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1.
RNA ; 2021 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592848

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerases produce subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) that encode viral structural and accessory proteins. User-friendly bioinformatic tools to detect and quantify sgRNA production are urgently needed to study the growing number of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of SARS-CoV-2. We introduced sgDI-tector to identify and quantify sgRNA in SARS-CoV-2 NGS data. sgDI-tector allowed detection of sgRNA without initial knowledge of the transcription-regulatory sequences. We produced NGS data and successfully detected the nested set of sgRNAs with the ranking M>ORF3a>N>ORF6>ORF7a>ORF8>S>E>ORF7b. We also compared the level of sgRNA production with other types of viral RNA products such as defective interfering viral genomes.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293270

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerases produce subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) that encode viral structural and accessory proteins. User-friendly bioinformatic tools to detect and quantify sgRNA production are urgently needed to study the growing number of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of SARS-CoV-2. We introduced sgDI-tector to identify and quantify sgRNA in SARS-CoV-2 NGS data. sgDI-tector allowed detection of sgRNA without initial knowledge of the transcription-regulatory sequences. We produced NGS data and successfully detected the nested set of sgRNAs with the ranking M>ORF3a>N>ORF6>ORF7a>ORF8>S>E>ORF7b. We also compared the level of sgRNA production with other types of viral RNA products such as defective interfering viral genomes.

4.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(12): e14459, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468845

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines already in use or in clinical development may have reduced efficacy against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition, although the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 is well established, the vaccine strategies currently developed have not taken into account protection of the central nervous system. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse strain expressing the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and displaying unprecedented brain permissiveness to SARS-CoV-2 replication, in addition to high permissiveness levels in the lung. Using this stringent transgenic model, we demonstrated that a non-integrative lentiviral vector, encoding for the spike glycoprotein of the ancestral SARS-CoV-2, used in intramuscular prime and intranasal boost elicits sterilizing protection of lung and brain against both the ancestral virus, and the Gamma (P.1) variant of concern, which carries multiple vaccine escape mutations. Beyond induction of strong neutralizing antibodies, the mechanism underlying this broad protection spectrum involves a robust protective T-cell immunity, unaffected by the recent mutations accumulated in the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

5.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; : 1-16, 2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455077

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Lentiviral vectors have emerged as powerful vectors for vaccination, due to their high efficiency to transduce dendritic cells and to induce long-lasting humoral immunity, CD8+ T cells, and effective protection in numerous preclinical animal models of infection and oncology. AREAS COVERED: Here, we reviewed the literature, highlighting the relevance of lentiviral vectors in vaccinology. We recapitulated both their virological and immunological aspects of lentiviral vectors. We compared lentiviral vectors to the gold standard viral vaccine vectors, i.e. adenoviral vectors, and updated the latest results in lentiviral vector-based vaccination in preclinical models. EXPERT OPINION: Lentiviral vectors are non-replicative, negligibly inflammatory, and not targets of preexisting immunity in human populations. These are major characteristics to consider in vaccine development. The potential of lentiviral vectors to transduce non-dividing cells, including dendritic cells, is determinant in their strong immunogenicity. Notably, lentiviral vectors can be engineered to target antigen expression to specific host cells. The very weak inflammatory properties of these vectors allow their use in mucosal vaccination, with particular interest in infectious diseases that affect the lungs or brain, including COVID-19. Recent results in various preclinical models have reinforced the interest of these vectors in prophylaxis against infectious diseases and in onco-immunotherapy.

6.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 2021 Oct 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450597

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to evaluate systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease activity and SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses after BNT162b2 vaccination. METHODS: In this prospective study, disease activity and clinical assessments were recorded from the first dose of vaccine until day 15 after the second dose in 126 patients with SLE. SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were measured against wild-type spike antigen, while serum-neutralising activity was assessed against the SARS-CoV-2 historical strain and variants of concerns (VOCs). Vaccine-specific T cell responses were quantified by interferon-γ release assay after the second dose. RESULTS: BNT162b2 was well tolerated and no statistically significant variations of BILAG (British Isles Lupus Assessment Group) and SLEDAI (SLE Disease Activity Index) scores were observed throughout the study in patients with SLE with active and inactive disease at baseline. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and methotrexate (MTX) treatments were associated with drastically reduced BNT162b2 antibody response (ß=-78, p=0.007; ß=-122, p<0.001, respectively). Anti-spike antibody response was positively associated with baseline total immunoglobulin G serum levels, naïve B cell frequencies (ß=2, p=0.018; ß=2.5, p=0.003) and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response (r=0.462, p=0.003). In responders, serum neutralisation activity decreased against VOCs bearing the E484K mutation but remained detectable in a majority of patients. CONCLUSION: MMF, MTX and poor baseline humoral immune status, particularly low naïve B cell frequencies, are independently associated with impaired BNT162b2 mRNA antibody response, delineating patients with SLE who might need adapted vaccine regimens and follow-up.

7.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103495, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322073

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children are underrepresented in the COVID-19 pandemic and often experience milder disease than adolescents and adults. Reduced severity is possibly due to recent and more frequent seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoV) infections. We assessed the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoV specific antibodies in a large cohort in north-eastern France. METHODS: In this cross-sectional seroprevalence study, serum samples were collected from children and adults requiring hospital admission for non-COVID-19 between February and August 2020. Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoV (229E, HKU1, NL63, OC43) were assessed using a bead-based multiplex assay, Luciferase-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay, and a pseudotype neutralisation assay. FINDINGS: In 2,408 individuals, seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies was 7-8% with three different immunoassays. Antibody levels to seasonal HCoV increased substantially up to the age of 10. Antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals were lowest in adults 18-30 years. In SARS-CoV-2 seronegative individuals, we observed cross-reactivity between antibodies to the four HCoV and SARS-CoV-2 Spike. In contrast to other antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, specific antibodies to sub-unit 2 of Spike (S2) in seronegative samples were highest in children. Upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, antibody levels to Spike of betacoronavirus OC43 increased across the whole age spectrum. No SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals with low levels of antibodies to seasonal HCoV were observed. INTERPRETATION: Our findings underline significant cross-reactivity between antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoV, but provide no significant evidence for cross-protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection due to a recent seasonal HCoV infection. In particular, across all age groups we did not observe SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals with low levels of antibodies to seasonal HCoV. FUNDING: This work was supported by the « URGENCE COVID-19 ¼ fundraising campaign of Institut Pasteur, by the French Government's Investissement d'Avenir program, Laboratoire d'Excellence Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Grant No. ANR-10-LABX-62-IBEID), and by the REACTing (Research & Action Emerging Infectious Diseases), and by the RECOVER project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003589, and by a grant from LabEx IBEID (ANR-10-LABX-62-IBEID).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Clinical Trials as Topic , Cross Reactions/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , France , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Seasons , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3025, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237997

ABSTRACT

Assessment of the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections is critical for monitoring the course and extent of the COVID-19 epidemic. Here, we report estimated seroprevalence in the French population and the proportion of infected individuals who developed neutralising antibodies at three points throughout the first epidemic wave. Testing 11,000 residual specimens for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and neutralising antibodies, we find nationwide seroprevalence of 0.41% (95% CI: 0.05-0.88) mid-March, 4.14% (95% CI: 3.31-4.99) mid-April and 4.93% (95% CI: 4.02-5.89) mid-May 2020. Approximately 70% of seropositive individuals have detectable neutralising antibodies. Infection fatality rate is 0.84% (95% CI: 0.70-1.03) and increases exponentially with age. These results confirm that the nationwide lockdown substantially curbed transmission and that the vast majority of the French population remained susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 in May 2020. Our study shows the progression of the first epidemic wave and provides a framework to inform the ongoing public health response as viral transmission continues globally.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Epidemics , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
9.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(5): 100275, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193507

ABSTRACT

Many SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals remain asymptomatic. Little is known about the extent and quality of their antiviral humoral response. Here, we analyze antibody functions in 52 asymptomatic infected individuals, 119 mildly symptomatic, and 21 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We measure anti-spike immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, and IgM levels with the S-Flow assay and map IgG-targeted epitopes with a Luminex assay. We also evaluate neutralization, complement deposition, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) using replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 or reporter cell systems. We show that COVID-19 sera mediate complement deposition and kill infected cells by ADCC. Sera from asymptomatic individuals neutralize the virus, activate ADCC, and trigger complement deposition. Antibody levels and functions are lower in asymptomatic individuals than they are in symptomatic cases. Antibody functions are correlated, regardless of disease severity. Longitudinal samplings show that antibody functions follow similar kinetics of induction and contraction. Overall, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits polyfunctional antibodies neutralizing the virus and targeting infected cells.

10.
Euro Surveill ; 26(15)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190261

ABSTRACT

BackgroundChildren's role in SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology remains unclear. We investigated an initially unnoticed SARS-CoV-2 outbreak linked to schools in northern France, beginning as early as mid-January 2020.AimsThis retrospective observational study documents the extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, linked to an affected high school (n = 664 participants) and primary schools (n = 1,340 study participants), in the context of unsuspected SARS-CoV-2 circulation and limited control measures.MethodsBetween 30 March and 30 April 2020, all school staff, as well as pupils and their parents and relatives were invited for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing and to complete a questionnaire covering symptom history since 13 January 2020.ResultsIn the high school, infection attack rates were 38.1% (91/239), 43.4% (23/53), and 59.3% (16/27), in pupils, teachers, and non-teaching staff respectively vs 10.1% (23/228) and 12.0% (14/117) in the pupils' parents and relatives (p < 0.001). Among the six primary schools, three children attending separate schools at the outbreak start, while symptomatic, might have introduced SARS-CoV-2 there, but symptomatic secondary cases related to them could not be definitely identified. In the primary schools overall, antibody prevalence in pupils sharing classes with symptomatic cases was higher than in pupils from other classes: 15/65 (23.1%) vs 30/445 (6.7%) (p < 0.001). Among 46 SARS-CoV-2 seropositive pupils < 12 years old, 20 were asymptomatic. Whether past HKU1 and OC43 seasonal coronavirus infection protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection in 6-11 year olds could not be inferred.ConclusionsViral circulation can occur in high and primary schools so keeping them open requires consideration of appropriate control measures and enhanced surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Cohort Studies , France/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
11.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(1): 180-190, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023283

ABSTRACT

Although the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in March/April 2020 in France, the prevalence of infection is barely known. Using high-throughput methods, we assessed herein the serological response against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) of 1847 participants working in three sites of an institution in Paris conurbation. In May-July 2020, 11% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.7-12.6) of serums were positive for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 N and S proteins, and 9.5% (95% CI: 8.2-11.0) were neutralizer in pseudo-typed virus assays. The prevalence of seroconversion was 11.6% (95% CI: 10.2-13.2) when considering positivity in at least one assay. In 5% of RT-qPCR positive individuals, no systemic IgGs were detected. Among immune individuals, 21% had been asymptomatic. Anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste) occurred in 52% of the IgG-positive individuals and in 3% of the negative ones. In contrast, 30% of the anosmia-ageusia cases were seronegative, suggesting that the true prevalence of infection may have reached 16.6%. In sera obtained 4-8 weeks after the first sampling, anti-N and anti-S IgG titers and neutralization activity in pseudo-virus assay declined by 31%, 17%, and 53%, resulting thus in half-life of 35, 87, and 28 days, respectively. The population studied is representative of active workers in Paris. The short lifespan of the serological systemic responses suggests an underestimation of the true prevalence of infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Pandemics , Paris/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Time Factors
12.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(2): 236-249.e6, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978240

