BACKGROUND SARS-CoV-2 plasma viremia has been associated with severe disease and death in COVID-19 in small-scale cohort studies. The mechanisms behind this association remain elusive.METHODS We evaluated the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 viremia, disease outcome, and inflammatory and proteomic profiles in a cohort of COVID-19 emergency department participants. SARS-CoV-2 viral load was measured using a quantitative reverse transcription PCR–based platform. Proteomic data were generated with Proximity Extension Assay using the Olink platform.RESULTS This study included 300 participants with nucleic acid test–confirmed COVID-19. Plasma SARS-CoV-2 viremia levels at the time of presentation predicted adverse disease outcomes, with an adjusted OR of 10.6 (95% CI 4.4–25.5, P < 0.001) for severe disease (mechanical ventilation and/or 28-day mortality) and 3.9 (95% CI 1.5–10.1, P = 0.006) for 28-day mortality. Proteomic analyses revealed prominent proteomic pathways associated with SARS-CoV-2 viremia, including upregulation of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors (ACE2, CTSL, FURIN), heightened markers of tissue damage to the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and endothelium/vasculature, and alterations in coagulation pathways.CONCLUSION These results highlight the cascade of vascular and tissue damage associated with SARS-CoV-2 plasma viremia that underlies its ability to predict COVID-19 disease outcomes.FUNDING Mark and Lisa Schwartz; the National Institutes of Health (U19AI082630); the American Lung Association; the Executive Committee on Research at Massachusetts General Hospital; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Arthur, Sandra, and Sarah Irving for the David P. Ryan, MD, Endowed Chair in Cancer Research; an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship (ALTF 486-2018); a Cancer Research Institute/Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowship (CRI2993); the Harvard Catalyst/Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH awards UL1TR001102 and UL1TR002541-01); and by the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 5P30AI060354).
Yijia Li, Alexis M. Schneider, Arnav Mehta, Moshe Sade-Feldman, Kyle R. Kays, Matteo Gentili, Nicole C. Charland, Anna L.K. Gonye, Irena Gushterova, Hargun K. Khanna, Thomas J. LaSalle, Kendall M. Lavin-Parsons, Brendan M. Lilley, Carl L. Lodenstein, Kasidet Manakongtreecheep, Justin D. Margolin, Brenna N. McKaig, Blair A. Parry, Maricarmen Rojas-Lopez, Brian C. Russo, Nihaarika Sharma, Jessica Tantivit, Molly F. Thomas, James Regan, James P. Flynn, Alexandra-Chloé Villani, Nir Hacohen, Marcia B. Goldberg, Michael R. Filbin, Jonathan Z. Li
Autoantibodies to interferon(IFN)-α and IFN-ω (type I IFNs) were recently reported as causative for severe COVID-19 in the general population. Autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω are present in almost all patients with Autoimmune-Polyendocrine-Syndrome Type 1 (APS-1) caused by biallelic deleterious or heterozygous dominant mutations in AIRE. We therefore hypothesized that autoantibodies against type I IFNs also predispose patients with APS-1 to severe COVID-19. We prospectively studied six patients with APS-1 between April 1st, 2020 and April 1st, 2021. Biobanked pre-COVID-19 sera of APS-1 subjects were tested for neutralizing autoantibodies to IFN-αand IFN-ω. The patients ́ sera ability to block recombinant human IFN-α and IFN-ω was assessed by assays quantifying phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as infection-based IFN-neutralization assays. We describe four patients with APS-1 and pre-existing high titers of neutralizing autoantibodies to IFN-α and IFN-ω who contracted SARS-CoV-2, yet developed only mild symptoms of COVID-19. None of the patients developed dyspnoea, oxygen requirement or high temperature. All infected patients with APS-1 shared female sex and age younger than 26 years. Clinical penetrance of neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs for severe COVID-19 is not complete.
Christian Meisel, Bengisu Akbil, Tim Meyer, Erwin Lankes, Victor M. Corman, Olga Staudacher, Nadine Unterwalder, Uwe Kölsch, Christian Drosten, Marcus A. Mall, Tilmann Kallinich, Dirk Schnabel, Christine Goffinet, Horst von Bernuth
Background: Weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure, some children develop a severe, life-threatening illness called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in MIS-C patients and severe hyperinflammatory response ensues with potential for cardiac complications. The cause of MIS-C has not previously been identified. Methods: Here, we analyzed biospecimens from 100 children: 19 children with MIS-C, 26 with acute COVID-19, and 55 controls. Stool was assessed for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR and plasma was assessed for markers of breakdown of mucosal barrier integrity, including zonulin. Ultrasensitive antigen detection was used to probe for SARS-CoV-2 antigenemia in plasma, and immune responses were characterized. As proof of concept, we treated a MIS-C patient with larazotide, a zonulin antagonist, and monitored impact on antigenemia and clinical response. Results: We showed that in MIS-C, prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the GI tract leads to release of zonulin, a biomarker of intestinal permeability, with subsequent trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 antigens into the bloodstream, leading to hyperinflammation. The MIS-C patient treated with larazotide displayed a coinciding decrease in plasma SARS-CoV-2 Spike antigen levels, inflammatory markers, and a resultant clinical improvement above that achieved with currently available treatments. Conclusion: These mechanistic data of MIS-C pathogenesis provide insight into targets for diagnosing, treating, and preventing MIS-C, which are urgently needed for this increasingly common severe COVID-19-related disease in children.
Lael M. Yonker, Tal Gilboa, Alana F. Ogata, Yasmeen Senussi, Roey Lazarovits, Brittany P. Boribong, Yannic C. Bartsch, Maggie Loiselle, Magali Noval Rivas, Rebecca A. Porritt, Rosiane Lima, Jameson P. Davis, Eva J. Farkas, Madeleine D. Burns, Nicola Young, Vinay S. Mahajan, Soroush Hajizadeh, Xcanda I. Herrera Lopez, Johannes Kreuzer, Robert Morris, Enid E. Martinez, Isaac Han, Kettner Griswold Jr., Nicholas C. Barry, David B. Thompson, George Church, Andrea G. Edlow, Wilhelm Haas, Shiv Pillai, Moshe Arditi, Galit Alter, David R. Walt, Alessio Fasano
BACKGROUND. The significant risks posed to mothers and fetuses by COVID-19 in pregnancy have sparked a worldwide debate surrounding the pros and cons of antenatal SARS-CoV-2 inoculation, as we lack sufficient evidence regarding vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women and their offspring. We aimed to provide substantial evidence for the effect of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine versus native infection on maternal humoral, as well as transplacentally acquired fetal immune response, potentially providing newborn protection. METHODS. A multicenter study where parturients presenting for delivery were recruited at 8 medical centers across Israel and assigned to three study groups: vaccinated (n=86); PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected during pregnancy (n=65), and unvaccinated non-infected controls (n=62). Maternal and fetal blood samples were collected from parturients prior to delivery and from the umbilical cord following delivery, respectively. Sera IgG and IgM titers were measured using Milliplex MAP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Panel (for S1, S2, RBD and N). RESULTS. BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine elicits strong maternal humoral IgG response (Anti-S and RBD) that crosses the placenta barrier and approaches maternal titers in the fetus within 15 days following the first dose. Maternal to neonatal anti-COVID-19 antibodies ratio did not differ when comparing sensitization (vaccine vs. infection). IgG transfer rate was significantly lower for third-trimester as compared to second trimester infection. Lastly, fetal IgM response was detected in 5 neonates, all in the infected group. CONCLUSIONS. Antenatal BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination induces a robust maternal humoral response that effectively transfers to the fetus, supporting the role of vaccination during pregnancy. FUNDING. Israel Science Foundation KillCorona grant 3777/19 (to MN, MK, SY, AM). Research grant from the Weizmann Institute Fondazione Henry Krenter (to MN).
Ofer Beharier, Romina Plitman Mayo, Tal Raz, Kira Nahum Sacks, Letizia Schreiber, Yael Suissa-Cohen, Rony Chen, Rachel Gomez-Tolub, Eran Hadar, Rinat Gabbay-Benziv, Yuval Jaffe Moshkovich, Tal Biron-Shental, Gil Shechter-Maor, Sivan Farladansky-Gershnabel, Hen Yitzhak Sela, Hedi Benyamini-Raischer, Nitzan D. Sela, Debra Goldman-Wohl, Ziv Shulman, Ariel Many, Haim Barr, Simcha Yagel, Michal Neeman, Michal Kovo
The upper respiratory tract is compromised in the early period of COVID-19, but SARS-CoV-2 tropism at the cellular level is not fully defined. Unlike recent single cell RNA-sequencing analyses indicating uniformly low mRNA expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry-related host molecules in all nasal epithelial cells, we show that the protein levels are relatively high and their localizations are restricted to the apical side of multiciliated epithelial cells. In addition, we provide evidence in COVID-19 patients that SARS-CoV-2 is massively detected and replicated within the multiciliated cells. We observed these findings during the early stage of COVID-19, when infected ciliated cells are rapidly replaced by differentiating precursor cells. Moreover, our analyses reveal that SARS-CoV-2 cellular tropism is restricted to the nasal ciliated versus oral squamous epithelium. These results imply that targeting ciliated cells of the nasal epithelium during the early stage of COVID-19 could be an ideal strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 propagation.
