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1.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 3334, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241659

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients at risk of severe disease may be treated with neutralising monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). To minimise virus escape from neutralisation these are administered as combinations e.g. casirivimab+imdevimab or, for antibodies targeting relatively conserved regions, individually e.g. sotrovimab. Unprecedented genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK has enabled a genome-first approach to detect emerging drug resistance in Delta and Omicron cases treated with casirivimab+imdevimab and sotrovimab respectively. Mutations occur within the antibody epitopes and for casirivimab+imdevimab multiple mutations are present on contiguous raw reads, simultaneously affecting both components. Using surface plasmon resonance and pseudoviral neutralisation assays we demonstrate these mutations reduce or completely abrogate antibody affinity and neutralising activity, suggesting they are driven by immune evasion. In addition, we show that some mutations also reduce the neutralising activity of vaccine-induced serum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Mutation , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral
2.
Nat Med ; 29(5): 1146-1154, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320083

ABSTRACT

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and mortality. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes; however, their effectiveness in people with obesity is incompletely understood. We studied the relationship among body mass index (BMI), hospitalization and mortality due to COVID-19 among 3.6 million people in Scotland using the Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) surveillance platform. We found that vaccinated individuals with severe obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2) were 76% more likely to experience hospitalization or death from COVID-19 (adjusted rate ratio of 1.76 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.60-1.94). We also conducted a prospective longitudinal study of a cohort of 28 individuals with severe obesity compared to 41 control individuals with normal BMI (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2). We found that 55% of individuals with severe obesity had unquantifiable titers of neutralizing antibody against authentic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus compared to 12% of individuals with normal BMI (P = 0.0003) 6 months after their second vaccine dose. Furthermore, we observed that, for individuals with severe obesity, at any given anti-spike and anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody level, neutralizing capacity was lower than that of individuals with a normal BMI. Neutralizing capacity was restored by a third dose of vaccine but again declined more rapidly in people with severe obesity. We demonstrate that waning of COVID-19 vaccine-induced humoral immunity is accelerated in individuals with severe obesity. As obesity is associated with increased hospitalization and mortality from breakthrough infections, our findings have implications for vaccine prioritization policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Obesity, Morbid , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Obesity/epidemiology , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
3.
Cell Rep ; 42(4): 112271, 2023 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257202

ABSTRACT

In November 2021, Omicron BA.1, containing a raft of new spike mutations, emerged and quickly spread globally. Intense selection pressure to escape the antibody response produced by vaccines or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection then led to a rapid succession of Omicron sub-lineages with waves of BA.2 and then BA.4/5 infection. Recently, many variants have emerged such as BQ.1 and XBB, which carry up to 8 additional receptor-binding domain (RBD) amino acid substitutions compared with BA.2. We describe a panel of 25 potent monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) generated from vaccinees suffering BA.2 breakthrough infections. Epitope mapping shows potent mAb binding shifting to 3 clusters, 2 corresponding to early-pandemic binding hotspots. The RBD mutations in recent variants map close to these binding sites and knock out or severely knock down neutralization activity of all but 1 potent mAb. This recent mAb escape corresponds with large falls in neutralization titer of vaccine or BA.1, BA.2, or BA.4/5 immune serum.

4.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 212(3): 249-261, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2264877

ABSTRACT

T cells are important in preventing severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, but scalable and field-adaptable alternatives to expert T-cell assays are needed. The interferon-gamma release assay QuantiFERON platform was developed to detect T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 from whole blood with relatively basic equipment and flexibility of processing timelines. Forty-eight participants with different infection and vaccination backgrounds were recruited. Whole blood samples were analysed using the QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 assay in parallel with the well-established 'Protective Immunity from T Cells in Healthcare workers' (PITCH) ELISpot, which can evaluate spike-specific T-cell responses. The primary aims of this cross-sectional observational cohort study were to establish if the QuantiFERON SARS-Co-V-2 assay could discern differences between specified groups and to assess the sensitivity of the assay compared with the PITCH ELISpot. The QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 distinguished acutely infected individuals (12-21 days post positive PCR) from naïve individuals (P < 0.0001) with 100% sensitivity and specificity for SARS-CoV-2 T cells, whilst the PITCH ELISpot had reduced sensitivity (62.5%) for the acute infection group. Sensitivity with QuantiFERON for previous infection was 12.5% (172-444 days post positive test) and was inferior to the PITCH ELISpot (75%). Although the QuantiFERON assay could discern differences between unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals (55-166 days since second vaccination), the latter also had reduced sensitivity (44.4%) compared to the PITCH ELISpot (66.6%). The QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 assay showed potential as a T- cell evaluation tool soon after SARS-CoV-2 infection but has lower sensitivity for use in reliable evaluation of vaccination or more distant infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Interferon-gamma Release Tests , Vaccination , Antibodies, Viral
5.
Cell reports ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2257201

