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An immunodominant NP105–113-B*07:02 cytotoxic T cell response controls viral replication and is associated with less severe COVID-19 disease
AbstractNP105–113-B*07:02-specific CD8+ T cell responses are considered among the most dominant in SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. We found strong association of this response with mild disease. Analysis of NP105–113-B*07:02-specific T cell clones and single-cell sequencing were performed concurrently, with functional avidity and antiviral efficacy assessed using an in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection system, and were correlated with T cell receptor usage, transcriptome signature and disease severity (acute n = 77, convalescent n = 52). We demonstrated a beneficial association of NP105–113-B*07:02-specific T cells in COVID-19 disease progression, linked with expansion of T cell precursors, high functional avidity and antiviral effector function. Broad immune memory pools were narrowed postinfection but NP105–113-B*07:02-specific T cells were maintained 6 months after infection with preserved antiviral efficacy to the SARS-CoV-2 Victoria strain, as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants. Our data show that NP105–113-B*07:02-specific T cell responses associate with mild disease and high antiviral efficacy, pointing to inclusion for future vaccine design.
Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have a class effect of increasing pneumonia risk in patients with COPD. However, pneumonia incidence varies widely across clinical trials of ICS use in COPD. This review clarifies methodological differences in defining and recording pneumonia events in these trials and discusses factors that could contribute to the varying pneumonia incidence. Literature searches and screening yielded 40 relevant references for inclusion. Methods used to capture pneumonia events in these studies included investigator-reported pneumonia adverse events, standardised list of signs or symptoms, radiographic confirmation of suspected cases and/or confirmation by an independent clinical end-point committee. In general, more stringent pneumonia diagnosis criteria led to lower reported pneumonia incidence rates. In addition, studies varied in design and population characteristics, including exacerbation history and lung function, factors that probably contribute to the varying pneumonia incidence. As such, cross-trial comparisons are problematic. A minimal set of standardised criteria for diagnosis and reporting of pneumonia should be used in COPD studies, as well as reporting of patients’ pneumonia history at baseline, to allow comparison of pneumonia rates between trials. Currently, within-trial comparison of ICS-containing versus non-ICS-containing treatments is the appropriate method to assess the influence of ICS on pneumonia incidence.
Interferon regulating factor 5 (IRF5) is a multifunctional regulator of immune responses, and has a key pathogenic function in gut inflammation, but how IRF5 is modulated is still unclear. Having performed a kinase inhibitor library screening in macrophages, here we identify protein-tyrosine kinase 2-beta (PTK2B/PYK2) as a putative IRF5 kinase. PYK2-deficient macrophages display impaired endogenous IRF5 activation, leading to reduction of inflammatory gene expression. Meanwhile, a PYK2 inhibitor, defactinib, has a similar effect on IRF5 activation in vitro, and induces a transcriptomic signature in macrophages similar to that caused by IRF5 deficiency. Finally, defactinib reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines in human colon biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis, as well as in a mouse colitis model. Our results thus implicate a function of PYK2 in regulating the inflammatory response in the gut via the IRF5 innate sensing pathway, thereby opening opportunities for related therapeutic interventions for inflammatory bowel diseases and other inflammatory conditions.
Polyps in the colon are widely known as cancer precursors identified by colonoscopy either related to diagnostic work-up for symptoms, colorectal cancer screening or systematic surveillance of certain diseases. Whilst most polyps are benign, the number, size and the surface structure of the polyp are tightly linked to the risk of colon cancer. There exists a high missed detection rate and incomplete removal of colon polyps due to the variable nature, difficulties to delineate the abnormality, high recurrence rates and the anatomical topography of the colon. In the past, several methods have been built to automate polyp detection and segmentation. However, the key issue of most methods is that they have not been tested rigorously on a large multi-center purpose-built dataset. Thus, these methods may not generalise to different population datasets as they overfit to a specific population and endoscopic surveillance. To this extent, we have curated a dataset from 6 different centers incorporating more than 300 patients. The dataset includes both single frame and sequence data with 3446 annotated polyp labels with precise delineation of polyp boundaries verified by six senior gastroenterologists. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive detection and pixel-level segmentation dataset curated by a team of computational scientists and expert gastroenterologists. This dataset has been originated as the part of the Endocv2021 challenge aimed at addressing generalisability in polyp detection and segmentation. In this paper, we provide comprehensive insight into data construction and annotation strategies, annotation quality assurance and technical validation for our extended EndoCV2021 dataset which we refer to as PolypGen.
