The editors of JCI and JCI Insight have revised the editorial process to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global research community. Highlights:
Human coronaviruses (hCoVs) cause severe respiratory illness in the elderly. Age-related impairments in innate immunity and sub-optimal virus-specific T cell and antibody responses are believed to cause severe disease upon respiratory virus infections. However, the basis for age-related fatal pneumonia following pathogenic hCoVs is not well understood. In this review article, we provide an overview of our current understanding of hCoV-induced fatal pneumonia in the elderly. We describe host immune response to hCoV infections derived from studies of young and aged animal models, and discuss the potential role of age-associated increases in sterile inflammation (inflammaging) and virus-induced dysregulated inflammation in causing age-related severe disease. We also highlight the existing gaps in our knowledge about virus replication and host immune responses to hCoV infection in young and aged individuals.
Rudragouda Channappanavar, Stanley Perlman
A considerable fraction of B cells recognize SARS-CoV-2 with germline-encoded elements of their B cell receptor resulting in the production of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. We found that antibody sequences from different discovery cohorts shared biochemical properties and could be retrieved across validation cohorts confirming the stereotyped character of this naive response in COVID-19. While neutralizing antibody sequences were found independently of disease severity in line with serological data, individual non-neutralizing antibody sequences were associated with fatal clinical courses suggesting detrimental effects of these antibodies. We mined 200 immune repertoires of healthy individuals and 500 of patients with blood or solid cancers - all acquired prior to the pandemic - for SARS-CoV-2 antibody sequences. While the largely unmutated B cell rearrangements occurred in a substantial fraction of immune repertoires from young and healthy individuals, these sequences were less likely found in individuals over 60 years of age and in cancer. This reflects B cell repertoire restriction in aging and cancer and may to a certain extent explain the different clinical COVID-19 courses observed in these risk groups. Future studies will have to address if this stereotyped B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 emerging from unmutated antibody rearrangements will create long-lived memory.
Lisa Paschold, Donjete Simnica, Edith Willscher, Maria J.G.T. Vehreschild, Jochen Dutzmann, Daniel G. Sedding, Christoph Schultheiß, Mascha Binder
Human antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) hold intense interest with research efforts directed at optimizing antibody-based interventions and monitoring immune status. By relating individual variations in antibody response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity, beneficial antiviral immune responses may be identified in detail. In this issue of the JCI, Secchi and collaborators describe antibody response profiles in 509 COVID-19 patients from Italy during the 2020 pandemic. The research team found that multiple antibody types to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens developed over four weeks. Notably, IgG against the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) was predictive of survival and IgA against the viral spike protein (S protein) associated with rapid virologic clearance. These results may help guide selection of convalescent plasma, hyperimmune products, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.
Jeffrey P. Henderson
COVID-19 spans and wide range of symptoms, sometimes with profound immune system involvement. How immune cell subsets change during the disease course and with disease severity needs further study. While myeloid cells have been shown to initiate and maintain responses to pneumonia and lung inflammation, often playing a role in resolution, their involvement with COVID-19 remains unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Sánchez-Cerrillo and Pedro-Landete et al. investigated dendritic cells and monocytes from blood and bronchial secretions of patients with varying COVID-19 severity and with healthy controls. The authors conclude that circulating monocytes and DCs migrate from the blood into the inflamed lungs. While sampling differences in sex, collection timing, bacteria/fungal infection, and corticosteroid treatment limit interpretation, we believe that reprograming monocyte or macrophages by targeting immunometabolism, epigenetics, or the cytokine milieu holds promise in resolving lung-inflammation associated with COVID-19.
Franco R. D'Alessio, Nicola M. Heller
Four different endemic coronaviruses (eCoVs) are etiologic agents for the seasonal “common cold,” and these eCoVs share extensive sequence homology with human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we show that individuals with as compared to without a relatively recent documented eCoV were tested at greater frequency for respiratory infections but had similar rate of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition. Importantly, the patients with a previously detected eCoV had less severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) illness. Our observations suggest that pre-existing immune responses against endemic human coronaviruses can mitigate disease manifestations from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Manish Sagar, Katherine Reifler, Michael Rossi, Nancy S. Miller, Pranay Sinha, Laura White, Joseph P. Mizgerd
BACKGROUND. Serological assays are of critical importance to investigate correlates of response and protection in COVID-19, to define previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in populations and to verify the development of an adaptive immune response in infected individuals. METHODS. We studied 509 confirmed COVID-19 patients from the San Raffaele Hospital of Milan and 480 pre-pandemic organ donor sera collected in 2010-2012. Using fluid-phase luciferase immune precipitation (LIPS) assays, we characterized IgG, IgM, IgA antibodies to the spike Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), S1+S2, nucleocapsid, and ORF6 to 10 of SARS-CoV-2, to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 betacoronaviruses spike S2, and the H1N1Ca2009 flu virus hemagglutinin. Sequential samples at 1 and 3 months post-hospital discharge were also tested in 95 patients for SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies. RESULTS. Antibodies developed rapidly against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens in 95% of patients by 4 weeks post-symptoms onset and IgG to the RBD increased until the 3rd month of follow-up. We observed a major synchronous expansion of antibodies to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 spike S2. A likely co-infection with influenza was neither linked to a more severe presentation of the disease nor to a worse outcome. Of the measured antibody responses positivity for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD was predictive of survival. CONCLUSIONS. The measurement of antibodies to selected epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 antigens can offer a more accurate assessment of the humoral response in patients and its impact on survival. The presence of partially cross-reactive antibodies with other betacoronoviruses is likely to impact on serological assay specificity and interpretation.
Massimiliano Secchi, Elena Bazzigaluppi, Cristina Brigatti, Ilaria Marzinotto, Cristina Tresoldi, Patrizia Rovere-Querini, Andrea Poli, Antonella Castagna, Gabriella Scarlatti, Alberto Zangrillo, Fabio Ciceri, Lorenzo Piemonti, Vito Lampasona
While corticosteroids dampen the dysregulated immune system and sometimes are prescribed as an adjunctive treatment for pneumonia, their effectiveness in the treatment of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) remains controversial. In this issue of the JCI, Liu and Zhang et al. evaluated corticosteroid treatment in more than 400 patients with severe COVID-19. The authors assessed subjects retrospectively for cardiac and liver injury, shock, ventilation, mortality, and viral clearance. Corticosteroids in severe COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was associated with increased mortality and delayed viral clearance. Here, we consider how to reconcile the negative effects of corticosteroids revealed by Liu and Zhang et al. with the favorable effects (reduced mortality) that were described in the RECOVERY trial. We posit that treatment timing, dosage, and COVID-19 disease severity determine immune response and viral outcome. Patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia are likely to benefit from moderate dose corticosteroid treatment when administered relatively late in the disease course.
Michael A. Matthay, Katherine D. Wick
The disease spectrum of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranges from no symptoms to multisystem failure and death. Characterization of virus-specific immune responses to severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is key to understanding disease pathogenesis, but few studies have evaluated T cell immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Sattler et al. sampled blood from subjects with COVID-19 and analyzed the activation and function of virus antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. T cells that failed to respond to peptides from the membrane, spike or nucleocapsid proteins were more common in subjects who died. In those whose T cells had the capacity to respond, older patients with more co-morbidity had larger numbers of activated T cells compared with patients that had fewer risk factors, but these cells showed impaired IFN- production. This cross-sectional study relates activated T cell responses to patient risk factors and outcome. However, T cell response trajectory over the disease course remains an open question.
Diane E. Griffin
BACKGROUND. The T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses have not been well characterized. Pre-existing T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has been reported, and a recent study suggested that this was due to cross-recognition of the novel coronavirus by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. METHODS. We used the ELISpot assay to characterize the T cell responses against peptide pools derived from the spike protein of three common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) and SARS-CoV-2 in 21 healthy donors who were seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 and had no known exposure to the virus. An in vitro expansion culture assay was also used to analyze memory T cell responses. RESULTS. We found responses to the spike protein of the three common cold coronaviruses in many donors. We then focused on HCoV-NL63 and demonstrated broad T cell responses to the spike protein and identified 22 targeted peptides. Interestingly, only one subject had a significant response to SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleocapsid protein in the ELISpot assay. In vitro expansion studies suggested that T cells specific for the HCoV-NL63 spike protein in this subject could also recognize SARS-CoV-2 spike protein peptide pools. CONCLUSIONS. Healthy donors have circulating T cells specific for the spike proteins of HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins were present in only one subject and were potentially the result of cross-recognition by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. Further studies are needed to determine whether this influences COVID-19 outcomes.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Garliss, Oliver Laeyendecker, Stuart C. Ray, Joel N. Blankson
Arthur L. Caplan, Joanne Waldstreicher, Karla Childers, Aran Maree
In a stunningly short period of time, the unexpected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), has turned the unprepared world topsy-turvy. Although the rapidity with which the virus struck was indeed overwhelming, scientists throughout the world have been up to the task of deciphering the mechanisms by which SARS–CoV-2 induces the multisystem and multiorgan inflammatory responses that, collectively, contribute to the high mortality rate in affected individuals. In this issue of the JCI, Skendros and Mitsios et al. is one such team who report that the complement system plays a substantial role in creating the hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy that appear to contribute to the severity of COVID-19. In support of the hypothesis that the complement system along with neutrophils and platelets contributes to COVID-19, the authors present empirical evidence showing that treatment with the complement inhibitor compstatin Cp40 inhibited the expression of tissue factor in neutrophils. These results confirm that the complement axis plays a critical role and suggest that targeted therapy using complement inhibitors is a potential therapeutic option to treat COVID-19–induced inflammation.
Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Ellinor I. Peerschke
The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the urgent need for assays that detect protective levels of neutralizing antibodies. We studied the relationship between anti-spike ectodomain (ECD), anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG titers, and SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization (VN) titers generated by two in vitro assays using convalescent plasma samples from 68 COVID-19 patients. We report a strong positive correlation between both plasma anti-RBD and anti-ECD IgG titers and in vitro VN titer. The probability of a VN titer ≥160, the FDA-recommended level for convalescent plasma used for COVID-19 treatment, was ≥80% when anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers were ≥1:1350. Of all donors, 37% lacked VN titers ≥160. Dyspnea, hospitalization, and disease severity were significantly associated with higher VN titer. Frequent donation of convalescent plasma did not significantly decrease VN or IgG titers. Analysis of 2,814 asymptomatic adults found 73 individuals with anti-ECD IgG titers of ≥1:50 and strong positive correlation with anti-RBD and VN titers. Fourteen of these individuals had VN titers ≥1:160, all of which had anti-RBD titer ≥1:1350. We conclude that anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers can serve as a surrogate for VN titers to identify suitable plasma donors. Plasma anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers of ≥1:1350 may provide critical information about protection against COVID-19 disease.
Eric Salazar, Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Paul A. Christensen, Todd Eagar, Xin Yi, Picheng Zhao, Zhicheng Jin, S. Wesley Long, Randall J. Olsen, Jian Chen, Brian Castillo, Christopher Leveque, Dalton Towers, Jason J. Lavinder, Jimmy Gollihar, Jose A. Cardona, Gregory C. Ippolito, Ruth H. Nissly, Ian Bird, Denver Greenawalt, Randall M. Rossi, Abhinay Gontu, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Indira Poojary, Isabella M. Cattadori, Peter Hudson, Nicole M. Josleyn, Laura Prugar, Kathleen E. Huie, Andrew S. Herbert, David W. Bernard, John M. Dye, Vivek Kapur, James M. Musser
People with COVID-19 can develop pneumonia and severe inflammatory response with excessive cytokine release known as the cytokine storm. The Janus kinase inhibitor baricitinib used to treat rheumatoid arthritis reduces inflammation by modifying the cytokine pathway. In this issue of the JCI, Bronte and Ugel et al. performed an observational longitudinal study to evaluated the use of baricitinib in 20 patients with COVID-19. Treated subjects showed reduced levels of plasma interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), IL-1β and phosphorylated STAT3 and swift lymphocyte restoration. Notably, these patients had a dramatically favorable clinical outcome. While bias can plague uncontrolled research, this study has biological credibility and warrants randomized control studies.
David L. Thomas
BACKGROUND. Understanding outcomes and immunologic characteristics of cellular therapy recipients with SARS-CoV-2 is critical to performing these potentially life-saving therapies in the COVID-19 era. In this study of recipients of allogeneic (Allo) and autologous (Auto) hematopoietic cell transplant and CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR-T) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we aimed to identify clinical variables associated with COVID-19 severity and assess lymphocyte populations. METHODS. We retrospectively investigated patients diagnosed between March 15th and May 7th, 2020. In a subset of patients, lymphocyte immunophenotyping, quantitative real-time PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs, and SARS-CoV-2 antibody status were available. RESULTS. We identified 77 SARS-CoV-2 + cellular therapy recipients (Allo = 35, Auto = 37, CAR-T = 5; median time from cellular therapy 782 days (IQR 354,1611). Overall survival at 30 days was 78%. Clinical variables significantly associated with the composite endpoint of non-rebreather or higher oxygen requirement and death (n events = 25/77) included number of co-morbidities (HR 5.41, P = 0.004), infiltrates (HR 3.08, P = 0.032), and neutropenia (HR 1.15, P = 0.04). Worsening graft-versus-host-disease was not identified among Allo subjects. Immune profiling revealed reductions and rapid recovery in lymphocyte populations across lymphocyte subsets. Antibody responses were seen in a subset of patients. CONCLUSION. In this series of Allo, Auto, and CAR-T recipients, we report overall favorable clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients without active malignancy and provide preliminary insights into the lymphocyte populations that are key for the anti-viral response and immune reconstitution. FUNDING. NIH P01 CA23766, NIH/NCI P30 CA008748.
Gunjan L. Shah, Susan DeWolf, Yeon Joo Lee, Roni Tamari, Parastoo B. Dahi, Jessica A. Lavery, Josel D. Ruiz, Sean M. Devlin, Christina Cho, Jonathan U. Peled, Ioannis Politikos, Michael Scordo, N. Esther Babady, Tania Jain, Santosha Vardhana, Anthony F. Daniyan, Craig S. Sauter, Juliet N. Barker, Sergio A. Giralt, Cheryl Goss, Peter Maslak, Tobias M. Hohl, Mini Kamboj, Lakshmi Ramanathan, Marcel R.M. van den Brink, Esperanza B. Papadopoulos, Genovefa A. Papanicolaou, Miguel-Angel Perales
Anne H. Rowley, Stanford T. Shulman, Moshe Arditi
Background: Marked progress is achieved in understanding the physiopathology of COVID-19 that caused global pandemics. However, CD4+ T cell population that is critical for antibody response in COVID-19 is poorly understood. Methods: In this study, we provided a comprehensive analysis of peripheral CD4+ T cells of 13 COVID-19 convalescent patients, as defined as confirmed free of SARS-CoV-2 for 2-4 weeks, using flow cytometry, magnetic chemiluminescence enzyme antibody immunoassay and correlated the data with clinical characteristics. Results: We observed that relative to healthy individuals, convalescent patients displayed an altered peripheral CD4+ T cell spectrum. Specifically, consistent with other viral infections, cTFH1 cell associated with SARS-CoV-2 targeting antibodies, which was found to skew with disease severity as more severe individuals showed higher frequency of TEM and TFH-EM cells but a lower frequency of TCM, TFH-CM and TNaive cells, relative to mild and moderate patients. Interestingly, higher frequency of cTFH-EM cells correlated with lower number of recorded admission blood oxygen level in convalescent patients. These observations might constitute residual effects by which COVID-19 can impact the homeostasis of CD4+ T cells in the long-term and explain the highest ratio of class-switched virus-specific antibody producing individuals found in our severe COVID-19 cohort. Conclusion: Together, our study demonstrated close connection between CD4+ T cells and antibody production in COVID-19 convalescents.Funding: This study was supported by Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) grants 81970759.
Fang Gong, Yaping Dai, Ting Zheng, Liang Cheng, Dan Zhao, Hao Wang, Min Liu, Hao Pei, Tengchuan Jin, Di Yu, Pengcheng Zhou
COVID-19 has emerged as a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. So far, viral targets of cellular immunity and factors determining successful mounting of T-cell responses are poorly defined. We therefore analyzed cellular responses to membrane, nucleocapsid and spike protein in individuals suffering from moderate or severe infection and after recovery from mild disease. We demonstrate that the CoV-2 specific CD4+ T-helper cell response is directed against all three proteins with comparable magnitude, ex vivo proliferation and portions of responding patients. However, deceased individuals were more frequently amongst non-responders. Higher patient age and comorbidity index correlated with increased frequencies of CoV-2 specific CD4+ T-cells, harboring higher portions of IL-2-, but lower portions of IFNγ secreting cells. Diminished frequencies of membrane protein reactive IFNγ+ T cells were particularly associated with higher Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II scores in patients admitted to intensive care. CoV-2 specific T cells exhibited elevated PD-1 expression in active patients as compared to recovered individuals with previous mild disease. In summary, our data suggest a link between individual patient predisposition with respect to age and comorbidity and impairment of CoV-2 specific Th1-type cellular immunity, thereby supporting a concept of altered T-cell function in patients at risk.
Arne Sattler, Stefan Angermair, Helena Stockmann, Katrin Moira Heim, Dmytro Khadzhynov, Sascha Treskatsch, Fabian Halleck, Martin E. Kreis, Katja Kotsch
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination induces variable protection against pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), and a more effective TB vaccine is needed. The potential for BCG to provide protection against heterologous infections, by induction of innate immune memory, is increasingly recognized. These nonspecific responses may substantially benefit public health, but are also variable. In this issue of the JCI, Koeken and de Bree et al. report that BCG reduces circulating inflammatory markers in males but not in females, while de Bree and Mouritis et al. describe how diurnal rhythms affect the degree of BCG-induced innate memory. These studies further delineate factors that influence the magnitude of responses to BCG and may be crucial to harnessing its potential benefits.
S. Prentice, H.M. Dockrell
BACKGROUND. COVID-19 patients develop pneumonia generally associated to lymphopenia and severe inflammatory response due to uncontrolled cytokine release. These mediators are transcriptionally regulated by the JAK-STAT signaling pathways, which can be disabled by small molecules. METHODS. A group of subjects (n = 20) was treated with baricitinib according to an off-label use of the drug. The study was designed as an observational longitudinal trial and approved by the local ethical committee. The patients were treated with baricitinib 4 mg twice daily for 2 days, followed by 4 mg per day for the remaining 7 days. Changes in the immune phenotype and expression of pSTAT3 in blood cells were evaluated and correlated with serum-derived cytokine levels and antibodies anti-SARS-CoV-2. In a single treated patient, we evaluated also the alteration of myeloid cell functional activity. RESULTS. We provided evidences that baricitinib-treated patients have a marked reduction in serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a rapid recovery in circulating T and B cell frequencies, and increased antibody production against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which were clinically associated with a reduction in oxygen flow need and progressive increase in the P/F. CONCLUSION. Baricitinib prevented the progression towards a severe/extreme form of the viral disease by modulating the patients’ immune landscape and these changes were associated with a safer and favorable clinical outcome of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier of this project is protocol NCT04438629. FUNDING. This work was supported by Fondazione Cariverona (ENACT Project) and Fondazione TIM.
Vincenzo Bronte, Stefano Ugel, Elisa Tinazzi, Antonio Vella, Francesco De Sanctis, Stefania Canè, Veronica Batani, Rosalinda Trovato, Alessandra Fiore, Varvara Petrova, Francesca Hofer, Roza Maria Barouni, Chiara Musiu, Simone Caligola, Laura Pinton, Lorena Torroni, Enrico Polati, Katia Donadello, Simonetta Friso, Francesca Pizzolo, Manuela Iezzi, Federica Facciotti, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Daniela Righetti, Paolo Bazzoni, Mariaelisa Rampudda, Andrea C. Comel, Walter Mosaner, Claudio Lunardi, Oliviero Olivieri
SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in infected individuals, who can either exhibit mild symptoms or progress toward a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Exacerbated inflammation and dysregulated immune responses involving T and myeloid cells occur in COVID-19 patients with severe clinical progression. However, the differential contribution of specific subsets of dendritic cells and monocytes to ARDS is still poorly understood. In addition, the role of CD8+ T cells present in the lung of COVID-19 patients and relevant for viral control has not been characterized. Here, we have studied the frequencies and activation profiles of dendritic cells and monocytes present in the blood and lung of COVID-19 patients with different clinical severity in comparison with healthy individuals. Furthermore, these subpopulations and their association with antiviral effector CD8+ T cell subsets were also characterized in lung infiltrates from critical COVID-19 patients. Our results indicate that inflammatory transitional and nonclassical monocytes and CD1c+ conventional dendritic cells preferentially migrate from blood to lungs in patients with severe COVID-19. Thus, this study increases the knowledge of specific myeloid subsets involved in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease and could be useful for the design of therapeutic strategies for fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Ildefonso Sánchez-Cerrillo, Pedro-Landete, Beatriz Aldave, Santiago Sánchez-Alonso, Ana Sánchez-Azofra, Ana Marcos-Jiménez, Elena Ávalos, Ana Alcaraz-Serna, Ignacio de los Santos, Tamara Mateu-Albero, Laura Esparcia, Celia López-Sanz, Pedro Martínez-Fleta, Ligia Gabrie, Luciana del Campo Guerola, Hortensia de la Fuente, María J. Calzada, Isidoro González-Álvaro, Arantzazu Alfranca, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, Cecilia Muñoz-Calleja, Joan B. Soriano, Julio Ancochea, Enrique Martín-Gayo, the REINMUN-COVID and EDEPIMIC groups
Convalescent plasma is a leading treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but there is a paucity of data identifying its therapeutic efficacy. Among 126 potential convalescent plasma donors, the humoral immune response was evaluated using a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) virus neutralization assay with Vero-E6-TMPRSS2 cells; a commercial IgG and IgA ELISA to detect the spike (S) protein S1 domain (EUROIMMUN); IgA, IgG, and IgM indirect ELISAs to detect the full-length S protein or S receptor–binding domain (S-RBD); and an IgG avidity assay. We used multiple linear regression and predictive models to assess the correlations between antibody responses and demographic and clinical characteristics. IgG titers were greater than either IgM or IgA titers for S1, full-length S, and S-RBD in the overall population. Of the 126 plasma samples, 101 (80%) had detectable neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers. Using nAb titers as the reference, the IgG ELISAs confirmed 95%–98% of the nAb-positive samples, but 20%–32% of the nAb-negative samples were still IgG ELISA positive. Male sex, older age, and hospitalization for COVID-19 were associated with increased antibody responses across the serological assays. There was substantial heterogeneity in the antibody response among potential convalescent plasma donors, but sex, age, and hospitalization emerged as factors that can be used to identify individuals with a high likelihood of having strong antiviral antibody responses.
Sabra L. Klein, Andrew Pekosz, Han-Sol Park, Rebecca L. Ursin, Janna R. Shapiro, Sarah E. Benner, Kirsten Littlefield, Swetha Kumar, Harnish Mukesh Naik, Michael J. Betenbaugh, Ruchee Shrestha, Annie A. Wu, Robert M. Hughes, Imani Burgess, Patricio Caturegli, Oliver Laeyendecker, Thomas C. Quinn, David Sullivan, Shmuel Shoham, Andrew D. Redd, Evan M. Bloch, Arturo Casadevall, Aaron A.R. Tobian
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.
Panagiotis Skendros, Alexandros Mitsios, Akrivi Chrysanthopoulou, Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Simeon Metallidis, Petros Rafailidis, Maria Ntinopoulou, Eleni Sertaridou, Victoria Tsironidou, Christina Tsigalou, Maria Tektonidou, Theocharis Konstantinidis, Charalampos Papagoras, Ioannis Mitroulis, Georgios Germanidis, John D. Lambris, Konstantinos Ritis
Lisa A. Cooper, Deidra C. Crews
An alarming increase in children presenting with fever, hyperinflammation, and multiorgan dysfunction frequently requiring intensive care has been observed after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. The illness resembles Kawasaki disease (KD), with coronary dilatation and aneurysm occurring in some. However, the cardiovascular manifestations were typically on the severe end of the KD spectrum, with cardiogenic shock a common presentation together with other features. This led to defining a unique syndrome named multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). In this issue of the JCI, Lee and Day-Lewis et al. and Diorio et al. explored the clinical profiles associated with coronavirus disease 2019 in children. We posit that while splitting MIS-C into a separate disease may aid clinical management decisions, lumping it into the KD pot may better serve to understand pathobiology.
Rae S.M. Yeung, Polly J. Ferguson
BACKGROUND Initial reports from the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) pandemic described children as being less susceptible to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than adults. Subsequently, a severe and novel pediatric disorder termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) emerged. We report on unique hematologic and immunologic parameters that distinguish between COVID-19 and MIS-C and provide insight into pathophysiology.METHODS We prospectively enrolled hospitalized patients with evidence of SARS–CoV-2 infection and classified them as having MIS-C or COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 were classified as having either minimal or severe disease. Cytokine profiles, viral cycle thresholds (Cts), blood smears, and soluble C5b-9 values were analyzed with clinical data.RESULTS Twenty patients were enrolled (9 severe COVID-19, 5 minimal COVID-19, and 6 MIS-C). Five cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) contributed to the analysis. TNF-α and IL-10 discriminated between patients with MIS-C and severe COVID-19. The presence of burr cells on blood smears, as well as Cts, differentiated between patients with severe COVID-19 and those with MIS-C.CONCLUSION Pediatric patients with SARS–CoV-2 are at risk for critical illness with severe COVID-19 and MIS-C. Cytokine profiling and examination of peripheral blood smears may distinguish between patients with MIS-C and those with severe COVID-19.FUNDING Financial support for this project was provided by CHOP Frontiers Program Immune Dysregulation Team; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Cancer Institute; the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Cookies for Kids Cancer; Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer; Children’s Oncology Group; Stand UP 2 Cancer; Team Connor; the Kate Amato Foundations; Burroughs Wellcome Fund CAMS; the Clinical Immunology Society; the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.
Caroline Diorio, Sarah E. Henrickson, Laura A. Vella, Kevin O. McNerney, Julie Chase, Chakkapong Burudpakdee, Jessica H. Lee, Cristina Jasen, Fran Balamuth, David M. Barrett, Brenda L. Banwell, Kathrin M. Bernt, Allison M. Blatz, Kathleen Chiotos, Brian T. Fisher, Julie C. Fitzgerald, Jeffrey S. Gerber, Kandace Gollomp, Christopher Gray, Stephan A. Grupp, Rebecca M. Harris, Todd J. Kilbaugh, Audrey R. Odom John, Michele Lambert, Emily J. Liebling, Michele E. Paessler, Whitney Petrosa, Charles Phillips, Anne F. Reilly, Neil D. Romberg, Alix Seif, Deborah A. Sesok-Pizzini, Kathleen E. Sullivan, Julie Vardaro, Edward M. Behrens, David T. Teachey, Hamid Bassiri
BACKGROUND Pediatric SARS–CoV-2 infection can be complicated by a dangerous hyperinflammatory condition termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The clinical and immunologic spectrum of MIS-C and its relationship to other inflammatory conditions of childhood have not been studied in detail.METHODS We retrospectively studied confirmed cases of MIS-C at our institution from March to June 2020. The clinical characteristics, laboratory studies, and treatment response were collected. Data were compared with historic cohorts of Kawasaki disease (KD) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS).RESULTS Twenty-eight patients fulfilled the case definition of MIS-C. Median age at presentation was 9 years (range: 1 month to 17 years); 50% of patients had preexisting conditions. All patients had laboratory confirmation of SARS–CoV-2 infection. Seventeen patients (61%) required intensive care, including 7 patients (25%) who required inotrope support. Seven patients (25%) met criteria for complete or incomplete KD, and coronary abnormalities were found in 6 cases. Lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and elevation in inflammatory markers, D-dimer, B-type natriuretic peptide, IL-6, and IL-10 levels were common but not ubiquitous. Cytopenias distinguished MIS-C from KD and the degree of hyperferritinemia and pattern of cytokine production differed between MIS-C and MAS. Immunomodulatory therapy given to patients with MIS-C included intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) (71%), corticosteroids (61%), and anakinra (18%). Clinical and laboratory improvement were observed in all cases, including 6 cases that did not require immunomodulatory therapy. No mortality was recorded in this cohort.CONCLUSION MIS-C encompasses a broad phenotypic spectrum with clinical and laboratory features distinct from KD and MAS.FUNDING This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Rheumatology Research Foundation Investigator Awards and Medical Education Award; Boston Children’s Hospital Faculty Career Development Awards; the McCance Family Foundation; and the Samara Jan Turkel Center.
Pui Y. Lee, Megan Day-Lewis, Lauren A. Henderson, Kevin G. Friedman, Jeffrey Lo, Jordan E. Roberts, Mindy S. Lo, Craig D. Platt, Janet Chou, Kacie J. Hoyt, Annette L. Baker, Tina M. Banzon, Margaret H. Chang, Ezra Cohen, Sarah D. de Ferranti, Audrey Dionne, Saddiq Habiballah, Olha Halyabar, Jonathan S. Hausmann, Melissa M. Hazen, Erin Janssen, Esra Meidan, Ryan W. Nelson, Alan A. Nguyen, Robert P. Sundel, Fatma Dedeoglu, Peter A. Nigrovic, Jane W. Newburger, Mary Beth F. Son
Roy M. Gulick, Magdalena E. Sobieszczyk, Donald W. Landry, Anthony N. Hollenberg
Most patients with COVID-19 lack antibody to SARS-CoV-2 in the first 10 days of illness while the virus drives disease pathogenesis. SARS-CoV-2 antibody deficiency in the setting of a tissue viral burden suggests that using an antibody as a therapeutic agent would augment the antiviral immune response. In this issue of the JCI, Wang and collaborators describe the kinetics of viral load and the antibody responses of 23 individuals with COVID-19 experiencing mild and severe disease. The researchers found that (a) individuals with mild and severe disease produced neutralizing IgG to SARS-CoV-2 10 days after disease onset, (b) SARS-CoV-2 persisted longer in those with severe disease, and (c) there was cross-reactivity between antibodies to SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, but only antibodies from patients with COVID-19 neutralized SARS-CoV-2. These observations provide important information on the serological response to SARS-CoV-2 of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 that can inform the use of convalescent plasma therapy.
Arturo Casadevall, Michael J. Joyner, Liise-anne Pirofski
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia. Little is known about the kinetics, tissue distribution, cross-reactivity, and neutralization antibody response in patients with COVID-19. Two groups of patients with RT-PCR–confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled in this study: 12 severely ill patients in intensive care units who needed mechanical ventilation and 11 mildly ill patients in isolation wards. Serial clinical samples were collected for laboratory detection. Results showed that most of the severely ill patients had viral shedding in a variety of tissues for 20–40 days after onset of disease (8/12, 66.7%), while the majority of mildly ill patients had viral shedding restricted to the respiratory tract and had no detectable virus RNA 10 days after onset (9/11, 81.8%). Mildly ill patients showed significantly lower IgM response compared with that of the severe group. IgG responses were detected in most patients in both the severe and mild groups at 9 days after onset, and remained at a high level throughout the study. Antibodies cross-reactive to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 were detected in patients with COVID-19 but not in patients with MERS. High levels of neutralizing antibodies were induced after about 10 days after onset in both severely and mildly ill patients which were higher in the severe group. SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype neutralization test and focus reduction neutralization test with authentic virus showed consistent results. Sera from patients with COVID-19 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry. Sera from convalescent patients with SARS or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) did not. Anti–SARS-CoV-2 S and N IgG levels exhibited a moderate correlation with neutralization titers in patients’ plasma. This study improves our understanding of immune response in humans after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Yanqun Wang, Lu Zhang, Ling Sang, Feng Ye, Shicong Ruan, Bei Zhong, Tie Song, Abeer N. Alshukairi, Rongchang Chen, Zhaoyong Zhang, Mian Gan, Airu Zhu, Yongbo Huang, Ling Luo, Chris Ka Pun Mok, Manal M. Al Gethamy, Haitao Tan, Zhengtu Li, Xiaofang Huang, Fang Li, Jing Sun, Yanjun Zhang, Liyan Wen, Yuming Li, Zhao Chen, Zhen Zhuang, Jianfen Zhuo, Chunke Chen, Lijun Kuang, Junxiang Wang, Huibin Lv, Yongliang Jiang, Min Li, Yimin Lin, Ying Deng, Lan Tang, Jieling Liang, Jicheng Huang, Stanley Perlman, Nanshan Zhong, Jingxian Zhao, J.S. Malik Peiris, Yimin Li, Jincun Zhao
New York City has been described as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. While health care workers are notably at increased risk for COVID-19 infection, the impact on resident physicians remains unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Breazzano et al. surveyed resident physicians for their exposure to COVID-19 during the exponential phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers also assessed how personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing protected health care workers from infection. This study highlights resident physician experiences of the first COVID-19 wave that can inform and improve preparedness for upcoming COVID-19 surges and other future epidemics.
