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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335252

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant first emerged as the BA.1 sub-lineage, with extensive escape from neutralizing immunity elicited by previous infection with other variants, vaccines, or combinations of both 1,2 . Two new sub-lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, are now emerging in South Africa with changes relative to BA.1, including L452R and F486V mutations in the spike receptor binding domain. We isolated live BA.4 and BA.5 viruses and tested them against neutralizing immunity elicited to BA.1 infection in participants who were Omicron/BA.1 infected but unvaccinated (n=24) and participants vaccinated with Pfizer BNT162b2 or Johnson and Johnson Ad26.CoV.2S with breakthrough Omicron/BA.1 infection (n=15). In unvaccinated individuals, FRNT 50 , the inverse of the dilution for 50% neutralization, declined from 275 for BA.1 to 36 for BA.4 and 37 for BA.5, a 7.6 and 7.5-fold drop, respectively. In vaccinated BA.1 breakthroughs, FRNT 50 declined from 507 for BA.1 to 158 for BA.4 (3.2-fold) and 198 for BA.5 (2.6-fold). Absolute BA.4 and BA.5 neutralization levels were about 5-fold higher in this group versus unvaccinated BA.1 infected participants. The observed escape of BA.4 and BA.5 from BA.1 elicited immunity is more moderate than of BA.1 against previous immunity 1,3 . However, the low absolute neutralization levels for BA.4 and BA.5, particularly in the unvaccinated group, are unlikely to protect well against symptomatic infection 4 .This may indicate that, based on neutralization escape, BA.4 and BA.5 have potential to result in a new infection wave.

2.
Nature ; 2022 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830078

ABSTRACT

The extent to which Omicron infection1-9, with or without previous vaccination, elicits protection against the previously dominant Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is unclear. Here we measured the neutralization capacity against variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in 39 individuals in South Africa infected with the Omicron sublineage BA.1 starting at a median of 6 (interquartile range 3-9) days post symptom onset and continuing until last follow-up sample available, a median of 23 (interquartile range 19-27) days post symptoms to allow BA.1-elicited neutralizing immunity time to develop. Fifteen participants were vaccinated with Pfizer's BNT162b2 or Johnson & Johnson's Ad26.CoV2.S and had BA.1 breakthrough infections, and 24 were unvaccinated. BA.1 neutralization increased from a geometric mean 50% focus reduction neutralization test titre of 42 at enrolment to 575 at the last follow-up time point (13.6-fold) in vaccinated participants and from 46 to 272 (6.0-fold) in unvaccinated participants. Delta virus neutralization also increased, from 192 to 1,091 (5.7-fold) in vaccinated participants and from 28 to 91 (3.0-fold) in unvaccinated participants. At the last time point, unvaccinated individuals infected with BA.1 had low absolute levels of neutralization for the non-BA.1 viruses and 2.2-fold lower BA.1 neutralization, 12.0-fold lower Delta neutralization, 9.6-fold lower Beta variant neutralization, 17.9-fold lower ancestral virus neutralization and 4.8-fold lower Omicron sublineage BA.2 neutralization relative to vaccinated individuals infected with BA.1. These results indicate that hybrid immunity formed by vaccination and Omicron BA.1 infection should be protective against Delta and other variants. By contrast, infection with Omicron BA.1 alone offers limited cross-protection despite moderate enhancement.

3.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(2): 154-162.e5, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708092

ABSTRACT

Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 evolution in specific geographies may help predict properties of the variants that come from these regions. We mapped neutralization of a SARS-CoV-2 strain that evolved over 6 months from ancestral virus in a person with advanced HIV disease in South Africa; this person was infected prior to emergence of the Beta and Delta variants. We longitudinally tracked the evolved virus and tested it against self-plasma and convalescent plasma from ancestral, Beta, and Delta infections. Early virus was similar to ancestral, but it evolved a multitude of mutations found in Omicron and other variants. It showed substantial but incomplete Pfizer BNT162b2 escape, weak neutralization by self-plasma, and despite pre-dating Delta, it also showed extensive escape of Delta infection-elicited neutralization. This example is consistent with the notion that SARS-CoV-2 evolving in individual immune-compromised hosts, including those with advanced HIV disease, may gain immune escape of vaccines and enhanced escape of Delta immunity, and this has implications for vaccine breakthrough and reinfections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , HIV Infections/pathology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HIV-1/immunology , Humans , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , South Africa , Vaccination , Vero Cells
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700901

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is limited understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in African populations with a high burden of infectious disease comorbidities such as HIV. The kinetics, magnitude and duration of virus-specific antibodies and the underlying B cell responses in people living with HIV (PLWH) in sub-Saharan Africa have not been fully characterized. METHODS: We longitudinally followed SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and characterized SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain-specific IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies weekly for a month, and then at 3 months post diagnosis. 7/30 (41.7%) were PLWH, 83% (25/30) of which were on ART and with full HIV suppression. Potency of convalescent plasma neutralization was determined using a live virus neutralization assay and antibody secreting cell population frequencies were determined by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Similar seroconversion rates, time to peak antibody titer, peak magnitude and durability of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM, IgG, IgA, were observed in HIV uninfected and PLWH with complete HIV suppression on ART. In addition, similar neutralization potency against an isolate of SARS-CoV-2, circulating at the time of sampling in the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in South Africa was observed in both groups. Loss of IgA was significantly associated with age (p=0.023) and a previous diagnosis of TB (p=0.018). CONCLUSIONS: Similar antibody response kinetics and neutralization potency in HIV negative and PLWH on stable ART in an African setting suggests that COVID-19 natural infections may confer comparable antibody immunity in these groups. This provides hope that COVID-19 vaccines will be effective in PLWH on stable ART.

5.
Nature ; 602(7898): 654-656, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616992

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern Omicron (Pango lineage B.1.1.529), first identified in Botswana and South Africa, may compromise vaccine effectiveness and lead to re-infections1. Here we investigated Omicron escape from neutralization by antibodies from South African individuals vaccinated with Pfizer BNT162b2. We used blood samples taken soon after vaccination from individuals who were vaccinated and previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 or vaccinated with no evidence of previous infection. We isolated and sequence-confirmed live Omicron virus from an infected person and observed that Omicron requires the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to infect cells. We compared plasma neutralization of Omicron relative to an ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain and found that neutralization of ancestral virus was much higher in infected and vaccinated individuals compared with the vaccinated-only participants. However, both groups showed a 22-fold reduction in vaccine-elicited neutralization by the Omicron variant. Participants who were vaccinated and had previously been infected exhibited residual neutralization of Omicron similar to the level of neutralization of the ancestral virus observed in the vaccination-only group. These data support the notion that reasonable protection against Omicron may be maintained using vaccination approaches.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People living with HIV (PLWH) have been reported to have a higher risk of more severe Covid-19 disease and death. We assessed the ability of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine to elicit neutralizing activity against the Delta variant in PLWH relative to HIV-negative individuals. We also examined effects of HIV status and suppression on Delta neutralization response in SARS-CoV-2 infected unvaccinated participants. METHODS: We enrolled participants who vaccinated through the SISONKE South African clinical trial of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine in health care workers (HCW). PLWH in this group had well controlled HIV infection. We also enrolled unvaccinated participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Neutralization capacity was assessed by a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta variant. RESULTS: Majority of Ad26.CoV2.S vaccinated HCW were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. In this group, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared to the infected only group and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated only group. No decrease in Delta variant neutralization was observed in PLWH relative to HIV-negative participants. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold lower neutralization and a higher frequency of non-responders, with the highest frequency of non-responders in people with HIV viremia. Vaccinated only participants showed low neutralization capacity. CONCLUSIONS: The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-negative participants, irrespective of past SARS-CoV-2 infection. In SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-vaccinated participants, HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2, with the strongest reduction in HIV viremic individuals.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295139

ABSTRACT

Summary Background People living with HIV (PLWH) have been reported to have an increased risk of more severe COVID-19 disease outcome and an increased risk of death relative to HIV-uninfected individuals. Here we assessed the ability of the Johnson and Johnson Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine to elicit neutralizing antibodies to the Delta variant in PLWH relative to HIV-uninfected individuals. We also compared the neutralization after vaccination to neutralization elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection only in HIV-uninfected, suppressed HIV PLWH, and PLWH with detectable HIV viremia. Methods We enrolled 26 PLWH and 73 HIV-uninfected participants from the SISONKE phase 3b open label South African clinical trial of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine in health care workers (HCW). Enrollment was a median 56 days (range 19-98 days) post-vaccination and PLWH in this group had well controlled HIV infection. We also enrolled unvaccinated participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. This group consisted of 34 PLWH and 28 HIV-uninfected individuals. 10 of the 34 (29%) SARS-CoV-2 infected only PLWH had detectable HIV viremia. We used records of a positive SARS-CoV-2 qPCR result, or when a positive result was absent, testing for SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies, to determine which vaccinated participants were SARS-CoV-2 infected prior to vaccination. Neutralization capacity was assessed using participant plasma in a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant currently dominating infections in South Africa. This study was approved by the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee at the University of KwaZulu–Natal (reference BREC/00001275/2020). Findings The majority (68%) of Ad26.CoV2.S vaccinated HCW were found to be previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. In this group, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared to the infected only group (GMT=306 versus 36, p<0.0001) and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated only group (GMT=12, p<0.0001). No significant difference in Delta variant neutralization capacity was observed in vaccinated and previously SARS-CoV-2 infected PLWH relative to vaccinated and previously SARS-CoV-2 infected, HIV-uninfected participants (GMT=307 for HIV-uninfected, 300 for PLWH, p=0.95). SARS-CoV-2 infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold reduced neutralization of the Delta variant relative to HIV-uninfected participants (GMT=105 for HIV-uninfected, 15 for PLWH, p=0.001). There was a higher frequency of non-responders in PLWH relative to HIV-uninfected participants in the SARS-CoV-2 infected unvaccinated group (27% versus 0%, p=0.0029) and 60% of HIV viremic versus 13% of HIV suppressed PLWH were non-responders (p=0.0088). In contrast, the frequency of non-responders was low in the vaccinated/infected group, and similar between HIV-uninfected and PLWH. Vaccinated only participants showed a low neutralization of the Delta variant, with a stronger response in PLWH (GMT=6 for HIV-uninfected, 73 for PLWH, p=0.02). Interpretation The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-uninfected study participants. In SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-vaccinated participants, the presence of HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and this effect was strongest in PLWH with detectable HIV viremia Funding South African Medical Research Council, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

