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1.
J Infect Dis ; 224(9): 1489-1499, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522216

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces a complex antibody response that varies by orders of magnitude between individuals and over time. METHODS: We developed a multiplex serological test for measuring antibodies to 5 SARS-CoV-2 antigens and the spike proteins of seasonal coronaviruses. We measured antibody responses in cohorts of hospitalized patients and healthcare workers followed for up to 11 months after symptoms. A mathematical model of antibody kinetics was used to quantify the duration of antibody responses. Antibody response data were used to train algorithms for estimating time since infection. RESULTS: One year after symptoms, we estimate that 36% (95% range, 11%-94%) of anti-Spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) remains, 31% (95% range, 9%-89%) anti-RBD IgG remains, and 7% (1%-31%) of anti-nucleocapsid IgG remains. The multiplex assay classified previous infections into time intervals of 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-12 months. This method was validated using data from a seroprevalence survey in France, demonstrating that historical SARS-CoV-2 transmission can be reconstructed using samples from a single survey. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to diagnosing previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, multiplex serological assays can estimate the time since infection, which can be used to reconstruct past epidemics.

2.
J Biol Chem ; : 101290, 2021 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472024

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of obtaining reliable methods for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. A highly specific and sensitive diagnostic test able to differentiate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from common human coronaviruses is therefore needed. Coronavirus nucleoprotein (N) localizes to the cytoplasm and the nucleolus, and are required for viral RNA synthesis. N is the most abundant coronavirus protein, so it is of utmost importance to develop specific antibodies for its detection. In this study, we developed a sandwich immunoassay to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. We immunized one alpaca with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N and constructed a large single variable domain on heavy chain (VHH) antibody library. After phage display selection, 7 VHHs recognizing the full N protein were identified by ELISA. These VHHs did not recognize the nucleoproteins of the four common human coronaviruses. Hydrogen Deuterium eXchange-Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) analysis also showed that these VHHs mainly targeted conformational epitopes in either the C-terminal or the N-terminal domains. All VHHs were able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells or on infected hamster tissues. Moreover, the VHHs could detect the SARS variants B.1.17/alpha, B.1.351/beta and P1/gamma. We propose that this sandwich immunoassay could be applied to specifically detect the SARS-CoV-2 N in human nasal swabs.

3.
J Infect Dis ; 224(9): 1489-1499, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces a complex antibody response that varies by orders of magnitude between individuals and over time. METHODS: We developed a multiplex serological test for measuring antibodies to 5 SARS-CoV-2 antigens and the spike proteins of seasonal coronaviruses. We measured antibody responses in cohorts of hospitalized patients and healthcare workers followed for up to 11 months after symptoms. A mathematical model of antibody kinetics was used to quantify the duration of antibody responses. Antibody response data were used to train algorithms for estimating time since infection. RESULTS: One year after symptoms, we estimate that 36% (95% range, 11%-94%) of anti-Spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) remains, 31% (95% range, 9%-89%) anti-RBD IgG remains, and 7% (1%-31%) of anti-nucleocapsid IgG remains. The multiplex assay classified previous infections into time intervals of 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-12 months. This method was validated using data from a seroprevalence survey in France, demonstrating that historical SARS-CoV-2 transmission can be reconstructed using samples from a single survey. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to diagnosing previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, multiplex serological assays can estimate the time since infection, which can be used to reconstruct past epidemics.

4.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(13): 7695-7712, 2021 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298980

ABSTRACT

The multidomain non-structural protein 3 (Nsp3) is the largest protein encoded by coronavirus (CoV) genomes and several regions of this protein are essential for viral replication. Of note, SARS-CoV Nsp3 contains a SARS-Unique Domain (SUD), which can bind Guanine-rich non-canonical nucleic acid structures called G-quadruplexes (G4) and is essential for SARS-CoV replication. We show herein that the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp3 protein also contains a SUD domain that interacts with G4s. Indeed, interactions between SUD proteins and both DNA and RNA G4s were evidenced by G4 pull-down, Surface Plasmon Resonance and Homogenous Time Resolved Fluorescence. These interactions can be disrupted by mutations that prevent oligonucleotides from folding into G4 structures and, interestingly, by molecules known as specific ligands of these G4s. Structural models for these interactions are proposed and reveal significant differences with the crystallographic and modeled 3D structures of the SARS-CoV SUD-NM/G4 interaction. Altogether, our results pave the way for further studies on the role of SUD/G4 interactions during SARS-CoV-2 replication and the use of inhibitors of these interactions as potential antiviral compounds.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , G-Quadruplexes , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acid Sequence , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Humans , Ligands , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spectrum Analysis , Structure-Activity Relationship , Virus Replication
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3025, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237997