Lauren I. Shapiro, Grace R. Kajita, Julia H. Arnsten, Yaron Tomer
BACKGROUND The effects of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in pregnancy remain relatively unknown. We present a case of second trimester pregnancy with symptomatic COVID-19 complicated by severe preeclampsia and placental abruption.METHODS We analyzed the placenta for the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2) through molecular and immunohistochemical assays and by and electron microscopy and measured the maternal antibody response in the blood to this infection.RESULTS SARS–CoV-2 localized predominantly to syncytiotrophoblast cells at the materno-fetal interface of the placenta. Histological examination of the placenta revealed a dense macrophage infiltrate, but no evidence for the vasculopathy typically associated with preeclampsia.CONCLUSION This case demonstrates SARS–CoV-2 invasion of the placenta, highlighting the potential for severe morbidity among pregnant women with COVID-19.FUNDING Beatrice Kleinberg Neuwirth Fund and Fast Grant Emergent Ventures funding from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The funding bodies did not have roles in the design of the study or data collection, analysis, and interpretation and played no role in writing the manuscript.
Hillary Hosier, Shelli F. Farhadian, Raffaella A. Morotti, Uma Deshmukh, Alice Lu-Culligan, Katherine H. Campbell, Yuki Yasumoto, Chantal B.F. Vogels, Arnau Casanovas-Massana, Pavithra Vijayakumar, Bertie Geng, Camila D. Odio, John Fournier, Anderson F. Brito, Joseph R. Fauver, Feimei Liu, Tara Alpert, Reshef Tal, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Sudhir Perincheri, Christopher Larsen, Aileen M. Gariepy, Gabriela Aguilar, Kristen L. Fardelmann, Malini Harigopal, Hugh S. Taylor, Christian M. Pettker, Anne L. Wyllie, Charles Dela Cruz, Aaron M. Ring, Nathan D. Grubaugh, Albert I. Ko, Tamas L. Horvath, Akiko Iwasaki, Uma M. Reddy, Heather S. Lipkind
BACKGROUND Convalescent plasma is the only antibody-based therapy currently available for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It has robust historical precedence and sound biological plausibility. Although promising, convalescent plasma has not yet been shown to be safe as a treatment for COVID-19.METHODS Thus, we analyzed key safety metrics after transfusion of ABO-compatible human COVID-19 convalescent plasma in 5000 hospitalized adults with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, with 66% in the intensive care unit, as part of the US FDA expanded access program for COVID-19 convalescent plasma.RESULTS The incidence of all serious adverse events (SAEs), including mortality rate (0.3%), in the first 4 hours after transfusion was <1%. Of the 36 reported SAEs, there were 25 reported incidences of related SAEs, including mortality (n = 4), transfusion-associated circulatory overload (n = 7), transfusion-related acute lung injury (n = 11), and severe allergic transfusion reactions (n = 3). However, only 2 of 36 SAEs were judged as definitely related to the convalescent plasma transfusion by the treating physician. The 7-day mortality rate was 14.9%.CONCLUSION Given the deadly nature of COVID-19 and the large population of critically ill patients included in these analyses, the mortality rate does not appear excessive. These early indicators suggest that transfusion of convalescent plasma is safe in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04338360.FUNDING Mayo Clinic, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (75A50120C00096), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR002377), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5R35HL139854 and R01 HL059842), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (5T32DK07352), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (PDF-532926-2019), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (R21 AI145356, R21 AI152318, and AI152078), Schwab Charitable Fund, United Health Group, National Basketball Association, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Octapharma USA Inc.
Michael J. Joyner, R. Scott Wright, DeLisa Fairweather, Jonathon W. Senefeld, Katelyn A. Bruno, Stephen A. Klassen, Rickey E. Carter, Allan M. Klompas, Chad C. Wiggins, John R.A. Shepherd, Robert F. Rea, Emily R. Whelan, Andrew J. Clayburn, Matthew R. Spiegel, Patrick W. Johnson, Elizabeth R. Lesser, Sarah E. Baker, Kathryn F. Larson, Juan G. Ripoll, Kylie J. Andersen, David O. Hodge, Katie L. Kunze, Matthew R. Buras, Matthew N.P. Vogt, Vitaly Herasevich, Joshua J. Dennis, Riley J. Regimbal, Philippe R. Bauer, Janis E. Blair, Camille M. Van Buskirk, Jeffrey L. Winters, James R. Stubbs, Nigel S. Paneth, Nicole C. Verdun, Peter Marks, Arturo Casadevall
Leonard Angka, Marisa Market, Michele Ardolino, Rebecca C. Auer
BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral immune response is crucial to achieve pathogen clearance; however, in some patients an excessive and aberrant host immune response can lead to an acute respiratory distress syndrome. The comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate pathogen elimination, immunity, and pathology is essential to better characterize disease progression and widen the spectrum of therapeutic options.METHODS We performed a flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets from 30 patients with COVID-19 and correlated these data with clinical outcomes.RESULTS Patients with COVID-19 showed decreased numbers of circulating T, B, and NK cells and exhibited a skewing of CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated/senescent phenotype. In agreement, CD4+ T and CD8+ T, but also NK cells, displayed reduced antiviral cytokine production capability. Moreover, a reduced cytotoxic potential was identified in patients with COVID-19, particularly in those who required intensive care. The latter group of patients also showed increased serum IL-6 levels that inversely correlated to the frequency of granzyme A–expressing NK cells. Off-label treatment with tocilizumab restored the cytotoxic potential of NK cells.CONCLUSION The association between IL-6 serum levels and the impairment of cytotoxic activity suggests the possibility that targeting this cytokine may restore antiviral mechanisms.FUNDING This study was supported by funds from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of University of Florence (the ex-60% fund and the “Excellence Departments 2018–2022 Project”) derived from Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (Italy).
