Lung inflammation is a hallmark of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in severely ill patients and the pathophysiology of disease is thought to be immune-mediated. Mast cells (MCs) are polyfunctional immune cells present in the airways, where they respond to certain viruses and allergens, often promoting inflammation. We observed widespread degranulation of MCs during acute and unresolved airway inflammation in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice and non-human primates. Using a mouse model of MC-deficiency, MC-dependent interstitial pneumonitis, hemorrhaging, and edema in the lung were observed during SARS-CoV-2 infection. In humans, transcriptional changes in patients requiring oxygen supplementation also implicated cells with a MC phenotype in severe disease. MC activation in humans was confirmed, through detection of MC-specific proteases, including chymase, levels of which were significantly correlated with disease severity and with biomarkers of vascular dysregulation. These results support the involvement of MCs in lung tissue damage during SARS-CoV-2 infection in animal models and the association of MC activation with severe COVID-19 in humans, suggesting potential strategies for intervention.
Janessa Yan Jun Tan, Danielle E. Anderson, Abhay P.S. Rathore, Aled O'Neill, Chinmay Kumar Mantri, Wilfried A.A. Saron, Cheryl Q.E. Lee, Wern Cui Chu, Adrian E.Z. Kang, Randy Foo, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jenny G. Low, Lena Ho, Paul Tambyah, Thomas W. Burke, Christopher W. Woods, Kuan Rong Chan, Joern Karhausen, Ashley L. St. John
Natalie E. Stevens, Feargal J. Ryan, Nicole L. Messina, Stephen J. Blake, Todd S. Norton, Susie Germano, Jane James, Georgina L. Eden, Yee C. Tee, Miriam A. Lynn, Rochelle Botten, Simone E. Barry, Nigel Curtis, David J. Lynn
BACKGROUND. SARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa has been characterized by less severe disease than elsewhere but the profile of SARS-CoV-2 specific adaptive immunity in this largely asymptomatic spread has not been studied. METHODS. We collected blood and nasopharyngeal samples from rural Kenyans (n=80) without respiratory symptoms since 2019, had no contact with COVID-19 cases or received COVID-19 vaccines and were negative for current SARS-CoV-2 infection. We analyzed spike-specific antibodies and T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 structural (membrane, nucleocapsid and spike) and accessory (ORF3a, ORF7, ORF8) proteins. Pre-pandemic samples collected in urban Nairobi, Kenya (n=13) between 2015-2016 and samples of mild-moderately symptomatic COVID-19 convalescents (n=36) living in the urban environment of Singapore were also studied. RESULTS. Among asymptomatic Kenyans, we detected anti-spike antibodies in 41.0% and T cell responses against ≥2 SARS-CoV-2 proteins in 82.5%. The pre-pandemic samples from Nairobi had low-level, monospecific responses. Furthermore, distinct from cellular immunity in European and Asian COVID-19 convalescents, strong T cell immunogenicity was observed against viral accessory proteins (ORF3a, ORF8) and not structural proteins, as well as a higher IL-10/IFN-γ ratio cytokine profile. CONCLUSIONS. The high incidence of T cell responses against different SARS-CoV-2 proteins in largely seronegative participants suggests that serosurveys underestimate SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in settings where asymptomatic infections prevail. Similar observations have been made with other coronavirus infections such as MERS and SARS-CoV-1. The functional and antigen-specific profile of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells in these African individuals suggests that genetic or environmental factors play a role in the development of protective antiviral immunity. FUNDINGS. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Health Protection; the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.
Taraz Samandari, Joshua Ongalo, Kimberly McCarthy, Richard K. Biegon, Philister Madiega, Anne Mithika, Joseph Orinda, Grace M. Mboya, Patrick Mwaura, Omu Anzala, Clayton Onyango, Fredrick O. Oluoch, Eric M. Osoro, Charles-Antoine Dutertre, Nicole Tan, Shou Kit Hang, Smrithi Hariharaputran, David C. Lye, Amy Herman-Roloff, Nina Le Bert, Antonio Bertoletti
Patients with severe COVID-19 develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that may progress to cytokine storm syndrome, organ dysfunction, and death. Considering that complement component 5a (C5a), through its cellular receptor C5aR1, has potent proinflammatory actions, and plays immunopathological roles in inflammatory diseases, we investigated whether C5a/C5aR1 pathway could be involved in COVID-19 pathophysiology. C5a/C5aR1 signaling increased locally in the lung, especially in neutrophils of critically ill COVID-19 patients compared to patients with influenza infection, as well as in the lung tissue of K18-hACE2 Tg mice (Tg mice) infected with SARS-CoV-2. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of C5aR1 signaling ameliorated lung immunopathology in Tg-infected mice. Mechanistically, we found that C5aR1 signaling drives neutrophil extracellular trap (NET)s-dependent immunopathology. These data confirm the immunopathological role of C5a/C5aR1 signaling in COVID-19 and indicate that antagonists of C5aR1 could be useful for COVID-19 treatment.
