To give you an insight into the latest discoveries on SARS-CoV-2 and promote scientific networking, we hosted a virtual event full of interesting talks and round table discussions with several experts who shared their latest findings in COVID-19 research.
Below, you can find the recordings and more information on each of the expert presentations. Alternatively, you can tune into the recording of the whole event, which includes useful question and answer sessions and round table discussions.
SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are crucial for virus control in COVID-19. A central hypothesis is that SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells from convalescent donors who have recovered from COVID-19 can be manufactured expeditiously and are safe and effective for the treatment of severe SARS-CoV-2 infections in recipients. In this talk, Prof Leung will discuss rapid manufacturing of clinical-grade SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells for adoptive cell therapy. High frequencies of peptide-reactive T cells were found in convalescent donors, regardless of severity of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a new pandemic disease caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The C5a anaphylatoxin and its receptor C5aR1 (CD88) play a key role in the initiation and maintenance of several inflammatory responses, by recruiting and activating neutrophils and monocytes in the lungs. We provide a longitudinal analysis of immune responses, including immune cell phenotyping and assessments of the soluble factors present in the blood and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients at various stages of COVID-19 severity: paucisymptomatic, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We report an increase in soluble C5a levels proportional to COVID-19 severity and high levels of C5aR1 expression in blood and pulmonary myeloid cells, supporting a role for the C5a-C5aR1 axis in the pathophysiology of ARDS. Anti-C5aR1 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) prevented C5a-mediated human myeloid cell recruitment and activation and inhibited acute lung injury (ALI) in human C5aR1 knockin mice.
These results suggest that C5a-C5aR1 axis blockade might be used as a means of limiting myeloid cell infiltration in damaged organs and preventing the excessive lung inflammation and endothelialitis associated with ARDS in COVID-19 patients.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) displays high clinical variability, however the parameters that determine disease severity of COVID-19 are unclear. Pre-existing T cell memory generated by frequent infections with the related “common cold” Coronavirus (CCCoV) has been hypothesized as protective mechanism, but conclusive evidence is lacking. We used antigen-reactive T cell enrichment (ARTE) a sensitive technology to characterize antigen-reactive T cells, to deeply characterize SARS-CoV-2 and CCCoV-specific T cells from healthy donors and COVID-19 patients, using multiparameter cytometry, single cell gene expression profiling and TCR avidity and cross-reactivity measurements. Our data suggests that pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 specific memory is not primarily induced by CCCoV and is not protective, but mainly increased in the elderly. Pre-existing memory may in fact contribute to severe COVID-19 disease observed in this age group.
Cellular and humoral immunity are important immune responses against SARS-CoV-2.Virus clearance and inflammation are mainly mediated by CD8+ T cells directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. However, the total lymphocyte population, as well as CD4+ T cells, B cells, and natural killer have shown to play a significant role in COVID-19 inflammatory status.Currently it is unknown which responses confer protection against COVID-19.
The dynamics of antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 are under investigation and detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies are no direct indication forprotective immunity. Nevertheless, most of infected patients show an antibody response between day 7 and 21 after infection. Notably, the longevity of the antibody responseis considered to be correlated with protective immunity against reinfections, which is important information when considering the formulation of vaccines.
There are still many studies required to fully understand the role of the humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Although serum antibodies are thought to decrease over time, mucosal antibodies, such as IgA, are thought to persist, as demonstrated for seasonal coronavirus 229E. A lot of questions remain unanswered. What level and which type of antibodyis needed for protection? Which target antigenis most protective? What are important antibody dynamics? Which B cells produce these kinds of antibodies? And, might some antibodies enhance the disease? Prolonged studies and more research are therefore required in order to clarify these and many other open questions. To undertake such research, it is vital to have high quality SARS-CoV-2 proteins. We’ll present here the work that has been carried out at Miltenyi Biotec to produce and test full length SARS-CoV-2 proteins and the humoral responses of patients against them.
The clinical worsening in COVID-19 patients is a consequence of the immunopathology induced by a cytokine release syndrome, associated with the immune response against the virus, which in the most severe cases can trigger multi-organ failure and death of the patient.
Cell therapy with Treg cells can potentially be a successful approach to treat or prevent the immune hyperactivation, and their suppressive capacity can be the best option for the control of the hyperinflammatory phase. Our group has experience in the clinical employment of Treg cell therapy for the control of immune related diseases, employing pioneering approaches that will allow scaling and therapeutic use in large patient groups.
The Cytometry and Antibody Technology Facility (CAT) at the University of Chicago received a new MACSQuant Tyto cell sorter in March of 2020, just as the activities in the laboratory were being drastically reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, the Tyto became a critical component of the research projects of groups working on that virus. This discussion will provide an overview of the CAT Facility, the circumstances by which the Tyto was acquired, how it became a major part of the way we handle biohazardous material in our research environment, and how we plan to position the Tyto going forward.
The statements and other contributions presented at the meeting and the views expressed therein are those of the attending experts and do not necessarily represent the policy or opinion of Miltenyi Biotec or any institution the respective expert may be associated with. Neither Miltenyi Biotec nor any of its directors or employees give any representation or warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, or completeness of the content thereof. Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities. This notice must accompany any further distribution of this document.