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1.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(6): 970-977, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729126

ABSTRACT

Effective vaccines and monoclonal antibodies have been developed against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, the appearance of virus variants with higher transmissibility and pathogenicity is a major concern because of their potential to escape vaccines and clinically approved SARS-CoV-2- antibodies. Here, we use flow cytometry-based binding and pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assays to determine the efficacy of boost immunization and therapeutic antibodies to neutralize the dominant Omicron variant. We provide compelling evidence that the third vaccination with BNT162b2 increases the amount of neutralizing serum antibodies against Delta and Omicron variants, albeit to a lower degree when compared to the parental Wuhan strain. Therefore, a third vaccination is warranted to increase titers of protective serum antibodies, especially in the case of the Omicron variant. We also found that most clinically approved and otherwise potent therapeutic antibodies against the Delta variant failed to recognize and neutralize the Omicron variant. In contrast, some antibodies under preclinical development potentially neutralized the Omicron variant. Our studies also support using a flow cytometry-based antibody binding assay to rapidly monitor therapeutic candidates and serum titers against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
2.
Eur J Immunol ; 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589126

ABSTRACT

TRIANNI mice carry an entire set of human immunoglobulin V region gene segments and are a powerful tool to rapidly isolate human monoclonal antibodies. After immunizing these mice with DNA encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and boosting with spike protein, we identified 29 hybridoma antibodies that reacted with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Nine antibodies neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infection at IC50 values in the subnanomolar range. ELISA-binding studies and DNA sequence analyses revealed one cluster of three clonally related neutralizing antibodies that target the receptor-binding domain and compete with the cellular receptor hACE2. A second cluster of six clonally related neutralizing antibodies bind to the N-terminal domain of the spike protein without competing with the binding of hACE2 or cluster 1 antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 mutants selected for resistance to an antibody from one cluster are still neutralized by an antibody from the other cluster. Antibodies from both clusters markedly reduced viral spread in mice transgenic for human ACE2 and protected the animals from SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss. The two clusters of potent noncompeting SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies provide potential candidates for therapy and prophylaxis of COVID-19. The study further supports transgenic animals with a human immunoglobulin gene repertoire as a powerful platform in pandemic preparedness initiatives.

3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 418, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565706

ABSTRACT

The systemic processes involved in the manifestation of life-threatening COVID-19 and in disease recovery are still incompletely understood, despite investigations focusing on the dysregulation of immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection. To define hallmarks of severe COVID-19 in acute disease (n = 58) and in disease recovery in convalescent patients (n = 28) from Hannover Medical School, we used flow cytometry and proteomics data with unsupervised clustering analyses. In our observational study, we combined analyses of immune cells and cytokine/chemokine networks with endothelial activation and injury. ICU patients displayed an altered immune signature with prolonged lymphopenia but the expansion of granulocytes and plasmablasts along with activated and terminally differentiated T and NK cells and high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. The core signature of seven plasma proteins revealed a highly inflammatory microenvironment in addition to endothelial injury in severe COVID-19. Changes within this signature were associated with either disease progression or recovery. In summary, our data suggest that besides a strong inflammatory response, severe COVID-19 is driven by endothelial activation and barrier disruption, whereby recovery depends on the regeneration of the endothelial integrity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Lymphopenia/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Chemokine CXCL9/blood , Cluster Analysis , Convalescence , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/mortality , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disease Progression , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Granulocytes/immunology , Granulocytes/virology , Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors/blood , Hepatocyte Growth Factor/blood , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Interleukin-12 Subunit p40/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lectins, C-Type/blood , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/mortality , Lymphopenia/virology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/virology , Survival Analysis , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
4.
Immunity ; 54(12): 2908-2921.e6, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521063

ABSTRACT

Viral mutations are an emerging concern in reducing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination efficacy. Second-generation vaccines will need to elicit neutralizing antibodies against sites that are evolutionarily conserved across the sarbecovirus subgenus. Here, we immunized mice containing a human antibody repertoire with diverse sarbecovirus receptor-binding domains (RBDs) to identify antibodies targeting conserved sites of vulnerability. Antibodies with broad reactivity against diverse clade B RBDs targeting the conserved class 4 epitope, with recurring IGHV/IGKV pairs, were readily elicited but were non-neutralizing. However, rare class 4 antibodies binding this conserved RBD supersite showed potent neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 and all variants of concern. Structural analysis revealed that the neutralizing ability of cross-reactive antibodies was reserved only for those with an elongated CDRH3 that extends the antiparallel beta-sheet RBD core and orients the antibody light chain to obstruct ACE2-RBD interactions. These results identify a structurally defined pathway for vaccine strategies eliciting escape-resistant SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , SARS Virus/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Conserved Sequence/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Immunity ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1489418

ABSTRACT

Viral mutations are an emerging concern in reducing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination efficacy. Burnett et al. immunized humanized mice with different diverse sarbecovirus RBDs to elicit antibodies targeting conserved sites. Non-neutralizing cross-reactive antibodies targeting the conserved class 4 epitope were readily elicited. Neutralizing ability was reserved only for antibodies binding this conserved supersite through an elongated CDRH3 that obstructed ACE2-RBD interactions.

6.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(11): 2665-2676, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482126

ABSTRACT

To monitor infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and successful vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the kinetics of neutralizing or blocking anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers need to be assessed. Here, we report the development of a quick and inexpensive surrogate SARS-CoV-2 blocking assay (SUBA) using immobilized recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) and human cells expressing the native form of surface SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Spike protein-expressing cells bound to hACE2 in the absence or presence of blocking antibodies were quantified by measuring the optical density of cell-associated crystal violet in a spectrophotometer. The advantages are that SUBA is a fast and inexpensive assay, which does not require biosafety level 2- or 3-approved laboratories. Most importantly, SUBA detects blocking antibodies against the native trimeric cell-bound SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and can be rapidly adjusted to quickly pre-screen already approved therapeutic antibodies or sera from vaccinated individuals for their ACE2 blocking activities against any emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Blocking/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Flow Cytometry/methods , Antibodies, Blocking/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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