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1.
Scientific Reports ; 12(1):7168-7168, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1821604

ABSTRACT

As global vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 proceed, there is particular interest in the longevity of immune protection, especially with regard to increasingly infectious virus variants. Neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 are promising correlates of protective immunity and have been successfully used for prevention and therapy. As SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) are known to affect binding to the ACE2 receptor and by extension neutralizing activity, we developed a bead-based multiplex ACE2-RBD inhibition assay (RBDCoV-ACE2) as a highly scalable, time-, cost-, and material-saving alternative to infectious live-virus neutralization tests. By mimicking the interaction between ACE2 and the RBD, this serological multiplex assay allows the simultaneous analysis of ACE2 binding inhibition to the RBDs of all SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs) in a single well. Following validation against a classical virus neutralization test and comparison of performance against a commercially available assay, we analyzed 266 serum samples from 168 COVID-19 patients of varying severity. ACE2 binding inhibition was reduced for ten out of eleven variants examined compared to wild-type, especially for those displaying the E484K mutation such as VOCs beta and gamma. ACE2 binding inhibition, while highly individualistic, positively correlated with IgG levels. ACE2 binding inhibition also correlated with disease severity up to WHO grade 7, after which it reduced.

2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(4): 743-750, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770999

ABSTRACT

Patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis were among the first to receive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccinations because of their increased risk for severe coronavirus disease and high case-fatality rates. By using a previously reported cohort from Germany of at-risk hemodialysis patients and healthy donors, where antibody responses were examined 3 weeks after the second vaccination, we assessed systemic cellular and humoral immune responses in serum and saliva 4 months after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine using an interferon-γ release assay and multiplex-based IgG measurements. We further compared neutralization capacity of vaccination-induced IgG against 4 SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta) by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor-binding domain competition assay. Sixteen weeks after second vaccination, compared with 3 weeks after, cellular and humoral responses against the original SARS-CoV-2 isolate and variants of concern were substantially reduced. Some dialysis patients even had no detectable B- or T-cell responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , RNA, Messenger , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 828053, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731780

ABSTRACT

Recent increases in SARS-CoV-2 infections have led to questions about duration and quality of vaccine-induced immune protection. While numerous studies have been published on immune responses triggered by vaccination, these often focus on studying the impact of one or two immunisation schemes within subpopulations such as immunocompromised individuals or healthcare workers. To provide information on the duration and quality of vaccine-induced immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, we analyzed antibody titres against various SARS-CoV-2 antigens and ACE2 binding inhibition against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and variants of concern in samples from a large German population-based seroprevalence study (MuSPAD) who had received all currently available immunisation schemes. We found that homologous mRNA-based or heterologous prime-boost vaccination produced significantly higher antibody responses than vector-based homologous vaccination. Ad26.CoV2S.2 performance was particularly concerning with reduced titres and 91.7% of samples classified as non-responsive for ACE2 binding inhibition, suggesting that recipients require a booster mRNA vaccination. While mRNA vaccination induced a higher ratio of RBD- and S1-targeting antibodies, vector-based vaccines resulted in an increased proportion of S2-targeting antibodies. Given the role of RBD- and S1-specific antibodies in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2, their relative over-representation after mRNA vaccination may explain why these vaccines have increased efficacy compared to vector-based formulations. Previously infected individuals had a robust immune response once vaccinated, regardless of which vaccine they received, which could aid future dose allocation should shortages arise for certain manufacturers. Overall, both titres and ACE2 binding inhibition peaked approximately 28 days post-second vaccination and then decreased.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 128, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616978

ABSTRACT

The quality and persistence of children's humoral immune response following SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown but will be crucial to guide pediatric SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programs. Here, we examine 548 children and 717 adults within 328 households with at least one member with a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assess serological response at 3-4 months and 11-12 months after infection using a bead-based multiplex immunoassay for 23 human coronavirus antigens including SARS-CoV-2 and its Variants of Concern (VOC) and endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs), and additionally by three commercial SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. Neutralization against wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the Delta VOC are analysed in a pseudotyped virus assay. Children, compared to adults, are five times more likely to be asymptomatic, and have higher specific antibody levels which persist longer (96.2% versus 82.9% still seropositive 11-12 months post infection). Of note, symptomatic and asymptomatic infections induce similar humoral responses in all age groups. SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs independent of HCoV serostatus. Neutralization responses of children and adults are similar, although neutralization is reduced for both against the Delta VOC. Overall, the long-term humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is of longer duration than in adults even after asymptomatic infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
5.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110169, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616407

ABSTRACT

The importance of pre-existing immune responses to seasonal endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs) for the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the course of COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Recent studies postulate that immune responses to previous HCoV infections can either have a slightly protective or no effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and, consequently, be neglected for COVID-19 risk stratification. Challenging this notion, we provide evidence that pre-existing, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies against endemic α-coronaviruses and S2 domain-specific anti-spike antibodies against ß-coronavirus HCoV-OC43 are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic donors. This finding is particularly pronounced in males and in critically ill patients. Longitudinal evaluation reveals that antibody cross-reactivity or polyclonal stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to be confounders. Thus, specific pre-existing immunity to seasonal coronaviruses may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and predispose individuals to an adverse COVID-19 outcome, guiding risk management and supporting the development of universal coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
Cell reports ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1565013

ABSTRACT

Wratil et al. find specific antibody responses against seasonal human coronaviruses, which cause the common cold, to be elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic blood donors. This specific immunity is likely pre-existing in patients and increases their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294629

ABSTRACT

Background: While SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations were successful in decreasing COVID-19 caseloads, recent increases in SARS-CoV-2 infections have led to questions about duration and quality of the subsequent immune response. While numerous studies have been published on immune responses triggered by vaccination, these often focused on the initial peak response generated in specific population subgroups (e.g. healthcare workers or immunocompromised individuals) and have often only examined the effects of one or two different immunisation schemes. Methods and Findings We analysed serum samples from participants of a large German seroprevalence study (MuSPAD) who had received all available vaccines and dose schedules (mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, AZD1222, Ad26.CoV2S.2 or a combination of AZD1222 plus either mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2). Antibody titers against various SARS-CoV-2 antigens and ACE2 binding inhibition against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants of concern were analysed using a previously published multiplex immunoassay MULTICOV-AB and an ACE2-RBD competition assay. Among the different vaccines and their dosing regimens, homologous mRNA-based or heterologous prime-boost vaccination produced significantly higher antibody responses than vector-based homologous vaccination. Ad26.CoV2S.2 performance was significantly reduced, even compared to AZD1222, with 91.67% of samples being considered non-responsive forACE2 binding inhibition. mRNA-based vaccination induced a higher ratio of RBD- and S1-targeting antibodies than vector-based vaccination, which resulted in an increased proportion of S2-targeting antibodies. Previously infected individuals had a robust immune response once vaccinated, regardless of which vaccine they received. When examining antibody kinetics post-vaccination after homologous immunisation regimens, both titers and ACE2 binding inhibition peaked approximately 28 days post-vaccination and then decreased as time increased. Conclusions As one of the first and largest population-based studies to examine vaccine responses for all currently available immunisation schemes in Germany, we found that homologous mRNA or heterologous vaccination elicited the highest immune responses. The high percentage of non-responders for Ad26.CoV2.S requires further investigation and suggests that a booster dose with an mRNA-based vaccine may be necessary. The high responses seen in recovered and vaccinated individuals could aid future dose allocation, should shortages arise for certain manufacturers. Given the role of RBD- and S1-specific antibodies in neutralising SARS-CoV-2, their relative over-representation after mRNA vaccination may explain why mRNA vaccines have an increased efficacy compared to vector-based formulations. Further investigation on these differences will be of particular interest for vaccine development and efficacy, especially for the next-generation of vector-based vaccines.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293501

ABSTRACT

Background: While SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations were successful in decreasing COVID-19 caseloads, recent increases in SARS-CoV-2 infections have led to questions about duration and quality of the subsequent immune response. While numerous studies have been published on immune responses triggered by vaccination, these often focused on the initial peak response generated in specific population subgroups (e.g. healthcare workers or immunocompromised individuals) and have often only examined the effects of one or two different immunisation schemes. Methods and Findings We analysed serum samples from participants of a large German seroprevalence study (MuSPAD) who had received all available vaccines and dose schedules (mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, AZD1222, Ad26.CoV2S.2 or a combination of AZD1222 plus either mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2). Antibody titers against various SARS-CoV-2 antigens and ACE2 binding inhibition against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants of concern were analysed using a previously published multiplex immunoassay MULTICOV-AB and an ACE2-RBD competition assay. Among the different vaccines and their dosing regimens, homologous mRNA-based or heterologous prime-boost vaccination produced significantly higher antibody responses than vector-based homologous vaccination. Ad26.CoV2S.2 performance was significantly reduced, even compared to AZD1222, with 91.67% of samples being considered non-responsive forACE2 binding inhibition. mRNA-based vaccination induced a higher ratio of RBD- and S1-targeting antibodies than vector-based vaccination, which resulted in an increased proportion of S2-targeting antibodies. Previously infected individuals had a robust immune response once vaccinated, regardless of which vaccine they received. When examining antibody kinetics post-vaccination after homologous immunisation regimens, both titers and ACE2 binding inhibition peaked approximately 28 days post-vaccination and then decreased as time increased. Conclusions As one of the first and largest population-based studies to examine vaccine responses for all currently available immunisation schemes in Germany, we found that homologous mRNA or heterologous vaccination elicited the highest immune responses. The high percentage of non-responders for Ad26.CoV2.S requires further investigation and suggests that a booster dose with an mRNA-based vaccine may be necessary. The high responses seen in recovered and vaccinated individuals could aid future dose allocation, should shortages arise for certain manufacturers. Given the role of RBD- and S1-specific antibodies in neutralising SARS-CoV-2, their relative over-representation after mRNA vaccination may explain why mRNA vaccines have an increased efficacy compared to vector-based formulations. Further investigation on these differences will be of particular interest for vaccine development and efficacy, especially for the next-generation of vector-based vaccines.