Ji Hoon Ahn, JungMo Kim, Seon Pyo Hong, Sung Yong Choi, Myung Jin Yang, Young Seok Ju, Young Tae Kim, Ho Min Kim, MD Tazikur Rahman, Man Ki Chung, Sang Duk Hong, Hosung Bae, Chang-Seop Lee, Gou Young Koh
BACKGROUND. Although convalescent plasma has been widely used to treat severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), data from randomized controlled trials that support its efficacy are limited. METHODS. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among adults hospitalized with severe and critical COVID-19 at five sites in New York City (USA) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive a single transfusion of either convalescent plasma or placebo (normal control plasma). The primary outcome was clinical status at 28 days following randomization, measured using an ordinal scale and analyzed using a proportional odds model in the intention-to-treat population. RESULTS. Of 223 participants enrolled, 150 were randomized to receive convalescent plasma and 73 to normal control plasma. At 28 days, no significant improvement in clinical status was observed in participants randomized to convalescent plasma (OR 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83-2.68, p=0.180). However, 28-day mortality was significantly lower in participants randomized to convalescent plasma versus control plasma (19/150 [12.6%] versus 18/73 [24.6%], OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.22-0.91, p=0.034). The median titer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody in infused convalescent plasma units was 1:160 (IQR 1:80-1:320). In a subset of nasopharyngeal swab samples from Brazil that underwent genomic sequencing, no evidence of neutralization-escape mutants was detected. CONCLUSIONS. In adults hospitalized with severe COVID-19, use of convalescent plasma was not associated with significant improvement in clinical status at day 28. However, a significant improvement in mortality was observed, which warrants further evaluation. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04359810 FUNDING. Amazon Foundation. Skoll Foundation.
Max R. O'Donnell, Beatriz Grinsztejn, Matthew J. Cummings, Jessica E. Justman, Matthew R. Lamb, Christina M. Eckhardt, Neena M. Philip, Ying Kuen Cheung, Vinay Gupta, Esau João, Jose H. Pilotto, Maria Pia Diniz, Sandra Wagner Cardoso, Darryl Abrams, Kartik N. Rajagopalan, Sarah E. Borden, Allison Wolf, Leon Claude Sidi, Alexandre Vizzoni, Valdilea G. Veloso, Zachary C. Bitan, Dawn E. Scotto, Benjamin J. Meyer, Samuel D. Jacobson, Alex Kantor, Nischay Mishra, Lokendra V. Chauhan, Elizabeth F. Stone, Flavia Dei Zotti, Francesca La Carpia, Krystalyn E. Hudson, Stephen A. Ferrara, Joseph Schwartz, Brie A. Stotler, Wen-Hsuan W. Lin, Sandeep N. Wontakal, Beth Shaz, Thomas Briese, Eldad A. Hod, Steven L. Spitalnik, Andrew Eisenberger, Walter I. Lipkin
T cells are involved in control of COVID-19, but limited knowledge is available on the relationship between antigen-specific T cell response and disease severity. Here, we assessed the magnitude, function and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells in 95 hospitalized COVID-19 patients (38 of them being HIV-1 and/or tuberculosis (TB) co-infected) and 38 non-COVID-19 patients, using flow cytometry. We showed that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cell attributes, rather than magnitude, associates with disease severity, with severe disease being characterized by poor polyfunctional potential, reduced proliferation capacity and enhanced HLA-DR expression. Moreover, HIV-1 and TB co-infection skewed the SARS-CoV-2 T cell response. HIV-1 mediated CD4 T cell depletion associated with suboptimal T cell and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2; and a decrease in the polyfunctional capacity of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells was observed in COVID-19 patients with active TB. Our results also revealed that COVID-19 patients displayed reduced frequency of Mtb-specific CD4 T cells, with possible implications for TB disease progression. There results corroborate the important role of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in COVID-19 pathogenesis and support the concept of altered T cell functions in patients with severe disease.