ABSTRACT

To develop a vaccine candidate against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we generated a lentiviral vector (LV) eliciting neutralizing antibodies against the Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. Systemic vaccination by this vector in mice, in which the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor hACE2 has been induced by transduction of respiratory tract cells by an adenoviral vector, confers only partial protection despite high levels of serum neutralizing activity. However, eliciting an immune response in the respiratory tract through an intranasal boost results in a >3 log10 decrease in the lung viral loads and reduces local inflammation. Moreover, both integrative and non-integrative LV platforms display strong vaccine efficacy and inhibit lung deleterious injury in golden hamsters, which are naturally permissive to SARS-CoV-2 replication and closely mirror human COVID-19 physiopathology. Our results provide evidence of marked prophylactic effects of LV-based vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and designate intranasal immunization as a powerful approach against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Administration, Intranasal/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cricetinae , Female , Genetic Vectors , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Lentivirus/genetics , Lentivirus/immunology , Male , Mice , Models, Animal , Respiratory System/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load
13.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(577)2021 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-963895

ABSTRACT

Humoral immune responses are typically characterized by primary IgM antibody responses followed by secondary antibody responses associated with immune memory and composed of IgG, IgA, and IgE. Here, we measured acute humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2, including the frequency of antibody-secreting cells and the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies in the serum, saliva, and bronchoalveolar fluid of 159 patients with COVID-19. Early SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral responses were dominated by IgA antibodies. Peripheral expansion of IgA plasmablasts with mucosal homing potential was detected shortly after the onset of symptoms and peaked during the third week of the disease. The virus-specific antibody responses included IgG, IgM, and IgA, but IgA contributed to virus neutralization to a greater extent compared with IgG. Specific IgA serum concentrations decreased notably 1 month after the onset of symptoms, but neutralizing IgA remained detectable in saliva for a longer time (days 49 to 73 post-symptoms). These results represent a critical observation given the emerging information as to the types of antibodies associated with optimal protection against reinfection and whether vaccine regimens should consider targeting a potent but potentially short-lived IgA response.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin A/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Saliva/immunology , Saliva/virology , Time Factors
14.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(559)2020 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724557

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their differing antibody response profiles. Here, we performed a pilot study of four serological assays to assess the amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples obtained from 491 healthy individuals before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 51 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 209 suspected cases of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, and 200 healthy blood donors. We used two ELISA assays that recognized the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric spike (S) protein ectodomain of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we developed the S-Flow assay that recognized the S protein expressed at the cell surface using flow cytometry, and the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay that recognized diverse SARS-CoV-2 antigens including the S1 domain and the carboxyl-terminal domain of N by immunoprecipitation. We obtained similar results with the four serological assays. Differences in sensitivity were attributed to the technique and the antigen used. High anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were associated with neutralization activity, which was assessed using infectious SARS-CoV-2 or lentiviral-S pseudotype virus. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, seroconversion and virus neutralization occurred between 5 and 14 days after symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 32% of mildly symptomatic individuals within 15 days of symptom onset and in 3% of healthy blood donors. The four antibody assays that we used enabled a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different subpopulations within one region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , France/epidemiology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Luciferases , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
15.
EBioMedicine ; 59: 102915, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691414

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The serologic response of individuals with mild forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection is poorly characterized. METHODS: Hospital staff who had recovered from mild forms of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using two assays: a rapid immunodiagnostic test (99.4% specificity) and the S-Flow assay (~99% specificity). The neutralizing activity of the sera was tested with a pseudovirus-based assay. FINDINGS: Of 162 hospital staff who participated in the investigation, 160 reported SARS-CoV-2 infection that had not required hospital admission and were included in these analyses. The median time from symptom onset to blood sample collection was 24 days (IQR: 21-28, range 13-39). The rapid immunodiagnostic test detected antibodies in 153 (95.6%) of the samples and the S-Flow assay in 159 (99.4%), failing to detect antibodies in one sample collected 18 days after symptom onset (the rapid test did not detect antibodies in that patient). Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) were detected in 79%, 92% and 98% of samples collected 13-20, 21-27 and 28-41 days after symptom onset, respectively (P = 0.02). INTERPRETATION: Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in virtually all hospital staff sampled from 13 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. This finding supports the use of serologic testing for the diagnosis of individuals who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The neutralizing activity of the antibodies increased overtime. Future studies will help assess the persistence of the humoral response and its associated neutralization capacity in recovered patients. FUNDINGS: The funders had no role in study design, data collection, interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , France , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests , Severity of Illness Index
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