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Front Immunol ; 12: 640644, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133916


Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and result in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent reports indicate an increased rate of fungal coinfections during COVID-19. With incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis and without any causative therapy available, secondary infections may be detrimental to the prognosis. We monitored 11 COVID-19 patients with ARDS for their immune phenotype, plasma cytokines, and clinical parameters on the day of ICU admission and on day 4 and day 7 of their ICU stay. Whole blood stimulation assays with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes (HKLM), Aspergillus fumigatus, and Candida albicans were used to mimic secondary infections, and changes in immune phenotype and cytokine release were assessed. COVID-19 patients displayed an immune phenotype characterized by increased HLA-DR+CD38+ and PD-1+ CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and elevated CD8+CD244+ lymphocytes, compared to healthy controls. Monocyte activation markers and cytokines IL-6, IL-8, TNF, IL-10, and sIL2Rα were elevated, corresponding to monocyte activation syndrome, while IL-1ß levels were low. LPS, HKLM and Aspergillus fumigatus antigen stimulation provoked an immune response that did not differ between COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, while COVID-19 patients showed an attenuated monocyte CD80 upregulation and abrogated release of IL-6, TNF, IL-1α, and IL-1ß toward Candida albicans. This study adds further detail to the characterization of the immune response in critically ill COVID-19 patients and hints at an increased susceptibility for Candida albicans infection.

Aspergillus fumigatus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Candida albicans/immunology , Listeria monocytogenes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Male , Middle Aged , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Cytokine ; 140: 155439, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1032441


BACKGROUND: Immunodeficiency has pivotal role in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Several studies have indicated defects in the immune system of COVID-19 patients at different disease stages. Therefore, this study investigated whether alters in immune responses of COVID-19 patients may be considered as predicting factors for disease outcome. METHODS: The percentages of innate and adoptive immune cells in the recovered and dead patients with COVID-19, and healthy subjects were determined by flow cytometry. The levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and other immune factors were also measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: At the first day of hospitalization, the frequencies of CD56dim CD16+ NK cells and CD56bright CD16dim/- NK cells in patients who died during treatment were significantly increased compared to recovered and healthy individuals (P < 0.0001). The recovered and dead patients had a significant increase in monocyte number in comparison with healthy subjects (P < 0.05). No significant change was observed in Th1 cell numbers between the recovered and dead patients while Th2, Th17 cell, and Treg percentages in death cases were significantly lower than healthy control and those recovered, unlike exhausted CD4 + and CD8 + T cells and activated CD4 + T cells (P < 0.0001-0.05). The activated CD8 + T cell was significantly higher in the recovered patients than healthy individuals (P < 0.0001-0.05). IL-1α, IL-1ß, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in patients were significantly increased (P < 0.0001-0.01). However, there were no differences in TNF-α and IL-1ß levels between dead and recovered patients. Unlike TGF-ß1 level, IL-10 was significantly increased in recovered patients (P < 0.05). Lymphocyte numbers in recovered patients were significantly increased compared to dead patients, unlike ESR value (P < 0.001-0.01). CRP value in recovered patients significantly differed from dead patients (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Changes in frequencies of some immune cells and levels of some immune factors may be considered as predictors of mortality in COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Immune System/immunology , Immunity/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Survivors/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Immune System/cytology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/classification , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology