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1.
Sci Immunol ; 7(69): eabo2202, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673343

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, even in vaccinated individuals, raising concerns about immune escape. Here, we studied neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses targeting SARS-CoV-2 D614G [wild type (WT)] and the Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants of concern in a cohort of 60 health care workers after immunization with ChAdOx-1 S, Ad26.COV2.S, mRNA-1273, or BNT162b2. High binding antibody levels against WT SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) were detected 28 days after vaccination with both mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2), which substantially decreased after 6 months. In contrast, antibody levels were lower after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination but did not wane. Neutralization assays showed consistent cross-neutralization of the Beta and Delta variants, but neutralization of Omicron was significantly lower or absent. BNT162b2 booster vaccination after either two mRNA-1273 immunizations or Ad26.COV2 priming partially restored neutralization of the Omicron variant, but responses were still up to 17-fold decreased compared with WT. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected up to 6 months after all vaccination regimens, with more consistent detection of specific CD4+ than CD8+ T cells. No significant differences were detected between WT- and variant-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cell responses, including Omicron, indicating minimal escape at the T cell level. This study shows that vaccinated individuals retain T cell immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, potentially balancing the lack of neutralizing antibodies in preventing or limiting severe COVID-19. Booster vaccinations are needed to further restore Omicron cross-neutralization by antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans
2.
Sci Immunol ; 6(59)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243688

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations in the spike (S) protein has raised concern about potential immune escape. Here, we studied humoral and cellular immune responses to wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern in a cohort of 121 BNT162b2 mRNA-vaccinated health care workers (HCW). Twenty-three HCW recovered from mild COVID-19 disease and exhibited a recall response with high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific functional antibodies and virus-specific T cells after a single vaccination. Specific immune responses were also detected in seronegative HCW after one vaccination, but a second dose was required to reach high levels of functional antibodies and cellular immune responses in all individuals. Vaccination-induced antibodies cross-neutralized the variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, but the neutralizing capacity and Fc-mediated functionality against B.1.351 was consistently 2- to 4-fold lower than to the homologous virus. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with peptide pools spanning the mutated S regions of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 to detect cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells with variants. Importantly, we observed no differences in CD4+ T-cell activation in response to variant antigens, indicating that the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 S proteins do not escape T-cell-mediated immunity elicited by the wild type S protein. In conclusion, this study shows that some variants can partially escape humoral immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection or BNT162b2 vaccination, but S-specific CD4+ T-cell activation is not affected by the mutations in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
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