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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22271827


In this randomized, observer-blinded, phase 2/3 study, S-268019-b (n=101), a recombinant spike protein vaccine, was analyzed for noninferiority versus tozinameran (n=103), when given as a booster [≥]6 months after 2-dose tozinameran regimen in Japanese adults without prior COVID-19 infection. Interim results showed noninferiority of S-268019-b versus tozinameran in co-primary endpoints for neutralizing antibodies on day 29: geometric mean titer (GMT) (124.97 versus 109.70; adjusted-GMT ratio [95% CI], 1.14 [0.94-1.39]; noninferiority P-value, <0.0001) and seroresponse rate (both 100%; noninferiority P-value, 0.0004). Both vaccines elicited anti-spike-protein immunoglobulin G antibodies, and produced T-cell response (n=29/group) and neutralizing antibodies against Delta and Omicron pseudovirus and live virus variants (n=24/group) in subgroups. Most participants reported low-grade reactogenicity on days 1-2, the most frequent being fatigue, fever, myalgia, and injection-site pain. No serious adverse events were reported. In conclusion, S-268019-b was safe and showed robust immunogenicity as a booster, supporting its use as COVID-19 booster vaccine. JRCT IDjRCT2031210470 HighlightsO_LIThird COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster) enhances immune response C_LIO_LIInterim phase 2/3 data for booster [≥]6 months after the 2nd dose in Japan are shown C_LIO_LIS-268019-b was noninferior to tozinameran in inducing neutralizing antibodies C_LIO_LISera boosted with either vaccines neutralized Delta and Omicron virus variants C_LIO_LIS-268019-b was safe, and results support its use as a booster in vaccinated adults C_LI

Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-474091


SARS-CoV-2 Beta and Omicron variants have multiple mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) allowing antibody evasion. Despite the resistance to circulating antibodies in those who received two doses of mRNA vaccine, the third dose prominently recalls cross-neutralizing antibodies with expanded breadth to these variants. Herein, we longitudinally profiled the cellular composition of persistent memory B-cell subsets and their antibody reactivity against these variants following the second vaccine dose. The vaccination elicited a memory B-cell subset with resting phenotype that dominated the other subsets at 4.9 months. Notably, most of the resting memory subset retained the ability to bind the Beta variant, and the memory-derived antibodies cross-neutralized the Beta and Omicron variants at frequencies of 59% and 29%, respectively. The preservation of cross-neutralizing antibody repertoires in the durable memory B-cell subset likely contributes to the prominent recall of cross-neutralizing antibodies following the third dose of the vaccine. One Sentence SummaryFully vaccinated individuals preserve cross-neutralizing memory B-cells against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21264013


SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits varying degrees of protective immunity conferred by neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here we report the persistence of nAb responses over 12 months after infection despite its decreasing trend noticed from 6 months. The study included sera from 358 individuals who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 between January and May 2020. Samples were collected at 6 and 12 months after onset. The titers of IgG to the viral nucleocapsid protein (NP) and receptor-binding domain of the spike protein (RBD) were measured by CLEIA. The nAb titer was determined using lentivirus-based pseudovirus or authentic virus. Antibody titers of NP-IgG, RBD-IgG, and nAbs were higher in severe and moderate cases than in mild cases at 12 months after onset. While the nAb levels were likely to confer adequate protection against wild-type viral infection, the neutralization activity to recently circulating variants in some of the mild cases ([~]30%) was undermined, implying the susceptibility of reinfection to the variants of concerns (VOCs). COVID-19 convalescent individuals have robust humoral immunity even at 12 months after infection albeit that the medical history and background of patients could affect the function and dynamics of antibody response to the VOCs.

Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-436573


T cells play pivotal roles in protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells mediate the production of antigen-specific antibodies; however, T cell receptor (TCR) clonotypes used by SARS-CoV-2-specific Tfh cells have not been well characterized. Here, we first identified and crystallized public TCR of Tfh clonotypes that are shared and expanded in unhospitalized COVID-19-recovered patients. These clonotypes preferentially recognized SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein epitopes which are conserved among emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. These clonotypes did not react with S proteins derived from common cold human coronaviruses, but cross-reacted with symbiotic bacteria, which might confer the publicity. Among SARS-CoV-2 S epitopes, S864-882, presented by frequent HLA-DR alleles, could activate multiple public Tfh clonotypes in COVID-19-recovered patients. Furthermore, S864-882-loaded HLA tetramer preferentially bound to CD4+ T cells expressing CXCR5. In this study, we identified and crystallized public TCR for SARS-CoV-2 that may contribute to the prevention of COVID-19 aggravation.