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1.
Viruses ; 14(9):1966, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2010312

ABSTRACT

Studies assessing the dynamics and duration of antibody responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination are an invaluable tool for vaccination schedule planning, assessment of risk groups and management of pandemics. In this study, we developed and employed ELISA assays to analyze the humoral responses to Nucleocapsid and Spike proteins in vaccinated health-care workers (HCW) and critically ill COVID-19 patients. Sera of more than 1000 HCWs and critically ill patients from the Clinical Hospital Center Rijeka were tested across a one-year period, encompassing the spread of major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). We observed 97% of seroconversion in HCW cohort as well as sustained anti-Spike antibody response in vaccinees for more than 6 months. In contrast, the infection-induced anti-Nucleocapsid response was waning significantly in a six-month period. Furthermore, a substantial decrease in vaccinees' anti-Spike antibodies binding to Spike protein of Omicron VOC was also observed. Critically ill COVID-19 patients had higher levels of anti-Spike and anti-Nucleocapsid antibodies compared to HCWs. No significant differences in anti-Spike and anti-Nucleocapsid antibody levels between the critically ill COVID-19 patients that were on non-invasive oxygen supplementation and those on invasive ventilation support were observed. However, stronger anti-Spike, but not anti-Nucleocapsid, antibody response correlated with a better disease outcome in the cohort of patients on invasive ventilation support. Altogether, our results contribute to the growing pool of data on humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination.

2.
J Med Virol ; 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1981883

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with chronic inflammatory disease (CID) declines more rapidly with TNFα inhibition. Furthermore, the efficacy of current vaccines against Omicron variants of concern (VOC) including BA.2 is limited. Alterations within immune cell populations, changes in IgG affinity and the ability to neutralise a pre-VOC strain and the BA.2 virus were investigated in these at-risk patients. METHODS: Serum levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgG avidity and neutralising antibodies (NA) were determined in anti-TNFα patients (n=10) and controls (n=24 healthy individuals; n=12 patients under other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, oDMARD) before and after the second and third vaccination by ELISA, immunoblot and live virus neutralisation assay. SARS-CoV-2-specific B- and T cell subsets were analysed by multicolour flow cytometry. RESULTS: IgG avidity and anti-pre-VOC NA titres decreased faster in anti-TNFα recipients than in controls 6 months after the second vaccination (healthy individuals: avidity: p≤0.0001; NA: p=0.0347; oDMARDs: avidity: p=0.0012; NA: p=0.0293). Total plasma cell counts were increased in anti-TNFα patients (Healthy individuals: p=0.0344; oDMARDs: p=0.0254), whereas absolute numbers of SARS-CoV-2-specific cells were comparable 7 days after vaccination. These patients had lower BA.2 NA titres compared to both other groups, even after the third vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: We show a reduced SARS-CoV-2 neutralising capacity in patients under TNFα blockade. In this cohort, the plasma cell response appears to be less specific and show stronger bystander activation. While these effects were observable after the first two vaccinations and with older VOC, the differences in responses to BA.2 were enhanced. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

3.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1964106

ABSTRACT

The development of antibody therapies against SARS-CoV-2 remains a challenging task during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All approved therapeutic antibodies are directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike, and therefore lose neutralization efficacy against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, which frequently mutate in the RBD region. Previously, phage display has been used to identify epitopes of antibody responses against several diseases. Such epitopes have been applied to design vaccines or neutralize antibodies. Here, we constructed an ORFeome phage display library for the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Open reading frames (ORFs) representing the SARS-CoV-2 genome were displayed on the surface of phage particles in order to identify enriched immunogenic epitopes from COVID-19 patients. Library quality was assessed by both NGS and epitope mapping of a monoclonal antibody with a known binding site. The most prominent epitope captured represented parts of the fusion peptide (FP) of the spike. It is associated with the cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 into the host cell; the serine protease TMPRSS2 cleaves the spike within this sequence. Blocking this mechanism could be a potential target for non-RBD binding therapeutic anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. As mutations within the FP amino acid sequence have been rather rare among SARS-CoV-2 variants so far, this may provide an advantage in the fight against future virus variants.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Bacteriophages/metabolism , Epitopes , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Viruses ; 14(6):1326, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1893857