Bruna M.S. Silva, Giovanni F. Gomes, Flavio P. Veras, Seppe Cambier, Gabriel V.L. Silva, Andreza U. Quadros, Diego B. Caetité, Daniele C. Nascimento, Camila M.S. Silva, Juliana C. Costa Silva, Samara Damasceno, Ayda H. Schneider, Fabio Beretta, Sabrina S. Batah, Icaro M.S. Castro, Isadora M. Paiva, Tamara Rodrigues, Ana Salina, Ronaldo Martins, Guilherme C. Martelossi Cebinelli, Naira L. Bibo, Daniel Macedo de Melo Jorge, Helder I. Nakaya, Dario S. Zamboni, Luiz O. Leiria, Alexandre T. Fabro, José C. Alves-Filho, Eurico Arruda, Paulo Louzada-Junior, Renê D.R. Oliveira, Larissa D. Cunha, Pierre Van Mol, Lore Vanderbeke, Simon Feys, Els Wauters, Laura Brandolini, Andrea Aramini, Fernando Q. Cunha, Jörg Köhl, Marcello Allegretti, Diether Lambrechts, Joost Wauters, Paul Proost, Thiago M. Cunha
BACKGOUND. Basic immune processes exhibit circadian rhythms, but it is unclear if rhythms exist in clinical endpoints like vaccine protection. Here, we examined associations between Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination timing and effectiveness. METHODS. We retrospectively analyzed a large Israeli cohort with timestamped COVID-19 vaccinations (n=1,515,754 patients over 12 years-old, 99.2% receiving BNT162b2). Endpoints included COVID-19 breakthrough infection, COVID-19 associated emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations. Our main comparison was between patients vaccinated during morning (8:00-11:59), afternoon (12:00-15:59), or evening hours (16:00-19:59). We employed Cox regression to adjust for differences in age, sex, and co-morbidities. RESULTS. Breakthrough infections differed based on vaccination time, with lowest rates associated with late morning to early afternoon, and highest rates with evening vaccination. Vaccination timing remained significant after adjustment for patient age, sex, and co-morbidities. Results were consistent in patients who received the basic two-dose series and who received booster doses. The relationship between COVID-19 immunization time and breakthrough infections was sinusoidal, consistent with a biological rhythm that modifies vaccine effectiveness by 8.6-25%. The benefits of daytime vaccination were concentrated in younger (<20 years old) and older patients (>50 years old). COVID-19 related hospitalizations varied significantly with the timing of the second booster dose, an intervention reserved for older and immunosuppressed patients (HR=0.64 morning vs. evening, 0.43-0.97 95% CI, p=0.038). CONCLUSION. We report a significant association between the time of COVID-19 vaccination and its effectiveness. This has implications for mass vaccination programs. FUNDING. National Institutes of Health.
