244 results found
Ascough S, Ingram RJ, Chu KKY, et al., 2022, Impact of HLA Polymorphism on the Immune Response to Bacillus Anthracis Protective Antigen in Vaccination versus Natural Infection, Vaccines, Vol: 10, Pages: 1571-1571
<jats:p>The causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, evades the host immune response and establishes infection through the production of binary exotoxins composed of Protective Antigen (PA) and one of two subunits, lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF). The majority of vaccination strategies have focused upon the antibody response to the PA subunit. We have used a panel of humanised HLA class II transgenic mouse strains to define HLA-DR-restricted and HLA-DQ-restricted CD4+ T cell responses to the immunodominant epitopes of PA. This was correlated with the binding affinities of epitopes to HLA class II molecules, as well as the responses of two human cohorts: individuals vaccinated with the Anthrax Vaccine Precipitated (AVP) vaccine (which contains PA and trace amounts of LF), and patients recovering from cutaneous anthrax infections. The infected and vaccinated cohorts expressing different HLA types were found to make CD4+ T cell responses to multiple and diverse epitopes of PA. The effects of HLA polymorphism were explored using transgenic mouse lines, which demonstrated differential susceptibility, indicating that HLA-DR1 and HLA-DQ8 alleles conferred protective immunity relative to HLA-DR15, HLA-DR4 and HLA-DQ6. The HLA transgenics enabled a reductionist approach, allowing us to better define CD4+ T cell epitopes. Appreciating the effects of HLA polymorphism on the variability of responses to natural infection and vaccination is vital in planning protective strategies against anthrax.</jats:p>
Alexander J, Liu Z, Munoz Sandoval D, et al., 2022, COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody and T cell responses in immunosuppressed patients with inflammatory bowel disease after the third vaccine dose: a multicentre, prospective, case-control study, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, ISSN: 2468-1253
Background:COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody responses are reduced in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) taking anti-TNF or tofacitinib after two vaccine doses. We sought to determine whether immunosuppressive treatments were associated with reduced antibody and T cell responses after a third vaccine dose.Methods:352 adults (72 healthy controls and 280 IBD) were sampled 28-49 days after a third dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. IBD medications studied included thiopurines (n=65), infliximab (n=46), thiopurine/infliximab combination therapy (n=49), ustekinumab (n=44), vedolizumab (n=50) or tofacitinib (n=26). SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody binding and T cell responses were measured. Findings:Geometric mean [geometric SD] anti-S1 RBD antibody concentrations increased in all groups following a third dose, but were significantly lower in patients treated with infliximab (2736.8 U/mL [4.3]; P<0.0001), infliximab and thiopurine combination (1818.3 U/mL [6.7]; P<0.0001) and tofacitinib (8071.5 U/mL [3.1]; P=0.0018) compared to controls (16774.2 U/ml [2.6]). There were no significant differences in anti-S1 RBD antibody concentrations between control subjects and thiopurine (12019.7 U/mL [2.2]; P=0.099), ustekinumab (11089.3 U/mL [2.8]; P=0.060), nor vedolizumab treated patients (13564.9 U/mL [2.4]; P=0.27). In multivariable modelling, lower anti-S1 RBD antibody concentrations were independently associated with infliximab (Geometric mean ratio 0.15, 95% CI 0.11-0.21, P<0.0001), tofacitinib (0.52, 95% CI 0.31-0.87, P=0.012) and thiopurine (0.69, 95% CI 0.51-0.95, P=0.021), but not with ustekinumab (0.64, 95% CI 0.39-1.06, P=0.083), or vedolizumab (0.84, 95% CI 0.54-1.30, P=0.43). Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection (1.58, 95% CI 1.22-2.05, P=0.00056) and older age (0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.97, P=0.0073) were independently associated with higher and lower anti-S1 antibody concentrations respectively. Antigen specific T cell responses were similar in all groups, except for reci
Doykov I, Baldwin T, Spiewak J, et al., 2022, Quantitative, multiplexed, targeted proteomics for ascertaining variant specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody response, Cell Reports Methods, ISSN: 2667-2375
Determining the protection an individual has to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC) is crucial for future immune surveillance, vaccine development and understanding the changing immune response. We devised a more informative assay to current ELISA based serology using multiplexed, baited, targeted-proteomics for direct detection of multiple proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike antibody immunocomplex. Serum from individuals collected after infection, or first and second dose vaccination demonstrate this approach shows concordance with existing serology and neutralisation. Our assays show altered responses of both immunoglobulins and complement to the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.1) VoC. and a reduced response to Omicron (B1.1.1529). We were able to identify individuals who had prior infection, and observed that C1q is closely associated with IgG1 (r>0.82) and may better reflect neutralisation to VoC. Analysing additional immunoproteins beyond IgG, provides important information about our understanding of the response to infection and vaccination.
Kennedy NA, Janjua M, Chanchlani N, et al., 2022, Vaccine escape, increased breakthrough and reinfection in infliximab-treated patients with IBD during the Omicron wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Gut, ISSN: 0017-5749
Objective Antitumour necrosis factor (TNF) drugs impair serological responses following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We sought to assess if a third dose of a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine substantially boosted anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses and protective immunity in infliximab-treated patients with IBD.Design Third dose vaccine induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (anti-S) receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody responses, breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection, reinfection and persistent oropharyngeal carriage in patients with IBD treated with infliximab were compared with a reference cohort treated with vedolizumab from the impaCt of bioLogic therApy on saRs-cov-2 Infection and immuniTY (CLARITY) IBD study.Results Geometric mean (SD) anti-S RBD antibody concentrations increased in both groups following a third dose of an mRNA-based vaccine. However, concentrations were lower in patients treated with infliximab than vedolizumab, irrespective of whether their first two primary vaccine doses were ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (1856 U/mL (5.2) vs 10 728 U/mL (3.1), p<0.0001) or BNT162b2 vaccines (2164 U/mL (4.1) vs 15 116 U/mL (3.4), p<0.0001). However, no differences in anti-S RBD antibody concentrations were seen following third and fourth doses of an mRNA-based vaccine, irrespective of the combination of primary vaccinations received. Post-third dose, anti-S RBD antibody half-life estimates were shorter in infliximab-treated than vedolizumab-treated patients (37.0 days (95% CI 35.6 to 38.6) vs 52.0 days (95% CI 49.0 to 55.4), p<0.0001).Compared with vedolizumab-treated, infliximab-treated patients were more likely to experience SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection (HR 2.23 (95% CI 1.46 to 3.38), p=0.00018) and reinfection (HR 2.10 (95% CI 1.31 to 3.35), p=0.0019), but this effect was uncoupled from third vaccine dose anti-S RBD antibody concentrations. Reinfection occurred predominantly during the Omicron wave and was predicted by SARS-CoV-2 antinucleocapsid concentr
Reynolds CJ, Pade C, Gibbons JM, et al., 2022, Immune boosting by B.1.1.529 (Omicron) depends on previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure, Science, Vol: 377, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0036-8075
INTRODUCTIONB.1.1.529 (Omicron) and its subvariants pose new challenges for control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although vaccinated populations are relatively protected from severe disease and death, countries with high vaccine uptake are experiencing substantial caseloads with breakthrough infection and frequent reinfection.RATIONALEWe analyzed cross-protective immunity against B.1.1.529 (Omicron) in triple-vaccinated health care workers (HCWs) with different immune-imprinted histories of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during the ancestral Wuhan Hu-1, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) waves and after infection during the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) wave in previously infection-naïve individuals and those with hybrid immunity, to investigate whether B.1.1.529 (Omicron) infection could further boost adaptive immunity. Spike subunit 1 (S1) receptor binding domain (RBD) and whole spike binding, live virus neutralizing antibody (nAb) potency, memory B cell (MBC) frequency, and T cell responses against peptide pools and naturally processed antigen were assessed.RESULTSB and T cell recognition and nAb potency were boosted against previous variants of concern (VOCs) in triple-vaccinated HCWs, but this enhanced immunity was attenuated against B.1.1.529 (Omicron) itself. Furthermore, immune imprinting after B.1.1.7 (Alpha) infection resulted in reduced durability of antibody binding against B.1.1.529 (Omicron), and S1 RBD and whole spike VOC binding correlated poorly with live virus nAb potency. Half of triple-vaccinated HCWs showed no T cell response to B.1.1.529 (Omicron) S1 processed antigen, and all showed reduced responses to the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) peptide pool, irrespective of SARS-CoV-2 infection history. Mapping T cell immunity in class II human leukocyte antigen transgenics showed that individual spike mutations could result in loss or gain of T cell epitope recognition, with changes to T cell effector and regulatory programs
Abhishek A, Boyton RJ, Peckham N, et al., 2022, Effect of a 2-week interruption in methotrexate treatment versus continued treatment on COVID-19 booster vaccine immunity in adults with inflammatory conditions (VROOM study): a randomised, open label, superiority trial, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, ISSN: 2213-2600
BACKGROUND: Immunosuppressive treatments inhibit vaccine-induced immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We evaluated whether a 2-week interruption of methotrexate treatment immediately after the COVID-19 vaccine booster improved antibody responses against the S1 receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared with uninterrupted treatment in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. METHODS: We did an open-label, prospective, two-arm, parallel-group, multicentre, randomised, controlled, superiority trial in 26 hospitals in the UK. We recruited adults from rheumatology and dermatology clinics who had been diagnosed with an immune-mediated inflammatory disease (eg, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis with or without arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, atopic dermatitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and systemic lupus erythematosus) and who were taking low-dose weekly methotrexate (≤25 mg per week) for at least 3 months. Participants also had to have received two primary vaccine doses from the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme. We randomly assigned the participants (1:1), using a centralised validated computer randomisation program, to suspend methotrexate treatment for 2 weeks immediately after their COVID-19 booster (suspend methotrexate group) or to continue treatment as usual (continue methotrexate group). Participants, investigators, clinical research staff, and data analysts were unmasked, while researchers doing the laboratory analyses were masked to group assignment. The primary outcome was S1-RBD antibody titres 4 weeks after receiving the COVID-19 booster vaccine dose, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ISRCT, ISRCTN11442263; following the pre-planned interim analysis, recruitment was stopped early. FINDINGS: Between Sept 30, 2021 and March 3, 2022, we recruited 340 participants, of whom 254 were included in the interim analysis and had been randomly assigned to one of the two groups: 127 in the co
Abhishek A, Boyton RJ, McKnight A, et al., 2022, Effects of temporarily suspending low- dose methotrexate treatment for 2 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 vaccine booster on vaccine response in immunosuppressed adults with inflammatory conditions: protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial and nested mechanistic substudy (Vaccine Response On/Off Methotrexate (VROOM) study), BMJ Open, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2044-6055
Introduction It is unknown if a temporary break in long-term immune-suppressive treatment after vaccination against COVID-19 improves vaccine response. The objective of this study was to evaluate if a 2-week interruption in low-dose weekly methotrexate treatment after SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters enhances the immune response compared with continuing treatment in adults with autoimmune inflammatory conditions.Methods and analysis An open-label, pragmatic, prospective, parallel group, randomised controlled superiority trial with internal feasibility assessment and nested mechanistic substudy will be conducted in rheumatology and dermatology clinics in approximately 25 UK hospitals. The sample size is 560, randomised 1:1 to intervention and usual care arms. The main outcome measure is anti-spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody level, collected at prebooster (baseline), 4 weeks (primary outcome) and 12 weeks (secondary outcome) post booster vaccination. Other secondary outcome measures are patient global assessments of disease activity, disease flares and their treatment, EuroQol 5- dimention 5-level (EQ-5D-5L), self-reported adherence with advice to interrupt or continue methotrexate, neutralising antibody titre against SARS-CoV-2 (mechanistic substudy) and oral methotrexate biochemical adherence (mechanistic substudy). Analysis of B-cell memory and T-cell responses at baseline and weeks 4 and 12 will be investigated subject to obtaining additional funding. The principal analysis will be performed on the groups as randomised (ie, intention to treat). The difference between the study arms in anti-spike RBD antibody level will be estimated using mixed effects model, allowing for repeated measures clustered within participants. The models will be adjusted for randomisation factors and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection status.Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the Leeds West Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority (REC reference: 21/HRA/3483
Li X, Qi L, Yang D, et al., 2022, Meningeal lymphatic vessels mediate neurotropic viral drainage from the central nervous system, NATURE NEUROSCIENCE, Vol: 25, Pages: 577-+, ISSN: 1097-6256
Gois BM, Peixoto RF, Guerra-Gomes IC, et al., 2022, Regulatory T cells in acute and chronic human Chikungunya infection, Microbes and Infection: a journal on infectious agents and host defenses, Vol: 24, Pages: 1-4, ISSN: 1286-4579
