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1.
iScience ; 26(6): 106937, 2023 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324945

ABSTRACT

T cell responses precede antibody and may provide early control of infection. We analyzed the clonal basis of this rapid response following SARS-COV-2 infection. We applied T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing to define the trajectories of individual T cell clones immediately. In SARS-COV-2 PCR+ individuals, a wave of TCRs strongly but transiently expand, frequently peaking the same week as the first positive PCR test. These expanding TCR CDR3s were enriched for sequences functionally annotated as SARS-COV-2 specific. Epitopes recognized by the expanding TCRs were highly conserved between SARS-COV-2 strains but not with circulating human coronaviruses. Many expanding CDR3s were present at high frequency in pre-pandemic repertoires. Early response TCRs specific for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus epitopes were also found at high frequency in the preinfection naive repertoire. High-frequency naive precursors may allow the T cell response to respond rapidly during the crucial early phases of acute viral infection.

2.
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).

3.
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
4.
Transfusion ; 62(7): 1347-1354, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1932583

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The therapeutic benefit of convalescent plasma (CP) therapy to treat COVID-19 may derive from neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to SARS-CoV-2. To investigate the effects of antigenic variation on neutralization potency of CP, we compared nAb titers against prototype and recently emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2, including Delta and Omicron, in CP donors previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 before and after immunization. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Samples were assayed from previously SARS-CoV-2 infected donors before (n = 17) and after one (n = 43) or two (n = 71) doses of Astra-Zeneca or Pfizer vaccinations. Ab titers against Wuhan/wild type (WT), Alpha, Beta, and Delta SARS-CoV-2 strains were determined by live virus microneutralization assay while titers to Omicron used a focus reduction neutralization test. Anti-spike antibody was assayed by Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 quantitative spike assay (Roche). RESULTS: Unvaccinated donors showed a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 148 against WT, 80 against Alpha but mostly failed to neutralize Beta, Delta, and Omicron strains. Contrastingly, high GMTs were observed in vaccinated donors against all SARS-CoV-2 strains after one vaccine dose (WT:703; Alpha:692; Beta:187; Delta:215; Omicron:434). By ROC analysis, reactivity in the Roche quantitative Elecsys spike assay of 20,000 U/mL was highly predictive of donations with nAb titers of ≥1:640 against Delta (90% sensitivity; 97% specificity) and ≥1:320 against Omicron (89% sensitivity; 81% specificity). DISCUSSION: Vaccination of previously infected CP donors induced high levels of broadly neutralizing antibodies against circulating antigenic variants of SARS-CoV-2. High titer donations could be reliably identified by automated quantitative anti-spike antibody assay, enabling large-scale preselection of high-titer convalescent plasma.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , COVID-19 Serotherapy
5.
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
6.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 209(1): 90-98, 2022 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831028

ABSTRACT

T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 following infection and vaccination are less characterized than antibody responses, due to a more complex experimental pathway. We measured T-cell responses in 108 healthcare workers (HCWs) using the commercialized Oxford Immunotec T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 assay service (OI T-SPOT) and the PITCH ELISpot protocol established for academic research settings. Both assays detected T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike, membrane, and nucleocapsid proteins. Responses were significantly lower when reported by OI T-SPOT than by PITCH ELISpot. Four weeks after two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 AZD1222 vaccine, the responder rate was 63% for OI T-SPOT Panels 1 + 2 (peptides representing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein excluding regions present in seasonal coronaviruses), 69% for OI T-SPOT Panel 14 (peptides representing the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike), and 94% for the PITCH ELISpot total spike. The two OI T-SPOT panels correlated strongly with each other showing that either readout quantifies spike-specific T-cell responses, although the correlation between the OI T-SPOT panels and the PITCH ELISpot total spike was moderate. The standardization, relative scalability, and longer interval between blood acquisition and processing are advantages of the commercial OI T-SPOT assay. However, the OI T-SPOT assay measures T-cell responses at a significantly lower magnitude compared to the PITCH ELISpot assay, detecting T-cell responses in a lower proportion of vaccinees. This has implications for the reporting of low-level T-cell responses that may be observed in patient populations and for the assessment of T-cell durability after vaccination.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Humans , Peptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
7.
Antiviral Res ; 203: 105332, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821130

ABSTRACT

Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are important to generate protective immunity, with convalescent plasma one of the first therapies approved. An alternative source of polyclonal antibodies suitable for upscaling would be more amendable to regulatory approval and widespread use. In this study, sheep were immunised with SARS-CoV-2 whole spike protein or one of the subunit proteins: S1 and S2. Once substantial antibody titres were generated, plasma was collected and samples pooled for each antigen. Non-specific antibodies were removed via affinity-purification to yield candidate products for testing in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies to whole spike, S1 and S2 proteins were evaluated for in vitro for neutralising activity against SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan-like virus (Australia/VIC01/2020) and a recent variant of concern, B.1.1.529 BA.1 (Omicron), antibody-binding, complement fixation and phagocytosis assays were also performed. All antibody preparations demonstrated an effect against SARS-CoV-2 disease in the hamster model of challenge, with those raised against the S2 subunit providing the most promise. A rapid, cost-effective therapy for COVID-19 was developed which provides a source of highly active immunoglobulin specific to SARS-CoV-2 with multi-functional activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2 , Sheep , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19 Serotherapy
8.
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
9.
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
10.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 69(5): e3244-e3249, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765049