Guy Hazan, Or A. Duek, Hillel Alapi, Huram Mok, Alexander T. Ganninger, Elaine M. Ostendorf, Carrie Gierasch, Gabriel Chodick, David Greenberg, Jeffrey A. Haspel
The rapid evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variants has emphasized the need to identify antibodies with broad neutralizing capabilities to inform future monoclonal therapies and vaccination strategies. Herein, we identified S728-1157, a broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) targeting the receptor-binding site (RBS) that was derived from an individual previously infected with wildtype SARS-CoV-2 prior to the spread of variants of concern (VOCs). S728-1157 demonstrated broad cross-neutralization of all dominant variants including D614G, Beta, Delta, Kappa, Mu, and Omicron (BA.1/BA.2/BA.2.75/BA.4/BA.5/BL.1/XBB). Furthermore, S728-1157 protected hamsters against in vivo challenges with wildtype, Delta, and BA.1 viruses. Structural analysis showed that this antibody targets a class 1/RBS-A epitope in the receptor binding domain (RBD) via multiple hydrophobic and polar interactions with its heavy chain complementarity determining region region 3 (CDR-H3), in addition to common motifs in CDR-H1/CDR-H2 of class 1/RBS-A antibodies. Importantly, this epitope was more readily accessible in the open and prefusion state, or in the hexaproline (6P)-stabilized spike constructs, as compared to diproline (2P) constructs. Overall, S728-1157 demonstrates broad therapeutic potential, and may inform target-driven vaccine design against future SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Siriruk Changrob, Peter J. Halfmann, Hejun Liu, Jonathan L. Torres, Joshua J.C. McGrath, Gabriel Ozorowski, Lei Li, G. Dewey Wilbanks, Makoto Kuroda, Tadashi Maemura, Min Huang, Nai-Ying Zheng, Hannah L. Turner, Steven A. Erickson, Yanbin Fu, Atsuhiro Yasuhara, Gagandeep Singh, Brian Monahan, Jacob Mauldin, Komal Srivastava, Viviana Simon, Florian Krammer, D. Noah Sather, Andrew B Ward, Ian A. Wilson, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Patrick C. Wilson
Lorenza Bellusci, Hana Golding, Surender Khurana
BACKGROUND. The role of host immunity in emergence of evasive SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutations under therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) pressure remains to be explored. METHODS. In a prospective, observational, monocentric ORCHESTRA cohort study, conducted between March 2021 and November 2022, mild-to-moderately ill COVID-19 patients (n=204) receiving bamlanivimab, bamlanivimab/etesevimab, casirivimab/imdevimab, or sotrovimab were longitudinally studied over 28 days for viral loads, de novo Spike mutations, mAb kinetics, seroneutralization against infecting variants of concern, and T-cell immunity. Additionally, a machine learning-based circulating immune-related (CIB) biomarker profile predictive of evasive Spike mutations was constructed and confirmed in an independent dataset (n=19) that included patients receiving sotrovimab or tixagevimab/cilgavimab. RESULTS. Patients treated with various mAbs developed evasive Spike mutations with remarkable speed and high specificity to the targeted mAb-binding sites. Immunocompromised patients receiving mAb therapy not only continued to display significantly higher viral loads, but also showed higher likelihood of developing de novo Spike mutations. Development of escape mutants also strongly correlated with neutralizing capacity of the therapeutic mAbs and T-cell immunity, suggesting immune pressure as an important driver of escape mutations. Lastly, we showed that an anti-inflammatory and healing-promoting host milieu facilitates Spike mutations, where 4 CIBs identified patients at high risk of developing escape mutations against therapeutic mAbs with high accuracy. CONCLUSIONS. Our data demonstrate that host-driven immune and non-immune responses are essential for development of mutant SARS-CoV-2. These data also support point-of-care decision-making in reducing the risk of mAb treatment failure and improving mitigation strategies for possible dissemination of escape SARS-CoV-2 mutants.
Akshita Gupta, Angelina Konnova, Mathias Smet, Matilda Berkell, Alessia Savoldi, Matteo Morra, Vincent Van averbeke, Fien H.R. De Winter, Denise Peserico, Elisa Danese, An Hotterbeekx, Elda Righi, Pasquale De Nardo, Evelina Tacconelli, Surbhi Malhotra-Kumar, Samir Kumar-Singh
BACKGROUND. The presence and reactivation of chronic viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been proposed as potential contributors to Long COVID (LC), but studies in well-characterized post-acute cohorts of individuals with COVID-19 over a longer time course consistent with current case definitions of LC are limited. METHODS. In a cohort of 280 adults with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, we assessed the presence and types of LC symptoms and prior medical history (including COVID-19 history and HIV status), and performed serological testing for EBV and CMV using a commercial laboratory. We used covariate-adjusted binary logistic regression models to identify independent associations between variables and LC symptoms. RESULTS. We observed that LC symptoms such as fatigue and neurocognitive dysfunction at a median of 4months following initial diagnosis were independently associated with serological evidence suggesting recent EBV reactivation (early antigen-D [EA-D] IgG positivity) or high nuclear antigen (EBNA) IgG levels, but not with ongoing EBV viremia. Serological evidence suggesting recent EBV reactivation (EA-D IgG) was most strongly associated with fatigue (OR 2.12). Underlying HIV infection was also independently associated with neurocognitive LC (OR 2.5). Interestingly, participants who had serologic evidence of prior CMV infection were less likely to develop neurocognitive LC (OR 0.52). CONCLUSION. Overall, these findings suggest differential effects of chronic viral co-infections on the likelihood of developing LC and predicted distinct syndromic patterns. Further assessment during the acute phase of COVID-19 is warranted. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC); NCT04362150 FUNDING. This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIH/NIAID 3R01AI141003-03S1 to TJ Henrich, R01AI158013 to M Gandhi and M Spinelli, K24AI145806 to P Hunt, and by the Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital Department of Medicine and Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine. MJP is supported on K23 A137522 and received support from the UCSFBay Area Center for AIDS Research (P30-AI027763).
Michael J. Peluso, Tyler-Marie Deveau, Sadie E. Munter, Dylan M. Ryder, Amanda M. Buck, Gabriele Beck-Engeser, Fay Chan, Scott Lu, Sarah A. Goldberg, Rebecca Hoh, Viva Tai, Leonel Torres, Nikita S. Iyer, Monika Deswal, Lynn H. Ngo, Melissa Buitrago, Antonio E. Rodriguez, Jessica Y. Chen, Brandon C. Yee, Ahmed Chenna, John W. Winslow, Christos J. Petropoulos, Amelia N. Deitchman, Joanna Hellmuth, Matthew A. Spinelli, Matthew S. Durstenfeld, Priscilla Y. Hsue, John Daniel Kelly, Jeffrey N. Martin, Steven G. Deeks, Peter W. Hunt, Timothy J. Henrich
BACKGROUND. Results of many randomized trials on COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) have been reported but information on long-term outcome after CCP treatment is limited. The objectives of this extended observation of the randomized CAPSID trial are to assess long-term outcome and disease burden in patients initially treated with or without CCP. METHODS. Of 105 randomized patients, 50 participated in the extended observation. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed by questionnaires and a structured interview. CCP-donors (n=113) with asymptomatic to moderate COVID-19 were included as a reference group.RESULTS. The median follow-up of patients was 396 days, the estimated 1-year survival was 78.7% in the CCP and 60.2% in the control group (p=0.08). The subgroup treated with a higher cumulative amount of neutralizing antibodies showed a better 1-year survival compared to the control group (91.5% versus 60.2%; p=0.01). Medical events and QoL assessments showed a consistent trend for better results in the CCP group without reaching statistical significance. There was no difference in the increase of neutralizing antibodies after vaccination between CCP and the control group. CONCLUSION. The trial demonstrated a trend towards better outcome in the CCP group without reaching statistical significance. A pre-defined subgroup analysis showed a significant better outcome (long-term survival; time to discharge from ICU and time to hospital discharge) among those who received a higher amount of neutralizing antibodies compared to the control group. A substantial long-term disease burden remains after severe COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION. EudraCT number 2020-001310-38 FUNDING. Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (German Federal Ministry of Health): ZMVI1-2520COR802/ZMI1-2521COR802
Sixten Körper, Beate Grüner, Daniel Zickler, Thomas Wiesmann, Patrick Wuchter, Rainer Blasczyk, Kai Zacharowski, Peter Spieth, Torsten Tonn, Peter Rosenberger, Gregor Paul, Jan Pilch, Joachim Schwäble, Tamam Bakchoul, Thomas Thiele, Julian Knoerlein, Matthias M. Dollinger, Joerg Krebs, Martin Bentz, Victor M. Corman, Dzenan Kilalic, Gerlinde Schmidtke-Schrezenmeier, Philipp M. Lepper, Lucas Ernst, Hinnerk Wulf, Alexandra Ulrich, Manfred Weiss, Jan Kruse, Thomas Burkhardt, Rebecca Müller, Harald Klüter, Michael Schmidt, Bernd Jahrsdörfer, Ramin Lotfi, Markus Rojewski, Thomas Appl, Benjamin Mayer, Philipp Schnecko, Erhard Seifried, Hubert Schrezenmeier
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