion of patients progressing to multi-organ failure at 30 days post randomization or until hospital discharge. Proportion of transfusion related adverse reactions at 30 days post randomization or until hospital discharge. RANDOMIZATION: Randomization will be carried out within the electronic case report form (eCRF) in 1:1 ratio (receive plasma/control) in a randomization process established by blocks of size 2, 4, and 6. Allocation to the treatment arm of an individual patient will not be available to the investigators before completion of the whole randomization process. Randomization blocks will be performed with "ralloc", Stata's randomization process v.16.0. Randomization through the eCRF will be available 24 h every day. BLINDING (MASKING): Both the participants and study staff will be aware of the allocated intervention. Blinded statistical analysis will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size was calculated using the Fleiss formula with continuity correction to detect a mortality reduction from 50 to 20% between the two treatment arms with a confidence level of 95% and a power of 80%. Based on this information, a total of 45 patients per arm would be needed. After adjustment for a drop-out rate of 10% after enrolment, a total of 50 patients per arm (100 patients in total) will be enrolled. TRIAL STATUS: Current protocol version: 5.0 dated January 04, 2021. Recruitment started on September 21, 2020, and is expected to finish by the end of March 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Peruvian Register of Clinical Trials (REPEC) ID: PER-016-20, registered on June 27, 2020. Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT04497324 , registered on August 4, 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Blood Component Transfusion , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Peru , Plasma , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
11.
Transplantation ; 105(1): 206-211, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226601

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is compelling evidence that renal complications in a native kidney are a major concern in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the causal agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The spectrum of renal lesions observed on renal grafts in this context remains to be determined. METHODS: We report the case of a renal transplant recipient with non-severe COVID-19, who subsequently developed nephrotic syndrome associated with acute renal injury. RESULTS: Renal biopsy demonstrated focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis lesions classified as not otherwise specified histological variant. Genotyping for 2 risk alleles of the apolipoprotein L1 gene demonstrated that the donor was homozygous for the G2/G2 genotype. CONCLUSIONS: In renal transplant patients receiving kidneys from donors with high-risk apolipoprotein L1 variants, COVID-19 may promote acute glomerular injury in the form of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis.


Subject(s)
Apolipoprotein L1/genetics , COVID-19/complications , Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental/etiology , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Tissue Donors , Humans , Kidney/pathology , Male , Middle Aged
12.
mBio ; 12(3)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225698

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) polypeptide of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) consists of the S1 and S2 subunits and is processed by cellular proteases at the S1/S2 boundary that contains a furin cleavage site (FCS), 682RRAR↓S686 Various deletions surrounding the FCS have been identified in patients. When SARS-CoV-2 propagated in Vero cells, it acquired deletions surrounding the FCS. We studied the viral transcriptome in Vero cell-derived SARS-CoV-2-infected primary human airway epithelia (HAE) cultured at an air-liquid interface (ALI) with an emphasis on the viral genome stability of the FCS. While we found overall the viral transcriptome is similar to that generated from infected Vero cells, we identified a high percentage of mutated viral genome and transcripts in HAE-ALI. Two highly frequent deletions were found at the FCS region: a 12 amino acid deletion (678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689) that contains the underlined FCS and a 5 amino acid deletion (675QTQTN679) that is two amino acids upstream of the FCS. Further studies on the dynamics of the FCS deletions in apically released virions from 11 infected HAE-ALI cultures of both healthy and lung disease donors revealed that the selective pressure for the FCS maintains the FCS stably in 9 HAE-ALI cultures but with 2 exceptions, in which the FCS deletions are retained at a high rate of >40% after infection of ≥13 days. Our study presents evidence for the role of unique properties of human airway epithelia in the dynamics of the FCS region during infection of human airways, which is likely donor dependent.IMPORTANCE Polarized human airway epithelia at an air-liquid interface (HAE-ALI) are an in vitro model that supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 contains a furin cleavage site (FCS) at the boundary of the S1 and S2 domains which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV. However, FCS deletion mutants have been identified in patients and in vitro cell cultures, and how the airway epithelial cells maintain the unique FCS remains unknown. We found that HAE-ALI cultures were capable of suppressing two prevalent FCS deletion mutants (Δ678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689 and Δ675QTQTN679) that were selected during propagation in Vero cells. While such suppression was observed in 9 out of 11 of the tested HAE-ALI cultures derived from independent donors, 2 exceptions that retained a high rate of FCS deletions were also found. Our results present evidence of the donor-dependent properties of human airway epithelia in the evolution of the FCS during infection.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , Furin/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transcriptome , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
13.
Clin Epidemiol Glob Health ; 11: 100763, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggested that the higher titers of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody from convalescent plasma donors contributed to the clinical improvement in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, the titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies varied in each individual, and the precise factors that might govern such variation have not been elucidated. OBJECTIVES: To assess the factors associated with high titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody among COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donors. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Saiful Anwar General Hospital, Malang, Indonesia. Information of interest including demographic characteristics, clinical symptoms, comorbidities, laboratory findings, and the titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody among COVID-19 CCP donors were collected. The correlation was assessed using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 50 COVID-19 CCP donors with the titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody of more than 1:320 and 33 donors with the titers of less than 1:320 were analyzed. Our analysis revealed that CCP donors with history of cough, fever, dyspnea, and pneumonia significantly had higher titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody compared to asymptomatic donors. Moreover, CCP donors with elevated levels of eosinophils and immature granulocytes and low levels of albumins had higher levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody. The titer of antibody was not affected by comorbidities of donors. CONCLUSIONS: CPP donors who had experience of symptomatic COVID-19 with high eosinophils level, high immature granulocytes and low albumin level have higher titers of anti-SARS-COV-2 antibody than those who experienced asymptomatic COVID-19. Our current findings may be used as the additional baseline criteria for selecting the donors of CCP for the management of COVID-19.

14.
Nat Cell Biol ; 23(5): 538-551, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223094

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 can lead to life-threatening respiratory failure, with increased inflammatory mediators and viral load. Here, we perform single-cell RNA-sequencing to establish a high-resolution map of blood antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in 15 patients with moderate or severe COVID-19 pneumonia, at day 1 and day 4 post admission to intensive care unit or pulmonology department, as well as in 4 healthy donors. We generated a unique dataset of 81,643 APCs, including monocytes and rare dendritic cell (DC) subsets. We uncovered multi-process defects in antiviral immune defence in specific APCs from patients with severe disease: (1) increased pro-apoptotic pathways in plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs, key effectors of antiviral immunity), (2) a decrease of the innate sensors TLR9 and DHX36 in pDCs and CLEC9a+ DCs, respectively, (3) downregulation of antiviral interferon-stimulated genes in monocyte subsets and (4) a decrease of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-related genes and MHC class II transactivator activity in cDC1c+ DCs, suggesting viral inhibition of antigen presentation. These novel mechanisms may explain patient aggravation and suggest strategies to restore the defective immune defence.


Subject(s)
Antigen Presentation/genetics , Antigen Presentation/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Humans , Monocytes/immunology , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Single-Cell Analysis/methods
15.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195826

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma is a promising therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the antibody characteristics that contribute to efficacy remain poorly understood. This study analyzed plasma samples from 126 eligible convalescent blood donors in addition to 15 naive individuals, as well as an additional 20 convalescent individuals as a validation cohort. Multiplexed Fc Array binding assays and functional antibody response assays were utilized to evaluate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody composition and activity. Donor convalescent plasma samples contained a range of antibody cell- and complement-mediated effector functions, indicating the diverse antiviral activity of humoral responses observed among recovered individuals. In addition to viral neutralization, convalescent plasma samples contained antibodies capable of mediating such Fc-dependent functions as complement activation, phagocytosis, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against SARS-CoV-2. Plasma samples from a fraction of eligible donors exhibited high activity across all activities evaluated. These polyfunctional plasma samples could be identified with high accuracy with even single Fc Array features, whose correlation with polyfunctional activity was confirmed in the validation cohort. Collectively, these results expand understanding of the diversity of antibody-mediated antiviral functions associated with convalescent plasma, and the polyfunctional antiviral functions suggest that it could retain activity even when its neutralizing capacity is reduced by mutations in variant SARS-CoV-2.IMPORTANCE Convalescent plasma has been deployed globally as a treatment for COVID-19, but efficacy has been mixed. Better understanding of the antibody characteristics that may contribute to its antiviral effects is important for this intervention as well as offer insights into correlates of vaccine-mediated protection. Here, a survey of convalescent plasma activities, including antibody neutralization and diverse effector functions, was used to define plasma samples with broad activity profiles. These polyfunctional plasma samples could be reliably identified in multiple cohorts by multiplex assay, presenting a widely deployable screening test for plasma selection and investigation of vaccine-elicited responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibody Specificity , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biophysical Phenomena , Cohort Studies , Complement Activation , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Phagocytosis , Young Adult
16.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(4)2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194615

ABSTRACT

The 2019 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak had detrimental effects on essential medical services such as organ and tissue donation. Lombardy, one of the most active Italian regions in organ/tissue procurement, has been strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, data concerning the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission after tissue transplantation are controversial. Here, we aimed to evaluate the presence/absence of SARS-CoV-2 in different cardiac tissues eligible for transplantation obtained from Lombard donors. We used cardiovascular tissues from eight donors potentially suitable for pulmonary valve transplantation. All donor subjects involved in the study returned negative results for the SARS-CoV-2 RNA molecular tests (quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR, qRT-PCR, and chip-based digital PCR) in nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). None of the eight donors included in this study revealed the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome. However, evaluation of the protein content of pulmonary vein wall (PVW) tissue revealed variable levels of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein signal in all donors. Our study demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that viral nucleoprotein but not viral RNA was present in the examined tissue bank specimens, suggesting the need for caution and in-depth investigations on implantable tissue specimens collected during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 636768, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156122

ABSTRACT

Understanding the causes of the diverse outcome of COVID-19 pandemic in different geographical locations is important for the worldwide vaccine implementation and pandemic control responses. We analyzed 42 unexposed healthy donors and 28 mild COVID-19 subjects up to 5 months from the recovery for SARS-CoV-2 specific immunological memory. Using HLA class II predicted peptide megapools, we identified SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive CD4+ T cells in around 66% of the unexposed individuals. Moreover, we found detectable immune memory in mild COVID-19 patients several months after recovery in the crucial arms of protective adaptive immunity; CD4+ T cells and B cells, with a minimal contribution from CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, the persistent immune memory in COVID-19 patients is predominantly targeted towards the Spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2. This study provides the evidence of both high magnitude pre-existing and persistent immune memory in Indian population. By providing the knowledge on cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, our work has implication for the development and implementation of vaccines against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/virology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , Young Adult
18.
Transpl Infect Dis ; 23(4): e13602, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138251

ABSTRACT

Cellular and humoral response to acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is on focus of research. We evaluate herein the feasibility of expanding virus-specific T cells (VST) against SARS-CoV-2 ex vivo through a standard protocol proven effective for other viruses. The experiment was performed in three different donors' scenarios: (a) SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infection/negative serology, (b) SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic infection/positive serology, and (c) no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection/negative serology. We were able to obtain an expanded VST product from donors 1 and 2 (1.6x and 1.8x increase of baseline VST count, respectively) consisting in CD3 + cells (80.3% and 62.7%, respectively) with CD4 + dominance (60% in both donors). Higher numbers of VST were obtained from the donor 2 as compared to donor 1. T-cell clonality test showed oligoclonal reproducible peaks on a polyclonal background for both donors. In contrast, VST could be neither expanded nor primed in a donor without evidence of prior infection. This proof-of-concept study supports the feasibility of expanding ex vivo SARS-CoV-2-specific VST from blood of convalescent donors. The results raise the question of whether the selection of seropositive donors may be a strategy to obtain cell lines enriched in their SARS-CoV-2-specificity for future adoptive transfer to immunosuppressed patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adoptive Transfer , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans
19.
Microorganisms ; 9(3)2021 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134192

ABSTRACT

Persisting alterations and unique immune signatures have been previously detected in the peripheral blood of convalescent plasma (CP) donors at approximately two months after initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. This article presents the results on the sequential analysis of 47 CP donors at a median time of eight months (range 7.5-8.5 months) post infection, as assessed by flow cytometry. Interestingly, our results show a significant variation of the relevant immune subset composition among CP donors. Regarding innate immunity, both non-classical monocytes, and CD11b- granulocytes had fully recovered at eight months post COVID-19 infection. Intermediate monocytes and natural killer (NK) cells had already been restored at the two-month evaluation and remained stable. Regarding adaptive immunity, the COVID-19-related skewed Th1 and Th2 cell polarization remained at the same levels as in two months. However, low levels of total B cells were detected even after eight months from infection. A persisting reduction of CD8+ Tregs and changes in the NKT cell compartment were also remarkable. CP donors present with a unique immune landscape at eight months post COVID-19 infection, which is characterized by the notable restoration of the components of innate immunity along with a persisting imprint of SARS-CoV-2 in cells of the adaptive immunity.

20.
Front Cell Dev Biol ; 9: 620730, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133896

ABSTRACT

Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is causing a second outbreak significantly delaying the hope for the virus' complete eradication. In the absence of effective vaccines, we need effective treatments with low adverse effects that can treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 disease. In this study, we determined the existence of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells within CD45RA- memory T cells in the blood of convalescent donors. Memory T cells can respond quickly to infection and provide long-term immune protection to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Also, CD45RA- memory T cells confer protection from other pathogens encountered by the donors throughout their life. It is of vital importance to resolve other secondary infections that usually develop in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. We found SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells in all of the CD45RA- subsets (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+) and in the central memory and effector memory subpopulations. The procedure for obtaining these cells is feasible, easy to implement for small-scale manufacture, quick and cost-effective, involves minimal manipulation, and has no GMP requirements. This biobank of specific SARS-CoV-2 memory T cells would be immediately available "off-the-shelf" to treat moderate/severe cases of COVID-19, thereby increasing the therapeutic options available for these patients.

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