Publications by authors named "Alessandro Plebani"

199 Publications

Emergence of Letermovir-resistant HCMV UL56 mutant during rescue treatment in a liver transplant recipient with ganciclovir-resistant infection HCMV: a case report.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Sep 23;21(1):994. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Molecular Virology Unit, Microbiology and Virology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

Background: Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) still represents a crucial concern in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) and the use of antiviral therapy are limited by side effects and the selection of viral mutations conferring antiviral drug resistance.

Case Presentation: Here we reported the case of an HCMV seronegative patient with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), multiple hepatic adenomatosis, hepatopulmonary syndrome and portal hypertension who received a liver transplant from an HCMV seropositive donor. The patient was treated with Valganciclovir (vGCV) and then IV Ganciclovir (GCV) at 5 week post-transplant for uncontrolled HCMV DNAemia. However, since mutation A594V in UL97 gene conferring resistance to ganciclovir was reported, GCV therapy was interrupted. Due to the high toxicity of Foscarnet (FOS) and Cidofovir (CDV), Letermovir (LMV) monotherapy at the dosage of 480 mg per day was administered, with a gradual viral load reduction. However, a relapse of HCMV DNAemia revealed the presence of mutation C325Y in HCMV UL56 gene conferring resistance to LMV.

Conclusions: In conclusion, even if LMV is an effective and favorable safety molecule it might have a lower genetic barrier to resistance. A warning on the use of LMV monotherapy as rescue treatments for HCMV GCV-resistant infections in transplant recipients is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06694-4DOI Listing
September 2021

Simple Measurement of IgA Predicts Immunity and Mortality in Ataxia-Telangiectasia.

J Clin Immunol 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

The Royal Hospitals & Queen's University, Belfast, UK.

Patients with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) suffer from progressive cerebellar ataxia, immunodeficiency, respiratory failure, and cancer susceptibility. From a clinical point of view, A-T patients with IgA deficiency show more symptoms and may have a poorer prognosis. In this study, we analyzed mortality and immunity data of 659 A-T patients with regard to IgA deficiency collected from the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID) registry and from 66 patients with classical A-T who attended at the Frankfurt Goethe-University between 2012 and 2018. We studied peripheral B- and T-cell subsets and T-cell repertoire of the Frankfurt cohort and survival rates of all A-T patients in the ESID registry. Patients with A-T have significant alterations in their lymphocyte phenotypes. All subsets (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD4/CD45RA, and CD8/CD45RA) were significantly diminished compared to standard values. Patients with IgA deficiency (n = 35) had significantly lower lymphocyte counts compared to A-T patients without IgA deficiency (n = 31) due to a further decrease of naïve CD4 T-cells, central memory CD4 cells, and regulatory T-cells. Although both patient groups showed affected TCR-ß repertoires compared to controls, no differences could be detected between patients with and without IgA deficiency. Overall survival of patients with IgA deficiency was significantly diminished. For the first time, our data show that patients with IgA deficiency have significantly lower lymphocyte counts and subsets, which are accompanied with reduced survival, compared to A-T patients without IgA deficiency. IgA, a simple surrogate marker, is indicating the poorest prognosis for classical A-T patients. Both non-interventional clinical trials were registered at clinicaltrials.gov 2012 (Susceptibility to infections in ataxia-telangiectasia; NCT02345135) and 2017 (Susceptibility to Infections, tumor risk and liver disease in patients with ataxia-telangiectasia; NCT03357978).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-021-01090-8DOI Listing
September 2021

A CVID-associated variant in the ciliogenesis protein CCDC28B disrupts immune synapse assembly.

Cell Death Differ 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Ciliogenesis proteins orchestrate vesicular trafficking pathways that regulate immune synapse (IS) assembly in the non-ciliated T-cells. We hypothesized that ciliogenesis-related genes might be disease candidates for common variable immunodeficiency with impaired T-cell function (T-CVID). We identified a heterozygous, predicted pathogenic variant in the ciliogenesis protein CCDC28B present with increased frequency in a large CVID cohort. We show that CCDC28B participates in IS assembly by regulating polarized T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) recycling. This involves the CCDC28B-dependent, FAM21-mediated recruitment of the actin regulator WASH to retromer at early endosomes to promote actin polymerization. The CVID-associated CCDC28B variant failed to interact with FAM21, leading to impaired synaptic TCR recycling. CVID T cells carrying the ccdc28b 211 C > T allele displayed IS defects mapping to this pathway that were corrected by overexpression of the wild-type allele. These results identify a new disease gene in T-CVID and pinpoint CCDC28B as a new player in IS assembly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-021-00837-5DOI Listing
July 2021

Known and potential molecules associated with altered B cell development leading to predominantly antibody deficiencies.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Research Center for Immunodeficiencies, Children's Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Predominantly antibody deficiencies (PADs) encompass a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by low immunoglobulin serum levels in the presence or absence of peripheral B cells. Clinical presentation of affected patients may include recurrent respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, invasive infections, autoimmune manifestations, allergic reactions, lymphoproliferation, and increased susceptibility to malignant transformation. In the last decades, several genetic alterations affecting B-cell development/maturation have been identified as causative of several forms of PADs, adding important information on the genetic background of PADs, which in turn should lead to a better understanding of these disorders and precise clinical management of affected patients. This review aimed to present a comprehensive overview of the known and potentially involved molecules in the etiology of PADs to elucidate the pathogenesis of these disorders and eventually offer a better prognosis for affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.13589DOI Listing
June 2021

Complete CD95/FAS deficiency due to complex homozygous germline TNFRSF6 mutations in an adult patient with mild autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS).

Clin Immunol 2021 07 13;228:108757. Epub 2021 May 13.

Pediatrics Clinic and Institute of Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, ASST- Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2021.108757DOI Listing
July 2021

Granulomatous Lymphocytic Interstitial Lung Disease (GLILD) in Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID): A Multicenter Retrospective Study of Patients From Italian PID Referral Centers.

Front Immunol 2021 10;12:627423. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Molecular Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Granulomatous and Lymphocytic Interstitial Lung Diseases (GLILD) is a severe non-infectious complication of Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), often associated with extrapulmonary involvement. Due to a poorly understood pathogenesis, GLILD diagnosis and management criteria still lack consensus. Accordingly, it is a relevant cause of long-term loss of respiratory function and is closely associated with a markedly reduced survival. The aim of this study was to describe clinical, immunological, laboratory and functional features of GLILD, whose combination in a predictive model might allow a timely diagnosis. In a multicenter retrospective cross-sectional study we enrolled 73 CVID patients with radiologic features of interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated to CVID (CVID-ILD) and 125 CVID patients without ILD (controls). Of the 73 CVID-ILD patients, 47 received a definite GLILD diagnosis while 26 received a clinical-radiologic diagnosis of CVID related ILD defined as uILD. In GLILD group we found a higher prevalence of splenomegaly (84.8 vs. 39.2%), autoimmune cytopenia (59.6 vs. 6.4%) and bronchiectasis (72.3 vs. 28%), and lower IgA and IgG serum levels at CVID diagnosis. GLILD patients presented lower percentage of switched-memory B cells and marginal zone B cells, and a marked increase in the percentage of circulating CD21lo B cells (14.2 vs. 2.9%). GLILD patients also showed lower total lung capacity (TLC 87.5 vs. 5.0%) and gas transfer (DLCO 61.5 vs. 5.0%) percent of predicted. By univariate logistic regression analysis, we found IgG and IgA levels at CVID diagnosis, presence of splenomegaly and autoimmune cytopenia, CD21lo B cells percentage, TLC and DCLO percent of predicted to be associated to GLILD. The joint analysis of four variables (CD21lo B cells percentage, autoimmune cytopenia, splenomegaly and DLCO percent of predicted), together in a multiple logistic regression model, yielded an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.98 (95% CI: 0.95-1.0). The AUC was only slightly modified when pooling together GLILD and uILD patients (0.92, 95% CI: 0.87-0.97). we propose the combination of two clinical parameters (splenomegaly and autoimmune cytopenia), one lung function index (DLCO%) and one immunologic variable (CD21lo%) as a promising tool for early identification of CVID patients with interstitial lung disease, limiting the use of aggressive diagnostic procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.627423DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987811PMC
September 2021

Modeling, optimization, and comparable efficacy of T cell and hematopoietic stem cell gene editing for treating hyper-IgM syndrome.

EMBO Mol Med 2021 Mar 21;13(3):e13545. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Precise correction of the CD40LG gene in T cells and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) holds promise for treating X-linked hyper-IgM Syndrome (HIGM1), but its actual therapeutic potential remains elusive. Here, we developed a one-size-fits-all editing strategy for effective T-cell correction, selection, and depletion and investigated the therapeutic potential of T-cell and HSPC therapies in the HIGM1 mouse model. Edited patients' derived CD4 T cells restored physiologically regulated CD40L expression and contact-dependent B-cell helper function. Adoptive transfer of wild-type T cells into conditioned HIGM1 mice rescued antigen-specific IgG responses and protected mice from a disease-relevant pathogen. We then obtained ~ 25% CD40LG editing in long-term repopulating human HSPC. Transplanting such proportion of wild-type HSPC in HIGM1 mice rescued immune functions similarly to T-cell therapy. Overall, our findings suggest that autologous edited T cells can provide immediate and substantial benefits to HIGM1 patients and position T-cell ahead of HSPC gene therapy because of easier translation, lower safety concerns and potentially comparable clinical benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202013545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933961PMC
March 2021

Fatal SARS-CoV-2 infection in a male patient with Good's syndrome.

Clin Immunol 2021 02 8;223:108644. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Paediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, ASST- Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2020.108644DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722520PMC
February 2021

Activated Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase Delta Syndrome 1: Clinical and Immunological Data from an Italian Cohort of Patients.

J Clin Med 2020 Oct 17;9(10). Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Pediatrics Clinic and "A. Nocivelli" Institute for Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, ASST Spedali Civili of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy.

Activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase delta syndrome 1 (APDS-1) is a recently described inborn error of immunity caused by monoallelic gain-of-function mutations in the gene. We reviewed for the first time medical records and laboratory data of eight Italian APDS-1 patients. Recurrent sinopulmonary infections were the most common clinical feature at onset of disease. Seven patients presented lymphoproliferative disease, at onset or during follow-up, one of which resembled hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Genetic analysis of the gene revealed three novel mutations: functional testing confirmed their activating nature. In the remaining patients, the previously reported variants .E1021K ( = 4) and .E525A ( = 1) were identified. Six patients were started on immunoglobulin replacement treatment (IgRT). One patient successfully underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with good chimerism and no GVHD at 21 months post-HSCT. APDS-1 is a combined immune deficiency with a wide variety of clinical manifestations and a complex immunological presentation. Besides IgRT, specific therapies targeting the PI3Kδ pathway will most likely become a valid aid for the amelioration of patients' clinical management and their quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603210PMC
October 2020

Mycoplasma infection may complicate the clinical course of SARS-Co-V-2 associated Kawasaki-like disease in children.

Clin Immunol 2020 12 16;221:108613. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia-ASST Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2020.108613DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7561565PMC
December 2020

Coronavirus disease 2019 in patients with inborn errors of immunity: An international study.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 Feb 24;147(2):520-531. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Istituto Molecolare "A Nocivelli," Department of Experimental and Clinical Sciences, University of Brescia & Asst Spedali civili, Brescia, Italy.

Background: There is uncertainty about the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in individuals with rare inborn errors of immunity (IEI), a population at risk of developing severe coronavirus disease 2019. This is relevant not only for these patients but also for the general population, because studies of IEIs can unveil key requirements for host defense.

Objective: We sought to describe the presentation, manifestations, and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in IEI to inform physicians and enhance understanding of host defense against SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: An invitation to participate in a retrospective study was distributed globally to scientific, medical, and patient societies involved in the care and advocacy for patients with IEI.

Results: We gathered information on 94 patients with IEI with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Their median age was 25 to 34 years. Fifty-three patients (56%) suffered from primary antibody deficiency, 9 (9.6%) had immune dysregulation syndrome, 6 (6.4%) a phagocyte defect, 7 (7.4%) an autoinflammatory disorder, 14 (15%) a combined immunodeficiency, 3 (3%) an innate immune defect, and 2 (2%) bone marrow failure. Ten were asymptomatic, 25 were treated as outpatients, 28 required admission without intensive care or ventilation, 13 required noninvasive ventilation or oxygen administration, 18 were admitted to intensive care units, 12 required invasive ventilation, and 3 required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Nine patients (7 adults and 2 children) died.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that (1) more than 30% of patients with IEI had mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and (2) risk factors predisposing to severe disease/mortality in the general population also seemed to affect patients with IEI, including more younger patients. Further studies will identify pathways that are associated with increased risk of severe disease and are nonredundant or redundant for protection against SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.09.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7832563PMC
February 2021

Successful hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for complete CTLA-4 haploinsufficiency due to a de novo monoallelic 2q33.2-2q33.3 deletion.

Clin Immunol 2020 11 12;220:108589. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Paediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, ASST- Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2020.108589DOI Listing
November 2020

Consensus of the Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network on transition management from pediatric to adult care in patients affected with childhood-onset inborn errors of immunity.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 11 19;146(5):967-983. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, IRCCS Bambino Gesù Childrens' Hospital, Sapienza, University of Rome, Rome Italy.

Medical advances have dramatically improved the long-term prognosis of children and adolescents with inborn errors of immunity (IEIs). Transfer of the medical care of individuals with pediatric IEIs to adult facilities is also a complex task because of the large number of distinct disorders, which requires involvement of patients and both pediatric and adult care providers. To date, there is no consensus on the optimal pathway of the transitional care process and no specific data are available in the literature regarding patients with IEIs. We aimed to develop a consensus statement on the transition process to adult health care services for patients with IEIs. Physicians from major Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network centers formulated and answered questions after examining the currently published literature on the transition from childhood to adulthood. The authors voted on each recommendation. The most frequent IEIs sharing common main clinical problems requiring full attention during the transitional phase were categorized into different groups of clinically related disorders. For each group of clinically related disorders, physicians from major Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network institutions focused on selected clinical issues representing the clinical hallmark during early adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.08.010DOI Listing
November 2020

The Italian Registry for Primary Immunodeficiencies (Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network; IPINet): Twenty Years of Experience (1999-2019).

J Clin Immunol 2020 10 15;40(7):1026-1037. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are heterogeneous disorders, characterized by variable clinical and immunological features. National PID registries offer useful insights on the epidemiology, diagnosis, and natural history of these disorders. In 1999, the Italian network for primary immunodeficiencies (IPINet) was established. We report on data collected from the IPINet registry after 20 years of activity. A total of 3352 pediatric and adult patients affected with PIDs are registered in the database. In Italy, a regional distribution trend of PID diagnosis was observed. Based on the updated IUIS classification of 2019, PID distribution in Italy showed that predominantly antibody deficiencies account for the majority of cases (63%), followed by combined immunodeficiencies with associated or syndromic features (22.5%). The overall age at diagnosis was younger for male patients. The minimal prevalence of PIDs in Italy resulted in 5.1 per 100.000 habitants. Mortality was similar to other European registries (4.2%). Immunoglobulin replacement treatment was prescribed to less than one third of the patient cohort. Collectively, this is the first comprehensive description of the PID epidemiology in Italy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-020-00844-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505879PMC
October 2020

Paediatric MAS/HLH caused by a novel monoallelic activating mutation in p110δ.

Clin Immunol 2020 10 16;219:108543. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Paediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, ASST- Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

This study provides evidence for the first time for APDS-1 presenting as MAS/HLH, with evident clinical implications in patient's management and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2020.108543DOI Listing
October 2020

RAC2 and primary human immune deficiencies.

J Leukoc Biol 2020 08 15;108(2):687-696. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Pediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia and ASST-Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

RAC2 is a GTPase that is exclusively expressed in hematopoietic cells. Animal models have suggested important roles for RAC2 in the biology of different cell types, such as neutrophils and lymphocytes. Primary immunodeficiencies represent "experimentum naturae" and offer priceless insight on the function of the human immune system. Mutations in RAC2 have been identified in a small number of patients giving rise to different forms of primary immunodeficiencies ranging from granulocyte defects caused by dominant negative mutations to combined immunodeficiency due to dominant activating mutations. This review will focus on the clinical and immunologic phenotype of patients with germline mutations in RAC2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JLB.5MR0520-194RRDOI Listing
August 2020

A possible role for B cells in COVID-19? Lesson from patients with agammaglobulinemia.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 07 22;146(1):211-213.e4. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Pediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; ASST-Spedali Civili di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7175894PMC
July 2020

Characterization of the clinical and immunologic phenotype and management of 157 individuals with 56 distinct heterozygous NFKB1 mutations.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 10 9;146(4):901-911. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Primary Immunodeficiencies Unit, Hospital Dona Estefania, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central, Lisbon, Portugal.

Background: An increasing number of NFKB1 variants are being identified in patients with heterogeneous immunologic phenotypes.

Objective: To characterize the clinical and cellular phenotype as well as the management of patients with heterozygous NFKB1 mutations.

