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1.
Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22278025

Résumé

Identification of the plasma proteomic changes of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is essential to understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and developing predictive models and novel therapeutics. We performed plasma deep proteomic profiling from 332 COVID-19 patients and 150 controls and pursued replication in an independent cohort (297 cases and 76 controls) to find potential biomarkers and causal proteins for three COVID-19 outcomes (infection, ventilation, and death). We identified and replicated 1,449 proteins associated with any of the three outcomes (841 for infection, 833 for ventilation, and 253 for death) that can be query on a web portal (https://covid.proteomics.wustl.edu/). Using those proteins and machine learning approached we created and validated specific prediction models for ventilation (AUC>0.91), death (AUC>0.95) and either outcome (AUC>0.80). These proteins were also enriched in specific biological processes, including immune and cytokine signaling (FDR [≤] 3.72x10-14), Alzheimers disease (FDR [≤] 5.46x10-10) and coronary artery disease (FDR [≤] 4.64x10-2). Mendelian randomization using pQTL as instrumental variants nominated BCAT2 and GOLM1 as a causal proteins for COVID-19. Causal gene network analyses identified 141 highly connected key proteins, of which 35 have known drug targets with FDA-approved compounds. Our findings provide distinctive prognostic biomarkers for two severe COVID-19 outcomes (ventilation and death), reveal their relationship to Alzheimers disease and coronary artery disease, and identify potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19 outcomes.

2.
Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22276948

Résumé

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have proven effective in eliciting an immune response capable of providing protective immunity in healthy individuals. However, whether SARS-CoV-2 vaccination induces a long-lived immune response in immunocompromised individuals is poorly understood. Primary antibody deficiency (PAD) syndromes are among the most common immunodeficiency disorders in adults and are characterized by an impaired ability to mount robust antibody responses following infection or vaccination. Here, we present data from a prospective study in which we analyzed the B and T cell response in PAD patients following SARS-COV-2 vaccination. Unexpectedly, individuals with PAD syndromes mounted a SARS-CoV-2 specific B and CD4+ T cell response that was comparable in magnitude to healthy individuals. Many individuals with PAD syndromes displayed reduced IgG1+ and CD11c+ memory B cell responses following the primary vaccination series. However, the IgG1 class-switching defect was largely rescued following mRNA booster vaccination. Boosting also elicited an increase in the SARS-CoV-2-specific B and T cell response and the development of Omicron-specific memory B cells in COVID-19-naive PAD patients. Together, these data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 vaccines elicit memory B and T cells in PAD patients that may contribute to long-term protective immunity.

3.
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-494162

Résumé

Oral and upper respiratory microbiota play important roles in modulating host immune responses to viral infection. As emerging evidence suggests the host microbiome may be involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, we aimed to investigate associations between the oral and nasopharyngeal microbiome and COVID-19 severity. We collected saliva (n = 78) and nasopharyngeal swab (n = 66) samples from a COVID-19 cohort and characterized the microbiomes using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. We also examined associations between the salivary and nasopharyngeal microbiome and age, COVID-19 symptoms, and blood cytokines. SARS-CoV-2 infection status, but not COVID-19 severity, was associated with community-level differences in the oral and nasopharyngeal microbiomes. Salivary and nasopharyngeal microbiome alpha diversity negatively correlated with age and were associated with fever and diarrhea. Several bacterial genera were differentially abundant by COVID-19 severity, including oral Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Solobacterium, all of which were depleted in patients with severe COVID-19. Nasopharyngeal Paracoccus was depleted while nasopharyngeal Proteus, Cupravidus, and Lactobacillus were increased in patients with severe COVID-19. Further analysis revealed that the abundance of oral Bifidobacterium was negatively associated with plasma concentrations of known COVID-19 biomarkers interleukin 17F (IL-17F) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). In conclusion, our results suggest COVID-19 disease severity is associated with the relative abundance of certain bacterial taxa.

4.
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-466651

Résumé

Germinal centres (GC) are lymphoid structures where vaccine-responding B cells acquire affinity-enhancing somatic hypermutations (SHM), with surviving clones differentiating into memory B cells (MBCs) and long-lived bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs)1-4. Induction of the latter is a hallmark of durable immunity after vaccination5. SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination induces a robust GC response in humans6-8, but the maturation dynamics of GC B cells and propagation of their progeny throughout the B cell diaspora have not been elucidated. Here we show that anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)-binding GC B cells were detectable in draining lymph nodes for at least six months in 10 out of 15 individuals who had received two doses of BNT162b2, a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. Six months after vaccination, circulating S-binding MBCs were detected in all participants (n=42) and S-specific IgG-secreting BMPCs were detected in 9 out of 11 participants. Using a combined approach of single-cell RNA sequencing of responding blood and lymph node B cells from eight participants and expression of the corresponding monoclonal antibodies, we tracked the evolution of 1540 S-specific B cell clones. SHM accumulated along the B cell differentiation trajectory, with early blood plasmablasts showing the lowest frequencies, followed by MBCs and lymph node plasma cells whose SHM largely overlapped with GC B cells. By three months after vaccination, the frequency of SHM within GC B cells had doubled. Strikingly, S+ BMPCs detected six months after vaccination accumulated the highest level of SHM, corresponding with significantly enhanced anti-S polyclonal antibody avidity in blood at that time point. This study documents the induction of affinity-matured BMPCs after two doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in humans, providing a foundation for the sustained high efficacy observed with these vaccines.

5.
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-459485

Résumé

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines induce robust anti-spike (S) antibody and CD4+ T cell responses. It is not yet clear whether vaccine-induced follicular helper CD4+ T (TFH) cell responses contribute to this outstanding immunogenicity. Using fine needle aspiration of draining axillary lymph nodes from individuals who received the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, we show that frequency of TFH correlates with that of S-binding germinal center B cells. Mining of the responding TFH T cell receptor repertoire revealed a strikingly immunodominant HLADPB1* 04-restricted response to S167-180 in individuals with this allele, which is among the most common HLA alleles in humans. Paired blood and lymph node specimens show that while circulating S-specific TFH cells peak one week after the second immunization, S-specific TFH persist at nearly constant frequencies for at least six months. Collectively, our results underscore the key role that robust TFH cell responses play in establishing long-term immunity by this efficacious human vaccine.

6.
Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20223636

Résumé

Currently, there is no effective vaccine and only one FDA approved early-stage therapy against SARS-CoV-2 infection as an indication to prevent disease progression. Cellular caspases play a role in the pathophysiology of a number of disorders that the co-morbid conditions seen in severe COVID-19 disease. In this study, we assessed transcriptional states of caspases in blood cells from COVID-19 patients. Gene expression levels of select caspases were increased in in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection models and single cell RNA-Seq data of blood from COVID-19 patients showed a distinct caspase expression in T cells, neutrophils, and dendritic cells. Flow cytometric evaluation of CD4 T cells showed up-regulation of caspase-1 in hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to unexposed controls. Convalescent COVID-19 patients with lingering symptoms ("long haulers") showed persistent up-regulation of caspase-1 in CD4 T cells that was attenuated ex vivo following co-culture with a select pan-caspase inhibitor. Further, we observed elevated caspase-3 levels in red blood cells from COVID-19 patients compared to controls that were responsive to caspase inhibition. Our results expose an exuberant caspase response in COVID-19 that may facilitate immune-related pathological processes leading to severe outcomes. Pan-caspase inhibition could emerge as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate or prevent severe COVID-19 outcomes.

