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Cell Host Microbe ; 2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2118002


The rapid emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants challenges vaccination strategies. Here, we collected 201 serum samples from persons with a single infection or multiple vaccine exposures, or both. We measured their neutralization titers against 15 natural variants and 7 variants with engineered spike mutations and analyzed antigenic diversity. Antigenic maps of primary infection sera showed that Omicron sublineages BA.2, BA.4/BA.5, and BA.2.12.1 are distinct from BA.1 and more similar to Beta/Gamma/Mu variants. Three mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations increased neutralization of BA.1 more than BA.4/BA.5 or BA.2.12.1. BA.1 post-vaccination infection elicited higher neutralization titers to all variants than three vaccinations alone, although with less neutralization to BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5. Those with BA.1 infection after two or three vaccinations had similar neutralization titer magnitude and antigenic recognition. Accounting for antigenic differences among variants when interpreting neutralization titers can aid the understanding of complex patterns in humoral immunity that informs the selection of future COVID-19 vaccine strains.

Sci Transl Med ; 14(645): eabn8543, 2022 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774930


The rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) along with its high number of mutations in the spike gene has raised alarms about the effectiveness of current medical countermeasures. To address this concern, we measured the neutralization of the Omicron BA.1 variant pseudovirus by postvaccination serum samples after two and three immunizations with the Pfizer/BioNTech162b2 SARS-CoV-2 mRNA (Pfizer/BNT162b2) vaccine, convalescent serum samples from unvaccinated individuals infected by different variants, and clinical-stage therapeutic antibodies. We found that titers against the Omicron variant were low or undetectable after two immunizations and in many convalescent serum samples, regardless of the infecting variant. A booster vaccination increased titers more than 30-fold against Omicron to values comparable to those seen against the D614G variant after two immunizations. Neither age nor sex was associated with the differences in postvaccination antibody responses. We also evaluated 18 clinical-stage therapeutic antibody products and an antibody mimetic protein product obtained directly from the manufacturers. Five monoclonal antibodies, the antibody mimetic protein, three antibody cocktails, and two polyclonal antibody preparations retained measurable neutralization activity against Omicron with a varying degree of potency. Of these, only three retained potencies comparable to the D614G variant. Two therapeutic antibody cocktails in the tested panel that are authorized for emergency use in the United States did not neutralize Omicron. These findings underscore the potential benefit of mRNA vaccine boosters for protection against Omicron and the need for rapid development of antibody therapeutics that maintain potency against emerging variants.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines , COVID-19 Serotherapy
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(4): 828-832, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771000


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies decay but persist 6 months postvaccination; lower levels of neutralizing titers persist against Delta than wild-type virus. Of 227 vaccinated healthcare workers tested, only 2 experienced outpatient symptomatic breakthrough infections, despite 59/227 exhibiting serologic evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined as presence of nucleocapsid protein antibodies.

COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(3): ofac030, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706326


BACKGROUND: The frequency of asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is unclear and may be influenced by how symptoms are evaluated. In this study, we sought to determine the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in a prospective cohort of health care workers (HCWs). METHODS: A prospective cohort of HCWs, confirmed negative for SARS-CoV-2 exposure upon enrollment, were evaluated for SARS-CoV-2 infection by monthly analysis of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as well as referral for polymerase chain reaction testing whenever they exhibited symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Participants completed the standardized and validated FLU-PRO Plus symptom questionnaire scoring viral respiratory disease symptom intensity and frequency at least twice monthly during baseline periods of health and each day they had any symptoms that were different from their baseline. RESULTS: Two hundred sixty-three participants were enrolled between August 25 and December 31, 2020. Through February 28, 2021, 12 participants were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Symptom analysis demonstrated that all 12 had at least mild symptoms of COVID-19, compared with baseline health, near or at time of infection. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in unvaccinated, immunocompetent adults is less common than previously reported. While infectious inoculum doses and patient factors may have played a role in the clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infections in this cohort, we suspect that the high rate of symptomatic disease was due primarily to participant attentiveness to symptoms and collection of symptoms in a standardized, prospective fashion. These results have implications for studies that estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence and for public health measures to control the spread of this virus.

Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(1): ofab575, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631248


BACKGROUND: The relationship between postvaccination symptoms and strength of antibody responses is unclear. The goal of this study was to determine whether adverse effects caused by vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine are associated with the magnitude of vaccine-induced antibody levels. METHODS: We conducted a single-center, observational cohort study consisting of generally healthy adult participants that were not severely immunocompromised, had no history of coronavirus disease 2019, and were seronegative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein before vaccination. Severity of vaccine-associated symptoms was obtained through participant-completed questionnaires. Testing for immunoglobulin G antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and receptor-binding domain was conducted using microsphere-based multiplex immunoassays performed on serum samples collected at monthly visits. Neutralizing antibody titers were determined by microneutralization assays. RESULTS: Two hundred six participants were evaluated (69.4% female, median age 41.5 years old). We found no correlation between vaccine-associated symptom severity scores and vaccine-induced antibody titers 1 month after vaccination. We also observed that (1) postvaccination symptoms were inversely correlated with age and weight and more common in women, (2) systemic symptoms were more frequent after the second vaccination, (3) high symptom scores after first vaccination were predictive of high symptom scores after second vaccination, and (4) older age was associated with lower titers. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of postvaccination symptoms after receipt of the BNT162b2 vaccine does not equate to lack of vaccine-induced antibodies 1 month after vaccination.