Julià Blanco

Julià Blanco
IGTP Health Sciences Research Institute of the Germans Trias i Pujol Foundation | IGTP · IRSICAIXA

PhD in Biochemistry (UB)

About

361
Publications
33,341
Reads
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Introduction
Julià Blanco (PhD in Biochemistry, Univ Barcelona, 1994) is and IGTP reasearcher leading the Cellular Virology and Immunology Team at IrsiCaixa (Badalona, Barcelona, Spain) Dr. Blanco has deeply studied the role of HIV envelope glycropotein (Env) in viral cytopathicity. This work has been useful to analyze anti Env drugs and antibodies, contributing to a better understanding of antibody protection and vaccine developement in HIV and other infectious diseases.
Additional affiliations
December 2013 - present
Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2011 - June 2017
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2006 - present
Education
January 1991 - December 1994
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Biochemistry

Publications

Publications (361)
Article
Full-text available
The HIV-1 gp41 Membrane Proximal External Region (MPER) is recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies and represents a promising vaccine target. However, MPER immunogenicity and antibody activity are influenced by membrane lipids. To evaluate lipid modulation of MPER immunogenicity, we generated a 1-Palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC)-b...
Preprint
Background A SARS-CoV-2 protein-based heterodimer vaccine, PHH-1V, has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in healthy young adults in a first-in-human, Phase I/IIa study dose-escalation trial. Here, we report the interim results of the Phase IIb HH-2, where the immunogenicity and safety of a heterologous booster with PHH-1V is assessed versus...
Article
Full-text available
T cell responses are considered critical for the in vivo control of HIV, but the contribution of different T cell subsets to this control remains unclear. Using a boosted flow cytometric approach that is able to differentiate CD4 ⁺ and CD8 ⁺ T cell Th1/Tc1, Th2/Tc2, Th17/Tc17, Treg and Tfh/Tfc-like HIV-specific T cell populations, we identified CD8...
Article
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The transactive response DNA-binding protein (TARDBP/TDP-43) influences the processing of diverse transcripts, including that of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). Here, we assessed TDP-43 activity in terms of regulating CD4+ T-cell permissivity to HIV-1 infection. We observed that overexpression of wt-TDP-43 increased both mRNA and protein levels of H...
Article
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDTs) is an easy-to-use diagnostic tool to identify the contagious individuals and reduce the new infections. However, to be effective, Ag-RDTs require the detection of distinct variants of concern (VOC) with high analytical sensitivity. Here, we found that the VOC diverge at the nucleocaps...
Article
Full-text available
The role of T cells in the control of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been underestimated in favor of neutralizing antibodies. However, cellular immunity is essential for long-term viral control and protection from disease severity. To understand T-cell immunity in the absence of antibody generation we focused on a group of SARS-CoV-2 Non-Seroconvertors (...
Article
Full-text available
The emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) may display enhanced transmissibility, more severity and/or immune evasion; however, the pathogenesis of these new VOCs in experimental SARS-CoV-2 models or the potential infection of other animal species is not completely understood. Here we infected K18-hACE2 transgenic mice with B.1, B.1.351/Bet...
Article
Background: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect older residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) against severe COVID-19, but primary vaccine responses are less effective in older adults. Here, we characterised the humoral responses of institutionalised seniors 3 months after they had received the mRNA/BNT162b2 vacc...
Preprint
Purpose Mass vaccination campaigns have reduced the incidence and severity of COVID-19. However, there is limited information about how patients with predominantly antibody-deficiencies (PAD) respond to COVID-19 vaccination. Here, we evaluated humoral and cellular responses developed in SARS-CoV-2-naïve PAD individuals after three mRNA-1273 vaccine...
Preprint
Seroconversion panels were collected before and after vaccination with three COVID-19 vaccines: two mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273 and BNT-162b2) and one adenovirus vector vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S). The panels were tested for antibody activity by chemiluminescent immunoassay, ELISA and one was tested in a pseudovirus neutralization assay. Participants positi...
Article
Full-text available
Key message Rice-produced SD1 retains its physicochemical properties and provides efficient pre-exposure HIV-1 prophylaxis against infection in vitro. Abstract Scytovirin (SVN) is an HIV-neutralizing lectin that features two structural domains (SD1 and SD2) that bind to HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins. We expressed SD1 in rice seeds as a potential la...
Article
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Background: Evidence on the determinants of the magnitude of humoral responses and neutralizing titers in individuals with mild COVID-19 is scarce. Methods: In this cohort study of mild COVID-19 patients, we assessed viral load (VL) by RT-qPCR at two/three time points during acute infection, and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by ELISA and plasma neu...
Article
Full-text available
The understanding of HIV-1 pathogenesis and clinical progression is incomplete due to the variable contribution of host, immune, and viral factors. The involvement of viral factors has been investigated in extreme clinical phenotypes from rapid progressors to long-term non-progressors (LTNPs). Among HIV-1 proteins, the envelope glycoprotein complex...
Article
Full-text available
A significant proportion of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who successfully achieve virological suppression fail to recover CD4+ T-cell counts. Since adipose tissue has been discovered as a key immune organ, this study aimed to assess the role of adipokines in the HIV immunodiscordant response. This is a multicenter prospective study including 221...
Article
Full-text available
Current diagnostics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection heavily rely on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or on rapid antigen detection tests. The former suffers from long time-to-result and high cost while the latter from poor sensitivity. Therefore, it is crucial to develop rapid, sensit...
Article
Full-text available
To understand the determinants of long-term immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 and the concurrent impact of vaccination and emerging variants, we follow a prospective cohort of 332 COVID-19 patients over more than a year after symptom onset. We evaluate plasma neutralizing activity using HIV-based pseudoviruses, expressing the spike of different SARS-C...
Preprint
SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect patients with haematologic malignancies against severe COVID-19, but primary vaccine responses are less effective in this population. Here, we characterized the humoral responses following 3 months after mRNA-based vaccines in patients at different stages of the same plasma cell disea...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The lack of the recovery of CD4 ⁺ T-cells (CD4 ⁺ recovery) among immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not well known. We aimed to analyze the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) underlying vitamin D metabolism and the CD4 ⁺ recovery in naïve HIV-infected patients who st...
Article
Full-text available
The development of physiological models that reproduce SARS-CoV-2 infection in primary human cells will be instrumental to identify host-pathogen interactions and potential therapeutics. Here, using cell suspensions directly from primary human lung tissues (HLT), we have developed a rapid platform for the identification of viral targets and the exp...
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 pathophysiology is currently not fully understood, reliable prognostic factors remain elusive, and few specific therapeutic strategies have been proposed. In this scenario, availability of biomarkers is a priority. MS-based Proteomics techniques were used to profile the proteome of 81 plasma samples extracted in four consecutive days from...
Article
Full-text available
HIV-1 cell-to-cell transmission is key for an effective viral replication that evades immunity. This highly infectious mechanism is orchestrated by different cellular targets that utilize a wide variety of processes to efficiently transfer HIV-1 particles. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen presenting cells that initiate antiviral im...
Article
Full-text available
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes respiratory disease, but it can also affect other organs including the central nervous system. Several animal models have been developed to address different key questions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Wild-type mice are minimally susceptible to certain SARS-CoV-2...
Article
Full-text available
Several cases of naturally infected dogs with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported despite the apparently low susceptibility of this species. Here, we document the first reported case of infection caused by the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concern (VOC) in a dog in Spain that lived with several household m...
Preprint
Full-text available
The transactive response DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) is an important regulator of mRNA, being reported to stabilize the anti-HIV factor, histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). However, little is known about the role of TDP-43 in HIV infection. In this work, we seek for the TDP-43 function on regulating CD4+ T cell permissibility to HIV infection. We obser...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Convalescent plasma (CP) for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 has not demonstrated clear benefits. However, data on outpatients with early symptoms are scarce. We aimed to assess whether treatment with CP administered during the first 7 days of symptoms reduced the disease progression or risk of hospitalization of outpatients. Method...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 became available in January 2020, new vaccines have been developed at an unprecedented speed. The current vaccines have been directly associated with a decline in new infection rates, prevention of severe disease and an outstanding decrease in mortality rates. However, the pandemic is still far from being ov...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect elders living in long-term care facilities (LTCF) against severe COVID-19, but primary vaccine responses are less effective in older adults. Here, we characterized the humoral responses following 3 months after mRNA/BNT162b2 vaccine in institutionalized elders. Methods: Pl...
