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Virology ; 569: 37-43, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692814


Risk factors for disease progression and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections require an understanding of acute and long-term virological and immunological dynamics. Fifty-one RT-PCR positive COVID-19 outpatients were recruited between May and December 2020 in Munich, Germany, and followed up at multiple defined timepoints for up to one year. RT-PCR and viral culture were performed and seroresponses measured. Participants were classified applying the WHO clinical progression scale. Short symptom to test time (median 5.0 days; p = 0.0016) and high viral loads (VL; median maximum VL: 3∙108 copies/mL; p = 0.0015) were indicative for viral culture positivity. Participants with WHO grade 3 at baseline had significantly higher VLs compared to those with WHO 1 and 2 (p = 0.01). VLs dropped fast within 1 week of symptom onset. Maximum VLs were positively correlated with the magnitude of Ro-N-Ig seroresponse (p = 0.022). Our results describe the dynamics of VLs and antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in mild to moderate cases that can support public health measures during the ongoing global pandemic.

COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Child , Cohort Studies , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Outpatients , Pandemics , Serologic Tests/methods , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult
Science ; 375(6582): 782-787, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650668


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Beta variant of concern (VOC) resists neutralization by major classes of antibodies from COVID-19 patients and vaccinated individuals. In this study, serum of Beta-infected patients revealed reduced cross-neutralization of wild-type virus. From these patients, we isolated Beta-specific and cross-reactive receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies. The Beta-specificity results from recruitment of VOC-specific clonotypes and accommodation of mutations present in Beta and Omicron into a major antibody class that is normally sensitive to these mutations. The Beta-elicited cross-reactive antibodies share genetic and structural features with wild type-elicited antibodies, including a public VH1-58 clonotype that targets the RBD ridge. These findings advance our understanding of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 shaped by antigenic drift, with implications for design of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
Front Immunol ; 12: 688436, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259348


Background: Adaptive immune responses to structural proteins of the virion play a crucial role in protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We therefore studied T cell responses against multiple SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in a large cohort using a simple, fast, and high-throughput approach. Methods: An automated interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) for the Nucleocapsid (NC)-, Membrane (M)-, Spike-C-terminus (SCT)-, and N-terminus-protein (SNT)-specific T cell responses was performed using fresh whole blood from study subjects with convalescent, confirmed COVID-19 (n = 177, more than 200 days post infection), exposed household members (n = 145), and unexposed controls (n = 85). SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were assessed using Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Ro-N-Ig) and Anti-SARS-CoV-2-ELISA (IgG) (EI-S1-IgG). Results: 156 of 177 (88%) previously PCR confirmed cases were still positive by Ro-N-Ig more than 200 days after infection. In T cells, most frequently the M-protein was targeted by 88% seropositive, PCR confirmed cases, followed by SCT (85%), NC (82%), and SNT (73%), whereas each of these antigens was recognized by less than 14% of non-exposed control subjects. Broad targeting of these structural virion proteins was characteristic of convalescent SARS-CoV-2 infection; 68% of all seropositive individuals targeted all four tested antigens. Indeed, anti-NC antibody titer correlated loosely, but significantly with the magnitude and breadth of the SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response. Age, sex, and body mass index were comparable between the different groups. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity correlates with broad T cell reactivity of the structural virus proteins at 200 days after infection and beyond. The SARS-CoV-2-IGRA can facilitate large scale determination of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses with high accuracy against multiple targets.

COVID-19/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Structural Proteins/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma Release Tests , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult