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1.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.02.24.481778

ABSTRACT

Using a recently introduced efficient mass spectrometry-based approach we monitored in molecular detail the IgG1 clonal responses in individual donors' IgG1 clonal responses in molecular detail, examining SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein-specific IgG1 repertoires. We monitored the plasma clonal IgG1 profiles of 8 donors (4 male and 4 female) who had recently experienced an infection by either the wild type Wuhan Hu-1 virus or one of 3 VOCs (Alpha, Beta and Gamma). In these donors we charted the full plasma IgG1 repertoires as well as the IgG1 repertoires targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein trimer as antigen. We observed that shortly after infection in between <0.1% to almost 10% of all IgG1 antibody molecules present in plasma did bind to the spike protein. Each donor displayed a unique plasma IgG1 repertoire, but also each donor displayed a unique and polyclonal antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein variants. Our analyses revealed that certain clones exhibit (alike) binding affinity towards all four tested spike-protein variants, whereas other clones displayed strong unique mutant-specific affinity. We conclude that each infected person generates a unique polyclonal response following infection, whereby some of these clones can bind multiple viral variants, whereas other clones do not display such cross-reactivity. In general, by assessing IgG1 repertoires following infection it becomes possible to identify and select fully matured human plasma antibodies that target specific antigens, and display either high specificity or cross-reactivity versus mutated versions of the antigen, which will aid in selecting antibodies that may be developed into biotherapeutics.

2.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.01.03.21268582

ABSTRACT

Large-scale vaccination campaigns have prevented countless SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. However, the emergence of variants that escape from immunity challenges the effectiveness of current vaccines. Given this continuing evolution, an important question is when and how to update SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to antigenically match circulating variants, similar to seasonal influenza viruses where antigenic drift necessitates periodic vaccine updates. Here, we studied SARS-CoV-2 antigenic drift by assessing neutralizing activity against variants-of-concern (VOCs) of a unique set of sera from patients infected with a range of VOCs. Infections with ancestral or Alpha strains induced the broadest immunity, while individuals infected with other VOCs had more strain-specific responses. Omicron was substantially resistant to neutralization by sera elicited by all other variants. Antigenic cartography revealed that all VOCs preceding Omicron belong to one antigenic cluster, while Omicron forms a new antigenic cluster associated with immune escape and likely requiring vaccine updates to ensure vaccine effectiveness.

3.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.26.453755

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic causes an ongoing global health crisis, which requires efficient and safe vaccination programs. Here, we present synthetic SARS-CoV2 S glycoprotein-coated liposomes that resemble in size and surface structure virus-like particles. Soluble S glycoprotein trimers were stabilized by formaldehyde cross-linking and coated onto lipid vesicles (S-VLP). Immunization of cynomolgus macaques with S-VLPs induced high antibody titers and TH1 CD4+ biased T cell responses. Although antibody responses were initially dominated by RBD specificity, the third immunization boosted non-RBD antibody titers. Antibodies showed potent neutralization against the vaccine strain and the Alpha variant after two immunizations and robust neutralization of Beta and Gamma strains. Challenge of animals with SARS-CoV-2 protected all vaccinated animals by sterilizing immunity. Thus, the S-VLP approach is an efficient and safe vaccine candidate based on a proven classical approach for further development and clinical testing.

4.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.18.448939

ABSTRACT

Determining how antibodies interact with the spike (S) protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is critical for combating COVID-19. Structural studies typically employ simplified, truncated constructs that may not fully recapitulate the behaviour of the original complexes. Here, we combine two single particle mass analysis techniques (mass photometry and charge-detection mass spectrometry) to enable measurement of full IgG binding to the trimeric SARS-CoV-2 S ectodomain. Our experiments reveal that antibodies targeting the S-trimer typically prefer stoichiometries lower than the symmetry-predicted 3:1 binding. We determine that this behaviour arises from the interplay of steric clashes and avidity effects that are not reflected in common antibody constructs (i.e. Fabs). Surprisingly, these sub-stoichiometric complexes are fully effective at blocking ACE2 binding despite containing free receptor binding sites. Our results highlight the importance of studying antibody/antigen interactions using complete, multimeric constructs and showcase the utility of single particle mass analyses in unraveling these complex interactions.

5.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.03.26.437014

ABSTRACT

A subset of patients with COVID-19 become critically ill, suffering from severe respiratory problems and also increased rates of thrombosis. The causes of thrombosis in severely ill COVID-19 patients are still emerging, but the coincidence of critical illness with the timing of the onset of adaptive immunity could implicate an excessive immune response. We hypothesised that platelets might be susceptible to activation by anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and contribute to thrombosis. We found that immune complexes containing recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and anti-spike IgG enhanced platelet-mediated thrombosis on von Willebrand Factor in vitro, but only when the glycosylation state of the Fc domain was modified to correspond with the aberrant glycosylation previously identified in patients with severe COVID-19. Furthermore, we found that activation was dependent on FcyRIIA and we provide in vitro evidence that this pathogenic platelet activation can be counteracted by therapeutic small molecules R406 (fostamatinib) and ibrutinib that inhibit tyrosine kinases syk and btk respectively or by the P2Y12 antagonist cangrelor.

6.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-235272.v1

ABSTRACT

One year into the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), effective treatments are still needed1–3. Monoclonal antibodies, given alone or as part of a therapeutic cocktail, have shown promising results in patients, raising the hope that they could play an important role in preventing clinical deterioration in severely ill or in exposed, high risk individuals4–6. Here, we evaluated the prophylactic and therapeutic effect of COVA1-18 in vivo, a neutralizing antibody isolated from a convalescent patient7 and highly potent against the B.1.1.7. isolate8,9. In both prophylactic and therapeutic settings, SARS-CoV-2 remained undetectable in the lungs of COVA1-18 treated hACE2 mice. Therapeutic treatment also caused a dramatic reduction in viral loads in the lungs of Syrian hamsters. When administered at 10 mg kg− 1 one day prior to a high dose SARS-CoV-2 challenge in cynomolgus macaques, COVA1-18 had a very strong antiviral activity in the upper respiratory compartments with an estimated reduction in viral infectivity of more than 95%, and prevented lymphopenia and extensive lung lesions. Modelling and experimental findings demonstrate that COVA1-18 has a strong antiviral activity in three different preclinical models and could be a valuable candidate for further clinical evaluation.

7.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.05.20241927

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein is critical for virus infection via engagement of ACE2, and amino acid variation in Spike is increasingly appreciated. Given both vaccines and therapeutics are designed around Wuhan-1 Spike, this raises the theoretical possibility of virus escape, particularly in immunocompromised individuals where prolonged viral replication occurs. Here we report chronic SARS-CoV-2 with reduced sensitivity to neutralising antibodies in an immune suppressed individual treated with convalescent plasma, generating whole genome ultradeep sequences by both short and long read technologies over 23 time points spanning 101 days. Although little change was observed in the overall viral population structure following two courses of remdesivir over the first 57 days, N501Y in Spike was transiently detected at day 55 and V157L in RdRp emerged. However, following convalescent plasma we observed large, dynamic virus population shifts, with the emergence of a dominant viral strain bearing D796H in S2 and{Delta} H69/{Delta}V70 in the S1 N-terminal domain NTD of the Spike protein. As passively transferred serum antibodies diminished, viruses with the escape genotype diminished in frequency, before returning during a final, unsuccessful course of convalescent plasma. In vitro, the Spike escape double mutant bearing{Delta} H69/{Delta}V70 and D796H conferred decreased sensitivity to convalescent plasma, whilst maintaining infectivity similar to wild type. D796H appeared to be the main contributor to decreased susceptibility, but incurred an infectivity defect. The{Delta} H69/{Delta}V70 single mutant had two-fold higher infectivity compared to wild type and appeared to compensate for the reduced infectivity of D796H. Consistent with the observed mutations being outside the RBD, monoclonal antibodies targeting the RBD were not impacted by either or both mutations, but a non RBD binding monoclonal antibody was less potent against{Delta} H69/{Delta}V70 and the double mutant. These data reveal strong selection on SARS-CoV-2 during convalescent plasma therapy associated with emergence of viral variants with reduced susceptibility to neutralising antibodies.

8.
ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3732360

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is continuing to disrupt personal lives, global healthcare systems and economies. Hence, there is an urgent need for a vaccine that prevents viral infection, transmission and disease. Here, we present a two-component protein-based nanoparticle vaccine that displays multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Immunization studies show that this vaccine induces potent neutralizing antibody responses in mice, rabbits and cynomolgus macaques. The vaccine-induced immunity protected macaques against a high dose challenge, resulting in strongly reduced viral infection and replication in upper and lower airways. These nanoparticles are a promising vaccine candidate to curtail the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.Funding: This work was supported by a Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Vici grant (to R.W.S.); by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) grants OPP1111923, OPP1132237, and INV-002022 (to R.W.S. and/or N.P.K.), INV-008352/OPP1153692 and OPP1196345/INV-008813 (to M.C.), and grant OPP1170236 (to A.B.W.); by the Fondation Dormeur, Vaduz (to R.W.S. and to M.J.v.G.) and Health Holland PPS-allowance LSHM20040 (to M.J.v.G.); the University of Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund (to M.C.); and by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development ZONMW (to B.L.H). M.J.v.G. is a recipient of an AMC Fellowship from Amsterdam UMC and a COVID-19 grant from the Amsterdam Institute for Infection and Immunity. R.W.S and M.J.v.G. are recipients of support from the University of Amsterdam Proof of Concept fund (contract no. 200421) as managed by Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA). The Infectious Disease Models and Innovative Therapies (IDMIT) research infrastructure is supported by the ‘Programme Investissements d’Avenir, managed by the ANR under reference ANR-11-INBS-0008. The Fondation Bettencourt Schueller and the Region Ile-de-France contributed to the implementation of IDMIT’s facilities and imaging technologies. The NHP study received financial support from REACTing, the National Research Agency (ANR; AM-CoV-Path) and the European Infrastructure TRANSVAC2 (730964). Conflict of Interest: N.P.K. is a co-founder, shareholder, and chair of the scientific advisory board of Icosavax, Inc. All other authors declare no competing interests.Ethical Approval: The protocols were approved by the institutional ethical committee “Comité d’Ethique en Expérimentation Animale du Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives” (CEtEA #44) under statement number A20-011. The study was authorized by the “Research, Innovation and Education Ministry” under registration number APAFIS#24434-2020030216532863v1.

9.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.07.13.190140

ABSTRACT

For yet unknown reasons, severely ill COVID-19 patients often become critically ill around the time of activation of adaptive immunity. Here, we show that anti-Spike IgG from serum of severely ill COVID-19 patients induces a hyper-inflammatory response by human macrophages, which subsequently breaks pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity and induces microvascular thrombosis. The excessive inflammatory capacity of this anti-Spike IgG is related to glycosylation changes in the IgG Fc tail. Moreover, the hyper-inflammatory response induced by anti-Spike IgG can be specifically counteracted in vitro by use of the active component of fostamatinib, an FDA- and EMA-approved therapeutic small molecule inhibitor of Syk. One sentence summaryAnti-Spike IgG promotes hyper-inflammation.

10.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.12.088716

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has a significant impact on global health, travel and economy. Therefore, preventative and therapeutic measures are urgently needed. Here, we isolated neutralizing antibodies from convalescent COVID-19 patients using a SARS-CoV-2 stabilized prefusion spike protein. Several of these antibodies were able to potently inhibit live SARS-CoV-2 infection at concentrations as low as 0.007 {micro}g/mL, making them the most potent human SARS-CoV-2 antibodies described to date. Mapping studies revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contained multiple distinct antigenic sites, including several receptor-binding domain (RBD) epitopes as well as previously undefined non-RBD epitopes. In addition to providing guidance for vaccine design, these mAbs are promising candidates for treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

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