ABSTRACT

In November 2021 Omicron BA.1, containing a raft of new spike mutations emerged and quickly spread globally. Intense selection pressure to escape the antibody response produced by vaccines or SARS-CoV-2 infection then led to a rapid succession of Omicron sub-lineages with waves of BA.2 then BA.4/5 infection. Recently, many variants have emerged such as BQ.1 and XBB, which carry up to 8 additional RBD amino-acid substitutions compared to BA.2. We describe a panel of 25 potent mAbs generated from vaccinees suffering BA.2 breakthrough infections. Epitope mapping shows potent mAb binding shifting to 3 clusters, 2 corresponding to early-pandemic binding hotspots. The RBD mutations in recent variants map close to these binding sites and knock out or severely knock down neutralization activity of all but 1 potent mAb. This recent mAb escape corresponds with large falls in neutralization titre of vaccine or BA.1, BA.2 or BA.4/5 immune serum. Graphical Dijokaite-Guraliuc et al. analyse potently neutralizing antibodies from vaccinated individuals with BA.2 breakthrough infections. The antibodies bind 3 sites on the receptor binding domain, 2 in common with early pandemic antibodies. Mutations in more recent variants map closely to these sites leading to reduced neutralization in all but one mAb.

6.
Cell Rep ; 42(1): 111903, 2023 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2158574

ABSTRACT

Variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have caused successive global waves of infection. These variants, with multiple mutations in the spike protein, are thought to facilitate escape from natural and vaccine-induced immunity and often increase in affinity for ACE2. The latest variant to cause concern is BA.2.75, identified in India where it is now the dominant strain, with evidence of wider dissemination. BA.2.75 is derived from BA.2 and contains four additional mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Here, we perform an antigenic and biophysical characterization of BA.2.75, revealing an interesting balance between humoral evasion and ACE2 receptor affinity. ACE2 affinity for BA.2.75 is increased 9-fold compared with BA.2; there is also evidence of escape of BA.2.75 from immune serum, particularly that induced by Delta infection, which may explain the rapid spread in India, where where there is a high background of Delta infection. ACE2 affinity appears to be prioritized over greater escape.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis D , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies
8.
Cell ; 185(14): 2422-2433.e13, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1881762

ABSTRACT

The Omicron lineage of SARS-CoV-2, which was first described in November 2021, spread rapidly to become globally dominant and has split into a number of sublineages. BA.1 dominated the initial wave but has been replaced by BA.2 in many countries. Recent sequencing from South Africa's Gauteng region uncovered two new sublineages, BA.4 and BA.5, which are taking over locally, driving a new wave. BA.4 and BA.5 contain identical spike sequences, and although closely related to BA.2, they contain further mutations in the receptor-binding domain of their spikes. Here, we study the neutralization of BA.4/5 using a range of vaccine and naturally immune serum and panels of monoclonal antibodies. BA.4/5 shows reduced neutralization by the serum from individuals vaccinated with triple doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine compared with BA.1 and BA.2. Furthermore, using the serum from BA.1 vaccine breakthrough infections, there are, likewise, significant reductions in the neutralization of BA.4/5, raising the possibility of repeat Omicron infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , South Africa
9.
Cell ; 185(12): 2116-2131.e18, 2022 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850795

ABSTRACT

Highly transmissible Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 currently dominate globally. Here, we compare neutralization of Omicron BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2. BA.2 RBD has slightly higher ACE2 affinity than BA.1 and slightly reduced neutralization by vaccine serum, possibly associated with its increased transmissibility. Neutralization differences between sub-lineages for mAbs (including therapeutics) mostly arise from variation in residues bordering the ACE2 binding site; however, more distant mutations S371F (BA.2) and R346K (BA.1.1) markedly reduce neutralization by therapeutic antibody Vir-S309. In-depth structure-and-function analyses of 27 potent RBD-binding mAbs isolated from vaccinated volunteers following breakthrough Omicron-BA.1 infection reveals that they are focused in two main clusters within the RBD, with potent right-shoulder antibodies showing increased prevalence. Selection and somatic maturation have optimized antibody potency in less-mutated epitopes and recovered potency in highly mutated epitopes. All 27 mAbs potently neutralize early pandemic strains, and many show broad reactivity with variants of concern.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Epitopes , Humans , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
10.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 209(1): 90-98, 2022 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831028

