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1.
Sci Transl Med ; : eabn1252, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784766

ABSTRACT

New variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to arise and prolong the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here we used a cell-free expression workflow to rapidly screen and optimize constructs containing multiple computationally designed miniprotein inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. We found the broadest efficacy with a homo-trimeric version of the 75-residue angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mimic AHB2 (TRI2-2) designed to geometrically match the trimeric spike architecture. In the cryo-electron microscopy structure, TRI2 formed a tripod on top of the spike protein which engaged all three receptor binding domains (RBDs) simultaneously as in the design model. TRI2-2 neutralized Omicron (B.1.1.529), Delta (B.1.617.2), and all other variants tested with greater potency than that of monoclonal antibodies used clinically for the treatment of COVID-19. TRI2-2 also conferred prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge when administered intranasally in mice. Designed miniprotein receptor mimics geometrically arrayed to match pathogen receptor binding sites could be a widely applicable antiviral therapeutic strategy with advantages over antibodies and native receptor traps. By comparison, the designed proteins have resistance to viral escape and antigenic drift by construction, precisely tuned avidity, and greatly reduced chance of autoimmune responses.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332637

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY Background Vaccination has helped to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten traditional and novel vaccines have been listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use. Additional alternative approaches may better address ongoing vaccination globally, where there remains an inequity in vaccine distribution. GBP510 is a recombinant protein vaccine, which consists of self-assembling, two-component nanoparticles displaying the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in a highly immunogenic array. Methods We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, phase 1/2 trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of GBP510 (2-doses at a 28-day interval) adjuvanted with or without AS03 in adults aged 19–85 years. The main outcomes included solicited and unsolicited adverse events;anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG antibody and neutralizing antibody responses;T-cell immune responses. Findings Of 328 participants who underwent randomization, 327 participants received at least 1 dose of vaccine. Each received either 10 μg GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 (n = 101), 10 μg unadjuvanted GBP510 (n = 10), 25 μg GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 (n = 104), 25 μg unadjuvanted GBP510 (n = 51), or placebo (n = 61). Most solicited adverse events were mild-to-moderate in severity and transient. Higher reactogenicity was observed in the GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 groups compared to the non-adjuvanted and placebo groups. Reactogenicity was higher post-dose 2 compared to post-dose 1, particularly for systemic adverse events. The geometric mean concentrations of anti-SARS-CoV-2-RBD IgG antibody reached 2163.6/2599.2 BAU/mL in GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 recipients (10 μg/25 μg) by 14 days after the second dose. Two-dose vaccination with 10 μg or 25 μg GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 induced high titers of neutralizing antibody via pseudovirus (1369.0/1431.5 IU/mL) and wild-type virus (949.8/861.0 IU/mL) assays. Interpretation GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 was well tolerated and highly immunogenic. These results support further development of the vaccine candidate, which is currently being evaluated in Phase 3. Funding Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations RESEARCH IN CONTEXT Evidence before this study We searched PubMed for research articles published by December 31, 2021, using the terms “COVID-19” or “SARS-CoV-2,” “vaccine,” and “clinical trial.” In previously reported randomized clinical trials, we found that mRNA vaccines were more immunogenic than adenovirus-vectored vaccines. Solicited adverse events were more frequent and more severe in intensity after the first dose compared to the second dose for adenovirus-vectored vaccines, whereas they increased after the second dose of mRNA or recombinant spike-protein nanoparticle vaccines. Added value of this study This is the first human study evaluating the immunogenicity and safety of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 protein nanoparticle with and without adjuvant AS03, designed to elicit functional cross-protective responses via receptor-binding domain (RBD). Both 10 and 25 μg of GBP510 with AS03 formulations were well tolerated with an acceptable safety profile. Potent humoral immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 RBD were induced and peaked by day 42 (14 days after the second dose). In addition, GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 elicited a noticeable Th1 response, with production of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2. IL-4 was inconsistent and IL-5 nearly inexistent response across all groups. Implications of the available evidence The results from this phase 1/2 trial indicate that GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 has an acceptable safety profile with no vaccine-related serious adverse events. Two-dose immunization with GBP510 adjuvanted with AS03 induced potent humoral and cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327491

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 has led to the development of a large number of vaccines, several of which are now approved for use in humans. Understanding vaccine-elicited antibody responses against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) in real time is key to inform public health policies. Serum neutralizing antibody titers are the current best correlate of protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in non-human primates and a key metric to understand immune evasion of VOC. We report that vaccinated BALB/c mice do not recapitulate faithfully the breadth and potency of neutralizing antibody responses against VOC, as compared to non-human primates or humans, suggesting caution should be exercised when interpreting data for this animal model.