ABSTRACT

The development of antibody therapies against SARS-CoV-2 remains a challenging task during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All approved therapeutic antibodies are directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike, and therefore lose neutralization efficacy against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, which frequently mutate in the RBD region. Previously, phage display has been used to identify epitopes of antibody responses against several diseases. Such epitopes have been applied to design vaccines or neutralize antibodies. Here, we constructed an ORFeome phage display library for the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Open reading frames (ORFs) representing the SARS-CoV-2 genome were displayed on the surface of phage particles in order to identify enriched immunogenic epitopes from COVID-19 patients. Library quality was assessed by both NGS and epitope mapping of a monoclonal antibody with a known binding site. The most prominent epitope captured represented parts of the fusion peptide (FP) of the spike. It is associated with the cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 into the host cell;the serine protease TMPRSS2 cleaves the spike within this sequence. Blocking this mechanism could be a potential target for non-RBD binding therapeutic anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. As mutations within the FP amino acid sequence have been rather rare among SARS-CoV-2 variants so far, this may provide an advantage in the fight against future virus variants.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337784

ABSTRACT

The development of antibody therapies against SARS-CoV-2 remains a challenging task during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All approved therapeutic antibodies are directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike and lost neutralization efficacy against continuously emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, which especially mutate in the RBD region. Previously, phage display has been used to identify epitopes of antibody responses against several diseases. Such epitopes have been applied to design vaccines or neutralizing antibodies. Here, we constructed an ORFeome phage display library for the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Open reading frames (ORFs) representing the SARS-CoV-2 genome were displayed on the surface of phage particles in order to identify enriched immunogenic epitopes from COVID-19 patients. Library quality was assessed by both, NGS and epitope mapping of a monoclonal antibody with known binding site. The most prominent epitope captured represented parts of Spike´s fusion peptide (FP). It is associated with the cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 into the host cell and the serine protease TMPRSS2 cleaves Spike within this sequence. Blocking of this mechanism could be a potential target for non-RBD binding therapeutic anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. As mutations within the FP amino acid sequence were rather rare among SARS-CoV-2 variants so far, this may be an advantage in the fight against future virus variants.

6.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(6): 936-945, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750364

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe forms of the disease, but do not warrant complete protection against breakthrough infections. This could be due to suboptimal mucosal immunity at the site of virus entry, given that all currently approved vaccines are administered via the intramuscular route. In this study, we assessed humoral and cellular immune responses in BALB/c mice after intranasal and intramuscular immunization with adenoviral vector ChAdOx1-S expressing full-length Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. We showed that both routes of vaccination induced a potent IgG antibody response, as well as robust neutralizing capacity, but intranasal vaccination elicited a superior IgA antibody titer in the sera and in the respiratory mucosa. Bronchoalveolar lavage from intranasally immunized mice efficiently neutralized SARS-CoV-2, which has not been the case in intramuscularly immunized group. Moreover, substantially higher percentages of epitope-specific CD8 T cells exhibiting a tissue resident phenotype were found in the lungs of intranasally immunized animals. Finally, both intranasal and intramuscular vaccination with ChAdOx1-S efficiently protected the mice after the challenge with recombinant herpesvirus expressing the Spike protein. Our results demonstrate that intranasal application of adenoviral vector ChAdOx1-S induces superior mucosal immunity and therefore could be a promising strategy for putting the COVID-19 pandemic under control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adenoviridae/genetics , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Mucosal , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination/methods
7.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 102, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724486

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In November 2021, the Omicron variant was discovered and immediately classified as a variant of concern (VOC), since it shows substantially more mutations in the spike protein than any previous variant, especially in the receptor-binding domain (RBD). We analyzed the binding of the Omicron RBD to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptor (ACE2) and the ability of human sera from COVID-19 patients or vaccinees in comparison to Wuhan, Beta, or Delta RBD variants. METHODS: All RBDs were produced in insect cells. RBD binding to ACE2 was analyzed by ELISA and microscale thermophoresis (MST). Similarly, sera from 27 COVID-19 patients, 81 vaccinated individuals, and 34 booster recipients were titrated by ELISA on RBDs from the original Wuhan strain, Beta, Delta, and Omicron VOCs. In addition, the neutralization efficacy of authentic SARS-CoV-2 wild type (D614G), Delta, and Omicron by sera from 2× or 3× BNT162b2-vaccinated persons was analyzed. RESULTS: Surprisingly, the Omicron RBD showed a somewhat weaker binding to ACE2 compared to Beta and Delta, arguing that improved ACE2 binding is not a likely driver of Omicron evolution. Serum antibody titers were significantly lower against Omicron RBD compared to the original Wuhan strain. A 2.6× reduction in Omicron RBD binding was observed for serum of 2× BNT162b2-vaccinated persons. Neutralization of Omicron SARS-CoV-2 was completely diminished in our setup. CONCLUSION: These results indicate an immune escape focused on neutralizing antibodies. Nevertheless, a boost vaccination increased the level of anti-RBD antibodies against Omicron, and neutralization of authentic Omicron SARS-CoV-2 was at least partially restored. This study adds evidence that current vaccination protocols may be less efficient against the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702211

ABSTRACT

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a global crisis that continues to pose a serious threat to human health and the economy. Further advancement in research is necessary and requires the availability of quality molecular tools, including monoclonal antibodies. Here, we present the development and characterization of a collection of over 40 new monoclonal antibodies directed against different SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins were expressed, purified, and used as immunogens. Upon development of specific hybridomas, the obtained monoclonal antibody (mAb) clones were tested for binding to recombinant proteins and infected cells. We generated mAbs against structural proteins, the Spike and Nucleocapsid protein, several non-structural proteins (nsp1, nsp7, nsp8, nsp9, nsp10, nsp16) and accessory factors (ORF3a, ORF9b) applicable in flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, or Western blot. Our collection of mAbs provides a set of novel, highly specific tools that will allow a comprehensive analysis of the viral proteome, which will allow further understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and the design of therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/classification , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308569

ABSTRACT

Global pandemics by influenza or coronaviruses cause severe disruptions to the public health and lead to severe morbidity and mortality. Vaccines against these pathogens remain a medical need. CMV (cytomegalovirus) is a β-herpesvirus that induces uniquely robust immune responses, where outstandingly large populations of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells are maintained for a lifetime. Hence, CMV has been proposed and investigated as a novel vaccine vector expressing antigenic peptides or proteins to elicit protective cellular immune responses against numerous pathogens. We generated two recombinant murine CMV (MCMV) vaccine vectors expressing the hemagglutinin (HA) of influenza A virus (MCMVHA) or the spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (MCMVS). A single shot of MCMVs expressing either viral protein induced potent neutralizing antibody responses, which strengthened over time. Importantly, MCMVHA vaccinated mice were protected from illness following challenge with the influenza virus, and we excluded that this protection was due to effects of memory T cells. Conclusively, we show here that MCMV vectors do not only induce long-term cellular immunity, but also humoral responses that provide long-term immune protection against clinically relevant respiratory pathogens.

10.
Biomedicines ; 10(2)2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686608

ABSTRACT

Severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly contagious beta-class coronavirus. Although vaccinations have shown high efficacy, the emergence of novel variants of concern (VOCs) has already exhibited traits of immune evasion. Thus, the development of tailored antiviral medications for patients with incomplete, inefficient, or non-existent immunization, is essential. The attachment of viral surface proteins to the cell surface is the first crucial step in the viral replication cycle, which for SARS-CoV-2 is mediated by the high affinity interaction of the viral trimeric spike with the host cell surface-located human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (hACE2). Here, we used a novel and efficient next generation sequencing (NGS) supported phage display strategy for the selection of a set of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD)-targeting peptide ligands that bind to the target protein with low µM to nM dissociation constants. Compound CVRBDL-3 inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein association to hACE2 in a concentration-dependent manner for pre- as well as post-complex formation conditions. Further rational optimization yielded a CVRBDL-3 based divalent compound, which demonstrated inhibitory efficacy with an IC50 value of 47 nM. The obtained compounds were not only efficient for the different spike constructs from the originally isolated "wt" SARS-CoV-2, but also for B.1.1.7 mutant trimeric spike protein. Our work demonstrates that phage display-derived peptide ligands are potential fusion inhibitors of viral cell entry. Moreover, we show that rational optimization of a combination of peptide sequences is a potential strategy in the further development of therapeutics for the treatment of acute COVID-19.

