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1.
Euro Surveill ; 26(48)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613507

ABSTRACT

Until recently, children and adolescents were not eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. They may have been a considerable source of SARS-CoV-2 spread. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody seroprevalence in Israeli children aged 0-15 years from January 2020 to March 2021. Seropositivity was 1.8-5.5 times higher than COVID-19 incidence rates based on PCR testing. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infection among children is more prevalent than previously thought and emphasise the importance of seroprevalence studies to accurately estimate exposure.

2.
N Engl J Med ; 385(16): 1474-1484, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the high efficacy of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rare breakthrough infections have been reported, including infections among health care workers. Data are needed to characterize these infections and define correlates of breakthrough and infectivity. METHODS: At the largest medical center in Israel, we identified breakthrough infections by performing extensive evaluations of health care workers who were symptomatic (including mild symptoms) or had known infection exposure. These evaluations included epidemiologic investigations, repeat reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assays, antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic testing (Ag-RDT), serologic assays, and genomic sequencing. Correlates of breakthrough infection were assessed in a case-control analysis. We matched patients with breakthrough infection who had antibody titers obtained within a week before SARS-CoV-2 detection (peri-infection period) with four to five uninfected controls and used generalized estimating equations to predict the geometric mean titers among cases and controls and the ratio between the titers in the two groups. We also assessed the correlation between neutralizing antibody titers and N gene cycle threshold (Ct) values with respect to infectivity. RESULTS: Among 1497 fully vaccinated health care workers for whom RT-PCR data were available, 39 SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections were documented. Neutralizing antibody titers in case patients during the peri-infection period were lower than those in matched uninfected controls (case-to-control ratio, 0.361; 95% confidence interval, 0.165 to 0.787). Higher peri-infection neutralizing antibody titers were associated with lower infectivity (higher Ct values). Most breakthrough cases were mild or asymptomatic, although 19% had persistent symptoms (>6 weeks). The B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant was found in 85% of samples tested. A total of 74% of case patients had a high viral load (Ct value, <30) at some point during their infection; however, of these patients, only 17 (59%) had a positive result on concurrent Ag-RDT. No secondary infections were documented. CONCLUSIONS: Among fully vaccinated health care workers, the occurrence of breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 was correlated with neutralizing antibody titers during the peri-infection period. Most breakthrough infections were mild or asymptomatic, although persistent symptoms did occur.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Treatment Failure
3.
Cell Rep ; : 110114, 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604785

ABSTRACT

Messenger RNA-based vaccines against COVID-19 induce a robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response with potent viral neutralization activity. Antibody effector functions are determined by their constant region subclasses and by their glycosylation patterns, but their role in vaccine efficacy is unclear. Moreover, whether vaccination induces antibodies similar to those in patients with COVID-19 remains unknown. We analyze BNT162b2 vaccine-induced IgG subclass distribution and Fc glycosylation patterns and their potential to drive effector function via Fcγ receptors and complement pathways. We identify unique and dynamic pro-inflammatory Fc compositions that are distinct from those in patients with COVID-19 and convalescents. Vaccine-induced anti-Spike IgG is characterized by distinct Fab- and Fc-mediated functions between different age groups and in comparison to antibodies generated during natural viral infection. These data highlight the heterogeneity of Fc responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination and suggest that they support long-lasting protection differently.

5.
Euro Surveill ; 26(48)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595553

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe COVID-19 pandemic has put healthcare workers (HCW) at significant risk. Presence of antibodies can confirm prior severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.AimThis study investigates the prevalence of IgA and IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in HCW.MethodsPerformance of IgA and IgG antibody ELISA assays were initially evaluated in positive and negative SARS-CoV-2 serum samples. IgA and IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were measured in 428 asymptomatic HCW. We assessed the risk of two groups: HCW with high exposure risk outside work (HROW) residing in areas where COVID-19 was endemic (n = 162) and HCW with high exposure risk at work (HRAW) in a COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) (n = 97).ResultsSensitivities of 80% and 81.2% and specificities of 97.2% and 98% were observed for IgA and IgG antibodies, respectively. Of the 428 HCW, three were positive for IgG and 27 for IgA. Only 3/27 (11%) IgA-positive HCW had IgG antibodies compared with 50/62 (81%) in a group of previous SARS-CoV-2-PCR-positive individuals. Consecutive samples from IgA-positive HCW demonstrated IgA persistence 18-83 days in 12/20 samples and IgG seroconversion in 1/20 samples. IgA antibodies were present in 8.6% of HROW and 2% of HRAW.ConclusionsSARS-CoV-2 exposure may lead to asymptomatic transient IgA response without IgG seroconversion. The significance of these findings needs further study. Out of work exposure is a possible risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCW and infection in HCW can be controlled if adequate protective equipment is implemented.

7.
Euro Surveill ; 26(45)2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581442

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Lambda (Pango lineage designation C.37) variant of interest, initially identified in Peru, has spread to additional countries. First detected in Israel in April 2021 following importations from Argentina and several European countries, the Lambda variant infected 18 individuals belonging to two main transmission chains without further spread. Micro-neutralisation assays following Comirnaty (BNT162b2 mRNA, BioNTech-Pfizer) vaccination demonstrated a significant 1.6-fold reduction in neutralising titres compared with the wild type virus, suggesting increased susceptibility of vaccinated individuals to infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Vaccination
8.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296870

ABSTRACT

Using isolates of SARS-CoV-2 WT, Beta, Delta and most importantly Omicron we studied the capability of the BNT162b2 vaccine given in two or three doses to neutralize major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). We demonstrate low neutralization efficiency against delta and wild-type for vaccines with more than 5 months following the second BNT162b2 dose, with no neutralization efficiency against Omicron. We demonstrate the importance of a third dose, by showing a 100-fold increase in neutralization efficiency of Omicron following a third dose, with a 4-fold reduced neutralization compared to that against the Delta VOC. The durability of the effect of the third dose is yet to be determined.

9.
Liver Transpl ; 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568241

ABSTRACT

The BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been shown to be safe and effective in immunocompetent patients. The safety and efficacy of this vaccine in liver transplantation (LT) recipients is still under evaluation. The objective of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the BNT162b2 vaccine among transplant recipients. The immune responses of 76 LT recipients receiving 2 doses of the vaccine were compared with those of 174 age-matched immunocompetent controls. Postvaccination immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing antibodies (NA) to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine were determined at least 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine. IgG antibody titers ≥1.1 were defined as positive antibodies. Adverse effects were monitored during the study period. Following administration of the second dose, transplant recipients showed reduced immune responses compared with controls (72% versus 94.2%; P < 0.001). At a median time of 38 days after the second vaccination, the geometric mean of RBD IgG and NA titers were 2.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-2.6) and 150 (95% CI, 96-234) among transplant recipients and 4.6 (95% CI, 4.1-5.1) and 429 (95% CI, 350-528) in the control group, respectively (P < 0.001). Antibody responses were lower in transplant recipients who were receiving combined immunosuppression therapy and in those with impaired renal function. Among the LT recipients with negative antibody responses, 1 became infected with SARS-CoV-2, but no recipients with positive antibody responses became infected. Overall, most (n = 39 [51%]) adverse effects self-reported by transplant recipients were mild and occurred more often in women than in men. Compared with patients who were immunocompetent, LT recipients had lower immune responses. The durability of immune responses to the BNT162b2 vaccine among LT recipients requires further investigation.

10.
Nat Rev Immunol ; 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560762

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in fully vaccinated individuals are receiving intense scrutiny because of their importance in determining how long restrictions to control virus transmission will need to remain in place in highly vaccinated populations as well as in determining the need for additional vaccine doses or changes to the vaccine formulations and/or dosing intervals. Measurement of breakthrough infections is challenging outside of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind field trials. However, laboratory and observational studies are necessary to understand the impact of waning immunity, viral variants and other determinants of changing vaccine effectiveness against various levels of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity. Here, we describe the approaches being used to measure vaccine effectiveness and provide a synthesis of the burgeoning literature on the determinants of vaccine effectiveness and breakthrough rates. We argue that, rather than trying to tease apart the contributions of factors such as age, viral variants and time since vaccination, the rates of breakthrough infection are best seen as a consequence of the level of immunity at any moment in an individual, the variant to which that individual is exposed and the severity of disease being considered. We also address key open questions concerning the transition to endemicity, the potential need for altered vaccine formulations to track viral variants, the need to identify immune correlates of protection, and the public health challenges of using various tools to counter breakthrough infections, including boosters in an era of global vaccine shortages.

11.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545984

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite high vaccine coverage, an increase in breakthrough COVID-19 infections, prompted administration of a third BNT162b2 dose to people>60 years in Israel since July 2021. Here, we report real-world immunogenicity following third dose. METHODS: Overall, 208 healthcare workers aged>60 were included. Paired pre- and post-second and/or -third dose IgG and neutralizing-antibody titers were compared. A subpopulation of low-responders to the second dose were also tested for T-cell activation. For 25 paired serum samples we tested neutralization of wild-type vs. neutralization of delta and lambda variants, pre- and post-third dose. Active surveillance of vaccine adverse-events was conducted through surveys. RESULTS: A pronounced immune response was observed following the third dose, including a 33-fold and 51-fold increase in IgG and neutralizing ab, respectively. The neutralizing antibody levels post-third-dose were 9.34 times higher than post-second-dose (GMT 2598 95%CI 2085-3237 vs. 207 95%CI 126-339). Nine previously low-responders, had a significant antibody increase post-third-dose, and 7/9 showed increase in T cell activation. Additionally, sera obtained post-third-dose, highly and comparably neutralized the wild-type, delta and lambda variants. Of 1056 responders to the adverse-event survey, none had serious events. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a rapid and broad immune response to the third BNT162b2 dose in individuals>60 years.

12.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(9): 999-1009, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Concurrent with the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Israel initiated on Dec 19, 2020, we assessed the early antibody responses and antibody kinetics after each vaccine dose in health-care workers of different ages and sexes, and with different comorbidities. METHODS: We did a prospective, single-centre, longitudinal cohort study at the Sheba Medical Centre (Tel-Hashomer, Israel). Eligible participants were health-care workers at the centre who had a negative anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay before receiving the first dose of the intramuscular vaccine, and at least one serological antibody test after the first dose of the vaccine. Health-care workers with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test before vaccination, a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serology test before vaccination, or infection with COVID-19 after vaccination were excluded from the study. Participants were followed up weekly for 5 weeks after the first vaccine dose; a second dose was given at week 3. Serum samples were obtained at baseline and at each weekly follow-up, and antibodies were tested at 1-2 weeks after the first vaccine dose, at week 3 with the administration of the second vaccine dose, and at weeks 4-5 (ie, 1-2 weeks after the second vaccine dose). Participants with comorbidities were approached to participate in an enriched comorbidities subgroup, and at least two neutralising assays were done during the 5 weeks of follow-up in those individuals. IgG assays were done for the entire study population, whereas IgM, IgA, and neutralising antibody assays were done only in the enriched comorbidities subgroup. Concentrations of IgG greater than 0·62 sample-to-cutoff (s/co) ratio and of IgA greater than 1·1 s/co, and titres of neutralising antibodies greater than 10 were considered positive. Scatter plot and correlation analyses, logistic and linear regression analyses, and linear mixed models were used to investigate the longitudinal antibody responses. FINDINGS: Between Dec 19, 2020, and Jan 30, 2021, we obtained 4026 serum samples from 2607 eligible, vaccinated participants. 342 individuals were included in the enriched comorbidities subgroup. The first vaccine dose elicited positive IgG and neutralising antibody responses at week 3 in 707 (88·0%) of 803 individuals, and 264 (71·0%) of 372 individuals, respectively, which were rapidly increased at week 4 (ie, 1 week after the second vaccine dose) in 1011 (98·4%) of 1027 and 357 (96·5%) of 370 individuals, respectively. Over 4 weeks of follow-up after vaccination, a high correlation (r=0·92) was detected between IgG against the receptor-binding domain and neutralising antibody titres. First-dose induced IgG response was significantly lower in individuals aged 66 years and older (ratio of means 0·25, 95% CI 0·19-0·31) and immunosuppressed individuals (0·21, 0·14-0·31) compared with individuals aged 18·00-45·99 years and individuals with no immunosuppression, respectively. This disparity was partly abrogated following the second dose. Overall, endpoint regression analysis showed that lower antibody concentrations were consistently associated with male sex (ratio of means 0·84, 95% CI 0·80-0·89), older age (ie, ≥66 years; 0·64, 0·58-0·71), immunosuppression (0·44, 0·33-0·58), and other specific comorbidities: diabetes (0·88, 0·79-0·98), hypertension (0·90, 0·82-0·98), heart disease (0·86, 0·75-1·00), and autoimmune diseases (0·82, 0·73-0·92). INTERPRETATION: BNT162b2 vaccine induces a robust and rapid antibody response. The significant correlation between receptor-binding domain IgG antibodies and neutralisation titres suggests that IgG antibodies might serve as a correlate of neutralisation. The second vaccine dose is particularly important for older and immunosuppressed individuals, highlighting the need for timely second vaccinations and potentially a revaluation of the long gap between doses in some countries. Antibody responses were reduced in susceptible populations and therefore they might be more prone to breakthrough infections. FUNDING: Sheba Medical Center, Israel Ministry of Health.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Israel/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
13.
Transplantation ; 105(11): e234-e243, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494154

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data about SARS-CoV-2 vaccines efficacy in renal transplant recipients (RTR) are lacking. METHODS: To reveal predictors for humoral response to BNT162b2 vaccine among RTR, patients were divided into positive (N = 42) and negative (N = 78) response groups based on receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) ≥1.1 and neutralizing antibodies (NA) ≥16 dilution versus RBD IgG <1.1 or NA <16, respectively. NA were detected using a SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus. RESULTS: NA were detected in only 42 of 120 (35%) of RTR versus 197 of 202 (97.5%) immunocompetent controls (P < 0.001). NA geometric mean titers in RTR were significantly lower versus the control group {83.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.5-138.8) versus 482 (95% CI, 411-566), P < 0.001}. In a multivariable analysis, mycophenolic acid (MPA) dose and hemoglobin level were found to be independent predictors for antibody response in RTR. A positive response rate of 27% versus 63% was observed in patients on and off MPA, respectively. An increase in MPA dose by 1 mg/kg weight reduced the odds for a positive response by 17% (odds ratio = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.75-0.92; P < 0.001). Geometric mean titers for RBD IgG were significantly reduced as MPA daily dose increased. Hemoglobin blood level <13 g/dL reduced the antibody response by 63% (P = 0.04). Pain at the injection site after the second vaccine dose was significantly higher in the responders versus nonresponders (20.5% versus 5.5%, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Only 35% of RTR develop NA to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. MPA is a major suppressor of antibody response in RTR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/drug effects , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Graft Rejection/immunology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Mycophenolic Acid/administration & dosage , Mycophenolic Acid/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
14.
Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM ; 4(1): 100492, 2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474284

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The exclusion of pregnant women from initial COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccine trials raised hesitancy regarding the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women, hence little is known about vaccines' efficacy in this population. OBJECTIVE: To determine the maternal-neonatal transplacental transfer of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among vaccinated parturient women. A control group of COVID-19-recovered patients was included to compare the immunoglobulin G levels between vaccinated and recovered patients. STUDY DESIGN: This is a prospective cohort study conducted in a single tertiary medical center in Israel between February and March 2021; parturient women vaccinated with the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine during pregnancy were included and compared with COVID-19-recovered parturient women. SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G antibodies were measured in maternal and cord sera, dried blood spot samples taken from newborns, and breast milk samples. The primary aim was to determine whether neonatal cord and dried blood spot samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and to evaluate the transfer ratio, defined as cord blood immunoglobulin G divided by maternal immunoglobulin G levels. RESULTS: The study included 64 vaccinated parturient women and 11 parturient women who had COVID-19 during pregnancy. All maternal blood sera samples and 98.3% of the cord blood sera samples were positive for SARS-Cov-2 immunoglobulin G with median concentrations of 26.1 (interquartile range, 22.0-39.7) and 20.2 (interquartile range, 12.7-29.0), respectively. Similarly, 96.4% of neonatal blood spot samples and all breast milk samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G with median concentrations of 11.0 (interquartile range, 7.2-12.8) and 4.9 (interquartile range, 3.8-6.0), respectively. There was a significant positive correlation between maternal serum levels of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G and cord blood (r=0.483; P=.0001), neonatal blood spot (r=0.515; P=.004), and breast milk levels (r=0.396; P=.005) of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G. The median placental transfer ratio of SARS-COV-2 immunoglobulin G was 0.77. Comparison of vaccinated and recovered COVID-19 patients revealed significantly higher SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G levels in maternal serum and cord blood among vaccinated women (P<.0001). CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated the efficient transfer of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G across the placenta in women, vaccinated with the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine during pregnancy, to their neonates, with a positive correlation between maternal serum and cord blood antibody concentrations. In addition to maternal protection against COVID-19, the vaccine may also provide neonatal humoral immunity.

15.
EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101158, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466282

ABSTRACT

Background: Trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine showed 95% efficacy in preventing symptomatic disease; however, the trials excluded immunocompromised patients (ICPs). We aim at analyzing antibody response in ICPs. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted at Sheba Medical Center, Israel, between January and April 2020, in 1274 participants who received the vaccine, including 1002 ICPs and 272 immunocompetent healthcare workers (HCWs). Antibodies were measured two-four weeks after vaccination by SARS-CoV-2 anti-receptor binding domain IgG antibodies (RBD IgG) and pseudo-virus neutralization assays. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with vaccine-induced antibody response. Adverse events (AEs) were monitored. Findings: RBD-IgG antibodies were detected in 154/156 (98.7%) of patients with HIV, 75/90 (83.3%) with solid malignancies, 149/187 (79.7%) with myeloma, 83/111 (74.8%) following hematopoietic stem cell transplants, 25/36 (69.4%) following liver transplantation, 26/43 (60.5%) with myelodysplastic syndrome, 96/188 (51.0%) with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 50/110 (45.5%) following kidney transplantation, 15/80 (18.8%) following heart transplantation, and 269/272 (98.9%) in controls. There was a significant correlation r = 0.74 (95%CI 0.69,0.78) between RBD-binding IgG and neutralizing antibodies in all groups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that age > 65 years (OR 0.41,95%CI 0.30,0.57) and underlying immunosuppression (OR 0.02,95%CI 0.01,0.07) were significantly associated with a non-reactive response of IgG antibodies. HIV patients showed a similar immunological response as healthy adults. The vaccine was safe without any episodes of rejection, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) or allergy. Immunocompetent HCWs experienced significantly more AEs than ICPs. Interpretation: Antibody response to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was highly variable among different ICPs; thus, individual recommendations should be provided for the different immunosuppression states.

16.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e2444-e2449, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455256

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and dengue fever are difficult to distinguish given shared clinical and laboratory features. Failing to consider COVID-19 due to false-positive dengue serology can have serious implications. We aimed to assess this possible cross-reactivity. METHODS: We analyzed clinical data and serum samples from 55 individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. To assess dengue serology status, we used dengue-specific antibodies by means of lateral-flow rapid test, as well as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, we tested SARS-CoV-2 serology status in patients with dengue and performed in-silico protein structural analysis to identify epitope similarities. RESULTS: Using the dengue lateral-flow rapid test we detected 12 positive cases out of the 55 (21.8%) COVID-19 patients versus zero positive cases in a control group of 70 healthy individuals (P = 2.5E-5). This includes 9 cases of positive immunoglobulin M (IgM), 2 cases of positive immunoglobulin G (IgG), and 1 case of positive IgM as well as IgG antibodies. ELISA testing for dengue was positive in 2 additional subjects using envelope protein directed antibodies. Out of 95 samples obtained from patients diagnosed with dengue before September 2019, SARS-CoV-2 serology targeting the S protein was positive/equivocal in 21 (22%) (16 IgA, 5 IgG) versus 4 positives/equivocal in 102 controls (4%) (P = 1.6E-4). Subsequent in-silico analysis revealed possible similarities between SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in the HR2 domain of the spike protein and the dengue envelope protein. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support possible cross-reactivity between dengue virus and SARS-CoV-2, which can lead to false-positive dengue serology among COVID-19 patients and vice versa. This can have serious consequences for both patient care and public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dengue Virus , Antibodies, Viral , Cross Reactions , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
17.
N Engl J Med ; 385(24): e84, 2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454880

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite high vaccine coverage and effectiveness, the incidence of symptomatic infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been increasing in Israel. Whether the increasing incidence of infection is due to waning immunity after the receipt of two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine is unclear. METHODS: We conducted a 6-month longitudinal prospective study involving vaccinated health care workers who were tested monthly for the presence of anti-spike IgG and neutralizing antibodies. Linear mixed models were used to assess the dynamics of antibody levels and to determine predictors of antibody levels at 6 months. RESULTS: The study included 4868 participants, with 3808 being included in the linear mixed-model analyses. The level of IgG antibodies decreased at a consistent rate, whereas the neutralizing antibody level decreased rapidly for the first 3 months with a relatively slow decrease thereafter. Although IgG antibody levels were highly correlated with neutralizing antibody titers (Spearman's rank correlation between 0.68 and 0.75), the regression relationship between the IgG and neutralizing antibody levels depended on the time since receipt of the second vaccine dose. Six months after receipt of the second dose, neutralizing antibody titers were substantially lower among men than among women (ratio of means, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.75), lower among persons 65 years of age or older than among those 18 to less than 45 years of age (ratio of means, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.70), and lower among participants with immunosuppression than among those without immunosuppression (ratio of means, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.46). CONCLUSIONS: Six months after receipt of the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, humoral response was substantially decreased, especially among men, among persons 65 years of age or older, and among persons with immunosuppression.

18.
Eur J Cancer ; 157: 124-131, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401447

ABSTRACT

AIM: Patients with cancer are at an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease of 2019, thus data on the safety and efficacy of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines are essential. We conducted this prospective study of patients with cancer vaccinated with BNT162b2 and monitored for antibody response and safety. The aim was to evaluate the rate of seropositivity and define predictors for non-reactive immune response. Furthermore, we evaluated the frequency and the severity of adverse events. METHODS: The study included patients with solid tumours undergoing anticancer treatment and immunocompetent health-care workers serving as controls. Serum titres of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralising antibodies were measured 2-4 weeks after each vaccine dose. RESULTS: The analysis included 129 patients, of which 70.5% patients were metastatic. Patients were treated with chemotherapy (55%), immunotherapy (34.1%), biological agents (24.8%), hormonal treatment (8.5%) and radiotherapy (4.6%), that were given either alone or in combinations. The seropositivity rate among patients with cancer and controls was 32.4% versus 59.8% (p < 0.0001) after the first dose and 84.1% versus 98.9% (p < 0.0001) after the second dose, respectively. Median RBD-IgG titre was lower among patients than controls (p < 0.0001). Patients who were seronegative after the second dose had significantly more comorbidities than that with patients with seropositivity (77.8% vs 41.1%, respectively, p = 0.0042). CONCLUSION: Adequate antibody response after BNT162b2 vaccination was achieved after two doses but not after one dose, in patients with cancer vaccinated during anticancer therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/virology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/diet therapy , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods
19.
J Heart Lung Transplant ; 2021 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373008

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The repeated waves of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the necessity to optimize vaccine responses in immunocompromised populations. We investigated the safety and immunogenicity of a third, booster, dose of the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine in heart transplant (HT) patients. METHODS: The cohort comprised 96 adult HT patients who received a third homologous dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine 168 days after the second dose. The vaccine-induced antibody responses of both receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG and neutralizing antibodies were assessed in all patients, with a positive antibody response being defined as the presence of either IgG anti-RBD or neutralizing antibodies. For a subset of patients, T cell response was also studied. RESULTS: The third dose was associated with a low rate of adverse events, mostly mild pain at the injection site. No serious adverse events were recorded, and there were no episodes of rejection. At 18 days following the third dose of the vaccine, the positive antibody response increased from 23% to 67%, with a corresponding increase in neutralizing capacity. The third dose elicited SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers >9-fold and IgG anti-RBD antibodies >3-fold of the range achieved after the two primary doses. Mycophenolate use, lower eGFR and higher C-reactive protein were independently associated with a reduced likelihood of generating an immune response. Importantly, a specific T-cell response following the third dose was evident in the majority of transplant recipients. CONCLUSIONS: An homologous third booster dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine gave overall consistent tolerability and a good safety profile, while eliciting humoral and cellular immune responses.

20.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(12): 1851-1855, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370463

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The immunogenicity and safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in people living with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (PLWH) are unknown. We aimed to assess the immunogenicity and safety of this vaccine in PLWH. METHODS: In this prospective open study, we enrolled 143 PLWH, aged ≥18 years, who attended our clinic and 261 immunocompetent health-care workers (HCWs). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG and neutralizing antibodies were measured. Adverse events, viral load and CD4 cell counts were monitored. RESULTS: At a median of 18 days (interquartile range 14-21 days) after the second dose, anti-RBD-IgG was positive in 139/141 (98%) PLWH. Among HCWs, 258/261 (98.9%) developed anti-RBD-IgG at a median of 26 days (interquartile range 24-27 days) after the second dose. Following the second dose, immune sera neutralized SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus in 97% and 98% of PLWH and HCWs, respectively. Adverse events were reported in 60% of PLWH, mainly pain at the injection site, fatigue and headache. AIDS-related adverse events were not reported. Human immunodeficiency virus load increased in 3/143 (2%) patients from <40 copies/mL to ≤100 copies/mL. CD4+ T-cell count decreased from a geometric mean of 700 cells/µL (95% CI 648-757 cells/µL) to 633.8 cells/µL (95% CI 588-683 cells/µL) (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine appears immunogenic and safe in PLWH who are on antiretroviral therapy with unsuppressed CD4 count and suppressed viral load.

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