HIV skews the SARS-CoV-2 B cell response toward an extrafollicular maturation pathway
Background: HIV infection dysregulates the B cell compartment, affecting memory B cell formation and the antibody response to infection and vaccination. Understanding the B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with HIV (PLWH) may explain the increased morbidity, reduced vaccine efficacy, reduced clearance, and intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 observed in some HIV-1 coinfections.
Methods: We compared B cell responses to COVID-19 in PLWH and HIV negative (HIV-ve) patients in a cohort recruited in Durban, South Africa, during the first pandemic wave in July 2020 using detailed flow cytometry phenotyping of longitudinal samples with markers of B cell maturation, homing and regulatory features.
Results: This revealed a coordinated B cell response to COVID-19 that differed significantly between HIV-ve and PLWH. Memory B cells in PLWH displayed evidence of reduced germinal center (GC) activity, homing capacity and class-switching responses, with increased PD-L1 expression, and decreased Tfh frequency. This was mirrored by increased extrafollicular (EF) activity, with dynamic changes in activated double negative (DN2) and activated naïve B cells, which correlated with anti-RBD-titres in these individuals. An elevated SARS-CoV-2 specific EF response in PLWH was confirmed using viral spike and RBD bait proteins.
Conclusions: Despite similar disease severity, these trends were highest in participants with uncontrolled HIV, implicating HIV in driving these changes. EF B cell responses are rapid but give rise to lower affinity antibodies, less durable long-term memory, and reduced capacity to adapt to new variants. Further work is needed to determine the long-term effects of HIV on SARS-CoV-2 immunity, particularly as new variants emerge.
Funding: This work was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to the Africa Health Research Institute (Wellcome Trust Strategic Core Award [grant number 201433/Z/16/Z]). Additional funding was received from the South African Department of Science and Innovation through the National Research Foundation (South African Research Chairs Initiative, [grant number 64809]), and the Victor Daitz Foundation.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and Source data 1.
Article and author information
Wellcome Trust (201433/Z/16/Z)
- Alex Sigal
National Research Foundation (64809)
- Alex Sigal
Victor Daitz Foundation
- Alex Sigal
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (open access funding)
- Alex Sigal
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study protocol was approved by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (approval BREC/00001275/2020). Written informed consent was obtained for all enrolled participants.
- Bavesh D Kana, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
- Received: May 3, 2022
- Preprint posted: June 15, 2022 (view preprint)
- Accepted: October 23, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: October 27, 2022 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: November 8, 2022 (version 2)
© 2022, Krause et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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- Epidemiology and Global Health
Whether natural selection may have attributed to the observed blood group frequency differences between populations remains debatable. The ABO system has been associated with several diseases and recently also with susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Associative studies of the RhD system and diseases are sparser. A large disease-wide risk analysis may further elucidate the relationship between the ABO/RhD blood groups and disease incidence.
We performed a systematic log-linear quasi-Poisson regression analysis of the ABO/RhD blood groups across 1,312 phecode diagnoses. Unlike prior studies, we determined the incidence rate ratio for each individual ABO blood group relative to all other ABO blood groups as opposed to using blood group O as the reference. Moreover, we used up to 41 years of nationwide Danish follow-up data, and a disease categorization scheme specifically developed for diagnosis-wide analysis. Further, we determined associations between the ABO/RhD blood groups and the age at the first diagnosis. Estimates were adjusted for multiple testing.
The retrospective cohort included 482,914 Danish patients (60.4% females). The incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of 101 phecodes were found statistically significant between the ABO blood groups, while the IRRs of 28 phecodes were found statistically significant for the RhD blood group. The associations included cancers and musculoskeletal-, genitourinary-, endocrinal-, infectious-, cardiovascular-, and gastrointestinal diseases.
We found associations of disease-wide susceptibility differences between the blood groups of the ABO and RhD systems, including cancer of the tongue, monocytic leukemia, cervical cancer, osteoarthrosis, asthma, and HIV- and hepatitis B infection. We found marginal evidence of associations between the blood groups and the age at first diagnosis.
Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Innovation Fund Denmark
- Epidemiology and Global Health
- Genetics and Genomics
Background: To evaluate the utility of polygenic risk scores (PRS) in identifying high-risk individuals, different publicly available PRS for breast (n=85), prostate (n=37), colorectal (n=22) and lung cancers (n=11) were examined in a prospective study of 21,694 Chinese adults.
Methods: We constructed PRS using weights curated in the online PGS Catalog. PRS performance was evaluated by distribution, discrimination, predictive ability, and calibration. Hazard ratios (HR) and corresponding confidence intervals [CI] of the common cancers after 20 years of follow-up were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models for different levels of PRS.
Results: A total of 495 breast, 308 prostate, 332 female-colorectal, 409 male-colorectal, 181 female-lung and 381 male-lung incident cancers were identified. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve for the best performing site-specific PRS were 0.61 (PGS000873, breast), 0.70 (PGS00662, prostate), 0.65 (PGS000055, female-colorectal), 0.60 (PGS000734, male-colorectal) and 0.56 (PGS000721, female-lung), and 0.58 (PGS000070, male-lung), respectively. Compared to the middle quintile, individuals in the highest cancer-specific PRS quintile were 64% more likely to develop cancers of the breast, prostate, and colorectal. For lung cancer, the lowest cancer-specific PRS quintile was associated with 28-34% decreased risk compared to the middle quintile. In contrast, the hazard ratios observed for quintiles 4 (female-lung: 0.95 [0.61-1.47]; male-lung: 1.14 [0.82-1.57]) and 5 (female-lung: 0.95 [0.61-1.47]) were not significantly different from that for the middle quintile.
Conclusions: Site-specific PRSs can stratify the risk of developing breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers in this East Asian population. Appropriate correction factors may be required to improve calibration.
Funding This work is supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF-NRFF2017-02), PRECISION Health Research, Singapore (PRECISE) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). WP Koh was supported by National Medical Research Council, Singapore (NMRC/CSA/0055/2013). CC Khor was supported by National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF-NRFI2018-01). Rajkumar Dorajoo received a grant from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Career Development Award (A*STAR CDA - 202D8090), and from Ministry of Health Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award (HLCA20Jan-0022). The Singapore Chinese Health Study was supported by grants from the National Medical Research Council, Singapore (NMRC/CIRG/1456/2016) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health [NIH] (R01 CA144034 and UM1 CA182876).