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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237813

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid emergence of the omicron variant and its large number of mutations led to its classification as a variant of concern (VOC) by the WHO. Subsequently, omicron evolved into distinct sublineages (e.g. BA1 and BA2), which currently represent the majority of global infections. Initial studies of the neutralizing response towards BA1 in convalescent and vaccinated individuals showed a substantial reduction. METHODS: We assessed antibody (IgG) binding, ACE2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) binding inhibition, and IgG binding dynamics for the omicron BA1 and BA2 variants compared to a panel of VOC/VOIs, in a large cohort (n = 352) of convalescent, vaccinated, and infected and subsequently vaccinated individuals. RESULTS: While omicron was capable efficiently binding to ACE2, antibodies elicited by infection or immunization showed reduced binding capacities and ACE2 binding inhibition compared to WT. Whereas BA1 exhibited less IgG binding compared to BA2, BA2 showed reduced inhibition of ACE2 binding. Among vaccinated samples, antibody binding to omicron only improved after administration of a third dose. CONCLUSION: omicron BA1 and BA2 can still efficiently bind to ACE2, while vaccine/infection-derived antibodies can bind omicron. The extent of the mutations within both variants prevent a strong inhibitory binding response. As a result, both omicron variants are able to evade control by pre-existing antibodies.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1898424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid emergence of the omicron variant and its large number of mutations led to its classification as a variant of concern (VOC) by the WHO. Subsequently, omicron evolved into distinct sublineages (e.g. BA1 and BA2), which currently represent the majority of global infections. Initial studies of the neutralizing response towards BA1 in convalescent and vaccinated individuals showed a substantial reduction. METHODS: We assessed antibody (IgG) binding, ACE2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) binding inhibition, and IgG binding dynamics for the omicron BA1 and BA2 variants compared to a panel of VOC/VOIs, in a large cohort (n = 352) of convalescent, vaccinated, and infected and subsequently vaccinated individuals. RESULTS: While omicron was capable efficiently binding to ACE2, antibodies elicited by infection or immunization showed reduced binding capacities and ACE2 binding inhibition compared to WT. Whereas BA1 exhibited less IgG binding compared to BA2, BA2 showed reduced inhibition of ACE2 binding. Among vaccinated samples, antibody binding to omicron only improved after administration of a third dose. CONCLUSION: omicron BA1 and BA2 can still efficiently bind to ACE2, while vaccine/infection-derived antibodies can bind omicron. The extent of the mutations within both variants prevent a strong inhibitory binding response. As a result, both omicron variants are able to evade control by pre-existing antibodies.

3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7168, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890242

ABSTRACT

As global vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 proceed, there is particular interest in the longevity of immune protection, especially with regard to increasingly infectious virus variants. Neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 are promising correlates of protective immunity and have been successfully used for prevention and therapy. As SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) are known to affect binding to the ACE2 receptor and by extension neutralizing activity, we developed a bead-based multiplex ACE2-RBD inhibition assay (RBDCoV-ACE2) as a highly scalable, time-, cost-, and material-saving alternative to infectious live-virus neutralization tests. By mimicking the interaction between ACE2 and the RBD, this serological multiplex assay allows the simultaneous analysis of ACE2 binding inhibition to the RBDs of all SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs) in a single well. Following validation against a classical virus neutralization test and comparison of performance against a commercially available assay, we analyzed 266 serum samples from 168 COVID-19 patients of varying severity. ACE2 binding inhibition was reduced for ten out of eleven variants examined compared to wild-type, especially for those displaying the E484K mutation such as VOCs beta and gamma. ACE2 binding inhibition, while highly individualistic, positively correlated with IgG levels. ACE2 binding inhibition also correlated with disease severity up to WHO grade 7, after which it reduced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1152, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091492

ABSTRACT

The humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is a benchmark for immunity and detailed analysis is required to understand the manifestation and progression of COVID-19, monitor seroconversion within the general population, and support vaccine development. The majority of currently available commercial serological assays only quantify the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response against individual antigens, limiting our understanding of the immune response. To overcome this, we have developed a multiplex immunoassay (MultiCoV-Ab) including spike and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and the endemic human coronaviruses. Compared to three broadly used commercial in vitro diagnostic tests, our MultiCoV-Ab achieves a higher sensitivity and specificity when analyzing a well-characterized sample set of SARS-CoV-2 infected and uninfected individuals. We find a high response against endemic coronaviruses in our sample set, but no consistent cross-reactive IgG response patterns against SARS-CoV-2. Here we show a robust, high-content-enabled, antigen-saving multiplex assay suited to both monitoring vaccination studies and facilitating epidemiologic screenings for humoral immunity towards pandemic and endemic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Immunity, Humoral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 74-85, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065902

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is central for the control of viral infections. To characterize T cell immunity, but also for the development of vaccines, identification of exact viral T cell epitopes is fundamental. Here we identify and characterize multiple dominant and subdominant SARS-CoV-2 HLA class I and HLA-DR peptides as potential T cell epitopes in COVID-19 convalescent and unexposed individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides enabled detection of post-infectious T cell immunity, even in seronegative convalescent individuals. Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 peptides revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals and validated similarity with common cold coronaviruses, providing a functional basis for heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diversity of SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses was associated with mild symptoms of COVID-19, providing evidence that immunity requires recognition of multiple epitopes. Together, the proposed SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes enable identification of heterologous and post-infectious T cell immunity and facilitate development of diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
6.
ACS Sens ; 6(3): 703-708, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1047926

ABSTRACT

Immunological methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans are important to track COVID-19 cases and the humoral response to SARS-CoV-2 infections and immunization to future vaccines. The aim of this work was to develop a simple chromogenic magnetic bead-based immunoassay which allows rapid, inexpensive, and quantitative detection of human antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in serum, plasma, or blood. Recombinant 6xHis-tagged SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid protein was mobilized on the surface of Ni2+ magnetic beads and challenged with serum or blood samples obtained from controls or COVID-19 cases. The beads were washed, incubated with anti-human IgG-HPR conjugate, and immersed into a solution containing a chromogenic HPR substrate. Bead transfer and homogenization between solutions was aided by a simple low-cost device. The method was validated by two independent laboratories, and the performance to detect SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans was in the same range as obtained using the gold standard immunoassays ELISA and Luminex, though requiring only a fraction of consumables, instrumentation, time to deliver results, and volume of sample. Furthermore, the results obtained with the method described can be visually interpreted without compromising accuracy as demonstrated by validation at a point-of-care unit. The magnetic bead immunoassay throughput can be customized on demand and is readily adapted to be used with any other 6xHis tagged protein or peptide as antigen to track other diseases.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Magnetic Phenomena
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