4.
Sci Immunol ; 7(68): eabl5652, 2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673340

ABSTRACT

T follicular helper (TFH) cells are the conventional drivers of protective, germinal center (GC)­based antiviral antibody responses. However, loss of TFH cells and GCs has been observed in patients with severe COVID-19. As T cell­B cell interactions and immunoglobulin class switching still occur in these patients, noncanonical pathways of antibody production may be operative during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that both TFH-dependent and -independent antibodies were induced against SARS-CoV-2 infection, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, and influenza A virus infection. Although TFH-independent antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 had evidence of reduced somatic hypermutation, they were still high affinity, durable, and reactive against diverse spike-derived epitopes and were capable of neutralizing both homologous SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.351 (beta) variant of concern. We found by epitope mapping and B cell receptor sequencing that TFH cells focused the B cell response, and therefore, in the absence of TFH cells, a more diverse clonal repertoire was maintained. These data support an alternative pathway for the induction of B cell responses during viral infection that enables effective, neutralizing antibody production to complement traditional GC-derived antibodies that might compensate for GCs damaged by viral inflammation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibody Formation/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Germinal Center/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Mice , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer
5.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292754

ABSTRACT

We used two approaches to design proteins with shape and chemical complementarity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein near the binding site for the human ACE2 receptor. Scaffolds were built around an ACE2 helix that interacts with the RBD, or de novo designed scaffolds were docked against the RBD to identify new binding modes. In both cases, designed sequences were optimized first in silico and then experimentally for target binding, folding and stability. Nine designs bound the RBD with affinities ranging from 100pM to 10nM, and blocked bona fide SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero E6 cells with IC (50) values ranging from 35 pM to 35 nM;the most potent of these - 56 and 64 residue hyperstable proteins made using the second approach - are roughly six times more potent on a per mass basis (IC (50) ~ 0.23 ng/ml) than the best monoclonal antibodies reported thus far. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the SARS-CoV-2 spike ectodomain trimer in complex with the two most potent minibinders show that the structures of the designs and their binding interactions with the RBD are nearly identical to the computational models, and that all three RBDs in a single Spike protein can be engaged simultaneously. These hyperstable minibinders provide promising starting points for new SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics, and illustrate the power of computational protein design for rapidly generating potential therapeutic candidates against pandemic threats.

6.
Science ; 374(6575): 1621-1626, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506414

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission leads to the emergence of variants, including the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of concern that is causing a new wave of infections and has become globally dominant. We show that these variants dampen the in vitro potency of vaccine-elicited serum neutralizing antibodies and provide a structural framework for describing their immune evasion. Mutations in the B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and Delta spike glycoproteins abrogate recognition by several monoclonal antibodies via alteration of key antigenic sites, including remodeling of the Delta amino-terminal domain. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 binding affinities of the Kappa and Delta receptor binding domains are comparable to the Wuhan-Hu-1 isolate, whereas B.1.617.2+ (Delta+) exhibits markedly reduced affinity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , /immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Folding , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
JCI Insight ; 6(22)2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476916

ABSTRACT

Understanding the presence and durability of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the airways is required to provide insights into the ability of individuals to neutralize the virus locally and prevent viral spread. Here, we longitudinally assessed both systemic and airway immune responses upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in a clinically well-characterized cohort of 147 infected individuals representing the full spectrum of COVID-19 severity, from asymptomatic infection to fatal disease. In addition, we evaluated how SARS-CoV-2 vaccination influenced the antibody responses in a subset of these individuals during convalescence as compared with naive individuals. Not only systemic but also airway antibody responses correlated with the degree of COVID-19 disease severity. However, although systemic IgG levels were durable for up to 8 months, airway IgG and IgA declined significantly within 3 months. After vaccination, there was an increase in both systemic and airway antibodies, in particular IgG, often exceeding the levels found during acute disease. In contrast, naive individuals showed low airway antibodies after vaccination. In the former COVID-19 patients, airway antibody levels were significantly elevated after the boost vaccination, highlighting the importance of prime and boost vaccinations for previously infected individuals to obtain optimal mucosal protection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged
8.
Cell ; 184(21): 5432-5447.e16, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454060

