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1.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776356

ABSTRACT

The novel, highly transmissible severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has triggered a pandemic of acute respiratory illness worldwide and remains a huge threat to the healthcare system's capacity to respond to COVID-19. Elderly and immunocompromised patients are at increased risk for a severe course of COVID-19. These high-risk groups have been identified as developing diminished humoral and cellular immune responses. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 RNA remains detectable in nasopharyngeal swabs of these patients for a prolonged period of time. These factors complicate the clinical management of these vulnerable patient groups. To date, there are no well-defined guidelines for an appropriate duration of isolation for elderly and immunocompromised patients, especially in hospitals or nursing homes. The aim of the present study was to characterize at-risk patient cohorts capable of producing a replication-competent virus over an extended period after symptomatic COVID-19, and to investigate the humoral and cellular immune responses and infectivity to provide a better basis for future clinical management. In our cohort, the rate of positive viral cultures and the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests correlated with higher viral loads. Elderly patients and patients with diabetes mellitus had adequate cellular and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, while immunocompromised patients had reduced humoral and cellular immune responses. Our patient cohort was hospitalized for longer compared with previously published cohorts. Longer hospitalization was associated with a high number of nosocomial infections, representing a potential hazard for additional complications to patients. Most importantly, regardless of positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection, no virus was culturable beyond a cycle threshold (ct) value of 33 in the majority of samples. Our data clearly indicate that elderly and diabetic patients develop a robust immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and may be safely de-isolated at a ct value of more than 35.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Aged , Hospitals , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Monitoring, Immunologic , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732265

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed binding and neutralizing antibody titers up to 6 months after standard vaccination with BNT162b2 (two doses of 30 µg each) in SARS-CoV-2 naïve patients (n = 59) on hemodialysis. Humoral vaccine responses were measured before and 6, 12, and 24 weeks after the first vaccination. A chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) was used to quantify SARS-CoV-2 IgG against the spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity was tested against the wild-type virus. A multivariable binary regression model was used to identify risk factors for the absence of humoral immune responses at 6 months. At week 6, vaccine-specific seroconversion was detected in 96.6% of all patients with median anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgGs of 918 BAU/mL. At weeks 12 and 24, seroconversion rates decreased to 91.5% and 79.7%, and corresponding median binding antibody titers declined to 298 BAU/mL and 89 BAU/mL, respectively. Neutralizing antibodies showed a decay from 79.6% at week 6 to 32.8% at week 24. The risk factor with the strongest association for vanishing immune responses was low serum albumin (p = 0.018). Regarding vaccine-specific humoral responses 6 months after the standard BNT162b2 vaccination schedule, SARS-CoV-2 naïve patients receiving hemodialysis must be considered at risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and being infectious.

3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(8)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671749

ABSTRACT

Type I interferons (IFN-I) exert pleiotropic biological effects during viral infections, balancing virus control versus immune-mediated pathologies, and have been successfully employed for the treatment of viral diseases. Humans express 12 IFN-alpha (α) subtypes, which activate downstream signaling cascades and result in distinct patterns of immune responses and differential antiviral responses. Inborn errors in IFN-I immunity and the presence of anti-IFN autoantibodies account for very severe courses of COVID-19; therefore, early administration of IFN-I may be protective against life-threatening disease. Here we comprehensively analyzed the antiviral activity of all IFNα subtypes against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to identify the underlying immune signatures and explore their therapeutic potential. Prophylaxis of primary human airway epithelial cells (hAEC) with different IFNα subtypes during SARS-CoV-2 infection uncovered distinct functional classes with high, intermediate, and low antiviral IFNs. In particular, IFNα5 showed superior antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice in vivo. Dose dependency studies further displayed additive effects upon coadministration with the broad antiviral drug remdesivir in cell culture. Transcriptomic analysis of IFN-treated hAEC revealed different transcriptional signatures, uncovering distinct, intersecting, and prototypical genes of individual IFNα subtypes. Global proteomic analyses systematically assessed the abundance of specific antiviral key effector molecules which are involved in IFN-I signaling pathways, negative regulation of viral processes, and immune effector processes for the potent antiviral IFNα5. Taken together, our data provide a systemic, multimodular definition of antiviral host responses mediated by defined IFN-I. This knowledge will support the development of novel therapeutic approaches against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Transcriptome , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cloning, Molecular , Disease Models, Animal , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Genetic Vectors/chemistry , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , Humans , Interferon-alpha/genetics , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Mice , Protein Isoforms/classification , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/immunology , Protein Isoforms/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/classification , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells
4.
J Clin Med ; 10(19)2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463725

