Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a chronic, debilitating multisystem illness of unknown etiology for which there is no cure and no diagnostic tests available. Despite increasing evidence implicating EBV and human herpesvirus-6A (HHV-6A) as potential causative infectious agents in a subset of ME/CFS patients, there are few mechanistic studies to address a causal relationship. In this study we examined a large ME/CFS cohort (n=351) and 77 controls and demonstrate a significant increase in activin A and IL-21serum levels, which correlated with seropositivity for antibodies to the EBV and HHV-6 protein deoxyuridine-triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase), but not CXCL13. These cytokines are critical for T follicular helper (TFH) cell differentiation, generation of high-affinity antibodies and long-lived plasma cells. Notably, ME/CFS serum was sufficient to drive TFH cell differentiation via an activin A-dependent mechanism. The lack of simultaneous CXCL13 increase with IL-21 indicates impaired TFH-function in ME/CFS. In vitro studies revealed that virus-dUTPases strongly induced activin A secretion while in vivo, EBV-dUTPase induced the formation of splenic marginal zone B and invariant NKTFH cells. Altogether, our data indicate abnormal germinal center (GC) activity in ME/CFS subjects and highlight a mechanism by which EBV and HHV6-dUTPases may alter GC and extrafollicular Ab responses.
Brandon S. Cox, Khaled Alharshawi, Irene Mena-Palomo, William P. Lafuse, Maria E. Ariza
The RTS,S/AS01E vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Using protein microarrays, levels of IgG to 1,000 P. falciparum antigens were measured in 2,138 infants (age 6-12 weeks) and children (age 5-17 months) from 6 African sites of the phase 3 trial, sampled before and at four longitudinal visits after vaccination. One month post-vaccination, IgG responses to 17% of all probed antigens showed differences between RTS,S/AS01E and comparator vaccination groups, whereas no prevaccination differences were found. A small subset of antigens presented IgG levels reaching 4- to 8 fold increases in the RTS,S/AS01E group, comparable in magnitude to anti-CSP IgG levels (~11-fold increase). They were strongly cross-correlated and correlated with anti CSP levels, waning similarly over time and re-increasing with the booster dose. Such an intriguing phenomenon may be due to cross-reactivity of anti-CSP antibodies with these antigens. RTS,S/AS01E vaccinees with strong off target IgG responses had an estimated lower clinical malaria incidence after adjusting for age group, site and post-vaccination anti-CSP levels. RTS,S/AS01E-induced IgG may bind strongly not only to CSP, but to unrelated malaria antigens, and this seems to either confer, or at least be a marker of, increased protection from clinical malaria.
Dídac Macià, Joseph J. Campo, Gemma Moncunill, Chenjerai Jairoce, Augusto J. Nhabomba, Maximilian Mpina, Hermann Sorgho, David Dosoo, Ousmane Traore, Kwadwo A. Kusi, Nana Aba Williams, Amit Oberai, Arlo Randall, Hector Sanz, Clarissa Valim, Kwaku P. Asante, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Halidou Tinto, Selidji T. Agnandji, Simon Kariuki, Ben Gyan, Claudia Daubenberger, Benjamin Mordmüller, Paula Petrone, Carlota Dobaño
SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in over 450 million confirmed cases since 2019. Although several vaccines have been certified by World Health Organization and are being vaccinated on a global scale, it has been reported that multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants can escape neutralisation by antibodies, resulting in vaccine breakthrough infections. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is known to induce heterologous protection based on trained immune responses. Here, we investigated whether BCG-induced trained immunity protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in the K18-hACE2 mouse model. Our data demonstrates that intravenous BCG vaccination induces robust trained innate immune responses and provides protection against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants. Further studies suggest that myeloid cell differentiation and activation of the glycolysis pathway are associated with BCG-induced training immunity in the K18-hACE2 mice. Overall, our study provides the experimental evidence that establishes a causal relationship between intravenous BCG vaccination and protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge.
