66 results found
Staller E, Sheppard CM, Baillon L, et al., 2021, A natural variant in ANP32B impairs influenza virus replication in human cells, Journal of General Virology, Vol: 102, ISSN: 0022-1317
<jats:p>Viruses require host factors to support their replication, and genetic variation in such factors can affect susceptibility to infectious disease. Influenza virus replication in human cells relies on ANP32 proteins, which are involved in assembly of replication-competent dimeric influenza virus polymerase (FluPol) complexes. Here, we investigate naturally occurring single nucleotide variants (SNV) in the human <jats:italic>Anp32A</jats:italic> and <jats:italic>Anp32B</jats:italic> genes. We note that variant rs182096718 in <jats:italic>Anp32B</jats:italic> is found at a higher frequency than other variants in either gene. This SNV results in a D130A substitution in ANP32B, which is less able to support FluPol activity than wild-type ANP32B and binds FluPol with lower affinity. Interestingly, ANP32B-D130A exerts a dominant negative effect over wild-type ANP32B and interferes with the functionally redundant paralogue ANP32A. FluPol activity and virus replication are attenuated in CRISPR-edited cells expressing wild-type ANP32A and mutant ANP32B-D130A. We propose a model in which the D130A mutation impairs FluPol dimer formation, thus resulting in compromised replication. We suggest that both homozygous and heterozygous carriers of rs182096718 may have some genetic protection against influenza viruses.</jats:p>
Sabli IK, Sancho-Shimizu V, 2021, Inborn errors of autophagy and infectious diseases., Curr Opin Immunol, Vol: 72, Pages: 272-276
Autophagy is a fundamental component of cell-autonomous immunity, targeting intracellular pathogens including viruses and cytosolic bacteria to lysosomes for degradation. Genetic mutations in components of the autophagy pathway result in autoinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. We focus on recent developments through the newly discovered inborn errors of autophagy strictly predisposing to severe viral infections. These feature mutations in TBK1, ATG4A, MAP1LC3B2, and ATG7, leading to herpes encephalitis, recurrent lymphocytic meningitis, and paralytic poliomyelitis. We highlight how this enhances our understanding of autophagy mechanisms and its role in human viral disease. As we better understand the contribution of these genes to disease, we can aim to develop targeted therapies for enhanced infection control.
Drake TM, Riad AM, Fairfield CJ, et al., 2021, Characterisation of in-hospital complications associated with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: a prospective, multicentre cohort study, The Lancet, Vol: 398, Pages: 223-237, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a multisystem disease and patients who survive might have in-hospital complications. These complications are likely to have important short-term and long-term consequences for patients, health-care utilisation, health-care system preparedness, and society amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim was to characterise the extent and effect of COVID-19 complications, particularly in those who survive, using the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK. METHODS: We did a prospective, multicentre cohort study in 302 UK health-care facilities. Adult patients aged 19 years or older, with confirmed or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to COVID-19 were included in the study. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of in-hospital complications, defined as organ-specific diagnoses occurring alone or in addition to any hallmarks of COVID-19 illness. We used multilevel logistic regression and survival models to explore associations between these outcomes and in-hospital complications, age, and pre-existing comorbidities. FINDINGS: Between Jan 17 and Aug 4, 2020, 80 388 patients were included in the study. Of the patients admitted to hospital for management of COVID-19, 49·7% (36 367 of 73 197) had at least one complication. The mean age of our cohort was 71·1 years (SD 18·7), with 56·0% (41 025 of 73 197) being male and 81·0% (59 289 of 73 197) having at least one comorbidity. Males and those aged older than 60 years were most likely to have a complication (aged ≥60 years: 54·5% [16 579 of 30 416] in males and 48·2% [11 707 of 24 288] in females; aged <60 years: 48·8% [5179 of 10 609] in males and 36·6% [2814 of 7689] in females). Renal (24·3%, 17 752 of 73 197), complex respiratory (18·4%, 13 486 of 73 197), and systemic (16·3%, 11 895 of 73 197) complications were
ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group, 2021, COVID-19 symptoms at hospital admission vary with age and sex: results from the ISARIC prospective multinational observational study, Infection: journal of infectious disease, ISSN: 0300-8126
BACKGROUND: The ISARIC prospective multinational observational study is the largest cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We present relationships of age, sex, and nationality to presenting symptoms. METHODS: International, prospective observational study of 60 109 hospitalized symptomatic patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 recruited from 43 countries between 30 January and 3 August 2020. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate relationships of age and sex to published COVID-19 case definitions and the most commonly reported symptoms. RESULTS: 'Typical' symptoms of fever (69%), cough (68%) and shortness of breath (66%) were the most commonly reported. 92% of patients experienced at least one of these. Prevalence of typical symptoms was greatest in 30- to 60-year-olds (respectively 80, 79, 69%; at least one 95%). They were reported less frequently in children (≤ 18 years: 69, 48, 23; 85%), older adults (≥ 70 years: 61, 62, 65; 90%), and women (66, 66, 64; 90%; vs. men 71, 70, 67; 93%, each P < 0.001). The most common atypical presentations under 60 years of age were nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain, and over 60 years was confusion. Regression models showed significant differences in symptoms with sex, age and country. INTERPRETATION: This international collaboration has allowed us to report reliable symptom data from the largest cohort of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Adults over 60 and children admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are less likely to present with typical symptoms. Nausea and vomiting are common atypical presentations under 30 years. Confusion is a frequent atypical presentation of COVID-19 in adults over 60 years. Women are less likely to experience typical symptoms than men.