ABSTRACT

Following findings in Northern America of SARS-CoV-2 infections in white-tailed deer, there is concern of similar infections in European deer and their potential as reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 including opportunities for the emergence of new variants. UK deer sera were collected in 2020-2021 from 6 species and a hybrid with 1748 tested using anti-spike and anti-nucleocapsid serology assays. No samples were positive on both assays nor by surrogate neutralization testing. There is no evidence that spill-over infections of SARS-CoV-2 occurred from the human population to UK deer or that SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating in UK deer (over the study period). Although it cannot be ruled out, study results indicate that spill-over infections followed by circulation of SARS-CoV-2 to the most common European deer species is small.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Deer , Animals , Animals, Wild , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19 Testing/veterinary , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
Immun Ageing ; 18(1): 34, 2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759763

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have shown clinical efficacy against Covid-19 infection but there remains uncertainty about the immune responses elicited by different regimens. This is a particularly important question for older people who are at increased clinical risk following infection and in whom immune senescence may limit vaccine responses. The BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 adenovirus vaccines were the first two vaccines deployed in the UK programme using an 8-12 week 'extended interval'. OBJECTIVES: We undertook analysis of the spike-specific antibody and cellular immune response in 131 participants aged 80+ years after the second dose of 'extended interval' dual vaccination with either BNT162b2 mRNA (n = 54) or ChAdOx1 (n = 77) adenovirus vaccine. Blood samples were taken 2-3 weeks after second vaccine and were paired with samples taken at 5-weeks after first vaccine which have been reported previously. Antibody responses were measured using the Elecsys® electrochemiluminescence immunoassay assay and cellular responses were assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot. RESULTS: Antibody responses against spike protein became detectable in all donors following dual vaccination with either vaccine. 4 donors had evidence of previous natural infection which is known to boost vaccine responses. Within the 53 infection-naïve donors the median antibody titre was 4030 U/ml (IQR 1892-8530) following BNT162b2 dual vaccination and 1405 (IQR 469.5-2543) in the 74 patients after the ChAdOx1 vaccine (p = < 0.0001). Spike-specific T cell responses were observed in 30% and 49% of mRNA and ChAdOx1 recipients respectively and median responses were 1.4-times higher in ChAdOx1 vaccinees at 14 vs 20 spots/million respectively (p = 0.022). CONCLUSION: Dual vaccination with BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 induces strong humoral immunity in older people following an extended interval protocol. Antibody responses are 2.9-times higher following the mRNA regimen whilst cellular responses are 1.4-times higher with the adenovirus-based vaccine. Differential patterns of immunogenicity are therefore elicited from the two vaccine platforms. It will be of interest to assess the relative stability of immune responses after these homologous vaccine regimens in order to assess the potential need for vaccine boosting. Furthermore, these findings indicate that heterologous vaccine platforms may offer the opportunity to further optimize vaccine responses.

12.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0228921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702730

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) (formerly Public Health England [PHE]) Porton Down, was tasked by the Department of Health and Social Care with setting up a national surveillance laboratory facility to study SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses and population-level sero-surveillance in response to the growing SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. In the following 12 months, the laboratory tested more than 160,000 samples, facilitating a wide range of research and informing UKHSA, DHSC, and UK government policy. Here we describe the implementation and use of the Euroimmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay and provide an extended evaluation of its performance. We present a markedly improved overall sensitivity of 91.39% (≥14 days 92.74%, ≥21 days 93.59%) compared to our small-scale early study, and a specificity of 98.56%. In addition, we detail extended characteristics of the Euroimmun assay: intra- and interassay precision, correlation to neutralization, and assay linearity. IMPORTANCE Serology assays have been useful in determining those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in a wide range of research and serosurveillance projects. However, assays vary in their sensitivity at detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Here, we detail an extended evaluation and characterization of the Euroimmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay, one that has been widely used within the United Kingdom on over 160,000 samples to date.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Public Health , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
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
14.
Immunology ; 166(1): 68-77, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685320

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection results in different outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to mild or severe disease and death. Reasons for this diversity of outcome include differences in challenge dose, age, gender, comorbidity and host genomic variation. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms may influence immune response and disease outcome. We investigated the association of HLAII alleles with case definition symptomatic COVID-19, virus-specific antibody and T-cell immunity. A total of 1364 UK healthcare workers (HCWs) were recruited during the first UK SARS-CoV-2 wave and analysed longitudinally, encompassing regular PCR screening for infection, symptom reporting, imputation of HLAII genotype and analysis for antibody and T-cell responses to nucleoprotein (N) and spike (S). Of 272 (20%) HCW who seroconverted, the presence of HLA-DRB1*13:02 was associated with a 6·7-fold increased risk of case definition symptomatic COVID-19. In terms of immune responsiveness, HLA-DRB1*15:02 was associated with lower nucleocapsid T-cell responses. There was no association between DRB1 alleles and anti-spike antibody titres after two COVID vaccine doses. However, HLA DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased spike T-cell responses following both first and second dose vaccination. Trial registration: NCT04318314 and ISRCTN15677965.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 14, 2022 Jan 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655583

ABSTRACT

The BNT162b2 vaccine is highly effective against COVID-19 infection and was delivered with a 3-week time interval in registration studies1. However, many countries extended this interval to accelerate population coverage with a single vaccine. It is not known how immune responses are influenced by delaying the second dose. We provide the assessment of immune responses in the first 14 weeks after standard or extended-interval BNT162b2 vaccination and show that delaying the second dose strongly boosts the peak antibody response by 3.5-fold in older people. This enhanced antibody response may offer a longer period of clinical protection and delay the need for booster vaccination. In contrast, peak cellular-specific responses were the strongest in those vaccinated on a standard 3-week vaccine interval. As such, the timing of the second dose has a marked influence on the kinetics and magnitude of the adaptive immune response after mRNA vaccination in older people.

16.
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
17.
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
18.
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
19.
Elife ; 102021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468709

ABSTRACT

Age is the major risk factor for mortality after SARS-CoV-2 infection and older people have received priority consideration for COVID-19 vaccination. However, vaccine responses are often suboptimal in this age group and few people over the age of 80 years were included in vaccine registration trials. We determined the serological and cellular response to spike protein in 100 people aged 80-96 years at 2 weeks after the second vaccination with the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Antibody responses were seen in every donor with high titers in 98%. Spike-specific cellular immune responses were detectable in only 63% and correlated with humoral response. Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection substantially increased antibody responses after one vaccine and antibody and cellular responses remained 28-fold and 3-fold higher, respectively, after dual vaccination. Post-vaccine sera mediated strong neutralization of live Victoria infection and although neutralization titers were reduced 14-fold against the P.1 variant first discovered in Brazil they remained largely effective. These data demonstrate that the mRNA vaccine platform delivers strong humoral immunity in people up to 96 years of age and retains broad efficacy against the P.1 variant of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Factors , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
20.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(9): e554-e560, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433992

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In several countries, extended interval COVID-19 vaccination regimens are now used to accelerate population coverage, but the relative immunogenicity of different vaccines in older people remains uncertain. In this study we aimed to assess the antibody and cellular responses of older people after a single dose of either the BNT162b2 vaccine (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (Oxford University-AstraZeneca). METHODS: Participants aged 80 years or older, who did not live in a residential or care home or require assisted living, and had received a single dose of either the BNT162b2 vaccine or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine were eligible to participate. Participants were recruited through local primary care networks in the West Midlands, UK. Blood samples and dried blood spots were taken 5-6 weeks after vaccination to assess adaptive immune responses using Elecsys electrochemiluminescence immunoassay and cellular responses by ELISpot. Primary endpoints were percentage response and quantification of adaptive immunity. FINDINGS: Between Dec 29, 2020, and Feb 28, 2021, 165 participants were recruited and included in the analysis. 76 participants had received BNT162b2 (median age 84 years, IQR 82-89; range 80-98) and 89 had received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (median age 84 years, 81-87; 80-99). Antibody responses against the spike protein were detectable in 69 (93%) of 74 BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 77 (87%) of 89 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients. Median antibody titres were of 19·3 U/mL (7·4-79·4) in the BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 19·6 U/mL (6·1-60·0) in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients (p=0·41). Spike protein-specific T-cell responses were observed in nine (12%) of 73 BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and 27 (31%) of 88 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients, and median responses were three-times higher in ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients (24 spots per 1 × 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cells) than BNT162b2 vaccine recipients (eight spots per 1 × 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cells; p<0·0001). Humoral and cellular immune responses against spike protein were correlated in both cohorts. Evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was seen in eight participants (n=5 BNT162b2 recipients and n=3 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 recipients), and was associated with 691-times and four-times increase in humoral and cellular immune responses across the whole cohort. INTERPRETATION: Single doses of either BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in older people induces humoral immunity in most participants, and is markedly enhanced by previous infection. Cellular responses were weaker, but showed enhancement after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine at the 5-6 week timepoint. FUNDING: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and National Core Studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
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