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JCI Insight ; 6(16)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305530


The SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) is both the principal target of neutralizing antibodies and one of the most rapidly evolving domains, which can result in the emergence of immune escape mutations, limiting the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody therapeutics. To facilitate surveillance, we developed a rapid, high-throughput, multiplex assay able to assess the inhibitory response of antibodies to 24 RBD natural variants simultaneously. We demonstrate how this assay can be implemented as a rapid surrogate assay for functional cell-based serological methods to measure the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing capacity of antibodies at the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-RBD (ACE2-RBD) interface. We describe the enhanced affinity of RBD variants N439K, S477N, Q493L, S494P, and N501Y to the ACE2 receptor and demonstrate the ability of this assay to bridge a major gap for SARS-CoV-2 research, informing selection of complementary monoclonal antibody candidates and the rapid identification of immune escape to emerging RBD variants following vaccination or natural infection.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(1): e1242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064341


Older individuals exhibit a diminished ability to respond to and clear respiratory pathogens and, as such, experience a higher rate of lung infections with a higher mortality rate. It is unclear why respiratory pathogens impact older people disproportionately. Using human lung tissue from donors aged 22-68 years, we assessed how the immune cell landscape in lungs changes throughout life and investigated how these immune cells respond following in vitro exposure to influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, two clinically relevant respiratory viruses. While the frequency of most immune cell subsets profiled in the human lung remained stable with age, memory CD8+ T cells declined, with the tissue-resident memory (Trm) CD8+ T-cell subset being most susceptible to age-associated attrition. Infection of lung tissue with influenza virus resulted in an age-associated attenuation in the antiviral immune response, with aged donors producing less type I interferon (IFN), GM-CSF and IFNγ, the latter correlated with a reduction of IFNγ-producing memory CD8+ T cells. In contrast, irrespective of donor age, exposure of human lung cells to SARS-CoV-2, a pathogen for which all donors were immunologically naïve, did not trigger activation of local immune cells and did not result in the induction of an early IFN response. Our findings show that the attrition of tissue-bound pathogen-specific Trm in the lung that occurs with advanced age, or their absence in immunologically naïve individuals, results in a diminished early antiviral immune response which creates a window of opportunity for respiratory pathogens to gain a greater foothold.