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1.
Analyst ; 145(12): 4173-4180, 2020 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721601

ABSTRACT

Studies have shown that microRNAs, which are small noncoding RNAs, hold tremendous promise as next-generation circulating biomarkers for early cancer detection via liquid biopsies. A novel, solid-state nanoplasmonic sensor capable of assaying circulating microRNAs through a combined surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence (PEF) approach has been developed. Here, the unique localized surface plasmon resonance properties of chemically-synthesized gold triangular nanoprisms (Au TNPs) are utilized to create large SERS and PEF enhancements. With careful modification to the surface of Au TNPs, this sensing approach is capable of quantifying circulating microRNAs at femtogram/microliter concentrations. Uniquely, the multimodal analytical methods mitigate both false positive and false negative responses and demonstrate the high stability of our sensors within bodily fluids. As a proof of concept, microRNA-10b and microRNA-96 were directly assayed from the plasma of six bladder cancer patients. Results show potential for a highly specific liquid biopsy method that could be used in point-of-care clinical diagnostics to increase early cancer detection or any other diseases including SARS-CoV-2 in which RNAs can be used as biomarkers.


Subject(s)
Circulating MicroRNA/blood , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis, Raman , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biomarkers, Tumor/blood , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gold/chemistry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Microscopy, Confocal , Nanostructures/chemistry , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/genetics , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/pathology
2.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(5): 100287, 2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683718

ABSTRACT

Mechanisms underlying severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease remain poorly understood. We analyze several thousand plasma proteins longitudinally in 306 COVID-19 patients and 78 symptomatic controls, uncovering immune and non-immune proteins linked to COVID-19. Deconvolution of our plasma proteome data using published scRNA-seq datasets reveals contributions from circulating immune and tissue cells. Sixteen percent of patients display reduced inflammation yet comparably poor outcomes. Comparison of patients who died to severely ill survivors identifies dynamic immune-cell-derived and tissue-associated proteins associated with survival, including exocrine pancreatic proteases. Using derived tissue-specific and cell-type-specific intracellular death signatures, cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression, and our data, we infer whether organ damage resulted from direct or indirect effects of infection. We propose a model in which interactions among myeloid, epithelial, and T cells drive tissue damage. These datasets provide important insights and a rich resource for analysis of mechanisms of severe COVID-19 disease.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 479-489, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684541

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased inflammation has been well defined in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets. METHODS: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately postmortem for immunostaining. PubMed searches for neutrophils, lung, and COVID-19 yielded 10 peer-reviewed research articles in English. RESULTS: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines interleukin 8 (IL-8) and interleukin 6, and general inflammatory cytokines IFN-inducible protien-19, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1ß, interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (P < .0001). COVID-19 neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (P < .0001), NETosis (P < .0001), and phagocytosis (P < .0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected lungs available for examination (2 of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and absolute neutrophil count correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. CONCLUSIONS: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data show that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Critical Illness , Humans , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 327-334, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662105

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma (CP) have been used for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but their effectiveness varies significantly. Moreover, the impact of CP treatment on the composition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in COVID-19 patients and antibody markers that differentiate between those who survive and those who succumb to the COVID-19 disease are not well understood. Herein, we performed longitudinal analysis of antibody profile on 115 sequential plasma samples from 16 hospitalized COVID-19 patients treated with either CP or standard of care, only half of them survived. Differential antibody kinetics was observed for antibody binding, immunoglobulin M/immunoglobulin G/immunoglobulin A (IgM/IgG/IgA) distribution, and affinity maturation in "survived" versus "fatal" COVID-19 patients. Surprisingly, CP treatment did not predict survival. Strikingly, marked decline in neutralization titers was observed in the fatal patients prior to death, and convalescent plasma treatment did not reverse this trend. Furthermore, irrespective of CP treatment, higher antibody affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 prefusion spike was associated with survival outcome. Additionally, sustained elevated IgA response was associated with fatal outcome in these COVID-19 patients. These findings propose that treatment of COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma should be carefully targeted, and effectiveness of treatment may depend on the clinical and immunological status of COVID-19 patients, as well as the quality of the antibodies in the convalescent plasma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive
5.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1271, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Emerging evidence of dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment urges investigations on neutrophil characteristics in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We isolated neutrophils from the blood of COVID-19 patients receiving general ward care and from patients hospitalised at intensive care units (ICUs) to explore the kinetics of circulating neutrophils and factors important for neutrophil migration and activation. METHODS: Multicolour flow cytometry was exploited for the analysis of neutrophil differentiation and activation markers. Multiplex and ELISA technologies were used for the quantification of protease, protease inhibitor, chemokine and cytokine concentrations in plasma. Neutrophil polarisation responses were evaluated microscopically. Gelatinolytic and metalloproteinase activity in plasma was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. Co-culturing healthy donor neutrophils with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) allowed us to investigate viral replication in neutrophils. RESULTS: Upon ICU admission, patients displayed high plasma concentrations of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and the chemokine CXCL8, accompanied by emergency myelopoiesis as illustrated by high levels of circulating CD10-, immature neutrophils with reduced CXCR2 and C5aR expression. Neutrophil elastase and non-metalloproteinase-derived gelatinolytic activity were increased in plasma from ICU patients. Significantly higher levels of circulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) in patients at ICU admission yielded decreased total MMP proteolytic activity in blood. COVID-19 neutrophils were hyper-responsive to CXCL8 and CXCL12 in shape change assays. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 failed to replicate inside human neutrophils. CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed insights into the kinetics of neutrophil phenotype and function in severe COVID-19 patients, and supports the concept of an increased neutrophil activation state in the circulation.

6.
Crit Care Explor ; 2(9): e0194, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493997

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 is caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus. Patients admitted to the ICU suffer from microvascular thrombosis, which may contribute to mortality. Our aim was to profile plasma thrombotic factors and endothelial injury markers in critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 ICU patients to help understand their thrombotic mechanisms. DESIGN: Daily blood coagulation and thrombotic factor profiling with immunoassays and in vitro experiments on human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells. SETTING: Tertiary care ICU and academic laboratory. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted to the ICU suspected of being infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, using standardized hospital screening methodologies, had daily blood samples collected until testing was confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 negative on either ICU day 3 or ICU day 7 if the patient was coronavirus disease 2019 positive. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: Age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects and ICU patients that were either coronavirus disease 2019 positive or coronavirus disease 2019 negative were enrolled. Cohorts were well balanced with the exception that coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients were more likely than coronavirus disease 2019 negative patients to suffer bilateral pneumonia. Mortality rate for coronavirus disease 2019 positive ICU patients was 40%. Compared with healthy control subjects, coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients had higher plasma von Willebrand factor (p < 0.001) and glycocalyx-degradation products (chondroitin sulfate and syndecan-1; p < 0.01). When compared with coronavirus disease 2019 negative patients, coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients had persistently higher soluble P-selectin, hyaluronic acid, and syndecan-1 (p < 0.05), particularly on ICU day 3 and thereafter. Thrombosis profiling on ICU days 1-3 predicted coronavirus disease 2019 status with 85% accuracy and patient mortality with 86% accuracy. Surface hyaluronic acid removal from human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells with hyaluronidase treatment resulted in depressed nitric oxide, an instigating mechanism for platelet adhesion to the microvascular endothelium. CONCLUSIONS: Thrombosis profiling identified endothelial activation and glycocalyx degradation in coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients. Our data suggest that medications to protect and/or restore the endothelial glycocalyx, as well as platelet inhibitors, should be considered for further study.

