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1.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604226, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023032

ABSTRACT

Objectives: This study examined factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination intention at the very beginning of the vaccination campaign in a representative sample of the population in southern Switzerland. Methods: In March 2021, we measured vaccination intention, beliefs, attitudes, and trust in a sample of the Corona Immunitas Ticino study. Results: Of the 2681 participants, 1933 completed the questionnaire (response rate = 72%; 55% female; meanage = 41, SD = 24, rangeage = 5-91). Overall, 68% reported an intention to get vaccinated. Vaccination intention was higher in social/healthcare workers, and increased with age, trust in public health institutions, and confidence in the vaccine efficacy. Prior infection of a family member, predilection for waiting for more evidence on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and for alternative protective means were negatively associated with intention. Conclusion: In view of needs of COVID-19 vaccine boosters and of suboptimal vaccination coverage, our results have relevant public health implications and suggest that communication about vaccine safety and efficacy, and aims of vaccination programs, should be bi-directional, proportionate, and tailored to the concerns, expectations, and beliefs of different population subgroups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland , Vaccination , Young Adult
2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(31)2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987417

ABSTRACT

Functional immunity (defined here as serum neutralising capacity) critically contributes to conferring protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. This cross-sectional analysis of a prospective, population-based cohort study included 1,894 randomly-selected 16 to 99-year-old participants from two Swiss cantons in March 2022. Of these, 97.6% (95% CI: 96.8-98.2%) had anti-spike IgG antibodies, and neutralising capacity was respectively observed for 94%, 92% and 88% against wild-type SARS-CoV-2, Delta and Omicron variants. Studying functional immunity to inform and monitor vaccination campaigns is crucial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunization Programs , Immunization, Secondary , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Switzerland/epidemiology , Young Adult
3.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 233, 2022 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962842

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine whether living in a household with children is associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in adults and investigated interacting factors that may influence this association. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 serology testing was performed in randomly selected individuals from the general population between end of October 2020 and February 2021 in 11 cantons in Switzerland. Data on sociodemographic and household characteristics, employment status, and health-related history was collected using questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association of living with children <18 years of age (number, age group) and SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity. Further, we assessed the influence of reported non-household contacts, employment status, and gender. RESULTS: Of 2393 working age participants (18-64 years), 413 (17.2%) were seropositive. Our results suggest that living with children and SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity are likely to be associated (unadjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.22, 95% confidence interval [0.98-1.52], adjusted OR 1.25 [0.99-1.58]). A pattern of a positive association was also found for subgroups of children aged 0-11 years (OR 1.21 [0.90-1.60]) and 12-17 years (OR 1.14 [0.78-1.64]). Odds of seropositivity were higher with more children (OR 1.14 per additional child [1.02-1.27]). Men had higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection when living with children than women (interaction: OR 1.74 [1.10-2.76]). CONCLUSIONS: In adults from the general population living with children seems associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity. However, child-related infection risk is not the same for every subgroup and depends on factors like gender. Further factors determining child-related infection risk need to be identified and causal links investigated. TRIAL REGISTRATION: https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN18181860 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Male , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology
4.
Comput Hum Behav Rep ; 7: 100204, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850811

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the life of children and adolescents in an unprecedented way. In the present study, we focused on two activities that have been likely affected by mitigation measures: screen time and green time. We investigated how both influenced each other during the pandemic, how they affected children's and adolescents' mental health, and which role socio-demographic characteristics have in predicting screen time, green time, and mental health. We used data collected between autumn 2020 and spring 2021 from 844 participants aged 5 to 19 of a population-based, prospective cohort study in Canton Ticino, Italian-speaking Switzerland. We analyzed the data using an extended version of the Random Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model with time-invariant socio-demographic covariates and mental health as outcome. Results showed that, at the between-person level, screen time was a risk factor and green time a protective factor of mental health. However, within-person deviations of screen time and green time during the pandemic did not consistently predict mental health. Furthermore, they did not influence each other over time. Gender, age, perceived economic situation of the family, Body Mass Index and the availability of green space nearby all influenced stable measures of green time and screen time (i.e., random intercepts). Our results highlight the need for targeted actions to promote green time and raise awareness about the detrimental effect of screen time on children's and adolescents' mental health.

