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1.
iScience ; 25(8): 104705, 2022 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914523

ABSTRACT

Treatment with neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to COVID-19 management. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 variants escape several of these recently approved mAbs, highlighting the need for additional discovery and development. In a convalescent patient with COVID-19, we identified six mAbs, classified in four epitope groups, that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 D614G, beta, gamma, and delta infection in vitro, with three mAbs neutralizing omicron as well. In hamsters, mAbs 3E6 and 3B8 potently cured infection with SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, beta, and delta when administered post-viral infection at 5 mg/kg. Even at 0.2 mg/kg, 3B8 still reduced viral titers. Intramuscular delivery of DNA-encoded 3B8 resulted in in vivo mAb production of median serum levels up to 90 µg/mL, and protected hamsters against delta infection. Overall, our data mark 3B8 as a promising candidate against COVID-19, and highlight advances in both the identification and gene-based delivery of potent human mAbs.

2.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884392

ABSTRACT

To mitigate the massive COVID-19 burden caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), several vaccination campaigns were initiated. We performed a single-center observational trial to monitor the mid- (3 months) and long-term (10 months) adaptive immune response and to document breakthrough infections (BTI) in healthcare workers (n = 84) upon BNT162b2 vaccination in a real-world setting. Firstly, serology was determined through immunoassays. Secondly, antibody functionality was analyzed via in vitro binding inhibition and pseudovirus neutralization and circulating receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific B cells were assessed. Moreover, the induction of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells was investigated by an interferon-γ release assay combined with flowcytometric profiling of activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Within individuals that did not experience BTI (n = 62), vaccine-induced humoral and cellular immune responses were not correlated. Interestingly, waning over time was more pronounced within humoral compared to cellular immunity. In particular, 45 of these 62 subjects no longer displayed functional neutralization against the delta variant of concern (VoC) at long-term follow-up. Noteworthily, we reported a high incidence of symptomatic BTI cases (17.11%) caused by alpha and delta VoCs, although vaccine-induced immunity was only slightly reduced compared to subjects without BTI at mid-term follow-up.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , Belgium , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Progression , Follow-Up Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
3.
ACS Sens ; 7(2): 477-487, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641831

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the urgent need for rapid, accurate, and large-scale diagnostic tools. Next to this, the significance of serological tests (i.e., detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) also became apparent for studying patients' immune status and past viral infection. In this work, we present a novel approach for not only measuring antibody levels but also profiling of binding kinetics of the complete polyclonal antibody response against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, an aspect not possible to achieve with traditional serological tests. This fiber optic surface plasmon resonance (FO-SPR)-based label-free method was successfully accomplished in COVID-19 patient serum and, for the first time, directly in undiluted whole blood, omitting the need for any sample preparation. Notably, this bioassay (1) was on par with FO-SPR sandwich bioassays (traditionally regarded as more sensitive) in distinguishing COVID-19 from control samples, irrespective of the type of sample matrix, and (2) had a significantly shorter time-to-result of only 30 min compared to >1 or 4 h for the FO-SPR sandwich bioassay and the conventional ELISA, respectively. Finally, the label-free approach revealed that no direct correlation was present between antibody levels and their kinetic profiling in different COVID-19 patients, as another evidence to support previous hypothesis that antibody-binding kinetics against the antigen in patient blood might play a role in the COVID-19 severity. Taking all this into account, the presented work positions the FO-SPR technology at the forefront of other COVID-19 serological tests, with a huge potential toward other applications in need for quantification and kinetic profiling of antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Surface Plasmon Resonance/methods
4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295926

ABSTRACT

We have identified camelid single-domain antibodies (VHHs) that cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-1 and −2, such as VHH72, which binds to a unique highly conserved epitope in the viral receptor-binding domain (RBD) that is difficult to access for human antibodies. Here, we establish a protein engineering path for how a stable, long-acting drug candidate can be generated out of such a VHH building block. When fused to human IgG1-Fc, the prototype VHH72 molecule prophylactically protects hamsters from SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we demonstrate that both systemic and intranasal application protects hACE-2-transgenic mice from SARS-CoV-2 induced lethal disease progression. To boost potency of the lead, we used structure-guided molecular modeling combined with rapid yeast-based Fc-fusion prototyping, resulting in the affinity-matured VHH72_S56A-Fc, with subnanomolar SARS-CoV-1 and −2 neutralizing potency. Upon humanization, VHH72_S56A was fused to a human IgG1 Fc with optimized manufacturing homogeneity and silenced effector functions for enhanced safety, and its stability as well as lack of off-target binding was extensively characterized. Therapeutic systemic administration of a low dose of VHH72_S56A-Fc antibodies strongly restricted replication of both original and D614G mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus in hamsters, and minimized the development of lung damage. This work led to the selection of XVR011 for clinical development, a highly stable anti-COVID-19 biologic with excellent manufacturability. Additionally, we show that XVR011 is unaffected in its neutralizing capacity of currently rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants, and demonstrate its unique, wide scope of binding across the Sarbecovirus clades.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293320

ABSTRACT

Treatment with neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to COVID-19 management. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 variants can escape several of these recently approved mAbs, highlighting the need for additional discovery and development. In a convalescent COVID-19 patient, we identified six mAbs, classified in four epitope groups, that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, alpha, beta, gamma and delta infection in vitro. In hamsters, mAbs 3E6 and 3B8 potently cured infection with SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, beta and delta when administered post-viral infection at 5 mg/kg. Even at 0.2 mg/kg, 3B8 still reduced viral titers. Intramuscular delivery of DNA-encoded 3B8 resulted in in vivo mAb production of median serum levels up to 90 ug/ml, and protected hamsters against delta infection. Overall, our data mark 3B8 as a promising candidate against COVID-19, and highlight advances in both the identification and gene-based delivery of potent human mAbs.

7.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5838, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933686

ABSTRACT

Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. In search for key targets of effective therapeutics, robust animal models mimicking COVID-19 in humans are urgently needed. Here, we show that Syrian hamsters, in contrast to mice, are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 and develop bronchopneumonia and strong inflammatory responses in the lungs with neutrophil infiltration and edema, further confirmed as consolidations visualized by micro-CT alike in clinical practice. Moreover, we identify an exuberant innate immune response as key player in pathogenesis, in which STAT2 signaling plays a dual role, driving severe lung injury on the one hand, yet restricting systemic virus dissemination on the other. Our results reveal the importance of STAT2-dependent interferon responses in the pathogenesis and virus control during SARS-CoV-2 infection and may help rationalizing new strategies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cricetinae , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics , Virus Replication
8.
Cell ; 181(5): 1004-1015.e15, 2020 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88549

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses make use of a large envelope protein called spike (S) to engage host cell receptors and catalyze membrane fusion. Because of the vital role that these S proteins play, they represent a vulnerable target for the development of therapeutics. Here, we describe the isolation of single-domain antibodies (VHHs) from a llama immunized with prefusion-stabilized coronavirus spikes. These VHHs neutralize MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1 S pseudotyped viruses, respectively. Crystal structures of these VHHs bound to their respective viral targets reveal two distinct epitopes, but both VHHs interfere with receptor binding. We also show cross-reactivity between the SARS-CoV-1 S-directed VHH and SARS-CoV-2 S and demonstrate that this cross-reactive VHH neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotyped viruses as a bivalent human IgG Fc-fusion. These data provide a molecular basis for the neutralization of pathogenic betacoronaviruses by VHHs and suggest that these molecules may serve as useful therapeutics during coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/isolation & purification , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 , Camelids, New World/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cross Reactions , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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