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1.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103986, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778094

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. FINDINGS: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6,P < 0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (90.6% [29/32];P < 0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30]; P = 0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%; P = 0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer's recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. INTERPRETATION: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 or two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong (see acknowledgments for full list).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Blocking , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with mutations at the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) have reduced susceptibility to antibody neutralization, and have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOCs) or Variants of Interest (VOIs). Here, we systematically compared the neutralization susceptibility and RBD binding of different VOCs/VOIs, including B.1.617.1 (kappa variant) and P.3 (theta variant) which were first detected in India and the Philippines, respectively. METHODS: The neutralization susceptibility of the VOCs/VOIs (B.1.351, B.1.617.1 and P.3) and a non-VOC/VOI without RBD mutations (B.1.36.27) to convalescent sera from COVID-19 patients or BNT162b2 vaccinees was determined using a live virus microneutralization (MN) assay. Serum IgG binding to wild type and mutant RBDs were determined using an enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: The geometric mean neutralization titers (GMT) of B.1.351, P.3, and B.1.617.1 were significantly lower than that of B.1.36.27 for COVID-19 patients infected with non-VOCs/VOIs (3.4-5.7-fold lower) or individuals who have received 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (4.4-7.3-fold lower). The GMT of B.1.351 or P.3 were lower than that of B.1.671.1. For the 4 patients infected with B.1.351 or B.1.617.1, the MN titer was highest for their respective lineage. RBD with E484K or E484Q mutation, either alone or in combination with other mutations, showed greatest reduction in serum IgG binding. CONCLUSION: P.3 and B.1.617.1 escape serum neutralization induced by natural infection or vaccine. Infection with one variant do not confer cross protection for heterologous lineages. Immunogenicity testing for second generation COVID-19 vaccines should include multiple variant and "non-variant" strains.

3.
SSRN;
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-326165

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. Methods: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. Findings: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6, P<0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (93.5% [29/32];P<0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30];P=0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%;P=0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer’s recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. Interpretation: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 and two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. Funding Information: This work was supported by Health and Medical Research Fund, the Food and Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Ref no.: COVID190124 and COVID1903010 [Project 1]), and donations of Richard Yu and Carol Yu, Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, Lee Wan Keung Charity Foundation Limited, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation Limited, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund Limited, Chan Yin Chuen Memorial Charitable Foundation, Marina Man-Wai Lee, the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, the Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Kai Chong Tong, Tse Kam Ming Laurence, Foo Oi Foundation Limited, Betty Hing-Chu Lee, and Ping Cham So. Declaration of Interests: KYY and KKWT report collaboration with SinoVac and Sinopharm. Other authors declare no conflict of interest.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with mutations at the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) have reduced susceptibility to antibody neutralization, and have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOCs) or Variants of Interest (VOIs). Here, we systematically compared the neutralization susceptibility and RBD binding of different VOCs/VOIs, including B.1.617.1 (kappa variant) and P.3 (theta variant) which were first detected in India and the Philippines, respectively. METHODS: The neutralization susceptibility of the VOCs/VOIs (B.1.351, B.1.617.1 and P.3) and a non-VOC/VOI without RBD mutations (B.1.36.27) to convalescent sera from COVID-19 patients or BNT162b2 vaccinees was determined using a live virus microneutralization (MN) assay. Serum IgG binding to wild type and mutant RBDs were determined using an enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: The geometric mean neutralization titers (GMT) of B.1.351, P.3, and B.1.617.1 were significantly lower than that of B.1.36.27 for COVID-19 patients infected with non-VOCs/VOIs (3.4-5.7-fold lower) or individuals who have received 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (4.4-7.3-fold lower). The GMT of B.1.351 or P.3 were lower than that of B.1.671.1. For the 4 patients infected with B.1.351 or B.1.617.1, the MN titer was highest for their respective lineage. RBD with E484K or E484Q mutation, either alone or in combination with other mutations, showed greatest reduction in serum IgG binding. CONCLUSION: P.3 and B.1.617.1 escape serum neutralization induced by natural infection or vaccine. Infection with one variant do not confer cross protection for heterologous lineages. Immunogenicity testing for second generation COVID-19 vaccines should include multiple variant and "non-variant" strains.

5.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(3): e111-e118, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940890

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of subclinical severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in perpetuating the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown because population seroprevalence data are absent. We aimed to establish the sensitivity and specificity of our enzyme immunoassay and microneutralisation assay, and the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong before and after the pandemic, as well as in Hong Kong residents evacuated from Hubei province, China. METHODS: We did a multicohort study in a hospital and university in Hong Kong. We evaluated the sensitivity of our enzyme immunoassay and microneutralisation assay with RT-PCR data from patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 and the specificity of our enzyme immunoassay and microneutralisation assay with archived serum samples collected before 2019. We compared the seropositivity of the general population of Hong Kong before and after the pandemic had begun, and determined the seropositivity of Hong Kong residents evacuated from Hubei province, China, in March, 2020. FINDINGS: Between Feb 26 and March 18, 2020, we assessed RT-PCR samples from 45 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 to establish the sensitivity of our enzyme immunoassay and microneutralisation assay. To establish the specificity of these assays, we retrieved archived serum. The sensitivity was 91·1% (41 of 45 [95% CI 78·8-97·5]) for the microneutralisation assay, 57·8% (26 of 45 [42·2-72·3]) for anti-nucleoprotein IgG, 66·7% (30 of 45 [51·1-80·0]) for anti-spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG, and 73·3% (33 of 45 [58·1-85·4]) for enzyme immunoassay (either positive for anti-nucleoprotein or anti-RBD IgG). The specificity was 100% (152 of 152 [95% CI 97·6-100·0]) for both the enzyme immunoassay and microneutralisation assay. Among the Hong Kong general population, 53 (2·7%) of 1938 were enzyme immunoassay positive, but of those who were positive, all 53 were microneutralisation negative, and no significant increase was seen in the seroprevalence between April 12, 2018, and Feb 13, 2020. Among asymptomatic Hubei returnees, 17 (4%) of 452 were seropositive with the enzyme immunoassay or the microneutralisation assay, with 15 (88%) of 17 seropositive with the microneutralisation assay, and two familial clusters were identified. INTERPRETATION: Our serological data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is a new emerging virus. The seropositivity rate in Hubei returnees indicates that RT-PCR-confirmed patients only represent a small proportion of the total number of cases. The low seroprevalence suggests that most of the Hong Kong and Hubei population remain susceptible to COVID-19. Future waves of the outbreak are inevitable without a vaccine or antiviral prophylaxis. The role of age-related cross reactive non-neutralising antibodies in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 warrants further investigation. FUNDING: Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, Shaw Foundation (Hong Kong), Michael Tong, Marina Lee, and the Government Consultancy Service (see acknowledgments for full list).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , China/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(18)2020 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760933