Catherine Riou, Elsa Du Bruyn, Cari Stek, Remy Daroowala, Rene T. Goliath, Fatima Abrahams, Qonita Said-Hartley, Brian W. Allwood, Nei-Yuan Hsiao, Katalin A. Wilkinson, Cecilia S. Lindestam Arlehamn, Alessandro Sette, Sean Wasserman, Robert J. Wilkinson
The characterization of the adaptive immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection may define current and future clinical practice. To determine the effect of two doses BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccination schedule in individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (COVID-19 recovered) compared to naïve subjects, we evaluated SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific T and B cell responses, as well as specific IgA, IgG, IgM and neutralizing antibodies titers in 22 individuals who received BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, 11 of which had a previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Evaluations were performed before vaccination and then weekly until 7 days post second injection. Data obtained clearly showed that one vaccine dose is sufficient to increase both cellular and humoral immune response in COVID-19 recovered subjects without any additional improvement after the second dose. On the contrary, the second dose is proved mandatory in naïve ones to further enhance the immune response. These findings were further confirmed at serological level in a larger cohort of naïve (68) and COVID-19 recovered (29) subjects, tested up to 50 days post vaccination. These results question whether a second vaccine injection in COVID-19 recovered subjects is required and indicate that millions of vaccine doses may be redirected to naïve individuals, thus shortening the time to reach herd immunity.
Alessio Mazzoni, Nicoletta Di Lauria, Laura Maggi, Lorenzo Salvati, Anna Vanni, Manuela Capone, Giulia Lamacchia, Elisabetta Mantengoli, Michele Spinicci, Lorenzo Zammarchi, Seble Tekle Kiros, Arianna Rocca, Filippo Lagi, Maria Grazia Colao, Paola Parronchi, Cristina Scaletti, Lucia Turco, Francesco Liotta, Gian Maria Rossolini, Lorenzo Cosmi, Alessandro Bartoloni, Francesco Annunziato
Drugs targeting host proteins can act prophylactically to reduce viral burden early in disease and limit morbidity, even with antivirals and vaccination. Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) is a human protease required for SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and may represent such a target. We hypothesized that drugs selected from proteins related by their tertiary structure, rather than their primary structure, were likely to interact with TMPRSS2. We created a structure-based phylogenetic computational tool named 3DPhyloFold to systematically identify structurally similar serine proteases with known therapeutic inhibitors and demonstrated effective inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in vivo. Several candidate compounds, Avoralstat, PCI-27483, Antipain, and Soybean-Trypsin-Inhibitor, inhibited TMPRSS2 in biochemical and cell infection assays. Avoralstat, a clinically tested Kallikrein-related B1 inhibitor, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in human airway epithelial cells. In an in vivo proof of principle, Avoralstat significantly reduced lung tissue titers and mitigated weight-loss when administered prophylactically to SARS-CoV-2 susceptible mice indicating its potential to be repositioned for COVID-19 prophylaxis in humans.
Young Joo Sun, Gabriel Velez, Dylan E. Parsons, Kun Li, Miguel E. Ortiz, Shaunik Sharma, Paul B. McCray Jr., Alexander G. Bassuk, Vinit B. Mahajan
Background. Recent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to cross-recognition by T-cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T-cell cross-reactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2. Methods. We used the ViraFEST platform to identify T cell responses cross-reactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC cross-reactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system. Results. Memory CD4+ T-cell clonotypes that cross-recognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Cross-reactive T-cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to mono-specific CD4+ T-cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS CoV-2 relative to CCC. Conclusions. For the first time, our data confirm the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes cross-recognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of cross-reactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that pre-existing CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these cross-reactive T-cell responses impact clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
Arbor G. Dykema, Boyang Zhang, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Laurene S. Cheung, Dilshad Choudhury, Jiajia Zhang, Luis Aparicio, Sadhana Bom, Rufiaat Rashid, Justina X. Caushi, Emily Han-Chung Hsiue, Katherine Cascino, Elizabeth A. Thompson, Abena K. Kwaa, Dipika Singh, Sampriti Thapa, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Andrew Pekosz, Franco R. D'Alessio, Jonathan D. Powell, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Shibin Zhou, Drew M. Pardoll, Hongkai Ji, Andrea L. Cox, Joel N. Blankson, Kellie N. Smith
No posts were found with this tag.