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1.
Research (Wash D C) ; 2022: 9769803, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1970043

ABSTRACT

Identification of epitopes targeted following virus infection or vaccination can guide vaccine design and development of therapeutic interventions targeting functional sites, but can be laborious. Herein, we employed peptide microarrays to map linear peptide epitopes (LPEs) recognized following SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. LPEs detected by nonhuman primate (NHP) and patient IgMs after SARS-CoV-2 infection extensively overlapped, localized to functionally important virus regions, and aligned with reported neutralizing antibody binding sites. Similar LPE overlap occurred after infection and vaccination, with LPE clusters specific to each stimulus, where strong and conserved LPEs mapping to sites known or likely to inhibit spike protein function. Vaccine-specific LPEs tended to map to sites known or likely to be affected by structural changes induced by the proline substitutions in the mRNA vaccine's S protein. Mapping LPEs to regions of known functional importance in this manner may accelerate vaccine evaluation and discovery of targets for site-specific therapeutic interventions.

2.
iScience ; 25(1): 103670, 2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654625

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the etiologic agent of COVID-19, uses ACE2 as a cell entry receptor. Soluble ACE2 has been shown to have neutralizing antiviral activity but has a short half-life and no active transport mechanism from the circulation into the alveolar spaces of the lung. To overcome this, we constructed an ACE2-human IgG1 fusion protein with mutations in the catalytic domain of ACE2. A mutation in the catalytic domain of ACE2, MDR504, significantly increased binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, as well as to a spike variant, in vitro with more potent viral neutralization in plaque assays. Parental administration of the protein showed stable serum concentrations with excellent bioavailability in the epithelial lining fluid of the lung, and ameliorated lung SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo. These data support that the MDR504 hACE2-Fc is an excellent candidate for treatment or prophylaxis of COVID-19 and potentially emerging variants.

3.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551629

ABSTRACT

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced lower COVID-19 caseloads and fewer deaths than countries in other regions worldwide. Under-reporting of cases and a younger population could partly account for these differences, but pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses is another potential factor. Blood samples from Sierra Leonean Lassa fever and Ebola survivors and their contacts collected before the first reported COVID-19 cases were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the presence of antibodies binding to proteins of coronaviruses that infect humans. Results were compared to COVID-19 subjects and healthy blood donors from the United States. Prior to the pandemic, Sierra Leoneans had more frequent exposures than Americans to coronaviruses with epitopes that cross-react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The percentage of Sierra Leoneans with antibodies reacting to seasonal coronaviruses was also higher than for American blood donors. Serological responses to coronaviruses by Sierra Leoneans did not differ by age or sex. Approximately a quarter of Sierra Leonian pre-pandemic blood samples had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, while about a third neutralized MERS-CoV pseudovirus. Prior exposures to coronaviruses that induce cross-protective immunity may contribute to reduced COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sierra Leone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Distribution , Alphacoronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sierra Leone , United States
4.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(4): 100047, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509983

ABSTRACT

Serologic testing of residual blood samples from 812 children from a hospital in New Orleans, LA, between March and May 2020, demonstrated a SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 6.8% based on S and N protein IgG; Black and Hispanic children, and children living in zip codes with lower household incomes were over-represented.

5.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289015

ABSTRACT

A 59-year-old male with follicular lymphoma treated by anti-CD20-mediated B-cell depletion and ablative chemotherapy was hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection. Although the patient did not develop specific humoral immunity, he had a mild clinical course overall. The failure of all therapeutic options allowed infection to persist nearly 300 days with active accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations. As a rescue therapy, an infusion of REGEN-COV (10933 and 10987) anti-spike monoclonal antibodies was performed 270 days from initial diagnosis. Due to partial clearance after the first dose (2.4 g), a consolidation dose (8 g) was infused six weeks later. Complete virus clearance could then be observed over the following month, after he was vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech anti-COVID-19 vaccination. The successful management of this patient required prolonged enhanced quarantine, monitoring of virus mutations, pioneering clinical decisions based upon close consultation, and the coordination of multidisciplinary experts in virology, immunology, pharmacology, input from REGN, the FDA, the IRB, the health care team, the patient, and the patient's family. Current decisions to take revolve around patient's follicular lymphoma management, and monitoring for virus clearance persistence beyond disappearance of REGEN-COV monoclonal antibodies after anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Overall, specific guidelines for similar cases should be established.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Lymphocyte Depletion , Lymphoma, Follicular/drug therapy , Lymphoma, Follicular/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
6.
J Clin Invest ; 131(7)2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCirculating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA may represent a more reliable indicator of infection than nasal RNA, but quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) lacks diagnostic sensitivity for blood samples.METHODSA CRISPR-augmented RT-PCR assay that sensitively detects SARS-CoV-2 RNA was employed to analyze viral RNA kinetics in longitudinal plasma samples from nonhuman primates (NHPs) after virus exposure; to evaluate the utility of blood SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis in adults cases confirmed by nasal/nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR results; and to identify suspected COVID-19 cases in pediatric and at-risk adult populations with negative nasal swab RT-qPCR results. All blood samples were analyzed by RT-qPCR to allow direct comparisons.RESULTSCRISPR-augmented RT-PCR consistently detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the plasma of experimentally infected NHPs from 1 to 28 days after infection, and these increases preceded and correlated with rectal swab viral RNA increases. In a patient cohort (n = 159), this blood-based assay demonstrated 91.2% diagnostic sensitivity and 99.2% diagnostic specificity versus a comparator RT-qPCR nasal/nasopharyngeal test, whereas RT-qPCR exhibited 44.1% diagnostic sensitivity and 100% specificity for the same blood samples. This CRISPR-augmented RT-PCR assay also accurately identified patients with COVID-19 using one or more negative nasal swab RT-qPCR results.CONCLUSIONResults of this study indicate that sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in blood by CRISPR-augmented RT-PCR permits accurate COVID-19 diagnosis, and can detect COVID-19 cases with transient or negative nasal swab RT-qPCR results, suggesting that this approach could improve COVID-19 diagnosis and the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 infection clearance, and predict the severity of infection.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov. NCT04358211.FUNDINGDepartment of Defense, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Center for Research Resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/genetics , RNA, Viral/blood , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Infant , Longitudinal Studies , Macaca mulatta , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
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