7.
J Clin Invest ; 130(11): 6151-6157, 2020 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435146

ABSTRACT

Emerging data indicate that complement and neutrophils contribute to the maladaptive immune response that fuels hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy, thereby increasing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) mortality. Here, we investigated how complement interacts with the platelet/neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)/thrombin axis, using COVID-19 specimens, cell-based inhibition studies, and NET/human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) cocultures. Increased plasma levels of NETs, tissue factor (TF) activity, and sC5b-9 were detected in patients. Neutrophils of patients yielded high TF expression and released NETs carrying active TF. Treatment of control neutrophils with COVID-19 platelet-rich plasma generated TF-bearing NETs that induced thrombotic activity of HAECs. Thrombin or NETosis inhibition or C5aR1 blockade attenuated platelet-mediated NET-driven thrombogenicity. COVID-19 serum induced complement activation in vitro, consistent with high complement activity in clinical samples. Complement C3 inhibition with compstatin Cp40 disrupted TF expression in neutrophils. In conclusion, we provide a mechanistic basis for a pivotal role of complement and NETs in COVID-19 immunothrombosis. This study supports strategies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that exploit complement or NETosis inhibition.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Complement Membrane Attack Complex , Coronavirus Infections , Extracellular Traps , Neutrophils , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Thromboplastin , Thrombosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Complement Activation/drug effects , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/immunology , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Peptides, Cyclic/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/blood , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombin/immunology , Thrombin/metabolism , Thromboplastin/immunology , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/virology
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009161, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388959

ABSTRACT

We report the emergency development and application of a robust serologic test to evaluate acute and convalescent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in Argentina. The assays, COVIDAR IgG and IgM, which were produced and provided for free to health authorities, private and public health institutions and nursing homes, use a combination of a trimer stabilized spike protein and the receptor binding domain (RBD) in a single enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) plate. Over half million tests have already been distributed to detect and quantify antibodies for multiple purposes, including assessment of immune responses in hospitalized patients and large seroprevalence studies in neighborhoods, slums and health care workers, which resulted in a powerful tool for asymptomatic detection and policy making in the country. Analysis of antibody levels and longitudinal studies of symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in over one thousand patient samples provided insightful information about IgM and IgG seroconversion time and kinetics, and IgM waning profiles. At least 35% of patients showed seroconversion within 7 days, and 95% within 45 days of symptoms onset, with simultaneous or close sequential IgM and IgG detection. Longitudinal studies of asymptomatic cases showed a wide range of antibody responses with median levels below those observed in symptomatic patients. Regarding convalescent plasma applications, a protocol was standardized for the assessment of end point IgG antibody titers with COVIDAR with more than 500 plasma donors. The protocol showed a positive correlation with neutralizing antibody titers, and was used for clinical trials and therapies across the country. Using this protocol, about 80% of convalescent donor plasmas were potentially suitable for therapies. Here, we demonstrate the importance of providing a robust and specific serologic assay for generating new information about antibody kinetics in infected individuals and mitigation policies to cope with pandemic needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , Argentina/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
Virol J ; 18(1): 1, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virus neutralization by antibodies is an important prognostic factor in many viral diseases. To easily and rapidly measure titers of neutralizing antibodies in serum or plasma, we developed pseudovirion particles composed of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 incorporated onto murine leukemia virus capsids and a modified minimal murine leukemia virus genome encoding firefly luciferase. This assay design is intended for use in laboratories with biocontainment level 2 and therefore circumvents the need for the biocontainment level 3 that would be required for replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 virus. To validate the pseudovirion assay, we set up comparisons with other available antibody tests including those from Abbott, Euroimmun and Siemens, using archived, known samples. RESULTS: 11 out of 12 SARS-CoV-2-infected patient serum samples showed neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2-spike pseudotyped MLV viruses, with neutralizing titers-50 (NT50) that ranged from 1:25 to 1:1,417. Five historical samples from patients hospitalized for severe influenza infection in 2016 tested negative in the neutralization assay (NT50 < 25). Three serum samples with high neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2/MLV pseudoviruses showed no detectable neutralizing activity (NT50 < 25) against SARS-CoV-1/MLV pseudovirions. We also compared the semiquantitative Siemens SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, which measures binding of IgG to recombinantly expressed receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein with the neutralization titers obtained in the pseudovirion assay and the results show high concordance between the two tests (R2 = 0.9344). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 spike/MLV pseudovirions provide a practical means of assessing neutralizing activity of antibodies in serum or plasma from infected patients under laboratory conditions consistent with biocontainment level 2. This assay offers promise also in evaluating immunogenicity of spike glycoprotein-based candidate vaccines in the near future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Leukemia/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virion/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice
10.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 2014, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389202

ABSTRACT

Electron microscopy is a powerful tool in the field of microbiology. It has played a key role in the rapid diagnosis of viruses in patient samples and has contributed significantly to the clarification of virus structure and function, helping to guide the public health response to emerging viral infections. In the present study, we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to study the infectious cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells and we controlled some key findings by classical transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). The replication cycle of the virus was followed from 1 to 36 h post-infection. Our results revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infected the cells through membrane fusion. Particles are formed in the peri-nuclear region from a budding of the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi apparatus complex into morphogenesis matrix vesicae. New SARS-CoV-2 particles were expelled from the cells, through cell lysis or by fusion of virus containing vacuoles with the cell plasma membrane. Overall, this cycle is highly comparable to that of SARS-CoV. By providing a detailed and complete SARS-CoV-2 infectious cycle, SEM proves to be a very rapid and efficient tool compared to classical TEM.

11.
J Infect Dis ; 224(1): 21-30, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379462

ABSTRACT

The differentiation between influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could constitute a diagnostic challenge during the ongoing winter owing to their clinical similitude. Thus, novel biomarkers are required to enable making this distinction. Here, we evaluated whether the surfactant protein D (SP-D), a collectin produced at the alveolar epithelium with known immune properties, was useful to differentiate pandemic influenza A(H1N1) from COVID-19 in critically ill patients. Our results revealed high serum SP-D levels in patients with severe pandemic influenza but not those with COVID-19. This finding was validated in a separate cohort of mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19 who also showed low plasma SP-D levels. However, plasma SP-D levels did not distinguish seasonal influenza from COVID-19 in mild-to-moderate disease. Finally, we found that high serum SP-D levels were associated with death and renal failure among severe pandemic influenza cases. Thus, our studies have identified SP-D as a unique biomarker expressed during severe pandemic influenza but not COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/genetics , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D/blood , Severity of Illness Index , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult
12.
Vox Sang ; 116(7): 798-807, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19 is due to a pathological inflammatory response of raised cytokines. Removal of these cytokines by therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) prior to end-organ damage may improve clinical outcomes. This manuscript is intended to serve as a preliminary guidance document for application of TPE in patients with severe COVID-19. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The available literature pertaining to the role of TPE for treatment of COVID-19 patients was reviewed to guide optimal management. It included indication, contraindication, optimal timing of initiation and termination of TPE, vascular access and anticoagulants, numbers and mode of procedures, outcome measures and adverse events. RESULTS: Out of a total of 78 articles, only 65 were directly related to the topic. From these 65, only 32 were acceptable as primary source, while 33 were used as supporting references. TPE in critically ill COVID-19 patients may be classified under ASFA category III grade 2B. The early initiation of TPE for 1-1·5 patient's plasma volume with fresh frozen plasma, or 4-5% albumin or COVID-19 convalescent plasma as replacement fluids before multiorgan failure, has better chances of recovery. The number of procedures can vary from three to nine depending on patient response. CONCLUSION: TPE in COVID-19 patients may help by removing toxic cytokines, viral particles and/or by correcting coagulopathy or restoring endothelial membrane. Severity score (SOFA & APACHE II) and cytokine levels (IL-6, C-reactive protein) can be used to execute TPE therapy and to monitor response in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plasma Exchange , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Plasmapheresis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 654587, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348485

