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1.
Nature ; 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616992

ABSTRACT

The emergence of Omicron (Pango lineage B.1.1.529), first identified in Botswana and South Africa, may compromise vaccine effectiveness and lead to re-infections1. We investigated whether Omicron escapes antibody neutralization in South Africans vaccinated with Pfizer BNT162b2. We also investigated if Omicron requires the ACE2 receptor to infect cells. We isolated and sequence confirmed live Omicron virus from an infected person in South Africa and compared plasma neutralization of Omicron relative to an ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain, observing that Omicron still required ACE2 to infect. For neutralization, blood samples were taken soon after vaccination from participants who were vaccinated and previously infected or vaccinated with no evidence of previous infection. Neutralization of ancestral virus was much higher in infected and vaccinated versus vaccinated only participants but both groups showed a 22-fold escape from vaccine elicited neutralization by the Omicron variant. However, in the previously infected and vaccinated group, the level of residual neutralization of Omicron was similar to the level of neutralization of ancestral virus observed in the vaccination only group. These data support the notion that, provided high neutralization capacity is elicited by vaccination/boosting approaches, reasonable effectiveness against Omicron may be maintained.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People living with HIV (PLWH) have been reported to have a higher risk of more severe Covid-19 disease and death. We assessed the ability of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine to elicit neutralizing activity against the Delta variant in PLWH relative to HIV-negative individuals. We also examined effects of HIV status and suppression on Delta neutralization response in SARS-CoV-2 infected unvaccinated participants. METHODS: We enrolled participants who vaccinated through the SISONKE South African clinical trial of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine in health care workers (HCW). PLWH in this group had well controlled HIV infection. We also enrolled unvaccinated participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Neutralization capacity was assessed by a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta variant. RESULTS: Majority of Ad26.CoV2.S vaccinated HCW were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. In this group, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared to the infected only group and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated only group. No decrease in Delta variant neutralization was observed in PLWH relative to HIV-negative participants. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold lower neutralization and a higher frequency of non-responders, with the highest frequency of non-responders in people with HIV viremia. Vaccinated only participants showed low neutralization capacity. CONCLUSIONS: The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-negative participants, irrespective of past SARS-CoV-2 infection. In SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-vaccinated participants, HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2, with the strongest reduction in HIV viremic individuals.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295139

ABSTRACT

Summary Background People living with HIV (PLWH) have been reported to have an increased risk of more severe COVID-19 disease outcome and an increased risk of death relative to HIV-uninfected individuals. Here we assessed the ability of the Johnson and Johnson Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine to elicit neutralizing antibodies to the Delta variant in PLWH relative to HIV-uninfected individuals. We also compared the neutralization after vaccination to neutralization elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection only in HIV-uninfected, suppressed HIV PLWH, and PLWH with detectable HIV viremia. Methods We enrolled 26 PLWH and 73 HIV-uninfected participants from the SISONKE phase 3b open label South African clinical trial of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine in health care workers (HCW). Enrollment was a median 56 days (range 19-98 days) post-vaccination and PLWH in this group had well controlled HIV infection. We also enrolled unvaccinated participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. This group consisted of 34 PLWH and 28 HIV-uninfected individuals. 10 of the 34 (29%) SARS-CoV-2 infected only PLWH had detectable HIV viremia. We used records of a positive SARS-CoV-2 qPCR result, or when a positive result was absent, testing for SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies, to determine which vaccinated participants were SARS-CoV-2 infected prior to vaccination. Neutralization capacity was assessed using participant plasma in a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant currently dominating infections in South Africa. This study was approved by the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee at the University of KwaZulu–Natal (reference BREC/00001275/2020). Findings The majority (68%) of Ad26.CoV2.S vaccinated HCW were found to be previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. In this group, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared to the infected only group (GMT=306 versus 36, p<0.0001) and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated only group (GMT=12, p<0.0001). No significant difference in Delta variant neutralization capacity was observed in vaccinated and previously SARS-CoV-2 infected PLWH relative to vaccinated and previously SARS-CoV-2 infected, HIV-uninfected participants (GMT=307 for HIV-uninfected, 300 for PLWH, p=0.95). SARS-CoV-2 infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold reduced neutralization of the Delta variant relative to HIV-uninfected participants (GMT=105 for HIV-uninfected, 15 for PLWH, p=0.001). There was a higher frequency of non-responders in PLWH relative to HIV-uninfected participants in the SARS-CoV-2 infected unvaccinated group (27% versus 0%, p=0.0029) and 60% of HIV viremic versus 13% of HIV suppressed PLWH were non-responders (p=0.0088). In contrast, the frequency of non-responders was low in the vaccinated/infected group, and similar between HIV-uninfected and PLWH. Vaccinated only participants showed a low neutralization of the Delta variant, with a stronger response in PLWH (GMT=6 for HIV-uninfected, 73 for PLWH, p=0.02). Interpretation The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-uninfected study participants. In SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-vaccinated participants, the presence of HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and this effect was strongest in PLWH with detectable HIV viremia Funding South African Medical Research Council, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