11.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(2): 234-244, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612184

ABSTRACT

Global pandemics caused by influenza or coronaviruses cause severe disruptions to public health and lead to high morbidity and mortality. There remains a medical need for vaccines against these pathogens. CMV (cytomegalovirus) is a ß-herpesvirus that induces uniquely robust immune responses in which remarkably large populations of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells are maintained for a lifetime. Hence, CMV has been proposed and investigated as a novel vaccine vector for expressing antigenic peptides or proteins to elicit protective cellular immune responses against numerous pathogens. We generated two recombinant murine CMV (MCMV) vaccine vectors expressing hemagglutinin (HA) of influenza A virus (MCMVHA) or the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (MCMVS). A single injection of MCMVs expressing either viral protein induced potent neutralizing antibody responses, which strengthened over time. Importantly, MCMVHA-vaccinated mice were protected from illness following challenge with the influenza virus, and we excluded that this protection was due to the effects of memory T cells. Conclusively, we show here that MCMV vectors induce not only long-term cellular immunity but also humoral responses that provide long-term immune protection against clinically relevant respiratory pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytomegalovirus/immunology , Dogs , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Vero Cells
12.
iScience ; 25(2): 103743, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611783

ABSTRACT

Information concerning the longevity of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection may have considerable implications for durability of immunity induced by vaccines. Here, we monitored the SARS-CoV-2 specific immune response in COVID-19 patients followed up to 15 months after symptoms onset. Following a peak at day 15-28 postinfection, the IgG antibody response and plasma neutralizing titers gradually decreased over time but stabilized after 6 months. Compared to G614, plasma neutralizing titers were more than 8-fold lower against variants Beta, Gamma, and Delta. SARS-CoV-2-specific memory B and T cells persisted in the majority of patients up to 15 months although a significant decrease in specific T cells, but not B cells, was observed between 6 and 15 months. Antiviral specific immunity, especially memory B cells in COVID-19 convalescent patients, is long-lasting, but some variants of concern may at least partially escape the neutralizing activity of plasma antibodies.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296970

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 manifests itself from mild or even asymptomatic infections to severe forms of life-threatening pneumonia. At the end of November 2021, yet another novel SARS-CoV-2 variant named B.1.1.529 or Omicron was discovered and classified as a variant of concern (VoC) by the WHO. Omicron shows significantly more mutations in the amino acid (aa) sequence of its spike protein than any previous variant, with the majority of those concentrated in the receptor binding domain (RBD). In this work, the binding of the Omicron RBD to the human ACE2 receptor was experimentally analyzed in comparison to the original Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the Beta and Delta variants. Moreover, we compared the ability of human sera from COVID-19 convalescent donors and persons fully vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Corminaty) or Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen COVID-19 vaccine) as well as individuals who had boost vaccine doses with BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 (Spikevax) to bind the different RBDs variants. Methods The Omicron RBD with 15 aa mutations compared to the original Wuhan strain was produced baculovirus-free in insect cells. Binding of the produced Omicron RBD to hACE was analyzed by ELISA. Sera from 27 COVID-19 patients, of whom 21 were fully vaccinated and 16 booster recipients were titrated on the original Wuhan strain, Beta, Delta and Omicron RBD and compared to the first WHO International Standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin (human) using the original Wuhan strain as reference. Results The Omicron RBD showed a slightly reduced binding to ACE2 compared to the other RBDs. The serum of COVID-19 patients, BNT162b2 vaccinated and boost vaccinated persons showed a reduced binding to Omicron RBD in comparison to the original Wuhan strain, Beta und Delta RBDs. In this assay, the boost vaccination did not improve the RBD binding when compared to the BNT162b2 fully vaccinated group. The RBD binding of the Ad26.COV2.S serum group was lower at all compared to the other groups. Conclusions The reduced binding of human sera to Omicron RBD provides first hints that the current vaccinations using BNT162b2, mRNA-1273 and Ad26.COV2.S may be less efficient in preventing infections with the Omicron variant.