Sancho-Shimizu V, Brodin P, Cobat A, et al., 2021, SARS-CoV-2–related MIS-C: A key to the viral and genetic causes of Kawasaki disease?, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol: 218, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0022-1007
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) emerged in April 2020 in communities with high COVID-19 rates. This new condition is heterogenous but resembles Kawasaki disease (KD), a well-known but poorly understood and clinically heterogenous pediatric inflammatory condition for which weak associations have been found with a myriad of viral illnesses. Epidemiological data clearly indicate that SARS-CoV-2 is the trigger for MIS-C, which typically occurs about 1 mo after infection. These findings support the hypothesis of viral triggers for the various forms of classic KD. We further suggest that rare inborn errors of immunity (IEIs) altering the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may underlie the pathogenesis of MIS-C in some children. The discovery of monogenic IEIs underlying MIS-C would shed light on its pathogenesis, paving the way for a new genetic approach to classic KD, revisited as a heterogeneous collection of IEIs to viruses.
Gupta RK, Harrison EM, Ho A, et al., 2021, Development and validation of the ISARIC 4C Deterioration model for adults hospitalised with COVID-19: a prospective cohort study, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 9, Pages: 349-359, ISSN: 2213-2600
BackgroundPrognostic models to predict the risk of clinical deterioration in acute COVID-19 cases are urgently required to inform clinical management decisions.MethodsWe developed and validated a multivariable logistic regression model for in-hospital clinical deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) among consecutively hospitalised adults with highly suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who were prospectively recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) study across 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales. Candidate predictors that were specified a priori were considered for inclusion in the model on the basis of previous prognostic scores and emerging literature describing routinely measured biomarkers associated with COVID-19 prognosis. We used internal–external cross-validation to evaluate discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across eight National Health Service (NHS) regions in the development cohort. We further validated the final model in held-out data from an additional NHS region (London).Findings74 944 participants (recruited between Feb 6 and Aug 26, 2020) were included, of whom 31 924 (43·2%) of 73 948 with available outcomes met the composite clinical deterioration outcome. In internal–external cross-validation in the development cohort of 66 705 participants, the selected model (comprising 11 predictors routinely measured at the point of hospital admission) showed consistent discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across all eight NHS regions. In held-out data from London (n=8239), the model showed a similarly consistent performance (C-statistic 0·77 [95% CI 0·76 to 0·78]; calibration-in-the-large 0·00 [–0·05 to 0·05]); calibration slope 0·96 [0·91 to 1·01]), and greater net benefit than
Yates T, Zaccardi F, Islam N, et al., 2021, Obesity, ethnicity and risk of critical care, mechanical ventilation and mortality in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: Analysis of the ISARIC CCP-UK cohort., Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), Vol: 29, Pages: 1223-1230, ISSN: 1071-7323
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of obesity with in-hospital COVID-19 outcomes in different ethnic groups. METHODS: Patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom through the Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) developed by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) were included from 6th February to 12th October 2020. Ethnicity was classified as: white, South Asian, black and other minority ethnic groups. Outcomes were admission to critical care, mechanical ventilation and in-hospital mortality, adjusted for age, sex and chronic diseases. RESULTS: 54,254 (age = 76 years; 45.0% women) white, 3,728 (57 years; 41.1%) South Asian, 2,523 (58 years; 44.9%) black and 5,427 (61 years; 40.8%) other ethnicities were included. Obesity was associated with all outcomes in all ethnic groups, with associations strongest for black ethnicities. When stratified by ethnicity and obesity status, the OR for admission to critical care, mechanical ventilation and mortality in black ethnicities with obesity were 3.91 (3.13, 4.88), 5.03 (3.94, 6.63), 1.93 (1.49, 2.51) respectively, compared to white ethnicities without obesity. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity was associated with an elevated risk of in-hospital COVID-19 outcomes in all ethnic groups, with associations strongest in black ethnicities.
Pairo-Castineira E, Clohisey S, Klaric L, et al., 2021, Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in Covid-19, Nature, Vol: 591, Pages: 92-98, ISSN: 0028-0836
Host-mediated lung inflammation is present,1 and drives mortality,2 in critical illness caused by Covid-19. Host genetic variants associated with critical illness may identify mechanistic targets for therapeutic development.3 Here we report the results of the GenOMICC (Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care) genome-wide association study(GWAS) in 2244 critically ill Covid-19 patients from 208 UK intensive care units (ICUs). We identify and replicate novel genome-wide significant associations, on chr12q24.13 (rs10735079, p=1.65 [Formula: see text] 10-8) in a gene cluster encoding antiviral restriction enzyme activators (OAS1, OAS2, OAS3), on chr19p13.2 (rs2109069, p=2.3 [Formula: see text] 10-12) near the gene encoding tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2), on chr19p13.3 (rs2109069, p=3.98 [Formula: see text] 10-12) within the gene encoding dipeptidyl peptidase 9 (DPP9), and on chr21q22.1 (rs2236757, p=4.99 [Formula: see text] 10-8) in the interferon receptor gene IFNAR2. We identify potential targets for repurposing of licensed medications: using Mendelian randomisation we found evidence in support of a causal link from low expression of IFNAR2, and high expression of TYK2, to life-threatening disease; transcriptome-wide association in lung tissue revealed that high expression of the monocyte/macrophage chemotactic receptor CCR2 is associated with severe Covid-19. Our results identify robust genetic signals relating to key host antiviral defence mechanisms, and mediators of inflammatory organ damage in Covid-19. Both mechanisms may be amenable to targeted treatment with existing drugs. Large-scale randomised clinical trials will be essential before any change to clinical practice.
Klionsky DJ, Abdel-Aziz AK, Abdelfatah S, et al., 2021, Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition), Autophagy, Vol: 17, Pages: 1-382, ISSN: 1554-8627
In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for bona fide autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
Gao D, Ciancanelli MJ, Zhang P, et al., 2021, TLR3 controls constitutive IFN-beta antiviral immunity in human fibroblasts and cortical neurons, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION, Vol: 131, ISSN: 0021-9738
Hait AS, Olagnier D, Sancho-Shimizu V, et al., 2020, Defects in LC3B2 and ATG4A underlie HSV2 meningitis and reveal a critical role for autophagy in antiviral defense in humans, SCIENCE IMMUNOLOGY, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2470-9468
Borghesi A, Trück J, Asgari S, et al., 2020, Whole-exome sequencing for the identification of rare variants in primary immunodeficiency genes in children with sepsis - a prospective population-based cohort study., Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 71, Pages: e614-e623, ISSN: 1058-4838
BACKGROUND: The role of primary immunodeficiencies (PID) in susceptibility to sepsis remains unknown. It is unclear whether children with sepsis benefit from genetic investigations. We hypothesized that sepsis may represent the first manifestation of underlying PID. We applied whole-exome sequencing (WES) to a national cohort of children with sepsis to identify rare, predicted pathogenic variants in PID genes. METHODS: Multicenter population-based prospective study including previously healthy children ≥28 days and <17 years admitted with blood culture-proven sepsis. Using a stringent variant filtering procedure, analysis of WES data was restricted to rare, predicted pathogenic variants in 240 PID genes for which increased susceptibility to bacterial infection has been reported. RESULTS: 176 children presenting with 185 sepsis episodes underwent WES (median age 52 months, IQR 15.4-126.4). 41 unique predicted pathogenic PID variants (1 homozygous, 5 hemizygous, and 35 heterozygous) were found in 35/176 (20%) patients, including 3/176 (2%) patients carrying variants which were previously reported to lead to PID. The variants occurred in PID genes across all 8 PID categories as defined by the International Union of Immunological Societies. We did not observe a significant correlation between clinical or laboratory characteristics of patients and the presence or absence of PID variants. CONCLUSIONS: Applying WES to a population-based cohort of previously healthy children with bacterial sepsis detected Variants of Uncertain Significance in PID genes in one out of five children. Future studies need to investigate the functional relevance of these variants to determine whether variants in PID genes contribute to pediatric sepsis susceptibility.
Zhang Q, Bastard P, Liu Z, et al., 2020, Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19, Science, Vol: 370, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0036-8075
Clinical outcome upon infection with SARS-CoV-2 ranges from silent infection to lethal COVID-19. We have found an enrichment in rare variants predicted to be loss-of-function (LOF) at the 13 human loci known to govern TLR3- and IRF7-dependent type I interferon (IFN) immunity to influenza virus, in 659 patients with life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia, relative to 534 subjects with asymptomatic or benign infection. By testing these and other rare variants at these 13 loci, we experimentally define LOF variants in 23 patients (3.5%), aged 17 to 77 years, underlying autosomal recessive or dominant deficiencies. We show that human fibroblasts with mutations affecting this pathway are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. Inborn errors of TLR3- and IRF7-dependent type I IFN immunity can underlie life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with no prior severe infection.
Bastard P, Rosen LB, Zhang Q, et al., 2020, Autoantibodies against type I IFNs in patients with life-threatening COVID-19, Science, Vol: 370, ISSN: 1095-9203
Interindividual clinical variability in the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is vast. We report that at least 101 of 987 patients with life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia had neutralizing immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies (auto-Abs) against interferon-ω (IFN-ω) (13 patients), against the 13 types of IFN-α (36), or against both (52) at the onset of critical disease; a few also had auto-Abs against the other three type I IFNs. The auto-Abs neutralize the ability of the corresponding type I IFNs to block SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. These auto-Abs were not found in 663 individuals with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and were present in only 4 of 1227 healthy individuals. Patients with auto-Abs were aged 25 to 87 years and 95 of the 101 were men. A B cell autoimmune phenocopy of inborn errors of type I IFN immunity accounts for life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in at least 2.6% of women and 12.5% of men.
Thompson CP, Grayson NE, Paton RS, et al., 2020, Detection of neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 to determine population exposure in Scottish blood donors between March and May 2020., Euro Surveillance, Vol: 25, Pages: 1-9
BackgroundThe progression and geographical distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere is unknown because typically only symptomatic individuals are diagnosed. We performed a serological study of blood donors in Scotland in the spring of 2020 to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as a marker of past infection and epidemic progression.AimOur objective was to determine if sera from blood bank donors can be used to track the emergence and progression of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.MethodsA pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay was used to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The study comprised samples from 3,500 blood donors collected in Scotland between 17 March and 18 May 2020. Controls were collected from 100 donors in Scotland during 2019.ResultsAll samples collected on 17 March 2020 (n = 500) were negative in the pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay. Neutralising antibodies were detected in six of 500 donors from 23 to 26 March. The number of samples containing neutralising antibodies did not significantly rise after 5-6 April until the end of the study on 18 May. We found that infections were concentrated in certain postcodes, indicating that outbreaks of infection were extremely localised. In contrast, other areas remained comparatively untouched by the epidemic.ConclusionAlthough blood donors are not representative of the overall population, we demonstrated that serosurveys of blood banks can serve as a useful tool for tracking the emergence and progression of an epidemic such as the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
Nishimura S, Kobayashi Y, Ohnishi H, et al., 2020, IRAK4 deficiency presenting with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and HHV6 reactivation, Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol: 41, Pages: 125-135, ISSN: 0271-9142
IRAK4 deficiency is an inborn error of immunity predisposing patients to invasive pyogenic infections. Currently, there is no established simple assay that enables precise characterization of IRAK4 mutant alleles in isolation. Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by psychiatric symptoms, involuntary movement, seizures, autonomic dysfunction, and central hypoventilation. It typically occurs in adult females associated with tumors. Only a few infantile cases with anti-NMDAR encephalitis have been so far reported. We identified a 10-month-old boy with IRAK4 deficiency presenting with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) reactivation. The diagnosis of IRAK4 deficiency was confirmed by the identification of compound heterozygous mutations c.29_30delAT (p.Y10Cfs*9) and c.35G>C (p.R12P) in the IRAK4 gene, low levels of IRAK4 protein expression in peripheral blood, and defective fibroblastic cell responses to TLR and IL-1 (TIR) agonist. We established a novel NF-κB reporter assay using IRAK4-null HEK293T, which enabled the precise evaluation of IRAK4 mutations. Using this system, we confirmed that both novel mutations identified in the patient are deleterious. Our study provides a new simple and reliable method to analyze IRAK4 mutant alleles. It also suggests the possible link between inborn errors of immunity and early onset anti-NMDAR encephalitis.
Drake TM, Docherty AB, Harrison EM, et al., 2020, Outcome of hospitalization for COVID-19 in patients with interstitial lung disease: an international multicenter study., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol: 202, Pages: 1656-1665, ISSN: 1073-449X
RATIONALE: The impact of COVID-19 on patients with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) has not been established. OBJECTIVES: To assess outcomes in patients with ILD hospitalized for COVID-19 versus those without ILD in a contemporaneous age, sex and comorbidity matched population. METHODS: An international multicenter audit of patients with a prior diagnosis of ILD admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between 1 March and 1 May 2020 was undertaken and compared with patients, without ILD obtained from the ISARIC 4C cohort, admitted with COVID-19 over the same period. The primary outcome was survival. Secondary analysis distinguished IPF from non-IPF ILD and used lung function to determine the greatest risks of death. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Data from 349 patients with ILD across Europe were included, of whom 161 were admitted to hospital with laboratory or clinical evidence of COVID-19 and eligible for propensity-score matching. Overall mortality was 49% (79/161) in patients with ILD with COVID-19. After matching ILD patients with COVID-19 had higher mortality (HR 1.60, Confidence Intervals 1.17-2.18 p=0.003) compared with age, sex and co-morbidity matched controls without ILD. Patients with a Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) of <80% had an increased risk of death versus patients with FVC ≥80% (HR 1.72, 1.05-2.83). Furthermore, obese patients with ILD had an elevated risk of death (HR 2.27, 1.39-3.71). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ILD are at increased risk of death from COVID-19, particularly those with poor lung function and obesity. Stringent precautions should be taken to avoid COVID-19 in patients with ILD. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Casanova J-L, Su HC, COVID Human Genetic Effort, 2020, A global effort to define the human genetics of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection., Cell, Vol: 181, Pages: 1194-1199, ISSN: 0092-8674
SARS-CoV-2 infection displays immense inter-individual clinical variability, ranging from silent infection to lethal disease. The role of human genetics in determining clinical response to the virus remains unclear. Studies of outliers-individuals remaining uninfected despite viral exposure and healthy young patients with life-threatening disease-present a unique opportunity to reveal human genetic determinants of infection and disease.
Neisseria meningitidis is a leading cause of bacterial septicaemia and meningitis worldwide. Meningococcal disease is rare but can be life threatening with a tendency to affect children. Many studies have investigated the role of human genetics in predisposition to N. meningitidis infection. These have identified both rare single-gene mutations as well as more common polymorphisms associated with meningococcal disease susceptibility and severity. These findings provide clues to the pathogenesis of N. meningitidis, the basis of host susceptibility to infection and to the aetiology of severe disease. From the multiple discoveries of monogenic complement deficiencies to the associations of complement factor H and complement factor H-related three polymorphisms to meningococcal disease, the complement pathway is highlighted as being central to the genetic control of meningococcal disease. This review aims to summarise the current understanding of the host genetic basis of meningococcal disease with respect to the different stages of meningococcal infection.
