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  1. SARS-COV2- infection as a trigger of humoral response against apolipoprotein A-1
    S. Pagano, S. Yerly, B. Meyer, C. Juillard, N. Suh, C. Le Terrier, J.-P. Daguer, L. Farrera-Soler, S. Barluenga, G. Piumatti, O. Hartley, B. Lemaitre, C. S. Eberhardt, C.-A. Siegrist, I. Eckerle, S. Stringhini, I. Guessous, L. Kaiser, J. Pugin, N. Winssinger, N. Vuilleumier
    Atherosclerosis 2021, 331, e78

Background and Aims: Unravelling autoimmune targets triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection may provide crucial insights in the physiopathology of the disease and foster the development of potential therapeutic candidate targets and prognostic tools. We want to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 exposure could trigger a humoral response against apolipoprotein A-1 (anti-apoA-1 IgG) through molecular mimicry and assess its relationship to patient prognosis.

Methods: Anti-Spike domain 1 (SD1) IgGs, anti-apoA-1 IgGs and against mimic peptides, as well as cytokines were assessed by immunoassays on a case-control (n=101), an intensive care unit (ICU; n=126) with a 28-days follow-up, and a general population cohort (n=663) with available samples in the pre and post-pandemic period.

Results: Linear sequence homologies and antibodies cross-reactivity between apoA-1, TLR2, and Spike epitopes were identified. Overall, anti-apoA-1 IgG levels were higher in COVID-19 patients or anti-SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals than in healthy donors or anti-SARS-CoV-2 seronegative individuals (p<0.0001). Significant and similar associations were noted between anti-apoA-1, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, cytokines, and lipid profile. In ICU patients, anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-apoA-1 seroconversion rates displayed similar 7-days kinetics, reaching 82% for anti-apoA-1 seropositivity. C-statistics (CS) indicated that anti-Spike/TLR2 mimic-peptide IgGs displayed a significant prognostic accuracy for overall mortality at 28 days (CS: 0.64; p=0.02). In the general population, SARS-CoV-2 exposure increased baseline anti-apoA-1 IgG levels.

Conclusions: COVID-19 induces a marked humoral response against the major protein of high-density lipoproteins. As a correlate of poorer prognosis in other clinical settings, such autoimmunity signatures may relate to long-term COVID-19 prognosis assessment and warrant further scrutiny in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.06.227 

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