Bao-Zhong Zhang, Huiping Shuai, Hua-rui Gong, Jing-Chu Hu, Bingpeng Yan, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Ye-Fan Hu, Chaemin Yoon, Xiao-Lei Wang, Yuxin Hou, Xuansheng Lin, Xiner Huang, Renhao Li, Yee Man Au-Yeung, Wenjun Li, Bingjie Hu, Yue Chai, Ming Yue, Jian-Piao Cai, Guang Sheng Ling, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Jian-Dong Huang, Hin Chu
Bacteria have evolved to cope with the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using their essential molecular components. Catalase, a heme-containing tetramer protein expressed universally in most of the aerobic bacteria, plays an indispensable role in scavenging excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here, through utilization of wild-type and catalase-deficient mutants, we identified catalase as an endogenous therapeutic target of 400-420 nm blue light. Catalase residing inside bacteria could be effectively inactivated by blue light, subsequently rendering the pathogens extremely vulnerable to H2O2 and H2O2-producing agents. As a result, photoinactivation of catalase and H2O2 synergistically eliminate a wide range of catalase-positive planktonic bacteria and P. aeruginosa inside biofilms. In addition, photoinactivation of catalase is shown to facilitate macrophages to defend against intracellular pathogens. The antimicrobial efficacy of catalase photoinactivation is further validated using a Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced mice abrasion model. Taken together, our findings offer a catalase-targeting phototherapy approach against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.
Pu-Ting Dong, Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Yuewei Zhan, Yifan Zhu, George Y. Liu, Ji-Xin Cheng
BACKGROUND. Measuring the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 enables assessment of past infection and protective immunity. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces humoral and T-cell responses, but these responses vary with disease severity and individual characteristics. METHODS. A T-cell receptor (TCR) immunosequencing assay was conducted using small-volume blood samples from 302 individuals recovered from COVID-19. Correlations between the magnitude of the T-cell response and neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers or indicators of disease severity were evaluated. Sensitivity of T-cell testing was assessed and compared to serologic testing. RESULTS. SARS-CoV-2–specific T-cell responses were significantly correlated with nAb titers and clinical indicators of disease severity, including hospitalization, fever, and difficulty breathing. Despite modest declines in depth and breadth of T-cell responses during convalescence, high sensitivity was observed until at least 6 months after infection, with overall sensitivity ~5% greater than serology tests for identifying prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improved performance of T-cell testing was most apparent in recovered, non-hospitalized individuals sampled >150 days after initial illness, suggesting greater sensitivity than serology at later timepoints and in individuals with less severe disease. T-cell testing identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in 68% (55/81) of samples with undetectable nAb titers (<1:40) and in 37% (13/35) of samples negative by 3 antibody assays. CONCLUSION. These results support TCR-based testing as a scalable, reliable measure of past SARS-CoV-2 infection with clinical value beyond serology. FUNDING. Adaptive Biotechnologies, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Joel Meyers Endowment; Fast Grants, American Society for Transplantation and Cell Therapy.