Alessio Mazzoni, Lorenzo Salvati, Laura Maggi, Manuela Capone, Anna Vanni, Michele Spinicci, Jessica Mencarini, Roberto Caporale, Benedetta Peruzzi, Alberto Antonelli, Michele Trotta, Lorenzo Zammarchi, Luca Ciani, Leonardo Gori, Chiara Lazzeri, Andrea Matucci, Alessandra Vultaggio, Oliviero Rossi, Fabio Almerigogna, Paola Parronchi, Paolo Fontanari, Federico Lavorini, Adriano Peris, Gian Maria Rossolini, Alessandro Bartoloni, Sergio Romagnani, Francesco Liotta, Francesco Annunziato, Lorenzo Cosmi
BACKGROUND From March 2, 2020, to April 12, 2020, New York City (NYC) experienced exponential growth of the COVID-19 pandemic due to novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Little is known regarding how physicians have been affected. We aimed to characterize the COVID-19 impact on NYC resident physicians.METHODS IRB-exempt and expedited cross-sectional analysis through survey to NYC residency program directors April 3–12, 2020, encompassing events from March 2, 2020, to April 12, 2020.RESULTS From an estimated 340 residency programs around NYC, recruitment yielded 91 responses, representing 24 specialties and 2306 residents. In 45.1% of programs, at least 1 resident with confirmed COVID-19 was reported. One hundred one resident physicians were confirmed COVID-19–positive, with an additional 163 residents presumed positive for COVID-19 based on symptoms but awaiting or unable to obtain testing. Two COVID-19–positive residents were hospitalized, with 1 in intensive care. Among specialties with more than 100 residents represented, negative binomial regression indicated that infection risk differed by specialty (P = 0.039). In 80% of programs, quarantining a resident was reported. Ninety of 91 programs reported reuse or extended mask use, and 43 programs reported that personal protective equipment (PPE) was suboptimal. Sixty-five programs (74.7%) redeployed residents elsewhere to support COVID-19 efforts.CONCLUSION Many resident physicians around NYC have been affected by COVID-19 through direct infection, quarantine, or redeployment. Lack of access to testing and concern regarding suboptimal PPE are common among residency programs. Infection risk may differ by specialty.FUNDING National Eye Institute Core Grant P30EY019007; Research to Prevent Blindness Unrestricted Grant; Parker Family Chair; University of Pennsylvania.
Mark P. Breazzano, Junchao Shen, Aliaa H. Abdelhakim, Lora R. Dagi Glass, Jason D. Horowitz, Sharon X. Xie, C. Gustavo de Moraes, Alice Chen-Plotkin, Royce W.S. Chen, on behalf of the New York City Residency Program Directors COVID-19 Research Group
Wen-Chao Song, Garret A. FitzGerald
Evelyne Bischof, Jeannette Wolfe, Sabra L. Klein
Barney S. Graham, Kizzmekia S. Corbett
Maximilian F. Konig, Mike Powell, Verena Staedtke, Ren-Yuan Bai, David L. Thomas, Nicole Fischer, Sakibul Huq, Adham M. Khalafallah, Allison Koenecke, Ruoxuan Xiong, Brett Mensh, Nickolas Papadopoulos, Kenneth W. Kinzler, Bert Vogelstein, Joshua T. Vogelstein, Susan Athey, Shibin Zhou, Chetan Bettegowda
Arthur L. Caplan, Ross Upshur
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spurred a global health crisis. To date, there are no proven options for prophylaxis for those who have been exposed to SARS–CoV-2, nor therapy for those who develop COVID-19. Immune (i.e., “convalescent”) plasma refers to plasma that is collected from individuals following resolution of infection and development of antibodies. Passive antibody administration through transfusion of convalescent plasma may offer the only short-term strategy for conferring immediate immunity to susceptible individuals. There are numerous examples in which convalescent plasma has been used successfully as postexposure prophylaxis and/or treatment of infectious diseases, including other outbreaks of coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-1, Middle East respiratory syndrome [MERS]). Convalescent plasma has also been used in the COVID-19 pandemic; limited data from China suggest clinical benefit, including radiological resolution, reduction in viral loads, and improved survival. Globally, blood centers have robust infrastructure for undertaking collections and constructing inventories of convalescent plasma to meet the growing demand. Nonetheless, there are nuanced challenges, both regulatory and logistical, spanning donor eligibility, donor recruitment, collections, and transfusion itself. Data from rigorously controlled clinical trials of convalescent plasma are also few, underscoring the need to evaluate its use objectively for a range of indications (e.g., prevention vs. treatment) and patient populations (e.g., age, comorbid disease). We provide an overview of convalescent plasma, including evidence of benefit, regulatory considerations, logistical work flow, and proposed clinical trials, as scale-up is brought underway to mobilize this critical resource.
Evan M. Bloch, Shmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Bruce S. Sachais, Beth Shaz, Jeffrey L. Winters, Camille van Buskirk, Brenda J. Grossman, Michael Joyner, Jeffrey P. Henderson, Andrew Pekosz, Bryan Lau, Amy Wesolowski, Louis Katz, Hua Shan, Paul G. Auwaerter, David Thomas, David J. Sullivan, Nigel Paneth, Eric Gehrie, Steven Spitalnik, Eldad A. Hod, Lewis Pollack, Wayne T. Nicholson, Liise-anne Pirofski, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Aaron A.R. Tobian
M. Bishr Omary, Jeetendra Eswaraka, S. David Kimball, Prabhas V. Moghe, Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., Kathleen W. Scotto
Arturo Casadevall, Liise-anne Pirofski
The pandemic coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is rapidly spreading across the globe. In this issue of the JCI, Chen and colleagues compared the clinical and immunological characteristics between moderate and severe COVID-19. The authors found that respiratory distress on admission is associated with unfavorable outcomes. Increased cytokine levels (IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α), lymphopenia (in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), and decreased IFN-γ expression in CD4+ T cells are associated with severe COVID-19. Overall, this study characterized the cytokine storm in severe COVID-19 and provides insights into immune therapeutics and vaccine design.
Savannah F. Pedersen, Ya-Chi Ho