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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(32): e2203760119, 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960625

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with enhanced transmissibility, pathogenesis, and resistance to vaccines presents urgent challenges for curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. While Spike mutations that enhance virus infectivity or neutralizing antibody evasion may drive the emergence of these novel variants, studies documenting a critical role for interferon responses in the early control of SARS-CoV-2 infection, combined with the presence of viral genes that limit these responses, suggest that interferons may also influence SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Here, we compared the potency of 17 different human interferons against multiple viral lineages sampled during the course of the global outbreak, including ancestral and five major variants of concern that include the B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), B.1.617.2 (delta), and B.1.1.529 (omicron) lineages. Our data reveal that relative to ancestral isolates, SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern exhibited increased interferon resistance, suggesting that evasion of innate immunity may be a significant, ongoing driving force for SARS-CoV-2 evolution. These findings have implications for the increased transmissibility and/or lethality of emerging variants and highlight the interferon subtypes that may be most successful in the treatment of early infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Interferons , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Interferons/pharmacology , Interferons/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
PLoS Pathogens ; 18(4), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1842599

ABSTRACT

Macaques are a commonly used model for studying immunity to human viruses, including for studies of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. However, it is unknown whether macaque antibody responses resemble the response in humans. To answer this question, we employed a phage-based deep mutational scanning approach (Phage-DMS) to compare which linear epitopes are targeted on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein in convalescent humans, convalescent (re-infected) rhesus macaques, mRNA-vaccinated humans, and repRNA-vaccinated pigtail macaques. We also used Phage-DMS to determine antibody escape pathways within each epitope, enabling a granular comparison of antibody binding specificities at the locus level. Overall, we identified some common epitope targets in both macaques and humans, including in the fusion peptide (FP) and stem helix-heptad repeat 2 (SH-H) regions. Differences between groups included a response to epitopes in the N-terminal domain (NTD) and C-terminal domain (CTD) in vaccinated humans but not vaccinated macaques, as well as recognition of a CTD epitope and epitopes flanking the FP in convalescent macaques but not convalescent humans. There was also considerable variability in the escape pathways among individuals within each group. Sera from convalescent macaques showed the least variability in escape overall and converged on a common response with vaccinated humans in the SH-H epitope region, suggesting highly similar antibodies were elicited. Collectively, these findings suggest that the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in macaques shares many features with humans, but with substantial differences in the recognition of certain epitopes and considerable individual variability in antibody escape profiles, suggesting a diverse repertoire of antibodies that can respond to major epitopes in both humans and macaques. Differences in macaque species and exposure type may also contribute to these findings.

3.
mBio ; 12(4): e0150321, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327616

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been associated with T cell lymphopenia, but no causal effect of T cell deficiency on disease severity has been established. To investigate the specific role of T cells in recovery from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, we studied rhesus macaques that were depleted of either CD4+, CD8+, or both T cell subsets prior to infection. Peak virus loads were similar in all groups, but the resolution of virus in the T cell-depleted animals was slightly delayed compared to that in controls. The T cell-depleted groups developed virus-neutralizing antibody responses and class switched to IgG. When reinfected 6 weeks later, the T cell-depleted animals showed anamnestic immune responses characterized by rapid induction of high-titer virus-neutralizing antibodies, faster control of virus loads, and reduced clinical signs. These results indicate that while T cells play a role in the recovery of rhesus macaques from acute SARS-CoV-2 infections, their depletion does not induce severe disease, and T cells do not account for the natural resistance of rhesus macaques to severe COVID-19. Neither primed CD4+ nor CD8+ T cells appeared critical for immunoglobulin class switching, the development of immunological memory, or protection from a second infection. IMPORTANCE Patients with severe COVID-19 often have decreased numbers of T cells, a cell type important in fighting most viral infections. However, it is not known whether the loss of T cells contributes to severe COVID-19 or is a consequence of it. We studied rhesus macaques, which develop only mild COVID-19, similar to most humans. Experimental depletion of T cells slightly prolonged their clearance of virus, but there was no increase in disease severity. Furthermore, they were able to develop protection from a second infection and produced antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus. They also developed immunological memory, which allows a much stronger and more rapid response upon a second infection. These results suggest that T cells are not critical for recovery from acute SARS-CoV-2 infections in this model and point toward B cell responses and antibodies as the essential mediators of protection from re-exposure.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphopenia/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Lymphocyte Depletion/methods , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male
4.
mBio ; 11(3)2020 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612678

ABSTRACT

It is well understood that the adaptive immune response to infectious agents includes a modulating suppressive component as well as an activating component. We now show that the very early innate response also has an immunosuppressive component. Infected cells upregulate the CD47 "don't eat me" signal, which slows the phagocytic uptake of dying and viable cells as well as downstream antigen-presenting cell (APC) functions. A CD47 mimic that acts as an essential virulence factor is encoded by all poxviruses, but CD47 expression on infected cells was found to be upregulated even by pathogens, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), that encode no mimic. CD47 upregulation was revealed to be a host response induced by the stimulation of both endosomal and cytosolic pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs). Furthermore, proinflammatory cytokines, including those found in the plasma of hepatitis C patients, upregulated CD47 on uninfected dendritic cells, thereby linking innate modulation with downstream adaptive immune responses. Indeed, results from antibody-mediated CD47 blockade experiments as well as CD47 knockout mice revealed an immunosuppressive role for CD47 during infections with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis Since CD47 blockade operates at the level of pattern recognition receptors rather than at a pathogen or antigen-specific level, these findings identify CD47 as a novel potential immunotherapeutic target for the enhancement of immune responses to a broad range of infectious agents.IMPORTANCE Immune responses to infectious agents are initiated when a pathogen or its components bind to pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). PRR binding sets off a cascade of events that activates immune responses. We now show that, in addition to activating immune responses, PRR signaling also initiates an immunosuppressive response, probably to limit inflammation. The importance of the current findings is that blockade of immunomodulatory signaling, which is mediated by the upregulation of the CD47 molecule, can lead to enhanced immune responses to any pathogen that triggers PRR signaling. Since most or all pathogens trigger PRRs, CD47 blockade could be used to speed up and strengthen both innate and adaptive immune responses when medically indicated. Such immunotherapy could be done without a requirement for knowing the HLA type of the individual, the specific antigens of the pathogen, or, in the case of bacterial infections, the antimicrobial resistance profile.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD47 Antigen/metabolism , Immunomodulation/immunology , Receptors, Pattern Recognition/immunology , A549 Cells , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Animals , CD47 Antigen/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus/immunology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation/immunology
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