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Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-439161


Although vaccines have been successfully developed and approved against SARS-CoV-2, it is still valuable to perform studies on conserved antigenic sites for preventing possible pandemic-risk of other SARS-like coronavirus in the future and prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants. By antibodies obtained from convalescent COVID-19 individuals, receptor binding domain (RBD) were identified as immunodominant neutralizing domain that efficiently elicits neutralizing antibody response with on-going affinity mature. Moreover, we succeeded to define a quantitative antigenic map of neutralizing sites within SARS-CoV-2 RBD, and found that sites S2, S3 and S4 (new-found site) are conserved sites and determined as subimmunodominant sites, putatively due to their less accessibility than SARS-CoV-2 unique sites. P10-6G3, P07-4D10 and P05-6H7, respectively targeting S2, S3 and S4, are relatively rare antibodies that also potently neutralizes SARS-CoV, and the last mAbs performing neutralization without blocking S protein binding to receptor. Further, we have tried to design some RBDs to improve the immunogenicity of conserved sites. Our studies, focusing on conserved antigenic sites of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, provide insights for promoting development of universal SARS-like coronavirus vaccines therefore enhancing our pandemic preparedness.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20041707


BackgroundTimely diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the prerequisite for treatment and preventive quarantine. The serology characteristics and complement diagnosis value of antibody test to RNA test needs to be demonstrated. MethodA patient cohort study was conducted at the first affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University, China. Serial plasma of COVID-19 patients and were collected and total antibody (Ab), IgM and IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2 were detected. The antibody dynamics during the infection were described. ResultsThe seroconversion rate for Ab, IgM and IgG in COVID-19 patients was 98.8% (79/80), 93.8% (75/80) and 93.8% (75/80), respectively. The first detectible serology marker is total antibody and followed by IgM and IgG, with a median seroconversion time of 15, 18 and 20 day post exposure (d.p.e) or 9, 10 and 12 days post onset, separately. The antibody levels increased rapidly since 6 d.p.o and accompanied with the decline of viral load. For patients in the early stage of illness (0-7d.p.o),Ab showed the highest sensitivity (64.1%) compared to the IgM and IgG (33.3% for both, p<0.001). The sensitivities of Ab, IgM and IgG detection increased to 100%, 96.7% and 93.3% two weeks later, respectively. ConclusionsTypical acute antibody response is induced during the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The serology testing provides important complementation to RNA test for pathogenic specific diagnosis and helpful information to evaluate the adapted immunity status of patient. It should be strongly recommended to apply well-validated antibody tests in the clinical management and public health practice to improve the control of COVID-19 infection. Take-Home MessageAntibody responses are induced after SARS-CoV-2 infection and complement diagnosis value of antibody test to RNA test was observed. Antibody tests are critical tools in clinical management and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19.

Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-994152


Pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), for which there are no efficacious vaccines or therapeutics that are urgently needed. We expressed three versions of spike (S) proteins--receptor binding domain (RBD), S1 subunit and S ectodomain--in insect cells. RBD appears monomer in solutions, whereas S1 and S associate into homotrimer with substantial glycosylation. The three proteins confer excellent antigenicity with six convalescent COVID-19 patient sera. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analyses indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 S trimer dominate in a unique conformation distinguished from the classic prefusion conformation of coronaviruses by the upper S1 region at lower position ~15 [A] proximal to viral membrane. Such conformation is proposed as an early prefusion state for the SARS-CoV-2 spike that may broaden the knowledge of coronavirus and facilitate vaccine development.