Mashbat B, Bellos E, Hodeib S, et al., 2020, A rare mutation in SPLUNC1 underlies meningococcal disease affecting bacterial adherence and invasion, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 70, Pages: 2045-2053, ISSN: 1058-4838
BackgroundNeisseriameningitidis (Nm) is a nasopharyngeal commensal carried by healthy individuals. However, invasive infections occurs in a minority of individuals, with devastating consequences. There is evidence that common polymorphisms are associated with invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) but the contribution of rare variants other than complement has not been determined.MethodsWe identified familial cases of IMD in the UK meningococcal disease study and the European Union Life-threatening Infectious Disease Study. Candidate genetic variants were identified by whole exome sequencing of two patients with familial IMD. Candidate variants were further validated by in vitro assays.ResultsExomes of two siblings with IMD identified a novel heterozygous missense mutation in BPIFA1/SPLUNC1. Sequencing of 186 other non-familial cases identified another unrelated IMD patient with the same mutation. SPLUNC1 is an innate immune defence protein expressed in the nasopharyngeal epithelia, however, its role in invasive infections is unknown. In vitro assays demonstrated that recombinant SPLUNC1 inhibits biofilm formation by Nm, and impedes Nm adhesion and invasion of human airway cells. The dominant negative mutant rSPLUNC1 (p.G22E) showed reduced anti-biofilm activity, increased meningococcal adhesion and invasion of cells compared with wild type SPLUNC1.ConclusionsA mutation in SPLUNC1 affecting mucosal attachment, biofilm formation and invasion of mucosal epithelial cells is a new genetic cause of meningococcal disease.
Staller E, Baillon L, Frise R, et al., 2020, A rare variant in ANP32B impairs influenza virus replication in human cells, biorxiv
Viruses require host factors to support their replication, and genetic variation in such factors can affect susceptibility to infectious disease. Influenza virus replication in human cells relies on ANP32 proteins, which are involved in assembly of replication-competent dimeric influenza virus polymerase (FluPol) complexes. Here, we investigate naturally occurring single nucleotide variants (SNV) in the human Anp32A and Anp32B genes. We note that variant rs182096718 in Anp32B is found at a higher frequency than other variants in either gene. This SNV results in a D130A substitution in ANP32B, which is less able to support FluPol activity than wildtype ANP32B and binds FluPol with lower affinity. Interestingly, ANP32B-D130A exerts a dominant negative effect over wildtype ANP32B and interferes with the functionally redundant paralogue ANP32A. FluPol activity and virus replication are attenuated in CRISPR-edited cells expressing wildtype ANP32A and mutant ANP32B-D130A. We propose a model in which the D130A mutation impairs FluPol dimer formation, thus resulting in compromised replication. We suggest that both homozygous and heterozygous carriers of rs182096718 may have some genetic protection against influenza viruses.
Torraca V, Kaforou M, Watson J, et al., 2019, Shigella sonnei infection of zebrafish reveals that O-antigen mediates neutrophil tolerance and dysentery incidence, PLoS Pathogens, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-26, ISSN: 1553-7366
Shigella flexneri is historically regarded as the primary agent of bacillary dysentery, yet the closely-related Shigella sonnei is replacing S. flexneri, especially in developing countries. The underlying reasons for this dramatic shift are mostly unknown. Using a zebrafish (Danio rerio) model of Shigella infection, we discover that S. sonnei is more virulent than S. flexneri in vivo. Whole animal dual-RNAseq and testing of bacterial mutants suggest that S. sonnei virulence depends on its O-antigen oligosaccharide (which is unique among Shigella species). We show in vivo using zebrafish and ex vivo using human neutrophils that S. sonnei O-antigen can mediate neutrophil tolerance. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that O-antigen enables S. sonnei to resist phagolysosome acidification and promotes neutrophil cell death. Chemical inhibition or promotion of phagolysosome maturation respectively decreases and increases neutrophil control of S. sonnei and zebrafish survival. Strikingly, larvae primed with a sublethal dose of S. sonnei are protected against a secondary lethal dose of S. sonnei in an O-antigen-dependent manner, indicating that exposure to O-antigen can train the innate immune system against S. sonnei. Collectively, these findings reveal O-antigen as an important therapeutic target against bacillary dysentery, and may explain the rapidly increasing S. sonnei burden in developing countries.
Wang X, Nijman R, Camuzeaux S, et al., 2019, Plasma lipid profiles discriminate bacterial from viral infection in febrile children, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322
Fever is the most common reason that children present to Emergency Departments. Clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of bacterial infection are often non-specific, and there is no definitive test for the accurate diagnosis of infection. The ‘omics’ approaches to identifying biomarkers from the host-response to bacterial infection are promising. In this study, lipidomic analysis was carried out with plasma samples obtained from febrile children with confirmed bacterial infection (n=20) and confirmed viral infection (n=20). We show for the first time that bacterial and viral infection produces distinct profile in the host lipidome. Some species of glycerophosphoinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophosphatidylcholine and cholesterol sulfate were higher in the confirmed virus infected group, while some species of fatty acids, glycerophosphocholine, glycerophosphoserine, lactosylceramide and bilirubin were lower in the confirmed virus infected group when compared with confirmed bacterial infected group..A combination of three lipids achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.911 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.98). This pilot study demonstrates the potential of metabolic biomarkers to assist clinicians in distinguishing bacterial from viral infection in febrile children, to facilitate effective clinical management and to the limit inappropriate use of antibiotics.
Torraca V, Kaforou M, Watson J, et al., 2019, Shigella sonneiinfection of zebrafish reveals that O-antigen mediates neutrophil tolerance and dysentery incidence, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p><jats:italic>Shigella flexneri</jats:italic>is historically regarded as the primary agent of bacillary dysentery, yet the closely-related<jats:italic>Shigella sonnei</jats:italic>is replacing<jats:italic>S. flexneri</jats:italic>, especially in developing countries. The underlying reasons for this dramatic shift are mostly unknown. Using a zebrafish (<jats:italic>Danio rerio</jats:italic>) model of<jats:italic>Shigella</jats:italic>infection, we discover that<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>is more virulent than<jats:italic>S. flexneri in vivo</jats:italic>. Whole animal dual-RNAseq and testing of bacterial mutants suggest that<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>virulence depends on its O-antigen oligosaccharide (which is unique among<jats:italic>Shigella</jats:italic>species). We show<jats:italic>in vivo</jats:italic>using zebrafish and<jats:italic>ex vivo</jats:italic>using human neutrophils that<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>O-antigen can mediate neutrophil tolerance. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that O-antigen enables<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>to resist phagolysosome acidification and promotes neutrophil cell death. Chemical inhibition or promotion of phagolysosome maturation respectively decreases and increases neutrophil control of<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>and zebrafish survival. Strikingly, larvae primed with a sublethal dose of<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>are protected against a secondary lethal dose of<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>in an O-antigen-dependent manner, indicating that exposure to O-antigen can train the innate immune system against<jats:italic>S. sonnei</jats:italic>. Collectively, these findings reveal O-antigen as an important therapeutic
Borghini L, Png E, Binder A, et al., 2019, Identification of regulatory variants associated with genetic susceptibility to meningococcal disease, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322
Non-coding genetic variants play an important role in driving susceptibility to complex diseases but their characterization remains challenging. Here, we employed a novel approach to interrogate the genetic risk of such polymorphisms in a more systematic way by targeting specific regulatory regions relevant for the phenotype studied. We applied this method to meningococcal disease susceptibility, using the DNA binding pattern of RELA – a NF-kB subunit, master regulator of the response to infection – under bacterial stimuli in nasopharyngeal epithelial cells. We designed a custom panel to cover these RELA binding sites and used it for targeted sequencing in cases and controls. Variant calling and association analysis were performed followed by validation of candidate polymorphisms by genotyping in three independent cohorts. We identified two new polymorphisms, rs4823231 and rs11913168, showing signs of association with meningococcal disease susceptibility. In addition, using our genomic data as well as publicly available resources, we found evidences for these SNPs to have potential regulatory effects on ATXN10 and LIF genes respectively. The variants and related candidate genes are relevant for infectious diseases and may have important contribution for meningococcal disease pathology. Finally, we described a novel genetic association approach that could be applied to other phenotypes.
Ahmad L, Sancho-Shimizu V, 2019, The emerging role of human TBK1 in virus-induced autophagy, Autophagy, Vol: 15, Pages: 917-918, ISSN: 1554-8627
Recent studies have suggested a role for TBK1 in mediating inflammation through macroautophagy/autophagy. While its function in inducing interferon production in response to viral infection has been extensively studied, its role in antiviral autophagy is only beginning to be appreciated. Herein we discuss the role of this multifunctional protein in both antiviral IFN production and in cytoprotective autophagy during HSV-1 infection. Lastly, we highlight the potential implication of TBK1 in the management of inflammation through autophagy, particularly within the central nervous system.
Ahmad L, Mashbat B, Leung C, et al., 2019, Human TANK-binding kinase 1 is required for early autophagy induction upon herpes simplex virus 1 infection, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 143, Pages: 765-769.e7, ISSN: 0091-6749
Sanchez-Garrdio J, Sancho-Shimizu V, Shenoy A, 2018, Regulated proteolysis of p62/SQSTM1 enables differential control of autophagy and nutrient sensing, Science Signaling, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1937-9145
The multidomain scaffold protein p62 (also called sequestosome-1) is involved in autophagy, antimicrobial immunity, and oncogenesis. Mutations in SQSTM1, which encodes p62, are linked to hereditary inflammatory conditions such as Paget’s disease of the bone, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles. Here, we report that p62 was proteolytically trimmed by the protease caspase-8 into a stable protein, which we called p62TRM. We found that p62TRM, but not full-length p62, was involved in nutrient sensing and homeostasis through the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). The kinase RIPK1 and caspase-8 controlled p62TRM production and thus promoted mTORC1 signaling. An FTD-linked p62 D329G polymorphism and a rare D329H variant could not be proteolyzed by caspase-8, and these noncleavable variants failed to activate mTORC1, thereby revealing the detrimental effect of these mutations. These findings on the role of p62TRM provide new insights into SQSTM1-linked diseases and mTORC1 signaling.
Ahmad L, Mostowy S, Sancho-Shimizu V, 2018, Autophagy-Virus Interplay: From Cell Biology to Human Disease, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2296-634X
Autophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation process that targets protein aggregates and damaged organelles. Autophagy is also implicated in numerous viral infections, including human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), influenza A (IAV) and herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Depending on the virus, autophagy can restrict or promote viral replication, and play key roles in modulating inflammation and cell survival. In this review, we consider examples of autophagy-virus interplay, highlighting the protective role of autophagy in human infections. We summarize recent discoveries and emerging themes illuminating autophagy’s role in immunity and inflammation upon viral infection. Finally, we discuss future prospects and therapeutic implications, and potential caveats associated with using autophagy to control viral infections in humans.
Martinón-Torres F, Salas A, Rivero-Calle I, et al., 2018, Life-threatening infections in children in Europe (the EUCLIDS Project): a prospective cohort study, Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Vol: 2, Pages: 404-414, ISSN: 2352-4642
Background: Sepsis and severe focal infections represent a substantial disease burden in children admitted to hospital. We aimed to understand the burden of disease and outcomes in children with life-threatening bacterial infections in Europe. Methods: The European Union Childhood Life-threatening Infectious Disease Study (EUCLIDS) was a prospective, multicentre, cohort study done in six countries in Europe. Patients aged 1 month to 18 years with sepsis (or suspected sepsis) or severe focal infections, admitted to 98 participating hospitals in the UK, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, and the Netherlands were prospectively recruited between July 1, 2012, and Dec 31, 2015. To assess disease burden and outcomes, we collected demographic and clinical data using a secured web-based platform and obtained microbiological data using locally available clinical diagnostic procedures. Findings: 2844 patients were recruited and included in the analysis. 1512 (53·2%) of 2841 patients were male and median age was 39·1 months (IQR 12·4–93·9). 1229 (43·2%) patients had sepsis and 1615 (56·8%) had severe focal infections. Patients diagnosed with sepsis had a median age of 27·6 months (IQR 9·0–80·2), whereas those diagnosed with severe focal infections had a median age of 46·5 months (15·8–100·4; p < 0·0001). Of 2844 patients in the entire cohort, the main clinical syndromes were pneumonia (511 [18·0%] patients), CNS infection (469 [16·5%] ), and skin and soft tissue infection (247 [8·7%]). The causal microorganism was identified in 1359 (47·8%) children, with the most prevalent ones being Neisseria meningitidis (in 259 [9·1%] patients), followed by Staphylococcus aureus (in 222 [7·8%]), Streptococcus pneumoniae (in 219 [7·7%] ), and group A streptococcus (in 162 [5·7%]). 1070 (37·6%) patients required admis
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