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1.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293006

ABSTRACT

Antibodies specific for the spike glycoprotein (S) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins are typically present during severe COVID-19, and induced to S after vaccination. The binding of viral antigens by antibody can initiate the classical complement pathway. Since complement could play pathological or protective roles at distinct times during SARS-CoV-2 infection we determined levels of antibody-dependent complement activation along the complement cascade. Here, we used an ELISA assay to assess complement protein binding (C1q) and the deposition of C4b, C3b, and C5b to S and N antigens in the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from different test groups: non-infected, single and double vaccinees, non-hospitalised convalescent (NHC) COVID-19 patients and convalescent hospitalised (ITU-CONV) COVID-19 patients. C1q binding correlates strongly with antibody responses, especially IgG1 levels. However, detection of downstream complement components, C4b, C3b and C5b shows some variability associated with the antigen and subjects studied. In the ITU-CONV, detection of C3b-C5b to S was observed consistently, but this was not the case in the NHC group. This is in contrast to responses to N, where median levels of complement deposition did not differ between the NHC and ITU-CONV groups. Moreover, for S but not N, downstream complement components were only detected in sera with higher IgG1 levels. Therefore, the classical pathway is activated by antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens, but the downstream effects of this activation may differ depending on the specific antigen targeted and the disease status of the subject.

2.
J Mol Biol ; 434(2): 167332, 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492301

ABSTRACT

Extensive glycosylation of viral glycoproteins is a key feature of the antigenic surface of viruses and yet glycan processing can also be influenced by the manner of their recombinant production. The low yields of the soluble form of the trimeric spike (S) glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 has prompted advances in protein engineering that have greatly enhanced the stability and yields of the glycoprotein. The latest expression-enhanced version of the spike incorporates six proline substitutions to stabilize the prefusion conformation (termed SARS-CoV-2 S HexaPro). Although the substitutions greatly enhanced expression whilst not compromising protein structure, the influence of these substitutions on glycan processing has not been explored. Here, we show that the site-specific N-linked glycosylation of the expression-enhanced HexaPro resembles that of an earlier version containing two proline substitutions (2P), and that both capture features of native viral glycosylation. However, there are site-specific differences in glycosylation of HexaPro when compared to 2P. Despite these discrepancies, analysis of the serological reactivity of clinical samples from infected individuals confirmed that both HexaPro and 2P protein are equally able to detect IgG, IgA, and IgM responses in all sera analysed. Moreover, we extend this observation to include an analysis of glycan engineered S protein, whereby all N-linked glycans were converted to oligomannose-type and conclude that serological activity is not impacted by large scale changes in glycosylation. These observations suggest that variations in glycan processing will not impact the serological assessments currently being performed across the globe.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291602

ABSTRACT

Background: Prospective population-based studies investigating multiple determinants of pre-vaccination antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 are lacking.Methods: We did a prospective population-based study in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-naive UK adults between May 1 and Nov 2, 2020. Information on 88 potential risk factors was obtained through online questionnaires, and combined IgG/IgA/IgM responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein were determined in dried blood spots. We used logistic and linear regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and adjusted geometric mean ratios (aGMRs) for potential determinants of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity (all participants) and antibody titres (seropositive participants only), respectively.Findings: 1696 (15.2%) of 11,130 participants were seropositive. Factors independently associated with increased risk included frontline health/care occupation (aOR 1.86, 95% CI 1.49–2.33), international travel (1.22, 1.08–1.37), BMI >30 vs <25 kg/m² (1.22, 1.05–1.42), Asian/Asian British vs White ethnicity (1.65, 1.10–2.47), and alcohol consumption ≥15 vs 0 units/week (1.26, 1.06–1.49). Light physical exercise associated with decreased risk (0.80, 0.69–0.93, for ≥10 vs 0–4 h/week). Higher titres associated with frontline health/care occupation (aGMR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13–1.41), international travel (1.10, 1.04–1.16), BMI >30 vs <25 kg/m² (1.09, 1.01–1.17), and Asian/Asian British vs White ethnicity (1.23, 1.03–1.46);these associations were not substantially attenuated by adjustment for disease severity.Interpretation: Higher alcohol consumption and reduced physical exercise represent new modifiable risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Recognised associations between Asian/Asian British ethnic origin and obesity and increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity were independent of other sociodemographic, clinical, or behavioural factors investigated.Funding: Barts Charity, Health Data Research UK.Declaration of Interest: JS declares receipt of payments from Reach plc for news stories written about recruitment to, and findings of, the COVIDENCE UK study. AS is a member of the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer’s COVID-19 Advisory Group and its Standing Committee on Pandemics. He is also a member of the UK Government’s NERVTAG’s Risk Stratification Subgroup. ARM declares receipt of funding in the last 36 months to support vitamin D research from the following companies who manufacture or sell vitamin D supplements: Pharma Nord Ltd, DSM Nutritional Products Ltd, Thornton & Ross Ltd, Cytoplan Ltd and Hyphens Pharma Ltd. ARM also declares support for attending meetings from the following companies who manufacture or sell vitamin D supplements: Pharma Nord Ltd and Abiogen Pharma Ltd. ARM also declares participation on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the Chair, DSMB, VITALITY trial (Vitamin D for Adolescents with HIV to reduce musculoskeletal morbidity and immunopathology). ARM also declares unpaid work as a Programme Committee member for the Vitamin D Workshop. ARM also declares receipt of vitamin D capsules for clinical trial use from Pharma Nord Ltd, Synergy Biologics Ltd and Cytoplan Ltd.Ethical Approval: COVIDENCE UK was sponsored by Queen Mary University of London and approved by Leicester South Research Ethics Committee (ref 20/EM/0117). It is registered withClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04330599).

4.
Elife ; 102021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468709

ABSTRACT

Age is the major risk factor for mortality after SARS-CoV-2 infection and older people have received priority consideration for COVID-19 vaccination. However, vaccine responses are often suboptimal in this age group and few people over the age of 80 years were included in vaccine registration trials. We determined the serological and cellular response to spike protein in 100 people aged 80-96 years at 2 weeks after the second vaccination with the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Antibody responses were seen in every donor with high titers in 98%. Spike-specific cellular immune responses were detectable in only 63% and correlated with humoral response. Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection substantially increased antibody responses after one vaccine and antibody and cellular responses remained 28-fold and 3-fold higher, respectively, after dual vaccination. Post-vaccine sera mediated strong neutralization of live Victoria infection and although neutralization titers were reduced 14-fold against the P.1 variant first discovered in Brazil they remained largely effective. These data demonstrate that the mRNA vaccine platform delivers strong humoral immunity in people up to 96 years of age and retains broad efficacy against the P.1 variant of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Factors , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
5.
Cell ; 184(23): 5699-5714.e11, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466093

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Priming/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Ethnic Groups , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
6.
iScience ; 24(11): 103215, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446746

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a life-threatening disease occurring several weeks after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Deep immune profiling showed acute MIS-C patients had highly activated neutrophils, classical monocytes and memory CD8+ T-cells, with increased frequencies of B-cell plasmablasts and double-negative B-cells. Post treatment samples from the same patients, taken during symptom resolution, identified recovery-associated immune features including increased monocyte CD163 levels, emergence of a new population of immature neutrophils and, in some patients, transiently increased plasma arginase. Plasma profiling identified multiple features shared by MIS-C, Kawasaki Disease and COVID-19 and that therapeutic inhibition of IL-6 may be preferable to IL-1 or TNF-α. We identified several potential mechanisms of action for IVIG, the most commonly used drug to treat MIS-C. Finally, we showed systemic complement activation with high plasma C5b-9 levels is common in MIS-C suggesting complement inhibitors could be used to treat the disease.

