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1.
JCI Insight ; 7(13)2022 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861743

ABSTRACT

The role of immune responses to previously seen endemic coronavirus epitopes in severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and disease progression has not yet been determined. Here, we show that a key characteristic of fatal outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is that the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is enriched for antibodies directed against epitopes shared with endemic beta-coronaviruses and has a lower proportion of antibodies targeting the more protective variable regions of the spike. The magnitude of antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein, its domains and subunits, and the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid also correlated strongly with responses to the endemic beta-coronavirus spike proteins in individuals admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with fatal COVID-19 outcomes, but not in individuals with nonfatal outcomes. This correlation was found to be due to the antibody response directed at the S2 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which has the highest degree of conservation between the beta-coronavirus spike proteins. Intriguingly, antibody responses to the less cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid were not significantly different in individuals who were admitted to an ICU with fatal and nonfatal outcomes, suggesting an antibody profile in individuals with fatal outcomes consistent with an "original antigenic sin" type response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Epitopes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755572

ABSTRACT

The rise of SARS-CoV-2 variants has made the pursuit to define correlates of protection more troublesome, despite the availability of the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin sera, a key reagent used to standardise laboratory findings into an international unitage. Using pseudotyped virus, we examine the capacity of convalescent sera, from a well-defined cohort of healthcare workers (HCW) and Patients infected during the first wave from a national critical care centre in the UK to neutralise B.1.1.298, variants of interest (VOI) B.1.617.1 (Kappa), and four VOCs, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617.2 (Delta), including the B.1.617.2 K417N, informally known as Delta Plus. We utilised the WHO International Standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin to report neutralisation antibody levels in International Units per mL. Our data demonstrate a significant reduction in the ability of first wave convalescent sera to neutralise the VOCs. Patients and HCWs with more severe COVID-19 were found to have higher antibody titres and to neutralise the VOCs more effectively than individuals with milder symptoms. Using an estimated threshold for 50% protection, 54 IU/mL, we found most asymptomatic and mild cases did not produce titres above this threshold.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 681636, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714997

ABSTRACT

The emergence of COVID-19 has emphasised that biological assay data must be analysed quickly to develop safe, effective and timely vaccines/therapeutics. For viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the primary way of measuring immune correlates of protection is through assays such as the pseudotype microneutralisation (pMN) assay, thanks to its safety and versatility. However, despite the presence of existing tools for data analysis such as PRISM and R the analysis of these assays remains cumbersome and time-consuming. We introduce an open-source R Shiny web application and R library (AutoPlate) to accelerate data analysis of dose-response curve immunoassays. Using example data from influenza studies, we show that AutoPlate improves on available analysis software in terms of ease of use, flexibility and speed. AutoPlate (https://philpalmer.shinyapps.io/AutoPlate/) is a tool for the use of laboratories and wider scientific community to accelerate the analysis of biological assays in the development of viral vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/statistics & numerical data , Influenza A virus/physiology , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Data Interpretation, Statistical , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Immunoassay/standards , Quality Control , Software
4.
Sci Adv ; 8(1): eabl4895, 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612937

ABSTRACT

Despite being the target of extensive research efforts due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, relatively little is known about the dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication within cells. We investigate and characterize the tightly orchestrated virus assembly by visualizing the spatiotemporal dynamics of the four structural SARS-CoV-2 proteins at high resolution. The nucleoprotein is expressed first and accumulates around folded endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes in convoluted layers that contain viral RNA replication foci. We find that, of the three transmembrane proteins, the membrane protein appears at the Golgi apparatus/ER-to-Golgi intermediate compartment before the spike and envelope proteins. Relocation of a lysosome marker toward the assembly compartment and its detection in transport vesicles of viral proteins confirm an important role of lysosomes in SARS-CoV-2 egress. These data provide insights into the spatiotemporal regulation of SARS-CoV-2 assembly and refine the current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 replication.

5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748291, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555236

ABSTRACT

Precision monitoring of antibody responses during the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly important during large scale vaccine rollout and rise in prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC). Equally important is defining Correlates of Protection (CoP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. Data from epidemiological studies and vaccine trials identified virus neutralising antibodies (Nab) and SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific (notably RBD and S) binding antibodies as candidate CoP. In this study, we used the World Health Organisation (WHO) international standard to benchmark neutralising antibody responses and a large panel of binding antibody assays to compare convalescent sera obtained from: a) COVID-19 patients; b) SARS-CoV-2 seropositive healthcare workers (HCW) and c) seronegative HCW. The ultimate aim of this study is to identify biomarkers of humoral immunity that could be used to differentiate severe from mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Some of these biomarkers could be used to define CoP in further serological studies using samples from vaccination breakthrough and/or re-infection cases. Whenever suitable, the antibody levels of the samples studied were expressed in International Units (IU) for virus neutralisation assays or in Binding Antibody Units (BAU) for ELISA tests. In this work we used commercial and non-commercial antibody binding assays; a lateral flow test for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG/IgM; a high throughput multiplexed particle flow cytometry assay for SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N) and Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) proteins); a multiplex antigen semi-automated immuno-blotting assay measuring IgM, IgA and IgG; a pseudotyped microneutralisation test (pMN) and an electroporation-dependent neutralisation assay (EDNA). Our results indicate that overall, severe COVID-19 patients showed statistically significantly higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralising antibodies (average 1029 IU/ml) than those observed in seropositive HCW with mild or asymptomatic infections (379 IU/ml) and that clinical severity scoring, based on WHO guidelines was tightly correlated with neutralisation and RBD/S antibodies. In addition, there was a positive correlation between severity, N-antibody assays and intracellular virus neutralisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Calibration , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Reference Standards , Severity of Illness Index
6.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0020321, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305505

ABSTRACT

The majority of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in use or advanced development are based on the viral spike protein (S) as their immunogen. S is present on virions as prefusion trimers in which the receptor binding domain (RBD) is stochastically open or closed. Neutralizing antibodies have been described against both open and closed conformations. The long-term success of vaccination strategies depends upon inducing antibodies that provide long-lasting broad immunity against evolving SARS-CoV-2 strains. Here, we have assessed the results of immunization in a mouse model using an S protein trimer stabilized in the closed state to prevent full exposure of the receptor binding site and therefore interaction with the receptor. We compared this with other modified S protein constructs, including representatives used in current vaccines. We found that all trimeric S proteins induced a T cell response and long-lived, strongly neutralizing antibody responses against 2019 SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern P.1 and B.1.351. Notably, the protein binding properties of sera induced by the closed spike differed from those induced by standard S protein constructs. Closed S proteins induced more potent neutralizing responses than expected based on the degree to which they inhibit interactions between the RBD and ACE2. These observations suggest that closed spikes recruit different, but equally potent, immune responses than open spikes and that this is likely to include neutralizing antibodies against conformational epitopes present in the closed conformation. We suggest that closed spikes, together with their improved stability and storage properties, may be a valuable component of refined, next-generation vaccines. IMPORTANCE Vaccines in use against SARS-CoV-2 induce immune responses against the spike protein. There is intense interest in whether the antibody response induced by vaccines will be robust against new variants, as well as in next-generation vaccines for use in previously infected or immunized individuals. We assessed the use as an immunogen of a spike protein engineered to be conformationally stabilized in the closed state where the receptor binding site is occluded. Despite occlusion of the receptor binding site, the spike induces potently neutralizing sera against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants. Antibodies are raised against a different pattern of epitopes to those induced by other spike constructs, preferring conformational epitopes present in the closed conformation. Closed spikes, or mRNA vaccines based on their sequence, can be a valuable component of next-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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