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection generates strong immune responses that are associated with the disease pathophysiology. Regulatory T cells (Treg-cluster of differentiation (CD)-4+CD25highforkhead box P3 (FOXP3+)) are essential for the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. Thus, they play key roles in determining the patient prognosis by preventing excessive immune responses via different suppression immune mechanisms. However, the regulatory mechanisms involved in human CHIKV infection are still poorly understood. Here, we characterize for the first time the Treg cell molecule-associated-mechanism during acute and chronic human Chikungunya disease. Here, we assessed the Treg cell population and molecule-associated mechanism in the peripheral blood samples of acute and chronic patients with Chikungunya. Our results indicate that CHIKV infection is associated with reduced frequency of Tregs, along with the impaired expression and production of Treg functional markers, including CD39, CD73, perforin, granzyme, programmed death 1 (PD-1), cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. This observation suggests that Treg cells possess the poor regulatory capacity in both acute and chronic phases of the disease. Taken together, these data provide significant evidence that the imbalanced response of Treg cells plays an essential role in establishing the pathogenesis of Chikungunya.
Alexander JL, Kennedy NA, Ibraheim H, et al., 2022, COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody responses in immunosuppressed patients with inflammatory bowel disease (VIP): a multicentre, prospective, case-control study, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Vol: 7, Pages: 342-352, ISSN: 2468-1253
BACKGROUND: The effects that therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have on immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are not yet fully known. Therefore, we sought to determine whether COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody responses were altered in patients with IBD on commonly used immunosuppressive drugs. METHODS: In this multicentre, prospective, case-control study (VIP), we recruited adults with IBD treated with one of six different immunosuppressive treatment regimens (thiopurines, infliximab, a thiopurine plus infliximab, ustekinumab, vedolizumab, or tofacitinib) and healthy control participants from nine centres in the UK. Eligible participants were aged 18 years or older and had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines (either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [Oxford-AstraZeneca], BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech], or mRNA1273 [Moderna]) 6-12 weeks apart (according to scheduling adopted in the UK). We measured antibody responses 53-92 days after a second vaccine dose using the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The primary outcome was anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody concentrations in participants without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, adjusted by age and vaccine type, and was analysed by use of multivariable linear regression models. This study is registered in the ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN13495664, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between May 31 and Nov 24, 2021, we recruited 483 participants, including patients with IBD being treated with thiopurines (n=78), infliximab (n=63), a thiopurine plus infliximab (n=72), ustekinumab (n=57), vedolizumab (n=62), or tofacitinib (n=30), and 121 healthy controls. We included 370 participants without evidence of previous infection in our primary analysis. Geometric mean anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody concentrations were significantly lower in patients treated with infliximab (156·8 U/mL [geometric SD 5·7]; p<0·0001), infliximab plus thiopurine (111·1 U/mL [5·
Lin S, Kennedy NA, Saifuddin A, et al., 2022, Antibody decay, T cell immunity and breakthrough infections following two SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with infliximab and vedolizumab, Nature Communications, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2041-1723
Anti tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs increase the risk of serious respiratory infection and impair protective immunity following pneumococcal and influenza vaccination. Here we report SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immune responses and breakthrough infections in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, who are treated either with the anti-TNF antibody, infliximab, or with vedolizumab targeting a gut-specific anti-integrin that does not impair systemic immunity. Geometric mean [SD] anti-S RBD antibody concentrations are lower and half-lives shorter in patients treated with infliximab than vedolizumab, following two doses of BNT162b2 (566.7 U/mL [6.2] vs 4555.3 U/mL [5.4], p <0.0001; 26.8 days [95% CI 26.2 – 27.5] vs 47.6 days [45.5 – 49.8], p <0.0001); similar results are also observed with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination (184.7 U/mL [5.0] vs 784.0 U/mL [3.5], p <0.0001; 35.9 days [34.9 – 36.8] vs 58.0 days [55.0 – 61.3], p value < 0.0001). One fifth of patients fail to mount a T cell response in both treatment groups. Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections are more frequent (5.8% (201/3441) vs 3.9% (66/1682), p = 0.0039) in patients treated with infliximab than vedolizumab, and the risk of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection is predicted by peak anti-S RBD antibody concentration after two vaccine doses. Irrespective of the treatments, higher, more sustained antibody levels are observed in patients with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to vaccination. Our results thus suggest that adapted vaccination schedules may be required to induce immunity in at-risk, anti-TNF-treated patients.
