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2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322593

ABSTRACT

Background: Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity.Methods: The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA) provides the most sensitive format. It has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing an S1 solid-phase preferentially presenting RBD once solid-phase bound, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay.Findings: This assay showed a specificity of 100% on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6% on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralisation and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. The early response at presentation with illness, elevated responsiveness with disease severity, detection of asymptomatic seroconversion and persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP) are all documented.Trial Registration: The ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study was registered at https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN66726260 and designated an Urgent Public Health Research Study by NIHR.Interpretation: The hybrid DABA displays the attributes necessary for an antibody test to be used in both clinical and reference serology. It allows the neutralising antibody response to be inferred early in infection and potentially in vaccine recipients. It is also of sufficient sensitivity to be used to provide serological confirmation of prior infection and provides a more secure measure for seroprevalence studies in the population generally than does anti-NP based on the Architect platform.Funding: This work is variously supported by grants from: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR;award CO-CIN-01), the Medical Research Council (MRC;grant MC_PC_19059 and MC_PC_19078), MRC NIHR (grant CV220-111) and by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford (award 200907), NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London with PHE (award 200927), Wellcome Trust and Department for International Development (DID;215091/Z/18/Z), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1209135), Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (grant reference C18616/A25153), NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Imperial College London (IS-BRC-1215-20013), EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics (PREPARE;FP7 project 602525), and NIHR Clinical Research Network for providing infrastructure support for this research.Declaration of Interests: RST, MOM and PC report patent pending (Patent Application No. 2011047.4 for “SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection assay). All other authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: The use of tissues was approved by the CDRTB Steering Committee in accordance with the responsibility delegated by the National Research Ethics Service (South Central Ethics Committee – C, NRES reference 15/SC/0089).Written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Ethical approval was given by the South Central–Oxford C Research Ethics Committee in England (reference: 13/SC/0149), Scotland A Research Ethics Committee (reference: 20/SS/0028) and World Health Organization Ethics Review Committee (RPC571 and RPC572l;25 April 2013)

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305830

ABSTRACT

Background: For a targeted therapeutic strategy to show outcome benefit, there needs to be a strong biological and pathogenic rationale to underpin and direct personalised treatments. Relevant biological disease features and biomarkers identify patients for the correct therapeutic, delivered at an appropriate time, dose and duration for maximal efficacy. We evaluated whether serum levels of a wide range of proposed therapeutic targets in COVID-19 discriminated between patients with mild and severe disease or death.Methods: A search of clinicaltrials.gov identified immunological drug targets in COVID-19. We subsequently conducted an observational study investigating the association of serum biomarkers relating to putative therapeutic biomarkers with illness severity and outcome.Results: A search of clinicaltrials.gov identified 477 randomized trials assessing immunomodulatory therapies, including 168 different therapies against 83 different pathways. We measured levels of ten cytokines/signalling proteins including those related to the most common therapeutic targets (GM-CSF, IFN-α2a, IFN-β, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, TNF-α), immunoglobulin G ( IgG) antibodies directed against either the COVID-19 spike protein (S1) or nucleocapsid protein (N), and neutralization titres of antibodies within the first 5 days of hospital admission in 86 patients, 44 (51%) with mild disease and 42 (49%) with severe disease. Six of the ten cytokine/signalling protein markers measured (IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, interferon- a, interferon- b, IL -1ra ) discriminated between patients with mild and severe disease, although most were similar or only modestly raised above that seen in healthy volunteers. A similar proportion of patients with mild or severe disease had detectable S1 or N IgG antibodies with equivalent levels between groups. Neutralization titres were higher among patients with severe disease.Interpretation: Some therapeutic and prognostic biomarkers may be potentially useful in identifying patients who may benefit from specific immunomodulatory therapies in COVID-19 disease, particularly interleukin-6. It is however noteworthy that absolute values of a number of identified biomarkers were either appropriately elevated or within the normal range. This implies that these immunomodulatory treatments may be of limited benefit.Funding: National Institute for Health Research UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC756/HI/MS/101440) and the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund.Declaration of Interests: MeS reports grants and advisory board fees from NewB, grants from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Critical Pressure, Apollo Therapeutics, advisory board and speaker fees (paid to his institution) from Amormed, Biotest, GE, Baxter, Roche, and Bayer, and honorarium for chairing a data monitoring and safety committee from Shionogi. All other authors have nothing to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval was received from the London-Westminster Research Ethics Committee, the Health Research Authority and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) on 2nd July 2020 (REC reference 20/HRA/2505, IRAS ID 284088). The SAFER study protocol was approved by the NHS Health Research Authority (ref 20/SC/0147) on 26 March 2020. Ethical oversight was provided by the South- Central Berkshire Research Ethics Committee.

4.
J Virol Methods ; 302: 114475, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1652648

ABSTRACT

Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity. The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA), providing the most sensitive format has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing a solid-phase S1 preferentially presenting RBD, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay for detection and measurement of antibody to RBD (anti-RBD). This class and species neutral assay showed a specificity of 100 % on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6 % on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralization and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and in humans immunised with both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. This assay detects anti-RBD at presentation with illness, demonstrates its elevation with disease severity, its sequel to asymptomatic infection and its persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP). It also provides serological confirmation of prior infection and offers a secure measure for seroprevalence and studies of vaccine immunisation in human and animal populations. The hybrid DABA also displays the attributes necessary for the detection and quantification of anti-RBD to be used in clinical practice. An absence of detectable anti-RBD by this assay predicates the need for passive immune prophylaxis in at-risk patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ferrets , Humans , RNA, Viral , Seroepidemiologic Studies
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1885, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671623

ABSTRACT

At-home sampling is key to large scale seroprevalence studies. Dried blood spot (DBS) self-sampling removes the need for medical personnel for specimen collection but facilitates specimen referral to an appropriately accredited laboratory for accurate sample analysis. To establish a highly sensitive and specific antibody assay that would facilitate self-sampling for prevalence and vaccine-response studies. Paired sera and DBS eluates collected from 439 sero-positive, 382 sero-negative individuals and DBS from 34 vaccine recipients were assayed by capture ELISAs for IgG and IgM antibody to SARS-CoV-2. IgG and IgM combined on DBS eluates achieved a diagnostic sensitivity of 97.9% (95%CI 96.6 to 99.3) and a specificity of 99.2% (95% CI 98.4 to 100) compared to serum, displaying limits of detection equivalent to 23 and 10 WHO IU/ml, respectively. A strong correlation (r = 0.81) was observed between serum and DBS reactivities. Reactivity remained stable with samples deliberately rendered inadequate, (p = 0.234) and when samples were accidentally damaged or 'invalid'. All vaccine recipients were sero-positive. This assay provides a secure method for self-sampling by DBS with a sensitivity comparable to serum. The feasibility of DBS testing in sero-prevalence studies and in monitoring post-vaccine responses was confirmed, offering a robust and reliable tool for serological monitoring at a population level.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Specimen Handling/methods , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546978

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are proving to be highly effective in controlling hospitalisation and deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection but the emergence of viral variants with novel antigenic profiles threatens to diminish their efficacy. Assessment of the ability of sera from vaccine recipients to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants will inform the success of strategies for minimising COVID19 cases and the design of effective antigenic formulations. Here, we examine the sensitivity of variants of concern (VOCs) representative of the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 (first associated with infections in India) and B.1.351 (first associated with infection in South Africa) lineages of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralisation by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccines. Across all vaccinated individuals, the spike glycoproteins from B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 conferred reductions in neutralisation of 4.31 and 5.11-fold respectively. The reduction seen with the B.1.617.2 lineage approached that conferred by the glycoprotein from B.1.351 (South African) variant (6.29-fold reduction) that is known to be associated with reduced vaccine efficacy. Neutralising antibody titres elicited by vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 were significantly higher than those elicited by vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Fold decreases in the magnitude of neutralisation titre following two doses of BNT162b2, conferred reductions in titre of 7.77, 11.30 and 9.56-fold respectively to B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 pseudoviruses, the reduction in neutralisation of the delta variant B.1.617.2 surpassing that of B.1.351. Fold changes in those vaccinated with two doses of ChAdOx1 were 0.69, 4.01 and 1.48 respectively. The accumulation of mutations in these VOCs, and others, demonstrate the quantifiable risk of antigenic drift and subsequent reduction in vaccine efficacy. Accordingly, booster vaccines based on updated variants are likely to be required over time to prevent productive infection. This study also suggests that two dose regimes of vaccine are required for maximal BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , HEK293 Cells , Humans
7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293390

ABSTRACT

Several common-cold coronaviruses (HCoVs) are endemic in humans and several variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged during the current Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Whilst antibody cross-reactivity with the Spike glycoproteins (S) of diverse coronaviruses has been documented, it remains unclear whether such antibody responses, typically targeting the conserved S2 subunit, contribute to or mediate protection, when induced naturally or through vaccination. Using a mouse model, we show that prior HCoV-OC43 S immunity primes neutralising antibody responses to otherwise subimmunogenic SARS-CoV-2 S exposure and promotes S2-targeting antibody responses. Moreover, mouse vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 S2 elicits antibodies that neutralise diverse animal and human alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses in vitro, and protects against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in vivo. Lastly, in mice with a history of SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan-based S vaccination, further S2 vaccination induces stronger and broader neutralising antibody response than booster Wuhan S vaccination, suggesting it may prevent repertoire focusing caused by repeated homologous vaccination. The data presented here establish the protective value of an S2-targeting vaccine and support the notion that S2 vaccination may better prepare the immune system to respond to the changing nature of the S1 subunit in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), as well as to unpredictable, yet inevitable future coronavirus zoonoses.

8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5839, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454764

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to understand the nature of immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, to inform risk-mitigation strategies for people living with HIV (PLWH). Here we show that the majority of PLWH with ART suppressed HIV viral load, mount a detectable adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Humoral and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses are comparable between HIV-positive and negative subjects and persist 5-7 months following predominately mild COVID-19 disease. T cell responses against Spike, Membrane and Nucleoprotein are the most prominent, with SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells outnumbering CD8 T cells. We further show that the overall magnitude of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses relates to the size of the naive CD4 T cell pool and the CD4:CD8 ratio in PLWH. These findings suggest that inadequate immune reconstitution on ART, could hinder immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with implications for the individual management and vaccine effectiveness in PLWH.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/immunology , HIV Infections/virology , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Genome, Human , HIV Infections/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Species Specificity , Tissue Donors
10.
Med (N Y) ; 2(9): 1093-1109.e6, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404795

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Differences in humoral immunity to coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), between children and adults remain unexplained, and the effect of underlying immune dysfunction or suppression is unknown. Here, we sought to examine the antibody immune competence of children and adolescents with prevalent inflammatory rheumatic diseases, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), and juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) against the seasonal human coronavirus (HCoV)-OC43 that frequently infects this age group. METHODS: Sera were collected from JIA (n = 118), JDM (n = 49), and JSLE (n = 30) patients and from healthy control (n = 54) children and adolescents prior to the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. We used sensitive flow-cytometry-based assays to determine titers of antibodies that reacted with the spike and nucleoprotein of HCoV-OC43 and cross-reacted with the spike and nucleoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, and we compared them with respective titers in sera from patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents (MIS-C). FINDINGS: Despite immune dysfunction and immunosuppressive treatment, JIA, JDM, and JSLE patients maintained comparable or stronger humoral responses than healthier peers, which was dominated by immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to HCoV-OC43 spike, and harbored IgG antibodies that cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 spike. In contrast, responses to HCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2 nucleoproteins exhibited delayed age-dependent class-switching and were not elevated in JIA, JDM, and JSLE patients, which argues against increased exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, autoimmune rheumatic diseases and their treatment were associated with a favorable ratio of spike to nucleoprotein antibodies. FUNDING: This work was supported by a Centre of Excellence Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology Versus Arthritis grant, 21593, UKRI funding reference MR/R013926/1, the Great Ormond Street Children's Charity, Cure JM Foundation, Myositis UK, Lupus UK, and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres at GOSH and UCLH. This work was supported by the Francis Crick Institute, which receives its core funding from Cancer Research UK, the UK Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Rheumatic Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/complications , Child , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Nucleoproteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
11.
Sci Adv ; 7(22)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388434

