Data are limited regarding risk factors for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) caused by seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoVs) and the significance of virologic documentation by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) on outcomes in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. We retrospectively analyzed patients undergoing allogeneic HCT (4/2008-9/2018) with HCoV (OC43/NL63/HKU1/229E) detected by polymerase chain reaction during conditioning or post-HCT. Risk factors for all manifestations of LRTI and progression to LRTI among those presenting with HCoV upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) were analyzed by logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models, respectively. Mortality rates following HCoV LRTI were compared according to virologic documentation by BAL. A total of 297 patients (61 children and 236 adults) developed HCoV infection as follows: 254 had URTI alone, 18 presented with LRTI, and 25 progressed from URTI to LRTI (median, 16 days; range, 2-62 days). Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that male sex, higher immunodeficiency scoring index, albumin <3 g/dL, glucose >150 mg/dL, and presence of respiratory copathogens were associated with occurrence of LRTI. Hyperglycemia with steroid use was associated with progression to LRTI (P < .01) in Cox models. LRTI with HCoV detected in BAL was associated with higher mortality than LRTI without documented detection in BAL (P < .01). In conclusion, we identified factors associated with HCoV LRTI, some of which are less commonly appreciated to be risk factors for LRTI with other respiratory viruses in HCT recipients. The association of hyperglycemia with LRTI might provide an intervention opportunity to reduce the risk of LRTI.
BACKGROUND: In a cluster-randomised trial (CRT) of combination HIV prevention (HPTN 071 (PopART)) in 12 Zambian communities and nine South African communities, carried out from 2012 to 2018, the intervention arm A that offered HIV treatment irrespective of CD4 count did not have a significant impact on population level HIV incidence. Intervention arm B, where HIV incidence was reduced by 30%, followed national guidelines that mid trial (2016) changed from starting HIV treatment according to a CD4 threshold of 500 to universal treatment. Using social science data on the 21 communities, we consider how place (community context) might have influenced the primary outcome result. METHODS: A social science component documented longitudinally the context of trial communities. Data were collected through rapid qualitative assessment, interviews, group discussions and observations. There were a total of 1547 participants and 1127 observations. Using these data, literature and a series of qualitative analysis steps, we identified key community characteristics of relevance to HIV and triangulated these with HIV community level incidence. RESULTS: Two interdependent social factors were relevant to communities' capability to manage HIV: stability/instability and responsiveness/resistance. Key components of stability were social cohesion; limited social change; a vibrant local economy; better health, education and recreational services; strong institutional presence; established middle-class residents; predictable mobility; and less poverty and crime. Key components of responsiveness were community leadership being open to change, stronger history of HIV initiatives, willingness to take up HIV services, less HIV-related stigma and a supported and enterprising youth population. There was a clear pattern of social factors across arms. Intervention arm A communities were notably more resistant and unstable. Intervention arm B communities were overall more responsive and stable. CONCLUSIONS: In the specific case of the dissonant primary outcome results from the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial, the chance allocation of less stable, less responsive communities to arm A compared to arm B may explain some of the apparently smaller impact of the intervention in arm A. Stability and responsiveness appear to be two key social factors that may be relevant to secular trends in HIV incidence. We advocate for a systematic approach, using these factors as a framework, to community context in CRTs and monitoring HIV prevention efforts. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01900977 . Registered on July 17, 2013.
J Exp Med
Multimeric immunoglobulin-like molecules arose early in vertebrate evolution, yet the unique contributions of multimeric IgM antibodies to infection control are not well understood. This is partially due to the difficulty of distinguishing low-affinity IgM, secreted rapidly by plasmablasts, from high-affinity antibodies derived from later-arising memory cells. We developed a pipeline to express B cell receptors (BCRs) from Plasmodium falciparum-specific IgM+ and IgG+ human memory B cells (MBCs) as both IgM and IgG molecules. BCRs from both subsets were somatically hypermutated and exhibited comparable monomeric affinity. Crystallization of one IgM+ MBC-derived antibody complexed with antigen defined a linear epitope within a conserved Plasmodium protein. In its physiological multimeric state, this antibody displayed exponentially higher antigen binding than a clonally identical IgG monomer, and more effectively inhibited P. falciparum invasion. Forced multimerization of this IgG significantly improved both antigen binding and parasite restriction, underscoring how avidity can alter antibody function. This work demonstrates the potential of high-avidity IgM in both therapeutics and vaccines.
N Engl J Med
During the 2018-2020 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, EVD was diagnosed in a patient who had received the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-based vaccine expressing a ZEBOV glycoprotein (rVSV-ZEBOV) (Merck). His treatment included an Ebola virus (EBOV)-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb114), and he recovered within 14 days. However, 6 months later, he presented again with severe EVD-like illness and EBOV viremia, and he died. We initiated epidemiologic and genomic investigations that showed that the patient had had a relapse of acute EVD that led to a transmission chain resulting in 91 cases across six health zones over 4 months. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.).
There is intense interest in antibody immunity to coronaviruses. However, it is unknown if coronaviruses evolve to escape such immunity, and if so, how rapidly. Here we address this question by characterizing the historical evolution of human coronavirus 229E. We identify human sera from the 1980s and 1990s that have neutralizing titers against contemporaneous 229E that are comparable to the anti-SARS-CoV-2 titers induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. We test these sera against 229E strains isolated after sera collection, and find that neutralizing titers are lower against these "future" viruses. In some cases, sera that neutralize contemporaneous 229E viral strains with titers >1:100 do not detectably neutralize strains isolated 8-17 years later. The decreased neutralization of "future" viruses is due to antigenic evolution of the viral spike, especially in the receptor-binding domain. If these results extrapolate to other coronaviruses, then it may be advisable to periodically update SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
Multivalent display of receptor-engaging antibodies or ligands can enhance their activity. Instead of achieving multivalency by attachment to preexisting scaffolds, here we unite form and function by the computational design of nanocages in which one structural component is an antibody or Fc-ligand fusion and the second is a designed antibody-binding homo-oligomer that drives nanocage assembly. Structures of eight nanocages determined by electron microscopy spanning dihedral, tetrahedral, octahedral, and icosahedral architectures with 2, 6, 12, and 30 antibodies per nanocage, respectively, closely match the corresponding computational models. Antibody nanocages targeting cell surface receptors enhance signaling compared with free antibodies or Fc-fusions in death receptor 5 (DR5)-mediated apoptosis, angiopoietin-1 receptor (Tie2)-mediated angiogenesis, CD40 activation, and T cell proliferation. Nanocage assembly also increases severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pseudovirus neutralization by α-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and Fc-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) fusion proteins.
J Clin Invest
Tissue-based T cells are important effectors in the prevention and control of mucosal viral infections - less is known about tissue-based B cells. We demonstrate that B cells and antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) are present in inflammatory infiltrates in skin biopsies of persons during symptomatic HSV2 reactivation and early healing. Both CD20+ B cells, most of which are antigen-inexperienced by co-expression of IgD, and ASCs, characterized by dense IgG RNA expression in combination with CD138, IRF4 and Blimp1 RNA, are seen in association with T cells. ASCs are found clustered with CD4+ T cells, suggesting potential for crosstalk. HSV2-specific antibodies to virus surface antigens are also present in tissue and increase in concentration during HSV2 reactivation and healing, unlike in serum where concentrations remain static over time. B cells, ASCs, and HSV-specific antibody were rarely detected in biopsies of unaffected skin. Evaluation of serial biopsies demonstrate that B cells and ASCs follow a more migratory than resident pattern of infiltration in HSV-affected genital skin, in contrast to T cells. Together, these observations suggest distinct phenotypes of B cells in HSV-affected tissue; dissecting their role in reactivation may reveal new therapeutic avenues to control these infections.
Transplant Cell Ther
BACKGROUND: Early detection of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) depends upon recognition of subclinical spirometric changes, which is possible only with frequent interval spirometry. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the feasibility of home monitoring of weekly spirometry via a wireless handheld device and a web monitoring portal in a cohort of high-risk patients for the detection of lung function changes preceding BOS diagnosis. STUDY DESIGN: Observational study of 46 patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease or FEV1 decline of unclear etiology after allogeneic HCT were enrolled to perform weekly home spirometry with a wireless portable spirometer for a year. Measurements were transmitted wirelessly to a cloud-based monitoring portal. Feasibility evaluation included adherence with study procedures and an assessment of the home spirometry measurements compared to laboratory pulmonary function tests. RESULTS: Thirty-six (78%) patients completed one year of weekly monitoring. Overall adherence with weekly home spirometry measurements was 72% (IQR 47-90%), which did not meet the predetermined threshold of 75% for high adherence. Correlation of home FEV1 with laboratory FEV1 was high, with a bias of 0.123 L (Lower limit -0. 294 L, upper limit 0. 541 L), which is within acceptable limits for reliability. Of the 12 individuals who were diagnosed with BOS or suspected BOS during the study period, 9 had antecedent FEV1 decline detected by home spirometry. CONCLUSION: Wireless handheld spirometry performed at home in a high-risk HCT cohort is feasible for close monitoring of pulmonary function and appears to facilitate early detection of BOS.
Am J Health Syst Pharm
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