9.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103524, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356202

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic renal insufficiency on maintenance haemodialysis face an increased risk of COVID-19 induced mortality and impaired vaccine responses. To date, only a few studies have addressed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine elicited immunity in this immunocompromised population. METHODS: We assessed immunogenicity of the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in at-risk dialysis patients and characterised systemic cellular and humoral immune responses in serum and saliva using interferon γ release assay and multiplex-based cytokine and immunoglobulin measurements. We further compared binding capacity and neutralization efficacy of vaccination-induced immunoglobulins against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Beta, Epsilon and Cluster 5 by ACE2-RBD competition assay. FINDINGS: Patients on maintenance haemodialysis exhibit detectable but variable cellular and humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern after a two-dose regimen of BNT162b2. Although vaccination-induced immunoglobulins were detectable in saliva and plasma, both anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and neutralization efficacy was reduced compared to a vaccinated non-dialysed control population. Similarly, T-cell mediated interferon γ release after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike peptides was significantly diminished. INTERPRETATION: Quantifiable humoral and cellular immune responses after BNT162b2 vaccination in individuals on maintenance haemodialysis are encouraging, but urge for longitudinal follow-up to assess longevity of immunity. Diminished virus neutralization and interferon γ responses in the face of emerging variants of concern may favour this at-risk population for re-vaccination using modified vaccines at the earliest opportunity. FUNDING: Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg for Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Renal Dialysis/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination/methods
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3109, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243298

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is evolving with mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) being of particular concern. It is important to know how much cross-protection is offered between strains following vaccination or infection. Here, we obtain serum and saliva samples from groups of vaccinated (Pfizer BNT-162b2), infected and uninfected individuals and characterize the antibody response to RBD mutant strains. Vaccinated individuals have a robust humoral response after the second dose and have high IgG antibody titers in the saliva. Antibody responses however show considerable differences in binding to RBD mutants of emerging variants of concern and substantial reduction in RBD binding and neutralization is observed against a patient-isolated South African variant. Taken together our data reinforce the importance of the second dose of Pfizer BNT-162b2 to acquire high levels of neutralizing antibodies and high antibody titers in saliva suggest that vaccinated individuals may have reduced transmission potential. Substantially reduced neutralization for the South African variant further highlights the importance of surveillance strategies to detect new variants and targeting these in future vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/blood , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/immunology , Saliva/virology
11.
EMBO Rep ; 22(5): e52325, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1204402

ABSTRACT

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an ongoing need for diagnostic tools to monitor the immune status of large patient cohorts and the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. Here, we present 11 unique nanobodies (Nbs) specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD), of which 8 Nbs potently inhibit the interaction of RBD with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the major viral docking site. Following detailed epitope mapping and structural analysis, we select two inhibitory Nbs, one of which binds an epitope inside and one of which binds an epitope outside the RBD:ACE2 interface. Based on these, we generate a biparatopic nanobody (bipNb) with viral neutralization efficacy in the picomolar range. Using bipNb as a surrogate, we establish a competitive multiplex binding assay ("NeutrobodyPlex") for detailed analysis of the presence and performance of neutralizing RBD-binding antibodies in serum of convalescent or vaccinated patients. We demonstrate that NeutrobodyPlex enables high-throughput screening and detailed analysis of neutralizing immune responses in infected or vaccinated individuals, to monitor immune status or to guide vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Humans , Immunity , Pandemics , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1152, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091492

ABSTRACT

The humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is a benchmark for immunity and detailed analysis is required to understand the manifestation and progression of COVID-19, monitor seroconversion within the general population, and support vaccine development. The majority of currently available commercial serological assays only quantify the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response against individual antigens, limiting our understanding of the immune response. To overcome this, we have developed a multiplex immunoassay (MultiCoV-Ab) including spike and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and the endemic human coronaviruses. Compared to three broadly used commercial in vitro diagnostic tests, our MultiCoV-Ab achieves a higher sensitivity and specificity when analyzing a well-characterized sample set of SARS-CoV-2 infected and uninfected individuals. We find a high response against endemic coronaviruses in our sample set, but no consistent cross-reactive IgG response patterns against SARS-CoV-2. Here we show a robust, high-content-enabled, antigen-saving multiplex assay suited to both monitoring vaccination studies and facilitating epidemiologic screenings for humoral immunity towards pandemic and endemic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Immunity, Humoral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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