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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237813

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid emergence of the omicron variant and its large number of mutations led to its classification as a variant of concern (VOC) by the WHO. Subsequently, omicron evolved into distinct sublineages (e.g. BA1 and BA2), which currently represent the majority of global infections. Initial studies of the neutralizing response towards BA1 in convalescent and vaccinated individuals showed a substantial reduction. METHODS: We assessed antibody (IgG) binding, ACE2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) binding inhibition, and IgG binding dynamics for the omicron BA1 and BA2 variants compared to a panel of VOC/VOIs, in a large cohort (n = 352) of convalescent, vaccinated, and infected and subsequently vaccinated individuals. RESULTS: While omicron was capable efficiently binding to ACE2, antibodies elicited by infection or immunization showed reduced binding capacities and ACE2 binding inhibition compared to WT. Whereas BA1 exhibited less IgG binding compared to BA2, BA2 showed reduced inhibition of ACE2 binding. Among vaccinated samples, antibody binding to omicron only improved after administration of a third dose. CONCLUSION: omicron BA1 and BA2 can still efficiently bind to ACE2, while vaccine/infection-derived antibodies can bind omicron. The extent of the mutations within both variants prevent a strong inhibitory binding response. As a result, both omicron variants are able to evade control by pre-existing antibodies.

2.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 2022 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235711

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome with fatal outcomes. Evidence suggests that dysregulated immune responses, including autoimmunity, are key pathogenic factors. OBJECTIVES: To assess whether IgA autoantibodies target lung-specific proteins and contribute to disease severity. METHODS: We collected 147 blood, 9 lung tissue, and 36 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from three tertiary hospitals in Switzerland and one in Germany. Severe COVID-19 was defined by the need to administer oxygen. We investigated the presence of IgA autoantibodies and their effects on pulmonary surfactant in COVID-19 using the following methods: immunofluorescence on tissue samples, immunoprecipitations followed by mass spectrometry on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays on blood samples, and surface tension measurements with medical surfactant. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: IgA autoantibodies targeting pulmonary surfactant proteins B and C were elevated in patients with severe COVID-19, but not in patients with influenza or bacterial pneumonia. Notably, pulmonary surfactant failed to reduce surface tension after incubation with either plasma or purified IgA from patients with severe COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that patients with severe COVID-19 harbor IgA against pulmonary surfactant proteins B and C and that these antibodies block the function of lung surfactant, potentially contributing to alveolar collapse and poor oxygenation. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

3.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 859, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere. The diagnosis of LB is usually made by clinical symptoms and subsequently supported by serology. In Europe, a two-step testing consisting of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and an immunoblot is recommended. However, due to the low sensitivity of the currently available tests, antibody detection is sometimes inaccurate, especially in the early phase of infection, leading to underdiagnoses. METHODS: To improve upon Borrelia diagnostics, we developed a multiplex Borrelia immunoassay (Borrelia multiplex), which utilizes the new INTELLIFLEX platform, enabling the simultaneous dual detection of IgG and IgM antibodies, saving further time and reducing the biosample material requirement. In order to enable correct classification, the Borrelia multiplex contains eight antigens from the five human pathogenic Borrelia species known in Europe. Six antigens are known to mainly induce an IgG response and two antigens are predominant for an IgM response. RESULTS: To validate the assay, we compared the Borrelia multiplex to a commercial bead-based immunoassay resulting in an overall assay sensitivity of 93.7% (95% CI 84.8-97.5%) and a specificity of 96.5% (95%CI 93.5-98.1%). To confirm the calculated sensitivity and specificity, a comparison with a conventional 2-step diagnostics was performed. With this comparison, we obtained a sensitivity of 95.2% (95% CI 84.2-99.2%) and a specificity of 93.0% (95% CI 90.6-94.7%). CONCLUSION: Borrelia multiplex is a highly reproducible cost- and time-effective assay that enables the profiling of antibodies against several individual antigens simultaneously.


Subject(s)
Borrelia , Lyme Disease , Humans , Antibodies, Bacterial , Serologic Tests/methods , Immunoglobulin G , Lyme Disease/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin M
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 19858, 2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133587

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants accumulating immune escape mutations provide a significant risk to vaccine-induced protection against infection. The novel variant of concern (VoC) Omicron BA.1 and its sub-lineages have the largest number of amino acid alterations in its Spike protein to date. Thus, they may efficiently escape recognition by neutralizing antibodies, allowing breakthrough infections in convalescent and vaccinated individuals in particular in those who have only received a primary immunization scheme. We analyzed neutralization activity of sera from individuals after vaccination with all mRNA-, vector- or heterologous immunization schemes currently available in Europe by in vitro neutralization assay at peak response towards SARS-CoV-2 B.1, Omicron sub-lineages BA.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.3, BA.4/5, Beta and Delta pseudotypes and also provide longitudinal follow-up data from BNT162b2 vaccinees. All vaccines apart from Ad26.CoV2.S showed high levels of responder rates (96-100%) towards the SARS-CoV-2 B.1 isolate, and minor to moderate reductions in neutralizing Beta and Delta VoC pseudotypes. The novel Omicron variant and its sub-lineages had the biggest impact, both in terms of response rates and neutralization titers. Only mRNA-1273 showed a 100% response rate to Omicron BA.1 and induced the highest level of neutralizing antibody titers, followed by heterologous prime-boost approaches. Homologous BNT162b2 vaccination, vector-based AZD1222 and Ad26.CoV2.S performed less well with peak responder rates of 48%, 56% and 9%, respectively. However, Omicron responder rates in BNT162b2 recipients were maintained in our six month longitudinal follow-up indicating that individuals with cross-protection against Omicron maintain it over time. Overall, our data strongly argue for booster doses in individuals who were previously vaccinated with BNT162b2, or a vector-based primary immunization scheme.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , RNA, Messenger , Ad26COVS1 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Vaccination
5.
J Clin Invest ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089016

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein is synthesized as large precursor protein and must be activated by proteolytic cleavage into S1 and S2. A recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing native, full-length S protein (MVA-SARS-2-S) is currently under investigation as candidate vaccine in phase I clinical studies. Initial results from immunogenicity monitoring revealed induction of S-specific antibodies binding to S2, but low-level antibody responses to the S1 domain. Follow-up investigations of native S antigen synthesis in MVA-SARS-2-S infected cells revealed limited levels of S1 protein on the cell surface. In contrast, we found superior S1 cell surface presentation upon infection with a recombinant MVA expressing a stabilized version of SARS-CoV-2 S protein with an inactivated S1/2 cleavage site and K986→P and V987→P mutations (MVA-SARS-2-ST). When comparing immunogenicity of MVA vector vaccines, mice vaccinated with MVA-SARS-2-ST mounted substantial levels of S broadly reactive antibodies that effectively neutralized different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Importantly, intramuscular MVA-SARS-2-ST immunization of hamsters and mice resulted in potent immune responses upon challenge infection and protected from disease and severe lung pathology. Our results suggest that MVA-SARS-2-ST represents an improved clinical candidate vaccine and that the presence of plasma membrane-bound S1 is highly beneficial to induce protective antibody levels.

6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1004045, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080154