ABSTRACT

T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 following infection and vaccination are less characterized than antibody responses, due to a more complex experimental pathway. We measured T-cell responses in 108 healthcare workers (HCWs) using the commercialized Oxford Immunotec T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 assay service (OI T-SPOT) and the PITCH ELISpot protocol established for academic research settings. Both assays detected T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike, membrane, and nucleocapsid proteins. Responses were significantly lower when reported by OI T-SPOT than by PITCH ELISpot. Four weeks after two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 AZD1222 vaccine, the responder rate was 63% for OI T-SPOT Panels 1 + 2 (peptides representing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein excluding regions present in seasonal coronaviruses), 69% for OI T-SPOT Panel 14 (peptides representing the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike), and 94% for the PITCH ELISpot total spike. The two OI T-SPOT panels correlated strongly with each other showing that either readout quantifies spike-specific T-cell responses, although the correlation between the OI T-SPOT panels and the PITCH ELISpot total spike was moderate. The standardization, relative scalability, and longer interval between blood acquisition and processing are advantages of the commercial OI T-SPOT assay. However, the OI T-SPOT assay measures T-cell responses at a significantly lower magnitude compared to the PITCH ELISpot assay, detecting T-cell responses in a lower proportion of vaccinees. This has implications for the reporting of low-level T-cell responses that may be observed in patient populations and for the assessment of T-cell durability after vaccination.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Humans , Peptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
12.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904

ABSTRACT

On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5061, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361634

ABSTRACT

The extent to which immune responses to natural infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and immunization with vaccines protect against variants of concern (VOC) is of increasing importance. Accordingly, here we analyse antibodies and T cells of a recently vaccinated, UK cohort, alongside those recovering from natural infection in early 2020. We show that neutralization of the VOC compared to a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, is reduced: more profoundly against B.1.351 than for B.1.1.7, and in responses to infection or a single dose of vaccine than to a second dose of vaccine. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses are generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. Vaccination is required to generate high potency immune responses to protect against these and other emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Carrier Proteins , Epitopes , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
14.
Cell ; 184(11): 2939-2954.e9, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343152

ABSTRACT

Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations, including P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10, and 9 changes in the spike, respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site, with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet (E484K, K417N/T, and N501Y), which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine-induced antibody responses than B.1.351, suggesting that changes outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD) impact neutralization. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 222 neutralizes all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2-binding site mutations. We explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Serotherapy
15.
Cell ; 184(16): 4220-4236.e13, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272328

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has undergone progressive change, with variants conferring advantage rapidly becoming dominant lineages, e.g., B.1.617. With apparent increased transmissibility, variant B.1.617.2 has contributed to the current wave of infection ravaging the Indian subcontinent and has been designated a variant of concern in the United Kingdom. Here we study the ability of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent and vaccine sera to neutralize B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2, complement this with structural analyses of Fab/receptor binding domain (RBD) complexes, and map the antigenic space of current variants. Neutralization of both viruses is reduced compared with ancestral Wuhan-related strains, but there is no evidence of widespread antibody escape as seen with B.1.351. However, B.1.351 and P.1 sera showed markedly more reduction in neutralization of B.1.617.2, suggesting that individuals infected previously by these variants may be more susceptible to reinfection by B.1.617.2. This observation provides important new insights for immunization policy with future variant vaccines in non-immune populations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chlorocebus aethiops , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells , COVID-19 Serotherapy
16.
Cell ; 184(9): 2348-2361.e6, 2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095900

ABSTRACT

The race to produce vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began when the first sequence was published, and this forms the basis for vaccines currently deployed globally. Independent lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have recently been reported: UK, B.1.1.7; South Africa, B.1.351; and Brazil, P.1. These variants have multiple changes in the immunodominant spike protein that facilitates viral cell entry via the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. Mutations in the receptor recognition site on the spike are of great concern for their potential for immune escape. Here, we describe a structure-function analysis of B.1.351 using a large cohort of convalescent and vaccinee serum samples. The receptor-binding domain mutations provide tighter ACE2 binding and widespread escape from monoclonal antibody neutralization largely driven by E484K, although K417N and N501Y act together against some important antibody classes. In a number of cases, it would appear that convalescent and some vaccine serum offers limited protection against this variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clinical Trials as Topic , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Models, Molecular , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , COVID-19 Serotherapy
17.
Cell ; 184(8): 2201-2211.e7, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086820

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused over 2 million deaths in little over a year. Vaccines are being deployed at scale, aiming to generate responses against the virus spike. The scale of the pandemic and error-prone virus replication is leading to the appearance of mutant viruses and potentially escape from antibody responses. Variant B.1.1.7, now dominant in the UK, with increased transmission, harbors 9 amino acid changes in the spike, including N501Y in the ACE2 interacting surface. We examine the ability of B.1.1.7 to evade antibody responses elicited by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. We map the impact of N501Y by structure/function analysis of a large panel of well-characterized monoclonal antibodies. B.1.1.7 is harder to neutralize than parental virus, compromising neutralization by some members of a major class of public antibodies through light-chain contacts with residue 501. However, widespread escape from monoclonal antibodies or antibody responses generated by natural infection or vaccination was not observed.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , CHO Cells , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
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