4.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(11): 1611-1619.e5, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466221

ABSTRACT

The Johnson and Johnson Ad26.COV2.S single-dose vaccine represents an attractive option for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in countries with limited resources. We examined the effect of prior infection with different SARS-CoV-2 variants on Ad26.COV2.S immunogenicity. We compared participants who were SARS-CoV-2 naive with those either infected with the ancestral D614G virus or infected in the second wave when Beta predominated. Prior infection significantly boosts spike-binding antibodies, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and neutralizing antibodies against D614G, Beta, and Delta; however, neutralization cross-reactivity varied by wave. Robust CD4 and CD8 T cell responses are induced after vaccination, regardless of prior infection. T cell recognition of variants is largely preserved, apart from some reduction in CD8 recognition of Delta. Thus, Ad26.COV2.S vaccination after infection could result in enhanced protection against COVID-19. The impact of the infecting variant on neutralization breadth after vaccination has implications for the design of second-generation vaccines based on variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
5.
JCI Insight ; 6(7)2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383578

ABSTRACT

Proline-glycine-proline (PGP) and its acetylated form (Ac-PGP) are neutrophil chemoattractants generated by collagen degradation, and they have been shown to play a role in chronic inflammatory disease. However, the mechanism for matrikine regulation in acute inflammation has not been well established. Here, we show that these peptides are actively transported from the lung by the oligopeptide transporter, PEPT2. Following intratracheal instillation of Ac-PGP in a mouse model, there was a rapid decline in concentration of the labeled peptide in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) over time and redistribution to extrapulmonary sites. In vitro knockdown of the PEPT2 transporter in airway epithelia or use of a competitive inhibitor of PEPT2, cefadroxil, significantly reduced uptake of Ac-PGP. Animals that received intratracheal Ac-PGP plus cefadroxil had higher levels of Ac-PGP in BAL and lung tissue. Utilizing an acute LPS-induced lung injury model, we demonstrate that PEPT2 blockade enhanced pulmonary Ac-PGP levels and lung inflammation. We further validated this effect using clinical samples from patients with acute lung injury in coculture with airway epithelia. This is the first study to our knowledge to determine the in vitro and in vivo significance of active matrikine transport as a mechanism of modulating acute inflammation and to demonstrate that it may serve as a potential therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/immunology , COVID-19 , Cefadroxil/pharmacology , Inflammation/metabolism , Oligopeptides , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Symporters , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Biological Transport, Active/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Chemotactic Factors/immunology , Chemotactic Factors/pharmacology , Chemotaxis, Leukocyte/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Extracellular Matrix , Extracellular Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Mice , Oligopeptides/immunology , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , Proline/immunology , Proline/pharmacology , Symporters/antagonists & inhibitors , Symporters/metabolism
6.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252317, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280618

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been identified as the causative agent for causing the clinical syndrome of COVID -19. Accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not only important for management of infected individuals but also to break the chain of transmission. South Africa is the current epicenter of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa. To optimize the diagnostic algorithm for SARS-CoV-2 in the South African setting, the study aims to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the EUROIMMUN Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assays. This study reported the performance of EUROIMMUN enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for semi-quantitative detection of IgA and IgG antibodies in serum and plasma samples targeting the recombinant S1 domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as antigen. Samples were collected from 391 individuals who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 139 SARS CoV-2 negative controls. Samples were stratified by number of days' post-PCR diagnosis and symptoms. The sensitivity of EUROIMMUN IgG was 64.1% (95% CI: 59.1-69.0%) and 74.3% (95% CI: 69.6-78.6%) for IgA and the specificity was lower for IgA [84.2% (95% CI: 77-89.2%)] than IgG [95.2% (95% CI: 90.8-98.4%)]. The EUROIMMUN Anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA Assay sensitivity was higher for IgA but low for IgG and improved for both assays in symptomatic individuals and at later timepoints post PCR diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Testing , Sensitivity and Specificity , South Africa
7.
Front Plant Sci ; 12: 589940, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191775

ABSTRACT

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has swept the world and poses a significant global threat to lives and livelihoods, with 115 million confirmed cases and at least 2.5 million deaths from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the first year of the pandemic. Developing tools to measure seroprevalence and understand protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is a priority. We aimed to develop a serological assay using plant-derived recombinant viral proteins, which represent important tools in less-resourced settings. Methods: We established an indirect ELISA using the S1 and receptor-binding domain (RBD) portions of the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. We measured antibody responses in sera from South African patients (n = 77) who had tested positive by PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Samples were taken a median of 6 weeks after the diagnosis, and the majority of participants had mild and moderate COVID-19 disease. In addition, we tested the reactivity of pre-pandemic plasma (n = 58) and compared the performance of our in-house ELISA with a commercial assay. We also determined whether our assay could detect SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA in saliva. Results: We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins are readily detectable using recombinant plant-derived viral proteins, in patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. Reactivity to S1 and RBD was detected in 51 (66%) and 48 (62%) of participants, respectively. Notably, we detected 100% of samples identified as having S1-specific antibodies by a validated, high sensitivity commercial ELISA, and optical density (OD) values were strongly and significantly correlated between the two assays. For the pre-pandemic plasma, 1/58 (1.7%) of samples were positive, indicating a high specificity for SARS-CoV-2 in our ELISA. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG correlated significantly with IgA and IgM responses. Endpoint titers of S1- and RBD-specific immunoglobulins ranged from 1:50 to 1:3,200. S1-specific IgG and IgA were found in saliva samples from convalescent volunteers. Conclusion: We demonstrate that recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins produced in plants enable robust detection of SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses. This assay can be used for seroepidemiological studies and to measure the strength and durability of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in infected patients in our setting.

8.
Analyst ; 146(4): 1207-1215, 2021 Feb 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137828

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death globally, despite being treatable. The eradication of TB disease requires, amongst others, diagnostic tests with high specificity and sensitivity that will work at the point of care (POC) in low-resource settings. The TB surface glycolipid antigen, mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) currently serves as the only POC molecular diagnostic biomarker suitable for use in low cost immunoassays. Here, we demonstrate the high affinity and exceptional specificity of microvirin-N (MVN), a 14.3 kDa cyanobacterial lectin, toward H37Rv TB ManLAM and utilize it to develop a novel on-bead ELISA. MVN binds to ManLAM with sub-picomolar binding affinity, but does not bind to other variants of LAM expressed by non-pathogenic mycobacteria - a level of binding specificity and affinity that current commercially available anti-LAM antibodies cannot achieve. An on-bead ELISA was subsequently developed using MVN-functionalized magnetic beads which allows for the specific capture of ManLAM from human urine with a limit of detection (LOD) of 1.14 ng mL-1 and no cross-reactivity when tested with PILAM, a variant of LAM found on non-pathogenic mycobacteria.


Subject(s)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Tuberculosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Lectins , Lipopolysaccharides , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tuberculosis/diagnosis
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