ABSTRACT

The coronaviral spike is the dominant viral antigen and the target of neutralizing antibodies. We show that SARS-CoV-2 spike binds biliverdin and bilirubin, the tetrapyrrole products of heme metabolism, with nanomolar affinity. Using cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography, we mapped the tetrapyrrole interaction pocket to a deep cleft on the spike N-terminal domain (NTD). At physiological concentrations, biliverdin significantly dampened the reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 spike with immune sera and inhibited a subset of neutralizing antibodies. Access to the tetrapyrrole-sensitive epitope is gated by a flexible loop on the distal face of the NTD. Accompanied by profound conformational changes in the NTD, antibody binding requires relocation of the gating loop, which folds into the cleft vacated by the metabolite. Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 spike NTD harbors a dominant epitope, access to which can be controlled by an allosteric mechanism that is regulated through recruitment of a metabolite.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Heme/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Bilirubin/metabolism , Biliverdine/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Immune Sera , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
13.
Crit Care Explor ; 3(8): e0488, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356719

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain disease severity in coronavirus disease 2019. Therapeutic approaches need to be underpinned by sound biological rationale. We evaluated whether serum levels of a range of proposed coronavirus disease 2019 therapeutic targets discriminated between patients with mild or severe disease. DESIGN: A search of ClinicalTrials.gov identified coronavirus disease 2019 immunological drug targets. We subsequently conducted a retrospective observational cohort study investigating the association of serum biomarkers within the first 5 days of hospital admission relating to putative therapeutic biomarkers with illness severity and outcome. SETTING: University College London, a tertiary academic medical center in the United Kingdom. PATIENTS: Patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-six patients were recruited, 44 (51%) with mild disease and 42 (49%) with severe disease. We measured levels of 10 cytokines/signaling proteins related to the most common therapeutic targets (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-α2a, interferon-ß, interferon-γ, interleukin-1ß, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, interleukin-7, interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-α), immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against either coronavirus disease 2019 spike protein or nucleocapsid protein, and neutralization titers of antibodies. Four-hundred seventy-seven randomized trials, including 168 different therapies against 83 different pathways, were identified. Six of the 10 markers (interleukin-6, interleukin-7, interleukin-8, interferon-α2a, interferon-ß, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist) discriminated between patients with mild and severe disease, although most were similar or only modestly raised above that seen in healthy volunteers. A similar proportion of patients with mild or severe disease had detectable spike protein or nucleocapsid protein immunoglobulin G antibodies with equivalent levels between groups. Neutralization titers were higher among patients with severe disease. CONCLUSIONS: Some therapeutic and prognostic biomarkers may be useful in identifying coronavirus disease 2019 patients who may benefit from specific immunomodulatory therapies, particularly interleukin-6. However, biomarker absolute values often did not discriminate between patients with mild and severe disease or death, implying that these immunomodulatory treatments may be of limited benefit.

15.
Kidney Int Rep ; 6(7): 1799-1809, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213216

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) represent a vulnerable group with multiple risk factors that are associated with poor outcomes after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Despite established susceptibility to infectious complications and the importance of humoral immunity in protection against SARS-CoV-2, few studies have investigated the humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 within this population. Here, we evaluate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in patients awaiting renal transplantation and determine whether seroconverted patients with ESKD have durable and functional neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Serum samples were obtained from 164 patients with ESKD by August 2020. Humoral immune responses were evaluated by SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 subunit and nucleoprotein semiquantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotype neutralization assay. RESULTS: All patients with ESKD with reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed infection (n = 17) except for 1 individual seroconverted against SARS-CoV-2. Overall seroprevalence (anti-S1 and/or anti-N IgG) was 36% and was higher in patients on hemodialysis (44.2%). A total of 35.6% of individuals who seroconverted were asymptomatic. Seroconversion in the absence of a neutralizing antibody (nAb) titer was observed in 12 patients, all of whom were asymptomatic. Repeat measurements at a median of 93 days from baseline sampling revealed that most individuals retained detectable responses although a significant drop in S1, N and nAb titers was observed. CONCLUSION: Patients with ESKD, including those who develop asymptomatic disease, routinely seroconvert and produce detectable nAb titers against SARS-CoV-2. Although IgG levels wane over time, the neutralizing antibodies remain detectable in most patients, suggesting some level of protection is likely maintained, particularly in those who originally develop stronger responses.

