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2.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 1421, 2023 03 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253569

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein mediates receptor binding and subsequent membrane fusion. It exists in a range of conformations, including a closed state unable to bind the ACE2 receptor, and an open state that does so but displays more exposed antigenic surface. Spikes of variants of concern (VOCs) acquired amino acid changes linked to increased virulence and immune evasion. Here, using HDX-MS, we identified changes in spike dynamics that we associate with the transition from closed to open conformations, to ACE2 binding, and to specific mutations in VOCs. We show that the RBD-associated subdomain plays a role in spike opening, whereas the NTD acts as a hotspot of conformational divergence of VOC spikes driving immune evasion. Alpha, beta and delta spikes assume predominantly open conformations and ACE2 binding increases the dynamics of their core helices, priming spikes for fusion. Conversely, substitutions in omicron spike lead to predominantly closed conformations, presumably enabling it to escape antibodies. At the same time, its core helices show characteristics of being pre-primed for fusion even in the absence of ACE2. These data inform on SARS-CoV-2 evolution and omicron variant emergence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Mutation
3.
Inflamm Res ; 72(5): 947-953, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259594

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: Fatigue is a prominent symptom in the general population and may follow viral infection, including SARS-CoV2 infection which causes COVID-19. Chronic fatigue lasting more than three months is the major symptom of the post-COVID syndrome (known colloquially as long-COVID). The mechanisms underlying long-COVID fatigue are unknown. We hypothesized that the development of long-COVID chronic fatigue is driven by the pro-inflammatory immune status of an individual prior to COVID-19. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We analyzed pre-pandemic plasma levels of IL-6, which plays a key role in persistent fatigue, in N = 1274 community dwelling adults from TwinsUK. Subsequent COVID-19-positive and -negative participants were categorized based on SARS-CoV-2 antigen and antibody testing. Chronic fatigue was assessed using the Chalder Fatigue Scale. RESULTS: COVID-19-positive participants exhibited mild disease. Chronic fatigue was a prevalent symptom among this population and significantly higher in positive vs. negative participants (17% vs 11%, respectively; p = 0.001). The qualitative nature of chronic fatigue as determined by individual questionnaire responses was similar in positive and negative participants. Pre-pandemic plasma IL-6 levels were positively associated with chronic fatigue in negative, but not positive individuals. Raised BMI was associated with chronic fatigue in positive participants. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing increased IL-6 levels may contribute to chronic fatigue symptoms, but there was no increased risk in individuals with mild COVID-19 compared with uninfected individuals. Elevated BMI also increased the risk of chronic fatigue in mild COVID-19, consistent with previous reports.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic , Adult , Humans , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Interleukin-6 , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/epidemiology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Mol Ther ; 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257176

ABSTRACT

Adenovirus vector vaccines have been widely and successfully deployed in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, despite inducing potent T cell immunity, improvement of vaccine-specific antibody responses upon homologous boosting is modest compared with other technologies. Here, we describe a system enabling modular decoration of adenovirus capsid surfaces with antigens and demonstrate potent induction of humoral immunity against these displayed antigens. Ligand attachment via a covalent bond was achieved using a protein superglue, DogTag/DogCatcher (similar to SpyTag/SpyCatcher), in a rapid and spontaneous reaction requiring only co-incubation of ligand and vector components. DogTag was inserted into surface-exposed loops in the adenovirus hexon protein to allow attachment of DogCatcher-fused ligands on virus particles. Efficient coverage of the capsid surface was achieved using various ligands, with vector infectivity retained in each case. Capsid decoration shielded particles from vector neutralizing antibodies. In prime-boost regimens, adenovirus vectors decorated with the receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike induced >10-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers compared with an undecorated vector encoding spike. Importantly, decorated vectors achieved equivalent or superior T cell immunogenicity against encoded antigens compared with undecorated vectors. We propose capsid decoration using protein superglues as a novel strategy to improve efficacy and boostability of adenovirus-based vaccines and therapeutics.

