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1.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904

ABSTRACT

On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295984

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and mount poor antibody responses to standard vaccines. We addressed whether ESRD patients could mount immune responses that protected against re-infection following natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or 2-dose vaccination.Methods: Haemodialysis (HD and renal transplant patients were recruited following SARS-CoV-2 infection (n=46) or before SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (n=94). SARS-CoV-2 IgG responses, surrogate neutralising antibody (NAb) titres to wildtype and VOCs, T cell responses and viral sequencing in the vaccine-naïve convalescent cohort were serially assessed following infection. Surrogate NAb titres were measured pre-vaccination and 33 days after 2nd vaccine. Incidence of breakthrough infection was assessed 180 days following 1st vaccination. Findings: 22% of vaccine-naive HD (n=9/36) and transplant patients (n=1/10) demonstrated PCR-positive re-infection (RI) at median 212 days (IQR 140-239) post 1st infection. Prior to RI episodes, RI patients demonstrated poor IgG Spike and RBD responses which were equivalent to levels in pre-pandemic sera (median RI titres: Spike 187 AU/ml, IQR 143-3432, p=0.96;RBD 145 AU/ml, IQR 85-938, p>0.99), unlike patients who developed a single infection only (SI) when compared to pre-pandemic sera (median SI titres: Spike 22826 AU/ml, IQR 1255-63811, p<0.0001;RBD 9588 AU/ml, IQR 270-21616, p=0.001). IgG Spike and RBD titres increased following RI compared to pre-pandemic sera (median RI titres: Spike 22611 AU/ml, IQR 4488-75509, p=0.0006;RBD 6354 AU/ml, IQR 1671-20962, p=0.01). T cell analysis revealed no differences between RI and SI cohorts. Following 2-dose vaccination, 5% of the HD cohort who received AZD1222 (n=3/61) developed breakthrough infection at 6 months following 1st vaccination, unlike those who received BNT162b2 (n=0/16). AZD1222-vaccinated, infection-naïve (I-N) HD patients (n=32) and immunosuppressed transplant recipients (n=17) made poor NAb responses to wildtype, alpha, beta and gamma when compared to infection-experienced (I-E) HD patients (n=29) (I-N vs I-E HD wildtype p<0.0001, alpha p=0.0007, beta p<0.0001, gamma p=0.002). NAb responses improved with BNT162b2 vaccination (n=16);RI patients mounted larger NAb responses to AZD1222 vaccination than SI patients (wildtype p=0.01, alpha p=0.02, beta p<0.02). Interpretation: ESRD patients are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 re-infection, or breakthrough infection following vaccination, associated with poor protective antibody responses. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and surrogate NAb responses increase with repeated exposure (infection experience and/or vaccination) in patients who survive infections. Our findings support the case for specific booster regimens in such immune-incompetent patients. Funding Information: Oxford Transplant Foundation, Oxfordshire Health Services Research Committee, UK Department of Health and Social Care, Huo Family Foundation, NIHR (COV19-RECPLAS), UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, WT109965MA.Declaration of Interests: We declare no competing interestsEthics Approval Statement: Haemodialysis (HD) and transplant cohorts: In this prospective, observational cohort study, HD and transplant patients within Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust(OUH) were recruited under Oxford Radcliffe Biobank approved studies, “Biomarkers to stratify risk in Renal Transplant Recipients and Dialysis Patients with Covid-19” (ref: ORB 20/A056), and “Immunological responses to COVID-19 vaccines in transplant and haemodialysis patients” (ref: ORB 21/A014). The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank has a favorable ethics opinion from the South Central Oxford Committee C (REC: 19/SC/0173). Healthcare Worker cohort (HC, PITCH study): PITCH is a sub-study of the SIREN study which was approved by the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, Health Research 250 Authority (IRAS ID 284 60, REC reference 20/SC/0230), with PITCH recognised as a sub-study on 2 December 2020. SIREN is registered with ISRCTN (Trial ID:252 ISRCTN11041050)The study was conducted in compliance with all relevant ethical regulations for work with human participants, and according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (2008) and the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines. Written informed consent was obtained for all patients enrolled in the study.

4.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295461

ABSTRACT

Background: Excessive inflammation is pathogenic in pneumonitis associated to severe COVID-19. Neutrophils are among the most abundantly present leukocytes in the inflammatory infiltrates and may form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) under the local influence of cytokines. NETs constitute a defence mechanism against bacteria but have also been shown to mediate tissue damage in a number of diseases. <br><br>Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, sixteen immediate post-mortem lung biopsies were methodologically analysed as exploratory and validation cohorts. NETs were quantitatively analysed by multiplexed immunofluorescence and correlated with local levels of IL-8 mRNA expression and the density of CD8+ T-cell infiltration. SARS-CoV-2 presence in tissue was quantified by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.<br><br>Findings: NETs were found in the lung interstitium and surrounding the bronchiolar epithelium with interindividual and spatial heterogeneity. NET density did not correlate with SARS-CoV-2 tissue viral load. NETs were associated with local IL-8 mRNA levels. NETs were also detected in pulmonary thrombi and in only one out of eight liver tissues in spatial fashion. NET focal presence negatively correlated with CD8+ T-cell infiltration in the lungs. <br><br>Interpretation: Abundant neutrophils undergoing NETosis are found in the lungs of patients with fatal COVID-19, showing no correlation with viral loads. The strong association between NETs and IL-8 focal expression points to this chemokine as the potential causative factor. The function of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes in the immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 may be interfered by the presence of NETs.<br><br>Funding Information: This study was supported by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA) Foundation, “Ayudas a Equipos de Investigación Científica SARS-CoV-2 y COVID-19”. <br><br>Declaration of Interests: I.M. reports receiving commercial research grants from BMS, Bioncotech, Alligator, Pfizer, Leadartis and Roche;has received speakers bureau honoraria from MSD;and is a consultant or advisory board member for BMS, Roche, Genmab, F-Star, Bioncotech, Bayer, Numab, Pieris, Alligator, and Merck Serono. C.E.A reports research grants from AstraZeneca. All other authors declare no competing interests.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the ethics committee of the University of Navarra, Spain (Approval 2020.192). Tissue collections were obtained with consent from a first-degree relative, following a protocol approved by the ethics committee of the University of Navarra (Protocol 2020.192p).

5.
Lancet Microbe ; 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510521

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. Methods: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. Findings: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

6.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009804, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416909

ABSTRACT

Prior studies have demonstrated that immunologic dysfunction underpins severe illness in COVID-19 patients, but have lacked an in-depth analysis of the immunologic drivers of death in the most critically ill patients. We performed immunophenotyping of viral antigen-specific and unconventional T cell responses, neutralizing antibodies, and serum proteins in critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, using influenza infection, SARS-CoV-2-convalescent health care workers, and healthy adults as controls. We identify mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell activation as an independent and significant predictor of death in COVID-19 (HR = 5.92, 95% CI = 2.49-14.1). MAIT cell activation correlates with several other mortality-associated immunologic measures including broad activation of CD8+ T cells and non-Vδ2 γδT cells, and elevated levels of cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, CXCL10, CCL2, and IL-6. MAIT cell activation is also a predictor of disease severity in influenza (ECMO/death HR = 4.43, 95% CI = 1.08-18.2). Single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals a shift from focused IFNα-driven signals in COVID-19 ICU patients who survive to broad pro-inflammatory responses in fatal COVID-19 -a feature not observed in severe influenza. We conclude that fatal COVID-19 infection is driven by uncoordinated inflammatory responses that drive a hierarchy of T cell activation, elements of which can serve as prognostic indicators and potential targets for immune intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, CD/immunology , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lectins, C-Type/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Patient Acuity
7.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 706482, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399150

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 receptor antagonist, is used in the treatment of severe COVID-19 caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2. However, unintended consequences of TCZ therapy include reactivation of tuberculosis (TB) or hepatitis B virus (HBV), and worsening of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We set out to assimilate existing data for these complications, in order to help inform evidence-based risk assessments for the use of TCZ, and thus to reduce the risk of serious but preventable complications. Methods: We searched the global WHO database of Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ("VigiBase") and undertook a systematic literature review, in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. We generated mean cumulative incidence estimates for infection complications. Results: Mean cumulative incidence of HBV and TB were 3.3 and 4.3%, respectively, in patients receiving TCZ. Insufficient data were available to generate estimates for HCV. These estimates derive from heterogeneous studies pre-dating SARS-CoV-2, with differing epidemiology and varied approaches to screening and prophylaxis, so formal meta-analysis was not possible. Conclusions: We underline the need for careful individual risk assessment prior to TCZ prescription, and present an algorithm to guide clinical stratification. There is an urgent need for ongoing collation of safety data as TCZ therapy is used in COVID.

8.
Lancet Haematol ; 8(9): e666-e669, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370708

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are the most effective measure to prevent deaths and illness from infectious diseases. Nevertheless, the efficacy of several paediatric vaccines is lower in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where mortality from vaccine-preventable infections remains high. Vaccine efficacy can also be decreased in adults in the context of some common comorbidities. Identifying and correcting the specific causes of impaired vaccine efficacy is of substantial value to global health. Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide, affecting more than 2 billion people, and its prevalence in LMICs could increase as food security is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Viewpoint, we highlight evidence showing that iron deficiency limits adaptive immunity and responses to vaccines, representing an under-appreciated additional disadvantage to iron deficient populations. We propose a framework for urgent detailed studies of iron-vaccine interactions to investigate and clarify the issue. This framework includes retrospective analysis of newly available datasets derived from trials of COVID-19 and other vaccines, and prospective testing of whether nutritional iron interventions, commonly used worldwide to combat anaemia, improve vaccine performance.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Anemia, Iron-Deficiency/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Developing Countries , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5061, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361634

ABSTRACT

The extent to which immune responses to natural infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and immunization with vaccines protect against variants of concern (VOC) is of increasing importance. Accordingly, here we analyse antibodies and T cells of a recently vaccinated, UK cohort, alongside those recovering from natural infection in early 2020. We show that neutralization of the VOC compared to a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, is reduced: more profoundly against B.1.351 than for B.1.1.7, and in responses to infection or a single dose of vaccine than to a second dose of vaccine. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses are generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. Vaccination is required to generate high potency immune responses to protect against these and other emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Carrier Proteins , Epitopes , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
Cell ; 184(11): 2939-2954.e9, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343152

ABSTRACT

Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations, including P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10, and 9 changes in the spike, respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site, with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet (E484K, K417N/T, and N501Y), which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine-induced antibody responses than B.1.351, suggesting that changes outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD) impact neutralization. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 222 neutralizes all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2-binding site mutations. We explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines/immunology
11.
J Immunother Cancer ; 8(2)2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317007

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Adenoviral vectors emerged as important platforms for cancer immunotherapy. Vaccination with adenoviral vectors is promising in this respect, however, their specific mechanisms of action are not fully understood. Here, we assessed the development and maintenance of vaccine-induced tumor-specific CD8+ T cells elicited upon immunization with adenoviral vectors. METHODS: Adenoviral vaccine vectors encoding the full-length E7 protein from human papilloma virus (HPV) or the immunodominant epitope from E7 were generated, and mice were immunized intravenously with different quantities (107, 108 or 109 infectious units). The magnitude, kinetics and tumor protection capacity of the induced vaccine-specific T cell responses were evaluated. RESULTS: The adenoviral vaccines elicited inflationary E7-specific memory CD8+ T cell responses in a dose-dependent manner. The magnitude of these vaccine-specific CD8+ T cells in the circulation related to the development of E7-specific CD8+ tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells, which were maintained for months in multiple tissues after vaccination. The vaccine-specific CD8+ T cell responses conferred long-term protection against HPV-induced carcinomas in the skin and liver, and this protection required the induction and accumulation of CD8+ TRM cells. Moreover, the formation of CD8+ TRM cells could be enhanced by temporal targeting CD80/CD86 costimulatory interactions via CTLA-4 blockade early after immunization. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these data show that adenoviral vector-induced CD8+ T cell inflation promotes protective TRM cell populations, and this can be enhanced by targeting CTLA-4.


Subject(s)
Cancer Vaccines/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Immunotherapy/methods , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Animals , Humans , Mice , Neoplasms/immunology
12.
Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol ; 17(1): 67, 2021 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301885

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A significant portion of COVID-19 sufferers have asthma. The impacts of asthma on COVID-19 progression are still unclear but a modifying effect is plausible as respiratory viruses are acknowledged to be an important trigger for asthma exacerbations and a different, potentially type-2 biased, immune response might occur. In this study, we compared the blood circulating cytokine response to COVID-19 infection in patients with and without asthma. METHODS: Plasma samples and clinical information were collected from 80 patients with mild (25), severe (36) or critical (19) COVID-19 and 29 healthy subjects at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. The concentrations of 51 circulating proteins in the plasma samples were measured with Luminex and compared between groups. RESULTS: Total 16 pre-existing asthma patients were found (3 in mild, 10 in severe, and 3 in critical COVID-19). The prevalence of asthma in COVID-19 severity groups did not suggest a clear correlation between asthma and COVID-19 severity. Within the same COVID-19 severity group, no differences were observed between patients with or without asthma on oxygen saturation, CRP, neutrophil counts, and length of hospital stay. The mortality in the COVID-19 patients with asthma (12.5%) was not higher than that in patients without asthma (17.2%). No significant difference was found between asthmatic and non-asthmatic in circulating cytokine response in different COVID-19 severity groups, including the cytokines strongly implicated in COVID-19 such as CXCL10, IL-6, CCL2, and IL-8. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing asthma was not associated with an enhanced cytokine response after COVID-19 infection, disease severity or mortality.

13.
EClinicalMedicine ; 31: 100683, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291524

ABSTRACT

Background: The medium-term effects of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on organ health, exercise capacity, cognition, quality of life and mental health are poorly understood. Methods: Fifty-eight COVID-19 patients post-hospital discharge and 30 age, sex, body mass index comorbidity-matched controls were enrolled for multiorgan (brain, lungs, heart, liver and kidneys) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), spirometry, six-minute walk test, cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), quality of life, cognitive and mental health assessments. Findings: At 2-3 months from disease-onset, 64% of patients experienced breathlessness and 55% reported fatigue. On MRI, abnormalities were seen in lungs (60%), heart (26%), liver (10%) and kidneys (29%). Patients exhibited changes in the thalamus, posterior thalamic radiations and sagittal stratum on brain MRI and demonstrated impaired cognitive performance, specifically in the executive and visuospatial domains. Exercise tolerance (maximal oxygen consumption and ventilatory efficiency on CPET) and six-minute walk distance were significantly reduced. The extent of extra-pulmonary MRI abnormalities and exercise intolerance correlated with serum markers of inflammation and acute illness severity. Patients had a higher burden of self-reported symptoms of depression and experienced significant impairment in all domains of quality of life compared to controls (p<0.0001 to 0.044). Interpretation: A significant proportion of patients discharged from hospital reported symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, depression and had limited exercise capacity. Persistent lung and extra-pulmonary organ MRI findings are common in patients and linked to inflammation and severity of acute illness. Funding: NIHR Oxford and Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centres, British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence, UKRI, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation.

14.
Lancet HIV ; 8(8): e474-e485, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on vaccine immunogenicity against SARS-CoV-2 are needed for the 40 million people globally living with HIV who might have less functional immunity and more associated comorbidities than the general population. We aimed to explore safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in people with HIV. METHODS: In this single-arm open-label vaccination substudy within the protocol of the larger phase 2/3 trial COV002, adults aged 18-55 years with HIV were enrolled at two HIV clinics in London, UK. Eligible participants were required to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with undetectable plasma HIV viral loads (<50 copies per mL), and CD4 counts of more than 350 cells per µL. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, with two doses was given 4-6 weeks apart. The primary outcomes for this substudy were safety and reactogenicity of the vaccine, as determined by serious adverse events and solicited local and systemic reactions. Humoral responses were measured by anti-spike IgG ELISA and antibody-mediated live virus neutralisation. Cell-mediated immune responses were measured by ex-vivo IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot) and T-cell proliferation. All outcomes were compared with an HIV-uninfected group from the main COV002 study within the same age group and dosing strategy and are reported until day 56 after prime vaccination. Outcomes were analysed in all participants who received both doses and with available samples. The COV002 study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between Nov 5 and Nov 24, 2020, 54 participants with HIV (all male, median age 42·5 years [IQR 37·2-49·8]) were enrolled and received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Median CD4 count at enrolment was 694·0 cells per µL (IQR 573·5-859·5). No serious adverse events occurred. Local and systemic reactions occurring during the first 7 days after prime vaccination included pain at the injection site (26 [49%] of 53 participants with available data), fatigue (25 [47%]), headache (25 [47%]), malaise (18 [34%]), chills (12 [23%]), muscle ache (19 [36%]), joint pain (five [9%]), and nausea (four [8%]), the frequencies of which were similar to the HIV-negative participants. Anti-spike IgG responses by ELISA peaked at day 42 (median 1440 ELISA units [EUs; IQR 704-2728]; n=50) and were sustained until day 56 (median 941 EUs [531-1445]; n=49). We found no correlation between the magnitude of the anti-spike IgG response at day 56 and CD4 cell count (p=0·93) or age (p=0·48). ELISpot and T-cell proliferative responses peaked at day 14 and 28 after prime dose and were sustained to day 56. Compared with participants without HIV, we found no difference in magnitude or persistence of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral or cellular responses (p>0·05 for all analyses). INTERPRETATION: In this study of people with HIV, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was safe and immunogenic, supporting vaccination for those well controlled on ART. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , HIV Infections/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination
15.
Cell ; 184(16): 4220-4236.e13, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272328

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has undergone progressive change, with variants conferring advantage rapidly becoming dominant lineages, e.g., B.1.617. With apparent increased transmissibility, variant B.1.617.2 has contributed to the current wave of infection ravaging the Indian subcontinent and has been designated a variant of concern in the United Kingdom. Here we study the ability of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent and vaccine sera to neutralize B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2, complement this with structural analyses of Fab/receptor binding domain (RBD) complexes, and map the antigenic space of current variants. Neutralization of both viruses is reduced compared with ancestral Wuhan-related strains, but there is no evidence of widespread antibody escape as seen with B.1.351. However, B.1.351 and P.1 sera showed markedly more reduction in neutralization of B.1.617.2, suggesting that individuals infected previously by these variants may be more susceptible to reinfection by B.1.617.2. This observation provides important new insights for immunization policy with future variant vaccines in non-immune populations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chlorocebus aethiops , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1951, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157905

ABSTRACT

Serological detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is essential for establishing rates of seroconversion in populations, and for seeking evidence for a level of antibody that may be protective against COVID-19 disease. Several high-performance commercial tests have been described, but these require centralised laboratory facilities that are comparatively expensive, and therefore not available universally. Red cell agglutination tests do not require special equipment, are read by eye, have short development times, low cost and can be applied at the Point of Care. Here we describe a quantitative Haemagglutination test (HAT) for the detection of antibodies to the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The HAT has a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 99% for detection of antibodies after a PCR diagnosed infection. We will supply aliquots of the test reagent sufficient for ten thousand test wells free of charge to qualified research groups anywhere in the world.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Hemagglutination Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Agglutination Tests/methods , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroconversion
18.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 139, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140800

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic caused >1 million infections during January-March 2020. There is an urgent need for reliable antibody detection approaches to support diagnosis, vaccine development, safe release of individuals from quarantine, and population lock-down exit strategies. We set out to evaluate the performance of ELISA and lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) devices. Methods: We tested plasma for COVID (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) IgM and IgG antibodies by ELISA and using nine different LFIA devices. We used a panel of plasma samples from individuals who have had confirmed COVID infection based on a PCR result (n=40), and pre-pandemic negative control samples banked in the UK prior to December-2019 (n=142). Results: ELISA detected IgM or IgG in 34/40 individuals with a confirmed history of COVID infection (sensitivity 85%, 95%CI 70-94%), vs. 0/50 pre-pandemic controls (specificity 100% [95%CI 93-100%]). IgG levels were detected in 31/31 COVID-positive individuals tested ≥10 days after symptom onset (sensitivity 100%, 95%CI 89-100%). IgG titres rose during the 3 weeks post symptom onset and began to fall by 8 weeks, but remained above the detection threshold. Point estimates for the sensitivity of LFIA devices ranged from 55-70% versus RT-PCR and 65-85% versus ELISA, with specificity 95-100% and 93-100% respectively. Within the limits of the study size, the performance of most LFIA devices was similar. Conclusions: Currently available commercial LFIA devices do not perform sufficiently well for individual patient applications. However, ELISA can be calibrated to be specific for detecting and quantifying SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG and is highly sensitive for IgG from 10 days following first symptoms.

19.
Cell ; 184(9): 2348-2361.e6, 2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095900

ABSTRACT

The race to produce vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began when the first sequence was published, and this forms the basis for vaccines currently deployed globally. Independent lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have recently been reported: UK, B.1.1.7; South Africa, B.1.351; and Brazil, P.1. These variants have multiple changes in the immunodominant spike protein that facilitates viral cell entry via the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. Mutations in the receptor recognition site on the spike are of great concern for their potential for immune escape. Here, we describe a structure-function analysis of B.1.351 using a large cohort of convalescent and vaccinee serum samples. The receptor-binding domain mutations provide tighter ACE2 binding and widespread escape from monoclonal antibody neutralization largely driven by E484K, although K417N and N501Y act together against some important antibody classes. In a number of cases, it would appear that convalescent and some vaccine serum offers limited protection against this variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clinical Trials as Topic , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Models, Molecular , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
20.
Science ; 371(6528): 521-526, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093836

ABSTRACT

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate sensors of viruses and can augment early immune responses and contribute to protection. We hypothesized that MAIT cells may have inherent adjuvant activity in vaccine platforms that use replication-incompetent adenovirus vectors. In mice and humans, ChAdOx1 (chimpanzee adenovirus Ox1) immunization robustly activated MAIT cells. Activation required plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-derived interferon (IFN)-α and monocyte-derived interleukin-18. IFN-α-induced, monocyte-derived tumor necrosis factor was also identified as a key secondary signal. All three cytokines were required in vitro and in vivo. Activation of MAIT cells positively correlated with vaccine-induced T cell responses in human volunteers and MAIT cell-deficient mice displayed impaired CD8+ T cell responses to multiple vaccine-encoded antigens. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to the immunogenicity of adenovirus vectors, with implications for vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
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