ABSTRACT

Currently available COVID-19 antibody tests using enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or immunochromatographic assay have variable sensitivity and specificity. Here, we developed and evaluated a novel microsphere-based antibody assay (MBA) for detecting immunoglobulin G (IgG) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleoprotein (NP) and spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). The seropositive cutoff value was set using a cohort of 294 anonymous serum specimens collected in 2018. The specificity was assessed using serum specimens collected from organ donors or influenza patients before 2020. Seropositive rate was determined among COVID-19 patients. Time-to-seropositivity and signal-to-cutoff (S/CO) ratio were compared between MBA and EIA. MBA had a specificity of 100% (93/93; 95% confidence interval (CI), 96-100%) for anti-NP IgG, 98.9% (92/93; 95% CI 94.2-100%) for anti-RBD IgG. The MBA seropositive rate for convalescent COVID-19 patients was 89.8% (35/39) for anti-NP IgG and 79.5% (31/39) for anti-RBD IgG. The time-to-seropositivity was shorter with MBA than EIA. MBA could better differentiate between COVID-19 patients and negative controls with higher S/CO ratio for COVID-19 patients, lower S/CO ratio with negative controls and fewer specimens in the equivocal range. MBA is robust, simple and is suitable for clinical microbiology laboratory for the accurate determination of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for diagnosis, serosurveillance, and vaccine trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Microspheres , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/standards
7.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1664-1670, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-630769

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has a wide spectrum of disease severity from mild upper respiratory symptoms to respiratory failure. The role of neutralizing antibody (NAb) response in disease progression remains elusive. This study determined the seroprevalence of 733 non-COVID-19 individuals from April 2018 to February 2020 in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and compared the neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses of eight COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with those of 42 patients not admitted to the ICU. We found that NAb against SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable in any of the anonymous serum specimens from the 733 non-COVID-19 individuals. The peak serum geometric mean NAb titer was significantly higher among the eight ICU patients than the 42 non-ICU patients (7280 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1468-36099]) vs (671 [95% CI, 368-1223]). Furthermore, NAb titer increased significantly at earlier infection stages among ICU patients than among non-ICU patients. The median number of days to reach the peak Nab titers after symptoms onset was shorter among the ICU patients (17.6) than that of the non-ICU patients (20.1). Multivariate analysis showed that oxygen requirement and fever during admission were the only clinical factors independently associated with higher NAb titers. Our data suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely to have silently spread before the COVID-19 emergence in Hong Kong. ICU patients had an accelerated and augmented NAb response compared to non-ICU patients, which was associated with disease severity. Further studies are required to understand the relationship between high NAb response and disease severity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(9): 1051-1060, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A cruise ship is a closed-off environment that simulates the basic functioning of a city in terms of living conditions and interpersonal interactions. Thus, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined because of an onboard outbreak of COVID-19 in February, 2020, provides an opportunity to define the shedding pattern of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and patient antibody responses before and after the onset of symptoms. METHODS: We recruited adult (≥18 years) passengers from Hong Kong who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan in February, 2020. All participants had been found to be negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR 4 days before disembarking and were transferred to further quarantine in a public estate in Hong Kong, where they were recruited. Participants were prospectively screened by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) of nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, and serum IgG and IgM against internal nucleoprotein and the surface spike receptor-binding protein (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 at baseline (upon entering quarantine) and on days 4, 8, and 12 of quarantine. FINDINGS: On Feb 22, 2020, 215 adults were recruited, of whom nine (4%; 95% CI 2-8) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR or serology and were hospitalised. Of these nine patients, nasopharyngeal swab RT-qPCR was positive in eight patients (89%; 57-99) at baseline. All nine patients were positive for anti-RBD IgG by day 8. Eight (89%; 57-99) were simultaneously positive for nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR and anti-RBD IgG. One patient who was positive for anti-RBD IgG and had a negative viral load had multifocal peripheral ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT that were typical of COVID-19. Five patients (56%; 27-81) with ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT were found to have higher anti-nucleoprotein-IgG OD values on day 8 and 12 and anti-RBD IgG OD value on day 12 than patients without ground-glass changes. Six (67%; 35-88) patients remained asymptomatic throughout the 14-day quarantine period. INTERPRETATION: Patients with COVID-19 can develop asymptomatic lung infection with viral shedding and those with evidence of pneumonia on imaging tend to have an increased antibody response. Positive IgG or IgM confirmed infection of COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. A combination of RT-PCR and serology should be implemented for case finding and contact tracing to facilitate early diagnosis, prompt isolation, and treatment. FUNDING: Shaw Foundation Hong Kong; Sanming-Project of Medicine (Shenzhen); High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Viral Load , Young Adult
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