ABSTRACT

Haemodialysis patients respond poorly to vaccination and continue to be at-risk for severe COVID-19. Therefore, dialysis patients were among the first for which a fourth COVID-19 vaccination was recommended. However, targeted information on how to best maintain immune protection after SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in at-risk groups for severe COVID-19 remains limited. We provide, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time longitudinal vaccination response data in dialysis patients and controls after a triple BNT162b2 vaccination and in the latter after a subsequent fourth full-dose of mRNA-1273. We analysed systemic and mucosal humoral IgG responses against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2-binding inhibition towards variants of concern including Omicron and Delta with multiplex-based immunoassays. In addition, we assessed Spike S1-specific T-cell responses by interferon γ release assay. After triple BNT162b2 vaccination, anti-RBD B.1 IgG and ACE2 binding inhibition reached peak levels in dialysis patients, but remained inferior compared to controls. Whilst we detected B.1-specific ACE2 binding inhibition in 84% of dialysis patients after three BNT162b2 doses, binding inhibition towards the Omicron variant was only detectable in 38% of samples and declining to 16% before the fourth vaccination. By using mRNA-1273 as fourth dose, humoral immunity against all SARS-CoV-2 variants tested was strongly augmented with 80% of dialysis patients having Omicron-specific ACE2 binding inhibition. Modest declines in T-cell responses in dialysis patients and controls after the second vaccination were restored by the third BNT162b2 dose and significantly increased by the fourth vaccination. Our data support current advice for a four-dose COVID-19 immunisation scheme for at-risk individuals such as haemodialysis patients. We conclude that administration of a fourth full-dose of mRNA-1273 as part of a mixed mRNA vaccination scheme to boost immunity and to prevent severe COVID-19 could also be beneficial in other immune impaired individuals. Additionally, strategic application of such mixed vaccine regimens may be an immediate response against SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased immune evasion potential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Mice , Animals , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccination , Immunoglobulin G , Renal Dialysis , RNA, Messenger
7.
EBioMedicine ; 84: 104245, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2041662

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID in children and adolescents remains poorly understood due to a lack of well-controlled studies with long-term follow-up. In particular, the impact of the family context on persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unknown. We examined long COVID symptoms in a cohort of infected children, adolescents, and adults and their exposed but non-infected household members approximately 1 year after infection and investigated clustering of persistent symptoms within households. METHODS: 1267 members of 341 households (404 children aged <14 years, 140 adolescents aged 14-18 years and 723 adults) were categorized as having had either a SARS-CoV-2 infection or household exposure to SARS-CoV-2 without infection, based on three serological assays and history of laboratory-confirmed infection. Participants completed questionnaires assessing the presence of long COVID symptoms 11-12 months after infection in the household using online questionnaires. FINDINGS: The prevalence of moderate or severe persistent symptoms was statistically significantly higher in infected than in exposed women (36.4% [95% CI: 30.7-42.4%] vs 14.2% [95% CI: 8.7-21.5%]), infected men (22.9% [95% CI: 17.9-28.5%] vs 10.3% [95% CI: 5.8-16.9%]) and infected adolescent girls (32.1% 95% CI: 17.2-50.5%] vs 8.9% [95%CI: 3.1-19.8%]). However, moderate or severe persistent symptoms were not statistically more common in infected adolescent boys aged 14-18 (9.7% [95% CI: 2.8-23.6%] or in infected children <14 years (girls: 4.3% [95% CI: 1.2-11.0%]; boys: 3.7% [95% CI: 1.1-9.6%]) than in their exposed counterparts (adolescent boys: 0.0% [95% CI: 0.0-6.7%]; girls < 14 years: 2.3% [95% CI: 0·7-6·1%]; boys < 14 years: 0.0% [95% CI: 0.0-2.0%]). The number of persistent symptoms reported by individuals was associated with the number of persistent symptoms reported by their household members (IRR=1·11, p=·005, 95% CI [1.03-1.20]). INTERPRETATION: In this controlled, multi-centre study, infected men, women and adolescent girls were at increased risk of negative outcomes 11-12 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Amongst non-infected adults, prevalence of negative outcomes was also high. Prolonged symptoms tended to cluster within families, suggesting family-level interventions for long COVID could prove useful. FUNDING: Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Parents , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
8.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7168, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890242

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
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 , BNT162 Vaccine , 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
10.
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)
Ad26COVS1/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
11.
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
12.
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
13.
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.

14.
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 , BNT162 Vaccine , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Renal Dialysis/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination/methods
15.
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
16.
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
17.
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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