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1.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21256823

ABSTRACT

Assessment of the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies is essential to predict protection against reinfection and durability of vaccine protection. Here, we longitudinally measured Spike (S) and Nucleocapsid (N)-specific antibodies in 1,309 healthcare workers (HCW) including 393 convalescent COVID-19 and 916 COVID-19 negative HCW up to 405 days. From M1 to M7-9 after infection, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies decreased moderately in convalescent HCW in a biphasic model, with men showing a slower decay of anti-N (p=0.02), and a faster decay of anti-S (p=0.0008) than women. At M11-13, anti-N antibodies dramatically decreased (half-life: 210 days) while anti-S stabilized (half-life: 630 days) at a median of 2.41 log Arbitrary Units (AU)/mL (Interquartile Range (IQR): 2.11 -2.75). One case of reinfection was recorded in convalescent HCW (0.47 per 100 person-years) versus 50 in COVID-19 negative HCW (10.11 per 100 person-years). Correlation with live-virus neutralization assay revealed that variants D614G and B.1.1.7, but not B.1.351, were sensitive to anti-S antibodies at 2.3 log AU/mL, while IgG [≥] 3 log AU/mL neutralized all three variants. After SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, anti-S levels reached 4 logs regardless of pre-vaccination IgG levels, type of vaccine, and number of doses. Our study demonstrates a long-term persistence of anti-S IgG antibodies that may protect against reinfection. By significantly increasing cross-neutralizing antibody titers, a single-dose vaccination strengthens protection against escape mutants.

2.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21252532

ABSTRACT

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces a complex antibody response that varies by orders of magnitude between individuals and over time. Waning antibody levels lead to reduced sensitivity of serological diagnostic tests over time. This undermines the utility of serological surveillance as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic progresses into its second year. Here we develop a multiplex serological test for measuring antibodies of three isotypes (IgG, IgM, IgA) to five SARS-CoV-2 antigens (Spike (S), receptor binding domain (RBD), Nucleocapsid (N), Spike subunit 2, Membrane-Envelope fusion) and the Spike proteins of four seasonal coronaviruses. We measure antibody responses in several cohorts of French and Irish hospitalized patients and healthcare workers followed for up to eleven months after symptom onset. The data are analysed with a mathematical model of antibody kinetics to quantify the duration of antibody responses accounting for inter-individual variation. One year after symptoms, we estimate that 36% (95% range: 11%, 94%) of anti-S IgG remains, 31% (9%, 89%) anti-RBD IgG remains, and 7% (1%, 31%) anti-N IgG remains. Antibodies of the IgM isotype waned more rapidly, with 9% (2%, 32%) anti-RBD IgM remaining after one year. Antibodies of the IgA isotype also waned rapidly, with 10% (3%, 38%) anti-RBD IgA remaining after one year. Quantitative measurements of antibody responses were used to train machine learning algorithms for classification of previous infection and estimation of time since infection. The resulting diagnostic test classified previous infections with 99% specificity and 98% (95% confidence interval: 94%, 99%) sensitivity, with no evidence for declining sensitivity over the time scale considered. The diagnostic test also provided accurate classification of time since infection into intervals of 0 - 3 months, 3 - 6 months, and 6 - 12 months. Finally, we present a computational method for serological reconstruction of past SARS-CoV-2 transmission using the data from this test when applied to samples from a single cross-sectional sero-prevalence survey.

3.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-430472

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants emerged respectively in United Kingdom and South Africa and spread in many countries. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains and examined their sensitivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies present in sera and nasal swabs, in comparison with a D614G reference virus. We established a novel rapid neutralization assay, based on reporter cells that become GFP+ after overnight infection. B.1.1.7 was neutralized by 79/83 sera from convalescent patients collected up to 9 months post symptoms, almost similar to D614G. There was a mean 6-fold reduction in titers and even loss of activity against B.1.351 in 40% of convalescent sera after 9 months. Early sera from 19 vaccinated individuals were almost as potent against B.1.1.7 but less efficacious against B.1.351, when compared to D614G. Nasal swabs from vaccine recipients were not neutralizing, except in individuals who were diagnosed COVID-19+ before vaccination. Thus, faster-spreading variants acquired a partial resistance to humoral immunity generated by natural infection or vaccination, mostly visible in individuals with low antibody levels.