7.
Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20215319

Résumé

Distributed "Point-of-Care" or "at-Home" testing is an important component for a complete suite of testing solutions. This manuscript describes the construction and operation of a platform technology designed to meet this need. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be used as the proof-of-concept for the efficacy and deployment of this platform. The technology outlined consists of a one-pot, reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) chemistry coupled with a low-cost and user-assembled reader using saliva as input. This platform is readily adapted to a wide range of pathogens due to the genetic basis of the reaction. A complete guide to the construction of the reader as well as the production of the reaction chemistry are provided here. Additionally, analytical limit of detection data and the results from saliva testing of SARS-CoV-2, are presented. The platform technology outlined here demonstrates a rapid, distributed, molecular point-of-care solution for pathogen detection using crude sample input.

8.
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-227553

Résumé

Mitochondrial DNA (MT-DNA) are intrinsically inflammatory nucleic acids released by damaged solid organs. Whether the appearance of cell-free MT-DNA is linked to poor COVID-19 outcomes remains undetermined. Here, we quantified circulating MT-DNA in prospectively collected, cell-free plasma samples from 97 subjects with COVID-19 at the time of hospital presentation. Circulating MT-DNA were sharply elevated in patients who eventually died, required ICU admission or intubation. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that high circulating MT-DNA levels is an independent risk factor for all of these outcomes after adjusting for age, sex and comorbidities. Additionally, we found that circulating MT-DNA has a similar or superior area-under-the curve when compared to clinically established measures of systemic inflammation, as well as emerging markers currently of interest as investigational targets for COVID-19 therapy. These results show that high circulating MT-DNA levels is a potential indicator for poor COVID-19 outcomes.

9.
Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20115667

Résumé

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by a high incidence of acute respiratory failure. The underlying immunopathology of that failure and how it compares to other causes of severe respiratory distress, such as influenza virus infection, are not fully understood. Here we addressed this by developing a prospective observational cohort of COVID-19 and influenza subjects with varying degrees of disease severity and assessing the quality and magnitude of their immune responses at the cellular and protein level. Additionally, we performed single-cell RNA transcriptional profiling of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from select subjects. The cohort consists of 79 COVID-19 subjects, 26 influenza subjects, and 15 control subjects, including 35 COVID-19 and 7 influenza subjects with acute respiratory failure. While COVID-19 subjects exhibited largely equivalent or greater activated lymphocyte counts compared to influenza subjects, they had fewer monocytes and lower surface HLA-class II expression on monocytes compared to influenza subjects and controls. At least two distinct immune profiles were observed by cytokine levels in severe COVID-19 patients: 3 of 71 patients were characterized by extreme inflammation, with greater than or equal to [~]50% of the 35 cytokines measured greater than 2 standard deviations from the mean level of other severe patients (both influenza and COVID-19); the other immune profile, which characterized 68 of 71 subjects, had a mixed inflammatory signature, where 28 of 35 cytokines in COVID-19 patients had lower mean cytokine levels, though not all were statistically significant. Only 2 cytokines were higher in COVID-19 subjects compared to influenza subjects (IL-6 and IL-8). Influenza and COVID-19 patients could be distinguished statistically based on cytokine module expression, particularly after controlling for the significant effects of age on cytokine expression, but again with lower levels of most cytokines in COVID-19 subjects. Further, high circulating levels of IL-1RA and IL-6 were associated with increased odds of intubation in the combined influenza and COVID-19 cohort [OR = 3.93 and 4.30, respectively] as well as among only COVID-19 patients. Single cell transcriptional profiling of COVID-19 and influenza subjects with respiratory failure identified profound suppression in type I and type II interferon signaling in COVID-19 patients across multiple clusters. In contrast, COVID-19 cell clusters were enriched for alterations in metabolic, stress, and apoptotic pathways. These alterations were consistent with an increased glucocorticoid response in COVID-19 patients compared to influenza. When considered across the spectrum of innate and adaptive immune profiles, the immune pathologies underlying severe influenza and COVID-19 are substantially distinct. The majority of COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure do not have a cytokine storm phenotype but instead exhibit profound type I and type II IFN immunosuppression when compared to patients with acute influenza. Upregulation of a small number of inflammatory mediators, including IL-6, predicts acute respiratory failure in both COVID-19 and influenza patients.

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