Despite a general role for the HIF hydroxylase system in cellular oxygen sensing and tumour hypoxia, cancer-associated mutations of genes in this pathway, including PHD2, PHD1, EPAS1 (encoding HIF-2α) are highly tissue-restricted, being observed in pseudohypoxic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) but rarely, if ever, in other tumours. In an effort to understand that paradox and gain insights into the pathogenesis of pseudohypoxic PPGL, we constructed mice in which the principal HIF prolyl hydroxylase, Phd2, is inactivated in the adrenal medulla using TH-restricted Cre recombinase. Investigation of these animals revealed a gene expression pattern closely mimicking that of pseudohypoxic PPGL. Spatially resolved analyses demonstrated a binary distribution of two contrasting patterns of gene expression among adrenal medullary cells. Phd2 inactivation resulted in a marked shift in this distribution towards a Pnmt-/Hif-2α+/Rgs5+ population. This was associated with morphological abnormalities of adrenal development, including ectopic TH+ cells within the adrenal cortex and external to the adrenal gland. These changes were ablated by combined inactivation of Phd2 with Hif-2α, but not Hif-1α. However, they could not be reproduced by inactivation of Phd2 in adult life, suggesting that they arise from dysregulation of this pathway during adrenal development. Together with the clinical observation that pseudohypoxic PPGL manifests remarkably high heritability, our findings suggest that this type of tumour likely arises from dysregulation of a tissue-restricted action of the PHD2/HIF-2α pathway affecting adrenal development in early life and provides a model for the study of the relevant processes.
AbstractWe estimated the duration and determinants of antibody response after SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population using representative data from 7,256 United Kingdom COVID-19 infection survey participants who had positive swab SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests from 26-April-2020 to 14-June-2021. A latent class model classified 24% of participants as ‘non-responders’ not developing anti-spike antibodies. These seronegative non-responders were older, had higher SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values during infection (i.e. lower viral burden), and less frequently reported any symptoms. Among those who seroconverted, using Bayesian linear mixed models, the estimated anti-spike IgG peak level was 7.3-fold higher than the level previously associated with 50% protection against reinfection, with higher peak levels in older participants and those of non-white ethnicity. The estimated anti-spike IgG half-life was 184 days, being longer in females and those of white ethnicity. We estimated antibody levels associated with protection against reinfection likely last 1.5-2 years on average, with levels associated with protection from severe infection present for several years. These estimates could inform planning for vaccination booster strategies.
INTRODUCTION: Proteomic analysis has contributed significantly to the study of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It has helped to define the pathological change common to nearly all cases, namely intracellular aggregates of phosphorylated TDP-43, shifting the focus of pathogenesis in ALS towards RNA biology. Proteomics has also uniquely underpinned the delineation of disease mechanisms in model systems and has been central to recent advances in human ALS biomarker development. AREAS COVERED: The contribution of proteomics to understanding the cellular pathological changes, disease mechanisms and biomarker development in ALS are covered. EXPERT OPINION: Proteomics has delivered unique insights into the pathogenesis of ALS and advanced the goal of objective measurements of disease activity to improve therapeutic trials. Further developments in sensitivity and quantification are expected, with application to the presymptomatic phase of human disease offering the hope of prevention strategies.
Kinetics of immune responses to the AZD1222/Covishield vaccine with varying dose intervals in Sri Lankan individuals.
Background: To understand the kinetics of immune responses with different dosing gaps of the AZD1222 vaccine, we compared antibody and T cell responses in two cohorts with two different dosing gaps. Methods: Antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus were assessed in 297 individuals with a dosing gap of 12 weeks, sampled at 12 weeks post second dose (cohort 1) and in 77 individuals with a median dosing gap of 21.4 weeks (cohort 2) sampled 6 weeks post second dose. ACE2 receptor blocking antibodies (ACE2R-Abs), antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the virus and variants of concern (VOC) and ex vivo T cell responses were assessed in a sub cohort. Results: All individuals (100%) had SARS-CoV-2 specific total antibodies and 94.2% of cohort 1 and 97.1% of cohort 2 had ACE2R-blocking Abs. There was no difference in antibody titres or positivity rates in different age groups in both cohorts. The ACE2R-blocking Abs (p<0.0001) and antibodies to the RBD of the VOCs were significantly higher in cohort 2, compared to cohort 1. 41.2% to 65.8% of different age groups gave a positive response by the haemagglutination assay to the RBD of the ancestral virus and VOCs in cohort 1, while 53.6% to 90% gave a positive response in cohort 2. 17/57 (29.8%) of cohort 1 and 17/29 (58.6%) of cohort 2 had ex vivo IFNγ ELISpot responses above the positive threshold. The ACE2R-blocking antibodies and ex vivo IFNγ ELISpot responses at 12 weeks post-first dose, significantly correlated with levels 12 weeks post second dose (Spearman's r=0.46, p=0.008) and (Spearman's r=0.71, p<0.0001) respectively. Conclusions: Both dosing schedules resulted in high levels of antibody and T cell responses post vaccination, although those with a longer dosing gap had a higher magnitude of responses, possibly as immune responses were measured 6 weeks post second dose compared to 12 weeks post second dose.