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1.
J Clin Invest ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089016

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein is synthesized as large precursor protein and must be activated by proteolytic cleavage into S1 and S2. A recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing native, full-length S protein (MVA-SARS-2-S) is currently under investigation as candidate vaccine in phase I clinical studies. Initial results from immunogenicity monitoring revealed induction of S-specific antibodies binding to S2, but low-level antibody responses to the S1 domain. Follow-up investigations of native S antigen synthesis in MVA-SARS-2-S infected cells revealed limited levels of S1 protein on the cell surface. In contrast, we found superior S1 cell surface presentation upon infection with a recombinant MVA expressing a stabilized version of SARS-CoV-2 S protein with an inactivated S1/2 cleavage site and K986→P and V987→P mutations (MVA-SARS-2-ST). When comparing immunogenicity of MVA vector vaccines, mice vaccinated with MVA-SARS-2-ST mounted substantial levels of S broadly reactive antibodies that effectively neutralized different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Importantly, intramuscular MVA-SARS-2-ST immunization of hamsters and mice resulted in potent immune responses upon challenge infection and protected from disease and severe lung pathology. Our results suggest that MVA-SARS-2-ST represents an improved clinical candidate vaccine and that the presence of plasma membrane-bound S1 is highly beneficial to induce protective antibody levels.

4.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 309, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528684

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surveillance tools to estimate viral transmission dynamics in young populations are essential to guide recommendations for school opening and management during viral epidemics. Ideally, sensitive techniques are required to detect low viral load exposures among asymptomatic children. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adult populations in a school-like environment during the initial COVID-19 pandemic waves using an antibody-based field-deployable and non-invasive approach. METHODS: Saliva antibody conversion defined as ≥ 4-fold increase in IgM, IgA, and/or IgG levels to five SARS-CoV-2 antigens including spike and nucleocapsid constructs was evaluated in 1509 children and 396 adults by high-throughput Luminex assays in samples collected weekly in 22 summer schools and 2 pre-schools in 27 venues in Barcelona, Spain, from June 29th to July 31st, 2020. RESULTS: Saliva antibody conversion between two visits over a 5-week period was 3.22% (49/1518) or 2.36% if accounting for potentially cross-reactive antibodies, six times higher than the cumulative infection rate (0.53%) assessed by weekly saliva RT-PCR screening. IgG conversion was higher in adults (2.94%, 11/374) than children (1.31%, 15/1144) (p=0.035), IgG and IgA levels moderately increased with age, and antibodies were higher in females. Most antibody converters increased both IgG and IgA antibodies but some augmented either IgG or IgA, with a faster decay over time for IgA than IgG. Nucleocapsid rather than spike was the main antigen target. Anti-spike antibodies were significantly higher in individuals not reporting symptoms than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective role against COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Saliva antibody profiling including three isotypes and multiplexing antigens is a useful and user-friendlier tool for screening pediatric populations to detect low viral load exposures among children, particularly while they are not vaccinated and vulnerable to highly contagious variants, and to recommend public health policies during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , Saliva , Schools , Spain/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21571, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500510

ABSTRACT

Sparse data exist on the complex natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 at the population level. We applied a well-validated multiplex serology test in 5000 participants of a general population study in Catalonia in blood samples collected from end June to mid November 2020. Based on responses to fifteen isotype-antigen combinations, we detected a seroprevalence of 18.1% in adults (n = 4740), and modeled extrapolation to the general population of Catalonia indicated a 15.3% seroprevalence. Antibodies persisted up to 9 months after infection. Immune profiling of infected individuals revealed that with increasing severity of infection (asymptomatic, 1-3 symptoms, ≥ 4 symptoms, admitted to hospital/ICU), seroresponses were more robust and rich with a shift towards IgG over IgA and anti-spike over anti-nucleocapsid responses. Among seropositive participants, lower antibody levels were observed for those ≥ 60 years vs < 60 years old and smokers vs non-smokers. Overweight/obese participants vs normal weight had higher antibody levels. Adolescents (13-15 years old) (n = 260) showed a seroprevalence of 11.5%, were less likely to be tested seropositive compared to their parents and had dominant anti-spike rather than anti-nucleocapsid IgG responses. Our study provides an unbiased estimate of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Catalonia and new evidence on the durability and heterogeneity of post-infection immunity.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibody Formation , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain
6.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 20(1): 162-172.e9, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Detailed information on the immune response after second vaccination of cirrhotic patients and liver transplant (LT) recipients against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely missing. We aimed at comparing the vaccine-induced humoral and T-cell responses of these vulnerable patient groups. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein titers were determined using the DiaSorin LIAISON (anti-S trimer) and Roche Elecsys (anti-S RBD) immunoassays in 194 patients (141 LT, 53 cirrhosis Child-Pugh A-C) and 56 healthy controls before and 10 to 84 days after second vaccination. The spike-specific T-cell response was assessed using an interferon-gamma release assay (EUROIMMUN). A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of low response. RESULTS: After the second vaccination, seroconversion was achieved in 63% of LT recipients and 100% of cirrhotic patients and controls using the anti-S trimer assay. Median anti-SARS-CoV-2 titers of responding LT recipients were lower compared with cirrhotic patients and controls (P < .001). Spike-specific T-cell response rates were 36.6%, 65.4%, and 100% in LT, cirrhosis, and controls, respectively. Altogether, 28% of LT recipients did neither develop a humoral nor a T-cell response after second vaccination. In LT recipients, significant predictors of absent or low humoral response were age >65 years (odds ratio [OR], 4.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48-14.05) and arterial hypertension (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.10-5.68), whereas vaccination failure was less likely with calcineurin inhibitor monotherapy than with other immunosuppressive regimens (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.13-0.99). CONCLUSION: Routine serological testing of the vaccination response and a third vaccination in patients with low or absent response seem advisable. These vulnerable cohorts need further research on the effects of heterologous vaccination and intermittent reduction of immunosuppression before booster vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity , Liver Cirrhosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
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