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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337728

ABSTRACT

Background: There is continuing uncertainty regarding the longevity of immunological responses to both SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and COVID-19 vaccines. Methods We analysed data from two serological cohorts in Singapore among residents of a COVID-19 affected migrant worker dormitory between May-July 2020, and among mRNA COVID-19 vaccine recipients between May 2021 and January 2022. We compared SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody levels by age group, sex, presence of pre-existing medical conditions, type of mRNA vaccine received and number of doses received. We investigated the effect of time since infection or vaccination on antibody levels in naturally infected individuals and two- and three-dose vaccinees. Results After two vaccine doses, neutralising antibody responses were higher in Spikevax (Moderna) recipients, females, younger individuals and those with no underlying medical conditions. However, antibody levels waned to similar levels in all groups over time. A third dose boosted these to similarly high levels in all groups. Waning was apparent among two-dose but not three-dose recipients over a period of six months. Both two and three-dose vaccine recipients showed consistently higher neutralising antibody levels compared with naturally infected individuals over the 12-week period following infection or vaccination. Conclusions Our findings support the broad use of booster doses to improve population protection from COVID-19. However, recent increases in transmission of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, even in the presence of high levels of neutralising antibody in a highly vaccinated population, point to vaccine breakthrough as an important mechanism for maintaining SARS-CoV-2 circulation and indicate the need for variant-specific or universal COVID-19 vaccines.

2.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 2022 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758852

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Immunogenicity to the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in adolescents and young adults (AYA) with childhood-onset rheumatic diseases (cRD) is unknown. We aimed to evaluate the humoral immunogenicity and safety of the vaccines in our AYA with cRD. METHODS: A monocentric observational study with 159 AYA (50.3% female and 70.4% Chinese). Humoral immunogenicity was assessed at 2-3 and 4-6 weeks following first and second vaccination by cPass™ SARS-CoV-2 Neutralisation Antibody Assay. Inhibition signal of ≥ 30% defined the cut-off for positive detection of the SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies. Vaccine safety and disease activity were assessed within 6 weeks after second vaccination. RESULTS: 64.9% and 99.1% of 159 patients (median age 16.9-year-old, IQR : 14.7-19.5) mounted positive SARS-CoV-2 neutralising responses after first and second vaccination, respectively. Most patients (89.8%) had ≥90% inhibition signal after second vaccination. Methotrexate and mycophenolate mofetil increased the risk associated with negative cPass neutralisation responses following the first vaccination. Holding both medications after each vaccination did not affect immunogenicity. There was no symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Local reaction remained the most common (23.3-25.2%) adverse event, without serious complication. Two and seven patients flared following the first and second vaccination, respectively. Subgroup analyses of the 12-18-year-old cohort did not show any differences in vaccine efficacy, predictors of poor response and general safety, but higher proportion of disease flares. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines were efficacious after the two-dose regimen in almost all AYA with cRD without serious adverse event. The rate of disease flare observed is 4.4% after the second mRNA vaccine dose.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 783975, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699418

ABSTRACT

Background: There is limited information on the functional neutralizing capabilities of breastmilk SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and the potential adulteration of breastmilk with vaccine mRNA after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of lactating healthcare workers who received the BNT162b2 vaccine and their infants. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, antibody isotypes (IgG, IgA, IgM) and intact mRNA in serum and breastmilk was evaluated at multiple time points using a surrogate neutralizing assay, ELISA, and PCR, over a 6 week period of the two-dose vaccination given 21 days apart. Results: Thirty-five lactating mothers, median age 34 years (IQR 32-36), were included. All had detectable neutralizing antibodies in the serum immediately before dose 2, with significant increase in neutralizing antibody levels 7 days after this dose [median 168.4 IU/ml (IQR 100.7-288.5) compared to 2753.0 IU/ml (IQR 1627.0-4712.0), p <0.001]. Through the two vaccine doses, all mothers had detectable IgG1, IgA and IgM isotypes in their serum, with a notable increase in all three antibody isotypes after dose 2, especially IgG1 levels. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in majority of breastmilk samples a week after dose 2 [median 13.4 IU/ml (IQR 7.0-28.7)], with persistence of these antibodies up to 3 weeks after. Post the second vaccine dose, all (35/35, 100%) mothers had detectable breastmilk SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD-specific IgG1 and IgA antibody and 32/35 (88.6%) mothers with IgM. Transient, low intact vaccine mRNA levels was detected in 20/74 (27%) serum samples from 21 mothers, and 5/309 (2%) breastmilk samples from 4 mothers within 1 weeks of vaccine dose. Five infants, median age 8 months (IQR 7-16), were also recruited - none had detectable neutralizing antibodies or vaccine mRNA in their serum. Conclusion: Majority of lactating mothers had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes and neutralizing antibodies in serum and breastmilk, especially after dose 2 of BNT162b2 vaccination. Transient, low levels of vaccine mRNA were detected in the serum of vaccinated mothers with occasional transfer to their breastmilk, but we did not detect evidence of infant sensitization. Importantly, the presence of breastmilk neutralising antibodies likely provides a foundation for passive immunisation of the breastmilk-fed infant.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Milk, Human/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /blood , Cohort Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/analysis , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Infant , Lactation , Milk, Human/chemistry , Prospective Studies
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322456

ABSTRACT

At this critical moment of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is an urgent need for a robust serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Such a test is not only important for contact tracing, but for determining infection rate, herd immunity and predicted humoral protection. The current gold standard is a virus neuralization test (VNT) requiring live virus and a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory. On the other hand, the ELISA- or lateral flow-based assays are for the detection of binding antibodies, which does not directly correlate with their neutralizing ability. Here we report a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) that is designed to detect total neutralizing antibodies in an isotype- and species-independent manner. Our simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of virus-host interaction between the ACE2 receptor protein and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein. The test has been validated with two COVID-19 patient cohorts in two different countries, achieving 100% specificity and 95-100% sensitivity and is capable of differentiating antibody responses from other known human coronaviruses. Importantly, the sVNT does not require BSL3 containment, thereby making the test immediately accessible to the global community.

5.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1652390

ABSTRACT

Background There is limited information on the functional neutralizing capabilities of breastmilk SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and the potential adulteration of breastmilk with vaccine mRNA after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of lactating healthcare workers who received the BNT162b2 vaccine and their infants. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, antibody isotypes (IgG, IgA, IgM) and intact mRNA in serum and breastmilk was evaluated at multiple time points using a surrogate neutralizing assay, ELISA, and PCR, over a 6 week period of the two-dose vaccination given 21 days apart. Results Thirty-five lactating mothers, median age 34 years (IQR 32-36), were included. All had detectable neutralizing antibodies in the serum immediately before dose 2, with significant increase in neutralizing antibody levels 7 days after this dose [median 168.4 IU/ml (IQR 100.7-288.5) compared to 2753.0 IU/ml (IQR 1627.0-4712.0), p <0.001]. Through the two vaccine doses, all mothers had detectable IgG1, IgA and IgM isotypes in their serum, with a notable increase in all three antibody isotypes after dose 2, especially IgG1 levels. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in majority of breastmilk samples a week after dose 2 [median 13.4 IU/ml (IQR 7.0-28.7)], with persistence of these antibodies up to 3 weeks after. Post the second vaccine dose, all (35/35, 100%) mothers had detectable breastmilk SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD-specific IgG1 and IgA antibody and 32/35 (88.6%) mothers with IgM. Transient, low intact vaccine mRNA levels was detected in 20/74 (27%) serum samples from 21 mothers, and 5/309 (2%) breastmilk samples from 4 mothers within 1 weeks of vaccine dose. Five infants, median age 8 months (IQR 7-16), were also recruited - none had detectable neutralizing antibodies or vaccine mRNA in their serum. Conclusion Majority of lactating mothers had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes and neutralizing antibodies in serum and breastmilk, especially after dose 2 of BNT162b2 vaccination. Transient, low levels of vaccine mRNA were detected in the serum of vaccinated mothers with occasional transfer to their breastmilk, but we did not detect evidence of infant sensitization. Importantly, the presence of breastmilk neutralising antibodies likely provides a foundation for passive immunisation of the breastmilk-fed infant.

6.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(3): e15227, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643965

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is capable of infecting vaccinated persons. An open question remains as to whether deficiencies in specific vaccine-elicited immune responses result in susceptibility to vaccine breakthrough infection. We investigated 55 vaccine breakthrough infection cases (mostly Delta) in Singapore, comparing them against 86 vaccinated close contacts who did not contract infection. Vaccine breakthrough cases showed lower memory B cell frequencies against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Compared to plasma antibodies, antibodies secreted by memory B cells retained a higher fraction of neutralizing properties against the Delta variant. Inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß and TNF were lower in vaccine breakthrough infections than primary infection of similar disease severity, underscoring the usefulness of vaccination in preventing inflammation. This report highlights the importance of memory B cells against vaccine breakthrough and suggests that lower memory B cell levels may be a correlate of risk for Delta vaccine breakthrough infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(4): 612.e1-612.e7, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604269

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Highly effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed but variants of concerns are worrisome, especially B.1.617.2 (Delta) which has rapidly spread across the world. We aim to study if vaccination alters virological and serological kinetics in breakthrough infections. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre retrospective cohort study of patients in Singapore who had received a licensed mRNA vaccine and been admitted to hospital with B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 infection. We compared clinical features, virological and serological kinetics (anti-nucleocapsid, anti-spike and surrogate virus neutralization titres) between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. RESULTS: Out of 218 individuals with B.1.617.2 infection, 84 received an mRNA vaccine of which 71 were fully vaccinated, 130 were unvaccinated and four received a non-mRNA vaccine. Despite significantly older age in the vaccine breakthrough group, only 2.8% (2/71) developed severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen supplementation compared with 53.1% (69/130) in the unvaccinated group (p < 0.001). Odds of severe COVID-19 following vaccination were significantly lower (adjusted odds ratio 0.07 95% CI 0.015-0.335, p 0.001). PCR cycle threshold values were similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups at diagnosis, but viral loads decreased faster in vaccinated individuals. Early, robust boosting of anti-spike protein antibodies was observed in vaccinated patients; however, these titres were significantly lower against B.1.617.2 than the wildtype vaccine strain. DISCUSSION: The mRNA vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic and severe COVID-19 associated with B.1.617.2 infection. Vaccination is associated with faster decline in viral RNA load and a robust serological response. Vaccination remains a key strategy for control of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Kinetics , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296939

ABSTRACT

Efficient COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in record time. Here, we present findings from a comprehensive and integrated analysis of multiple compartments of the memory immune response in 312 individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Two vaccine doses induced high antibody and T cell responses in most individuals. However, antibody recognition of the Spike protein of delta variant was less efficient than that of the Wuhan strain. Age stratified analyses identified a group of low antibody responders where individuals ≥ 60 years were overrepresented. Waning of the antibody and cellular responses was observed in 30% of the vaccinees after six months. However, age did not influence the waning of these responses. Taken together, while individuals ≥ 60 years old took longer to acquire vaccine-induced immunity, they develop more sustained acquired immunity at six months post-vaccination. However, the higher proportion of older individuals in the group of antibody low responders and the lower antibody reactivity the Delta variant call for a booster immunization to increase immune responses and protection.

9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 115: 72-78, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549834

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Since January 2020, Singapore has implemented comprehensive measures to suppress SARS-CoV-2. Despite this, the country has experienced contrasting epidemics, with limited transmission in the community and explosive outbreaks in migrant worker dormitories. OBJECTIVE: To estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence among migrant workers and the general population in Singapore. DESIGN: Prospective serological cohort studies. SETTING: Two cohort studies - in a migrant worker dormitory and in the general population in Singapore. PARTICIPANTS: 478 residents of a SARS-CoV-2-affected migrant worker dormitory were followed up between May and July 2020, with blood samples collected on recruitment and after 2 and 6 weeks. In addition, 937 community-dwelling adult Singapore residents, for whom pre-pandemic sera were available, were recruited. These individuals also provided a serum sample on recruitment in November/December 2020. EXPOSURE: Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in a densely populated migrant worker dormitory and in the general population. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The main outcome measures were the incidences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in migrant workers and in the general population, as determined by the detection of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and adjusting for assay sensitivity and specificity using a Bayesian modeling framework. RESULTS: No evidence of community SARS-CoV-2 exposure was found in Singapore prior to September 2019. It was estimated that < 2 per 1000 adult residents in the community were infected with SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 (cumulative seroprevalence: 0.16%; 95% CrI: 0.008-0.72%). Comparison with comprehensive national case notification data suggested that around 1 in 4 infections in the general population were associated with symptoms. In contrast, in the migrant worker cohort, almost two-thirds had been infected by July 2020 (cumulative seroprevalence: 63.8%; 95% CrI: 57.9-70.3%); no symptoms were reported in almost all of these infections. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Our findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 suppression is possible with strict and rapid implementation of border restrictions, case isolation, contact tracing, quarantining, and social-distancing measures. However, the risk of large-scale epidemics in densely populated environments requires specific consideration in preparedness planning. Prioritization of these settings in vaccination strategies should minimize the risk of future resurgences and potential spillover of transmission to the wider community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Adult , Bayes Theorem , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Singapore/epidemiology
11.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 2141-2150, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532382