Altmann DM, Boyton RJ, 2022, COVID-19 vaccination: The road ahead, SCIENCE, Vol: 375, Pages: 1127-1132, ISSN: 0036-8075
Astbury S, Reynolds CJ, Butler DK, et al., 2022, HLA-DR polymorphism in SARS-CoV-2 infection and susceptibility to symptomatic COVID-19, Immunology, Vol: 166, Pages: 68-77, ISSN: 0019-2805
SARS-CoV-2 infection results in different outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to mild or severe disease and death. Reasons for this diversity of outcome include differences in challenge dose, age, gender, comorbidity and host genomic variation. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms may influence immune response and disease outcome. We investigated the association of HLAII alleles with case definition symptomatic COVID-19, virus-specific antibody and T-cell immunity. A total of 1364 UK healthcare workers (HCWs) were recruited during the first UK SARS-CoV-2 wave and analysed longitudinally, encompassing regular PCR screening for infection, symptom reporting, imputation of HLAII genotype and analysis for antibody and T-cell responses to nucleoprotein (N) and spike (S). Of 272 (20%) HCW who seroconverted, the presence of HLA-DRB1*13:02 was associated with a 6·7-fold increased risk of case definition symptomatic COVID-19. In terms of immune responsiveness, HLA-DRB1*15:02 was associated with lower nucleocapsid T-cell responses. There was no association between DRB1 alleles and anti-spike antibody titres after two COVID vaccine doses. However, HLA DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased spike T-cell responses following both first and second dose vaccination. Trial registration: NCT04318314 and ISRCTN15677965.
Chandran A, Rosenheim J, Nageswaran G, et al., 2022, Rapid synchronous type 1 IFN and virus-specific T cell responses characterize first wave non-severe SARS-CoV-2 infections, Cell Reports Medicine, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 2666-3791
Effective control of SARS-CoV-2 infection on primary exposure may reveal correlates of protective immunity to future variants, but we lack insights into immune responses before or at the time virus is first detected. We use blood transcriptomics, multiparameter flow cytometry, and T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing spanning the time of incident non-severe infection in unvaccinated virus-naive individuals to identify rapid type 1 interferon (IFN) responses common to other acute respiratory viruses and cell proliferation responses that discriminate SARS-CoV-2 from other viruses. These peak by the time the virus is first detected and sometimes precede virus detection. Cell proliferation is most evident in CD8 T cells and associated with specific expansion of SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs, in contrast to virus-specific antibodies, which lag by 1–2 weeks. Our data support a protective role for early type 1 IFN and CD8 T cell responses, with implications for development of universal T cell vaccines.
Lin S, Kennedy NA, Saifuddin A, et al., 2022, Antibody decay, T cell immunity and breakthrough infections following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in infliximab- and vedolizumab-treated patients, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: I023-I025, ISSN: 1873-9946
Reynolds CJ, Gibbons JM, Pade C, et al., 2021, Heterologous infection and vaccination shapes immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants., Science, Vol: 375, Pages: eabm0811-eabm0811, ISSN: 0036-8075
The impact of initial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infecting strain on downstream immunity to heterologous variants of concern (VOC) is unknown. Studying a longitudinal healthcare worker cohort, we found that after three antigen exposures (infection+two vaccine doses), S1 antibody, memory B cells and heterologous neutralization of B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.617.2 plateaued, while B.1.1.7 neutralization and spike T cell responses increased. Serology using Wuhan Hu-1 spike receptor binding domain poorly predicted neutralizing immunity against VOCs. Neutralization potency against VOCs changed with heterologous virus encounter and number of antigen exposures. Neutralization potency fell differentially depending on targeted VOCs over 5-months from the second vaccine dose. Heterologous combinations of spike encountered during infection and vaccination shape subsequent cross-protection against VOC, with implications for future-proof next-generation vaccines.
Ward H, Flower B, Garcia PJ, et al., 2021, Global surveillance, research, and collaboration needed to improve understanding and management of long COVID, The Lancet, Vol: 398, Pages: 2057-2059, ISSN: 0140-6736
Altmann DM, Boyton RJ, 2021, SARS-Cov-2 immune waning and reinfection in care-home settings, The Lancet Healthy Longevity, Vol: 2, Pages: E776-E777, ISSN: 2666-7568
Altmann DM, Boyton RJ, 2021, Waning immunity to SARS-CoV-2: implications for vaccine booster strategies., The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 9, Pages: 1356-1358, ISSN: 2213-2600
Altmann DM, 2021, Narrating the natural history of live infection by SARS CoV-2 VOC in animal models Comment, EBIOMEDICINE, Vol: 74, ISSN: 2352-3964
Tomás-Cortázar J, Bossi L, Quinn C, et al., 2021, BpOmpW antigen stimulates the Necessary Protective T-Cell Responses Against Melioidosis., Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-3224
Melioidosis is a potentially fatal bacterial disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei and is estimated to cause 89,000 deaths per year in endemic areas of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. People with diabetes mellitus are most at risk of melioidosis, with a 12-fold increased susceptibility for severe disease. Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) responses from CD4 and CD8 T cells, but also from natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells, are necessary to eliminate the pathogen. We previously reported that immunization with B. pseudomallei OmpW (BpOmpW antigen) protected mice from lethal B. pseudomallei challenge for up to 81 days. Elucidating the immune correlates of protection of the protective BpOmpW vaccine is an essential step prior to clinical trials. Thus, we immunized either non-insulin-resistant C57BL/6J mice or an insulin-resistant C57BL/6J mouse model of type 2 diabetes (T2D) with a single dose of BpOmpW. BpOmpW induced strong antibody responses, stimulated effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, and produced higher IFN-γ responses in CD4+, CD8+, NK, and NKT cells in non-insulin-resistant mice. The T-cell responses of insulin-resistant mice to BpOmpW were comparable to those of non-insulin-resistant mice. In addition, as a precursor to its evaluation in human studies, humanized HLA-DR and HLA-DQ (human leukocyte antigen DR and DQ isotypes, respectively) transgenic mice elicited IFN-γ recall responses in an enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (ELISpot)-based study. Moreover, human donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) exposed to BpOmpW for 7 days showed T-cell proliferation. Finally, plasma from melioidosis survivors with diabetes recognized our BpOmpW vaccine antigen. Overall, the range of approaches used strongly indicated that BpOmpW elicits the necessary immune responses to combat melioidosis and bring this vaccine closer to clinical trials.
Altmann D, Boyton R, 2021, Covid-19 caseload in the UK-assessments and mitigations, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Vol: 375, ISSN: 0959-535X
Altmann DM, Boyton RJ, 2021, Vaccine efficacy and immune interference: co-administering COVID-19 and influenza vaccines., The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, ISSN: 2213-2600
Swadling L, Diniz MO, Schmidt NM, et al., 2021, Pre-existing polymerase-specific T cells expand in abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2, Nature, Vol: 601, Pages: 110-117, ISSN: 0028-0836
Individuals with potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T-cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1-3. We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T-cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-24-11, would expand in vivo to support rapid viral control, aborting infection. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T-cells, including those against the early transcribed replication transcription complex (RTC)12,13, in intensively monitored healthcare workers (HCW) remaining repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation (seronegative HCW, SN-HCW). SN-HCW had stronger, more multispecific memory T-cells than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). SN-HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T-cells had an increase in IFI27, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-214, suggesting abortive infection. RNA-polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and SARS-CoV-2 clades. RNA-polymerase was preferentially targeted (amongst regions tested) by T-cells from pre-pandemic cohorts and SN-HCW. RTC epitope-specific T-cells cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in SN-HCW. Enriched pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T-cells expanded in vivo to preferentially accumulate in the memory response after putative abortive compared to overt SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data highlight RTC-specific T-cells as targets for vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.