14.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 21393, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387456

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are essential tools for therapy and diagnostics. Yet, production remains expensive as it is mostly done in mammalian expression systems. As most therapeutic IgG require mammalian glycosylation to interact with the human immune system, other expression systems are rarely used for production. However, for neutralizing antibodies that are not required to activate the human immune system as well as antibodies used in diagnostics, a cheaper production system would be advantageous. In our study, we show cost-efficient, easy and high yield production of antibodies as well as various secreted antigens including Interleukins and SARS-CoV-2 related proteins in a baculovirus-free insect cell expression system. To improve yields, we optimized the expression vector, media and feeding strategies. In addition, we showed the feasibility of lyophilization of the insect cell produced antibodies. Furthermore, stability and activity of the antibodies was compared to antibodies produced by Expi293F cells revealing a lower aggregation of antibodies originating from High Five cell production. Finally, the newly established High Five expression system was compared to the Expi293F mammalian expression system in regard of yield and costs. Most interestingly, all tested proteins were producible in our High Five cell expression system what was not the case in the Expi293F system, hinting that the High Five cell system is especially suited to produce difficult-to-express target proteins.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Cloning, Molecular , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Stability , Spodoptera
15.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2305: 129-140, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355903

ABSTRACT

The expression of mammalian recombinant proteins in insect cell lines using transient-plasmid-based gene expression enables the production of high-quality protein samples. Here, the procedure for virus-free transient gene expression (TGE) in High Five insect cells is described in detail. The parameters that determine the efficiency and reproducibility of the method are presented in a robust protocol for easy implementation and set-up of the method. The applicability of the TGE method in High Five cells for proteomic, structural, and functional analysis of the expressed proteins is shown.


Subject(s)
Biotechnology/methods , Cloning, Molecular , Insecta/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Transfection/methods , Animals , Bioreactors , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Cell Line , Gene Expression , Glycosylation , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/metabolism , Plasmids , Proteomics , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
16.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 697876, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325516

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are essential molecules for diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by pathogens and their toxins. Antibodies were integrated in our medical repertoire against infectious diseases more than hundred years ago by using animal sera to treat tetanus and diphtheria. In these days, most developed therapeutic antibodies target cancer or autoimmune diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder about the importance of antibodies for therapy against infectious diseases. While monoclonal antibodies could be generated by hybridoma technology since the 70ies of the former century, nowadays antibody phage display, among other display technologies, is robustly established to discover new human monoclonal antibodies. Phage display is an in vitro technology which confers the potential for generating antibodies from universal libraries against any conceivable molecule of sufficient size and omits the limitations of the immune systems. If convalescent patients or immunized/infected animals are available, it is possible to construct immune phage display libraries to select in vivo affinity-matured antibodies. A further advantage is the availability of the DNA sequence encoding the phage displayed antibody fragment, which is packaged in the phage particles. Therefore, the selected antibody fragments can be rapidly further engineered in any needed antibody format according to the requirements of the final application. In this review, we present an overview of phage display derived recombinant antibodies against bacterial, viral and eukaryotic pathogens, as well as microbial toxins, intended for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Cell Rep ; 36(4): 109433, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300649