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We studied humoral and cellular responses against SARS-CoV-2 longitudinally in a homogeneous population of healthy young/middle-aged men of South Asian ethnicity with mild COVID-19. METHODS: In total, we recruited 994 men (median age: 34 years) post-COVID-19 diagnosis. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted between May 2020 and January 2021 at six time points - day 28 (n = 327), day 80 (n = 202), day 105 (n = 294), day 140 (n = 172), day 180 (n = 758), and day 280 (n = 311). Three commercial assays were used to detect anti-nucleoprotein (NP) and neutralizing antibodies. T cell response specific for Spike, Membrane and NP SARS-CoV-2 proteins was tested in 85 patients at day 105, 180, and 280. RESULTS: All serological tests displayed different kinetics of progressive antibody reduction while the frequency of T cells specific for different structural SARS-CoV-2 proteins was stable over time. Both showed a marked heterogeneity of magnitude among the studied cohort. Comparatively, cellular responses lasted longer than humoral responses and were still detectable nine months after infection in the individuals who lost antibody detection. Correlation between T cell frequencies and all antibodies was lost over time. CONCLUSION: Humoral and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is induced with differing kinetics of persistence in those with mild disease. The magnitude of T cells and antibodies is highly heterogeneous in a homogeneous study population. These observations have implications for COVID-19 surveillance, vaccination strategies, and post-pandemic planning.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2932-e2942, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500989

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Key knowledge gaps remain in the understanding of viral dynamics and immune response of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: We evaluated these characteristics and established their association with clinical severity in a prospective observational cohort study of 100 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (mean age, 46 years; 56% male; 38% with comorbidities). Respiratory samples (n = 74) were collected for viral culture, serum samples for measurement of IgM/IgG levels (n = 30), and plasma samples for levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (n = 81). Disease severity was correlated with results from viral culture, serologic testing, and immune markers. RESULTS: Fifty-seven (57%) patients developed viral pneumonia, of whom 20 (20%) required supplemental oxygen, including 12 (12%) with invasive mechanical ventilation. Viral culture from respiratory samples was positive for 19 of 74 patients (26%). No virus was isolated when the PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value was >30 or >14 days after symptom onset. Seroconversion occurred at a median (IQR) of 12.5 (9-18) days for IgM and 15.0 (12-20) days for IgG; 54/62 patients (87.1%) sampled at day 14 or later seroconverted. Severe infections were associated with earlier seroconversion and higher peak IgM and IgG levels. Levels of IP-10, HGF, IL-6, MCP-1, MIP-1α, IL-12p70, IL-18, VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and IL-1RA significantly correlated with disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: We found virus viability was associated with lower PCR Ct value in early illness. A stronger antibody response was associated with disease severity. The overactive proinflammatory immune signatures offer targets for host-directed immunotherapy, which should be evaluated in randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
13.
J Clin Invest ; 131(17)2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463086

ABSTRACT

Defining the correlates of protection necessary to manage the COVID-19 pandemic requires the analysis of both antibody and T cell parameters, but the complexity of traditional tests limits virus-specific T cell measurements. We tested the sensitivity and performance of a simple and rapid SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-specific T cell test based on the stimulation of whole blood with peptides covering the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, followed by cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-2) measurement in different cohorts including BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals (n = 112), convalescent asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients (n = 130), and SARS-CoV-1-convalescent individuals (n = 12). The sensitivity of this rapid test is comparable to that of traditional methods of T cell analysis (ELISPOT, activation-induced marker). Using this test, we observed a similar mean magnitude of T cell responses between the vaccinees and SARS-CoV-2 convalescents 3 months after vaccination or virus priming. However, a wide heterogeneity of the magnitude of spike-specific T cell responses characterized the individual responses, irrespective of the time of analysis. The magnitude of these spike-specific T cell responses cannot be predicted from the neutralizing antibody levels. Hence, both humoral and cellular spike-specific immunity should be tested after vaccination to define the correlates of protection necessary to evaluate current vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
14.
Nature ; 584(7821): 457-462, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373437