8.
Elife ; 102021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450948

ABSTRACT

There are conflicting reports on the effects of HIV on COVID-19. Here, we analyzed disease severity and immune cell changes during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection in 236 participants from South Africa, of which 39% were people living with HIV (PLWH), during the first and second (Beta dominated) infection waves. The second wave had more PLWH requiring supplemental oxygen relative to HIV-negative participants. Higher disease severity was associated with low CD4 T cell counts and higher neutrophil to lymphocyte ratios (NLR). Yet, CD4 counts recovered and NLR stabilized after SARS-CoV-2 clearance in wave 2 infected PLWH, arguing for an interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and HIV infection leading to low CD4 and high NLR. The first infection wave, where severity in HIV negative and PLWH was similar, still showed some HIV modulation of SARS-CoV-2 immune responses. Therefore, HIV infection can synergize with the SARS-CoV-2 variant to change COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is limited understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in African populations with a high burden of infectious disease comorbidities such as HIV. The kinetics, magnitude and duration of virus-specific antibodies and the underlying B cell responses in people living with HIV (PLWH) in sub-Saharan Africa have not been fully characterized. METHODS: We longitudinally followed SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and characterized SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain-specific IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies weekly for a month, and then at 3 months post diagnosis. 7/30 (41.7%) were PLWH, 83% (25/30) of which were on ART and with full HIV suppression. Potency of convalescent plasma neutralization was determined using a live virus neutralization assay and antibody secreting cell population frequencies were determined by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Similar seroconversion rates, time to peak antibody titer, peak magnitude and durability of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM, IgG, IgA, were observed in HIV uninfected and PLWH with complete HIV suppression on ART. In addition, similar neutralization potency against an isolate of SARS-CoV-2, circulating at the time of sampling in the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in South Africa was observed in both groups. Loss of IgA was significantly associated with age (p=0.023) and a previous diagnosis of TB (p=0.018). CONCLUSIONS: Similar antibody response kinetics and neutralization potency in HIV negative and PLWH on stable ART in an African setting suggests that COVID-19 natural infections may confer comparable antibody immunity in these groups. This provides hope that COVID-19 vaccines will be effective in PLWH on stable ART.

10.
Nature ; 593(7857): 142-146, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155700

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have arisen independently at multiple locations1,2 and may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines that target the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-23. Here, using a live-virus neutralization assay, we compared the neutralization of a non-VOC variant with the 501Y.V2 VOC (also known as B.1.351) using plasma collected from adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the two waves of infection in South Africa, the second wave of which was dominated by infections with the 501Y.V2 variant. Sequencing demonstrated that infections of plasma donors from the first wave were with viruses that did not contain the mutations associated with 501Y.V2, except for one infection that contained the E484K substitution in the receptor-binding domain. The 501Y.V2 virus variant was effectively neutralized by plasma from individuals who were infected during the second wave. The first-wave virus variant was effectively neutralized by plasma from first-wave infections. However, the 501Y.V2 variant was poorly cross-neutralized by plasma from individuals with first-wave infections; the efficacy was reduced by 15.1-fold relative to neutralization of 501Y.V2 by plasma from individuals infected in the second wave. By contrast, cross-neutralization of first-wave virus variants using plasma from individuals with second-wave infections was more effective, showing only a 2.3-fold decrease relative to neutralization of first-wave virus variants by plasma from individuals infected in the first wave. Although we tested only one plasma sample from an individual infected with a SARS-CoV-2 variant with only the E484K substitution, this plasma sample potently neutralized both variants. The observed effective neutralization of first-wave virus by plasma from individuals infected with 501Y.V2 provides preliminary evidence that vaccines based on VOC sequences could retain activity against other circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , South Africa/epidemiology , Time Factors , Vero Cells
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