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NPJ Vaccines ; 8(1): 43, 2023 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2281303


This study demonstrates the impact of adjuvant on the development of T follicular helper (Tfh) and B cells, and their influence on antibody responses in mice vaccinated with SARS-CoV-2-spike-ferritin-nanoparticle (SpFN) adjuvanted with either Army Liposome Formulation containing QS-21 (SpFN + ALFQ) or Alhydrogel® (SpFN + AH). SpFN + ALFQ increased the size and frequency of germinal center (GC) B cells in the vaccine-draining lymph nodes and increased the frequency of antigen-specific naive B cells. A single vaccination with SpFN + ALFQ resulted in a higher frequency of IL-21-producing-spike-specific Tfh and GC B cells in the draining lymph nodes and spleen, S-2P protein-specific IgM and IgG antibodies, and elicitation of robust cross-neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants as early as day 7, which was enhanced by a second vaccination. This was associated with the generation of high titer, high avidity binding antibodies. The third vaccination with SpFN + ALFQ elicited high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant. No cross-neutralizing antibodies against Omicron were induced with SpFN + AH. These findings highlight the importance of ALFQ in orchestrating early induction of antigen-specific Tfh and GC B cell responses and long-lived plasma cells in the bone marrow. The early engagement of S-2P specific naive B cells and high titer IgM antibodies shape the development of long-term neutralization breadth.

J Infect Dis ; 224(12): 2010-2019, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574912


BACKGROUND: Characterizing the longevity and quality of cellular immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enhances understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) immunity that influences clinical outcomes. Prior studies suggest SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are present in peripheral blood 10 months after infection. Analysis of the function, durability, and diversity of cellular response long after natural infection, over a range of ages and disease phenotypes, is needed to identify preventative and therapeutic interventions. METHODS: We identified participants in our multisite longitudinal, prospective cohort study 12 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection representing a range of disease severity. We investigated function, phenotypes, and frequency of T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 using intracellular cytokine staining and spectral flow cytometry, and compared magnitude of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and T cells were detected 12 months postinfection. Severe acute illness was associated with higher frequencies of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells and antibodies at 12 months. In contrast, polyfunctional and cytotoxic T cells responsive to SARS-CoV-2 were identified in participants over a wide spectrum of disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection induces polyfunctional memory T cells detectable at 12 months postinfection, with higher frequency noted in those who experienced severe disease.

COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunologic Memory , Memory T Cells , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Antigens, Viral , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Time Factors
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 151, 2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569251


The emergence of variants of concern, some with reduced susceptibility to COVID-19 vaccines underscores consideration for the understanding of vaccine design that optimizes induction of effective cellular and humoral immune responses. We assessed a SARS-CoV-2 spike-ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) immunogen paired with two distinct adjuvants, Alhydrogel® or Army Liposome Formulation containing QS-21 (ALFQ) for unique vaccine evoked immune signatures. Recruitment of highly activated multifaceted antigen-presenting cells to the lymph nodes of SpFN+ALFQ vaccinated mice was associated with an increased frequency of polyfunctional spike-specific memory CD4+ T cells and Kb spike-(539-546)-specific long-lived memory CD8+ T cells with effective cytolytic function and distribution to the lungs. The presence of this epitope in SARS-CoV, suggests that generation of cross-reactive T cells may be induced against other coronavirus strains. Our study reveals that a nanoparticle vaccine, combined with a potent adjuvant that effectively engages innate immune cells, enhances SARS-CoV-2-specific durable adaptive immune T cell responses.