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1.
JCI Insight ; 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765224

ABSTRACT

Transplant recipients exhibit an impaired protective immunity after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, potentially caused by mycophenolate (MPA) immunosuppression. Recent data from autoimmune patients suggest that temporary MPA hold might significantly improve booster vaccination outcomes. We applied a fourth dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to 29 kidney transplant recipients during temporary (5 weeks) MPA (n=28)/azathioprine (n=1) hold, who had not mounted a humoral immune-response to previous vaccinations. Seroconversion until day 32 after vaccination was observed in 76% of patients, associated with acquisition of virus neutralizing capacity. Interestingly, 21/25 (84%) CNI-treated patients responded, but only 1/4 Belatacept-treated patients. In line with humoral responses, counts and relative frequencies of spike receptor binding domain (RBD) specific B cells were significantly increased on day 7 after vaccination, with an increase in RBD specific CD27++CD38+ plasmablasts. Whereas overall proportions of spike-reactive CD4+ T cells remained unaltered after the fourth dose, frequencies were positively correlated with specific IgG levels. Importantly, antigen-specific proliferating Ki67+ and in vivo activated PD1+ T cells significantly increased after re-vaccination during MPA hold, whereas cytokine production and memory differentiation remained unaffected. In summary, antimetabolite hold augmented all arms of immunity during booster vaccination. These data suggest further studies of MMF hold in KTR.

2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 128, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616978

ABSTRACT

The quality and persistence of children's humoral immune response following SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown but will be crucial to guide pediatric SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programs. Here, we examine 548 children and 717 adults within 328 households with at least one member with a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assess serological response at 3-4 months and 11-12 months after infection using a bead-based multiplex immunoassay for 23 human coronavirus antigens including SARS-CoV-2 and its Variants of Concern (VOC) and endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs), and additionally by three commercial SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. Neutralization against wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the Delta VOC are analysed in a pseudotyped virus assay. Children, compared to adults, are five times more likely to be asymptomatic, and have higher specific antibody levels which persist longer (96.2% versus 82.9% still seropositive 11-12 months post infection). Of note, symptomatic and asymptomatic infections induce similar humoral responses in all age groups. SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs independent of HCoV serostatus. Neutralization responses of children and adults are similar, although neutralization is reduced for both against the Delta VOC. Overall, the long-term humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is of longer duration than in adults even after asymptomatic infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
3.
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 2021 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589171

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases receiving rituximab (RTX) therapy are at higher risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes and show substantially impaired humoral anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses. However, the complex relationship between antigen-specific B and T cells and the level of B cell repopulation necessary to achieve anti-vaccine responses remain largely unknown. METHODS: Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and induction of antigen-specific B and CD4/CD8 T cell subsets were studied in 19 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) patients receiving RTX, 12 RA patients on other therapies and 30 healthy controls after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with either mRNA or vector based vaccines. RESULTS: A minimum of 10 B cells/µL (0,4% of lymphocytes) in the peripheral circulation appeared to be required in RTX patients to mount seroconversion to anti-S1 IgG upon SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. RTX patients lacking IgG seroconversion showed reduced RBD+ B cells, lower frequency of TfH-like cells as well as less activated CD4 and CD8 T cells compared to IgG seroconverted RTX patients. Functionally relevant B cell depletion resulted in impaired IFNγ secretion by spike-specific CD4 T cells. In contrast, antigen-specific CD8 T cells were reduced in patients, independently of IgG formation. CONCLUSIONS: In patients receiving RTX, a minimum of 10 B cells/µl in the peripheral circulation candidates as biomarker for a high likelihood of an appropriate cellular and humoral response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Mechanistically, the data emphasize the crucial role of co-stimulatory B cell functions for the proper induction of CD4 responses propagating vaccine-specific B and plasma cell differentiation.

4.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566580

ABSTRACT

Background: Accumulating evidence suggests that solid organ transplant recipients, as opposed to the general population, show strongly impaired responsiveness towards standard SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination, demanding alternative strategies for protection of this vulnerable group. Methods: In line with recent recommendations, a third dose of either heterologous ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca) or homologous BNT162b2 (BioNTech) was administered to 25 kidney transplant recipients (KTR) without humoral response after 2 doses of BNT162b2, followed by analysis of serological responses and vaccine-specific B- and T-cell immunity. Results: 9/25 (36%) KTR under standard immunosuppressive treatment seroconverted until day 27 after the third vaccination, while one patient developed severe COVID-19 infection immediately after vaccination. Cellular analysis seven days after the third dose showed significantly elevated frequencies of viral spike protein receptor binding domain specific B cells in humoral responders as compared to non-responders. Likewise, portions of spike-reactive CD4+ T helper cells were significantly elevated in seroconverting patients. Furthermore, overall frequencies of IL-2+, IL-4+ and polyfunctional CD4+ T cells significantly increased after the third dose, whereas memory/effector differentiation remained unaffected. Conclusions: Our data suggest that a fraction of transplant recipients benefits from triple vaccination, where seroconversion is associated with quantitative and qualitative changes of cellular immunity. At the same time, the study highlights that modified vaccination approaches for immunosuppressed patients still remain an urgent medical need.

5.
eJHaem ; 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1540110

ABSTRACT

Surveillance of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic requires tests to monitor antibody formation and prevalence. We detected SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using red cells coated by Kode technology with short peptides derived from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (SP). Such modified red cells, called C19-kodecytes, can be used as reagent cells in any manual or automated column agglutination assay. We investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 130 samples from COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors using standard manual technique, two FDA-authorized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays and a virus neutralisation assay. The sensitivity of the C19-kodecyte assay was 88%, comparable to the anti-SP and anti-nucleocapsid protein (NCP) ELISAs (86% and 83%) and the virus neutralisation assay (88%). The specificity of the C19-kodecyte assay was 90% (anti-SP 100% and anti-NCP 97%). Likewise, 231 samples from 73 vaccinated individuals were tested with an automated analyser, and we monitored the appearance and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The C19-kodecyte assay is a robust tool for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection. Automated blood group analyser use enables large-scale SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing for vaccination monitoring in population surveys.

6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 743422, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472388

ABSTRACT

Elderly residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) have long been underrepresented in studies on vaccine efficacy, particularly in light of currently emerging variants of concern (VOCs). In this prospective observational cohort study, we analyzed serological immune responses in 190 individuals before, 3 weeks after 1st and 3 weeks after 2nd vaccination with BNT162b2. Unvaccinated COVID-19-convalescent subjects served as reference. End points comprised serum anti-spike IgG and IgA titers as well as neutralization capacities against unmutated and mutated SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domains including B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1. We found that antibody titers and neutralization capacities up to 3 weeks after 2nd vaccination with BNT162b2 were significantly higher in COVID-19-convalescent as compared to COVID-19-naive vaccinees. Moreover, pre-vaccination anti-NCP IgG titers, but not age or gender, had a high impact on the strength and kinetics of post-vaccination neutralization capacity development. Most importantly, BNT162b2-induced neutralization capacity was cross-reactive with VOCs. In contrast to unvaccinated convalescents, vaccinated convalescent individuals of all ages acquired strong neutralizing capacities against current VOCs. The present study suggests that COVID-19-convalescent individuals with a broad age range between 18 and 98 years benefit from BNT162b2 vaccination by developing strong and broad neutralizing immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 including current VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Convalescence , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Long-Term Care , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Vaccination , Young Adult
7.
Sci Immunol ; 6(60)2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369380

ABSTRACT

Patients with kidney failure are at increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection making effective vaccinations a critical need. It is not known how well mRNA vaccines induce B and plasma cell responses in dialysis patients (DP) or kidney transplant recipients (KTR) compared to healthy controls (HC). We studied humoral and B cell responses of 35 HC, 44 DP and 40 KTR. Markedly impaired anti-BNT162b2 responses were identified among KTR and DP compared to HC. In DP, the response was delayed (3-4 weeks after boost) and reduced with anti-S1 IgG and IgA positivity in 70.5% and 68.2%, respectively. In contrast, KTR did not develop IgG responses except one patient who had a prior unrecognized infection and developed anti-S1 IgG. The majority of antigen-specific B cells (RBD+) were identified in the plasmablast or post-switch memory B cell compartments in HC, whereas RBD+ B cells were enriched among pre-switch and naïve B cells from DP and KTR. The frequency and absolute number of antigen-specific circulating plasmablasts in the cohort correlated with the Ig response, a characteristic not reported for other vaccinations. In conclusion, these data indicated that immunosuppression resulted in impaired protective immunity after mRNA vaccination, including Ig induction with corresponding generation of plasmablasts and memory B cells. Thus, there is an urgent need to improve vaccination protocols in patients after kidney transplantation or on chronic dialysis.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host , Kidney Transplantation , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
8.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360834

ABSTRACT

To identify the most efficient methods of immunological protection against SARS-CoV-2, including the currently most widespread variants of concern (VOCs)-B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1-a simultaneous side-by-side-comparison of available vaccination regimes is required. In this observational cohort study, we compared immunological responses in 144 individuals vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 and the vector vaccine ChAdOx1-nCoV-19, either alone, in combination, or in the context of COVID-19-convalescence. Unvaccinated COVID-19-convalescent subjects served as a reference. We found that cellular and serological immune responses, including neutralizing capacity against VOCs, were significantly stronger with mRNA vaccines as compared with COVID-19-convalescent individuals or vaccinated individuals receiving the vector vaccine ChAdOx1-nCoV-19. Booster immunizations with mRNA vaccines triggered strong and broadly neutralizing antibody and IFN-γ responses in 100% of vaccinated individuals investigated. This effect was particularly strong in COVID-19-convalescent and ChAdOx1-nCoV-19-primed individuals, who were characterized by comparably moderate cellular and neutralizing antibody responses before mRNA vaccine booster. Heterologous vaccination regimes and convalescent booster regimes using mRNA vaccines may allow enhanced protection against SARS-CoV-2, including current VOCs. Furthermore, such regimes may facilitate rapid (re-)qualification of convalescent plasma donors with high titers of broadly neutralizing antibodies.

9.
J Immunol ; 206(11): 2614-2622, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227099

ABSTRACT

The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has triggered the development of various SARS-CoV-2 neutralization tests. A wild-type virus (using African green monkey VeroE6 cells), a pseudovirus (using human Caco-2 cells), and a surrogate neutralization test platform were applied to characterize the SARS-CoV-2 neutralization potential of a cohort of 111 convalescent plasma donors over a period of seven months after diagnosis. This allowed an in-depth validation and assay performance analysis of these platforms. More importantly, we found that SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers were stable or even increased within the observation period, which contradicts earlier studies reporting a rapid waning of Ab titers after three to four months. Moreover, we observed a positive correlation of neutralization titers with increasing age, number of symptoms reported, and the presence of the Rhesus Ag RhD. Validation of the platforms revealed that highest assay performances were obtained with the wild-type virus and the surrogate neutralization platforms. However, our data also suggested that selection of cutoff titers had a strong impact on the evaluation of neutralization potency. When taking strong neutralization potency, as demonstrated by the wild-type virus platform as the gold standard, up to 55% of plasma products had low neutralization titers. However, a significant portion of these products were overrated in their potency when using the surrogate assay with the recommended cutoff titer. In summary, our study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers are stable for at least seven months after diagnosis and offers a testing strategy for rapid selection of high-titer convalescent plasma products in a biosafety level 1 environment.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Rh-Hr Blood-Group System/immunology
10.
J Infect Dis ; 223(5): 796-801, 2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117034

ABSTRACT

Highly sensitive and specific platforms for the detection of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies are becoming increasingly important for evaluating potential SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma donors, studying the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections, and identifying individuals with seroconversion. This study provides a comparative validation of 4 anti-SARS-CoV-2 platforms. A unique feature of the study is the use of a representative cohort of convalescent patients with coronavirus disease 2019 and a mild to moderate disease course. All platforms showed significant correlations with a SARS-CoV-2 plaque reduction neutralization test, with highest sensitivities for the Euroimmun and the Roche platforms, suggesting their preferential use for screening persons at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/standards , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Predictive Value of Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tissue Donors , Young Adult
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