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 occurs in the majority of children as COVID-19, without symptoms or with a paucisymptomatic respiratory syndrome, but a small proportion of children develop the systemic Multi Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), characterized by persistent fever and systemic hyperinflammation, with some clinical features resembling Kawasaki Disease (KD). Objective: With this study we aimed to shed new light on the pathogenesis of these two SARS-CoV-2-related clinical manifestations. Methods: We investigated lymphocyte and dendritic cells subsets, chemokine/cytokine profiles and evaluated the neutrophil activity mediators, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and reactive oxygen species (ROS), in 10 children with COVID-19 and 9 with MIS-C at the time of hospital admission. Results: Patients with MIS-C showed higher plasma levels of C reactive protein (CRP), MPO, IL-6, and of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL8 and CCL2 than COVID-19 children. In addition, they displayed higher levels of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, mainly induced by IFN-γ. By contrast, we detected IFN-α in plasma of children with COVID-19, but not in patients with MIS-C. This observation was consistent with the increase of ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNAs in cells of COVID-19 patients, while ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNA were detected in MIS-C at levels comparable to healthy controls. Moreover, quantification of the number of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which constitute the main source of IFN-α, showed profound depletion of this subset in MIS-C, but not in COVID-19. Conclusions: Our results show a pattern of immune response which is suggestive of type I interferon activation in COVID-19 children, probably related to a recent interaction with the virus, while in MIS-C the immune response is characterized by elevation of the inflammatory cytokines/chemokines IL-6, CCL2, and CXCL8 and of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXL10, which are markers of an active Th1 type immune response. We believe that these immunological events, together with neutrophil activation, might be crucial in inducing the multisystem and cardiovascular damage observed in MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CXCL10/immunology , Chemokine CXCL9/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Retrospective Studies
14.
Lancet ; 396(10259): 1335-1344, 2020 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337016

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many patients receiving dialysis in the USA share the socioeconomic characteristics of underserved communities, and undergo routine monthly laboratory testing, facilitating a practical, unbiased, and repeatable assessment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence. METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, in partnership with a central laboratory that receives samples from approximately 1300 dialysis facilities across the USA, we tested the remainder plasma of 28 503 randomly selected adult patients receiving dialysis in July, 2020, using a spike protein receptor binding domain total antibody chemiluminescence assay (100% sensitivity, 99·8% specificity). We extracted data on age, sex, race and ethnicity, and residence and facility ZIP codes from the anonymised electronic health records, linking patient-level residence data with cumulative and daily cases and deaths per 100 000 population and with nasal swab test positivity rates. We standardised prevalence estimates according to the overall US dialysis and adult population, and present estimates for four prespecified strata (age, sex, region, and race and ethnicity). FINDINGS: The sampled population had similar age, sex, and race and ethnicity distribution to the US dialysis population, with a higher proportion of older people, men, and people living in majority Black and Hispanic neighbourhoods than in the US adult population. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 8·0% (95% CI 7·7-8·4) in the sample, 8·3% (8·0-8·6) when standardised to the US dialysis population, and 9·3% (8·8-9·9) when standardised to the US adult population. When standardised to the US dialysis population, seroprevalence ranged from 3·5% (3·1-3·9) in the west to 27·2% (25·9-28·5) in the northeast. Comparing seroprevalent and case counts per 100 000 population, we found that 9·2% (8·7-9·8) of seropositive patients were diagnosed. When compared with other measures of SARS-CoV-2 spread, seroprevalence correlated best with deaths per 100 000 population (Spearman's ρ=0·77). Residents of non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic neighbourhoods experienced higher odds of seropositivity (odds ratio 3·9 [95% CI 3·4-4·6] and 2·3 [1·9-2·6], respectively) compared with residents of predominantly non-Hispanic white neighbourhoods. Residents of neighbourhoods in the highest population density quintile experienced increased odds of seropositivity (10·3 [8·7-12·2]) compared with residents of the lowest density quintile. County mobility restrictions that reduced workplace visits by at least 5% in early March, 2020, were associated with lower odds of seropositivity in July, 2020 (0·4 [0·3-0·5]) when compared with a reduction of less than 5%. INTERPRETATION: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer than 10% of the US adult population formed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and fewer than 10% of those with antibodies were diagnosed. Public health efforts to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread need to especially target racial and ethnic minority and densely populated communities. FUNDING: Ascend Clinical Laboratories.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(2): 292-296, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1312375

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess the longevity of spike-specific antibody responses and neutralizing activity in the plasma of recovered Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) patients. METHODS: We traced the antibody responses and neutralizing activity against MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in peripheral blood samples collected from 70 recovered MERS patients for 5 years after the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea. We also measured the half-life of neutralizing antibody titres in the longitudinal specimens. RESULTS: The seropositivity rate persisted for up to 4 years (50.7-56.1%), especially in MERS patients who suffered from severe pneumonia, and then decreased (35.9%) in the fifth year. Although the spike-specific antibody responses decreased gradually, the neutralizing antibody titres decreased more rapidly (half-life: 20 months) in 19 participants without showing negative seroconversion during the study period. Only five (26.3%) participants had neutralizing antibody titres greater than 1/1000 of PRNT50, and a high neutralizing antibody titre over 1/5000 was not detected in the participants at five years after infection. DISCUSSION: The seropositivity rate of the recovered MERS patients persisted up to 4 years after infection and significantly dropped in the fifth year, whereas the neutralizing antibody titres against MERS-CoV decreased more rapidly and were significantly reduced at 4 years after infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
16.
JCI Insight ; 6(13)2021 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301767

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDThe role of humoral immunity in COVID-19 is not fully understood, owing, in large part, to the complexity of antibodies produced in response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is a pressing need for serology tests to assess patient-specific antibody response and predict clinical outcome.METHODSUsing SARS-CoV-2 proteome and peptide microarrays, we screened 146 COVID-19 patients' plasma samples to identify antigens and epitopes. This enabled us to develop a master epitope array and an epitope-specific agglutination assay to gauge antibody responses systematically and with high resolution.RESULTSWe identified linear epitopes from the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins and showed that the epitopes enabled higher resolution antibody profiling than the S or N protein antigen. Specifically, we found that antibody responses to the S-811-825, S-881-895, and N-156-170 epitopes negatively or positively correlated with clinical severity or patient survival. Moreover, we found that the P681H and S235F mutations associated with the coronavirus variant of concern B.1.1.7 altered the specificity of the corresponding epitopes.CONCLUSIONEpitope-resolved antibody testing not only affords a high-resolution alternative to conventional immunoassays to delineate the complex humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and differentiate between neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies, but it also may potentially be used to predict clinical outcome. The epitope peptides can be readily modified to detect antibodies against variants of concern in both the peptide array and latex agglutination formats.FUNDINGOntario Research Fund (ORF) COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute, London Health Sciences Foundation, and Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario (AMOSO) Innovation Fund.


Subject(s)
Agglutination Tests/methods , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Specificity/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Microarray Analysis/methods , Nucleocapsid/chemistry , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
Mol Cell Proteomics ; 20: 100113, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275575

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can result in pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. Accumulation of mucus in the airways is a hallmark of the disease and can result in hypoxemia. Here, we show that quantitative proteome analysis of the sputum from severe patients with COVID-19 reveal high levels of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) components, which was confirmed by microscopy. Extracellular DNA from excessive NET formation can increase sputum viscosity and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Recombinant human DNase (Pulmozyme; Roche) has been shown to be beneficial in reducing sputum viscosity and improve lung function. We treated five patients pwith COVID-19 resenting acute symptoms with clinically approved aerosolized Pulmozyme. No adverse reactions to the drug were seen, and improved oxygen saturation and recovery in all severely ill patients with COVID-19 was observed after therapy. Immunofluorescence and proteome analysis of sputum and blood plasma samples after treatment revealed a marked reduction of NETs and a set of statistically significant proteome changes that indicate reduction of hemorrhage, plasma leakage and inflammation in the airways, and reduced systemic inflammatory state in the blood plasma of patients. Taken together, the results indicate that NETs contribute to acute respiratory failure in COVID-19 and that degrading NETs may reduce dependency on external high-flow oxygen therapy in patients. Targeting NETs using recombinant human DNase may have significant therapeutic implications in COVID-19 disease and warrants further studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Deoxyribonuclease I/pharmacology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Proteome/analysis , Aged , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , Severity of Illness Index , Sputum/drug effects , Sputum/metabolism , Sputum/virology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/drug therapy , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology
18.
Hemodial Int ; 25(4): 515-522, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270837