ABSTRACT

Memory T cells induced by previous pathogens can shape susceptibility to, and the clinical severity of, subsequent infections1. Little is known about the presence in humans of pre-existing memory T cells that have the potential to recognize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here we studied T cell responses against the structural (nucleocapsid (N) protein) and non-structural (NSP7 and NSP13 of ORF1) regions of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals convalescing from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (n = 36). In all of these individuals, we found CD4 and CD8 T cells that recognized multiple regions of the N protein. Next, we showed that patients (n = 23) who recovered from SARS (the disease associated with SARS-CoV infection) possess long-lasting memory T cells that are reactive to the N protein of SARS-CoV 17 years after the outbreak of SARS in 2003; these T cells displayed robust cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2. We also detected SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in individuals with no history of SARS, COVID-19 or contact with individuals who had SARS and/or COVID-19 (n = 37). SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in uninfected donors exhibited a different pattern of immunodominance, and frequently targeted NSP7 and NSP13 as well as the N protein. Epitope characterization of NSP7-specific T cells showed the recognition of protein fragments that are conserved among animal betacoronaviruses but have low homology to 'common cold' human-associated coronaviruses. Thus, infection with betacoronaviruses induces multi-specific and long-lasting T cell immunity against the structural N protein. Understanding how pre-existing N- and ORF1-specific T cells that are present in the general population affect the susceptibility to and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is important for the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
N Engl J Med ; 385(15): 1401-1406, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361670

ABSTRACT

Emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern pose a challenge to the effectiveness of current vaccines. A vaccine that could prevent infection caused by known and future variants of concern as well as infection with pre-emergent sarbecoviruses (i.e., those with potential to cause disease in humans in the future) would be ideal. Here we provide data showing that potent cross-clade pan-sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies are induced in survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) infection who have been immunized with the BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. The antibodies are high-level and broad-spectrum, capable of neutralizing not only known variants of concern but also sarbecoviruses that have been identified in bats and pangolins and that have the potential to cause human infection. These findings show the feasibility of a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine strategy. (Funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation and National Medical Research Council.).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , B-Lymphocytes , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Phylogeny , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Survivors
17.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(3): 333-343, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The proportion of asymptomatic carriers and transmission risk factors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among household and non-household contacts remains unclear. In Singapore, extensive contact tracing by the Ministry of Health for every diagnosed COVID-19 case, and legally enforced quarantine and intensive health surveillance of close contacts provided a rare opportunity to determine asymptomatic attack rates and SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk factors among community close contacts of patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study involved all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Singapore, identified between Jan 23 and April 3, 2020. Household contacts were defined as individuals who shared a residence with the index COVID-19 case. Non-household close contacts were defined as those who had contact for at least 30 min within 2 m of the index case. All patients with COVID-19 in Singapore received inpatient treatment, with access restricted to health-care staff. All close contacts were quarantined for 14 days with thrice-daily symptom monitoring via telephone. Symptomatic contacts underwent PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2. Secondary clinical attack rates were derived from the prevalence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 among close contacts. Consenting contacts underwent serology testing and detailed exposure risk assessment. Bayesian modelling was used to estimate the prevalence of missed diagnoses and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive cases. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk factors. FINDINGS: Between Jan 23 and April 3, 2020, 7770 close contacts (1863 household contacts, 2319 work contacts, and 3588 social contacts) linked to 1114 PCR-confirmed index cases were identified. Symptom-based PCR testing detected 188 COVID-19 cases, and 7582 close contacts completed quarantine without a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Among 7518 (96·8%) of the 7770 close contacts with complete data, the secondary clinical attack rate was 5·9% (95% CI 4·9-7·1) for 1779 household contacts, 1·3% (0·9-1·9) for 2231 work contacts, and 1·3% (1·0-1·7) for 3508 social contacts. Bayesian analysis of serology and symptom data obtained from 1150 close contacts (524 household contacts, 207 work contacts, and 419 social contacts) estimated that a symptom-based PCR-testing strategy missed 62% (95% credible interval 55-69) of COVID-19 diagnoses, and 36% (27-45) of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection were asymptomatic. Sharing a bedroom (multivariable odds ratio [OR] 5·38 [95% CI 1·82-15·84]; p=0·0023) and being spoken to by an index case for 30 min or longer (7·86 [3·86-16·02]; p<0·0001) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission among household contacts. Among non-household contacts, exposure to more than one case (multivariable OR 3·92 [95% CI 2·07-7·40], p<0·0001), being spoken to by an index case for 30 min or longer (2·67 [1·21-5·88]; p=0·015), and sharing a vehicle with an index case (3·07 [1·55-6·08]; p=0·0013) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Among both household and non-household contacts, indirect contact, meal sharing, and lavatory co-usage were not independently associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission. INTERPRETATION: Targeted community measures should include physical distancing and minimising verbal interactions. Testing of all household contacts, including asymptomatic individuals, is warranted. FUNDING: Ministry of Health of Singapore, National Research Foundation of Singapore, and National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , China/epidemiology , Contact Tracing , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Singapore/epidemiology , Young Adult
18.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(6): e240-e249, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155679