5.
International journal of public health ; 67, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1781919

ABSTRACT

Objectives: This study examined factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination intention at the very beginning of the vaccination campaign in a representative sample of the population in southern Switzerland. Methods: In March 2021, we measured vaccination intention, beliefs, attitudes, and trust in a sample of the Corona Immunitas Ticino study. Results: Of the 2681 participants, 1933 completed the questionnaire (response rate = 72%;55% female;meanage = 41, SD = 24, rangeage = 5–91). Overall, 68% reported an intention to get vaccinated. Vaccination intention was higher in social/healthcare workers, and increased with age, trust in public health institutions, and confidence in the vaccine efficacy. Prior infection of a family member, predilection for waiting for more evidence on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and for alternative protective means were negatively associated with intention. Conclusion: In view of needs of COVID-19 vaccine boosters and of suboptimal vaccination coverage, our results have relevant public health implications and suggest that communication about vaccine safety and efficacy, and aims of vaccination programs, should be bi-directional, proportionate, and tailored to the concerns, expectations, and beliefs of different population subgroups.

6.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 56, 2022 01 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635427

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is sparse evidence on the impact on vulnerable populations of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of our study was to explore burden and mental wellbeing (including depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms) in caregivers of people with dementia during the first wave of the pandemic in Italy and southern Switzerland, two bordering regions severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey with family carers of people with dementia between May and June 2020. We registered socio-demographic characteristics, and information about the relationship with the care recipient, dementia subtype, care inputs from others, and the need of care of the person with dementia. We measured caregiver burden with the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), psychological distress with the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and perceived isolation with the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLALS3). RESULTS: Caregivers (N =571) reported moderate to severe care-related burden (mean=54.30; SD=18.33), moderate anxiety symptoms (mean=10.04; SD=6.93), mild depressive symptoms (mean=11.79; SD=6.12) and mild stress (mean=12.95; SD=5.53), and 72.3% of participants reported to feel lonely. All scores were significantly more severe in Swiss compared to Italian caregivers (all p values<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We found that caregivers' burden, anxiety symptoms, depression and perceived loneliness were marked during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in two severely hit bordering countries. Regional differences in the impact of the epidemic on caregivers could be due to contextual, societal, and cultural circumstances. As the pandemic endures, support to caregivers of people with dementia should be proportionate and tailored to needs and adapted to contextual factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dementia/diagnosis , Dementia/epidemiology , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296574

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the life of children and adolescents in an unpredecented way, limiting, among others, everyday activities with direct social contacts to mitigate the spread of the virus. These limitations have been associated with worse mental health. Yet, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. In the present study, we focused on two activities that have been likely affected by mitigation measures: screen time and green time. We investigated how screen time and green time influenced each during the pandemic, how they affected children’s and adolescents' mental health, and which role socio-demographic characteristics have in predicting screen time, green time, and mental health. We used data collected over between autumn 2020 and spring 2021 from 844 participants aged 5 to 19 of a population-based, prospective cohort study in Ticino, Switzerland. We analyzed the data using an extended version of the Random Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model with time-invariant socio-demographic covariates and mental health as outcome. Results showed that, at the between-person level, screen time was a risk factor and green time a protective factor of mental health. However, within-person deviations of screen time and green time during the pandemic did not consistently predict mental health. Furthermore, they did not influence each other over time. Gender, age, socio-economic background, Body Mass Index and the availability of green space nearby all influenced stable measures of green time and screen time (i.e., random intercepts). Our results highlight the need for targeted actions to promote green time and raise awareness about the detrimental effect of screen time on children’s and adolescents’ mental health.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295474

ABSTRACT

Background: There is sparse evidence on the impact on vulnerable populations of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of our study was to explore burden and mental wellbeing (including depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms) in caregivers of people with dementia during the first wave of the pandemic in Italy and southern Switzerland, two bordering regions severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods We conducted an online cross-sectional survey with family carers of people with dementia between May and June 2020. We registered socio-demographic characteristics, and information about the relationship with the care recipient, dementia subtype, care inputs from others, and the need of care of the person with dementia. We measured caregiver burden with the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), psychological distress with the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and perceived isolation with the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLALS3). Results Caregivers (N=571) reported moderate to severe care-related burden (mean=54.30;SD=18.33), moderate anxiety symptoms (mean=10.04;SD=6.93), mild depressive symptoms (mean=11.79;SD=6.12) and mild stress (mean=12.95;SD=5.53), and 72.3% of participants reported to feel lonely. All scores were significantly more severe in Swiss compared to Italian caregivers (all p values<0.001). Conclusions We found that caregivers’ burden, anxiety symptoms, depression and perceived loneliness were marked during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in two severely hit bordering countries. Regional differences in the impact of the epidemic on caregivers could be due to contextual, societal, and cultural circumstances. As the pandemic endures, support to caregivers of people with dementia should be proportionate and tailored to needs and adapted to contextual factors.

10.
Int J Public Health ; 65(9): 1529-1548, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384326

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Seroprevalence studies to assess the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population and subgroups are key for evaluating mitigation and vaccination policies and for understanding the spread of the disease both on the national level and for comparison with the international community. METHODS: Corona Immunitas is a research program of coordinated, population-based, seroprevalence studies implemented by Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+). Over 28,340 participants, randomly selected and age-stratified, with some regional specificities will be included. Additional studies in vulnerable and highly exposed subpopulations are also planned. The studies will assess population immunological status during the pandemic. RESULTS: Phase one (first wave of pandemic) estimates from Geneva showed a steady increase in seroprevalence up to 10.8% (95% CI 8.2-13.9, n = 775) by May 9, 2020. Since June, Zurich, Lausanne, Basel City/Land, Ticino, and Fribourg recruited a total of 5973 participants for phase two thus far. CONCLUSIONS: Corona Immunitas will generate reliable, comparable, and high-quality serological and epidemiological data with extensive coverage of Switzerland and of several subpopulations, informing health policies and decision making in both economic and societal sectors. ISRCTN Registry: https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN18181860 .


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Child , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Research Design , Switzerland , Young Adult
11.
Front Public Health ; 9: 695231, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359260

ABSTRACT

Aims: One of the major ethical challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic comes in the form of fair triage decisions for critically ill patients in situations where life-saving resources are limited. In Spring 2020, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) issued specific guidelines on triage for intensive-care treatment in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. While evidence has shown that the capacities of intensive care medicine throughout Switzerland were sufficient to take care of all critically ill patients during the first wave of the outbreak, no evidence is available regarding the acceptance of these guidelines by ICU staff. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the acceptance and perceived implementation of the SAMS guidelines among a sample of senior physicians involved in the care of Covid-19 patients in the Canton of Ticino. Specific objectives included capturing and describing physicians' attitudes toward the guidelines, any challenges experienced in their application, and any perceived factors that facilitated or would facilitate their application. Methods: We conducted face-to-face and telephone interviews with a purposive sample of nine senior physicians employed as either head of unity, deputy-head of unit, or medical director in either one of the two Covid-19 hospitals in the Canton of Ticino during the peak of the outbreak. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed using an inductive approach. Results: We found that participants held different views regarding the nature of the guidelines, saw decisions on admission as a matter of collective responsibility, argued that decisions should be based on a medical futility principle rather than an age criterion, and found that difficulties to address end-of-life issues led to a comeback of paternalism. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of clarifying the nature of the guidelines, establishing authority, and responsibility during triaging decisions, recognizing and addressing sources of interference with patients' autonomy, and the need of a cultural shift in timely and efficiently addressing end-of-life issues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage
12.
Vaccine X ; 8: 100108, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309314

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption and suffering to people across the globe, with a disproportionate toll on the elderly. The development and equitable distribution of a vaccine seems to be the most promising and sustainable route ahead. The goal of this study was to explore older adults' attitudes towards and beliefs regarding the Covid-19 vaccination in Southern Switzerland. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study employing telephone interviews to understand older adults' attitudes towards and beliefs about the Covid-19 vaccine. No Covid-19 vaccine had yet been approved at the moment of data collection. A convenience and snowball sample of 19 participants was recruited. Participants had to be at least 65 years old, without any hearing impairments, and be resident in the Canton of Ticino. RESULTS: Most participants were women (n = 12), Swiss nationals (n = 14), retired (n = 18), resident in urban areas (n = 14), and had obtained a secondary school degree (n = 14). The average age was 75 (SD = 6.04; range = 64-85). We found that the majority of participants were in favor of the vaccination and highlighted its positive consequences, such as the abandonment of current freedom-limiting protective measures. Those participants who were against or unsure about the vaccination had concerns regarding the novelty of the vaccine and its impact on its safety and efficacy, stated they would prefer other protective measures rather than the vaccination, and identified contextual and individual drivers of their concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Independently from the outbreak's trajectory, efforts to foster vaccination acceptance should focus on the benefit of relapsing freedom-limiting protective measures. Vaccination strategies should be grounded in an evidence-based, participatory approach, ongoing community engagement, trust-building activities, and communication about vaccine developments and how the vaccine will be combined with other outbreak response measures.

13.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252101, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280616

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Public health measures used to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic may have unintended, detrimental consequences particularly on older adults, whose voices and perspectives are often silent or silenced. The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of individuals aged 64 or older during the first COVID-19 lockdown. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study in a convenience sample of 19 older adults (aged 64+) living at home in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland during the first COVID-19 lockdown, between April and May 2020. Participants varied in terms of gender, education, age, nationality, and socio-economic status. We conducted semi-structured phone interviews to elicit emotions, expectations and hopes in relation to the present situation, and the post-pandemic world. We inquired about opinions on the enforced public health measures, including those specifically targeting older adults, and on the societal portrayal of older adults. FINDINGS: We found that the epidemic and the public health response to it had both generated a variety of resentments and a high degree of ambivalence at the individual, micro-, meso- and macro-social levels. We also found that labelling older adults as an at-risk sub-population inevitably contributed to public and self-stigmatization. DISCUSSION: We conducted an in-depth qualitative investigation of lived experiences of older adults during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in one of the most gravely hit region in Europe. Our findings on the complexity of unintended, detrimental consequences of outbreak responses on older adults have relevant implications for local adaptions of public health measures, and suggest that public health authorities should engage vulnerable sub-populations and promote bi-directional communication to inform and support communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Social Isolation , Socioeconomic Factors , Switzerland
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011497

ABSTRACT

As of 27 March 2020, 199 countries and territories and one international conveyance are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the same date, Italy represents the third country worldwide in total number of cases and the first one in total number of deaths. The purpose of this study is to analyse the Italian case and identify key problem questions and lessons learned from the Italian experience. The study initially provides a general overview of the country's characteristics and health care system, followed by a detailed description of the Italian epidemiological picture regarding COVID-19. Afterwards, all non-pharmaceutical measures adopted by the Government against COVID-19 are presented in chronological order. The study explores some estimations of the economic impact of the epidemic, as well as its implications for society, lifestyle, and social media reactions. Finally, the study refers to two types of mathematical models to predict the evolution of the spread of COVID-19 disease. Having considered all of the above-mentioned aspects, some significant issues can be raised, including the following: (1) the available epidemiological data presents some gaps and potential biases; (2) mathematical models always come with high levels of uncertainty; (3) the high number of deaths should be interpreted in light of the national demographic context; and (4) the long-term management of the epidemic remains an open question. In conclusion, the Italian experience definitely highlights the importance of preparedness and early action, effective interventions and risk communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Young Adult
17.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 17(24):9488, 2020.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-984666

