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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329809

ABSTRACT

The high number of mutations in the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 cause its immune escape when compared to the earlier variants of concern (VOC). At least three vaccine doses are required for the induction of Omicron neutralizing antibodies and further reducing the risk for hospitalization. However, most of the studies have focused on the immediate response after the booster vaccination while the duration of immune response is less known. We here studied longitudinal serum samples from the vaccinated individuals up to three months after their third dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine for their capacity to produce protective antibodies and T cell responses to Wuhan and Omicron variants. After the second dose, the antibody levels to the unmutated spike protein were significantly decreased at three months, and only 4% of the individuals were able to inhibit Omicron spike interaction compared to 47%, 38%, and 14% of individuals inhibiting wild-type, delta, and beta variants spike protein. Nine months after the second vaccination, the antibody levels were similar to the levels before the first dose and none of the sera inhibited SARS-CoV-2 wild-type or any of the three VOCs. The booster dose remarkably increased antibody levels and their ability to inhibit all variants. Three months after the booster the antibody levels and the inhibition activity were trending lower but still up and not significantly different from their peak values at two weeks after the third dose. Although responsiveness towards mutated spike peptides was lost in less than 20 % of vaccinated individuals, the wild-type spike-specific CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells were still present at three months after the booster vaccination in the majority of studied individuals. Our data show that two doses of the BNT62b2 vaccine are not sufficient to protect against the Omicron variant, however, the spike-specific antibodies and T cell responses are strongly elicited and well maintained three months after the third vaccination dose.

2.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295564

ABSTRACT

Background Although the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have proven high efficacy, limited data exists on the duration of immune responses and their relation to age and side effects. Methods We studied the antibody and memory T cell responses to Spike protein after the two-dose Comirnaty mRNA vaccine in 122 volunteers up to 3 months and correlated the findings with age and side effects. Findings We found a robust antibody response after the second vaccination dose. However, the antibody levels declined at 6 and 12 weeks postvaccination, indicating a waning of the immune response. Regardless, the average levels remained higher compared to pre-vaccination or in COVID-19 convalescent individuals. The antibodies efficiently blocked ACE2 receptor binding to Spike protein of four variants of concern at one week but this was decreased at three months, in particular with B.1.351 and P1 isolates. 87% of individuals developed Spike-specific memory T cell responses, which were lower in individuals with increased proportions of immunosenescent CD8+ TEMRA cells. We found a decreased vaccination efficacy but fewer adverse events in older individuals, suggesting a detrimental impact of age on outcome. Interpretation The mRNA vaccine induces a strong antibody response to four variants at 1 week postvaccination but decreases thereafter, in particular among older individuals. T cell responses, although detectable in the majority, were lower in individuals with immunosenescence. The deterioration of vaccine response needs to be monitored to define the optimal time for the revaccination. Funding The Estonian Research Council, Icosagen Cell Factory, and SYNLAB Estonia. Research in context Evidence before this study The first studies addressing the immune responses in older individuals after the administration of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have been published. We searched PubMed and medRxiv for publications on the immune response of SARS-CoV-2-mRNA vaccines, published in English, using the search terms “SARS-CoV-2”, “COVID-19”, “vaccine response”, “mRNA vaccine”, up to May 20th, 2021. To date, most mRNA vaccine response studies have not been peer-reviewed, and data on the dynamics of antibody response, role of age and side effects on SARS-CoV-2-mRNA vaccines in real vaccination situations is limited. Some studies have found a weaker immune response in older individuals after the first dose and these have been measured at a relatively short period (within one to two weeks) after the first dose but little longer-term evidence exists on the postvaccination antibody persistence. Added value of this study In this study, we assessed the antibody response up to three months after the full vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty mRNA vaccine in 122 individuals. Our findings show strong Spike RBD antibody responses one week after the second dose with the capacity to block ACE2-Spike protein interaction, however, the antibodies declined significantly at three months after the second dose. The inhibition of ACE2-Spike interaction was weaker with South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (P.1) than with Wuhan and UK (B.1.1.7) SARS-CoV-2 isolates. At three months 87% of vaccinated individuals developed either CD4+ or CD8+ T cell responses. Those negative for Spike-specific T cell response also tended to have lower Spike-specific antibody levels. In addition, CD4+ T cell response was decreased among vaccinated individuals with elevated levels of senescent CD8+ TEMRA cells. We found a weaker antibody response and faster waning of antibodies in older vaccinated individuals, which correlated with fewer side effects at the time of vaccinations. Implications of all the available evidence Our results show that two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty mRNA vaccine induce a strong antibody and T cell responses to Spike RBD region but the antibody levels are declined at three months after the second dose. Nevertheless, even at three months, the anti-Spike RBD antibody levels tay significantly higher than at prevaccination, after the first dose of vaccine, or in Covid-19 postinfection. Our findings implicate older individuals to have fewer vaccination adverse effects and weaker immune response after the vaccination and point to the need for more individualized vaccination protocols, in particular among older people.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 709759, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450807

ABSTRACT

The clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 infection range from asymptomatic to severe disease with life-threatening complications. Understanding the persistence of immune responses in asymptomatic individuals merit special attention because of their importance in controlling the spread of the infections. We here studied the antibody and T cell responses, and a wide range of inflammation markers, in 56 SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positive individuals, identified by a population screen after the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These, mostly asymptomatic individuals, were reanalyzed 7-8 months after their infection together with 115 age-matched seronegative controls. We found that 7-8 months after the infection their antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid (N) protein declined whereas we found no decrease in the antibodies to Spike receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) when compared to the findings at seropositivity identification. In contrast to antibodies to N protein, the antibodies to S-RBD correlated with the viral neutralization capacity and with CD4+ T cell responses as measured by antigen-specific upregulation of CD137 and CD69 markers. Unexpectedly we found the asymptomatic antibody-positive individuals to have increased serum levels of S100A12, TGF-alpha, IL18, and OSM, the markers of activated macrophages-monocytes, suggesting long-term persistent inflammatory effect associated with the viral infection in asymptomatic individuals. Our results support the evidence for the long-term persistence of the inflammation process and the need for post-infection clinical monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infected asymptomatic individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-18/blood , Macrophages/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Oncostatin M/blood , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , S100A12 Protein/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor alpha/blood
4.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 54(1): 63-71, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406440

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In a country-wide seroprevalence study of COVID-19 in Estonia, we aimed to determine the seroprevalence and the dynamics of IgG against SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination or positive PCR-test. METHODS: Leftover blood samples were selected between 8 February and 25 March 2021, by SYNLAB Estonia from all counties and age groups (0-9, 10-19, 20-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80-100 years) proportionally to the whole Estonian population and tested for IgG against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (anti-S-RBD IgG) using Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant assay. Antibody levels after positive PCR-test or vaccination were described by exponential increase-decrease models. RESULTS: According to total of 2517 samples, overall seroprevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 20.1% (18.5-21.7%), similar in all age groups, but varied between counties. If individuals vaccinated with the first dose at least 14 d before antibody measurement were assumed to be seronegative, the overall seroprevalence was 15.8% (14.4-17.3%), 4.0-fold larger than the proportion of PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of seropositive individuals (n = 506) 194 (38.3%; 33.8-43.1%) had not had positive PCR-test or been vaccinated. According to exponential increase-decrease model, the peak of anti-S-RBD IgG in a 52-year-old (median age of PCR-positive and/or vaccinated individuals) was significantly higher after vaccination compared with positive PCR-test (22,082 (12,897-26,875) vs. 6732 (2321-8243) AU/mL), but half-life was similar (26.5 (6.9-46.1) vs. 38.3 (8.2-68.5) d). CONCLUSIONS: One year after the start of COVID-19 pandemic the actual prevalence of infection is still underestimated compared with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases. Older compared with younger individuals have lower anti-S-RBD IgG level after vaccination, but similar decline rate.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Estonia , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
5.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 10: 100208, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404792

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have proven high efficacy, however, limited data exists on the duration of immune responses and their relation to age and side effects. METHODS: We studied the antibody and memory T cell responses after the two-dose BNT162b2 vaccine in 122 volunteers up to 6 months and correlated the findings with age and side effects. FINDINGS: We found a robust antibody response to Spike protein after the second dose. However, the antibody levels declined at 12 weeks and 6 months post-vaccination, indicating a waning of the immune response over time. At 6 months after the second dose, the Spike antibody levels were similar to the levels in persons vaccinated with one dose or in COVID-19 convalescent individuals. The antibodies efficiently blocked ACE2 receptor binding to SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein of five variants of concern at one week but this was decreased at three months. 87% of individuals developed Spike-specific memory T cell responses, which were lower in individuals with increased proportions of immunosenescent CD8+ TEMRA cells. We found antibody response to correlate negatively with age and positively with the total score of vaccination side effects. INTERPRETATION: The mRNA vaccine induces a strong antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 and five VOCs at 1 week post-vaccination that decreases thereafter. T cell responses, although detectable in the majority, were lower in individuals with higher T cell immunosenescence. The deterioration of vaccine response suggests the need to monitor for the potential booster vaccination.

6.
Vaccine ; 39(38): 5376-5384, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340875

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In Estonia, during the first wave of COVID-19 total number of cases confirmed by PCR was 13.3/10,000, similar in most regions, including capital Tallinn, but in the hotspot of Estonian epidemic, an island Saaremaa, the cumulative incidence was 166.1/10,000. We aimed to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in these two regions, symptoms associated with infection and factors associated with antibody concentrations. METHODS: Participants were selected using stratified (formed by age decades) random sampling and recruited by general practitioners. IgG or neutralizing antibodies were determined from sera by four assays. Symptoms associated with seropositivity were analyzed by multiple correspondence analysis, antibody concentrations by multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Total of 3608 individual were invited and 1960 recruited from May 8 to July 31, 2020. Seroprevalence was 1.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.5) and 6.3% (95% CI 5.0-7.9), infection fatality rate 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.2) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.4-2.1) in Tallinn and Saaremaa, respectively. Of seropositive subjects 19.2% (14/73) had acute respiratory illness. Fever, diarrhea and the absence of cough and runny nose were associated with seropositivity in individuals aged 50 or more years. IgG, but not neutralizing antibodies concentrations were higher if fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain or diarrhea was present, or hospitalization required. CONCLUSION: Similarly to other European countries the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Estonia was low even in the hotspot region Saaremaa suggesting that majority of population is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Focusing only on respiratory symptoms may delay accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Estonia/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
8.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0237548, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-892379

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are available in various formats, detecting different viral target proteins and antibody subclasses. The specificity and sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are known to vary and very few studies have addressed the performance of these tests in COVID-19 patient groups at different time points. We here compared the sensitivity and specificity of seven commercial (SNIBE, Epitope, Euroimmun, Roche, Abbott, DiaSorin, Biosensor) and two in-house LIPS assays (LIPS N and LIPS S-RBD) IgG/total Ab tests in serum samples from 97 COVID-19 patients and 100 controls, and correlated the results with the patients' clinical data and the time-point the test was performed. We found a remarkable variation in the sensitivity of antibody tests with the following performance: LIPS N (91.8%), Epitope (85.6%), Abbott and in-house LIPS S-RBD (both 84.5%), Roche (83.5%), Euroimmun (82.5%), DiaSorin (81.4%), SNIBE (70.1%), and Biosensor (64.9%). The overall agreement between the tests was between 71-95%, whereas the specificity of all tests was within 98-100%. The correlation with patients' clinical symptoms score ranged from strongest in LIPS N (ρ = 0.41; p<0.001) to nonsignificant in LIPS S-RBD. Furthermore, the time of testing since symptom onset had an impact on the sensitivity of some tests. Our study highlights the importance to consider clinical symptoms, time of testing, and using more than one viral antigen in SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. Our results suggest that some antibody tests are more sensitive for the detection of antibodies in early stage and asymptomatic patients, which may explain the contradictory results of previous studies and should be taken into consideration in clinical practice and epidemiological studies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibody Specificity , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Disease Progression , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , RNA, Viral/blood , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult
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