Preprint
The development of physiological models that reproduce SARS-CoV-2 infection in primary human cells will be instrumental to identify host-pathogen interactions and potential therapeutics. Here, using cell suspensions directly from primary human lung tissues (HLT), we have developed a rapid platform for the identification of viral targets and the exp...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although COVID-19 vaccinations have provided a significant reduction in infections, effective COVID-19 treatments remain an urgent need. Methods: Functional characterization of anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune immunoglobulin (hIG) from human convalescent plasma was performed by different virus neutralization methodologies (plaque reductio...
Article
Background Neoantigens’ (neoAg) identification, which determines T-cell responses against tumors, has fostered the development of personalized vaccines with promising results. While the ranking of the most immunogenic neoAg can be addressed using predictive techniques, their formulation as vaccines needs to be improved. To maximize their therapeuti...
Article
Full-text available
To date, no evidence supports the fact that animals play a role in the epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, several animal species are naturally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Besides pets (cats, dogs, Syrian hamste...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Understanding the determinants of long-term immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 and the concurrent impact of vaccination and emerging variants of concern will guide optimal strategies to achieve global protection against the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A prospective cohort of 332 COVID-19 patients was followed beyond one year. Plasma neutral...
Article
Full-text available
Unraveling the long-term kinetics of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and the individual characteristics influencing it, including the impact of pre-existing antibodies to human coronaviruses causing common cold (HCoVs), is essential to understand protective immunity to COVID-19 and devise effective surveillance strategies. IgM, IgA and IgG levels against...
Preprint
Full-text available
SARS-CoV-2 variants display enhanced transmissibility and/or immune evasion and can be generated in humans or animals, like minks, thus generating new reservoirs. The continuous surveillance of animal susceptibility to new variants is necessary to predict pandemic evolution. In this study we demonstrate that, compared to the B.1 SARS-CoV-2 variant,...
Article
Oral mouthwashes decrease the infectivity of several respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2. However, the precise agents with antiviral activity in these oral rinses and their exact mechanism of action remain unknown. Here we show that cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a quaternary ammonium compound in many oral mouthwashes, reduces SARS-CoV-2 infe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The understanding of HIV-1 pathogenesis and clinical progression is incomplete because of the variable contribution of host, immune and viral factors. The involvement of viral factors has been investigated in extreme clinical phenotypes from rapid progressors to long-term non-progressors (LTNPs). Among HIV-1 proteins, the envelope glycoprotein comp...
Article
Full-text available
Background SARS-CoV-2 reinfections have been reported; however, most cases are milder than the primary infection. We report the first case of a life-threatening critical presentation of a SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. Case presentation A 62-year male from Palamós (Spain) suffered a first mild COVID-19 episode in March 2020, confirmed by 2 independent SA...
Article
Full-text available
With the spread of new variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is a need to assess the protection conferred by both previous infections and current vaccination. Here we tested the neutralizing activity of infected and/or vaccinated individuals against pseudoviruses expressing the spike of the original SARS-Co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Although progressive COVID-19 vaccinations provide a significant reduction of infection rate in the short-to mid-term, effective COVID-19 treatments will continue to be an urgent need. Methods We have functionally characterized the anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune immunoglobulin (hIG) prepared from human COVID-19 convalescent plasma. SARS-Co...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 pandemic is not yet under control by vaccination, and effective antivirals are critical for preparedness. Here we report that macrophages and dendritic cells, key antigen presenting myeloid cells (APCs), are largely resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection. APCs effectively captured viruses within cellular compartments that lead to antigen degrad...
Preprint
Full-text available
The role of T cells in the control of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been underestimated in favor of neutralizing antibodies. However, cellular immunity is essential for long-term viral control and protection from disease severity. To understand T-cell immunity in the absence of antibody generation we focused on a group of SARS-CoV-2 Non-Seroconvertors (...