5.
Elife ; 122023 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2217489

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody levels can be used to assess humoral immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination, and may predict risk of future infection. Higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 anti-Spike antibodies are known to be associated with increased protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, variation in antibody levels and risk factors for lower antibody levels following each round of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have not been explored across a wide range of socio-demographic, SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination, and health factors within population-based cohorts. Methods: Samples were collected from 9361 individuals from TwinsUK and ALSPAC UK population-based longitudinal studies and tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Cross-sectional sampling was undertaken jointly in April-May 2021 (TwinsUK, N=4256; ALSPAC, N=4622), and in TwinsUK only in November 2021-January 2022 (N=3575). Variation in antibody levels after first, second, and third SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with health, socio-demographic, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination variables were analysed. Using multivariable logistic regression models, we tested associations between antibody levels following vaccination and: (1) SARS-CoV-2 infection following vaccination(s); (2) health, socio-demographic, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination variables. Results: Within TwinsUK, single-vaccinated individuals with the lowest 20% of anti-Spike antibody levels at initial testing had threefold greater odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection over the next 6-9 months (OR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.4, 6.0), compared to the top 20%. In TwinsUK and ALSPAC, individuals identified as at increased risk of COVID-19 complication through the UK 'Shielded Patient List' had consistently greater odds (two- to fourfold) of having antibody levels in the lowest 10%. Third vaccination increased absolute antibody levels for almost all individuals, and reduced relative disparities compared with earlier vaccinations. Conclusions: These findings quantify the association between antibody level and risk of subsequent infection, and support a policy of triple vaccination for the generation of protective antibodies. Funding: Antibody testing was funded by UK Health Security Agency. The National Core Studies program is funded by COVID-19 Longitudinal Health and Wellbeing - National Core Study (LHW-NCS) HMT/UKRI/MRC ([MC_PC_20030] and [MC_PC_20059]). Related funding was also provided by the NIHR 606 (CONVALESCENCE grant [COV-LT-0009]). TwinsUK is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Versus Arthritis, European Union Horizon 2020, Chronic Disease Research Foundation (CDRF), Zoe Ltd and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) and Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with King's College London. The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant ref: [217065/Z/19/Z]) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC.


Vaccination against the virus that causes COVID-19 triggers the body to produce antibodies that help fight future infections. But some people generate more antibodies after vaccination than others. People with lower levels of antibodies are more likely to get COVID-19 in the future. Identifying people with low antibody levels after COVID-19 vaccination is important. It could help decide who receives priority for future vaccination. Previous studies show that people with certain health conditions produce fewer antibodies after one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. For example, people with weakened immune systems. Now that third booster doses are available, it is vital to determine if they increase antibody levels for those most at risk of severe COVID-19. Cheetham et al. show that a third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine boosts antibodies to high levels in 90% of individuals, including those at increased risk. In the experiments, Cheetham et al. measured antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 in 9,361 individuals participating in two large long-term health studies in the United Kingdom. The experiments found that UK individuals advised to shield from the virus because they were at increased risk of complications had lower levels of antibodies after one or two vaccine doses than individuals without such risk factors. This difference was also seen after a third booster dose, but overall antibody levels had large increases. People who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose also had lower antibody levels after one or two doses than those who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine first. Positively, this difference in antibody levels was no longer seen after a third booster dose. Individuals with lower antibody levels after their first dose were also more likely to have a case of COVID-19 in the following months. Antibody levels were high in most individuals after the third dose. The results may help governments and public health officials identify individuals who may need extra protection after the first two vaccine doses. They also support current policies promoting booster doses of the vaccine and may support prioritizing booster doses for those at the highest risk from COVID-19 in future vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Risk Factors , Antibodies, Viral , London , Longitudinal Studies , Vaccination
6.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(10): e1010882, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054396

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines are playing a vital role in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. As SARS-CoV-2 variants encoding mutations in the surface glycoprotein, Spike, continue to emerge, there is increased need to identify immunogens and vaccination regimens that provide the broadest and most durable immune responses. We compared the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response, as well as levels of Spike-reactive memory B cells, in individuals receiving a second dose of BNT162b2 at a short (3-4 week) or extended interval (8-12 weeks) and following a third vaccination approximately 6-8 months later. We show that whilst an extended interval between the first two vaccinations can greatly increase the breadth of the immune response and generate a higher proportion of Spike reactive memory B cells, a third vaccination leads to similar levels between the two groups. Furthermore, we show that the third vaccine dose enhances neutralization activity against omicron lineage members BA.1, BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 and this is further increased following breakthrough infection during the UK omicron wave. These findings are relevant for vaccination strategies in populations where COVID-19 vaccine coverage remains low.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
7.
Cell Rep ; 40(8): 111276, 2022 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982702

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike is the target for neutralizing antibodies elicited following both infection and vaccination. While extensive research has shown that the receptor binding domain (RBD) and, to a lesser extent, the N-terminal domain (NTD) are the predominant targets for neutralizing antibodies, identification of neutralizing epitopes beyond these regions is important for informing vaccine development and understanding antibody-mediated immune escape. Here, we identify a class of broadly neutralizing antibodies that bind an epitope on the spike subdomain 1 (SD1) and that have arisen from infection or vaccination. Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), we show that SD1-specific antibody P008_60 binds an epitope that is not accessible within the canonical prefusion states of the SARS-CoV-2 spike, suggesting a transient conformation of the viral glycoprotein that is vulnerable to neutralization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Syndactyly , Vaccination
8.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1514, 2022 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1978770

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Researchers conducting cohort studies may wish to investigate the effect of episodes of COVID-19 illness on participants. A definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 is not always available, so studies have to rely on proxy indicators. This paper seeks to contribute evidence that may assist the use and interpretation of these COVID-indicators. METHODS: We described five potential COVID-indicators: self-reported core symptoms, a symptom algorithm; self-reported suspicion of COVID-19; self-reported external results; and home antibody testing based on a 'lateral flow' antibody (IgG/IgM) test cassette. Included were staff and postgraduate research students at a large London university who volunteered for the study and were living in the UK in June 2020. Excluded were those who did not return a valid antibody test result. We provide descriptive statistics of prevalence and overlap of the five indicators. RESULTS: Core symptoms were the most common COVID-indicator (770/1882 participants positive, 41%), followed by suspicion of COVID-19 (n = 509/1882, 27%), a positive symptom algorithm (n = 298/1882, 16%), study antibody lateral flow positive (n = 124/1882, 7%) and a positive external test result (n = 39/1882, 2%), thus a 20-fold difference between least and most common. Meeting any one indicator increased the likelihood of all others, with concordance between 65 and 94%. Report of a low suspicion of having had COVID-19 predicted a negative antibody test in 98%, but positive suspicion predicted a positive antibody test in only 20%. Those who reported previous external antibody tests were more likely to have received a positive result from the external test (24%) than the study test (15%). CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the use of proxy indicators of past COVID-19, with the caveat that none is perfect. Differences from previous antibody studies, most significantly in lower proportions of participants positive for antibodies, may be partly due to a decline in antibody detection over time. Subsequent to our study, vaccination may have further complicated the interpretation of COVID-indicators, only strengthening the need to critically evaluate what criteria should be used to define COVID-19 cases when designing studies and interpreting study results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Universities
9.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 18(7): e1010330, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951513

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to identify new antiviral therapeutics at pace, including through drug repurposing. We employed a Quadratic Unbounded Binary Optimization (QUBO) model, to search for compounds similar to Remdesivir, the first antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 approved for human use, using a quantum-inspired device. We modelled Remdesivir and compounds present in the DrugBank database as graphs, established the optimal parameters in our algorithm and resolved the Maximum Weighted Independent Set problem within the conflict graph generated. We also employed a traditional Tanimoto fingerprint model. The two methods yielded different lists of lead compounds, with some overlap. While GS-6620 was the top compound predicted by both models, the QUBO model predicted BMS-986094 as second best. The Tanimoto model predicted different forms of cobalamin, also known as vitamin B12. We then determined the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values in cell culture models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and assessed cytotoxicity. We also demonstrated efficacy against several variants including SARS-CoV-2 Strain England 2 (England 02/2020/407073), B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.617.2 (Delta). Lastly, we employed an in vitro polymerization assay to demonstrate that these compounds directly inhibit the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) of SARS-CoV-2. Together, our data reveal that our QUBO model performs accurate comparisons (BMS-986094) that differed from those predicted by Tanimoto (different forms of vitamin B12); all compounds inhibited replication of SARS-CoV-2 via direct action on RdRP, with both models being useful. While Tanimoto may be employed when performing relatively small comparisons, QUBO is also accurate and may be well suited for very complex problems where computational resources may limit the number and/or complexity of possible combinations to evaluate. Our quantum-inspired screening method can therefore be employed in future searches for novel pharmacologic inhibitors, thus providing an approach for accelerating drug deployment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Pandemics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Vitamin B 12
10.
J Med Virol ; 94(11): 5217-5224, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1941184

ABSTRACT

This study assessed T-cell responses in individuals with and without a positive antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were drawn from the TwinsUK cohort, grouped by (a) presence or absence of COVID-associated symptoms (S+, S-), logged prospectively through the COVID Symptom Study app, and (b) anti-IgG Spike and anti-IgG Nucleocapsid antibodies measured by ELISA (Ab+, Ab-), during the first wave of the UK pandemic. T-cell helper and regulatory responses after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 peptides were assessed. Thirty-two participants were included in the final analysis. Fourteen of 15 with IgG Spike antibodies had a T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides; none of 17 participants without IgG Spike antibodies had a T-cell response (χ2 : 28.2, p < 0.001). Quantitative T-cell responses correlated strongly with fold-change in IgG Spike antibody titer (ρ = 0.79, p < 0.0001) but not to symptom score (ρ = 0.17, p = 0.35). Humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 are highly correlated. We found no evidence of cellular immunity suggestive of SARS-CoV2 infection in individuals with a COVID-19-like illness but negative antibodies.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
Int J Obes (Lond) ; 46(8): 1478-1486, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852402

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 severity varies widely. Although some demographic and cardio-metabolic factors, including age and obesity, are associated with increasing risk of severe illness, the underlying mechanism(s) are uncertain. SUBJECTS/METHODS: In a meta-analysis of three independent studies of 1471 participants in total, we investigated phenotypic and genetic factors associated with subcutaneous adipose tissue expression of Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), measured by RNA-Seq, which acts as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry. RESULTS: Lower adipose tissue ACE2 expression was associated with multiple adverse cardio-metabolic health indices, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) (P = 9.14 × 10-6), obesity status (P = 4.81 × 10-5), higher serum fasting insulin (P = 5.32 × 10-4), BMI (P = 3.94 × 10-4), and lower serum HDL levels (P = 1.92 × 10-7). ACE2 expression was also associated with estimated proportions of cell types in adipose tissue: lower expression was associated with a lower proportion of microvascular endothelial cells (P = 4.25 × 10-4) and higher proportion of macrophages (P = 2.74 × 10-5). Despite an estimated heritability of 32%, we did not identify any proximal or distal expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) associated with adipose tissue ACE2 expression. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that individuals with cardio-metabolic features known to increase risk of severe COVID-19 have lower background ACE2 levels in this highly relevant tissue. Reduced adipose tissue ACE2 expression may contribute to the pathophysiology of cardio-metabolic diseases, as well as the associated increased risk of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adipose Tissue , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Adipose Tissue/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , Cardiometabolic Risk Factors , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/genetics , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Obesity , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Cell Rep ; 39(5): 110757, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850799

ABSTRACT

Although the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination has been studied extensively at the polyclonal level using immune sera, little has been reported on the antibody response at the monoclonal level. Here, we isolate a panel of 44 anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from an individual who received two doses of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine at a 12-week interval. We show that, despite a relatively low serum neutralization titer, Spike-reactive IgG+ B cells are still detectable 9 months post-boost. Furthermore, mAbs with potent neutralizing activity against the current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (Alpha, Gamma, Beta, Delta, and Omicron) are present. The vaccine-elicited neutralizing mAbs form eight distinct competition groups and bind epitopes overlapping with neutralizing mAbs elicited following SARS-CoV-2 infection. AZD1222-elicited mAbs are more mutated than mAbs isolated from convalescent donors 1-2 months post-infection. These findings provide molecular insights into the AZD1222 vaccine-elicited antibody response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Vaccination
13.
Cell Rep Methods ; 2(3): 100186, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828185

ABSTRACT

Management of COVID-19 and other epidemics requires large-scale diagnostic testing. The gold standard for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection remains reverse transcription quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis, which detects viral RNA more sensitively than any other method. However, the resource use and supply-chain requirements of RT-PCR have continued to challenge diagnostic laboratories worldwide. Here, we establish and characterize a low-cost method to detect SARS-CoV-2 in clinical combined nose and throat swabs, allowing for automation in high-throughput settings. This method inactivates virus material with sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) and uses silicon dioxide as the RNA-binding matrix in combination with sodium chloride (NaCl) and isopropanol. With similar sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 viral targets but a fraction of time and reagent expenditure compared with commercial kits, our method also enables sample pooling without loss of sensitivity. We suggest that this method will facilitate more economical widespread testing, particularly in resource-limited settings.