ABSTRACT

The novel betacoronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a form of severe pneumonia disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To develop human neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, antibody gene libraries from convalescent COVID-19 patients were constructed and recombinant antibody fragments (scFv) against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein were selected by phage display. The antibody STE90-C11 shows a subnanometer IC50 in a plaque-based live SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay. The in vivo efficacy of the antibody is demonstrated in the Syrian hamster and in the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) mice model. The crystal structure of STE90-C11 Fab in complex with SARS-CoV-2-RBD is solved at 2.0 Å resolution showing that the antibody binds at the same region as ACE2 to RBD. The binding and inhibition of STE90-C11 is not blocked by many known emerging RBD mutations. STE90-C11-derived human IgG1 with FcγR-silenced Fc (COR-101) is undergoing Phase Ib/II clinical trials for the treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Brain Sci ; 11(7)2021 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288803

ABSTRACT

Background: Several neurobiological mechanisms have been proposed to support the hypothesis of a higher COVID-19 risk in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, no real-world data are available on this population. Methods: We compared the period prevalence (March-May 2020) and symptom presentation of COVID-19 infections between a sample of individuals with severe ASD (n = 36) and the staff personnel (n = 35) of two specialized centers. Anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibody positivity was used as a proxy of infection. Additionally, we evaluated vaccine side effects in the same groups. Results: No significant difference was found between the prevalence of COVID-19 positivity between autistic participants and staff personnel. Levels of antibodies against the spike protein and the receptor binding domain were not significantly different between autistic and staff participants. The level of antibodies against the N-terminal domain were higher in autistic individuals. There was a significant difference between the prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 in autistic participants (9.1%) compared to staff personnel (92.3%). The most frequent side effect among autistic participants was light fever. Conclusions: The present study provides preliminary data on COVID-19 transmission and presentation in ASD. Our data do not support the hypothesis of a higher susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 in people with ASD.

19.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1577, 2021 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132068

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new recently emerged sarbecovirus. This virus uses the human ACE2 enzyme as receptor for cell entry, recognizing it with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit of the viral spike protein. We present the use of phage display to select anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike antibodies from the human naïve antibody gene libraries HAL9/10 and subsequent identification of 309 unique fully human antibodies against S1. 17 antibodies are binding to the RBD, showing inhibition of spike binding to cells expressing ACE2 as scFv-Fc and neutralize active SARS-CoV-2 virus infection of VeroE6 cells. The antibody STE73-2E9 is showing neutralization of active SARS-CoV-2 as IgG and is binding to the ACE2-RBD interface. Thus, universal libraries from healthy human donors offer the advantage that antibodies can be generated quickly and independent from the availability of material from recovering patients in a pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Library , Healthy Volunteers , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/isolation & purification , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Peptide Library , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells
20.
Med (N Y) ; 2(3): 281-295.e4, 2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078082

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monitoring the adaptive immune responses during the natural course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection provides useful information for the development of vaccination strategies against this virus and its emerging variants. We thus profiled the serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody (Ab) levels and specific memory B and T cell responses in convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. METHODS: A total of 119 samples from 88 convalescent donors who experienced mild to critical disease were tested for the presence of elevated anti-spike and anti-receptor binding domain Ab levels over a period of 8 months. In addition, the levels of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing Abs and specific memory B and T cell responses were tested in a subset of samples. FINDINGS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Abs were present in 85% of the samples collected within 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Levels of specific immunoglobulin M (IgM)/IgA Abs declined after 1 month, while levels of specific IgG Abs and plasma neutralizing activities remained relatively stable up to 6 months after diagnosis. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG Abs were still present, although at a significantly lower level, in 80% of the samples collected at 6-8 months after symptom onset. SARS-CoV-2-specific memory B and T cell responses developed with time and were persistent in all of the patients followed up for 6-8 months. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that protective adaptive immunity following natural infection of SARS-CoV-2 may persist for at least 6-8 months, regardless of disease severity. Development of medium- or long-term protective immunity through vaccination may thus be possible. FUNDING: This project was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ATAC, no. 101003650), the Italian Ministry of Health (Ricerca Finalizzata grant no. GR-2013-02358399), the Center for Innovative Medicine, and the Swedish Research Council. J.A. was supported by the SciLifeLab/KAW national COVID-19 research program project grant 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , T-Lymphocytes
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