ABSTRACT

Understanding vaccine-elicited protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses is key for guiding public health policies. We show that a clinical stage multivalent SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain nanoparticle (RBD-NP) vaccine protects mice from SARS-CoV-2 challenge after a single immunization, indicating a potential dose-sparing strategy. We benchmarked serum neutralizing activity elicited by RBD-NPs in non-human primates against a lead prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (HexaPro) using a panel of circulating mutants. Polyclonal antibodies elicited by both vaccines are similarly resilient to many RBD residue substitutions tested, although mutations at and surrounding position 484 have negative consequences for neutralization. Mosaic and cocktail nanoparticle immunogens displaying multiple sarbecovirus RBDs elicit broad neutralizing activity in mice and protect mice against SARS-CoV challenge even in the absence of SARS-CoV RBD in the vaccine. This study provides proof of principle that multivalent sarbecovirus RBD-NPs induce heterotypic protection and motivates advancing such broadly protective sarbecovirus vaccines to the clinic.

9.
J Immunol Methods ; 499: 113160, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440196

ABSTRACT

In response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic many vaccines have been developed and evaluated in human clinical trials. The humoral immune response magnitude, composition and efficacy of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 are essential endpoints for these trials. Robust assays that are reproducibly precise, linear, and specific for SARS-CoV-2 antigens would be beneficial for the vaccine pipeline. In this work we describe the methodologies and clinical qualification of three SARS-CoV-2 endpoint assays. We developed and qualified Endpoint titer ELISAs for total IgG, IgG1, IgG3, IgG4, IgM and IgA to evaluate the magnitude of specific responses to the trimeric spike (S) antigen and total IgG specific to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. We also qualified a pseudovirus neutralization assay which evaluates functional antibody titers capable of inhibiting the entry and replication of a lentivirus containing the Spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2. To complete the suite of assays we qualified a plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) methodology using the 2019-nCoV/USA-WA1/2020 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 to assess neutralizing titers of antibodies in plasma from normal healthy donors and convalescent COVID-19 individuals.


Subject(s)
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(38)2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397979

ABSTRACT

Global containment of COVID-19 still requires accessible and affordable vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Recently approved vaccines provide needed interventions, albeit at prices that may limit their global access. Subunit vaccines based on recombinant proteins are suited for large-volume microbial manufacturing to yield billions of doses annually, minimizing their manufacturing cost. These types of vaccines are well-established, proven interventions with multiple safe and efficacious commercial examples. Many vaccine candidates of this type for SARS-CoV-2 rely on sequences containing the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which mediates viral entry to cells via ACE2. Here we report an engineered sequence variant of RBD that exhibits high-yield manufacturability, high-affinity binding to ACE2, and enhanced immunogenicity after a single dose in mice compared to the Wuhan-Hu-1 variant used in current vaccines. Antibodies raised against the engineered protein exhibited heterotypic binding to the RBD from two recently reported SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (501Y.V1/V2). Presentation of the engineered RBD on a designed virus-like particle (VLP) also reduced weight loss in hamsters upon viral challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Protein Engineering/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Saccharomycetales/metabolism , Vaccines, Subunit
11.
Cell Chem Biol ; 29(1): 74-83.e4, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385233

ABSTRACT

Targeting the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human ACE2, its primary cell membrane receptor, is a promising therapeutic strategy to prevent viral entry. Recent in vitro studies revealed that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein plays a prominent role in ACE2 binding, yet a simple and quantitative assay for monitoring this interaction in a cellular environment is lacking. Here, we developed an RBD-ACE2 binding assay that is based on time-resolved FRET, which reliably monitors the interaction in a physiologically relevant and cellular context. Because it is modular, the assay can monitor the impact of different cellular components, such as heparan sulfate, lipids, and membrane proteins on the RBD-ACE2 interaction and it can be extended to the full-length spike protein. The assay is HTS compatible and can detect small-molecule competitive and allosteric modulators of the RBD-ACE2 interaction with high relevance for SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Cells, Cultured , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding , Time Factors
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 710263, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315952

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented global demand for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has demonstrated the need for highly effective vaccine candidates that are thermostable and amenable to large-scale manufacturing. Nanoparticle immunogens presenting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (S) in repetitive arrays are being advanced as second-generation vaccine candidates, as they feature robust manufacturing characteristics and have shown promising immunogenicity in preclinical models. Here, we used previously reported deep mutational scanning (DMS) data to guide the design of stabilized variants of the RBD. The selected mutations fill a cavity in the RBD that has been identified as a linoleic acid binding pocket. Screening of several designs led to the selection of two lead candidates that expressed at higher yields than the wild-type RBD. These stabilized RBDs possess enhanced thermal stability and resistance to aggregation, particularly when incorporated into an icosahedral nanoparticle immunogen that maintained its integrity and antigenicity for 28 days at 35-40°C, while corresponding immunogens displaying the wild-type RBD experienced aggregation and loss of antigenicity. The stabilized immunogens preserved the potent immunogenicity of the original nanoparticle immunogen, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase I/II clinical trial. Our findings may improve the scalability and stability of RBD-based coronavirus vaccines in any format and more generally highlight the utility of comprehensive DMS data in guiding vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Schedule , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mutation , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Linoleic Acids , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells
13.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(7): 1151-1161.e5, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283986

ABSTRACT

Despite the introduction of public health measures and spike protein-based vaccines to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths continue to have a global impact. Previously, we used a structural design approach to develop picomolar range miniproteins targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain. Here, we investigated the capacity of modified versions of one lead miniprotein, LCB1, to protect against SARS-CoV-2-mediated lung disease in mice. Systemic administration of LCB1-Fc reduced viral burden, diminished immune cell infiltration and inflammation, and completely prevented lung disease and pathology. A single intranasal dose of LCB1v1.3 reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lung when given as many as 5 days before or 2 days after virus inoculation. Importantly, LCB1v1.3 protected in vivo against a historical strain (WA1/2020), an emerging B.1.1.7 strain, and a strain encoding key E484K and N501Y spike protein substitutions. These data support development of LCB1v1.3 for prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Lung/immunology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Pandemics/prevention & control , Serine C-Palmitoyltransferase , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Load
14.
Nature ; 594(7862): 253-258, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192479

ABSTRACT

The development of a portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative1. Here we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on an I53-50 protein nanoparticle scaffold (hereafter designated RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing-antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. We evaluated five adjuvants including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an α-tocopherol-containing oil-in-water emulsion; AS37, a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist adsorbed to alum; CpG1018-alum, a TLR9 agonist formulated in alum; and alum. RBD-NP immunization with AS03, CpG1018-alum, AS37 or alum induced substantial neutralizing-antibody and CD4 T cell responses, and conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and bronchoalveolar lavage. The neutralizing-antibody response to live virus was maintained up to 180 days after vaccination with RBD-NP in AS03 (RBD-NP-AS03), and correlated with protection from infection. RBD-NP immunization cross-neutralized the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant efficiently but showed a reduced response against the B.1.351 variant. RBD-NP-AS03 produced a 4.5-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351 whereas the group immunized with RBD-NP-AS37 produced a 16-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351, suggesting differences in the breadth of the neutralizing-antibody response induced by these adjuvants. Furthermore, RBD-NP-AS03 was as immunogenic as a prefusion-stabilized spike immunogen (HexaPro) with AS03 adjuvant. These data highlight the efficacy of the adjuvanted RBD-NP vaccine in promoting protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and have led to phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine (NCT04742738 and NCT04750343).


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Alum Compounds , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Squalene
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4290, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096333

ABSTRACT

Rapid generation of diagnostics is paramount to understand epidemiology and to control the spread of emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Computational methods to predict serodiagnostic epitopes that are specific for the pathogen could help accelerate the development of new diagnostics. A systematic survey of 27 SARS-CoV-2 proteins was conducted to assess whether existing B-cell epitope prediction methods, combined with comprehensive mining of sequence databases and structural data, could predict whether a particular protein would be suitable for serodiagnosis. Nine of the predictions were validated with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins in the ELISA format using plasma and sera from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and a further 11 predictions were compared to the recent literature. Results appeared to be in agreement with 12 of the predictions, in disagreement with 3, while a further 5 were deemed inconclusive. We showed that two of our top five candidates, the N-terminal fragment of the nucleoprotein and the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein, have the highest sensitivity and specificity and signal-to-noise ratio for detecting COVID-19 sera/plasma by ELISA. Mixing the two antigens together for coating ELISA plates led to a sensitivity of 94% (N = 80 samples from persons with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection), and a specificity of 97.2% (N = 106 control samples).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal-To-Noise Ratio
16.
Cell ; 184(1): 169-183.e17, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064911

