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BMC Med ; 20(1): 128, 2022 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765453


BACKGROUND: Binding and neutralising anti-Spike antibodies play a key role in immune defence against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since it is known that antibodies wane with time and new immune-evasive variants are emerging, we aimed to assess the dynamics of anti-Spike antibodies in an African adult population with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and to determine the effect of subsequent COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: Using a prospective cohort design, we recruited adults with prior laboratory-confirmed mild/moderate COVID-19 in Blantyre, Malawi, and followed them up for 270 days (n = 52). A subset of whom subsequently received a single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx nCov-19) (n = 12). We measured the serum concentrations of anti-Spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG antibodies using a Luminex-based assay. Anti-RBD antibody cross-reactivity across SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) was measured using a haemagglutination test. A pseudovirus neutralisation assay was used to measure neutralisation titres across VOCs. Ordinary or repeated measures one-way ANOVA was used to compare log10 transformed data, with p value adjusted for multiple comparison using Sídák's or Holm-Sídák's test. RESULTS: We show that neutralising antibodies wane within 6 months post mild/moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection (30-60 days vs. 210-270 days; Log ID50 6.8 vs. 5.3, p = 0.0093). High levels of binding anti-Spike or anti-RBD antibodies in convalescent serum were associated with potent neutralisation activity against the homologous infecting strain (p < 0.0001). A single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following mild/moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection induced a 2 to 3-fold increase in anti-Spike and -RBD IgG levels 30 days post-vaccination (both, p < 0.0001). The anti-RBD IgG antibodies from these vaccinated individuals were broadly cross-reactive against multiple VOCs and had neutralisation potency against original D614G, beta, and delta variants. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is an effective booster for waning cross-variant antibody immunity after initial priming with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The potency of hybrid immunity and its potential to maximise the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines needs to be taken into consideration when formulating vaccination policies in sub-Saharan Africa, where there is still limited access to vaccine doses.

COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines/pharmacology
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1511(1): 59-86, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625044


The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines was the result of decades of research to establish flexible vaccine platforms and understand pathogens with pandemic potential, as well as several novel changes to the vaccine discovery and development processes that partnered industry and governments. And while vaccines offer the potential to drastically improve global health, low-and-middle-income countries around the world often experience reduced access to vaccines and reduced vaccine efficacy. Addressing these issues will require novel vaccine approaches and platforms, deeper insight how vaccines mediate protection, and innovative trial designs and models. On June 28-30, 2021, experts in vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and deployment met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium "Innovative Vaccine Approaches" to discuss advances in vaccine research and development.

COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Vaccines/therapeutic use
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3554, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265949


Although the COVID-19 pandemic has left no country untouched there has been limited research to understand clinical and immunological responses in African populations. Here we characterise patients hospitalised with suspected (PCR-negative/IgG-positive) or confirmed (PCR-positive) COVID-19, and healthy community controls (PCR-negative/IgG-negative). PCR-positive COVID-19 participants were more likely to receive dexamethasone and a beta-lactam antibiotic, and survive to hospital discharge than PCR-negative/IgG-positive and PCR-negative/IgG-negative participants. PCR-negative/IgG-positive participants exhibited a nasal and systemic cytokine signature analogous to PCR-positive COVID-19 participants, predominated by chemokines and neutrophils and distinct from PCR-negative/IgG-negative participants. PCR-negative/IgG-positive participants had increased propensity for Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae colonisation. PCR-negative/IgG-positive individuals with high COVID-19 clinical suspicion had inflammatory profiles analogous to PCR-confirmed disease and potentially represent a target population for COVID-19 treatment strategies.

COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Antibodies/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification