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Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1180-1188, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931412


SARS-CoV-2 variants may threaten the effectiveness of vaccines and antivirals to mitigate serious COVID-19 disease. This is of most concern in clinically vulnerable groups such as older adults. We analysed 72 sera samples from 37 individuals, aged 70-89 years, vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) 3 weeks apart, for neutralizing antibody responses to wildtype SARS-CoV-2. Between 3 and 20 weeks after the second vaccine dose, neutralizing antibody titres fell 4.9-fold to a median titre of 21.3 (neutralization dose 80%), with 21.6% of individuals having no detectable neutralizing antibodies at the later time point. Next, we examined neutralization of 21 distinct SARS-CoV-2 variant spike proteins with these sera, and confirmed substantial antigenic escape, especially for the Omicron (B.1.1.529, BA.1/BA.2), Beta (B.1.351), Delta (B.1.617.2), Theta (P.3), C.1.2 and B.1.638 spike variants. By combining pseudotype neutralization with specific receptor-binding domain (RBD) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, we showed that changes to position 484 in the spike RBD were mainly responsible for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody escape. Nineteen sera from the same individuals boosted with a third dose of BNT162b2 contained higher neutralizing antibody titres, providing cross-protection against Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. Despite SARS-CoV-2 immunity waning over time in older adults, booster vaccines can elicit broad neutralizing antibodies against a large number of SARS-CoV-2 variants in this clinically vulnerable cohort.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/chemistry , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
J Infect ; 84(5): 675-683, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788130


Background COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are highly effective in general population cohorts, however, data on effectiveness amongst individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe disease are limited. Methods We used GP electronic health record data, sentinel virology swabbing and antibody testing within a cohort of 712 general practices across England to estimate vaccine antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against medically attended COVID-19 amongst individuals in clinical risk groups using cohort and test-negative case control designs. Findings There was no reduction in S-antibody positivity in most clinical risk groups, however reduced S-antibody positivity and response was significant in the immunosuppressed group. Reduced vaccine effectiveness against clinical disease was also noted in the immunosuppressed group; after a second dose, effectiveness was moderate (Pfizer: 59.6%, 95%CI 18.0-80.1%; AstraZeneca 60.0%, 95%CI -63.6-90.2%). Interpretation In most clinical risk groups, immune response to primary vaccination was maintained and high levels of vaccine effectiveness were seen. Reduced antibody response and vaccine effectiveness were seen after 1 dose of vaccine amongst a broad immunosuppressed group, and second dose vaccine effectiveness was moderate. These findings support maximising coverage in immunosuppressed individuals and the policy of prioritisation of this group for third doses.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccine Efficacy
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): e260-e263, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-929897


We measured serum SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 215 children of healthcare workers to estimate secondary attack rates. Twenty-one families had a parent with confirmed COVID-19. There was strong evidence of family clustering (P < .001): 20/21 (95.2%) children were seropositive in 9 families and none of 23 children in 12 other families.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Cluster Analysis , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence