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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 948431, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022730

ABSTRACT

Emergence of variants of concern (VOC) during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the decreased efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibody treatments for severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, the cost of creating these therapeutic treatments is high, making their implementation in low- to middle-income countries devastated by the pandemic very difficult. Here, we explored the use of polyclonal EpF(ab')2 antibodies generated through the immunization of horses with SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 RBD conjugated to HBsAg nanoparticles as a low-cost therapeutic treatment for severe cases of disease. We determined that the equine EpF(ab')2 bind RBD and neutralize ACE2 receptor binding by virus for all VOC strains tested except Omicron. Despite its relatively quick clearance from peripheral circulation, a 100µg dose of EpF(ab')2 was able to fully protect mice against severe disease phenotypes following intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge with Alpha and Beta variants. EpF(ab')2 administration increased survival while subsequently lowering disease scores and viral RNA burden in disease-relevant tissues. No significant improvement in survival outcomes or disease scores was observed in EpF(ab')2-treated mice challenged using the Delta variant at 10µg or 100µg doses. Overall, the data presented here provide a proof of concept for the use of EpF(ab')2 in the prevention of severe SARS-CoV-2 infections and underscore the need for either variant-specific treatments or variant-independent therapeutics for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Horses , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Melphalan , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , gamma-Globulins
2.
mSphere ; 7(4): e0024322, 2022 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992945

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has contributed largely to the global vaccine disparity. Development of protein subunit vaccines can help alleviate shortages of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to low-income countries. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of a three-dose virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine composed of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) decorated with the receptor binding domain (RBD) from the Wuhan or Beta SARS-CoV-2 strain adjuvanted with either aluminum hydroxide (alum) or squalene in water emulsion (SWE). RBD HBsAg vaccines were compared to the standard two doses of Pfizer mRNA vaccine. Alum-adjuvanted vaccines were composed of either HBsAg conjugated with Beta RBD alone (ß RBD HBsAg+Al) or a combination of both Beta RBD HBsAg and Wuhan RBD HBsAg (ß/Wu RBD HBsAg+Al). RBD vaccines adjuvanted with SWE were formulated with Beta RBD HBsAg (ß RBD HBsAg+SWE) or without HBsAg (ß RBD+SWE). Both alum-adjuvanted RBD HBsAg vaccines generated functional RBD IgG against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC), decreased viral RNA burden, and lowered inflammation in the lung against Alpha or Beta challenge in K18-hACE2 mice. However, only ß/Wu RBD HBsAg+Al was able to afford 100% survival to mice challenged with Alpha or Beta VOC. Furthermore, mice immunized with ß RBD HBsAg+SWE induced cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies against major VOC of SARS-CoV-2, lowered viral RNA burden in the lung and brain, and protected mice from Alpha or Beta challenge similarly to mice immunized with Pfizer mRNA. However, RBD+SWE immunization failed to protect mice from VOC challenge. Our findings demonstrate that RBD HBsAg VLP vaccines provided similar protection profiles to the approved Pfizer mRNA vaccines used worldwide and may offer protection against SARS-CoV-2 VOC. IMPORTANCE Global COVID-19 vaccine distribution to low-income countries has been a major challenge of the pandemic. To address supply chain issues, RBD virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines that are cost-effective and capable of large-scale production were developed and evaluated for efficacy in preclinical mouse studies. We demonstrated that RBD-VLP vaccines protected K18-hACE2 mice against Alpha or Beta challenge similarly to Pfizer mRNA vaccination. Our findings showed that the VLP platform can be utilized to formulate immunogenic and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Alum Compounds , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Emulsions , Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/genetics , Humans , Melphalan , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Pandemics , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Squalene , Vaccines, Synthetic , Water , gamma-Globulins , mRNA Vaccines
3.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 36, 2022 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740442

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a viral respiratory pathogen responsible for the current global pandemic and the disease that causes COVID-19. All current WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines are administered through the muscular route. We have developed a prototype two-dose vaccine (BReC-CoV-2) by combining the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) antigen, via conjugation to Diphtheria toxoid (EcoCRM®). The vaccine is adjuvanted with Bacterial Enzymatic Combinatorial Chemistry (BECC), BECC470. Intranasal (IN) administration of BreC-CoV-2 in K18-hACE2 mice induced a strong systemic and localized immune response in the respiratory tissues which provided protection against the Washington strain of SARS-CoV-2. Protection provided after IN administration of BReC-CoV-2 was associated with decreased viral RNA copies in the lung, robust RBD IgA titers in the lung and nasal wash, and induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies in the serum. We also observed that BReC-CoV-2 vaccination administered using an intramuscular (IM) prime and IN boost protected mice from a lethal challenge dose of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. IN administration of BReC-CoV-2 provided better protection than IM only administration to mice against lethal challenge dose of SARS-CoV-2. These data suggest that the IN route of vaccination induces localized immune responses that can better protect against SARS-CoV-2 than the IM route in the upper respiratory tract.