Article
Full-text available
We felt the urgency to launch the EU2Cure Consortium to support research and find a cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through intensified collaboration within Europe. This Consortium is open to stakeholders on cure in Europe from academia and the community to connect. The aim of this consortium is to intensify the research collaborati...
Article
Full-text available
Reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have already been documented in humans, although its real incidence is currently unknown. Besides having great impact on public health, this phenomenon raises the question if immunity generated by a single infection is sufficient to provide sterilizing/protective immunity to a subsequent SARS-CoV-2 re-exposure. The Gold...
Article
Full-text available
In genetically prone individuals, chronic immune activation may lead to expansion of autoreactive lymphocyte clones that can induce organ damage developing autoimmune disorders. Sjögren’s Syndrome (SjS) is a systemic chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects exocrine glands. Despite the accumulated evidences of profound B-cell alterations o...
Article
Full-text available
HIV/AIDS is still a global threat despite the notable efforts made by the scientific and health communities to understand viral infection, to design new drugs or to improve existing ones, as well as to develop advanced therapies and vaccine designs for functional cure and viral eradication. The identification and analysis of HIV-1 positive individu...
Article
Full-text available
There is an urgent need to identify therapeutics for the treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although different antivirals are given for the clinical management of SARS-CoV-2 infection, their efficacy is still under evaluation. Here, we have screened existing drugs approved for human use in a variety of diseases, to compare how they c...
Preprint
Full-text available
To assess the potential impact of predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants on neutralizing activity of infected and/or vaccinated individuals, we analyzed neutralization of pseudoviruses expressing the spike of the original Wuhan strain, the D614G and B.1.1.7 variants. Our data show that parameters of natural infection (time from infection and i...
Article
Background Understanding mid-term kinetics of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is the cornerstone for public health control of the pandemic and vaccine development. However, current evidence is rather based on limited measurements, losing sight of the temporal pattern of these changes. Methods We conducted a longitudinal analysis on a prospective cohort of...
Article
Full-text available
The protective effect of neutralizing antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals is not yet well defined. To address this issue, we have analyzed the kinetics of neutralizing antibody responses and their association with disease severity. Between March and May 2020, the prospective KING study enrolled 72 COVID-19+ participants grouped according...
Article
Full-text available
Viruses rely on the cellular machinery to replicate and propagate within newly infected individuals. Thus, viral entry into the host cell sets up the stage for productive infection and disease progression. Different viruses exploit distinct cellular receptors for viral entry; however, numerous viral internalization mechanisms are shared by very div...
Article
Full-text available
Primary HIV infection (PHI) and subsequent chronic infection alter B-cell compartment. However, longitudinal analysis defining the dynamics of B-cell alterations are still limited. We longitudinally studied B-cell subsets in individuals followed for 1 year after PHI (n = 40). Treated and untreated chronic HIV infected (n = 56) and HIV-uninfected in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have already been documented in humans, although its real incidence is currently unknown. Besides having great impact on public health, this phenomenon raises the question if immunity generated by a single infection is sufficient to provide sterilizing/protective immunity to a subsequent SARS-CoV-2 re-exposure. The Gold...
Article
Relative control of HIV-1 infection has been linked to genetic and immune host factors. In this study, we analyzed 96 plasma proteome arrays from chronic untreated HIV-1-infected individuals using the classificatory random forest approach to discriminate between uncontrolled disease (plasma viral load [pVL] >50,000 RNA copies/ml; CD4 counts 283 cel...
Article
Introduction: Thanks to antiretroviral therapy (ART), persons living with HIV (PLWH), have a longer life expectancy. However, immune activation and inflammation remain elevated, even after viral suppression, and contribute to morbidity and mortality in these individuals. Areas covered: We review aspects related to immune activation and inflammation...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding mid-term kinetics of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is the cornerstone for public health control of the pandemic and vaccine development. However, current evidence is rather based on limited measurements, thus losing sight of the temporal pattern of these changes 1–6 . In this longitudinal analysis, conducted on a prospective cohort of COVID-...
Article
Full-text available
The magnitude and the quality of humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with clinical outcome. Although the elicitation of humoral responses against different viral proteins is rapid and occurs in most infected individuals, its magnitude is highly variable among them and positively correlates with COVID-19 disease severity. This...