7.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438095

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical and ethnodemographic correlates of serological responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein following mild-to-moderate COVID-19. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of healthcare workers who had self-isolated due to COVID-19. SETTING: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK (UHBFT). PARTICIPANTS: 956 healthcare workers were recruited by open invitation via UHBFT trust email and social media between 27 April 2020 and the 8 June 2020. INTERVENTION: Participants volunteered a venous blood sample that was tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein antibodies. Results were interpreted in the context of the symptoms of their original illness and ethnodemographic variables. RESULTS: Using an assay that simultaneously measures the combined IgG, IgA and IgM response against the spike glycoprotein (IgGAM), the overall seroprevalence within this cohort was 46.2% (n=442/956). The seroprevalence of immunoglobulin isotypes was 36.3%, 18.7% and 8.1% for IgG, IgA and IgM, respectively. IgGAM identified serological responses in 40.6% (n=52/128) of symptomatic individuals who reported a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Increasing age, non-white ethnicity and obesity were independently associated with greater IgG antibody response against the spike glycoprotein. Self-reported fever and fatigue were associated with greater IgG and IgA responses against the spike glycoprotein. The combination of fever and/or cough and/or anosmia had a positive predictive value of 92.3% for seropositivity in self-isolating individuals a time when Wuhan strain SARS-CoV-2 was predominant. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Assays employing combined antibody detection demonstrate enhanced seroepidemiological sensitivity and can detect prior viral exposure even when PCR swabs have been negative. We demonstrate an association between known ethnodemographic risk factors associated with mortality from COVID-19 and the magnitude of serological responses in mild-to-moderate disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United Kingdom
8.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(9): e554-e560, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433992

ABSTRACT

Background: In several countries, extended interval COVID-19 vaccination regimens are now used to accelerate population coverage, but the relative immunogenicity of different vaccines in older people remains uncertain. In this study we aimed to assess the antibody and cellular responses of older people after a single dose of either the BNT162b2 vaccine (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (Oxford University-AstraZeneca). Methods: Participants aged 80 years or older, who did not live in a residential or care home or require assisted living, and had received a single dose of either the BNT162b2 vaccine or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine were eligible to participate. Participants were recruited through local primary care networks in the West Midlands, UK. Blood samples and dried blood spots were taken 5-6 weeks after vaccination to assess adaptive immune responses using Elecsys electrochemiluminescence immunoassay and cellular responses by ELISpot. Primary endpoints were percentage response and quantification of adaptive immunity. Findings: Between Dec 29, 2020, and Feb 28, 2021, 165 participants were recruited and included in the analysis. 76 participants had received BNT162b2 (median age 84 years, IQR 82-89; range 80-98) and 89 had received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (median age 84 years, 81-87; 80-99). Antibody responses against the spike protein were detectable in 69 (93%) of 74 BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 77 (87%) of 89 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients. Median antibody titres were of 19·3 U/mL (7·4-79·4) in the BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 19·6 U/mL (6·1-60·0) in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients (p=0·41). Spike protein-specific T-cell responses were observed in nine (12%) of 73 BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 27 (31%) of 88 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients, and median responses were three-times higher in ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients (24 spots per 1 × 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cells) than BNT162b2 vaccine recipients (eight spots per 1 × 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cells; p<0·0001). Humoral and cellular immune responses against spike protein were correlated in both cohorts. Evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was seen in eight participants (n=5 BNT162b2 recipients and n=3 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 recipients), and was associated with 691-times and four-times increase in humoral and cellular immune responses across the whole cohort. Interpretation: Single doses of either BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in older people induces humoral immunity in most participants, and is markedly enhanced by previous infection. Cellular responses were weaker, but showed enhancement after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine at the 5-6 week timepoint. Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and National Core Studies.

12.
Immunology ; 164(1): 135-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295026

ABSTRACT

Detecting antibody responses during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential in determining the seroepidemiology of the virus and the potential role of antibody in disease. Scalable, sensitive and specific serological assays are essential to this process. The detection of antibody in hospitalized patients with severe disease has proven relatively straightforward; detecting responses in subjects with mild disease and asymptomatic infections has proven less reliable. We hypothesized that the suboptimal sensitivity of antibody assays and the compartmentalization of the antibody response may contribute to this effect. We systematically developed an ELISA, optimizing different antigens and amplification steps, in serum and saliva from non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. Using trimeric spike glycoprotein, rather than nucleocapsid, enabled detection of responses in individuals with low antibody responses. IgG1 and IgG3 predominate to both antigens, but more anti-spike IgG1 than IgG3 was detectable. All antigens were effective for detecting responses in hospitalized patients. Anti-spike IgG, IgA and IgM antibody responses were readily detectable in saliva from a minority of RT-PCR confirmed, non-hospitalized symptomatic individuals, and these were mostly subjects who had the highest levels of anti-spike serum antibodies. Therefore, detecting antibody responses in both saliva and serum can contribute to determining virus exposure and understanding immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Saliva
13.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 205(2): 99-105, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273082

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has been associated with both transient and persistent systemic symptoms that do not appear to be a direct consequence of viral infection. The generation of autoantibodies has been proposed as a mechanism to explain these symptoms. To understand the prevalence of autoantibodies associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we investigated the frequency and specificity of clinically relevant autoantibodies in 84 individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, suffering from COVID-19 of varying severity in both the acute and convalescent setting. These were compared with results from 32 individuals who were on the intensive therapy unit (ITU) for non-COVID reasons. We demonstrate a higher frequency of autoantibodies in the COVID-19 ITU group compared with non-COVID-19 ITU disease control patients and that autoantibodies were also found in the serum 3-5 months post-COVID-19 infection. Non-COVID patients displayed a diverse pattern of autoantibodies; in contrast, the COVID-19 groups had a more restricted panel of autoantibodies including skin, skeletal muscle and cardiac antibodies. Our results demonstrate that respiratory viral infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with the detection of a limited profile of tissue-specific autoantibodies, detectable using routine clinical immunology assays. Further studies are required to determine whether these autoantibodies are specific to SARS-CoV-2 or a phenomenon arising from severe viral infections and to determine the clinical significance of these autoantibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Specificity , Autoantibodies , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index
18.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(12): 2970-2973, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792953

ABSTRACT

Dried blood spot (DBS) samples can be used for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike antibodies. DBS sampling is comparable to matched serum samples with a relative 98.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Thus, DBS sampling offers an alternative for population-wide serologic testing in the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Case-Control Studies , Dried Blood Spot Testing/economics , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
19.
Thorax ; 75(12): 1089-1094, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760280

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates of asymptomatic viral carriage and seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthcare workers. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of asymptomatic healthcare workers undertaken on 24/25 April 2020. SETTING: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT), UK. PARTICIPANTS: 545 asymptomatic healthcare workers were recruited while at work. Participants were invited to participate via the UHBFT social media. Exclusion criteria included current symptoms consistent with COVID-19. No potential participants were excluded. INTERVENTION: Participants volunteered a nasopharyngeal swab and a venous blood sample that were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein antibodies, respectively. Results were interpreted in the context of prior illnesses and the hospital departments in which participants worked. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Proportion of participants demonstrating infection and positive SARS-CoV-2 serology. RESULTS: The point prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 viral carriage was 2.4% (n=13/545). The overall seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 24.4% (n=126/516). Participants who reported prior symptomatic illness had higher seroprevalence (37.5% vs 17.1%, χ2=21.1034, p<0.0001) and quantitatively greater antibody responses than those who had remained asymptomatic. Seroprevalence was greatest among those working in housekeeping (34.5%), acute medicine (33.3%) and general internal medicine (30.3%), with lower rates observed in participants working in intensive care (14.8%). BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) ethnicity was associated with a significantly increased risk of seropositivity (OR: 1.92, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.23, p=0.01). Working on the intensive care unit was associated with a significantly lower risk of seropositivity compared with working in other areas of the hospital (OR: 0.28, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.78, p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: We identify differences in the occupational risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 between hospital departments and confirm asymptomatic seroconversion occurs in healthcare workers. Further investigation of these observations is required to inform future infection control and occupational health practices.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
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