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1.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.05.21264054

ABSTRACT

Patients on dialysis are at risk of severe course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding the neutralizing activity and coverage of SARS-CoV-2 variants of vaccine-elicited antibodies is required to guide prophylactic and therapeutic COVID-19 interventions in this frail population. By analyzing plasma samples from 130 hemodialysis (HD) and 13 peritoneal dialysis patients after two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines, we found that 35% of the patients had low-level or undetectable IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S). Neutralizing antibodies against the vaccine-matched SARS-CoV-2 and Delta variant were low or undetectable in 49% and 77% of patients, respectively, and were further reduced against other emerging variants. The fraction of non-responding patients was higher in SARS-CoV-2-naive HD patients immunized with BNT162b2 (66%) than those immunized with mRNA-1273 (23%). The reduced neutralizing activity correlated with low antibody avidity, consistent with a delayed affinity maturation of SARS-CoV-2 S-specific B cells. These data indicate that dialysis patients should be considered for an additional boost and other therapeutic strategies, including early immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies.

2.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.06.438709

ABSTRACT

An ideal anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody would resist viral escape, have activity against diverse SARS-related coronaviruses, and be highly protective through viral neutralization and effector functions. Understanding how these properties relate to each other and vary across epitopes would aid development of antibody therapeutics and guide vaccine design. Here, we comprehensively characterize escape, breadth, and potency across a panel of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD), including S309, the parental antibody of the late-stage clinical antibody VIR-7831. We observe a tradeoff between SARS-CoV-2 in vitro neutralization potency and breadth of binding across SARS-related coronaviruses. Nevertheless, we identify several neutralizing antibodies with exceptional breadth and resistance to escape, including a new antibody (S2H97) that binds with high affinity to all SARS-related coronavirus clades via a unique RBD epitope centered on residue E516. S2H97 and other escape-resistant antibodies have high binding affinity and target functionally constrained RBD residues. We find that antibodies targeting the ACE2 receptor binding motif (RBM) typically have poor breadth and are readily escaped by mutations despite high neutralization potency, but we identify one potent RBM antibody (S2E12) with breadth across sarbecoviruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 and with a high barrier to viral escape. These data highlight functional diversity among antibodies targeting the RBD and identify epitopes and features to prioritize for antibody and vaccine development against the current and potential future pandemics.

3.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.03.438258

ABSTRACT

Investigating the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 cellular infection is key to better understand COVID-19 immunity and pathogenesis. Infection, which involves both cell attachment and membrane fusion, relies on the ACE2 receptor that is paradoxically found at low levels in the respiratory tract, suggesting that additional mechanisms facilitating infection may exist. Here we show that C-type lectin receptors, DC-SIGN, L-SIGN and the sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin 1 (SIGLEC1) function as auxiliary receptors by enhancing ACE2-mediated infection and modulating the neutralizing activity of different classes of spike-specific antibodies. Antibodies to the N-terminal domain (NTD) or to the conserved proteoglycan site at the base of the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), while poorly neutralizing infection of ACE2 over-expressing cells, effectively block lectin-facilitated infection. Conversely, antibodies to the Receptor Binding Motif (RBM), while potently neutralizing infection of ACE2 over-expressing cells, poorly neutralize infection of cells expressing DC-SIGN or L-SIGN and trigger fusogenic rearrangement of the spike promoting cell-to-cell fusion. Collectively, these findings identify a lectin-dependent pathway that enhances ACE2-dependent infection by SARS-CoV-2 and reveal distinct mechanisms of neutralization by different classes of spike-specific antibodies.

4.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.04.355842

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 can mutate to evade immunity, with consequences for the efficacy of emerging vaccines and antibody therapeutics. Herein we demonstrate that the immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) receptor binding motif (RBM) is the most divergent region of S, and provide epidemiological, clinical, and molecular characterization of a prevalent RBM variant, N439K. We demonstrate that N439K S protein has enhanced binding affinity to the hACE2 receptor, and that N439K virus has similar clinical outcomes and in vitro replication fitness as compared to wild- type. We observed that the N439K mutation resulted in immune escape from a panel of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, including one in clinical trials, as well as from polyclonal sera from a sizeable fraction of persons recovered from infection. Immune evasion mutations that maintain virulence and fitness such as N439K can emerge within SARS-CoV-2 S, highlighting the need for ongoing molecular surveillance to guide development and usage of vaccines and therapeutics.

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