14.
STAR Protoc ; 3(2): 101300, 2022 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805344

ABSTRACT

The gold standard protocol for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection detection remains reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), which detects viral RNA more sensitively than any other approach. Here, we present Homebrew, a low-cost protocol to extract RNA using widely available reagents. Homebrew is as sensitive as commercially available RNA extraction kits. Homebrew allows for sample pooling and can be adapted for automation in high-throughput settings. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Page et al. (2022).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Automation , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
STAR protocols ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755971

ABSTRACT

The gold standard protocol for SARS-CoV-2 infection detection remains reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), which detects viral RNA more sensitively than any other approach. Here, we present Homebrew, a low cost protocol to extract RNA using widely available reagents. Homebrew is as sensitive as commercially available RNA extraction kits. Homebrew allows for sample pooling and can be adapted for automation in high throughput settings. Graphical

17.
mBio ; 13(2): e0379821, 2022 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745822

ABSTRACT

Numerous studies have shown that a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection can greatly enhance the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination, with this so called "hybrid immunity" leading to greater neutralization breadth against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. However, little is known about how breakthrough infection (BTI) in COVID-19-vaccinated individuals will impact the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. Here, we compared neutralizing antibody responses between unvaccinated and COVID-19-double-vaccinated individuals (including both AZD1222 and BNT162b2 vaccinees) who have been infected with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Rapid production of spike-reactive IgG was observed in the vaccinated group, providing evidence of effective vaccine priming. Overall, potent cross-neutralizing activity against current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern was observed in the BTI group compared to the infection group, including neutralization of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. This study provides important insights into population immunity where transmission levels remain high and in the context of new or emerging variants of concern. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 vaccines have been vital in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infections and reducing hospitalizations. However, breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections (BTI) occur in some vaccinated individuals. Here, we study how BTI impacts on the potency and the breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. We show that a Delta infection in COVID-19-vaccinated individuals provides potent neutralization against the current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
19.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 4(1): e42-e52, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595648

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines have robust immunogenicity in the general population. However, data for individuals with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases who are taking immunosuppressants remains scarce. Our previously published cohort study showed that methotrexate, but not targeted biologics, impaired functional humoral immunity to a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), whereas cellular responses were similar. Here, we aimed to assess immune responses following the second dose. METHODS: In this longitudinal cohort study, we recruited individuals with psoriasis who were receiving methotrexate or targeted biological monotherapy (ie, tumour necrosis factor [TNF] inhibitors, interleukin [IL]-17 inhibitors, or IL-23 inhibitors) from a specialist psoriasis centre serving London and South-East England. The healthy control cohort were volunteers without psoriasis, not receiving immunosuppression. Immunogenicity was evaluated immediately before, on day 28 after the first BNT162b2 vaccination and on day 14 after the second dose (administered according to an extended interval regimen). Here, we report immune responses following the second dose. The primary outcomes were humoral immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, defined as titres of total spike-specific IgG and of neutralising antibody to wild-type, alpha (B.1.1.7), and delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variants, and cellular immunity defined as spike-specific T-cell responses (including numbers of cells producing interferon-γ, IL-2, IL-21). FINDINGS: Between Jan 14 and April 4, 2021, 121 individuals were recruited, and data were available for 82 participants after the second vaccination. The study population included patients with psoriasis receiving methotrexate (n=14), TNF inhibitors (n=19), IL-17 inhibitors (n=14), IL-23 inhibitors (n=20), and 15 healthy controls, who had received both vaccine doses. The median age of the study population was 44 years (IQR 33-52), with 43 (52%) males and 71 (87%) participants of White ethnicity. All participants had detectable spike-specific antibodies following the second dose, and all groups (methotrexate, targeted biologics, and healthy controls) demonstrated similar neutralising antibody titres against wild-type, alpha, and delta variants. By contrast, a lower proportion of participants on methotrexate (eight [62%] of 13, 95% CI 32-86) and targeted biologics (37 [74%] of 50, 60-85; p=0·38) had detectable T-cell responses following the second vaccine dose, compared with controls (14 [100%] of 14, 77-100; p=0·022). There was no difference in the magnitude of T-cell responses between patients receiving methotrexate (median cytokine-secreting cells per 106 cells 160 [IQR 10-625]), targeted biologics (169 [25-503], p=0·56), and controls (185 [133-328], p=0·41). INTERPRETATION: Functional humoral immunity (ie, neutralising antibody responses) at 14 days following a second dose of BNT162b2 was not impaired by methotrexate or targeted biologics. A proportion of patients on immunosuppression did not have detectable T-cell responses following the second dose. The longevity of vaccine-elicited antibody responses is unknown in this population. FUNDING: NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London; The Psoriasis Association.

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