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3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325692

ABSTRACT

There has been much discussion on the general principle of "naturally-acquired” immunity arising from recovery from SARS CoV 2infection, and this recovery state contributing to the prevalence of immunity to reinfection, often referred to as Herd Immunity. This has led to the belief that hospital staff previously infected are safe and do not require vaccine. We demonstrate here that this may be a misplaced notion because the avidity with which the antibody from a person recovered from corona virus infection, even if of a high titre, is low. Effete antibody of low avidity is, therefore, unlikely to impact on the incidence of infection in the population, or indeed protect the individual. By contrast, a single immunisation of a previously-recovered individual by vaccine significantly increases the antibody avidity.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322593

ABSTRACT

Background: Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity.Methods: The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA) provides the most sensitive format. It has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing an S1 solid-phase preferentially presenting RBD once solid-phase bound, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay.Findings: This assay showed a specificity of 100% on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6% on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralisation and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. The early response at presentation with illness, elevated responsiveness with disease severity, detection of asymptomatic seroconversion and persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP) are all documented.Trial Registration: The ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study was registered at https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN66726260 and designated an Urgent Public Health Research Study by NIHR.Interpretation: The hybrid DABA displays the attributes necessary for an antibody test to be used in both clinical and reference serology. It allows the neutralising antibody response to be inferred early in infection and potentially in vaccine recipients. It is also of sufficient sensitivity to be used to provide serological confirmation of prior infection and provides a more secure measure for seroprevalence studies in the population generally than does anti-NP based on the Architect platform.Funding: This work is variously supported by grants from: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR;award CO-CIN-01), the Medical Research Council (MRC;grant MC_PC_19059 and MC_PC_19078), MRC NIHR (grant CV220-111) and by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford (award 200907), NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London with PHE (award 200927), Wellcome Trust and Department for International Development (DID;215091/Z/18/Z), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1209135), Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (grant reference C18616/A25153), NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Imperial College London (IS-BRC-1215-20013), EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics (PREPARE;FP7 project 602525), and NIHR Clinical Research Network for providing infrastructure support for this research.Declaration of Interests: RST, MOM and PC report patent pending (Patent Application No. 2011047.4 for “SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection assay). All other authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: The use of tissues was approved by the CDRTB Steering Committee in accordance with the responsibility delegated by the National Research Ethics Service (South Central Ethics Committee – C, NRES reference 15/SC/0089).Written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Ethical approval was given by the South Central–Oxford C Research Ethics Committee in England (reference: 13/SC/0149), Scotland A Research Ethics Committee (reference: 20/SS/0028) and World Health Organization Ethics Review Committee (RPC571 and RPC572l;25 April 2013)

5.
J Virol Methods ; 302: 114475, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1652648

ABSTRACT

Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity. The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA), providing the most sensitive format has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing a solid-phase S1 preferentially presenting RBD, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay for detection and measurement of antibody to RBD (anti-RBD). This class and species neutral assay showed a specificity of 100 % on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6 % on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralization and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and in humans immunised with both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. This assay detects anti-RBD at presentation with illness, demonstrates its elevation with disease severity, its sequel to asymptomatic infection and its persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP). It also provides serological confirmation of prior infection and offers a secure measure for seroprevalence and studies of vaccine immunisation in human and animal populations. The hybrid DABA also displays the attributes necessary for the detection and quantification of anti-RBD to be used in clinical practice. An absence of detectable anti-RBD by this assay predicates the need for passive immune prophylaxis in at-risk patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ferrets , Humans , RNA, Viral , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1885, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671623

ABSTRACT

At-home sampling is key to large scale seroprevalence studies. Dried blood spot (DBS) self-sampling removes the need for medical personnel for specimen collection but facilitates specimen referral to an appropriately accredited laboratory for accurate sample analysis. To establish a highly sensitive and specific antibody assay that would facilitate self-sampling for prevalence and vaccine-response studies. Paired sera and DBS eluates collected from 439 sero-positive, 382 sero-negative individuals and DBS from 34 vaccine recipients were assayed by capture ELISAs for IgG and IgM antibody to SARS-CoV-2. IgG and IgM combined on DBS eluates achieved a diagnostic sensitivity of 97.9% (95%CI 96.6 to 99.3) and a specificity of 99.2% (95% CI 98.4 to 100) compared to serum, displaying limits of detection equivalent to 23 and 10 WHO IU/ml, respectively. A strong correlation (r = 0.81) was observed between serum and DBS reactivities. Reactivity remained stable with samples deliberately rendered inadequate, (p = 0.234) and when samples were accidentally damaged or 'invalid'. All vaccine recipients were sero-positive. This assay provides a secure method for self-sampling by DBS with a sensitivity comparable to serum. The feasibility of DBS testing in sero-prevalence studies and in monitoring post-vaccine responses was confirmed, offering a robust and reliable tool for serological monitoring at a population level.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Specimen Handling/methods , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
8.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 80, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616982

ABSTRACT

Cross-reactive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 have been observed in pre-pandemic cohorts and proposed to contribute to host protection. Here we assess 52 COVID-19 household contacts to capture immune responses at the earliest timepoints after SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Using a dual cytokine FLISpot assay on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we enumerate the frequency of T cells specific for spike, nucleocapsid, membrane, envelope and ORF1 SARS-CoV-2 epitopes that cross-react with human endemic coronaviruses. We observe higher frequencies of cross-reactive (p = 0.0139), and nucleocapsid-specific (p = 0.0355) IL-2-secreting memory T cells in contacts who remained PCR-negative despite exposure (n = 26), when compared with those who convert to PCR-positive (n = 26); no significant difference in the frequency of responses to spike is observed, hinting at a limited protective function of spike-cross-reactive T cells. Our results are thus consistent with pre-existing non-spike cross-reactive memory T cells protecting SARS-CoV-2-naïve contacts from infection, thereby supporting the inclusion of non-spike antigens in second-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Contact Tracing/methods , Cross Reactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus/physiology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , /virology , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Young Adult
10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295551

ABSTRACT

Background: The early transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK are unknown but their investigation is critical to aid future pandemic planning. <br><br>Methods: Cross-classified by age-group, ethnicity and deprivation, we tested anonymised stored historic antenatal serum samples, from two north-west London NHS trusts, for total antibody to SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (anti-RBD) using an in-house hybrid double antigen binding, two-step sequential enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We estimated prevalence of seroreactivity across fortnightly intervals from October 2019 – September 2020 and used logistic regression to quantify the relationships between seroreactivity, time, age, ethnicity, and deprivation. We also inferred the incidence from our antibody prevalence over time. <br><br>Findings: We analysed over 11,000 samples. Estimated prevalence of seroreactivity increased from 1% prior to mid-February 2020 (as early as 2019) to 17% in September 2020.Our results show higher prevalence of seroreactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in younger, non-white ethnicity, and more deprived groups. We found no significant interaction between the effects of ethnicity and deprivation. Derived from prevalence, the estimated incidence of seroreactivity reflects the trends observed in daily hospitalisations and deaths in London that followed 10 and 13 days later, respectively. Peak incidence occurred in early April 2020 and estimates suggested resurgence in late summer 2020 but with a wide confidence interval. <br><br>Interpretation: We found no evidence of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in London until after January 2020. Our study was not able to determine the date of introduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Stored antenatal serum samples are a potentially valuable resource for serosurveillance during future outbreaks. <br><br>Funding Information: Community Jameel, National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council, Imperial College London Department of Infectious Disease departmental funds.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: MM and RST are listed as inventors in IPR filings for the Imperial Hybrid DABA used in this analysis. Please see United Kingdom Patent Application No. 2011047.4 for “SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection assay”. SMB is member of both Royal Statistical Society’s COVID-19 Taskforce and Working Group on Diagnostic Tests. SMB serves on UKHSA/DHSC’s Testing Initiatives Evaluation Board (January 2021 to present). All other have nothing to declare. <br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for a non-consent, anonymised study was gained, REC reference 20/NI/0107, because strong safeguards against deductive disclosure of the identities of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were inbuilt. <br>

11.
J Clin Virol ; 146: 105049, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540752

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.617.2), first identified in India, is currently replacing pre-existing variants in many parts of the world. To help guide public health policies it is important to monitor efficiently its spread. Genome sequencing is the gold standard for identification of Delta, but is time-consuming, expensive, and unavailable in many regions. OBJECTIVE: To develop and evaluate a rapid, simple and inexpensive alternative to sequencing for Delta identification. METHODS: A double-mismatch allele-specific RT-PCR (DMAS-RT-PCR) was developed. The technique exploits allele-specific primers, targeting two spike gene mutations, L452R and T478K, within the same amplicon. The discriminatory power of each primer was enhanced by an additional mismatch located at the fourth nucleotide from the 3' end. Specificity was assessed by testing well characterised cell culture-derived viral isolates and clinical samples, most of which had previously been fully sequenced. RESULTS: In all cases the results of viral genotyping by DMAS-RT-PCR were entirely concordant with the results of sequencing, and the assay was shown to discriminate reliably between the Delta variant and other variants (Alpha and Beta), and 'wild-type' SARS-CoV-2. Influenza A and RSV were non-reactive in the assay. The sensitivity of DMAS-RT-PCR matched that of the diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR screening assay. Several samples that could not be sequenced due to insufficient virus were successfully genotyped by DMAS-RT-PCR. CONCLUSION: The method we describe would be simple to establish in any laboratory that can conduct PCR assays and should greatly facilitate monitoring of the spread of the Delta variant globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Alleles , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcription , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Kidney Int ; 99(6): 1470-1477, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386157

ABSTRACT

Patients with end stage kidney disease receiving in-center hemodialysis (ICHD) have had high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Following infection, patients receiving ICHD frequently develop circulating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, even with asymptomatic infection. Here, we investigated the durability and functionality of the immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients receiving ICHD. Three hundred and fifty-six such patients were longitudinally screened for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and underwent routine PCR-testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. Patients were regularly screened for nucleocapsid protein (anti-NP) and receptor binding domain (anti-RBD) antibodies, and those who became seronegative at six months were screened for SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell responses. One hundred and twenty-nine (36.2%) patients had detectable antibody to anti-NP at time zero, of whom 127 also had detectable anti-RBD. Significantly, at six months, 71/111 (64.0%) and 99/116 (85.3%) remained anti-NP and anti-RBD seropositive, respectively. For patients who retained antibody, both anti-NP and anti-RBD levels were reduced significantly after six months. Eleven patients who were anti-NP seropositive at time zero, had no detectable antibody at six months; of whom eight were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antigen specific T cell responses. Independent of antibody status at six months, patients with baseline positive SARS-CoV-2 serology were significantly less likely to have PCR confirmed infection over the following six months. Thus, patients receiving ICHD mount durable immune responses six months post SARS-CoV-2 infection, with fewer than 3% of patients showing no evidence of humoral or cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serologic Tests/methods
13.
Sci Adv ; 7(22)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388434

ABSTRACT

The coronaviral spike is the dominant viral antigen and the target of neutralizing antibodies. We show that SARS-CoV-2 spike binds biliverdin and bilirubin, the tetrapyrrole products of heme metabolism, with nanomolar affinity. Using cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography, we mapped the tetrapyrrole interaction pocket to a deep cleft on the spike N-terminal domain (NTD). At physiological concentrations, biliverdin significantly dampened the reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 spike with immune sera and inhibited a subset of neutralizing antibodies. Access to the tetrapyrrole-sensitive epitope is gated by a flexible loop on the distal face of the NTD. Accompanied by profound conformational changes in the NTD, antibody binding requires relocation of the gating loop, which folds into the cleft vacated by the metabolite. Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 spike NTD harbors a dominant epitope, access to which can be controlled by an allosteric mechanism that is regulated through recruitment of a metabolite.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Heme/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Bilirubin/metabolism , Biliverdine/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Immune Sera , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
14.
J Infect Dis ; 223(10): 1671-1676, 2021 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120054

ABSTRACT

It is currently unknown how post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) may affect those infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This longitudinal study includes healthcare staff who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March and April 2020, with follow-up of their antibody titers and symptoms. More than half (21 of 38) had PCS after 7-8 months. There was no statistically significant difference between initial reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction titers or serial antibody levels between those who did and those who did not develop PCS. This study highlights the relative commonality of PCS in healthcare workers and this should be considered in vaccination scheduling and workforce planning to allow adequate frontline staffing numbers.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19/complications , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Anosmia , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Fatigue , Female , Headache , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Respiratory Tract Diseases , Surveys and Questionnaires , Syndrome , United Kingdom , Young Adult
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