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is causing a global pandemic, and cases continue to rise. Most infected individuals experience mildly symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but it is unknown whether this can induce persistent immune memory that could contribute to immunity. We performed a longitudinal assessment of individuals recovered from mild COVID-19 to determine whether they develop and sustain multifaceted SARS-CoV-2-specific immunological memory. Recovered individuals developed SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies, neutralizing plasma, and memory B and memory T cells that persisted for at least 3 months. Our data further reveal that SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG memory B cells increased over time. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2-specific memory lymphocytes exhibited characteristics associated with potent antiviral function: memory T cells secreted cytokines and expanded upon antigen re-encounter, whereas memory B cells expressed receptors capable of neutralizing virus when expressed as monoclonal antibodies. Therefore, mild COVID-19 elicits memory lymphocytes that persist and display functional hallmarks of antiviral immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
17.
Cell ; 183(5): 1367-1382.e17, 2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893667

ABSTRACT

A safe, effective, and scalable vaccine is needed to halt the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We describe the structure-based design of self-assembling protein nanoparticle immunogens that elicit potent and protective antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The nanoparticle vaccines display 60 SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in a highly immunogenic array and induce neutralizing antibody titers 10-fold higher than the prefusion-stabilized spike despite a 5-fold lower dose. Antibodies elicited by the RBD nanoparticles target multiple distinct epitopes, suggesting they may not be easily susceptible to escape mutations, and exhibit a lower binding:neutralizing ratio than convalescent human sera, which may minimize the risk of vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. The high yield and stability of the assembled nanoparticles suggest that manufacture of the nanoparticle vaccines will be highly scalable. These results highlight the utility of robust antigen display platforms and have launched cGMP manufacturing efforts to advance the SARS-CoV-2-RBD nanoparticle vaccine into the clinic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Macaca nemestrina , Male , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells , Young Adult
18.
Science ; 370(6515): 426-431, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889834

ABSTRACT

Targeting the interaction between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor is a promising therapeutic strategy. We designed inhibitors using two de novo design approaches. Computer-generated scaffolds were either built around an ACE2 helix that interacts with the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) or docked against the RBD to identify new binding modes, and their amino acid sequences were designed to optimize target binding, folding, and stability. Ten designs bound the RBD, with affinities ranging from 100 picomolar to 10 nanomolar, and blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero E6 cells with median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values between 24 picomolar and 35 nanomolar. The most potent, with new binding modes, are 56- and 64-residue proteins (IC50 ~ 0.16 nanograms per milliliter). Cryo-electron microscopy structures of these minibinders in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 spike ectodomain trimer with all three RBDs bound are nearly identical to the computational models. These hyperstable minibinders provide starting points for SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Drug Design , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells
19.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4378, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740036

ABSTRACT

Children are strikingly underrepresented in COVID-19 case counts. In the United States, children represent 22% of the population but only 1.7% of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases as of April 2, 2020. One possibility is that symptom-based viral testing is less likely to identify infected children, since they often experience milder disease than adults. Here, to better assess the frequency of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection, we serologically screen 1,775 residual samples from Seattle Children's Hospital collected from 1,076 children seeking medical care during March and April of 2020. Only one child was seropositive in March, but seven were seropositive in April for a period seroprevalence of ≈1%. Most seropositive children (6/8) were not suspected of having had COVID-19. The sera of seropositive children have neutralizing activity, including one that neutralized at a dilution > 1:18,000. Therefore, an increasing number of children seeking medical care were infected by SARS-CoV-2 during the early Seattle outbreak despite few positive viral tests.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Visitors to Patients , Adolescent , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serologic Tests/methods , United States/epidemiology
20.
Res Sq ; 2020 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-725304

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently causing a global pandemic and cases continue to rise. The majority of infected individuals experience mildly symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but it is unknown whether this can induce persistent immune memory that might contribute to herd immunity. Thus, we performed a longitudinal assessment of individuals recovered from mildly symptomatic COVID-19 to determine if they develop and sustain immunological memory against the virus. We found that recovered individuals developed SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibody and neutralizing plasma, as well as virus-specific memory B and T cells that not only persisted, but in some cases increased numerically over three months following symptom onset. Furthermore, the SARS-CoV-2-specific memory lymphocytes exhibited characteristics associated with potent antiviral immunity: memory T cells secreted IFN-γ and expanded upon antigen re-encounter, while memory B cells expressed receptors capable of neutralizing virus when expressed as antibodies. These findings demonstrate that mild COVID-19 elicits memory lymphocytes that persist and display functional hallmarks associated with antiviral protective immunity.

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