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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(8), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1842919

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe COVID-19 pandemic has an excessive impact on residents in long-term care facilities (LTCF), causing high morbidity and mortality. Early detection of presymptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases supports the timely implementation of effective outbreak control measures but repetitive screening of residents and staff incurs costs and discomfort. Administration of vaccines is key to controlling the pandemic but the robustness and longevity of the antibody response, correlation of neutralising antibodies with commercial antibody assays, and the efficacy of current vaccines for emerging COVID-19 variants require further study. We propose to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in site-specific sewage as an early warning system for COVID-19 in LTCF and to study the immune response of the staff and residents in LTCF to COVID-19 vaccines.Methods and analysisThe study includes two parts: (1) detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in LTCF site-specific sewage samples using a molecular assay followed by notification of Public Health within 24 hours as an early warning system for appropriate outbreak investigation and control measures and cost–benefit analyses of the system and (2) testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among staff and residents in LTCF at various time points before and after COVID-19 vaccination using commercial assays and neutralising antibody testing performed at a reference laboratory.Ethics and disseminationEthics approval was obtained from the University of Alberta Health Research Ethics Board with considerations to minimise risk and discomforts for the participants. Early recognition of a COVID-19 case in an LTCF might prevent further transmission in residents and staff. There was no direct benefit identified to the participants of the immunity study. Anticipated dissemination of information includes a summary report to the immunity study participants, sharing of study data with the scientific community through the Canadian COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, and prompt dissemination of study results in meeting s and manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

2.
JCI Insight ; 2022 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807768

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Limited information is available on the impact of immunosuppressants on COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). METHODS: This observational cohort study examined the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or psoriatic disease, with or without maintenance immunosuppressive therapies. Antibody and T cell responses to SARS-COV-2, including neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 variants were determined before and after 1 and 2 vaccine doses. RESULTS: We prospectively followed 150 subjects, 26 healthy controls, 9 IMID patients on no treatment, 44 on anti-TNF, 16 on anti-TNF with methotrexate/azathioprine (MTX/AZA), 10 on anti-IL-23, 28 on anti-IL-12/23, 9 on anti-IL-17, and 8 on MTX/AZA. Antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in all participants, increasing from dose 1 to dose 2 and declining 3 months later, with greater attrition in IMID patients compared to healthy controls. Antibody levels and neutralization efficacy against variants of concern were substantially lower in anti-TNF treated patients than in healthy controls and were undetectable against Omicron by 3 months after dose 2. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the need for a third dose of mRNA vaccine and for continued monitoring of immunity in these patient groups. FUNDING: Funded by a donation from Juan and Stefania Speck and by Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) /COVID-Immunity Task Force (CITF) grants VR-1 172711 and VS1-175545 (T.H.W. and A.C.G); CIHR FDN-143250 (T.H.W.), GA2- 177716 (V.C., A.C.G., T.H.W.), GA1-177703 (A.C.G.) and the CIHR rapid response network to SARS-CoV-2 variants, CoVaRR-Net (to A.C.G.).

3.
Mucosal Immunol ; 2022 Apr 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805590

ABSTRACT

Although SARS-CoV-2 infects the upper respiratory tract, we know little about the amount, type, and kinetics of antibodies (Ab) generated in the oral cavity in response to COVID-19 vaccination. We collected serum and saliva samples from participants receiving two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and measured the level of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ab. We detected anti-Spike and anti-Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) IgG and IgA, as well as anti-Spike/RBD associated secretory component in the saliva of most participants after dose 1. Administration of a second dose of mRNA boosted the IgG but not the IgA response, with only 30% of participants remaining positive for IgA at this timepoint. At 6 months post-dose 2, these participants exhibited diminished anti-Spike/RBD IgG levels, although secretory component-associated anti-Spike Ab were more stable. Examining two prospective cohorts we found that participants who experienced breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants had lower levels of vaccine-induced serum anti-Spike/RBD IgA at 2-4 weeks post-dose 2 compared to participants who did not experience an infection, whereas IgG levels were comparable between groups. These data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines that elicit a durable IgA response may have utility in preventing infection.

4.
Med (N Y) ; 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796323

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant of concern (VOC) has evolved multiple mutations within the spike protein, raising concerns of increased antibody evasion. In this study, we assessed the neutralization potential of COVID-19 convalescent sera and sera from vaccinated individuals against ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and VOCs. Methods: The neutralizing activity of sera from 65 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine recipients and convalescent individuals against clinical isolates of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, beta, delta, and omicron VOCs was assessed using a microneutralization assay. Findings: Convalescent sera from unvaccinated individuals infected by the ancestral virus demonstrated reduced neutralization against beta and omicron VOCs. Sera from individuals that received three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines demonstrated reduced neutralization of the omicron variant relative to ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Sera from individuals that were naturally infected with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and subsequently received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine induced significantly higher neutralizing antibody levels against ancestral virus and all VOCs. Infection alone, either with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 or the delta variant was not sufficient to induce high neutralizing antibody titers against omicron. Conclusions: In summary, we demonstrate that convalescent and vaccinated sera display varying levels of SARS-CoV-2 VOC neutralization. Data from this data will inform booster vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. Funding: This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). VIDO receives operational funding from the Government of Saskatchewan through Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Agriculture and from the Canada Foundation for Innovation through the Major Science Initiatives for its CL3 facility.

9.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 11(3): e1380, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750347

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Antibody testing against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been instrumental in detecting previous exposures and analyzing vaccine-elicited immune responses. Here, we describe a scalable solution to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, discriminate between natural infection- and vaccination-induced responses, and assess antibody-mediated inhibition of the spike-angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) interaction. Methods: We developed methods and reagents to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The main assays focus on the parallel detection of immunoglobulin (Ig)Gs against the spike trimer, its receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid (N). We automated a surrogate neutralisation (sn)ELISA that measures inhibition of ACE2-spike or -RBD interactions by antibodies. The assays were calibrated to a World Health Organization reference standard. Results: Our single-point IgG-based ELISAs accurately distinguished non-infected and infected individuals. For seroprevalence assessment (in a non-vaccinated cohort), classifying a sample as positive if antibodies were detected for ≥ 2 of the 3 antigens provided the highest specificity. In vaccinated cohorts, increases in anti-spike and -RBD (but not -N) antibodies are observed. We present detailed protocols for serum/plasma or dried blood spots analysis performed manually and on automated platforms. The snELISA can be performed automatically at single points, increasing its scalability. Conclusions: Measuring antibodies to three viral antigens and identify neutralising antibodies capable of disrupting spike-ACE2 interactions in high-throughput enables large-scale analyses of humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. The reagents are available to enable scaling up of standardised serological assays, permitting inter-laboratory data comparison and aggregation.

10.
CMAJ ; 194(8): E297-E305, 2022 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736539

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Differences in immunogenicity between mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have not been well characterized in patients undergoing dialysis. We compared the serologic response in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna). METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study at 2 academic centres in Toronto, Canada, from Feb. 2, 2021, to July 20, 2021, which included 129 and 95 patients who received the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, respectively. We measured SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G antibodies to the spike protein (anti-spike), receptor binding domain (anti-RBD) and nucleocapsid protein (anti-NP) at 6-7 and 12 weeks after the second dose of vaccine and compared those levels with the median convalescent serum antibody levels from 211 controls who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: At 6-7 weeks after 2-dose vaccination, we found that 51 of 70 patients (73%) who received BNT162b2 and 83 of 87 (95%) who received mRNA-1273 attained convalescent levels of anti-spike antibody (p < 0.001). In those who received BNT162b2, 35 of 70 (50%) reached the convalescent level for anti-RBD compared with 69 of 87 (79%) who received mRNA-1273 (p < 0.001). At 12 weeks after the second dose, anti-spike and anti-RBD levels were significantly lower in patients who received BNT162b2 than in those who received mRNA-1273. For anti-spike, 70 of 122 patients (57.4%) who received BNT162b2 maintained the convalescent level versus 68 of 71 (96%) of those who received mRNA-1273 (p < 0.001). For anti-RBD, 47 of 122 patients (38.5%) who received BNT162b2 maintained the anti-RBD convalescent level versus 45 of 71 (63%) of those who received mRNA-1273 (p = 0.002). INTERPRETATION: In patients undergoing hemodialysis, mRNA-1273 elicited a stronger humoral response than BNT162b2. Given the rapid decline in immunogenicity at 12 weeks in patients who received BNT162b2, a third dose is recommended in patients undergoing dialysis as a primary series, similar to recommendations for other vulnerable populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Prospective Studies , Vaccination
11.
Am J Transplant ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735853

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus Omicron variant has now supplanted wild-type virus as the dominant circulating strain globally. Three doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for transplant recipients as their primary vaccine series. However, the immunogenicity of mRNA vaccines as they specifically relate to the Omicron variant are not well studied. We analyzed Omicron-specific neutralization in transplant recipients after three-doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine. Neutralization was determined using a SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus assay with constructs for Omicron and Delta variants. A total of 60 transplant patients (kidney, kidney-pancreas, lung, heart, liver) were analyzed 1 month and 3 months after completion of three doses of mRNA-1273. At 1 month, 11/60 (18.3%) patients had detectable neutralizing antibody responses to Omicron (log10 ID50 of 2.38 [range 1.34-3.57]). At 3 months, 8/51 (15.7%) were positive (median log10 ID50 [1.68; range 1.12-3.61; approximate fivefold reduction over time]). The proportion of positive patients was lower for Omicron versus wild-type, and Omicron vs. Delta (p < .001). No demographic variables were found to be significantly associated with Omicron response. Many patients with a positive anti-RBD response still had undetectable Omicron-specific neutralizing antibody. In conclusion, three doses of mRNA vaccine results in poor neutralizing responses against the Omicron variant in transplant patients.

12.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0256321, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700249

ABSTRACT

We have previously used composite reference standards and latent class analysis (LCA) to evaluate the performance of laboratory assays in the presence of tarnished gold standards. Here, we apply these techniques to repeated, cross-sectional study of Canadian blood donors, whose sera underwent parallel testing with four separate SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. We designed a repeated cross-sectional design with random cross-sectional sampling of all available retention samples (n = 1500/month) for a 12 -month period from April 2020 until March 2021. Each sample was evaluated for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies using four assays an Abbott Architect assay targeting the nucleocapsid antigen (Abbott-NP, Abbott, Chicago IL) and three in-house IgG ELISAs recognizing distinct recombinant viral antigens: full-length spike glycoprotein (Spike), spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid (NP). We used two analytic approaches to estimate SAR-CoV-2 seroprevalence: a composite reference standard and LCA. Using LCA to estimate true seropositivity status based on the results of the four antibody tests, we estimated that seroprevalence increased from 0.8% (95% CI: 0.5-1.4%) in April 2020 to 6.3% (95% CI: 5.1-7.6%) in March 2021. Our study provides further support for the use of LCA in upcoming public health crises, epidemics, and pandemics when a gold standard assay may not be available or identifiable. IMPORTANCE Here, we describe an approach to estimating seroprevalence in a low prevalence setting when multiple assays are available and yet no known gold standard exists. Because serological studies identify cases through both diagnostic testing and surveillance, and otherwise silent, unrecognized infections, serological data can be used to estimate the true infection fatality ratio of a disease. However, seroprevalence studies rely on assays with imperfect sensitivity and specificity. Seroreversion (loss of antibody response) also occurs over time, and with the advent of vaccination, distinction of antibody response resulting from vaccination as opposed to antibody response due to infection has posed an additional challenge. Our approach indicates that seroprevalence on Canadian blood donors by the end of March 2021was less than 10%. Our study supports the use of latent class analysis in upcoming public health crises, epidemics, and pandemics when a gold standard assay may not be available or identifiable.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(2): e2146798, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694847

ABSTRACT

Importance: The incidence of infection during SARS-CoV-2 viral waves, the factors associated with infection, and the durability of antibody responses to infection among Canadian adults remain undocumented. Objective: To assess the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first 2 viral waves in Canada by measuring seropositivity among adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Action to Beat Coronavirus study conducted 2 rounds of an online survey about COVID-19 experience and analyzed immunoglobulin G levels based on participant-collected dried blood spots (DBS) to assess the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first and second viral waves in Canada. A sample of 19 994 Canadian adults (aged ≥18 years) was recruited from established members of the Angus Reid Forum, a public polling organization. The study comprised 2 phases (phase 1 from May 1 to September 30, 2020, and phase 2 from December 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021) that generally corresponded to the first (April 1 to July 31, 2020) and second (October 1, 2020, to March 1, 2021) viral waves. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G seropositivity (using a chemiluminescence assay) by major geographic and demographic variables and correlation with COVID-19 symptom reporting. Results: Among 19 994 adults who completed the online questionnaire in phase 1, the mean (SD) age was 50.9 (15.4) years, and 10 522 participants (51.9%) were female; 2948 participants (14.5%) had self-identified racial and ethnic minority group status, and 1578 participants (8.2%) were self-identified Indigenous Canadians. Among participants in phase 1, 8967 had DBS testing. In phase 2, 14 621 adults completed online questionnaires, and 7102 of those had DBS testing. Of 19 994 adults who completed the online survey in phase 1, fewer had an educational level of some college or less (4747 individuals [33.1%]) compared with the general population in Canada (45.0%). Survey respondents were otherwise representative of the general population, including in prevalence of known risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among unvaccinated adults increased from 1.9% in phase 1 to 6.5% in phase 2. The seropositivity pattern was demographically and geographically heterogeneous during phase 1 but more homogeneous by phase 2 (with a cumulative incidence ranging from 6.4% to 7.0% in most regions). The exception was the Atlantic region, in which cumulative incidence reached only 3.3% (odds ratio [OR] vs Ontario, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.21-1.02). A total of 47 of 188 adults (25.3%) reporting COVID-19 symptoms during phase 2 were seropositive, and the OR of seropositivity for COVID-19 symptoms was 6.15 (95% CI, 2.02-18.69). In phase 2, 94 of 444 seropositive adults (22.2%) reported having no symptoms. Of 134 seropositive adults in phase 1 who were retested in phase 2, 111 individuals (81.8%) remained seropositive. Participants who had a history of diabetes (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.38-0.90) had lower odds of having detectable antibodies in phase 2. Conclusions and Relevance: The Action to Beat Coronavirus study found that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Canada was modest until March 2021, and this incidence was lower than the levels of population immunity required to substantially reduce transmission of the virus. Ongoing vaccination efforts remain central to reducing viral transmission and mortality. Assessment of future infection-induced and vaccine-induced immunity is practicable through the use of serial online surveys and participant-collected DBS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0226221, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691401

