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medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.05.27.22275375


Background There are no licensed vaccines against Plasmodium vivax , the most common cause of malaria outside of Africa. Methods We conducted two Phase I/IIa clinical trials to assess the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of two vaccines targeting region II of P. vivax Duffy-binding protein (PvDBPII). Recombinant viral vaccines (using ChAd63 and MVA vectors) were administered at 0, 2 months or in a delayed dosing regimen (0, 17, 19 months), whilst a protein/adjuvant formulation (PvDBPII/Matrix-M™) was administered monthly (0, 1, 2 months) or in a delayed dosing regimen (0, 1, 14 months). Delayed regimens were due to trial halts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers underwent heterologous controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) with blood-stage P. vivax parasites at 2-4 weeks following their last vaccination, alongside unvaccinated controls. Efficacy was assessed by comparison of parasite multiplication rate (PMR) in blood post-CHMI, modelled from parasitemia measured by quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (qPCR). Results Thirty-two volunteers were enrolled and vaccinated (n=16 for each vaccine). No safety concerns were identified. PvDBPII/Matrix-M™, given in the delayed dosing regimen, elicited the highest antibody responses and reduced the mean PMR following CHMI by 51% (range 36-66%; n=6) compared to unvaccinated controls (n=13). No other vaccine or regimen impacted parasite growth. In vivo growth inhibition of blood-stage P. vivax correlated with functional antibody readouts of vaccine immunogenicity. Conclusions Vaccination of malaria-naïve adults with a delayed booster regimen of PvDBPII/ Matrix-M™ significantly reduces the growth of blood-stage P. vivax . Funded by the European Commission and Wellcome Trust; VAC069, VAC071 and VAC079 numbers NCT03797989 , NCT04009096 and NCT04201431 .

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.06.29.20142596


Background: Children have a lower rate of COVID-19, potentially related to cross-protective immunity conferred by seasonal coronaviruses (HCoVs). We tested if prior infections with seasonal coronaviruses impacted SARS-CoV-2 infections and related Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS). Methods: This cross-sectional observational study in Paris hospitals enrolled 739 pauci or asymptomatic children (HOS group) plus 36 children with suspected MIS (MIS group). Prevalence, antigen specificity and neutralizing capability of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were tested. Antibody frequency and titres against Nucleocapsid (N) and Spike (S) of the four seasonal coronaviruses (NL63, HKU1, 229E, OC43) were measured in a subset of seropositive patients (54 SARS-CoV-2 (HOS-P subgroup) and 15 MIS (MIS-P subgroup)), and in 118 matched SARS-CoV-2 seronegative patients (CTL subgroup). Findings: SARS-CoV-2 mean prevalence rate in HOSP children was 11.7% from April 1 to June 1. Neutralizing antibodies were found in 55.6% of seropositive children, and their relative frequency increased with time (up to 100 % by mid-May). A majority of MIS children (25/36) were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive, of which all tested (n=15) had neutralizing antibodies. On average, seropositive MIS children had higher N and S1 SARS-CoV-2 titres as compared to HOS children. Patients from HOS-P, MIS-P, and CTL subgroups had a similar prevalence of antibodies against the four seasonal HCoVs (66.9 -100%). The level of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was not significantly different in children who had prior seasonal coronavirus infection. Interpretation: Prior infection with HCoVs does not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and related MIS in children. Children develop neutralizing antibodies after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.21.20068858


It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their antibody response profile. Here, we performed a pilot study to assess the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in samples taken from 491 pre- epidemic individuals, 51 patients from Hopital Bichat (Paris), 209 pauci-symptomatic individuals in the French Oise region and 200 contemporary Oise blood donors. Two in-house ELISA assays, that recognize the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric Spike (S) ectodomain were implemented. We also developed two novel assays: the S-Flow assay, which is based on the recognition of S at the cell surface by flow-cytometry, and the LIPS assay that recognizes diverse antigens (including S1 or N C- terminal domain) by immunoprecipitation. Overall, the results obtained with the four assays were similar, with differences in sensitivity that can be attributed to the technique and the antigen in use. High antibody titers were associated with neutralisation activity, assessed using infectious SARS-CoV- 2 or lentiviral-S pseudotypes. In hospitalized patients, seroconversion and neutralisation occurred on 5-14 days post symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 29% of pauci-symptomatic individuals within 15 days post-symptoms and 3 % of blood of healthy donors collected in the area of a cluster of COVID cases. Altogether, our assays allow for a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different population subsets.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.18.20071134


Background: The Oise department in France has been heavily affected by COVID-19 in early 2020. Methods: Between 30 March and 4 April 2020, we conducted a retrospective closed cohort study among pupils, their parents and siblings, as well as teachers and non-teaching staff of a high-school located in Oise. Participants completed a questionnaire that covered history of fever and/or respiratory symptoms since 13 January 2020 and had blood tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The infection attack rate (IAR) was defined as the proportion of participants with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection based on antibody detection. Blood samples from two blood donor centres collected between 23 and 27 March 2020 in the Oise department were also tested for presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Findings: Of the 661 participants (median age: 37 years), 171 participants had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The overall IAR was 25.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 22.6-29.4), and the infection fatality rate was 0% (one-sided 97.5% CI = 0-2.1). Nine of the ten participants hospitalised since mid-January were in the infected group, giving a hospitalisation rate of 5.3% (95% CI = 2.4-9.8). Anosmia and ageusia had high positive predictive values for SARS-CoV-2 infection (84.7% and 88.1%, respectively). Smokers had a lower IAR compared to non-smokers (7.2% versus 28.0%, P <0.001). The proportion of infected individuals who had no symptoms during the study period was 17.0% (95% CI = 11.2-23.4). The proportion of donors with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in two nearby blood banks of the Oise department was 3.0% (95% CI = 1.1-6.4). Interpretation: The relatively low IAR observed in an area where SARS-CoV-2 actively circulated weeks before confinement measures indicates that establishing herd immunity will take time, and that lifting these measures in France will be long and complex.

biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.07.029090


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which originated in Wuhan, China, in 2019, is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now accepted that the wild fauna, probably bats, constitute the initial reservoir of the virus, but little is known about the role pets can play in the spread of the disease in human communities, knowing the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect some domestic animals. We tested 21 domestic pets (9 cats and 12 dogs) living in close contact with their owners (belonging to a veterinary community of 20 students) in which two students tested positive for COVID-19 and several others (n = 11/18) consecutively showed clinical signs (fever, cough, anosmia, etc.) compatible with COVID-19 infection. Although a few pets presented many clinical signs indicative for a coronavirus infection, no animal tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR and no antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detectable in their blood using an immunoprecipitation assay. These original data can serve a better evaluation of the host range of SARS-CoV-2 in natural environment exposure conditions.