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the greatest medical challenge. Although crucial to the future management of the pandemic, the factors affecting the persistence of long-term SARS-CoV-2 immunity are not well understood. Therefore, we determined the extent of important correlates of SARS-CoV-2 specific protection in 200 unvaccinated convalescents after COVID-19. To investigate the effective memory response against the virus, SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell and humoral immunity (including virus-neutralizing antibodies) was determined over a period of one to eleven months. SARS-CoV-2 specific immune responses were present in 90% of individual patients. Notably, immunosuppressed patients did not have long-term SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell immunity. In our cohort, the severity of the initial illness influenced SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell immune responses and patients' humoral immune responses to Spike (S) protein over the long-term, whereas the patients' age influenced Membrane (M) protein-specific T cell responses. Thus, our study not only demonstrated the long-term persistence of SARS-CoV-2 specific immunity, it also determined COVID-19 severity and patient age as significant factors affecting long-term immunity.

5.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438743

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The availability of effective and well-tolerated antiviral drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients is still very limited. Traditional herbal medicines elicit antiviral activity against various viruses and might therefore represent a promising option for the complementary treatment of COVID-19 patients. The application of turmeric root in herbal medicine has a very long history. Its bioactive ingredient curcumin shows a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. In the present study, we investigated the antiviral activity of aqueous turmeric root extract, the dissolved content of a curcumin-containing nutritional supplement capsule, and pure curcumin against SARS-CoV-2. Turmeric root extract, dissolved turmeric capsule content, and pure curcumin effectively neutralized SARS-CoV-2 at subtoxic concentrations in Vero E6 and human Calu-3 cells. Furthermore, curcumin treatment significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in cell culture supernatants. Our data uncover curcumin as a promising compound for complementary COVID-19 treatment. Curcumin concentrations contained in turmeric root or capsules used as nutritional supplements completely neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Our data argue in favor of appropriate and carefully monitored clinical studies that vigorously test the effectiveness of complementary treatment of COVID-19 patients with curcumin-containing products.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Curcumin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Curcuma/metabolism , Curcumin/metabolism , Dietary Supplements , Humans , Medicine, Traditional/methods , Plant Extracts/metabolism , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
6.
iScience ; 24(8): 102908, 2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330909

ABSTRACT

The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created a significant threat to global health. While respiratory aerosols or droplets are considered as the main route of human-to-human transmission, secretions expelled by infected individuals can also contaminate surfaces and objects, potentially creating the risk of fomite-based transmission. Consequently, frequently touched objects such as paper currency and coins have been suspected as potential transmission vehicle. To assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by banknotes and coins, we examined the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and bovine coronavirus, as surrogate with lower biosafety restrictions, on these different means of payment and developed a touch transfer method to examine transfer efficiency from contaminated surfaces to fingertips. Although we observed prolonged virus stability, our results indicate that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via contaminated coins and banknotes is unlikely and requires high viral loads and a timely order of specific events.

8.
Klin Monbl Augenheilkd ; 238(5): 569-578, 2021 May.
Article in English, German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238039

ABSTRACT

Since the end of 2019, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been spreading worldwide and has caused severe health and economic issues on a global scale. By the end of February 2021, more than 100 million SARS-CoV-2 cases had been reported worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that can be divided into three phases: An early phase with fever and cough (phase I), a pulmonary vascular disease (phase II) and a hyperinflammatory syndrome (phase III). Since viral replication plays a particularly important role in the early stage of the disease and the patient's immune system in the later course of infection, different therapeutic options arise depending on the stage of the disease. The antiviral nucleoside analogue remdesivir is the only antiviral compound with conditional approval in the European Union. Treatment with remdesivir should be initiated early (within the first seven days of symptom onset) in patients receiving supplemental oxygen without invasive ventilation. In turn, the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid dexamethasone should be administered later in the course of disease in patients receiving oxygen therapy. Since autopsies indicate an increased frequency of thromboembolic events due to COVID-19, additional treatment with anticoagulants is recommended. Since the development of novel antivirals may take years, the application of convalescent plasma from patients who recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection for the treatment of COVID-19 is reasonable. However, large-scale studies indicated low efficacy of convalescent plasma. Furthermore, vaccination of the population is essential to control the pandemic. Currently, the mRNA vaccine Tozinameran from BioNTech and Pfizer, the mRNA-1273 vaccine from Moderna as well as the vector vaccine AZD1222 from AstraZeneca are licensed in the European Union. All three vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy in large clinical trials. In addition to these licensed vaccines, many others are being tested in clinical trials. In the present article, an overview of therapeutic options for COVID-19 as well as vaccines for protection against SARS-CoV-2 is provided.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Vaccination
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(9)2021 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202185

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a worldwide challenge for the medical sector. Healthcare workers (HCW) are a cohort vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection due to frequent and close contact with COVID-19 patients. However, they are also well trained and equipped with protective gear. The SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody status was assessed at three different time points in 450 HCW of the University Hospital Essen in Germany. HCW were stratified according to contact frequencies with COVID-19 patients in (I) a high-risk group with daily contacts with known COVID-19 patients (n = 338), (II) an intermediate-risk group with daily contacts with non-COVID-19 patients (n = 78), and (III) a low-risk group without patient contacts (n = 34). The overall seroprevalence increased from 2.2% in March-May to 4.0% in June-July to 5.1% in October-December. The SARS-CoV-2 IgG detection rate was not significantly different between the high-risk group (1.8%; 3.8%; 5.5%), the intermediate-risk group (5.1%; 6.3%; 6.1%), and the low-risk group (0%, 0%, 0%). The overall SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence remained low in HCW in western Germany one year after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Germany, and hygiene standards seemed to be effective in preventing patient-to-staff virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Follow-Up Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 3047-3054, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196534

ABSTRACT

When patients with chronic kidney disease are infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) they can face two specific problems: virus-specific immune responses may be impaired and remdesivir, an antiviral drug described to shorten recovery, is contraindicated. Antiviral treatment with convalescent plasma (CP) could be an alternative treatment option. In this case report, we present two kidney transplant recipients and two hemodialysis patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and received CP. Antibodies against the receptor-binding domain in the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were determined sequentially by immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and neutralization assay and specific cellular responses by interferon-gamma ELISpot. Before treatment, in both kidney transplant recipients and one hemodialysis patient antibodies were undetectable by ELISA (ratio < 1.1), corresponding to low neutralizing antibody titers (≤1:40). ELISpot responses in the four patients were either weak or absent. After CP treatment, we observed an increase of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies (IgG ratio and neutralization titer) and of specific cellular responses. After intermittent clinical improvement, one kidney transplant recipient again developed typical symptoms on Day 12 after treatment and received a second cycle of CP treatment. Altogether, three patients clinically improved and could be discharged from the hospital. However, one 83-year-old multimorbid patient deceased. Our data suggest that the success of CP therapy may only be temporary in patients with chronic kidney disease; which requires close monitoring of viral load and antiviral immunity and possibly an adaptation of the treatment regimen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Kidney Transplantation , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , C-Reactive Protein , COVID-19/therapy , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167761

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 developed into a global pandemic affecting millions of people worldwide. Despite one year of intensive research, the current treatment options for SARS-CoV-2 infected people are still limited. Clearly, novel antiviral compounds for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients are still urgently needed. Complementary medicine is used along with standard medical treatment and accessible to a vast majority of people worldwide. Natural products with antiviral activity may contribute to improve the overall condition of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. In the present study, we investigated the antiviral activity of glycyrrhizin, the primary active ingredient of the licorice root, against SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrated that glycyrrhizin potently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. Furthermore, we uncovered the underlying mechanism and showed that glycyrrhizin blocks the viral replication by inhibiting the viral main protease Mpro that is essential for viral replication. Our data indicate that the consumption of glycyrrhizin-containing products such as licorice root tea of black licorice may be of great benefit for SARS-CoV-2 infected people. Furthermore, glycyrrhizin is a good candidate for further investigation for clinical use to treat COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Glycyrrhizic Acid/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19 , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Glycyrrhiza/chemistry , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plant Roots/chemistry , Vero Cells
12.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159124

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted from person to person by close contact, small aerosol respiratory droplets, and potentially via contact with contaminated surfaces. Herein, we investigated the effectiveness of commercial UVC-LED disinfection boxes in inactivating SARS-CoV-2-contaminated surfaces of personal items. We contaminated glass, metal, and plastic samples representing the surfaces of personal items such as smartphones, coins, or credit cards with SARS-CoV-2 formulated in an organic matrix mimicking human respiratory secretions. For disinfection, the samples were placed at different distances from UVC emitting LEDs inside commercial UVC-LED disinfection boxes and irradiated for different time periods (up to 10 min). High viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 were effectively inactivated on all surfaces after 3 min of irradiation. Even 10 s of UVC-exposure strongly reduced viral loads. Thus, UVC-LED boxes proved to be an effective method for disinfecting SARS-CoV-2-contaminated surfaces that are typically found on personal items.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Disinfection/methods , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cosmetics , Disinfection/instrumentation , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Ultraviolet Rays
13.
Transfusion ; 61(5): 1394-1403, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be life-threatening, and specific antiviral drugs are currently not available. However, first studies indicated that convalescent plasma treatment might improve the clinical outcome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In the current study, we investigated the efficacy of convalescent plasma treatment in eight COVID-19 patients. All the patients were critically ill, and seven of them were SARS-CoV-2 RNA-positive when starting treatment. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detecting immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the S1 protein (Euroimmun), and the neutralizing titers were determined with a cell-culture-based neutralization assay. Plasma treatment started between 4 and 23 days after the onset of symptoms. The patients were usually treated by three plasma units, each containing 200-280 ml, which was applied at day 1, 3, and 5. RESULTS: Donor sera had on average lower IgG antibody ratios and neutralizing titers than the COVID-19 patients before the onset of treatment (median ratio of 5.8 and neutralizing titer of 1:320 vs. 7.5 and 1:640, respectively). Nevertheless, we observed an increase of antibody ratios in seven and of neutralizing titers in five patients after treatment; which did, however, not correlate with patient survival. Plasma treatment was effective in three patients, but five deceased despite treatment. Patients who deceased had a later treatment onset than survivors and finally died from multiple organ failure. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that the efficacy of convalescent plasma treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients who already had developed strong antiviral immune responses and organ complications is limited.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors , COVID-19/therapy , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/blood , Chlorocebus aethiops , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Vero Cells
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1813, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147224

ABSTRACT

Long-term antibody responses and neutralizing activities in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are not yet clear. Here we quantify immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) antibodies recognizing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) or the nucleocapsid (N) protein, and neutralizing antibodies during a period of 6 months from COVID-19 disease onset in 349 symptomatic COVID-19 patients who were among the first be infected world-wide. The positivity rate and magnitude of IgM-S and IgG-N responses increase rapidly. High levels of IgM-S/N and IgG-S/N at 2-3 weeks after disease onset are associated with virus control and IgG-S titers correlate closely with the capacity to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Although specific IgM-S/N become undetectable 12 weeks after disease onset in most patients, IgG-S/N titers have an intermediate contraction phase, but stabilize at relatively high levels over the 6 month observation period. At late time points, the positivity rates for binding and neutralizing SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies are still >70%. These data indicate sustained humoral immunity in recovered patients who had symptomatic COVID-19, suggesting prolonged immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
15.
Emerging Infectious Diseases ; 27(1), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1073313

ABSTRACT

We investigated immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among a group of convalescent, potential blood donors in Germany who had PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sixty days after onset of symptoms, 13/78 (17%) study participants had borderline or negative results to an ELISA detecting IgG against the S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2. We analyzed participants with PCR-confirmed infection who had strong antibody responses (ratio >3) as positive controls and participants without symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and without household contact with infected patients as negative controls. Using interferon-γ ELISpot, we observed that 78% of PCR-positive volunteers with undetectable antibodies showed T cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We observed a similar frequency (80%) of T-cell immunity in convalescent donors with strong antibody responses but did not detect immunity in negative controls. We concluded that, in convalescent patients with undetectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG, immunity may be mediated through T cells.

16.
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 3047-3054, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070765

ABSTRACT

When patients with chronic kidney disease are infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) they can face two specific problems: virus-specific immune responses may be impaired and remdesivir, an antiviral drug described to shorten recovery, is contraindicated. Antiviral treatment with convalescent plasma (CP) could be an alternative treatment option. In this case report, we present two kidney transplant recipients and two hemodialysis patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and received CP. Antibodies against the receptor-binding domain in the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were determined sequentially by immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and neutralization assay and specific cellular responses by interferon-gamma ELISpot. Before treatment, in both kidney transplant recipients and one hemodialysis patient antibodies were undetectable by ELISA (ratio < 1.1), corresponding to low neutralizing antibody titers (≤1:40). ELISpot responses in the four patients were either weak or absent. After CP treatment, we observed an increase of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies (IgG ratio and neutralization titer) and of specific cellular responses. After intermittent clinical improvement, one kidney transplant recipient again developed typical symptoms on Day 12 after treatment and received a second cycle of CP treatment. Altogether, three patients clinically improved and could be discharged from the hospital. However, one 83-year-old multimorbid patient deceased. Our data suggest that the success of CP therapy may only be temporary in patients with chronic kidney disease; which requires close monitoring of viral load and antiviral immunity and possibly an adaptation of the treatment regimen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Kidney Transplantation , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , C-Reactive Protein , COVID-19/therapy , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Front Immunol ; 11: 573526, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-902401

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the most pressing medical and socioeconomic challenge. Constituting important correlates of protection, the determination of virus-neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is indispensable for convalescent plasma selection, vaccine candidate evaluation, and immunity certificates. In contrast to standard serological ELISAs, plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNTs) are laborious, time-consuming, expensive, and restricted to specialized laboratories. To replace microscopic counting-based SARS-CoV-2 PRNTs by a novel assay exempt from genetically modified viruses, which are inapplicable in most diagnostics departments, we established a simple, rapid, and automated SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay employing an in-cell ELISA (icELISA) approach. After optimization of various parameters such as virus-specific antibodies, cell lines, virus doses, and duration of infection, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells became amenable as direct antigen source for quantitative icELISA. Antiviral agents such as human sera containing NAbs or antiviral interferons dose dependently reduced the SARS-CoV-2-specific signal. Applying increased infectious doses, the icELISA-based neutralization test (icNT) was superior to PRNT in discriminating convalescent sera with high from those with intermediate neutralizing capacities. In addition, the icNT was found to be specific, discriminating between SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs and those raised against other coronaviruses. Altogether, the SARS-CoV-2 icELISA test allows rapid (<48 h in total, read-out in seconds) and automated quantification of virus infection in cell culture to evaluate the efficacy of NAbs and antiviral drugs using reagents and equipment present in most routine diagnostics departments.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/immunology
20.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874430

ABSTRACT

We investigated immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among a group of convalescent, potential blood donors in Germany who had PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sixty days after onset of symptoms, 13/78 (17%) study participants had borderline or negative results to an ELISA detecting IgG against the S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2. We analyzed participants with PCR-confirmed infection who had strong antibody responses (ratio >3) as positive controls and participants without symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and without household contact with infected patients as negative controls. Using interferon-γ ELISpot, we observed that 78% of PCR-positive volunteers with undetectable antibodies showed T cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We observed a similar frequency (80%) of T-cell immunity in convalescent donors with strong antibody responses but did not detect immunity in negative controls. We concluded that, in convalescent patients with undetectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG, immunity may be mediated through T cells.


Subject(s)
Antibody Specificity , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/physiology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction
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