ABSTRACT

This study attempted to understand the levels of neutralizing titers and the breadth of antibody protection against wild-type and variant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Canadian blood donors during the first 3 months of 2021. During this period, it is unlikely that many of the blood donors had received a second dose, since vaccine rollout had not yet ramped up, and less than 2% of the Canadian population had received a second dose of vaccine. A repeated cross-sectional design was used. A random cross-sectional sampling of all available Canadian Blood Services retention samples (n = 1,500/month) was drawn monthly for January, February, and March 2021. A tiered testing approach analyzed 4,500 Canadian blood donor specimens for potential evidence of a signal for anti-spike (anti-S), anti-receptor-binding domain (anti-RBD), and anti-nucleocapsid protein (anti-N). Specimens were stratified based on donor-declared vaccination history and then stratified on the presence or absence of anti-N as follows: (i) "vaccinated plus anti-N" (n = 5), (ii) "vaccinated and no anti-N" (n = 20), (iii) "unvaccinated plus anti-N" (n = 20), and (iv) "unvaccinated and no anti-N" (n = 20). Randomized specimens were then characterized for neutralizing capacity against wild-type as well as SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) (Alpha [B.1.1.7], Beta [B.1.351], Gamma [P.1], and Delta [B.1.617.2]) using S-pseudotyped virus-like particle (VLP) neutralization assays. There was no neutralizing capacity against wild-type and VOC VLPs within the "no vaccine and no anti-N" group. Neutralization of Beta VLPs was less than wild-type VLPs within "vaccinated plus anti-N," "vaccinated and no anti-N", and "unvaccinated plus anti-N" groups. IMPORTANCE In the first 3 months of 2021 as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination was in the initial stages of a mass rollout, Canadian blood donors had various levels of humoral protection against wild-type and variant of concern (VOC) SARS-CoV-2. Very few Canadians would have received a second dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. In this study, we identified elevated levels of neutralizing capacity, albeit with reduced neutralization capacity against one or more SARS-CoV-2 strains (wild type and VOCs) in vaccinated blood donors. This broad neutralizing response we present regardless of evidence of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Neutralizing capacity against wild type and VOCs varied significantly within the unvaccinated group, with one subset of unvaccinated plasma specimens (unvaccinated and no anti-N) having no measurable wild type- nor variant-neutralizing capacity. The study is important because it indicates that vaccination can be associated with a broad neutralizing antibody capacity of donor plasma against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Young Adult
15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322524

ABSTRACT

Background: The prevalence of infection in Canada’s COVID-19 viral waves, the predictors of infection, and the durability of antibody responses to infection remain undocumented.Methods: We organized serial online surveys of a representative group of Canadian adults about their COVID experience in the first (n=19 994;April-July 2020) and second viral wave (n=14 621;October 2020-March 2021). We paired these with IgG analysis of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in self-collected dried blood spots after the first (n=8967) and second (n=7102) waves.Findings: Canada’s cumulative seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among unvaccinated adults rose from ~2% after the first wave to 7% after the second. The seropositivity pattern was heterogeneous demographically and geographically during the first wave, but more homogeneous by the second (except in the four Atlantic Provinces, cumulative seroprevalence ~3%). Seroprevalence among visible minorities rose sharply from about 2% to >8% from the first to second wave. About a quarter of those reporting COVID symptoms during the second wave were seropositive, and in both waves the odds ratio (OR) of seropositivity for COVID symptoms exceeded six. About one-fifth of seropositives reported no symptoms. Of 134 seropositive adults in the first wave who were retested after the second, 83% (111) remained seropositive at least seven months later. Current smokers and people with a history of diabetes had lower ORs of infection. We calculated the absolute numbers of seropositive adults nationwide, which nearly quadrupled from 0.57 million to 1.90 million, with the largest increases among older adults. Infection fatality rates fell from 3.7 to 2.6/1000 infections, most notably at older ages.Interpretation: Canada’s COVID pandemic grew substantially between the first and second viral waves. Home-based DBS collection offers a practicable way to document evolving demographic and geographic patterns and to assess the levels and durability of population immunity, including from SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.Funding: Pfizer Global Medical, Unity Health Foundation, and the Canadian COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. Declaration of Interest: None to declare. Ethical Approval: The Ab-C study was approved by the Unity Health Toronto Ethics Review Board.

16.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314169

ABSTRACT

The world is facing a major health crisis, the global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, for which no approved antiviral agents or vaccines are currently available. Here we describe a collection of codon-optimized coding sequences for SARS-CoV-2 cloned into Gateway-compatible entry vectors, which enable rapid transfer into a variety of expression and tagging vectors. The collection is freely available via Addgene. We hope that widespread availability of this SARS-CoV-2 resource will enable many subsequent molecular studies to better understand the viral life cycle and how to block it.

