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1.
EClinicalMedicine ; 58: 101926, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299638

ABSTRACT

Background: Few studies have compared SARS-CoV-2 vaccine immunogenicity by ethnic group. We sought to establish whether cellular and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination differ according to ethnicity in UK Healthcare workers (HCWs). Methods: In this cross-sectional analysis, we used baseline data from two immunological cohort studies conducted in HCWs in Leicester, UK. Blood samples were collected between March 3, and September 16, 2021. We excluded HCW who had not received two doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine at the time of sampling and those who had serological evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Outcome measures were SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific total antibody titre, neutralising antibody titre and ELISpot count. We compared our outcome measures by ethnic group using univariable (t tests and rank-sum tests depending on distribution) and multivariable (linear regression for antibody titres and negative binomial regression for ELISpot counts) tests. Multivariable analyses were adjusted for age, sex, vaccine type, length of interval between vaccine doses and time between vaccine administration and sample collection and expressed as adjusted geometric mean ratios (aGMRs) or adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRRs). To assess differences in the early immune response to vaccination we also conducted analyses in a subcohort who provided samples between 14 and 50 days after their second dose of vaccine. Findings: The total number of HCWs in each analysis were 401 for anti-spike antibody titres, 345 for neutralising antibody titres and 191 for ELISpot. Overall, 25.4% (19.7% South Asian and 5.7% Black/Mixed/Other) were from ethnic minority groups. In analyses including the whole cohort, neutralising antibody titres were higher in South Asian HCWs than White HCWs (aGMR 1.47, 95% CI [1.06-2.06], P = 0.02) as were T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 S1 peptides (aIRR 1.75, 95% CI [1.05-2.89], P = 0.03). In a subcohort sampled between 14 and 50 days after second vaccine dose, SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific antibody and neutralising antibody geometric mean titre (GMT) was higher in South Asian HCWs compared to White HCWs (9616 binding antibody units (BAU)/ml, 95% CI [7178-12,852] vs 5888 BAU/ml [5023-6902], P = 0.008 and 2851 95% CI [1811-4487] vs 1199 [984-1462], P < 0.001 respectively), increments which persisted after adjustment (aGMR 1.26, 95% CI [1.01-1.58], P = 0.04 and aGMR 2.01, 95% CI [1.34-3.01], P = 0.001). SARS-CoV-2 ELISpot responses to S1 and whole spike peptides (S1 + S2 response) were higher in HCWs from South Asian ethnic groups than those from White groups (S1: aIRR 2.33, 95% CI [1.09-4.94], P = 0.03; spike: aIRR, 2.04, 95% CI [1.02-4.08]). Interpretation: This study provides evidence that, in an infection naïve cohort, humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are stronger in South Asian HCWs than White HCWs. These differences are most clearly seen in the early period following vaccination. Further research is required to understand the underlying mechanisms, whether differences persist with further exposure to vaccine or virus, and the potential impact on vaccine effectiveness. Funding: DIRECT and BELIEVE have received funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the COVID-19 National Core Studies Immunity (NCSi) programme (MC_PC_20060).

2.
J Infect ; 85(5): 545-556, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007862

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate serological differences between SARS-CoV-2 reinfection cases and contemporary controls, to identify antibody correlates of protection against reinfection. METHODS: We performed a case-control study, comparing reinfection cases with singly infected individuals pre-vaccination, matched by gender, age, region and timing of first infection. Serum samples were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (anti-S), anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (anti-N), live virus microneutralisation (LV-N) and pseudovirus microneutralisation (PV-N). Results were analysed using fixed effect linear regression and fitted into conditional logistic regression models. RESULTS: We identified 23 cases and 92 controls. First infections occurred before November 2020; reinfections occurred before February 2021, pre-vaccination. Anti-S levels, LV-N and PV-N titres were significantly lower among cases; no difference was found for anti-N levels. Increasing anti-S levels were associated with reduced risk of reinfection (OR 0·63, CI 0·47-0·85), but no association for anti-N levels (OR 0·88, CI 0·73-1·05). Titres >40 were correlated with protection against reinfection for LV-N Wuhan (OR 0·02, CI 0·001-0·31) and LV-N Alpha (OR 0·07, CI 0·009-0·62). For PV-N, titres >100 were associated with protection against Wuhan (OR 0·14, CI 0·03-0·64) and Alpha (0·06, CI 0·008-0·40). CONCLUSIONS: Before vaccination, protection against SARS-CoV-2 reinfection was directly correlated with anti-S levels, PV-N and LV-N titres, but not with anti-N levels. Detectable LV-N titres were sufficient for protection, whilst PV-N titres >100 were required for a protective effect. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11041050.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Reinfection/prevention & control , Vaccination
3.
Science ; 377(6603): eabq1841, 2022 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891726

ABSTRACT

The Omicron, or Pango lineage B.1.1.529, variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) carries multiple spike mutations with high transmissibility and partial neutralizing antibody (nAb) escape. Vaccinated individuals show protection against severe disease, often attributed to primed cellular immunity. We investigated T and B cell immunity against B.1.1.529 in triple BioNTech BNT162b2 messenger RNA-vaccinated health care workers (HCWs) with different SARS-CoV-2 infection histories. B and T cell immunity against previous variants of concern was enhanced in triple-vaccinated individuals, but the magnitude of T and B cell responses against B.1.1.529 spike protein was reduced. Immune imprinting by infection with the earlier B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant resulted in less durable binding antibody against B.1.1.529. Previously infection-naïve HCWs who became infected during the B.1.1.529 wave showed enhanced immunity against earlier variants but reduced nAb potency and T cell responses against B.1.1.529 itself. Previous Wuhan Hu-1 infection abrogated T cell recognition and any enhanced cross-reactive neutralizing immunity on infection with B.1.1.529.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Reactions , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
4.
J Infect ; 84(5): 675-683, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788130

ABSTRACT

Background COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are highly effective in general population cohorts, however, data on effectiveness amongst individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe disease are limited. Methods We used GP electronic health record data, sentinel virology swabbing and antibody testing within a cohort of 712 general practices across England to estimate vaccine antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against medically attended COVID-19 amongst individuals in clinical risk groups using cohort and test-negative case control designs. Findings There was no reduction in S-antibody positivity in most clinical risk groups, however reduced S-antibody positivity and response was significant in the immunosuppressed group. Reduced vaccine effectiveness against clinical disease was also noted in the immunosuppressed group; after a second dose, effectiveness was moderate (Pfizer: 59.6%, 95%CI 18.0-80.1%; AstraZeneca 60.0%, 95%CI -63.6-90.2%). Interpretation In most clinical risk groups, immune response to primary vaccination was maintained and high levels of vaccine effectiveness were seen. Reduced antibody response and vaccine effectiveness were seen after 1 dose of vaccine amongst a broad immunosuppressed group, and second dose vaccine effectiveness was moderate. These findings support maximising coverage in immunosuppressed individuals and the policy of prioritisation of this group for third doses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccine Efficacy
5.
J Infect ; 84(6): 814-824, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778314

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To monitor changes in seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in populations over time and between different demographic groups. METHODS: A subset of practices in the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) sentinel network provided serum samples, collected when volunteer patients had routine blood tests. We tested these samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using Abbott (Chicago, USA), Roche (Basel, Switzerland) and/or Euroimmun (Luebeck, Germany) assays, and linked the results to the patients' primary care computerised medical records. We report seropositivity by region and age group, and additionally examined the effects of gender, ethnicity, deprivation, rurality, shielding recommendation and smoking status. RESULTS: We estimated seropositivity from patients aged 18-100 years old, which ranged from 4.1% (95% CI 3.1-5.3%) to 8.9% (95% CI 7.8-10.2%) across the different assays and time periods. We found higher Euroimmun seropositivity in younger age groups, people of Black and Asian ethnicity (compared to white), major conurbations, and non-smokers. We did not observe any significant effect by region, gender, deprivation, or shielding recommendation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that prior to the vaccination programme, most of the population remained unexposed to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
6.
N Engl J Med ; 386(13): 1207-1220, 2022 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The duration and effectiveness of immunity from infection with and vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are relevant to pandemic policy interventions, including the timing of vaccine boosters. METHODS: We investigated the duration and effectiveness of immunity in a prospective cohort of asymptomatic health care workers in the United Kingdom who underwent routine polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) testing. Vaccine effectiveness (≤10 months after the first dose of vaccine) and infection-acquired immunity were assessed by comparing the time to PCR-confirmed infection in vaccinated persons with that in unvaccinated persons, stratified according to previous infection status. We used a Cox regression model with adjustment for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection status, vaccine type and dosing interval, demographic characteristics, and workplace exposure to SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Of 35,768 participants, 27% (9488) had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccine coverage was high: 95% of the participants had received two doses (78% had received BNT162b2 vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech] with a long interval between doses, 9% BNT162b2 vaccine with a short interval between doses, and 8% ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine [AstraZeneca]). Between December 7, 2020, and September 21, 2021, a total of 2747 primary infections and 210 reinfections were observed. Among previously uninfected participants who received long-interval BNT162b2 vaccine, adjusted vaccine effectiveness decreased from 85% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72 to 92) 14 to 73 days after the second dose to 51% (95% CI, 22 to 69) at a median of 201 days (interquartile range, 197 to 205) after the second dose; this effectiveness did not differ significantly between the long-interval and short-interval BNT162b2 vaccine recipients. At 14 to 73 days after the second dose, adjusted vaccine effectiveness among ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients was 58% (95% CI, 23 to 77) - considerably lower than that among BNT162b2 vaccine recipients. Infection-acquired immunity waned after 1 year in unvaccinated participants but remained consistently higher than 90% in those who were subsequently vaccinated, even in persons infected more than 18 months previously. CONCLUSIONS: Two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine were associated with high short-term protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection; this protection waned considerably after 6 months. Infection-acquired immunity boosted with vaccination remained high more than 1 year after infection. (Funded by the U.K. Health Security Agency and others; ISRCTN Registry number, ISRCTN11041050.).