Methods: In a worldwide collaborative effort, we evaluated 231 individuals harboring 105 distinct heterozygous NFKB1 variants. To provide evidence for pathogenicity, each variant was assessed in silico; in addition, 32 variants were assessed by functional in vitro testing of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells (NF-κB) signaling.

Results: We classified 56 of the 105 distinct NFKB1 variants in 157 individuals from 68 unrelated families as pathogenic. Incomplete clinical penetrance (70%) and age-dependent severity of NFKB1-related phenotypes were observed. The phenotype included hypogammaglobulinemia (88.9%), reduced switched memory B cells (60.3%), and respiratory (83%) and gastrointestinal (28.6%) infections, thus characterizing the disorder as primary immunodeficiency. However, the high frequency of autoimmunity (57.4%), lymphoproliferation (52.4%), noninfectious enteropathy (23.1%), opportunistic infections (15.7%), autoinflammation (29.6%), and malignancy (16.8%) identified NF-κB1-related disease as an inborn error of immunity with immune dysregulation, rather than a mere primary immunodeficiency. Current treatment includes immunoglobulin replacement and immunosuppressive agents.

Conclusions: We present a comprehensive clinical overview of the NF-κB1-related phenotype, which includes immunodeficiency, autoimmunity, autoinflammation, and cancer. Because of its multisystem involvement, clinicians from each and every medical discipline need to be made aware of this autosomal-dominant disease. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and NF-κB1 pathway-targeted therapeutic strategies should be considered in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2019.11.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246418PMC
October 2020

Long-term follow-up of 168 patients with X-linked agammaglobulinemia reveals increased morbidity and mortality.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 08 10;146(2):429-437. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

University Department of Pediatrics, Unit of Immune and Infectious Diseases, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, University of Rome Tor Vergata, and the Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Background: X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is the prototype of primary humoral immunodeficiencies. Long-term follow-up studies regarding disease-related complications and outcome are scarce.

Objective: Our aim was to describe the natural history of XLA.

Methods: A nationwide multicenter study based on the Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network registry was established in 2000 in Italy. Affected patients were enrolled by documenting centers, and the patients' laboratory, clinical, and imaging data were recorded on an annual base.

Results: Data on the patients (N = 168) were derived from a cumulative follow-up of 1370 patient-years, with a mean follow-up of 8.35 years per patient. The mean age at diagnosis decreased after establishment of the Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network registry (84 months before vs 23 months after). Respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal manifestations were the most frequent clinical symptoms at diagnosis and during long-term follow-up. Regular immunoglobulin replacement treatment reduced the incidence of invasive infections. Affected patients developed chronic lung disease over time (47% after 40 years of follow-up) in the presence of chronic sinusitis (84%). Malignancies were documented in a minority of cases (3.7%). Overall survival for affected patients was significantly reduced when compared with that for the healthy male Italian population, and it further deteriorated in the presence of chronic lung disease.

Conclusions: This is the first detailed long-term follow-up study for patients with XLA, revealing that although immunoglobulin replacement treatment reduces the incidence of invasive infections, it does not appear to influence the development of chronic lung disease. The overall survival of affected patients is reduced. Further studies are warranted to improve patients' clinical management and increase awareness among physicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.03.001DOI Listing
August 2020

The Interplay between CD27 and CD27 B Cells Ensures the Flexibility, Stability, and Resilience of Human B Cell Memory.

Cell Rep 2020 03;30(9):2963-2977.e6

Multifactorial Disease and Complex Phenotype Research Area, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCSS, 00146 Rome, Italy.

Memory B cells (MBCs) epitomize the adaptation of the immune system to the environment. We identify two MBC subsets in peripheral blood, CD27 and CD27 MBCs, whose frequency changes with age. Heavy chain variable region (VH) usage, somatic mutation frequency replacement-to-silent ratio, and CDR3 property changes, reflecting consecutive selection of highly antigen-specific, low cross-reactive antibody variants, all demonstrate that CD27 and CD27 MBCs represent sequential MBC developmental stages, and stringent antigen-driven pressure selects CD27 into the CD27 MBC pool. Dynamics of human MBCs are exploited in pregnancy, when 50% of maternal MBCs are lost and CD27 MBCs transit to the more differentiated CD27 stage. In the postpartum period, the maternal MBC pool is replenished by the expansion of persistent CD27 clones. Thus, the stability and flexibility of human B cell memory is ensured by CD27 MBCs that expand and differentiate in response to change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.022DOI Listing
March 2020

Diagnostic approach of hypogammaglobulinemia in infancy.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2020 02;31 Suppl 24:11-12

Pediatrics Clinic, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Primary B-cell immunodeficiency is the most frequent immune defect in infancy. Selective absence of serum and secretory immunoglobulin IgA is the most common, with rates ranging from 1/333 persons to 1/16 000, among different races. By contrast, it has been estimated that hypo/agammaglobulinemia occurs with a frequency of 1/50 000 persons. Patients with antibody deficiency are usually recognized because they have recurrent infections with encapsulated bacteria or a history of failure to respond adequately to antibiotic treatment. However, some individuals, mainly those affected by IgA deficiency (SIgAD) or transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy , may have few or no infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.13166DOI Listing
February 2020

Health-Related Quality of Life and Emotional Difficulties in Chronic Granulomatous Disease: Data on Adult and Pediatric Patients from Italian Network for Primary Immunodeficiency (IPINet).

J Clin Immunol 2020 02 20;40(2):289-298. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Unit of Pediatric Haemato-Oncology, Policlinico Giovanni XXIII Hospital, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124, Bari, Italy.

Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by life-threatening infections, inflammation, and autoimmunity with an impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Few data are available for children, whereas no study has been conducted in adults. Here, we investigated HRQoL and emotional functioning of 19 children and 28 adults enrolled in Italian registry for CGD. PEDsQL and SDQ were used for children and their caregivers, and adults completed the SF-12 questionnaire. Mean scores were compared with norms and with patients affected by chronic diseases. Comparisons were made for CGD patients who underwent or not hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). When compared with norms, CGD children exhibited higher difficulties in social/school areas, peer relationship, and conduct/emotional problems (< 5 years of age), as scored by proxies. Differently, CGD adults reported higher difficulties both in mental and physical area than norms. Only for children, clinical status had a damaging effect on psychosocial and school dimensions, whereas age had a negative impact on social areas. No significant difference was observed between patients treated or not with HSCT. When compared with patients affected by chronic diseases, CGD children and adults both displayed fewer physical disabilities. Differently, in mental scale adults scored lower than those with rheumatology diseases and had similar impairment in comparison with patients with diabetes mellitus and cancer. This study emphasized the impact of CGD on HRQoL since infancy and its decline in adulthood, with emotional difficulties occurring early. HRQoL impairment should be considered in clinical picture of CGD and pro-actively assessed and managed by clinicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-019-00725-1DOI Listing
February 2020

NFKB2 regulates human Tfh and Tfr pool formation and germinal center potential.

Clin Immunol 2020 01 18;210:108309. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Division of Immunology Transplantation and Infectious Diseases (DITID), Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Mutations affecting the non-canonical pathway of NF-κB were recently identified to underlie a form of common variable immunodeficiency strongly associated with autoimmunity. Although intrinsic B-cell abnormalities explain most of the humoral defects of this disease, detailed data on the impact of NFKB2 on follicular helper (Tfh) and regulatory (Tregs) T cells are scarce. Here, we show that Tfh, CXCR5, and CXCR5 Treg cell subsets were significantly reduced in patients heterozygous for a truncating mutation of NFKB2. Plasma CXCL13 levels were reduced, underlining an important role for NFKB2 in regulating the germinal center (GC) response. Proinflammatory IFNγ, IL-17 and IL-10 cytokine production by CD4 T cells was lower in the mutated patients, but the production of IL-4 and IL-21 was not altered. Taken together, our findings show that NFKB2 influences the quality and efficiency of human GC reaction, by affecting not only the B cells but also GC-relevant T cell subsets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2019.108309DOI Listing
January 2020

The RAC2-PI3K axis regulates human NK cell maturation and function.

Clin Immunol 2019 11 3;208:108257. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Pediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia and ASST-Spedali Civili di Brescia, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2019.108257DOI Listing
November 2019

Clinical, Immunological, and Molecular Features of Typical and Atypical Severe Combined Immunodeficiency: Report of the Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network.

