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Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-490867


Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, humans have been exposed to distinct SARS-CoV-2 antigens, either by infection with different variants, and/or vaccination. Population immunity is thus highly heterogeneous, but the impact of such heterogeneity on the effectiveness and breadth of the antibody-mediated response is unclear. We measured antibody-mediated neutralisation responses against SARS-CoV-2Wuhan, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2{delta} and SARS-CoV-2o pseudoviruses using sera from patients with distinct immunological histories, including naive, vaccinated, infected with SARS-CoV-2Wuhan, SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-2{delta}, and vaccinated/infected individuals. We show that the breadth and potency of the antibody-mediated response is influenced by the number, the variant, and the nature (infection or vaccination) of exposures, and that individuals with mixed immunity acquired by vaccination and natural exposure exhibit the broadest and most potent responses. Our results suggest that the interplay between host immunity and SARS-CoV-2 evolution will shape the antigenicity and subsequent transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2, with important implications for future vaccine design. Author SummaryNeutralising antibodies provide protection against viruses and are generated because of vaccination or prior infections. The main target of anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies is a protein called Spike, which decorates the viral particle and mediates viral entry into cells. As SARS-CoV-2 evolves, mutations accumulate in the spike protein, allowing the virus to escape antibody-mediated immunity and decreasing vaccine effectiveness. Multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants have appeared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing various waves of infection through the population and infecting-in some cases-people that had been previously infected or vaccinated. Since the antibody response is highly specific, individuals infected with different variants are likely to have different repertoires of neutralising antibodies. We studied the breadth and potency of the antibody-mediated response against different SARS-CoV-2 variants using sera from vaccinated people as well as from people infected with different variants. We show that potency of the antibody response against different SARS-CoV-2 variants depends on the particular variant that infected each person, the exposure type (infection or vaccination) and the number and order of exposures. Our study provides insight into the interplay between virus evolution and immunity, as well as important information for the development of better vaccination strategies.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22270799


IntroductionViral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. MethodsWe conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of rapid (<48h) and 4 weeks of longer-turnaround (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs; detected [≥]48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. ResultsA total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01; P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50; P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. ConclusionWhile we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.