Boyton RJ, Altmann DM, 2021, The immunology of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection: what are the key questions?, Nature Reviews Immunology, Vol: 21, Pages: 762-768, ISSN: 1474-1733
An important challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to understand asymptomatic disease and the extent to which this may be a source of transmission. As asymptomatic disease is by definition hard to screen for, there is a lack of clarity about this aspect of the COVID-19 spectrum. Studies have considered whether the prevalence of asymptomatic disease is determined by differences in age, demographics, viral load, duration of shedding, and magnitude or durability of immunity. It is clear that adaptive immunity is strongly activated during asymptomatic infection, but some features of the T cell and antibody response may differ from those in symptomatic disease. Areas that need greater clarity include the extent to which asymptomatic disease leads to persistent symptoms (long COVID), and the quality, quantity and durability of immune priming required to confer subsequent protection.
Guerra-Gomes IC, Goisa BM, Peixoto RF, et al., 2021, Phenotypical characterization of regulatory T cells in acute Zika infection, Cytokine, Vol: 146, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1096-0023
Zika virus (ZIKV), alongside Dengue virus (DENV), Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) are prevalent arboviruses in the Americas. Each of these infections is associated with the development of associated disease immunopathology. Immunopathological processes are an outcome of counter-balancing impacts between effector and regulatory immune mechanisms. In this context, regulatory T cells (Tregs) are key in modulating the immune response and, therefore, in tissue damage control. However, to date, Treg phenotypes and mechanisms during acute infection of the ZIKV in humans have not been fully investigated. The main aim of this work was to characterize Tregs and their immunological profile related to cytokine production and molecules that are capable of controlling the exacerbated inflammatory profile in acute Zika infected patients. Using whole blood analyses of infected patients, an ex vivo phenotypical characterization of Tregs, circulating during acute Zika virus infection, was conducted by flow cytometry. We found that though there are no differences in absolute Treg frequency between infected and healthy control groups. However, pro-inflammatory cytokine up-regulation such as IFN-γ and LAP was observed in the acute disease. Furthermore, acute ZIKV patients expressed increased levels of CD39/CD73, perforin/granzyme B, PD-1, and CTLA-4, all markers involved in mechanisms used by Tregs to attempt to control strong inflammatory responses. Thus, the data indicates a potential contribution of Tregs during the inflammatory ZIKV infection response.
Gupta RK, Rosenheim J, Bell LC, et al., 2021, Blood transcriptional biomarkers of acute viral infection for detection of pre-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection: a nested, case-control diagnostic accuracy study., The Lancet Microbe, Vol: 2, Pages: e508-e517, ISSN: 2666-5247
Background: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Methods: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. We identified candidate blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection through a systematic literature search. We searched MEDLINE for articles published between database inception and Oct 12, 2020, using comprehensive MeSH and keyword terms for "viral infection", "transcriptome", "biomarker", and "blood". We reconstructed signature scores in blood RNA sequencing data and evaluated their diagnostic accuracy for contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, by quantifying the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), sensitivities, and specificities at a standardised Z score of at least 2 based on the distribution of signature scores in test-negative controls. We used pairwise DeLong tests compared with the most discriminating signature to identify the subset of best performing biomarkers. We evaluated associations between signature expression, viral load (using PCR cycle thresholds), and symptom status visually and using Spearman rank correlation. The primary outcome was the AUROC for discriminating between samples from participants who tested negative throughout the study (test-negative controls) and samples from participants with PCR-conf
Pinato D, Murray S, Forner A, et al., 2021, Trans-arterial chemoembolization as a loco-regional inducer of immunogenic cell death in hepatocellular carcinoma: implications for immunotherapy., Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2051-1426
Background: Modulation of adaptive immunity may underscore the efficacy of TACE. We evaluated the influence of TACE on T-cell function by phenotypic lymphocyte characterization in samples of patients undergoing surgery with (T+) or without (T-) prior-TACE treatment.Methods: We profiled intra-tumoural (IT), peri-tumoural (PT) and non-tumoural background tissue (NT) to evaluate regulatory CD4+/FOXP3+ (T-reg) and immune-exhausted CD8+/PD1+ T-cells across T+ (n=58) and T- (n=61). We performed targeted transcriptomics and T-cell receptor sequencing in a restricted subset of samples (n=24) evaluated in relationship with the expression of actionable drivers of anti-cancer immunity including PD-L1, IDO-1, CTLA-4, Lag-3, Tim-3 and CD163.Results: We analyzed 119 patients resected (n=25, 21%) or transplanted (n=94, 79%) for Child-Pugh A (n=65, 55%) and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage A (n=92, 77%) HCC. T+ samples displayed lower IT CD4+/FOXP3+ (p=0.006), CD8+ (p=0.002) and CD8+/PD1+ and NT CD8+/PD1+ (p<0.001) compared to T-. Lower IT (p=0.005) and NT CD4+/FOXP3+ (p=0.03) predicted for improved recurrence-free survival. In a subset of samples (n=24), transcriptomic analysis revealed up-regulation of a pro-inflammatory response in T+. T+ samples were enriched for IRF2 expression (p=0.01), an interferon-regulated transcription factor implicated in cancer immune-evasion. T-cell clonality and expression of PD-L1, IDO-1, CTLA-4, Lag-3, Tim-3 and CD163 was similar in T+ versus T-.Conclusions: TACE is associated with lower IT density of immune-exhausted effector cytotoxic and T-regs, with significant up-regulation of pro-inflammatory pathways. This highlights the pleiotropic effects of TACE in modulating the tumour microenvironment and strengthens the rationale for developing immunotherapy alongside TACE.
Dhillon P, Altmann D, Male V, 2021, COVID‐19 vaccines: what do we know so far?, The FEBS Journal, ISSN: 1742-464X
When the novel coronavirus was described in late 2019, it could not have been imagined that within a year, more than 100 vaccine candidates would be in preclinical development and several would be in clinical trials and even approved for use. The scale of the COVID-19 outbreak pushed the scientific community, working in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, public health bodies, policymakers, funders and governments, to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 at record-breaking speed. As well as driving major amendments to the usual timeframe for bringing a vaccine to fruition, the pandemic has accelerated the development of next-generation technologies for vaccinology, giving rise to two frontrunner RNA vaccines. Although none of the critical safety and efficacy steps have been skipped within the compressed schedules, and the technologies underpinning the novel vaccines have been refined by scientists over many years, a significant proportion of the global population is sceptical of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and wary of potential risks. In this interview-based article, we give an overview of how the vaccines were developed and how they work to generate a robust immune response against COVID-19, as well as addressing common questions relating to safety and efficacy.
Reynolds CJ, Pade C, Gibbons JM, et al., 2021, Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection rescues B and T cell responses to variants after first vaccine dose, Science, Vol: 372, Pages: 1418-1423, ISSN: 0036-8075
SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout has coincided with the spread of variants of concern. We investigated if single dose vaccination, with or without prior infection, confers cross protective immunity to variants. We analyzed T and B cell responses after first dose vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in healthcare workers (HCW) followed longitudinally, with or without prior Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 infection. After one dose, individuals with prior infection showed enhanced T cell immunity, antibody secreting memory B cell response to spike and neutralizing antibodies effective against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. By comparison, HCW receiving one vaccine dose without prior infection showed reduced immunity against variants. B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 spike mutations resulted in increased, abrogated or unchanged T cell responses depending on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms. Single dose vaccination with BNT162b2 in the context of prior infection with a heterologous variant substantially enhances neutralizing antibody responses against variants.
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