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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0249723, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896431

ABSTRACT

Approximately 10% of infants infected with SARS-CoV-2 will experience COVID-19 illness requiring advanced care. A potential mechanism to protect this population is passive immunization via the milk of a previously infected person. We and others have reported on the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in human milk. We now report the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgA in the milk of 74 COVID-19-recovered participants, and find that 89% of samples are positive for Spike-specific IgA. In a subset of these samples, 95% exhibited robust IgA activity as determined by endpoint binding titer, with 50% considered high-titer. These IgA-positive samples were also positive for Spike-specific secretory antibody. Levels of IgA antibodies and secretory antibodies were shown to be strongly positively correlated. The secretory IgA response was dominant among the milk samples tested compared to the IgG response, which was present in 75% of samples and found to be of high-titer in only 13% of cases. Our IgA durability analysis using 28 paired samples, obtained 4-6 weeks and 4-10 months after infection, found that all samples exhibited persistently significant Spike-specific IgA, with 43% of donors exhibiting increasing IgA titers over time. Finally, COVID-19 and pre-pandemic control milk samples were tested for the presence of neutralizing antibodies; 6 of 8 COVID-19 samples exhibited neutralization of Spike-pseudotyped VSV (IC50 range, 2.39-89.4ug/mL) compared to 1 of 8 controls. IgA binding and neutralization capacities were found to be strongly positively correlated. These data are highly relevant to public health, not only in terms of the protective capacity of these antibodies for breastfed infants, but also for the potential use of such antibodies as a COVID-19 therapeutic, given that secretory IgA is highly in all mucosal compartments.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Milk, Human/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/metabolism , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
2.
mSphere ; 7(1): e0088321, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673356

ABSTRACT

Considering the urgent demand for faster methods to quantify neutralizing antibody titers in patients with coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19), developing an analytical model or method to replace the conventional virus neutralization test (NT) is essential. Moreover, a "COVID-19 immunity passport" is currently being proposed as a certification for people who travel internationally. Therefore, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was designed to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-neutralizing antibodies in serum, which is based on the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein 1 (S1) and the viral spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to antibodies. The RBD is considered the major binding region of neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, S1 covers the RBD and several other regions, which are also important for neutralizing antibody binding. In this study, we assessed 144 clinical specimens, including those from patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and healthy donors, using both the NT and ELISA. The ELISA results analyzed by spline regression and the two-variable generalized additive model precisely reflected the NT value, and the correlation between predicted and actual NT values was as high as 0.917. Therefore, our method serves as a surrogate to quantify neutralizing antibody titer. The analytic method and platform used in this study present a new perspective for serological testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection and have clinical potential to assess vaccine efficacy. IMPORTANCE Herein, we present a new approach for serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using innovative laboratory methods that demonstrate a combination of biology and mathematics. The traditional virus neutralization test is the gold standard method; however, it is time-consuming and poses a risk to medical personnel. Thus, there is a demand for methods that rapidly quantify neutralizing antibody titers in patients with COVID-19 or examine vaccine efficacy at a biosafety level 2 containment facility. Therefore, we used a two-variable generalized additive model to analyze the results of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and found the method to serve as a surrogate to quantify neutralizing antibody titers. This methodology has potential for clinical use in assessing vaccine efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Models, Immunological , Models, Statistical , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Regression Analysis
3.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009161, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388959

ABSTRACT

We report the emergency development and application of a robust serologic test to evaluate acute and convalescent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in Argentina. The assays, COVIDAR IgG and IgM, which were produced and provided for free to health authorities, private and public health institutions and nursing homes, use a combination of a trimer stabilized spike protein and the receptor binding domain (RBD) in a single enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) plate. Over half million tests have already been distributed to detect and quantify antibodies for multiple purposes, including assessment of immune responses in hospitalized patients and large seroprevalence studies in neighborhoods, slums and health care workers, which resulted in a powerful tool for asymptomatic detection and policy making in the country. Analysis of antibody levels and longitudinal studies of symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in over one thousand patient samples provided insightful information about IgM and IgG seroconversion time and kinetics, and IgM waning profiles. At least 35% of patients showed seroconversion within 7 days, and 95% within 45 days of symptoms onset, with simultaneous or close sequential IgM and IgG detection. Longitudinal studies of asymptomatic cases showed a wide range of antibody responses with median levels below those observed in symptomatic patients. Regarding convalescent plasma applications, a protocol was standardized for the assessment of end point IgG antibody titers with COVIDAR with more than 500 plasma donors. The protocol showed a positive correlation with neutralizing antibody titers, and was used for clinical trials and therapies across the country. Using this protocol, about 80% of convalescent donor plasmas were potentially suitable for therapies. Here, we demonstrate the importance of providing a robust and specific serologic assay for generating new information about antibody kinetics in infected individuals and mitigation policies to cope with pandemic needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , Argentina/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
Curr Opin Virol ; 50: 49-58, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345304

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), like other coronaviruses, relies on a flexible array of entry mechanisms, driven by the spike (S) protein. Entry is dependent on proteolytic priming, activation, and receptor binding; all of which can be variable, dependent on context. Here we review the implications of the complexity of SARS-CoV-2 entry pathways on entry assays that then drive our understanding of humoral immunity, therapeutic efficacy, and tissue restriction. We focus especially on the proteolytic activation of SARS-CoV-2 spike and how this constellation of proteases lends deeper insight to our understanding of arising variants and their putative role transmission or variable pathogenicity in vivo. In this review, we argue for better universal standards to assay virus entry as well as suggest best practices for reporting viral passage number, the cell line used, and proteases present, among other important considerations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Peptide Hydrolases/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4598, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327197