Front Immunol 2019 13;10:1908. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCIDs) are a group of inborn errors of the immune system, usually associated with severe or life-threatening infections. Due to the variability of clinical phenotypes, the diagnostic complexity and the heterogeneity of the genetic basis, they are often difficult to recognize, leading to a significant diagnostic delay (DD). Aim of this study is to define presenting signs and natural history of SCID in a large cohort of patients, prior to hematopoietic stem cell or gene therapies. To this purpose, we conducted a 30-year retro-prospective multicenter study within the Italian Primary Immunodeficiency Network. One hundred eleven patients, diagnosed as typical or atypical SCID according to the European Society for Immune Deficiencies criteria, were included. Patients were subsequently classified based on the genetic alteration, pathogenic mechanism and immunological classification. A positive relationship between the age at onset and the DD was found. SCID patients with later onset were identified only in the last decade of observation. Syndromic SCIDs represented 28% of the cohort. Eight percent of the subjects were diagnosed in Intensive Care Units. Fifty-three percent had an atypical phenotype and most of them exhibited a discordant genotype-immunophenotype. Pre-treatment mortality was higher in atypical and syndromic patients. Our study broadens the knowledge of clinical and laboratory manifestations and genotype/phenotype correlation in patients with SCID and may facilitate the diagnosis of both typical and atypical forms of the disease in countries where newborn screening programs have not yet been implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700292PMC
September 2020

From Natural Killer Cell Receptor Discovery to Characterization of Natural Killer Cell Defects in Primary Immunodeficiencies.

Front Immunol 2019 24;10:1757. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Alessandro Moretta was Professor of Histology at University of Brescia from 1994 to 1997. It was in that period that we met and started a collaboration that continued in the years to follow. He immediately involved us in the production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that allowed the identification and fine characterization of novel receptor molecules that were able to activate or inhibit human Natural Killer cell function, including several antibodies specific for Natural Cytotoxicity Receptor (NCR) and Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) molecules. These reagents, generated in our laboratory in Brescia, contributed to complete the studies aimed to characterize innate lymphoid NK cells, that had been initiated by Alessandro and his brother Lorenzo in Genoa. Soon, we identified an anti-KIR3DL2 that was subsequently shown to be helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of various forms of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. While in Brescia, Alessandro established a partnership with those of us who were working in the Department of Pediatrics; together, in short time we tackled the goal of studying the role of NK cells in patients with primary immunodeficiencies. This collaboration led to novel discoveries that shed light on the critical role played by NK cells in the immune response against virus and tumors in humans, as best exemplified by our characterization of the molecular mechanisms of impaired control of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection in patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative (XLP) disease. After Alessandro left Brescia to return to Genoa, our collaboration continued with the same enthusiasm, and even from a distance he remained an extraordinary example of an inspirational and generous mentor. This review is a sign of our gratitude to a mentor and a friend whom we deeply miss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6668486PMC
October 2020

Clinical and Laboratory Features of 184 Italian Pediatric Patients Affected with Selective IgA Deficiency (SIgAD): a Longitudinal Single-Center Study.

J Clin Immunol 2019 07 25;39(5):470-475. Epub 2019 May 25.

Pediatrics Clinic and Institute for Molecular Medicine A. Nocivelli, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia and ASST-Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Purpose: Selective IgA deficiency (SIgAD) is the most common humoral primary immunodeficiency. Long-term follow-up data in large cohort of pediatric patients are scarce.

Methods: We report on a single-center cohort of 184 pediatric patients affected with selective IgA deficiency and describe the characteristics at diagnosis and during follow-up.

Results: Respiratory infections were the most common clinical finding leading to the initial diagnosis (62%). Positive family history for antibody deficiencies (selective IgA deficiency, common variable immunodeficiency) led to SIgAD diagnosis in 16% of cases. During follow-up, while the incidence of respiratory infections was not particularly high, gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 27% of patients. Allergic manifestations were found in 23% at diagnosis and an additional 16% of patients during follow-up, leading to a prevalence of atopy of 39% among SIgAD patients. Autoimmune manifestations, excluding celiac disease, were found in 9% of affected patients during follow-up. Celiac disease was found in a high prevalence (14%). Increase of serum IgA levels to partial deficiency (9%) and normal serum levels for age (4%) was observed during follow-up. A small percentage of patients (2%) progressed to common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).

Conclusions: In conclusion, this is the first study to describe a large single-center pediatric cohort of patients affected with SIgAD, revealing that overall most patients do well with regard to infections. Many develop CD, at a rate much higher than the general population. A few normalize their IgA levels. A few progress to CVID. Thus, careful follow-up is suggested to diagnose and treat potential complications earlier for avoiding potential morbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-019-00647-yDOI Listing
July 2019
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