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1.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(3): 100557, 2022 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815271

ABSTRACT

Effective control of SARS-CoV-2 infection on primary exposure may reveal correlates of protective immunity to future variants, but we lack insights into immune responses before or at the time virus is first detected. We use blood transcriptomics, multiparameter flow cytometry, and T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing spanning the time of incident non-severe infection in unvaccinated virus-naive individuals to identify rapid type 1 interferon (IFN) responses common to other acute respiratory viruses and cell proliferation responses that discriminate SARS-CoV-2 from other viruses. These peak by the time the virus is first detected and sometimes precede virus detection. Cell proliferation is most evident in CD8 T cells and associated with specific expansion of SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs, in contrast to virus-specific antibodies, which lag by 1-2 weeks. Our data support a protective role for early type 1 IFN and CD8 T cell responses, with implications for development of universal T cell vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Flow Cytometry , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 813300, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690445

ABSTRACT

Background: The presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection varies from asymptomatic to severe COVID-19. Similarly, high variability in the presence, titre and duration of specific antibodies has been reported. While some host factors determining these differences, such as age and ethnicity have been identified, the underlying molecular mechanisms underpinning these differences remain poorly defined. Methods: We analysed serum and PBMC from 17 subjects with a previous PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 unexposed volunteers following the first wave of the pandemic, in the UK. Anti-NP IgG and neutralising antibodies were measured, as well as a panel of infection and inflammation related cytokines. The virus-specific T cell response was determined by IFN-γ ELISPOT and flow cytometry after overnight incubation of PBMCs with pools of selected SARS-CoV-2 specific peptides. Results: Seven of 17 convalescent subjects had undetectable levels of anti-NP IgG, and a positive correlation was shown between anti-NP IgG levels and the titre of neutralising antibodies (IC50). In contrast, a discrepancy was noted between antibody levels and T cell IFN-γ production by ELISpot following stimulation with specific peptides. Among the analysed cytokines, ß-NGF and IL-1α levels were significantly different between anti-NP positive and negative subjects, and only ß-NGF significantly correlated with anti-NP positivity. Interestingly, CD4+ T cells of anti-NP negative subjects expressed lower amounts of the ß-NGF-specific receptor TrkA. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the ß-NGF/TrkA signalling pathway is associated with the production of anti-NP specific antibody in mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and the mechanistic regulation of this pathway in COVID-19 requires further investigation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nerve Growth Factor/immunology , Nucleoproteins/immunology , Receptor, trkA/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
3.
Immunology ; 166(1): 68-77, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685320

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection results in different outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to mild or severe disease and death. Reasons for this diversity of outcome include differences in challenge dose, age, gender, comorbidity and host genomic variation. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms may influence immune response and disease outcome. We investigated the association of HLAII alleles with case definition symptomatic COVID-19, virus-specific antibody and T-cell immunity. A total of 1364 UK healthcare workers (HCWs) were recruited during the first UK SARS-CoV-2 wave and analysed longitudinally, encompassing regular PCR screening for infection, symptom reporting, imputation of HLAII genotype and analysis for antibody and T-cell responses to nucleoprotein (N) and spike (S). Of 272 (20%) HCW who seroconverted, the presence of HLA-DRB1*13:02 was associated with a 6·7-fold increased risk of case definition symptomatic COVID-19. In terms of immune responsiveness, HLA-DRB1*15:02 was associated with lower nucleocapsid T-cell responses. There was no association between DRB1 alleles and anti-spike antibody titres after two COVID vaccine doses. However, HLA DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased spike T-cell responses following both first and second dose vaccination. Trial registration: NCT04318314 and ISRCTN15677965.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Science ; 375(6577): 183-192, 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625678

ABSTRACT

The impact of the initial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infecting strain on downstream immunity to heterologous variants of concern (VOCs) is unknown. Studying a longitudinal healthcare worker cohort, we found that after three antigen exposures (infection plus two vaccine doses), S1 antibody, memory B cells, and heterologous neutralization of B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617.2 plateaued, whereas B.1.1.7 neutralization and spike T cell responses increased. Serology using the Wuhan Hu-1 spike receptor binding domain poorly predicted neutralizing immunity against VOCs. Neutralization potency against VOCs changed with heterologous virus encounter and number of antigen exposures. Neutralization potency fell differentially depending on targeted VOCs over the 5 months from the second vaccine dose. Heterologous combinations of spike encountered during infection and vaccination shape subsequent cross-protection against VOC, with implications for future-proof next-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency
5.
Nature ; 601(7891): 110-117, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510600

ABSTRACT

Individuals with potential exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting that some individuals may clear subclinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1-3. Here we hypothesize that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-2 (refs. 4-11), would expand in vivo to support rapid viral control, aborting infection. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, including those against the early transcribed replication-transcription complex (RTC)12,13, in intensively monitored healthcare workers (HCWs) who tested repeatedly negative according to PCR, antibody binding and neutralization assays (seronegative HCWs (SN-HCWs)). SN-HCWs had stronger, more multispecific memory T cells compared with a cohort of unexposed individuals from before the pandemic (prepandemic cohort), and these cells were more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural-protein-dominated responses observed after detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). SN-HCWs with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an increase in IFI27, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 (ref. 14), suggesting abortive infection. RNA polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and SARS-CoV-2 clades. RNA polymerase was preferentially targeted (among the regions tested) by T cells from prepandemic cohorts and SN-HCWs. RTC-epitope-specific T cells that cross-recognized HCoV variants were identified in SN-HCWs. Enriched pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo to preferentially accumulate in the memory response after putative abortive compared to overt SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data highlight RTC-specific T cells as targets for vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Cell Proliferation , Cohort Studies , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Multienzyme Complexes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Transcription, Genetic/immunology
6.
Science ; 2021 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209815

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout has coincided with the spread of variants of concern. We investigated if single dose vaccination, with or without prior infection, confers cross protective immunity to variants. We analyzed T and B cell responses after first dose vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in healthcare workers (HCW) followed longitudinally, with or without prior Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 infection. After one dose, individuals with prior infection showed enhanced T cell immunity, antibody secreting memory B cell response to spike and neutralizing antibodies effective against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. By comparison, HCW receiving one vaccine dose without prior infection showed reduced immunity against variants. B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 spike mutations resulted in increased, abrogated or unchanged T cell responses depending on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms. Single dose vaccination with BNT162b2 in the context of prior infection with a heterologous variant substantially enhances neutralizing antibody responses against variants.

7.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 179, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068028

ABSTRACT

Background: Most biomedical research has focused on sampling COVID-19 patients presenting to hospital with advanced disease, with less focus on the asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic. We established a bioresource with serial sampling of health care workers (HCWs) designed to obtain samples before and during mainly mild disease, with follow-up sampling to evaluate the quality and duration of immune memory. Methods: We conducted a prospective study on HCWs from three hospital sites in London, initially at a single centre (recruited just prior to first peak community transmission in London), but then extended to multiple sites 3 weeks later (recruitment still ongoing, target n=1,000). Asymptomatic participants attending work complete a health questionnaire, and provide a nasal swab (for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR tests) and blood samples (mononuclear cells, serum, plasma, RNA and DNA are biobanked) at 16 weekly study visits, and at 6 and 12 months. Results: Preliminary baseline results for the first 731 HCWs (400 single-centre, 331 multicentre extension) are presented. Mean age was 38±11 years; 67% are female, 31% nurses, 20% doctors, and 19% work in intensive care units. COVID-19-associated risk factors were: 37% black, Asian or minority ethnicities; 18% smokers; 13% obesity; 11% asthma; 7% hypertension and 2% diabetes mellitus. At baseline, 41% reported symptoms in the preceding 2 weeks. Preliminary test results from the initial cohort (n=400) are available: PCR at baseline for SARS-CoV-2 was positive in 28 of 396 (7.1%, 95% CI 4.9-10.0%) and 15 of 385 (3.9%, 2.4-6.3%) had circulating IgG antibodies. Conclusions: This COVID-19 bioresource established just before the peak of infections in the UK will provide longitudinal assessments of incident infection and immune responses in HCWs through the natural time course of disease and convalescence. The samples and data from this bioresource are available to academic collaborators by application  https://covid-consortium.com/application-for-samples/.

8.
Sci Immunol ; 5(54)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999191

ABSTRACT

Understanding the nature of immunity following mild/asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to controlling the pandemic. We analyzed T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in 136 healthcare workers (HCW) 16-18 weeks after United Kingdom lockdown, 76 of whom had mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection captured by serial sampling. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were present in 89% of previously infected HCW. T cell responses tended to be lower following asymptomatic infection than in those reporting case-definition symptoms of COVID-19, while nAb titers were maintained irrespective of symptoms. T cell and antibody responses were sometimes discordant. Eleven percent lacked nAb and had undetectable T cell responses to spike protein but had T cells reactive with other SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our findings suggest that the majority of individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection carry nAb complemented by multispecific T cell responses at 16-18 weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
9.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2091

ABSTRACT

Background: Most biomedical research has focused on sampling COVID-19 patients presenting to hospital with advanced disease, with less focus on the asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic. We established a bioresource with serial sampling of health care workers (HCWs) designed to obtain samples before and during mainly mild disease, with follow-usampling to evaluate the quality and duration of immune memory. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study on HCWs from three hospital sites in London, initially at a single centre (recruited just prior to first peak community transmission in London), but then extended to multiple sites 3 weeks later (recruitment still ongoing, target n=1,000). Asymptomatic participants attending work complete a health questionnaire, and provide a nasal swa(for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR tests) and blood samples (mononuclear cells, serum, plasma, RNA and DNA are biobanked) at 16 weekly study visits, and at 6 and 12 months. Results: Preliminary baseline results for the first 731 HCWs (400 single-centre, 331 multicentre extension) are presented. Mean age was 38±11 years;67% are female, 31% nurses, 20% doctors, and 19% work in intensive care units. COVID-19-associated risk factors were: 37% black, Asian or minority ethnicities;18% smokers;13% obesity;11% asthma;7% hypertension and 2% diabetes mellitus. At baseline, 41% reported symptoms in the preceding 2 weeks. Preliminary test results from the initial cohort (n=400) are available: PCR at baseline for SARS-CoV-2 was positive in 28 of 396 (7.1%, 95% C4.9-10.0%) and 15 of 385 (3.9%, 2.4-6.3%) had circulating IgG antibodies. Conclusions: This COVID-19 bioresource established just before the peak of infections in the UK will provide longitudinal assessments of incident infection and immune responses in HCWs through the natural time course of disease and convalescence. The samples and data from this bioresource are available to academic collaborators by application https://covid-consortium.com/application-for-samples/.

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