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Asymptomatic Diseases , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/therapeutic use , Health Personnel , Humans , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom , Vaccination/methods , Vaccine Efficacy
7.
Science ; 375(6577): 183-192, 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625678

ABSTRACT

The impact of the initial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infecting strain on downstream immunity to heterologous variants of concern (VOCs) is unknown. Studying a longitudinal healthcare worker cohort, we found that after three antigen exposures (infection plus two vaccine doses), S1 antibody, memory B cells, and heterologous neutralization of B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617.2 plateaued, whereas B.1.1.7 neutralization and spike T cell responses increased. Serology using the Wuhan Hu-1 spike receptor binding domain poorly predicted neutralizing immunity against VOCs. Neutralization potency against VOCs changed with heterologous virus encounter and number of antigen exposures. Neutralization potency fell differentially depending on targeted VOCs over the 5 months from the second vaccine dose. Heterologous combinations of spike encountered during infection and vaccination shape subsequent cross-protection against VOC, with implications for future-proof next-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Memory B Cells/immunology , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748291, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555236

ABSTRACT

Precision monitoring of antibody responses during the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly important during large scale vaccine rollout and rise in prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC). Equally important is defining Correlates of Protection (CoP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. Data from epidemiological studies and vaccine trials identified virus neutralising antibodies (Nab) and SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific (notably RBD and S) binding antibodies as candidate CoP. In this study, we used the World Health Organisation (WHO) international standard to benchmark neutralising antibody responses and a large panel of binding antibody assays to compare convalescent sera obtained from: a) COVID-19 patients; b) SARS-CoV-2 seropositive healthcare workers (HCW) and c) seronegative HCW. The ultimate aim of this study is to identify biomarkers of humoral immunity that could be used to differentiate severe from mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Some of these biomarkers could be used to define CoP in further serological studies using samples from vaccination breakthrough and/or re-infection cases. Whenever suitable, the antibody levels of the samples studied were expressed in International Units (IU) for virus neutralisation assays or in Binding Antibody Units (BAU) for ELISA tests. In this work we used commercial and non-commercial antibody binding assays; a lateral flow test for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG/IgM; a high throughput multiplexed particle flow cytometry assay for SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N) and Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) proteins); a multiplex antigen semi-automated immuno-blotting assay measuring IgM, IgA and IgG; a pseudotyped microneutralisation test (pMN) and an electroporation-dependent neutralisation assay (EDNA). Our results indicate that overall, severe COVID-19 patients showed statistically significantly higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralising antibodies (average 1029 IU/ml) than those observed in seropositive HCW with mild or asymptomatic infections (379 IU/ml) and that clinical severity scoring, based on WHO guidelines was tightly correlated with neutralisation and RBD/S antibodies. In addition, there was a positive correlation between severity, N-antibody assays and intracellular virus neutralisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Calibration , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Reference Standards , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(11): 1611-1619.e5, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466221

ABSTRACT

The Johnson and Johnson Ad26.COV2.S single-dose vaccine represents an attractive option for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in countries with limited resources. We examined the effect of prior infection with different SARS-CoV-2 variants on Ad26.COV2.S immunogenicity. We compared participants who were SARS-CoV-2 naive with those either infected with the ancestral D614G virus or infected in the second wave when Beta predominated. Prior infection significantly boosts spike-binding antibodies, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and neutralizing antibodies against D614G, Beta, and Delta; however, neutralization cross-reactivity varied by wave. Robust CD4 and CD8 T cell responses are induced after vaccination, regardless of prior infection. T cell recognition of variants is largely preserved, apart from some reduction in CD8 recognition of Delta. Thus, Ad26.COV2.S vaccination after infection could result in enhanced protection against COVID-19. The impact of the infecting variant on neutralization breadth after vaccination has implications for the design of second-generation vaccines based on variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Ad26COVS1 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
Science ; 2021 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209815

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout has coincided with the spread of variants of concern. We investigated if single dose vaccination, with or without prior infection, confers cross protective immunity to variants. We analyzed T and B cell responses after first dose vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in healthcare workers (HCW) followed longitudinally, with or without prior Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 infection. After one dose, individuals with prior infection showed enhanced T cell immunity, antibody secreting memory B cell response to spike and neutralizing antibodies effective against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. By comparison, HCW receiving one vaccine dose without prior infection showed reduced immunity against variants. B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 spike mutations resulted in increased, abrogated or unchanged T cell responses depending on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms. Single dose vaccination with BNT162b2 in the context of prior infection with a heterologous variant substantially enhances neutralizing antibody responses against variants.

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