Among COVID-19 hospitalized patients, high incidence of alterations in inflammatory and coagulation biomarkers correlates with a poor prognosis. Comorbidities such as chronic degenerative diseases are frequently associated with complications in COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate inflammatory and procoagulant biomarkers in COVID-19 patients from a public hospital in Mexico. Blood was sampled within the first 48 h after admission in 119 confirmed COVID-19 patients that were classified in 3 groups according to oxygen demand, evolution and the severity of the disease as follows: 1) Non severe: nasal cannula or oxygen mask; 2) Severe: high flow nasal cannula and 3) Death: mechanical ventilation eventually leading to fatal outcome. Blood samples from 20 healthy donors were included as a Control Group. Analysis of inflammatory and coagulation biomarkers including D-dimer, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, PAI-1, P-selectin and VWF was performed in plasma. Routine laboratory and clinical biomarkers were also included and compared among groups. Concentrations of D-dimer (14.5 ± 13.8 µg/ml) and PAI-1 (1223 ± 889.6 ng/ml) were significantly elevated in severe COVID-19 patients (P < 0.0001). A significant difference was found in interleukin-6, PAI-1 and P-selectin in non-severe and healthy donors when compared to Severe COVID-19 and deceased patients (P < 0.001). VWF levels were also significantly different between severe patients (153.5 ± 24.3 UI/dl) and non-severe ones (133.9 ± 20.2 UI/dl) (P < 0.0001). WBC and glucose levels were also significantly elevated in patients with Severe COVID-19. Plasma concentrations of all prothrombotic biomarkers were significantly higher in patients with a fatal outcome.
Vivax malaria remains one of the most serious and neglected tropical diseases, with 132 to 391 million clinical cases per year and 2.5 billion people at risk of infection. A vaccine against Plasmodium vivax could have more impact than any other intervention, and the use of a vaccine targeting multiple antigens may result in higher efficacy against sporozoite infection than targeting a single antigen.
Four different vaccine platforms, each targeting the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax cell-traversal protein for ookinetes and sporozoites (PvCelTOS), were generated and assessed for protective efficacy. These platforms consisted of a recombinant chimpanzee adenoviral vector 63 (ChAd63) expressing PvCelTOS (Ad), a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing PvCelTOS (MVA), PvCelTOS conjugated to bacteriophage Qβ virus-like particles (VLPs), and a recombinant PvCelTOS protein expressed in eukaryotic HEK293T cells (protein). Inbred BALB/c mice and outbred CD-1 mice were immunized using the following prime-boost regimens: Ad-MVA, Ad-VLPs, and Ad-protein. Protective efficacy against sporozoite challenge was assessed after immunization using a novel chimeric rodent Plasmodium berghei parasite (Pb-PvCelTOS). This chimeric parasite expresses P. vivax CelTOS in place of the endogenous P. berghei CelTOS and produces fully infectious sporozoites. A single Ad immunization in BALB/c and CD-1 mice induced anti-PvCelTOS antibodies which were boosted efficiently using MVA, VLP, or protein immunization. PvCelTOS-specific gamma interferon- and tumor necrosis factor alpha-producing CD8+ T cells were induced at high frequencies by all prime-boost regimens in BALB/c mice but not in CD-1 mice; in CD-1 mice, they were only marginally increased after boosting with MVA. Despite the induction of anti-PvCelTOS antibodies and PvCelTOS-specific CD8+ T-cell responses, only low levels of protective efficacy against challenge with Pb-PvCelTOS sporozoites were obtained using any immunization strategy. In BALB/c mice, no immunization regimens provided significant protection against a Pb-PvCelTOS chimeric sporozoite challenge. In CD-1 mice, modest protective efficacy against challenge with chimeric P. berghei sporozoites expressing either PvCelTOS or P. falciparum CelTOS was observed using the Ad-protein vaccination regimen.
Chikungunya fever is a debilitating disease caused by Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) that can result in long-lasting arthralgias. The early diagnosis of CHIKV relies on PCR during the acute infection phase to allow differential diagnosis with other co-circulating arboviruses such as dengue and Zika. Alternatively, serology can support diagnosis and provide epidemiological information on current and past outbreaks. Many commercial serological ELISA assays are based on the inactivated whole CHIKV, but their sensitivity and specificity show great variability. We produced recombinant CHIKV E2 that is suitable for ELISA assays, which was used for the serodiagnosis of CHIKV infections occurring in an arbovirus endemic Mexican region within Michoacán state. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016–2017; sera was obtained from 15 healthy donors and 68 patients presenting undifferentiated febrile illness. Serum samples were screened by RT-PCR and by our in-house ELISA assay. Our results indicate that IgM and IgG anti-CHIKV E2 antibodies were detected with our ELISA assay with higher sensitivity than a commercially available CHIKV ELISA kit. Our simple and sensitive ELISA assay for the serodiagnosis of CHIKV infections can be applied to population-based seroprevalence surveys and has potential for monitoring vaccine immunogenicity in CHIKV vaccine clinical trials.
BackgroundZika virus (ZIKV) has become a global threat with immediate need for accurate diagnostics, efficacious vaccines and therapeutics. Several ZIKV envelope (Env)-based vaccines have been developed recently. However, many commercially available ZIKV Env are based on the African lineage and produced in insect cells. Here, we sought to produce Asian-lineage ZIKV Env in mammalian cells for research and clinical applications.MethodsWe designed various gene expression constructs to optimize the production of ZIKV using prM-Env and full or C-terminal truncations of Env; with or without a rat CD4 fusion partner to allow large-scale production of soluble protein in mammalian HEK293 cells. Protein expression was verified by mass spectrometry and western-blot with a pan-flavivirus antibody, a ZIKV Env monoclonal antibody and with immune sera from adenoviral (ChAdOx1) ZIKV Env-vaccinated mice. The resulting Env-CD4 was used as a coating reagent for immunoassay (ELISA) using both mouse and human seropositive sera.ResultsReplacement of the C-terminus transmembrane Env domain by a rat CD4 and addition of prM supported optimal expression and secretion of Env. Binding between the antigens and the antibodies was similar to binding when using commercially available ZIKV Env reagents. Furthermore, antibodies from ZIKV patients bound ZIKV Env-CD4 in ELISA assays, whereas sera from healthy blood donors yielded minimal OD background. The serological outcomes of this assay correlated also with ZIKV neutralisation capacity in vitro.ConclusionsResults obtained from this study indicate the potential of the Asian-lineage Zika Env-CD4 and Env proteins in ELISA assays to monitor humoral immune responses in upcoming clinical trials as well as a sero-diagnostic tool in ZIKV infection.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1186/s12985-018-1104-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The above article, published online on 29 July 2016 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the Journal Editor in Chief, Journal Production Manager, and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to 48% similar significant between this article and an article published in Nature Reviews Cancer journal.
Background Platelets are now recognized as immunological sentries in the first line of defense that participate in the detection and response to pathogens. This frequently results in a decrease in the number of circulating platelets. Different mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain the thrombocytopenia in patients with severe dengue, one of them is the participation of the non‐structural protein 1 (NS1) of dengue virus (DENV), which can be secreted into circulation during DENV infection and promotes a more efficient infection. Objective The present study aimed to investigate the ability of platelet response to stimulation with full‐length DENV NS1 protein and its domains. Methods DENV NS1 plasmid was transfected into HEK‐293T. Proteins were purified by Niquel Sepharose affinity chromatography. Secreted proteins were assessed by sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Coomassie staining and western blot. Platelet‐rich plasma was directly incubated with DENV NS1 proteins. Platelet activation was confirmed by expression of αIIbβIII and P‐selectin by flow cytometry. Platelet aggregation was also assessed using DENV NS1 protein and its individual domains as agonists. Results DENV NS1 protein and its domains induce P‐selectin and αIIbβ3 complex expression on platelet surfaces. DENV NS1 induce a stable platelet aggregation after the addition of a minimal dose of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), epinephrine (EPI), or collagen. Interestingly, only EPI could induce the formation of platelet aggregates after incubation with the protein domains of NS1. Conclusion Our results suggest that the full DENV NS1 protein and also its domains promote platelet recognition, activation, and aggregation.
The Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated in 1947 in Uganda. While it took 60 years for this virus to cause major outbreaks, an important shift in its ability to cause epidemics took place in the first and second decades of the this century: in 2007 in Yap Island, Micronesia, followed by French Polynesia in 2013 and, finally in 2015 and 2016, when ZIKV infections occurred throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean, spreading rapidly to reach North America in just a single year. No licensed prophylactic vaccine is yet available but recent efforts towards the development of a vaccine have been remarkable from both the private and public sectors and include new candidate vaccines ranging from the classical live-attenuated or inactivated vaccines to more sophisticated approaches such as mRNA or genetically engineered viral platforms. Previous successes with licensed flavivirus vaccines indicate that a protective ZIKV vaccine should be an achievable goal. Nevertheless, numerous pre- and post-licensure challenges need to be taken into account, such as the interaction of vaccine-induced immune responses with other flaviviruses, in particular with dengue, where antibody-dependent enhancement could become an issue, and the importance of a rapid induction of protective responses during pregnancy.
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