Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination has resulted in excellent protection against fatal disease, including in older adults. However, risk factors for post-vaccination fatal COVID-19 are largely unknown. We comprehensively studied three large nursing home outbreaks (20–35% fatal cases among residents) by combining severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) aerosol monitoring, whole-genome phylogenetic analysis and immunovirological profiling of nasal mucosa by digital nCounter transcriptomics. Phylogenetic investigations indicated that each outbreak stemmed from a single introduction event, although with different variants (Delta, Gamma and Mu). SARS-CoV-2 was detected in aerosol samples up to 52 d after the initial infection. Combining demographic, immune and viral parameters, the best predictive models for mortality comprised IFNB1 or age, viral ORF7a and ACE2 receptor transcripts. Comparison with published pre-vaccine fatal COVID-19 transcriptomic and genomic signatures uncovered a unique IRF3 low/IRF7 high immune signature in post-vaccine fatal COVID-19 outbreaks. A multi-layered strategy, including environmental sampling, immunomonitoring and early antiviral therapy, should be considered to prevent post-vaccination COVID-19 mortality in nursing homes.

Fuente: Nature Aging
Published: 22 May 2023