ABSTRACT

As of 27 March 2020, 199 countries and territories and one international conveyance are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the same date, Italy represents the third country worldwide in total number of cases and the first one in total number of deaths. The purpose of this study is to analyse the Italian case and identify key problem questions and lessons learned from the Italian experience. The study initially provides a general overview of the country’s characteristics and health care system, followed by a detailed description of the Italian epidemiological picture regarding COVID-19. Afterwards, all non-pharmaceutical measures adopted by the Government against COVID-19 are presented in chronological order. The study explores some estimations of the economic impact of the epidemic, as well as its implications for society, lifestyle, and social media reactions. Finally, the study refers to two types of mathematical models to predict the evolution of the spread of COVID-19 disease. Having considered all of the above-mentioned aspects, some significant issues can be raised, including the following: (1) the available epidemiological data presents some gaps and potential biases;(2) mathematical models always come with high levels of uncertainty;(3) the high number of deaths should be interpreted in light of the national demographic context;and (4) the long-term management of the epidemic remains an open question. In conclusion, the Italian experience definitely highlights the importance of preparedness and early action, effective interventions and risk communication.

18.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 1: 100013, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988714

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hospital healthcare workers (HCW), in particular those involved in the clinical care of COVID-19 cases, are presumably exposed to a higher risk of acquiring the disease than the general population. METHODS: Between April 16 and 30, 2020 we conducted a prospective, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study in HCWs in Southern Switzerland. Participants were hospital personnel with varying COVID-19 exposure risk depending on job function and working site. They provided personal information (including age, sex, occupation, and medical history) and self-reported COVID-19 symptoms. Odds ratio (OR) of seropositivity to IgG antibodies was estimated by univariate and multivariate logistic regressions. FINDINGS: Among 4726 participants, IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 9.6% of the HCWs. Seropositivity was higher among HCWs working on COVID-19 wards (14.1% (11.9-16.5)) compared to other hospital areas at medium (10.7% (7.6-14.6)) or low risk exposure (7.3% (6.4-8.3)). OR for high vs. medium wards risk exposure was 1.42 (0.91-2.22), P = 0.119, and 1.98 (1.55-2.53), P<0.001 for high vs. low wards risk exposure. The same was for true for doctors and nurses (10.1% (9.0-11.3)) compared to other employees at medium (7.1% (4.8-10.0)) or low risk exposure (6.6% (5.0-8.4)). OR for high vs. medium profession risk exposure was 1.37 (0.89-2.11), P = 0.149, and 1.75 (1.28-2.40), P = 0.001 for high vs. low profession risk exposure. Moreover, seropositivity was higher among HCWs who had household exposure to COVID-19 cases compared to those without (18.7% (15.3-22.5) vs. 7.7% (6.9-8.6), OR 2.80 (2.14-3.67), P<0.001). INTERPRETATION: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are detectable in up to 10% of HCWs from acute care hospitals in a region with high incidence of COVID-19 in the weeks preceding the study. HCWs with exposure to COVID-19 patients have only a slightly higher absolute risk of seropositivity compared to those without, suggesting that the use of PPE and other measures aiming at reducing nosocomial viral transmission are effective. Household contact with known COVID-19 cases represents the highest risk of seropositivity. FUNDING: Henry Krenter Foundation, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale and Vir Biotechnology.

19.
Cell ; 183(4): 1024-1042.e21, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-773817

ABSTRACT

Analysis of the specificity and kinetics of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection is crucial for understanding immune protection and identifying targets for vaccine design. In a cohort of 647 SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects, we found that both the magnitude of Ab responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleoprotein and nAb titers correlate with clinical scores. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) is immunodominant and the target of 90% of the neutralizing activity present in SARS-CoV-2 immune sera. Whereas overall RBD-specific serum IgG titers waned with a half-life of 49 days, nAb titers and avidity increased over time for some individuals, consistent with affinity maturation. We structurally defined an RBD antigenic map and serologically quantified serum Abs specific for distinct RBD epitopes leading to the identification of two major receptor-binding motif antigenic sites. Our results explain the immunodominance of the receptor-binding motif and will guide the design of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Epitope Mapping/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Kinetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/immunology , Protein Structure, Quaternary , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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