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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335293

ABSTRACT

Background There are no real world data on vaccine elicited neutralising antibody responses for the world’s most widely used vaccine, AZD1222, in African populations following scale up. Here, we measured i) baseline SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and levels of protective neutralizing antibodies prior to vaccination rollout using both flow cytometric based analysis of binding antibodies to nucleocapsid (N), coupled with virus neutralisation approaches and ii) neutralizing antibody responses to VOC prior to vaccination (January 2021) and after two-doses of AZD1222 vaccine administered between June and July 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria - a period when the Delta variant was circulating. Methods Health workers at multiple sites in Lagos were recruited to the study. For binding antibody measurement, IgG antibodies against SARS-COV-2 Wuhan-1 receptor-binding domain (RBD), trimeric spike protein (S), nucleocapsid protein (N) and Omicron S1 were measured using the Luminex-based SARS-CoV-2-IgG assay by flow cytometry. For plasma neutralising antibody measurement, SARS-CoV-2 lentiviral pseudovirus (PV) were prepared by transfecting 293T cells with Wuhan-614G wild type (WT), B.1.617.2 (Delta) and BA.1 (Omicron) plasmids in conjunction with HIV-1 expression vectors and luciferase encoding genome flanked by LTRs. We performed serial plasma dilutions from each time point and mixed plasma with PV before infecting HeLa-ACE2 cell lines, reading out luminescence and calculating ID50 (reciprocal dilution of sera required to inhibit 50% of PV infection). Results Our study population receiving at least one dose of vaccine comprised 140 participants with a median age of 40 (interquartile range: 33, 48). 62/140 (44%) participants were anti-N IgG positive prior to administration of first vaccine dose. 49 had plasma samples available at baseline prior to vaccination and at two follow-up timepoints post vaccination for neutralization assays. Half of the participants, 25/49 (51%) were IgG anti-N positive at baseline. Of the 24 individuals anti-N Ab negative at baseline, 12/24 had ID 50 above the cut-off of 20. In these individuals, binding antibodies to S were also detectable, and neutralisation correlated with IgG anti-S, suggesting waning of N antibody after infection. Overall, neutralizing Ab titres to WT 1 month after second dose were 2579 and at 3 months post second-dose were 1695. As expected, lower levels of neutralization were observed against the Delta GMT 549 and Omicron variants 269 at 1 month. Positive anti-N IgG Ab status at baseline was associated with significantly higher titres of neutralizing antibodies following vaccination across all tested VOC. Those with anti-N Abs present at baseline did not experience waning of responses between months 1 and 3 post second dose. When data were analysed for negative anti-N IgG status at any timepoint, there was a significant decline in neutralization and binding antibodies between 1 month and 3 months post second-dose. The GMT in these individuals for Delta and Omicron was approximately 100, nearly a log lower in comparison to WT. We tested anti-N IgG in subjects who were anti-N IgG negative at baseline (n=78) and became positive between 1- and 3-months post second dose and found 7/49 (14%) with de-novo infection, with one additional participant demonstrating both reinfection and breakthrough infection to yield a total breakthrough rate of 8/49 (16%). Neutralising and binding Ab titres 1 month post vaccine, prior to breakthrough, were not associated with breakthrough infection. Neutralizing titres were higher at the last time point in individuals who had experienced vaccine breakthrough infection (with no evidence of infection prior to vaccine), indicating a boosting effect of infection in addition to vaccine. The increase in titres against Delta PV observed in breakthrough was significantly greater than the increase for WT and Omicron PVs, coincident with in the Delta wave of infection during the sampling period. Conclusions AZD1222 is immunogenic in this real orld west African cohort with significant background seroprevalence and incidence of breakthrough infection over a short time period. Prior infection and breakthrough infection induced higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ab responses at 3 months post vaccine against all widely circulating VOC. However, responses to Omicron BA.1 were low at three months regardless of prior exposure or breakthrough infection. Booster doses after AZD1222 should be considered for those at high risk in the African setting, even after natural infection, as future variants may be more pathogenic as well as immune evasive in the context of waning immunity.