4.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249938, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206195

ABSTRACT

This study compared the performance of four serology assays for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated whether COVID-19 disease history correlates with assay performance. Samples were tested at Northshore using the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Roche Diagnostics), Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG anti-RBD (Beckman Coulter), and LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG (DiaSorin) as well as at Genalyte using Maverick Multi-Antigen Serology Panel. The study included one hundred clinical samples collected before December 2019 and ninety-seven samples collected from convalescent plasma donors originally diagnosed with COVID-19 by PCR. COVID-19 disease history was self-reported by the plasma donors. There was no difference in specificity between the assays tested. Clinical sensitivity of these four tests was 98% (Genalyte), 96% (Roche), 92% (DiaSorin), and 87% (Beckman). The only statistically significant differences in clinical sensitivity was between the Beckman assay and both Genalyte and Roche assays. Convalescent plasma donor characteristics and disease symptoms did not correlate with false negative results from the Beckman and DiaSorin assays. All four tests showed high specificity (100%) and varying sensitivities (89-98%). No correlations between disease history and serology results were observed. The Genalyte Multiplex assay showed as good or better sensitivity to three other previously validated assays with FDA Emergency Use Authorizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma/chemistry , Plasma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , COVID-19 Serotherapy
5.
Acad Pathol ; 8: 2374289520987236, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099878

ABSTRACT

The effort to collect convalescent plasma from individuals who recovered from COVID-19 began in earnest during the spring of 2020. Either whole blood or apheresis donations were obtained, the latter yielding higher numbers of units per donor per collection and more frequent collections. The NorthShore University HealthSystem blood donor center purchased 2 Alyx (Fresenius Kabi) apheresis plasma collection devices and quickly implemented them in order to collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Apheresis-experienced and inexperienced phlebotomists operated the instruments. Donors were collected >14 days from symptom resolution and all donors were negative by SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab. Both internal metrics of performance as well as a post donation survey were used to evaluate the feasibility implementing this collection program. During the first 100 days of the collection program, 650 plasma units were collected. In particular, during the first week of the program, 38 units were collected and distributed to hospitals under the emergency investigational new drug and expanded access program. Fifty-one donors (15%) were deferred due to vital signs out of range or donor screening questions. Thirty-one donors (10%) were deferred due to positive nasopharyngeal swab. Lower than target yield occurred in 16.6% of collections due to donor reactions or flow errors. Donors rated the overall program lower, but not the staff, when they reported symptoms related to collection. In conclusion, a hospital-based apheresis convalescent plasma collection program can be rapidly implemented. Donor reaction rates and vein infiltration rates should be carefully monitored for each phlebotomist.

6.
Transfusion ; 60(12): 2962-2968, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nucleic acid persists after symptom resolution and infectivity for many viral infections via delayed clearance of nucleic acid fragments, non-infectious particles, or transmissible virus. For Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the relationship between nasopharyngeal (NP) swab positivity, the development of antibodies against COVID-19, and clinical history are unclear. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Individuals who recovered from COVID-19 and volunteered to donate convalescent plasma (CP) were screened by NP swab PCR, responded to a questionnaire, and were tested for anti-COVID-19 antibodies. RESULTS: A proportion of 11.8% of individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by NP swab PCR greater than 14 days after the resolution of symptoms of active disease, including one donor who had asymptomatic disease and tested positive by NP swab 41 days after her initial diagnosis. Clinical history did not show a significant correlation with persistence of NP swab positivity. Also, NP swab positivity >14 days from symptom resolution did not correlate with anti-COVID-19 serology results. IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody strength correlated with hospitalization for COVID-19 using two different assays. Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibody strength correlated with time from symptom resolution to sample collection and symptom duration. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid is detectable long after the resolution of symptoms in a significant percentage of previously diagnosed individuals, which is important to consider when interpreting PCR swab results. Persistence of PCR positivity does not correlate with antibody strength or symptoms of COVID-19. If anti-spike antibody is used to assess CP potency, individuals who suffered severe COVID-19 disease symptoms may represent better donors.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Donor Selection , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult , COVID-19 Serotherapy
7.
Transfusion ; 60(7): 1470-1475, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343135

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread school and business closures in March 2020, blood drives were canceled and the supply of blood decreased suddenly in the United States (US). In response, hospital-based transfusion medicine physicians instituted policies to conserve blood and decrease blood product usage. These efforts were aided by the US Surgeon General recommendation to cancel all elective procedures. Nevertheless, the duration, severity, and impact of the pandemic on the national blood supply was uncertain. Hospitals with in-house donor programs had the opportunity not only to control demand, but also increase supply. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A hospital-based blood donor center was rapidly mobilized to increase the supply of in-house collected blood, in order to counteract a sudden but potentially long-term depletion of the national blood supply during a pandemic. RESULTS: Collections increased approximately five-fold above baseline for whole blood units, while apheresis platelet units were maintained at the historical average for the blood donor center. Cancellation of elective procedures showed a modest, but not yet statistically significant decrease in average blood product usage per day, nevertheless the in-house collection rate was sufficient to meet demand. CONCLUSION: A hospital-based blood donor center can quickly increase collection volumes and capacity in the face of a national emergency or pandemic. The desire to collect units should be balanced with safety concerns, need for sustainability, and blood product demand.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Blood Banks , Blood Donors , Blood Transfusion , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Donor Selection , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
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