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308460

ABSTRACT

The true severity of infection due to COVID-19 is under-represented because it is based on only those who are tested. Although nucleic acid amplifications tests (NAAT) are the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, serological assays provide better population-level SARS-CoV-2 prevalence estimates. Implementing large sero-surveys present several logistical challenges within Canada due its unique geography including rural and remote communities. Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling is a practical solution but comparative performance data on SARS-CoV-2 serological tests using DBS is currently lacking. Here we present test performance data from a well-characterized SARS-CoV-2 DBS panel sent to laboratories across Canada representing 10 commercial and 2 in-house developed tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Three commercial assays identified all positive and negative DBS correctly corresponding to a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 100% (95% CI = 72.2, 100). Two in-house assays also performed equally well. In contrast, several commercial assays could not achieve a sensitivity greater than 40% or a negative predictive value greater than 60%. Our findings represent the foundation for future validation studies on DBS specimens that will play a central role in strengthening Canada’s public health policy in response to COVID-19.

18.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306032

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the` immediate need for the development of antiviral therapeutics targeting different stages of the SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle. We developed a bioluminescence-based biosensor to interrogate the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein and its host entry receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The biosensor assay is based on a Nanoluciferase complementation reporter, composed of two subunits, Large BiT and Small BiT, fused to the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein and ACE2 ectodomain, respectively. Using this biosensor, we uncovered a critical role for glycosylation of asparagine residues within the RBD in mediating successful binding to the cellular ACE2 receptor and subsequent virus infection. Our findings support RBD glycosylation as a therapeutic and vaccine target to blunt SARSCoV- 2 infections.

19.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327589

ABSTRACT

Background To partially immunize more persons against COVID-19 during a time of limited vaccine availability, Canadian public health officials recommended extending the vaccine dose interval and brand mixing. Impact on the antibody response among the older ambulatory population was unclear. Methods Decentralized prospective cohort study with self-report of adverse events and collection of dried blood spots. Data is presented for 1193 (93%) of the 911 older (aged >70 years) and 375 younger (30-50 years) recruits. Findings Local and systemic reactivity rates were high but short-lived, particularly in the younger cohort and with mRNA-1273 vaccine. After a single COVID-19 vaccine, 84% younger but only 46% older participants had positive IgG antibodies to both spike protein and receptor binding domain (RBD) antigens, increasing to 100/98% with the second dose respectively. In multivariable linear regression model, lower normalized IgG RBD antibody ratios two weeks after the second dose were statistically associated with older age, male gender, cancer diagnosis, lower body weight, BNT162b2 relative to mRNA-1273 and longer dose intervals. Antibody ratios in both cohorts declined 12 weeks post second vaccine dose. Interpretation We report success of a decentralized serology study. Antibody responses were higher in the younger than older cohort and were greater for those with at least one mRNA-1273 dose. The immunity threshold is unknown but correlations between binding and neutralizing antibodies are strongly positive. Trends with time and at breakthrough infection will inform vaccine booster strategies. Funding Supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the University Health Network Foundation.

20.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327181

ABSTRACT

Background: Limited information is available on the impact of immunosuppressants on COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). This study investigated antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in IMID patients undergoing immunomodulatory maintenance therapy. Methods This observational cohort study examined the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic disease, with or without maintenance immunosuppressive therapies. T cell and antibody responses to SARS-COV-2, including neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 variants were determined pre-vaccination and after 1 and 2 vaccine doses. Findings We prospectively followed 150 subjects, 26 healthy controls, 9 IMID patients on no treatment, 44 on anti-TNF, 16 on anti-TNF with methotrexate/azathioprine (MTX/AZA), 10 on anti-IL-23, 28 on anti-IL-12/23, 9 on anti-IL-17, and 8 on MTX/AZA. Most patients showed increased antibody responses from dose 1 to dose 2, with decreases apparent by 3 months post dose 2, albeit with considerable variability within groups. Overall, T cell responses were not consistently different between groups;however, antibody levels and neutralization efficacy in the anti-TNF treated group was lower than controls and waned substantially by 3 months post-dose 2. Implications These findings support the need for a third dose of mRNA vaccine and for continued monitoring of immunity over time.

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