2.
Nature ; 603(7902): 706-714, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and has multiple mutations in its spike protein2. Here we show that the spike protein of Omicron has a higher affinity for ACE2 compared with Delta, and a marked change in its antigenicity increases Omicron's evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralizing antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralization. Importantly, the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared with Delta. The differences in replication were mapped to the entry efficiency of the virus on the basis of spike-pseudotyped virus assays. The defect in entry of Omicron pseudotyped virus to specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and deletion of TMPRSS2 affected Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2, which promotes cell entry through plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry through the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to use TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was substantially impaired compared with the Delta spike. The less efficient spike cleavage of Omicron at S1/S2 is associated with a shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2-expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Virulence , Virus Replication
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317173

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and has spread throughout India, displacing the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant and other pre-existing lineages. Mathematical modelling indicates that the growth advantage is most likely explained by a combination of increased transmissibility and immune evasion. Indeed in vitro, the delta variant is less sensitive to neutralising antibodies in sera from recovered individuals, with higher replication efficiency as compared to the Alpha variant. In an analysis of vaccine breakthrough in over 100 healthcare workers across three centres in India, the Delta variant not only dominates vaccine-breakthrough infections with higher respiratory viral loads compared to non-delta infections (Ct value of 16.5 versus 19), but also generates greater transmission between HCW as compared to B.1.1.7 or B.1.617.1 (p=0.02). In vitro, the Delta variant shows 8 fold approximately reduced sensitivity to vaccine-elicited antibodies compared to wild type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant were significantly lower in participants vaccinated with ChadOx-1 as compared to BNT162b2 (GMT 3372 versus 654, p<0001). These combined epidemiological and in vitro data indicate that the dominance of the Delta variant in India has been most likely driven by a combination of evasion of neutralising antibodies in previously infected individuals and increased virus infectivity. Whilst severe disease in fully vaccinated HCW was rare, breakthrough transmission clusters in hospitals associated with the Delta variant are concerning and indicate that infection control measures need continue in the post-vaccination era.

4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295504

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha). In vitro , B.1.617.2 is 6-fold less sensitive to serum neutralising antibodies from recovered individuals, and 8-fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to wild type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx-1 versus BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD), in particular to the clinically approved bamlavinimab and imdevimab monoclonal antibodies. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems as compared to B.1.1.7, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared to B.1.1.7. Additionally we observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike mediated entry as compared to B.1.617.1, potentially explaining B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of over 130 SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed substantially reduced ChAdOx-1 vaccine efficacy against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.

5.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 989-994, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429251

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 variant emerged in the Indian state of Maharashtra in late 2020. There have been fears that 2 key mutations seen in the receptor-binding domain, L452R and E484Q, would have additive effects on evasion of neutralizing antibodies. We report that spike bearing L452R and E484Q confers modestly reduced sensitivity to BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies following either first or second dose. The effect is similar in magnitude to the loss of sensitivity conferred by L452R or E484Q alone. These data demonstrate reduced sensitivity to vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies by L452R and E484Q but lack of synergistic loss of sensitivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , India , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
6.
Nature ; 599(7883): 114-119, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392870

ABSTRACT

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha)1. In vitro, B.1.617.2 is sixfold less sensitive to serum neutralizing antibodies from recovered individuals, and eightfold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies, compared with wild-type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralizing titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx1 vaccinees than in BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies to the receptor-binding domain and the amino-terminal domain. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency than B.1.1.7 in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared with B.1.1.7 spike. The B.1.617.2 spike protein was able to mediate highly efficient syncytium formation that was less sensitive to inhibition by neutralizing antibody, compared with that of wild-type spike. We also observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike-mediated entry than B.1.617.1, potentially explaining the B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of more than 130 SARS-CoV-2-infected health care workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed reduced ChAdOx1 vaccine effectiveness against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2, with the caveat of possible residual confounding. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune-evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.


Subject(s)
Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , India , Kinetics , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination
7.
Nature ; 596(7872): 417-422, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287811

ABSTRACT

Although two-dose mRNA vaccination provides excellent protection against SARS-CoV-2, there is little information about vaccine efficacy against variants of concern (VOC) in individuals above eighty years of age1. Here we analysed immune responses following vaccination with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine2 in elderly participants and younger healthcare workers. Serum neutralization and levels of binding IgG or IgA after the first vaccine dose were lower in older individuals, with a marked drop in participants over eighty years old. Sera from participants above eighty showed lower neutralization potency against the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta) and P.1. (Gamma) VOC than against the wild-type virus and were more likely to lack any neutralization against VOC following the first dose. However, following the second dose, neutralization against VOC was detectable regardless of age. The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific memory B cells was higher in elderly responders (whose serum showed neutralization activity) than in non-responders after the first dose. Elderly participants showed a clear reduction in somatic hypermutation of class-switched cells. The production of interferon-γ and interleukin-2 by SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cells was lower in older participants, and both cytokines were secreted primarily by CD4 T cells. We conclude that the elderly are a high-risk population and that specific measures to boost vaccine responses in this population are warranted, particularly where variants of concern are circulating.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
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