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1.
Med (N Y) ; 3(6): 422-432.e3, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926778

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern (VOC) has evolved multiple mutations within the spike protein, raising concerns of increased antibody evasion. In this study, we assessed the neutralization potential of COVID-19 convalescent sera and sera from vaccinated individuals against ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and VOCs. Methods: The neutralizing activity of sera from 65 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine recipients and convalescent individuals against clinical isolates of ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and Beta, Delta, and Omicron VOCs was assessed using a micro-neutralization assay. Findings: Convalescent sera from unvaccinated individuals infected by the ancestral virus demonstrated reduced neutralization against Beta and Omicron VOCs. Sera from individuals that received three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines demonstrated reduced neutralization of the Omicron variant relative to ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Sera from individuals that were naturally infected with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and subsequently received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine induced significantly higher neutralizing antibody levels against ancestral virus and all VOCs. Infection alone, either with ancestral SARS-CoV-2 or the Delta variant, was not sufficient to induce high neutralizing antibody titers against Omicron. Conclusions: In summary, we demonstrate that convalescent and vaccinated sera display varying levels of SARS-CoV-2 VOC neutralization. Data from this study will inform booster vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. Funding: This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). VIDO receives operational funding from the Government of Saskatchewan through Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Agriculture and from the Canada Foundation for Innovation through the Major Science Initiatives for its CL3 facility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saskatchewan , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
2.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900371

ABSTRACT

Among outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) δ (delta) variant who did and did not receive 2 vaccine doses at 7 days after symptom onset, there was no difference in viral shedding (cycle threshold difference 0.59, 95% CI, -4.68 to 3.50; P = .77) with SARS-CoV-2 cultured from 2 (7%) of 28 and 1 (4%) of 26 outpatients, respectively.

3.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0050922, 2022 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891737

ABSTRACT

Cell-mediated immunity is critical for long-term protection against most viral infections, including coronaviruses. We studied 23 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected survivors over a 1-year post-symptom onset (PSO) interval by ex vivo cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) assay. All subjects demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and granzyme B (GzmB) T cell responses at presentation, with greater frequencies in severe disease. Cytokines, mainly produced by CD4+ T cells, targeted all structural proteins (nucleocapsid, membrane, and spike) except envelope, with GzmB and IL-2 greater than IFN-γ. Mathematical modeling predicted that (i) cytokine responses peaked at 6 days for IFN-γ, 36 days for IL-2, and 7 days for GzmB, (ii) severe illness was associated with reduced IFN-γ and GzmB but increased IL-2 production rates, and (iii) males displayed greater production of IFN-γ, whereas females produced more GzmB. Ex vivo responses declined over time, with persistence of IL-2 in 86% and of IFN-γ and GzmB in 70% of subjects at a median of 336 days PSO. The average half-life of SARS-CoV-2-specific cytokine-producing cells was modeled to be 139 days (~4.6 months). Potent T cell proliferative responses persisted throughout observation, were CD4 dominant, and were capable of producing all 3 cytokines. Several immunodominant CD4 and CD8 epitopes identified in this study were shared by seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1 in the nucleocapsid and membrane regions. Both SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones were able to kill target cells, though CD8 tended to be more potent. IMPORTANCE Our findings highlight the relative importance of SARS-CoV-2-specific GzmB-producing T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 control and shared CD4 and CD8 immunodominant epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1, and they indicate robust persistence of T cell memory at least 1 year after infection. Our findings should inform future strategies to induce T cell vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
4.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 11(3): e1380, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750347

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Antibody testing against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been instrumental in detecting previous exposures and analyzing vaccine-elicited immune responses. Here, we describe a scalable solution to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, discriminate between natural infection- and vaccination-induced responses, and assess antibody-mediated inhibition of the spike-angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) interaction. Methods: We developed methods and reagents to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The main assays focus on the parallel detection of immunoglobulin (Ig)Gs against the spike trimer, its receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid (N). We automated a surrogate neutralisation (sn)ELISA that measures inhibition of ACE2-spike or -RBD interactions by antibodies. The assays were calibrated to a World Health Organization reference standard. Results: Our single-point IgG-based ELISAs accurately distinguished non-infected and infected individuals. For seroprevalence assessment (in a non-vaccinated cohort), classifying a sample as positive if antibodies were detected for ≥ 2 of the 3 antigens provided the highest specificity. In vaccinated cohorts, increases in anti-spike and -RBD (but not -N) antibodies are observed. We present detailed protocols for serum/plasma or dried blood spots analysis performed manually and on automated platforms. The snELISA can be performed automatically at single points, increasing its scalability. Conclusions: Measuring antibodies to three viral antigens and identify neutralising antibodies capable of disrupting spike-ACE2 interactions in high-throughput enables large-scale analyses of humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. The reagents are available to enable scaling up of standardised serological assays, permitting inter-laboratory data comparison and aggregation.

5.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
7.
J Immunol ; 208(2): 429-443, 2022 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674944

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces T cell, B cell, and Ab responses that are detected for several months in recovered individuals. Whether this response resembles a typical respiratory viral infection is a matter of debate. In this study, we followed T cell and Ab responses in 24 mainly nonhospitalized human subjects who had recovered from PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection at two time points (median of 45 and 145 d after symptom onset). Ab responses were detected in 95% of subjects, with a strong correlation between plasma and salivary anti-spike (anti-S) and anti-receptor binding domain IgG, as well as a correlation between circulating T follicular helper cells and the SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG response. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 peptides were determined using intracellular cytokine staining, activation markers, proliferation, and cytokine secretion. All study subjects had a T cell response to at least one SARS-CoV-2 Ag based on at least one T cell assay. CD4+ responses were largely of the Th1 phenotype, but with a lower ratio of IFN-γ- to IL-2-producing cells and a lower frequency of CD8+:CD4+ T cells than in influenza A virus (IAV)-specific memory responses within the same subjects. Analysis of secreted molecules also revealed a lower ratio of IFN-γ to IL-2 and an altered cytotoxic profile for SARS-CoV-2 S- and nucleocapsid-specific responses compared with IAV-specific responses. These data suggest that the memory T cell phenotype after a single infection with SARS-CoV-2 persists over time, with an altered cytokine and cytotoxicity profile compared with long-term memory to whole IAV within the same subjects.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors
8.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
9.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2123622, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391523

ABSTRACT

Importance: Patients undergoing hemodialysis have a high mortality rate associated with COVID-19, and this patient population often has a poor response to vaccinations. Randomized clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines included few patients with kidney disease; therefore, vaccine immunogenicity is uncertain in this population. Objective: To evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis following 1 vs 2 doses of BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccination compared with health care workers serving as controls and convalescent serum. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective, single-center cohort study was conducted between February 2 and April 17, 2021, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Participants included 142 patients receiving in-center hemodialysis and 35 health care worker controls. Exposures: BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies to the spike protein (anti-spike), receptor binding domain (anti-RBD), and nucleocapsid protein (anti-NP). Results: Among the 142 participants undergoing maintenance hemodialysis, 94 (66%) were men; median age was 72 (interquartile range, 62-79) years. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were measured in 66 patients receiving 1 vaccine dose following a public health policy change, 76 patients receiving 2 vaccine doses, and 35 health care workers receiving 2 vaccine doses. Detectable anti-NP suggestive of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in 15 of 142 (11%) patients at baseline, and only 3 patients had prior COVID-19 confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing. Two additional patients contracted COVID-19 after receiving 2 doses of vaccine. In 66 patients receiving a single BNT162b2 dose, seroconversion occurred in 53 (80%) for anti-spike and 36 (55%) for anti-RBD by 28 days postdose, but a robust response, defined by reaching the median levels of antibodies in convalescent serum from COVID-19 survivors, was noted in only 15 patients (23%) for anti-spike and 4 (6%) for anti-RBD in convalescent serum from COVID-19 survivors. In patients receiving 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine, seroconversion occurred in 69 of 72 (96%) for anti-spike and 63 of 72 (88%) for anti-RBD by 2 weeks following the second dose and median convalescent serum levels were reached in 52 of 72 patients (72%) for anti-spike and 43 of 72 (60%) for anti-RBD. In contrast, all 35 health care workers exceeded the median level of anti-spike and anti-RBD found in convalescent serum 2 to 4 weeks after the second dose. Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests poor immunogenicity 28 days following a single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine in the hemodialysis population, supporting adherence to recommended vaccination schedules and avoiding delay of the second dose in these at-risk individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Male , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Renal Dialysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
iScience ; 24(5): 102477, 2021 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201540

ABSTRACT

Type I interferons (IFNs) are our first line of defense against virus infection. Recent studies have suggested the ability of SARS-CoV-2 proteins to inhibit IFN responses. Emerging data also suggest that timing and extent of IFN production is associated with manifestation of COVID-19 severity. In spite of progress in understanding how SARS-CoV-2 activates antiviral responses, mechanistic studies into wild-type SARS-CoV-2-mediated induction and inhibition of human type I IFN responses are scarce. Here we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces a type I IFN response in vitro and in moderate cases of COVID-19. In vitro stimulation of type I IFN expression and signaling in human airway epithelial cells is associated with activation of canonical transcriptions factors, and SARS-CoV-2 is unable to inhibit exogenous induction of these responses. Furthermore, we show that physiological levels of IFNα detected in patients with moderate COVID-19 is sufficient to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication in human airway cells.

15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(6): 1064-1066, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132452

ABSTRACT

We enrolled 91 consecutive inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 hospitals in Toronto, Canada, and tested 1 nasopharyngeal swab/saliva sample pair from each patient using real-time RT-PCR for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Sensitivity was 89% for nasopharyngeal swabs and 72% for saliva (P = .02). Difference in sensitivity was greatest for sample pairs collected later in illness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Canada , Humans , Nasopharynx , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Saliva
17.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(8): 1001-1003, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977236

ABSTRACT

To compare sensitivity of specimens for COVID-19 diagnosis, we tested 151 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate swab pairs from 117 COVID-19 inpatients using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sensitivity was 94% for nasopharyngeal and 75% for midturbinate swabs (P = .0001). In 88 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate pairs with matched saliva, sensitivity was 86% for nasopharyngeal swabs and 88% for combined midturbinate swabs/saliva.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Nasopharynx , Saliva , Specimen Handling
18.
Sci Immunol ; 5(52)2020 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842548

ABSTRACT

While the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 has been extensively studied in blood, relatively little is known about the antibody response in saliva and its relationship to systemic antibody levels. Here, we profiled by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) IgG, IgA and IgM responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (full length trimer) and its receptor-binding domain (RBD) in serum and saliva of acute and convalescent patients with laboratory-diagnosed COVID-19 ranging from 3-115 days post-symptom onset (PSO), compared to negative controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were readily detected in serum and saliva, with peak IgG levels attained by 16-30 days PSO. Longitudinal analysis revealed that anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgM antibodies rapidly decayed, while IgG antibodies remained relatively stable up to 105 days PSO in both biofluids. Lastly, IgG, IgM and to a lesser extent IgA responses to spike and RBD in the serum positively correlated with matched saliva samples. This study confirms that serum and saliva IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are maintained in the majority of COVID-19 patients for at least 3 months PSO. IgG responses in saliva may serve as a surrogate measure of systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 based on their correlation with serum IgG responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Saliva/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(10): 1365-1370.e7, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-803008

ABSTRACT

During the first few months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Canadian nursing homes implemented strict no-visitor policies to reduce the risk of introducing COVID-19 in these settings. There are now growing concerns that the risks associated with restricted access to family caregivers and visitors have started to outweigh the potential benefits associated with preventing COVID-19 infections. Many residents have sustained severe and potentially irreversible physical, functional, cognitive, and mental health declines. As Canada emerges from its first wave of the pandemic, nursing homes across the country have cautiously started to reopen these settings, yet there is broad criticism that emerging visitor policies are overly restrictive, inequitable, and potentially harmful. We reviewed the nursing home visitor policies for Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories as well as international policies and reports on the topic to develop 10 provi-informed, data-driven, and expert-reviewed guidance for the re-opening of Canadian nursing homes to family caregivers and visitors.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Loneliness/psychology , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Social Isolation/psychology , Aging/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Health Policy , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab ; 46(1): 10-26, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639400

ABSTRACT

Holder pasteurization (62.5 °C, 30 min) of human milk is thought to reduce the risk of transmitting viruses to an infant. Some viruses may be secreted into milk - others may be contaminants. The effect of thermal pasteurization on viruses in human milk has yet to be rigorously reviewed. The objective of this study is to characterize the effect of common pasteurization techniques on viruses in human milk and non-human milk matrices. Databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science) were searched from inception to April 20th, 2020, for primary research articles assessing the impact of pasteurization on viral load or detection of live virus. Reviews were excluded, as were studies lacking quantitative measurements or those assessing pasteurization as a component of a larger process. Overall, of 65 131 reports identified, 109 studies were included. Pasteurization of human milk at a minimum temperature of 56-60 °C is effective at reducing detectable live virus. In cell culture media or plasma, coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV) are highly susceptible to heating at ≥56 °C. Although pasteurization parameters and matrices reported vary, all viruses studied, except parvoviruses, were susceptible to thermal killing. Future research important for the study of novel viruses should standardize pasteurization protocols and should test inactivation in human milk. Novelty In all matrices, including human milk, pasteurization at 62.5 °C was generally sufficient to reduce surviving viral load by several logs or to below the limit of detection. Holder pasteurization (62.5 °C, 30 min) of human milk should be sufficient to inactivate nonheat resistant viruses, including coronaviruses, if present.


Subject(s)
Milk, Human/virology , Milk/virology , Pasteurization/methods , Viral Load/statistics & numerical data , Animals , Humans
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