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The passive immunization of patients with SARS-CoV2 with convalescent plasma (CP) is theoretically beneficial in patients with end-stage renal disease who are immunosuppressed and unable to mount an adequate immune response. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CP in patients with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis with moderate-to-severe SARS-CoV2 infection. METHODS: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted in consecutive 68 moderate-to-severe SARS-CoV2 infected patients who were on maintenance hemodialysis or with acute worsening of chronic kidney disease which required initiation of hemodialysis. Patients who received CP were compared with those who did not. The primary outcome was death during hospitalization. Clinical characteristics, duration of hospitalization and inflammatory parameters were compared between the two groups. A subgroup analysis was done to find whether early initiation of plasma was associated with better outcome. RESULTS: Sixteen patients (44%) in the plasma group and 14 (45%) patients in the control group died during hospitalization (p = 0.95). The median duration of hospitalization was 9 (6-14) days in the plasma group and 9 (6-16) in the control group (p = 0.60). There was no difference in mortality or duration of hospitalization with respect to early initiation of CP (p = 0.29). Fistula thrombosis occurred in two patients (11.1%) in the plasma group. CONCLUSION: Therapy with CP does not appear to confer any clinical benefit in moderate-to-severe SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Prospective Studies , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
19.
ACS Nano ; 2021 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270651

ABSTRACT

Rapid and inexpensive immunodiagnostic assays to monitor severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroconversion are essential for conducting large-scale COVID-19 epidemiological surveillance and profiling humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 infections or immunizations. Herein, a colorimetic serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 IgGs in patients' plasma was developed using short antigenic epitopes conjugated to gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Four immunodominant linear B-cell epitopes, located on the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2, were characterized for their IgG binding affinity and used as highly specific biological motifs on the nanoparticle to recognize target antibodies. Specific bivalent binding between SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and epitope-functionalized AuNPs trigger nanoparticle aggregation, which manifests as a distinct optical transition in the AuNPs' plasmon characteristics within 30 min of antibody introduction. Co-immobilization of two epitopes improved the assay sensitivity relative to single-epitope AuNPs with a limit of detection of 3.2 nM, commensurate with IgG levels in convalescent COVID-19-infected patients. A passivation strategy was further pursued to preserve the sensing response in human plasma medium. When tested against 35 clinical plasma samples of varying illness severity, the optimized nanosensor assay can successfully identify SARS-CoV-2 infection with 100% specificity and 83% sensitivity. As the epitopes are conserved within the circulating COVID-19 variants, the proposed platform holds great potential to serve as a cost-effective and highly specific alternative to classical immunoassays employing recombinant viral proteins. These epitope-enabled nanosensors further expand the serodiagnostic toolbox for COVID-19 epidemiological study, humoral response monitoring, or vaccine efficiency assessment.

20.
Front Immunol ; 12: 665329, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268251

ABSTRACT

Infection by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes different presentations of COVID-19 and some patients may progress to a critical, fatal form of the disease that requires their admission to ICU and invasive mechanical ventilation. In order to predict in advance which patients could be more susceptible to develop a critical form of COVID-19, it is essential to define the most adequate biomarkers. In this study, we analyzed several parameters related to the cellular immune response in blood samples from 109 patients with different presentations of COVID-19 who were recruited in Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centers in Madrid, Spain, during the first pandemic peak between April and June 2020. Hospitalized patients with the most severe forms of COVID-19 showed a potent inflammatory response that was not translated into an efficient immune response. Despite the high levels of effector cytotoxic cell populations such as NK, NKT and CD8+ T cells, they displayed immune exhaustion markers and poor cytotoxic functionality against target cells infected with pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 or cells lacking MHC class I molecules. Moreover, patients with critical COVID-19 showed low levels of the highly cytotoxic TCRγδ+ CD8+ T cell subpopulation. Conversely, CD4 count was greatly reduced in association to high levels of Tregs, low plasma IL-2 and impaired Th1 differentiation. The relative importance of these immunological parameters to predict COVID-19 severity was analyzed by Random Forest algorithm and we concluded that the most important features were related to an efficient cytotoxic response. Therefore, efforts to fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection should be focused not only to decrease the disproportionate inflammatory response, but also to elicit an efficient cytotoxic response against the infected cells and to reduce viral replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Intensive Care Units , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism
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