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1.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295788

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 is characterized by lung abnormalities, including the presence of syncytial pneumocytes. Syncytia form when SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expressed on the surface of infected cells interacts with the ACE2 receptor on neighbouring cells. The syncytia forming potential of spike variant proteins remain poorly characterized. Here, we first assessed Alpha and Beta spread and fusion in cell cultures. Alpha and Beta replicated similarly to D614G reference strain in Vero, Caco-2, Calu-3 and primary airway cells. However, Alpha and Beta formed larger and more numerous syncytia. Alpha, Beta and D614G fusion was similarly inhibited by interferon induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs). Individual mutations present in Alpha and Beta spikes differentially modified fusogenicity, binding to ACE2 and recognition by monoclonal antibodies. We further show that Delta spike also triggers faster fusion relative to D614G. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 emerging variants display enhanced syncytia formation. Synopsis The Spike protein of the novel SARS-CoV-2 variants are comparative more fusogenic than the earlier strains. The mutations in the variant spike protein differential modulate syncytia formation, ACE2 binding, and antibody escape. The spike protein of Alpha, Beta and Delta, in the absence of other viral proteins, induce more syncytia than D614G The ACE2 affinity of the variant spike proteins correlates to their fusogenicity Variant associated mutations P681H, D1118H, and D215G augment cell-cell fusion, while antibody escape mutation E484K, K417N and Δ242-244 hamper it. Variant spike-mediated syncytia formation is effectively restricted by IFITMs

2.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103637, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471944

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant shedding and immune responses at the nasal mucosa remain poorly characterised. METHODS: We measured infectious viral release, antibodies and cytokines in 426 PCR+ nasopharyngeal swabs from individuals harboring non-alpha or alpha variants. FINDINGS: With both lineages, viral titers were variable, ranging from 0 to >106 infectious units. Rapid antigenic diagnostic tests were positive in 94% of samples with infectious virus. 68 % of individuals carried infectious virus within two days after onset of symptoms. This proportion decreased overtime. Viable virus was detected up to 14 days. Samples containing anti-spike IgG or IgA did not generally harbor infectious virus. Ct values were slightly but not significantly lower with alpha. This variant was characterized by a fast decrease of infectivity overtime and a marked release of 13 cytokines (including IFN-b, IP-10 and IL-10). INTERPRETATION: The alpha variant displays modified viral decay and cytokine profiles at the nasopharyngeal mucosae during symptomatic infection. FUNDING: This retrospective study has been funded by Institut Pasteur, ANRS, Vaccine Research Institute, Labex IBEID, ANR/FRM and IDISCOVR, Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale.

3.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 983-988, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455308

ABSTRACT

We measured anti-spike (S), nucleoprotein (N), and neutralizing antibodies in sera from 308 healthcare workers with a positive reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction result for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and with mild disease, collected at 2 timepoints up to 6 months after symptom onset. At month 1, anti-S and -N antibody levels were higher in male participants aged >50 years and participants with a body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2. At months 3-6, anti-S and anti-N antibodies were detected in 99% and 59% of individuals, respectively. Anti-S antibodies and neutralizing antibodies declined faster in men than in women, independent of age and BMI, suggesting an association of sex with evolution of the humoral response.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Sex Characteristics , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Female , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
EMBO J ; : e108944, 2021 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444546

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 is characterized by lung abnormalities, including the presence of syncytial pneumocytes. Syncytia form when SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expressed on the surface of infected cells interacts with the ACE2 receptor on neighboring cells. The syncytia forming potential of spike variant proteins remain poorly characterized. Here, we first assessed Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) spread and fusion in cell cultures, compared with the ancestral D614G strain. Alpha and Beta replicated similarly to D614G strain in Vero, Caco-2, Calu-3, and primary airway cells. However, Alpha and Beta formed larger and more numerous syncytia. Variant spike proteins displayed higher ACE2 affinity compared with D614G. Alpha, Beta, and D614G fusion was similarly inhibited by interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs). Individual mutations present in Alpha and Beta spikes modified fusogenicity, binding to ACE2 or recognition by monoclonal antibodies. We further show that Delta spike also triggers faster fusion relative to D614G. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 emerging variants display enhanced syncytia formation.

5.
Med (N Y) ; 2(9): 1072-1092.e7, 2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404796

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in children is generally milder than in adults, but a proportion of cases result in hyperinflammatory conditions often including myocarditis. Methods: To better understand these cases, we applied a multiparametric approach to the study of blood cells of 56 children hospitalized with suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Plasma cytokine and chemokine levels and blood cellular composition were measured, alongside gene expression at the bulk and single-cell levels. Findings: The most severe forms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) related to SARS-CoV-2 that resulted in myocarditis were characterized by elevated levels of pro-angiogenesis cytokines and several chemokines. Single-cell transcriptomics analyses identified a unique monocyte/dendritic cell gene signature that correlated with the occurrence of severe myocarditis characterized by sustained nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activity and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) signaling and associated with decreased gene expression of NF-κB inhibitors. We also found a weak response to type I and type II interferons, hyperinflammation, and response to oxidative stress related to increased HIF-1α and Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling. Conclusions: These results provide potential for a better understanding of disease pathophysiology. Funding: Agence National de la Recherche (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Imagine, grant ANR-10-IAHU-01; Recherche Hospitalo-Universitaire, grant ANR-18-RHUS-0010; Laboratoire d'Excellence ''Milieu Intérieur," grant ANR-10-LABX-69-01; ANR-flash Covid19 "AIROCovid" and "CoVarImm"), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), and the "URGENCE COVID-19" fundraising campaign of Institut Pasteur.

6.
Nat Immunol ; 22(11): 1428-1439, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392873

ABSTRACT

Coordinated local mucosal and systemic immune responses following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection either protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathologies or fail, leading to severe clinical outcomes. To understand this process, we performed an integrated analysis of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific antibodies, cytokines, viral load and bacterial communities in paired nasopharyngeal swabs and plasma samples from a cohort of clinically distinct patients with COVID-19 during acute infection. Plasma viral load was associated with systemic inflammatory cytokines that were elevated in severe COVID-19, and also with spike-specific neutralizing antibodies. By contrast, nasopharyngeal viral load correlated with SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses but inversely with interferon responses, the latter associating with protective microbial communities. Potential pathogenic microorganisms, often implicated in secondary respiratory infections, were associated with mucosal inflammation and elevated in severe COVID-19. Our results demonstrate distinct tissue compartmentalization of SARS-CoV-2 immune responses and highlight a role for the nasopharyngeal microbiome in regulating local and systemic immunity that determines COVID-19 clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Microbiota/immunology , Nasopharynx/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunity, Mucosal , Interferons/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/microbiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load , Young Adult
7.
Sci Adv ; 7(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365116

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, yet the role of antiviral T cell immunity during infection and the contribution of immune checkpoints remain unclear. By prospectively following a cohort of 292 patients with melanoma, half of which treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), we identified 15 patients with acute or convalescent COVID-19 and investigated their transcriptomic, proteomic, and cellular profiles. We found that ICI treatment was not associated with severe COVID-19 and did not alter the induction of inflammatory and type I interferon responses. In-depth phenotyping demonstrated expansion of CD8 effector memory T cells, enhanced T cell activation, and impaired plasmablast induction in ICI-treated COVID-19 patients. The evaluation of specific adaptive immunity in convalescent patients showed higher spike (S), nucleoprotein (N), and membrane (M) antigen-specific T cell responses and similar induction of spike-specific antibody responses. Our findings provide evidence that ICI during COVID-19 enhanced T cell immunity without exacerbating inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/immunology , Melanoma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/drug effects , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Immunologic Memory/drug effects , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/drug effects , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Melanoma/complications , Melanoma/drug therapy , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/virology
8.
Neuroepidemiology ; 55(5): 381-386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290486

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Olfactory and taste disorders (OTDs) have been reported in COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the mechanisms of which remain unclear. We conducted a detailed analysis of OTDs as part of 2 seroepidemiological investigations of COVID-19 outbreaks. METHODS: Two retrospective cohort studies were conducted in a high school and primary schools of Northern France following a COVID-19 epidemic in February-March 2020. Students, their relatives, and school staff were included. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were identified using a flow-cytometry-based assay detecting anti-S IgG. RESULTS: Among 2,004 participants (median [IQR] age: 31 [11-43] years), 303 (15.2%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. OTDs were present in 91 (30.0%) and 92 (30.3%) of them, respectively, and had 85.1 and 78.0% positive predictive values for SARS-CoV-2 infection, respectively. In seropositive participants, OTDs were independently associated with an age above 18 years, female gender, fatigue, and headache. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the higher frequency of OTDs in females than males and adults than children. Their high predictive value for the diagnosis of COVID-19 suggests that they should be systematically searched for in patients with respiratory symptoms, fever, or headache. The association of OTDs with headache, not previously reported, suggests that they share a common mechanism, which deserves further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Taste Disorders/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Child , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Young Adult
9.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(5): 100275, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193507

ABSTRACT

Many SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals remain asymptomatic. Little is known about the extent and quality of their antiviral humoral response. Here, we analyze antibody functions in 52 asymptomatic infected individuals, 119 mildly symptomatic, and 21 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We measure anti-spike immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, and IgM levels with the S-Flow assay and map IgG-targeted epitopes with a Luminex assay. We also evaluate neutralization, complement deposition, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) using replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 or reporter cell systems. We show that COVID-19 sera mediate complement deposition and kill infected cells by ADCC. Sera from asymptomatic individuals neutralize the virus, activate ADCC, and trigger complement deposition. Antibody levels and functions are lower in asymptomatic individuals than they are in symptomatic cases. Antibody functions are correlated, regardless of disease severity. Longitudinal samplings show that antibody functions follow similar kinetics of induction and contraction. Overall, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits polyfunctional antibodies neutralizing the virus and targeting infected cells.

10.
Euro Surveill ; 26(15)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190261

ABSTRACT

BackgroundChildren's role in SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology remains unclear. We investigated an initially unnoticed SARS-CoV-2 outbreak linked to schools in northern France, beginning as early as mid-January 2020.AimsThis retrospective observational study documents the extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, linked to an affected high school (n = 664 participants) and primary schools (n = 1,340 study participants), in the context of unsuspected SARS-CoV-2 circulation and limited control measures.MethodsBetween 30 March and 30 April 2020, all school staff, as well as pupils and their parents and relatives were invited for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing and to complete a questionnaire covering symptom history since 13 January 2020.ResultsIn the high school, infection attack rates were 38.1% (91/239), 43.4% (23/53), and 59.3% (16/27), in pupils, teachers, and non-teaching staff respectively vs 10.1% (23/228) and 12.0% (14/117) in the pupils' parents and relatives (p < 0.001). Among the six primary schools, three children attending separate schools at the outbreak start, while symptomatic, might have introduced SARS-CoV-2 there, but symptomatic secondary cases related to them could not be definitely identified. In the primary schools overall, antibody prevalence in pupils sharing classes with symptomatic cases was higher than in pupils from other classes: 15/65 (23.1%) vs 30/445 (6.7%) (p < 0.001). Among 46 SARS-CoV-2 seropositive pupils < 12 years old, 20 were asymptomatic. Whether past HKU1 and OC43 seasonal coronavirus infection protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection in 6-11 year olds could not be inferred.ConclusionsViral circulation can occur in high and primary schools so keeping them open requires consideration of appropriate control measures and enhanced surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Cohort Studies , France/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
11.
Nat Med ; 27(5): 917-924, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152868

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively, and have since spread to many countries. These variants harboring diverse mutations in the gene encoding the spike protein raise important concerns about their immune evasion potential. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains from acutely infected individuals. We examined sensitivity of the two variants to SARS-CoV-2 antibodies present in sera and nasal swabs from individuals infected with previously circulating strains or who were recently vaccinated, in comparison with a D614G reference virus. We utilized a new rapid neutralization assay, based on reporter cells that become positive for GFP after overnight infection. Sera from 58 convalescent individuals collected up to 9 months after symptoms, similarly neutralized B.1.1.7 and D614G. In contrast, after 9 months, convalescent sera had a mean sixfold reduction in neutralizing titers, and 40% of the samples lacked any activity against B.1.351. Sera from 19 individuals vaccinated twice with Pfizer Cominarty, longitudinally tested up to 6 weeks after vaccination, were similarly potent against B.1.1.7 but less efficacious against B.1.351, when compared to D614G. Neutralizing titers increased after the second vaccine dose, but remained 14-fold lower against B.1.351. In contrast, sera from convalescent or vaccinated individuals similarly bound the three spike proteins in a flow cytometry-based serological assay. Neutralizing antibodies were rarely detected in nasal swabs from vaccinees. Thus, faster-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants acquired a partial resistance to neutralizing antibodies generated by natural infection or vaccination, which was most frequently detected in individuals with low antibody levels. Our results indicate that B1.351, but not B.1.1.7, may increase the risk of infection in immunized individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Convalescence , Cross Reactions , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity , Vaccination
12.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(559)2020 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724557

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their differing antibody response profiles. Here, we performed a pilot study of four serological assays to assess the amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples obtained from 491 healthy individuals before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 51 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 209 suspected cases of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, and 200 healthy blood donors. We used two ELISA assays that recognized the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric spike (S) protein ectodomain of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we developed the S-Flow assay that recognized the S protein expressed at the cell surface using flow cytometry, and the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay that recognized diverse SARS-CoV-2 antigens including the S1 domain and the carboxyl-terminal domain of N by immunoprecipitation. We obtained similar results with the four serological assays. Differences in sensitivity were attributed to the technique and the antigen used. High anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were associated with neutralization activity, which was assessed using infectious SARS-CoV-2 or lentiviral-S pseudotype virus. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, seroconversion and virus neutralization occurred between 5 and 14 days after symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 32% of mildly symptomatic individuals within 15 days of symptom onset and in 3% of healthy blood donors. The four antibody assays that we used enabled a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different subpopulations within one region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , France/epidemiology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Luciferases , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
13.
EBioMedicine ; 59: 102915, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691414

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The serologic response of individuals with mild forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection is poorly characterized. METHODS: Hospital staff who had recovered from mild forms of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using two assays: a rapid immunodiagnostic test (99.4% specificity) and the S-Flow assay (~99% specificity). The neutralizing activity of the sera was tested with a pseudovirus-based assay. FINDINGS: Of 162 hospital staff who participated in the investigation, 160 reported SARS-CoV-2 infection that had not required hospital admission and were included in these analyses. The median time from symptom onset to blood sample collection was 24 days (IQR: 21-28, range 13-39). The rapid immunodiagnostic test detected antibodies in 153 (95.6%) of the samples and the S-Flow assay in 159 (99.4%), failing to detect antibodies in one sample collected 18 days after symptom onset (the rapid test did not detect antibodies in that patient). Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) were detected in 79%, 92% and 98% of samples collected 13-20, 21-27 and 28-41 days after symptom onset, respectively (P = 0.02). INTERPRETATION: Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in virtually all hospital staff sampled from 13 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. This finding supports the use of serologic testing for the diagnosis of individuals who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The neutralizing activity of the antibodies increased overtime. Future studies will help assess the persistence of the humoral response and its associated neutralization capacity in recovered patients. FUNDINGS: The funders had no role in study design, data collection, interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , France , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests , Severity of Illness Index
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