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies have found different waning rates of neutralising antibodies compared with binding antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The impact of neutralising antibody waning rate at the individual patient level on the longevity of immunity remains unknown. We aimed to investigate the peak levels and dynamics of neutralising antibody waning and IgG avidity maturation over time, and correlate this with clinical parameters, cytokines, and T-cell responses. METHODS: We did a longitudinal study of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 up to day 180 post-symptom onset by monitoring changes in neutralising antibody levels using a previously validated surrogate virus neutralisation test. Changes in antibody avidities and other immune markers at different convalescent stages were determined and correlated with clinical features. Using a machine learning algorithm, temporal change in neutralising antibody levels was classified into five groups and used to predict the longevity of neutralising antibody-mediated immunity. FINDINGS: We approached 517 patients for participation in the study, of whom 288 consented for outpatient follow-up and collection of serial blood samples. 164 patients were followed up and had adequate blood samples collected for analysis, with a total of 546 serum samples collected, including 128 blood samples taken up to 180 days post-symptom onset. We identified five distinctive patterns of neutralising antibody dynamics as follows: negative, individuals who did not, at our intervals of sampling, develop neutralising antibodies at the 30% inhibition level (19 [12%] of 164 patients); rapid waning, individuals who had varying levels of neutralising antibodies from around 20 days after symptom onset, but seroreverted in less than 180 days (44 [27%] of 164 patients); slow waning, individuals who remained neutralising antibody-positive at 180 days post-symptom onset (46 [28%] of 164 patients); persistent, although with varying peak neutralising antibody levels, these individuals had minimal neutralising antibody decay (52 [32%] of 164 patients); and delayed response, a small group that showed an unexpected increase of neutralising antibodies during late convalescence (at 90 or 180 days after symptom onset; three [2%] of 164 patients). Persistence of neutralising antibodies was associated with disease severity and sustained level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. By contrast, T-cell responses were similar among the different neutralising antibody dynamics groups. On the basis of the different decay dynamics, we established a prediction algorithm that revealed a wide range of neutralising antibody longevity, varying from around 40 days to many decades. INTERPRETATION: Neutralising antibody response dynamics in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 vary greatly, and prediction of immune longevity can only be accurately determined at the individual level. Our findings emphasise the importance of public health and social measures in the ongoing pandemic outbreak response, and might have implications for longevity of immunity after vaccination. FUNDING: National Medical Research Council, Biomedical Research Council, and A*STAR, Singapore.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cytokines , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
19.
J Exp Med ; 218(5)2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1109140

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of virus-specific T cells in clearing pathogens involves a fine balance between antiviral and inflammatory features. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in individuals who clear SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms could reveal nonpathological yet protective characteristics. We longitudinally studied SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in a cohort of asymptomatic (n = 85) and symptomatic (n = 75) COVID-19 patients after seroconversion. We quantified T cells reactive to structural proteins (M, NP, and Spike) using ELISpot and cytokine secretion in whole blood. Frequencies of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were similar between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals, but the former showed an increased IFN-γ and IL-2 production. This was associated with a proportional secretion of IL-10 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1ß) only in asymptomatic infection, while a disproportionate secretion of inflammatory cytokines was triggered by SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell activation in symptomatic individuals. Thus, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals are not characterized by weak antiviral immunity; on the contrary, they mount a highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
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