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Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(22): 5619-5632, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2174032


In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for rapid serological tests that allow multiplexing emerged, as antibody seropositivity can instruct about individual immunity after an infection with SARS-CoV-2 or after vaccination. As many commercial antibody tests are either time-consuming or tend to produce false negative or false positive results when only one antigen is considered, we developed an automated, flow-based chemiluminescence microarray immunoassay (CL-MIA) that allows for the detection of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD), spike protein (S1 fragment), and nucleocapsid protein (N) in human serum and plasma in less than 8 min. The CoVRapid CL-MIA was tested with a set of 65 SARS-CoV-2 serology positive or negative samples, resulting in 100% diagnostic specificity and 100% diagnostic sensitivity, thus even outcompeting commercial tests run on the same sample set. Additionally, the prospect of future quantitative assessments (i.e., quantifying the level of antibodies) was demonstrated. Due to the fully automated process, the test can easily be operated in hospitals, medical practices, or vaccination centers, offering a valuable tool for COVID-19 serosurveillance. Graphical abstract.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Automation, Laboratory , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immobilized Proteins/chemistry , Immobilized Proteins/immunology , Immune Sera , Immunoassay/instrumentation , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Luminescent Measurements , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046324


Understanding immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is crucial to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a multiplex approach, serum IgG responses against the whole SARS-CoV-2 proteome and the nucleocapsid proteins of endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) were measured in SARS-CoV-2-infected donors and healthy controls. COVID-19 severity strongly correlated with IgG responses against the nucleocapsid (N) of SARS-CoV-2 and possibly with the number of viral antigens targeted. Furthermore, a strong correlation between COVID-19 severity and serum responses against N of endemic alpha- but not betacoronaviruses was detected. This correlation was neither caused by cross-reactivity of antibodies, nor by a general boosting effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on pre-existing humoral immunity. These findings raise the prospect of a potential disease progression marker for COVID-19 severity that allows for early stratification of infected individuals.

Front Immunol ; 12: 796379, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604322


Whole genome sequencing of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) isolates from around the world has uncovered pervasive strain heterogeneity, but the forces driving strain diversification and the impact on immune recognition remained largely unknown. Using a data mining approach, we analyzed more than 300 T-cell epitopes in 168 published EBV strains. Polymorphisms were detected in approximately 65% of all CD8+ and 80% of all CD4+ T-cell epitopes and these numbers further increased when epitope flanking regions were included. Polymorphisms in CD8+ T-cell epitopes often involved MHC anchor residues and resulted in changes of the amino acid subgroup, suggesting that only a limited number of conserved T-cell epitopes may represent generic target antigens against different viral strains. Although considered the prototypic EBV strain, the rather low degree of overlap with most other viral strains implied that B95.8 may not represent the ideal reference strain for T-cell epitopes. Instead, a combinatorial library of consensus epitopes may provide better targets for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes when the infecting strain is unknown. Polymorphisms were significantly enriched in epitope versus non-epitope protein sequences, implicating immune selection in driving strain diversification. Remarkably, CD4+ T-cell epitopes in EBNA2, EBNA-LP, and the EBNA3 family appeared to be under negative selection pressure, hinting towards a beneficial role of immune responses against these latency type III antigens in virus biology. These findings validate this immunoinformatics approach for providing novel insight into immune targets and the intricate relationship of host defense and virus evolution that may also pertain to other pathogens.

Antigenic Variation , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Genetic Heterogeneity , Herpesvirus 4, Human/genetics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Algorithms , Antigens, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , Data Mining , Databases, Genetic , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/immunology