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PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333686


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has now caused over 2 million deaths worldwide and continues to expand. Currently, much is unknown about functionally neutralizing human antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2. Using convalescent sera collected from 101 COVID-19 recovered individuals 21-212 days after symptom onset with forty-eight additional longitudinal samples, we measured functionality and durability of serum antibodies. We also evaluated associations between individual demographic and clinical parameters with functional neutralizing antibody responses to COVID-19. We found robust antibody durability out to six months, as well as significant positive associations with the magnitude of the neutralizing antibody response and male sex. We also show that SARS-CoV-2 convalescent neutralizing antibodies are higher in individuals with cardio-metabolic comorbidities. SIGNIFICANCE: In this study we found that neutralizing antibody responses in COVID-19 convalescent individuals vary in magnitude but are durable and correlate well with RBD Ig binding antibody levels compared to other SARS-CoV-2 antigen responses. In our cohort, higher neutralizing antibody titers are independently and significantly associated with male sex compared to female sex. We also show for the first time, that higher convalescent antibody titers in male donors are associated with increased age and symptom grade. Furthermore, cardio-metabolic co-morbidities are associated with higher antibody titers independently of sex. Here, we present an in-depth evaluation of serologic, demographic, and clinical correlates of functional antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2.

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-330094


Background: Few prospective studies of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within households have been reported from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are the highest in the world and the pandemic has had disproportionate impact on communities of color. Methods and Findings: This is a prospective observational study. Between April-October 2020, the UNC CO-HOST study enrolled 102 COVID-positive persons and 213 of their household members across the Piedmont region of North Carolina, including 45% who identified as Hispanic/Latinx or non-white. Households were enrolled a median of 6 days from onset of symptoms in the index case. Secondary cases within the household were detected either by PCR of a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab on study day 1 and weekly nasal swabs (days 7, 14, 21) thereafter, or based on seroconversion by day 28. After excluding household contacts exposed at the same time as the index case, the secondary attack rate (SAR) among susceptible household contacts was 60% (106/176, 95% CI 53%-67%). The majority of secondary cases were already infected at study enrollment (73/106), while 33 were observed during study follow-up. Despite the potential for continuous exposure and sequential transmission over time, 93% (84/90, 95% CI 86%-97%) of PCR-positive secondary cases were detected within 14 days of symptom onset in the index case, while 83% were detected within 10 days. Index cases with high NP viral load (>10

MEDLINE; 2022.
Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-329703


Understanding immune memory to Common Cold Coronaviruses (CCCs) is relevant for assessing its potential impact on the outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for the prospects of pan-corona vaccines development. We performed a longitudinal analysis, of pre-pandemic samples collected from 2016-2019. CD4+ T cells and antibody responses specific for CCC and to other respiratory viruses, and chronic or ubiquitous pathogens were assessed. CCC-specific memory CD4+ T cells were detected in most subjects, and their frequencies were comparable to those for other common antigens. Notably, responses to CCC and other antigens such as influenza and Tetanus Toxoid (TT) were sustained over time. CCC-specific CD4+ T cell responses were also associated with low numbers of HLA-DR+CD38+ cells and their magnitude did not correlate with yearly changes in the prevalence of CCC infections. Similarly, spike RBD-specific IgG responses for CCC were stable throughout the sampling period. Finally, high CD4+ T cell reactivity to CCC, but not antibody responses, was associated with high pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Overall, these results suggest that the steady and sustained CCC responses observed in the study cohort are likely due to a relatively stable pool of CCC-specific memory CD4+ T cells instead of fast decaying responses and frequent reinfections.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326839


The portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 small molecule drugs is currently limited to a handful that are either approved (remdesivir), emergency approved (dexamethasone, baricitinib) or in advanced clinical trials. We have tested 45 FDA-approved kinase inhibitors in vitro against murine hepatitis virus (MHV) as a model of SARS-CoV-2 replication and identified 12 showing inhibition in the delayed brain tumor (DBT) cell line. Vandetanib, which targets the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and the RET-tyrosine kinase showed the most promising results on inhibition versus toxic effect on SARS-CoV-2-infected Caco-2 and A549-hACE2 cells (IC500.79 μM) while also showing a reduction of > 3 log TCID50/mL for HCoV-229E. The in vivo efficacy of vandetanib was assessed in a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and statistically significantly reduced the levels of IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and mitigated inflammatory cell infiltrates in the lungs of infected animals but did not reduce viral load. Vandetanib rescued the decreased IFN-1β caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice to levels similar to that in uninfected animals. Our results indicate that the FDA-approved vandetanib is a potential therapeutic candidate for COVID-19 positioned for follow up in clinical trials either alone or in combination with other drugs to address the cytokine storm associated with this viral infection.