16.
Immunity ; 54(6): 1276-1289.e6, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163900

ABSTRACT

Interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) with the receptor ACE2 on host cells is essential for viral entry. RBD is the dominant target for neutralizing antibodies, and several neutralizing epitopes on RBD have been molecularly characterized. Analysis of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants has revealed mutations arising in the RBD, N-terminal domain (NTD) and S2 subunits of Spike. To understand how these mutations affect Spike antigenicity, we isolated and characterized >100 monoclonal antibodies targeting epitopes on RBD, NTD, and S2 from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. Approximately 45% showed neutralizing activity, of which ∼20% were NTD specific. NTD-specific antibodies formed two distinct groups: the first was highly potent against infectious virus, whereas the second was less potent and displayed glycan-dependant neutralization activity. Mutations present in B.1.1.7 Spike frequently conferred neutralization resistance to NTD-specific antibodies. This work demonstrates that neutralizing antibodies targeting subdominant epitopes should be considered when investigating antigenic drift in emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding/immunology , Protein Conformation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Structure-Activity Relationship
17.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 971-980, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155782

ABSTRACT

Identifying drivers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) exposure and quantifying population immunity is crucial to prepare for future epidemics. We performed a serial cross-sectional serosurvey throughout the first pandemic wave among patients from the largest health board in Scotland. Screening of 7480 patient serum samples showed a weekly seroprevalence ranging from 0.10% to 8.23% in primary and 0.21% to 17.44% in secondary care, respectively. Neutralization assays showed that highly neutralizing antibodies developed in about half of individuals who tested positive with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, mainly among secondary care patients. We estimated the individual probability of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and quantified associated risk factors. We show that secondary care patients, male patients, and 45-64-year-olds exhibit a higher probability of being seropositive. The identification of risk factors and the differences in virus neutralization activity between patient populations provided insights into the patterns of virus exposure during the first pandemic wave and shed light on what to expect in future waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Demography , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Scotland/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
18.
Cell Rep ; 34(12): 108890, 2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131156

ABSTRACT

Multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines show protective efficacy, which is most likely mediated by neutralizing antibodies recognizing the viral entry protein, spike. Because new SARS-CoV-2 variants are emerging rapidly, as exemplified by the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 lineages, it is critical to understand whether antibody responses induced by infection with the original SARS-CoV-2 virus or current vaccines remain effective. In this study, we evaluate neutralization of a series of mutated spike pseudotypes based on divergence from SARS-CoV and then compare neutralization of the B.1.1.7 spike pseudotype and individual mutations. Spike-specific monoclonal antibody neutralization is reduced dramatically; in contrast, polyclonal antibodies from individuals infected in early 2020 remain active against most mutated spike pseudotypes, but potency is reduced in a minority of samples. This work highlights that changes in SARS-CoV-2 spike can alter neutralization sensitivity and underlines the need for effective real-time monitoring of emerging mutations and their effect on vaccine efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Neutralization Tests/methods , Point Mutation , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
19.
Crit Care Med ; 49(3): 428-436, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057891

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Critical care workers were considered to be at high risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection from patients during the first wave of the pandemic. Staff symptoms, previous swab testing, and antibody prevalence were correlated with patient admissions to investigate this assumption. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: A large critical care department in a tertiary-care teaching hospital in London, United Kingdom. SUBJECTS: Staff working in critical care. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Participants completed a questionnaire and provided a serum sample for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 antibody testing over a 3-day period in April 2020. We compared the timing of symptoms in staff to the coronavirus disease 2019 patient admissions to critical care. We also identified factors associated with antibody detection. Of 625 staff 384 (61.4%) reported previous symptoms and 124 (19.8%) had sent a swab for testing. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection had been confirmed in 37 of those swabbed (29.8%). Overall, 21% (131/625) had detectable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 antibody, of whom 9.9% (13/131) had been asymptomatic. The peak onset of symptoms among staff occurred 2 weeks before the peak in coronavirus disease 2019 patient admissions. Staff who worked in multiple departments across the hospital were more likely to be seropositive. Staff with a symptomatic household contact were also more likely to be seropositive at 31.3%, compared with 16.2% in those without (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Staff who developed coronavirus disease 2019 were less likely to have caught it from their patients in critical care. Other staff, other areas of the hospital, and the wider community are more likely sources of infection. These findings indicate that personal protective equipment was effective at preventing transmission from patients. However, staff also need to maintain protective measures away from the bedside.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Care , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , London/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Tertiary Care Centers , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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