Rebecca Elyanow, Thomas M. Snyder, Sudeb C. Dalai, Rachel M. Gittelman, Jim Boonyaratanakornkit, Anna Wald, Stacy Selke, Mark H. Wener, Chihiro Morishima, Alexander L. Greninger, Michael Gale Jr., Tien-Ying Hsiang, Lichen Jing, Michael R. Holbrook, Ian M. Kaplan, H. Jabran Zahid, Damon H. May, Jonathan M. Carlson, Lance Baldo, Thomas Manley, Harlan S. Robins, David M. Koelle
BACKGROUND. HIV-1 vaccine efforts are primarily directed towards eliciting neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). However, vaccine trials and mother to child natural history cohort investigations indicate that antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), not nAbs, correlate with prevention. The ADCC characteristics associated with lack of HIV-1 acquisition remain unclear. METHODS. Here we examine ADCC and nAb properties in pre-transmission plasma from HIV-1 exposed infants and from the corresponding transmitting and non-transmitting mothers’ breast milk and plasma. Breadth and potency (BP) is assessed against a panel of heterologous, non-maternal, variants. ADCC and neutralization sensitivity is estimated for the strains present in the infected mothers. RESULTS. Infants that eventually acquire HIV-1 and those that remain uninfected have similar pre-transmission ADCC BP. The viruses circulating in the transmitting and the non-transmitting mothers also have similar ADCC susceptibility. Infants with a combination of higher pre-transmission ADCC BP and exposure to more ADCC susceptible strains are less likely to acquire HIV-1. In contrast, higher pre-existing infant neutralization BP and greater maternal virus neutralization sensitivity does not associate with transmission. Infants have higher ADCC BP closer to birth and in the presence of high plasma IgG relative to IgA levels. Mothers with potent humoral responses against their autologous viruses harbor more ADCC sensitive strains. CONCLUSION. ADCC sensitivity of the exposure variants along with preexisting ADCC BP influence mother to child HIV-1 transmission during breastfeeding. Vaccination strategies that enhance ADCC responses are likely not sufficient to prevent HIV-1 transmission because strains present in chronically infected individuals can have low ADCC susceptibility. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT00164736 for BAN study
Allison S. Thomas, Carolyn Coote, Yvetane Moreau, John E. Isaac, Alexander C. Ewing, Athena P. Kourtis, Manish Sagar
BACKGROUND. SARS-CoV-2 infections are frequently milder in children than adults, suggesting that immune responses may vary with age. However, information is limited regarding SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in young children. METHODS. We compared Receptor Binding Domain binding antibody (RBDAb) titers and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers measured by pseudovirus neutralizing antibody assay (PsVNA) in serum specimens obtained from children aged 0-4 years, 5-17 years, and in adults aged 18-62 years at the time of enrollment in a prospective longitudinal household study of SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS. Among 56 participants seropositive at enrollment, children aged 0-4 years had >10-fold higher RBDAb titers than adults (416 vs. 31, P<0.0001), and the highest RBDAb titers in 11/12 households with seropositive children and adults. Children aged 0-4 years had only 2-fold higher neutralizing Ab than adults, resulting in higher binding to neutralizing (B/N) Ab ratios compared to adults (2.36 vs. 0.35 for ID50, P=0.0002). CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest that young children mount robust antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 following community infections. Additionally, these results support using neutralizing Ab to measure the immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 0-4 years. FUNDING. Supported by CDC Award 75D30120C08737
Ruth A. Karron, Maria Garcia Quesada, Elizabeth A. Schappell, Stephen D. Schmidt, Maria Deloria Knoll, Marissa K. Hetrich, Vic Veguilla, Nicole A. Doria-Rose, Fatimah S. Dawood
Severe viral infections of the skin can occur in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). We report an all-in-one whole-transcriptome sequencing-based method by RNA-Seq on a single skin biopsy for concomitant identification of the cutaneous virome and underlying IEI. Skin biopsies were obtained from normal and lesional skin from patients with cutaneous infections suspected to be of viral origin. RNA-Seq was utilized as the first-tier strategy for unbiased human genome-wide rare variant detection. Reads unaligned to the human genome were utilized for the exploration of 926 different viruses in a viral genome catalog. In nine families studied, the patients carried pathogenic variants in six human IEI genes, including IL2RG, WAS, CIB1, STK4, GATA2, and DOCK8. Gene expression profiling also confirmed pathogenicity of the human variants and permitted genome-wide homozygosity mapping which assisted in identification of candidate genes in consanguineous families. This automated, all-in-one computational pipeline, called VirPy, enables simultaneous detection of the viral triggers and the human genetic variants underlying skin lesions in patients with suspicion of IEI and viral dermatosis.
