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1.
Vaccines ; 10(5):796, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1857259

ABSTRACT

Waning immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and the emergence of variants, especially of the most distant variant, Omicron, affect titers of neutralizing antibodies in the sera of vaccinated individuals. Thus, two vaccinations with the mRNA vaccine BNT162b fail to induce neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant. A first booster vaccination increases Omicron-RBD-binding IgG and IgA and neutralizing capacity. In comparison, the Wuhan isolate titers of the Omicron variant binding antibodies are 8.5 lower. After a third vaccination, induction of Omicron-RBD- and Wuhan-RBD-binding antibodies follows the same kinetic. Five to six months after the third vaccination, there are still Omicron-RBD-binding antibodies detectable, but 35.9 percent of the analyzed sera fail to neutralize the Omicron variant, while all sera efficiently neutralize the Delta isolate. In the case of the Wuhan-RBD, a significantly larger number of stable antigen–antibody complexes is formed than in Omicron-RBD. A fourth vaccination with mRNA-1273 temporarily restores levels of Omicron-, Delta- and Wuhan-specific antibodies. Comparing different booster strategies revealed that the breadth of the immune response is not affected by the vaccination regimen. Taken together, these data indicate that booster vaccinations (third and fourth dose) increase the breadth of the immune response, but there is a qualitative difference of antibodies with respect to the stability of antigen–antibody complexes and persistence of antibody titers.

2.
Vaccines ; 10(5):794, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1857250

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron has spread world-wide and is responsible for rapid increases in infections, including in populations with high vaccination rates. Here, we analysed in the sera of vaccinated individuals the antibody binding to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein and the neutralization of wild-type (WT), Delta (B.1.617.2), and Omicron (B.1.1.529;BA.1) pseudotyped vectors. Although sera from individuals immunized with vector vaccines (Vaxzevria;AZ and COVID-19 Janssen, Ad26.COV2.S;J&J) were able to bind and neutralize WT and Delta, they showed only background levels towards Omicron. In contrast, mRNA (Comirnaty;BNT) or heterologous (AZ/BNT) vaccines induced weak, but detectable responses against Omicron. While RBD-binding antibody levels decreased significantly six months after full vaccination, the SARS-CoV-2 RBD-directed avidity remained constant. However, this still coincided with a significant decrease in neutralization activity against all variants. A third booster vaccination with BNT significantly increased the humoral immune responses against all tested variants, including Omicron. In conclusion, only vaccination schedules that included at least one dose of mRNA vaccine and especially an mRNA booster vaccination induced sufficient antibody levels with neutralization capacity against multiple variants, including Omicron.

3.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705787

ABSTRACT

In light of an increasing number of vaccinated and convalescent individuals, there is a major need for the development of robust methods for the quantification of neutralizing antibodies; although, a defined correlate of protection is still missing. Sera from hospitalized COVID-19 patients suffering or not suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) were comparatively analyzed by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) and pseudotype-based neutralization assays to quantify their neutralizing capacity. The two neutralization assays showed comparable data. In case of the non-ARDS sera, there was a distinct correlation between the data from the neutralization assays on the one hand, and enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA), as well as biophysical analyses, on the other hand. As such, surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based assays for quantification of binding antibodies or analysis of the stability of the antigen-antibody interaction and inhibition of syncytium formation, determined by cell fusion assays, were performed. In the case of ARDS sera, which are characterized by a significantly higher fraction of RBD-binding IgA antibodies, there is a clear correlation between the neutralization assays and the ELISA data. In contrast to this, a less clear correlation between the biophysical analyses on the one hand and ELISAs and neutralization assays on the other hand was observed, which might be explained by the heterogeneity of the antibodies. To conclude, for less complex immune sera-as in cases of non-ARDS sera-combinations of titer quantification by ELISA with inhibition of syncytium formation, SPR-based analysis of antibody binding, determination of the stability of the antigen-antibody complex, and competition of the RBD-ACE2 binding represent alternatives to the classic PRNT for analysis of the neutralizing potential of SARS-CoV-2-specific sera, without the requirement for a BSL3 facility.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Convalescence , Immune Sera/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542839

ABSTRACT

Many of the approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are based on a stabilized variant of the spike protein. This raises the question of whether the immune response against the stabilized spike is identical to the immune response that is elicited by the native spike in the case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a peptide array-based approach, we analysed the binding of antibodies from Comirnaty-elicited, convalescent, and control sera to the peptides covering the spike protein. A total of 37 linear epitopes were identified. A total of 26 of these epitopes were almost exclusively recognized by the convalescent sera. Mapping these epitopes to the spike structures revealed that most of these 26 epitopes are masked in the pre-fusion structure. In particular, in the conserved central helix, three epitopes that are only exposed in the post-fusion conformation were identified. This indicates a higher spike-specific antibody diversity in convalescent sera. These differences could be relevant for the breadth of spike-specific immune response.

5.
Allergy ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532724

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Comirnaty, BioNTech/Pfizer) and the vaccine candidate CVnCoV (Curevac) each encode a stabilized spike protein of SARS-CoV2 as antigen but differ with respect to the nature of the mRNA (modified versus unmodified nucleotides) and the mRNA amount (30 µg versus 12 µg RNA). This study characterizes antisera elicited by these two vaccines in comparison to convalescent sera. METHODS: Sera from BNT162b2 vaccinated healthcare workers, and sera from participants of a phase I trial vaccinated with 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 µg CVnCoV and convalescent sera from hospitalized patients were analyzed by ELISA, neutralization tests, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and peptide arrays. RESULTS: BNT162b2-elicited sera and convalescent sera have a higher titer of spike-RBD-specific antibodies and neutralizing antibodies as compared to the CVnCoV-elicited sera. For all analyzed sera a reduction in binding and neutralizing antibodies was found for the lineage B.1.351 variant of concern. SPR analyses revealed that the CVnCoV-elicited sera have a lower fraction of slow-dissociating antibodies. Accordingly, the CVnCoV sera almost fail to compete with the spike-ACE2 interaction. The significance of common VOC mutations K417N, E484K, or N501Y focused on linear epitopes was analyzed using a peptide array approach. The peptide arrays showed a strong difference between convalescent sera and vaccine-elicited sera. Specifically, the linear epitope at position N501 was affected by the mutation and elucidates the escape of viral variants to antibodies against this linear epitope. CONCLUSION: These data reveal differences in titer, neutralizing capacity, and affinity of the antibodies between BNT162b2- and CVnCoV-elicited sera, which could contribute to the apparent differences in vaccine efficacy.

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