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected at least 180 million people since its identification as the cause of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of vaccine development has resulted in multiple vaccines already in use worldwide. The contemporaneous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 'variants of concern' (VOC) across diverse geographic locales underscores the need to monitor the efficacy of vaccines being administered globally. All WHO designated VOC carry spike (S) polymorphisms thought to enable escape from neutralizing antibodies. Here, we characterize the neutralizing activity of post-Sputnik V vaccination sera against the ensemble of S mutations present in alpha (B.1.1.7) and beta (B.1.351) VOC. Using de novo generated replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus expressing various SARS-CoV-2-S in place of VSV-G (rcVSV-CoV2-S), coupled with a clonal 293T-ACE2 + TMPRSS2 + cell line optimized for highly efficient S-mediated infection, we determine that only 1 out of 12 post-vaccination serum samples shows effective neutralization (IC90) of rcVSV-CoV2-S: B.1.351 at full serum strength. The same set of sera efficiently neutralize S from B.1.1.7 and exhibit only moderately reduced activity against S carrying the E484K substitution alone. Taken together, our data suggest that control of some emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants may benefit from updated vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination/methods , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
6.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 957-970, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174906

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions of people globally. Virus infection requires the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Although studies have demonstrated anti-spike and -RBD antibodies to be protective in animal models, and convalescent plasma as a promising therapeutic option, little is known about immunoglobulin isotypes capable of blocking infection. METHODS: We studied spike- and RBD-specific immunoglobulin isotypes in convalescent and acute plasma/serum samples using a multiplex bead assay. We also determined virus neutralization activities in plasma and serum samples, and purified immunoglobulin fractions using a vesicular stomatitis pseudovirus assay. RESULTS: Spike- and RBD-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) M, IgG1, and IgA1 were produced by all or nearly all subjects at variable levels and detected early after infection. All samples displayed neutralizing activity. Regression analyses revealed that IgM and IgG1 contributed most to neutralization, consistent with IgM and IgG fractions' neutralization potency. IgA also exhibited neutralizing activity, but with lower potency. CONCLUSION: IgG, IgM, and IgA are critical components of convalescent plasma used for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin A/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin M/therapeutic use , Male , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088198

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has mobilized efforts to develop vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics, including convalescent-phase plasma therapy, that inhibit viral entry by inducing or transferring neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein (CoV2-S). However, rigorous efficacy testing requires extensive screening with live virus under onerous biosafety level 3 (BSL3) conditions, which limits high-throughput screening of patient and vaccine sera. Myriad BSL2-compatible surrogate virus neutralization assays (VNAs) have been developed to overcome this barrier. Yet, there is marked variability between VNAs and how their results are presented, making intergroup comparisons difficult. To address these limitations, we developed a standardized VNA using CoV2-S pseudotyped particles (CoV2pp) based on vesicular stomatitis virus bearing the Renilla luciferase gene in place of its G glycoprotein (VSVΔG); this assay can be robustly produced at scale and generate accurate neutralizing titers within 18 h postinfection. Our standardized CoV2pp VNA showed a strong positive correlation with CoV2-S enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results and live-virus neutralizations in confirmed convalescent-patient sera. Three independent groups subsequently validated our standardized CoV2pp VNA (n > 120). Our data (i) show that absolute 50% inhibitory concentration (absIC50), absIC80, and absIC90 values can be legitimately compared across diverse cohorts, (ii) highlight the substantial but consistent variability in neutralization potency across these cohorts, and (iii) support the use of the absIC80 as a more meaningful metric for assessing the neutralization potency of a vaccine or convalescent-phase sera. Lastly, we used our CoV2pp in a screen to identify ultrapermissive 293T clones that stably express ACE2 or ACE2 plus TMPRSS2. When these are used in combination with our CoV2pp, we can produce CoV2pp sufficient for 150,000 standardized VNAs/week.IMPORTANCE Vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics like convalescent-phase plasma therapy are premised upon inducing or transferring neutralizing antibodies that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. Virus neutralization assays (VNAs) for measuring neutralizing antibody titers (NATs) are an essential part of determining vaccine or therapeutic efficacy. However, such efficacy testing is limited by the inherent dangers of working with the live virus, which requires specialized high-level biocontainment facilities. We therefore developed a standardized replication-defective pseudotyped particle system that mimics the entry of live SARS-CoV-2. This tool allows for the safe and efficient measurement of NATs, determination of other forms of entry inhibition, and thorough investigation of virus entry mechanisms. Four independent labs across the globe validated our standardized VNA using diverse cohorts. We argue that a standardized and scalable assay is necessary for meaningful comparisons of the myriad of vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics becoming available. Our data provide generalizable metrics for assessing their efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Neutralization Tests
8.
Cell ; 184(1): 76-91.e13, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064906

ABSTRACT

Identification of host genes essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. Here we performed genome-wide CRISPR screens in Vero-E6 cells with SARS-CoV-2, Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), bat CoV HKU5 expressing the SARS-CoV-1 spike, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike. We identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors, including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered pro-viral genes and pathways, including HMGB1 and the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, that are SARS lineage and pan-coronavirus specific, respectively. We show that HMGB1 regulates ACE2 expression and is critical for entry of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and NL63. We also show that small-molecule antagonists of identified gene products inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in monkey and human cells, demonstrating the conserved role of these genetic hits across species. This identifies potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and reveals SARS lineage-specific and pan-CoV host factors that regulate susceptibility to highly pathogenic CoVs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Gene Regulatory Networks , HEK293 Cells , HMGB1 Protein/genetics , HMGB1 Protein/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
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