ABSTRACT

Assessment of the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections is critical for monitoring the course and extent of the COVID-19 epidemic. Here, we report estimated seroprevalence in the French population and the proportion of infected individuals who developed neutralising antibodies at three points throughout the first epidemic wave. Testing 11,000 residual specimens for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and neutralising antibodies, we find nationwide seroprevalence of 0.41% (95% CI: 0.05-0.88) mid-March, 4.14% (95% CI: 3.31-4.99) mid-April and 4.93% (95% CI: 4.02-5.89) mid-May 2020. Approximately 70% of seropositive individuals have detectable neutralising antibodies. Infection fatality rate is 0.84% (95% CI: 0.70-1.03) and increases exponentially with age. These results confirm that the nationwide lockdown substantially curbed transmission and that the vast majority of the French population remained susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 in May 2020. Our study shows the progression of the first epidemic wave and provides a framework to inform the ongoing public health response as viral transmission continues globally.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Epidemics , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
6.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(2): e60-e69, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065710

ABSTRACT

Background: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces an antibody response targeting multiple antigens that changes over time. This study aims to take advantage of this complexity to develop more accurate serological diagnostics. Methods: A multiplex serological assay was developed to measure IgG and IgM antibody responses to seven SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleoprotein antigens, two antigens for the nucleoproteins of the 229E and NL63 seasonal coronaviruses, and three non-coronavirus antigens. Antibodies were measured in serum samples collected up to 39 days after symptom onset from 215 adults in four French hospitals (53 patients and 162 health-care workers) with quantitative RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, and negative control serum samples collected from healthy adult blood donors before the start of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic (335 samples from France, Thailand, and Peru). Machine learning classifiers were trained with the multiplex data to classify individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the best classification performance displayed by a random forests algorithm. A Bayesian mathematical model of antibody kinetics informed by prior information from other coronaviruses was used to estimate time-varying antibody responses and assess the sensitivity and classification performance of serological diagnostics during the first year following symptom onset. A statistical estimator is presented that can provide estimates of seroprevalence in very low-transmission settings. Findings: IgG antibody responses to trimeric spike protein (Stri) identified individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection with 91·6% (95% CI 87·5-94·5) sensitivity and 99·1% (97·4-99·7) specificity. Using a serological signature of IgG and IgM to multiple antigens, it was possible to identify infected individuals with 98·8% (96·5-99·6) sensitivity and 99·3% (97·6-99·8) specificity. Informed by existing data from other coronaviruses, we estimate that 1 year after infection, a monoplex assay with optimal anti-Stri IgG cutoff has 88·7% (95% credible interval 63·4-97·4) sensitivity and that a four-antigen multiplex assay can increase sensitivity to 96·4% (80·9-100·0). When applied to population-level serological surveys, statistical analysis of multiplex data allows estimation of seroprevalence levels less than 2%, below the false-positivity rate of many other assays. Interpretation: Serological signatures based on antibody responses to multiple antigens can provide accurate and robust serological classification of individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. This provides potential solutions to two pressing challenges for SARS-CoV-2 serological surveillance: classifying individuals who were infected more than 6 months ago and measuring seroprevalence in serological surveys in very low-transmission settings. Funding: European Research Council. Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale. Institut Pasteur Task Force COVID-19.

7.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(1): 180-190, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023283

ABSTRACT

Although the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in March/April 2020 in France, the prevalence of infection is barely known. Using high-throughput methods, we assessed herein the serological response against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) of 1847 participants working in three sites of an institution in Paris conurbation. In May-July 2020, 11% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.7-12.6) of serums were positive for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 N and S proteins, and 9.5% (95% CI: 8.2-11.0) were neutralizer in pseudo-typed virus assays. The prevalence of seroconversion was 11.6% (95% CI: 10.2-13.2) when considering positivity in at least one assay. In 5% of RT-qPCR positive individuals, no systemic IgGs were detected. Among immune individuals, 21% had been asymptomatic. Anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste) occurred in 52% of the IgG-positive individuals and in 3% of the negative ones. In contrast, 30% of the anosmia-ageusia cases were seronegative, suggesting that the true prevalence of infection may have reached 16.6%. In sera obtained 4-8 weeks after the first sampling, anti-N and anti-S IgG titers and neutralization activity in pseudo-virus assay declined by 31%, 17%, and 53%, resulting thus in half-life of 35, 87, and 28 days, respectively. The population studied is representative of active workers in Paris. The short lifespan of the serological systemic responses suggests an underestimation of the true prevalence of infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Pandemics , Paris/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Time Factors
8.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(559)2020 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724557

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their differing antibody response profiles. Here, we performed a pilot study of four serological assays to assess the amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples obtained from 491 healthy individuals before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 51 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 209 suspected cases of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, and 200 healthy blood donors. We used two ELISA assays that recognized the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric spike (S) protein ectodomain of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we developed the S-Flow assay that recognized the S protein expressed at the cell surface using flow cytometry, and the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay that recognized diverse SARS-CoV-2 antigens including the S1 domain and the carboxyl-terminal domain of N by immunoprecipitation. We obtained similar results with the four serological assays. Differences in sensitivity were attributed to the technique and the antigen used. High anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were associated with neutralization activity, which was assessed using infectious SARS-CoV-2 or lentiviral-S pseudotype virus. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, seroconversion and virus neutralization occurred between 5 and 14 days after symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 32% of mildly symptomatic individuals within 15 days of symptom onset and in 3% of healthy blood donors. The four antibody assays that we used enabled a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different subpopulations within one region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , France/epidemiology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Luciferases , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
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