Amir Hossein Saeidian, Leila Youssefian, Charles Y. Huang, Fahimeh Palizban, Mahtab Naji, Zahra Saffarian, Hamidreza Mahmoudi, Azadeh Goodarzi, Soheila Sotoudeh, Fatemeh Vahidnezhad, Maliheh Amani, Narjes Tavakoli, Ali Ajami, Samaneh Mozafarpoor, Mehrdad Teimoorian, Saeed Dorgaleleh, Sima Shokri, Mohammad Shenagari, Nima Abedi, Sirous Zeinali, Paolo Fortina, Vivien Béziat, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Jouni Uitto, Hassan Vahidnezhad
BACKGROUND. Gut decontamination (GD) can decrease the incidence and severity of acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGVHD) in murine models of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In this pilot study, we examined the impact of GD on the gut microbiome composition and incidence of aGVHD in HCT patients. METHODS. We randomized 20 pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic HCT to receive (GD) or not receive (no-GD) oral vancomycin-polymyxin B from day -5 through neutrophil engraftment. We evaluated shotgun metagenomic sequencing of serial stool samples to compare the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome between study arms. We assessed clinical outcomes in the 2 arms and performed strain-specific analyses of pathogens that caused bloodstream infections (BSI). RESULTS. The two arms did not differ in the predefined primary outcome of Shannon diversity of the gut microbiome at two weeks post-HCT (Genus, p=0.8; Species, p=0.44) or aGVHD incidence (p=0.58). Immune reconstitution of T-cell and B-cell subsets was similar between groups. Five patients in the no-GD arm had eight BSI episodes vs one episode in the GD arm (p=0.09). The BSI-causing pathogens were traceable to the gut in seven of eight BSI episodes in the no-GD arm, including Staphylococcus species. CONCLUSIONS. While GD did not differentially impact Shannon diversity or clinical outcomes, our findings suggest that GD may protect against gut-derived BSI in HCT patients by decreasing the prevalence or abundance of gut pathogens. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02641236 FUNDING. NIH, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, V Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Emerson Collective, Stanford MCHRI.
Christopher J. Severyn, Benjamin A. Siranosian, Sandra Tian-Jiao Kong, Angel Moreno, Michelle M. Li, Nan Chen, Christine N. Duncan, Steven P. Margossian, Leslie E. Lehmann, Shan Sun, Tessa M. Andermann, Olga Birbrayer, Sophie Silverstein, Soomin Kim, Niaz Banaei, Jerome Ritz, Anthony A. Fodor, Wendy B. London, Ami S. Bhatt, Jennifer S. Whangbo
Sporozoite-based approaches currently represent the most effective vaccine strategies for induction of sterile protection against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria. Clinical development of sub-unit vaccines is almost exclusively centered around the Circum-sporozoite Protein (CSP) an abundantly expressed protein on the sporozoite membrane. Anti-CSP antibodies are able to block sporozoite invasion and development in human hepatocytes and subsequently prevent clinical malaria. Here we investigated whether sporozoite-induced human antibodies with specificities different from CSP can reduce Pf-liver stage development. IgG preparations were obtained from 12 volunteers inoculated with a protective immunization regime of whole-sporozoites under chloroquine prophylaxis. These IgGs were depleted for CSP-specificity by affinity chromatography. Recovered non-CSP antibodies were tested for sporozoite membrane binding and for functional inhibition of sporozoite invasion of a human hepatoma cell line and hepatocytes both in vitro and in vivo. Post-immunization IgGs depleted for CSP-specificity of 9 out of 12 donors recognized sporozoite surface antigens. Samples from 5 out of 12 donors functionally reduced parasite-liver cell invasion or development using the hepatoma cell line HC-04 and FRG-huHep mice containing human liver cells. The combined data provide clear evidence that non-CSP proteins as yet undefined do represent antibody targets for functional immunity against Plasmodium falciparum parasites responsible for malaria.
Amanda Fabra-García, Annie S.P. Yang, Marije C. Behet, Xi Zen Yap, Youri van Waardenburg, Swarnendu Kaviraj, Kjerstin Lanke, Geert-Jan van Gemert, Matthijs M. Jore, Teun Bousema, Robert W. Sauerwein
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