4.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20230466

ABSTRACT

The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 humoral response in infected individuals remains poorly characterized. Here, we performed a longitudinal study of sera from 308 RT-qPCR+ individuals with mild disease, collected at two time-points, up to 6 months post-onset of symptoms (POS). We performed two anti-S and one anti-N serology assays and quantified neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). At month 1 (M1), males, individuals > 50 years of age or with a body mass index (BMI) > 25 exhibited higher levels of antibodies. Antibody levels decreased over time. At M3-6, anti-S antibodies persisted in 99% of individuals while anti-N IgG were measurable in only 59% of individuals. The decline in anti-S and NAbs was faster in males than in females, independently of age and BMI. Our results show that some serology tests are less reliable overtime and suggest that the duration of protection after SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination will be different in women and men.

5.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-156166

ABSTRACT

Rapid and accurate diagnosis is crucial for successful outbreak containment. During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, the gold standard for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection diagnosis is the detection of viral RNA by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. Additional diagnostic methods enabling the detection of current or past SARS-CoV-2 infection would be highly beneficial to ensure the timely diagnosis of all infected and recovered patients. Here, we investigated several serological tools, i.e., two immunochromatographic lateral flow assays (LFA-1 (Biosynex COVID-19 BSS) and LFA-2 (COVID-19 Sign IgM/IgG)) and two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) detecting IgA (ELISA-1 Euroimmun), IgM (ELISA-2 EDI) and/or IgG (ELISA-1 and ELISA-2) based on well-characterized panels of serum samples from patients and healthcare workers with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 and from SARS-CoV-2-negative patients. A total of 272 serum samples were used, including 62 serum samples from hospitalized patients (panel 1 and panel 3), 143 serum samples from healthcare workers (panel 2) diagnosed with COVID-19 and 67 serum samples from negative controls. Diagnostic performances of each assay were assessed according to days after symptom onset (dso) and the antigenic format used by manufacturers. We found overall sensitivities ranging from 69% to 93% on panels 1 and 2 and specificities ranging from 83% to 98%. The clinical sensitivity varied greatly according to the panel tested and the dso. The assays we tested showed poor mutual agreement. A thorough selection of serological assays for the detection of ongoing or past infections is advisable.

6.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20101832

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe serologic response of individuals with mild forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection is poorly characterized. MethodsHospital 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. ResultsOf 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). ConclusionAntibodies 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.

7.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20093963

ABSTRACT

BackgroundInfection with SARS-CoV-2 induces an antibody response targeting multiple antigens that changes over time. This complexity presents challenges and opportunities for serological diagnostics. MethodsA multiplex serological assay was developed to measure IgG and IgM antibody responses to seven SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleoprotein antigens, two antigens for the nucleoproteins of the 229E and NL63 seasonal coronaviruses, and three non-coronavirus antigens. Antibodies were measured in serum samples from patients in French hospitals with RT-qPCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 259), and negative control serum samples collected before the start of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic (n = 335). A random forests algorithm was trained with the multiplex data to classify individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. A mathematical model of antibody kinetics informed by prior information from other coronaviruses was used to estimate time-varying antibody responses and assess the potential sensitivity and classification performance of serological diagnostics during the first year following symptom onset. A statistical estimator is presented that can provide estimates of seroprevalence in very low transmission settings. ResultsIgG antibody responses to trimeric Spike protein identified individuals with previous RT-qPCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection with 91.6% sensitivity (95% confidence interval (CI); 87.5%, 94.5%) and 99.1% specificity (95% CI; 97.4%, 99.7%). Using a serological signature of IgG and IgM to multiple antigens, it was possible to identify infected individuals with 98.8% sensitivity (95% CI; 96.5%, 99.6%) and 99.3% specificity (95% CI; 97.6%, 99.8%). Informed by prior data from other coronaviruses, we estimate that one year following infection a monoplex assay with optimal anti-Stri IgG cutoff has 88.7% sensitivity (95% CI: 63.4%, 97.4%), and that a multiplex assay can increase sensitivity to 96.4% (95% CI: 80.9%, 100.0%). When applied to population-level serological surveys, statistical analysis of multiplex data allows estimation of seroprevalence levels less than 1%, below the false positivity rate of many other assays. ConclusionSerological signatures based on antibody responses to multiple antigens can provide accurate and robust serological classification of individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. This provides potential solutions to two pressing challenges for SARS-CoV-2 serological surveillance: classifying individuals who were infected greater than six months ago, and measuring seroprevalence in serological surveys in very low transmission settings.

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