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1.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 309, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528684

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surveillance tools to estimate viral transmission dynamics in young populations are essential to guide recommendations for school opening and management during viral epidemics. Ideally, sensitive techniques are required to detect low viral load exposures among asymptomatic children. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adult populations in a school-like environment during the initial COVID-19 pandemic waves using an antibody-based field-deployable and non-invasive approach. METHODS: Saliva antibody conversion defined as ≥ 4-fold increase in IgM, IgA, and/or IgG levels to five SARS-CoV-2 antigens including spike and nucleocapsid constructs was evaluated in 1509 children and 396 adults by high-throughput Luminex assays in samples collected weekly in 22 summer schools and 2 pre-schools in 27 venues in Barcelona, Spain, from June 29th to July 31st, 2020. RESULTS: Saliva antibody conversion between two visits over a 5-week period was 3.22% (49/1518) or 2.36% if accounting for potentially cross-reactive antibodies, six times higher than the cumulative infection rate (0.53%) assessed by weekly saliva RT-PCR screening. IgG conversion was higher in adults (2.94%, 11/374) than children (1.31%, 15/1144) (p=0.035), IgG and IgA levels moderately increased with age, and antibodies were higher in females. Most antibody converters increased both IgG and IgA antibodies but some augmented either IgG or IgA, with a faster decay over time for IgA than IgG. Nucleocapsid rather than spike was the main antigen target. Anti-spike antibodies were significantly higher in individuals not reporting symptoms than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective role against COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Saliva antibody profiling including three isotypes and multiplexing antigens is a useful and user-friendlier tool for screening pediatric populations to detect low viral load exposures among children, particularly while they are not vaccinated and vulnerable to highly contagious variants, and to recommend public health policies during pandemics.

2.
Environ Health Perspect ; 129(11): 117003, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523382

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence links ambient air pollution with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease, an association that is methodologically challenging to investigate. OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between long-term exposure to air pollution with SARS-CoV-2 infection measured through antibody response, level of antibody response among those infected, and COVID-19 disease. METHODS: We contacted 9,605 adult participants from a population-based cohort study in Catalonia between June and November 2020; most participants were between 40 and 65 years of age. We drew blood samples from 4,103 participants and measured immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgA, and IgG antibodies against five viral target antigens to establish infection to the virus and levels of antibody response among those infected. We defined COVID-19 disease using self-reported hospital admission, prior positive diagnostic test, or more than three self-reported COVID-19 symptoms after contact with a COVID-19 case. We estimated prepandemic (2018-2019) exposure to fine particulate matter [PM with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤2.5µm (PM2.5)], nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon (BC), and ozone (O3) at the residential address using hybrid land-use regression models. We calculated log-binomial risk ratios (RRs), adjusting for individual- and area-level covariates. RESULTS: Among those tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 743 (18.1%) were seropositive. Air pollution levels were not statistically significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection: Adjusted RRs per interquartile range were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.18) for NO2, 1.04 (95% CI: 0.94, 1.14) for PM2.5, 1.00 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.09) for BC, and 0.97 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.06) for O3. Among infected participants, exposure to NO2 and PM2.5 were positively associated with IgG levels for all viral target antigens. Among all participants, 481 (5.0%) had COVID-19 disease. Air pollution levels were associated with COVID-19 disease: adjusted RRs=1.14 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.29) for NO2 and 1.17 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.32) for PM2.5. Exposure to O3 was associated with a slightly decreased risk (RR=0.92; 95% CI: 0.83, 1.03). Associations of air pollution with COVID-19 disease were more pronounced for severe COVID-19, with RRs=1.26 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.79) for NO2 and 1.51 (95% CI: 1.06, 2.16) for PM2.5. DISCUSSION: Exposure to air pollution was associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 disease and level of antibody response among infected but not with SARS-CoV-2 infection. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP9726.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Antibody Formation , Cohort Studies , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Humans , Middle Aged , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21571, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500510

ABSTRACT

Sparse data exist on the complex natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 at the population level. We applied a well-validated multiplex serology test in 5000 participants of a general population study in Catalonia in blood samples collected from end June to mid November 2020. Based on responses to fifteen isotype-antigen combinations, we detected a seroprevalence of 18.1% in adults (n = 4740), and modeled extrapolation to the general population of Catalonia indicated a 15.3% seroprevalence. Antibodies persisted up to 9 months after infection. Immune profiling of infected individuals revealed that with increasing severity of infection (asymptomatic, 1-3 symptoms, ≥ 4 symptoms, admitted to hospital/ICU), seroresponses were more robust and rich with a shift towards IgG over IgA and anti-spike over anti-nucleocapsid responses. Among seropositive participants, lower antibody levels were observed for those ≥ 60 years vs < 60 years old and smokers vs non-smokers. Overweight/obese participants vs normal weight had higher antibody levels. Adolescents (13-15 years old) (n = 260) showed a seroprevalence of 11.5%, were less likely to be tested seropositive compared to their parents and had dominant anti-spike rather than anti-nucleocapsid IgG responses. Our study provides an unbiased estimate of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Catalonia and new evidence on the durability and heterogeneity of post-infection immunity.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibody Formation , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18984, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437691

ABSTRACT

Serological diagnostic of the severe respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a valuable tool for the determination of immunity and surveillance of exposure to the virus. In the context of an ongoing pandemic, it is essential to externally validate widely used tests to assure correct diagnostics and epidemiological estimations. We evaluated the performance of the COVID-19 ELISA IgG and the COVID-19 ELISA IgM/A (Vircell, S.L.) against a highly specific and sensitive in-house Luminex immunoassay in a set of samples from pregnant women and cord blood. The agreement between both assays was moderate to high for IgG but low for IgM/A. Considering seropositivity by either IgG and/or IgM/A, the technical performance of the ELISA was highly imbalanced, with 96% sensitivity at the expense of 22% specificity. As for the clinical performance, the negative predictive value reached 87% while the positive predictive value was 51%. Our results stress the need for highly specific and sensitive assays and external validation of diagnostic tests with different sets of samples to avoid the clinical, epidemiological and personal disturbances derived from serological misdiagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/trends , Female , Fetal Blood/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4740, 2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345557

ABSTRACT

Unraveling the long-term kinetics of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and the individual characteristics influencing it, including the impact of pre-existing antibodies to human coronaviruses causing common cold (HCoVs), is essential to understand protective immunity to COVID-19 and devise effective surveillance strategies. IgM, IgA and IgG levels against six SARS-CoV-2 antigens and the nucleocapsid antigen of the four HCoV (229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1) were quantified by Luminex, and antibody neutralization capacity was assessed by flow cytometry, in a cohort of health care workers followed up to 7 months (N = 578). Seroprevalence increases over time from 13.5% (month 0) and 15.6% (month 1) to 16.4% (month 6). Levels of antibodies, including those with neutralizing capacity, are stable over time, except IgG to nucleocapsid antigen and IgM levels that wane. After the peak response, anti-spike antibody levels increase from ~150 days post-symptom onset in all individuals (73% for IgG), in the absence of any evidence of re-exposure. IgG and IgA to HCoV are significantly higher in asymptomatic than symptomatic seropositive individuals. Thus, pre-existing cross-reactive HCoVs antibodies could have a protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Common Cold/immunology , Common Cold/virology , Cross Protection/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood
7.
Transl Res ; 232: 60-74, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081356

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients elicit strong responses to the nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV-2 but binding antibodies are also detected in prepandemic individuals, indicating potential crossreactivity with common cold human coronaviruses (HCoV) and questioning its utility in seroprevalence studies. We investigated the immunogenicity of the full-length and shorter fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein, and the crossreactivity of antibodies with HCoV. We identified a C-terminus region in SARS-CoV2 N of minimal sequence homology with HCoV that was more specific for SARS-CoV-2 and highly immunogenic. IgGs to the full-length SARS-CoV-2 N also recognized N229E N, and IgGs to HKU1 N recognized SARS-CoV-2 N. Crossreactivity with SARS-CoV-2 was stronger for alpha- rather than beta-HCoV despite having less sequence identity, revealing the importance of conformational recognition. Higher preexisting IgG to OC43 N correlated with lower IgG to SARS-CoV-2 N in rRT-PCR negative individuals, reflecting less exposure and indicating a potential protective association. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 N were higher in patients with more severe and longer duration of symptoms and in females. IgGs remained stable for at least 3 months, while IgAs and IgMs declined faster. In conclusion, N protein is a primary target of SARS-CoV-2-specific and HCoV crossreactive antibodies, both of which may affect the acquisition of immunity to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Rhinovirus/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies
8.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(2)2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041778

ABSTRACT

Reliable serological tests are required to determine the prevalence of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to characterize immunity to the disease in order to address key knowledge gaps in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Quantitative suspension array technology (qSAT) assays based on the xMAP Luminex platform overcome the limitations of rapid diagnostic tests and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) with their higher precision, dynamic range, throughput, miniaturization, cost-efficiency, and multiplexing capacity. We developed three qSAT assays for IgM, IgA, and IgG against a panel of eight SARS-CoV-2 antigens, including spike protein (S), nucleocapsid protein (N), and membrane protein (M) constructs. The assays were optimized to minimize the processing time and maximize the signal-to-noise ratio. We evaluated their performances using 128 prepandemic plasma samples (negative controls) and 104 plasma samples from individuals with SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis (positive controls), of whom 5 were asymptomatic, 51 had mild symptoms, and 48 were hospitalized. Preexisting IgG antibodies recognizing N, M, and S proteins were detected in negative controls, which is suggestive of cross-reactivity to common-cold coronaviruses. The best-performing antibody/antigen signatures had specificities of 100% and sensitivities of 95.78% at ≥14 days and 95.65% at ≥21 days since the onset of symptoms, with areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.977 and 0.999, respectively. Combining multiple markers as assessed by qSAT assays has the highest efficiency, breadth, and versatility to accurately detect low-level antibody responses for obtaining reliable data on the prevalence of exposure to novel pathogens in a population. Our assays will allow gaining insights into antibody correlates of immunity and their kinetics, required for vaccine development to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Structural Proteins/immunology
9.
J Infect Dis ; 223(1): 62-71, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1010364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: At the COVID-19 spring 2020 pandemic peak in Spain, prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cohort of 578 randomly selected health care workers (HCWs) from Hospital Clínic de Barcelona was 11.2%. METHODS: A follow-up survey 1 month later (April-May 2020) measured infection by rRT-PCR and IgM, IgA, and IgG to the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein by Luminex. Antibody kinetics, including IgG subclasses, was assessed until month 3. RESULTS: At month 1, the prevalence of infection measured by rRT-PCR and serology was 14.9% (84/565) and seroprevalence 14.5% (82/565). We found 25 (5%) new infections in 501 participants without previous evidence of infection. IgM, IgG, and IgA levels declined in 3 months (antibody decay rates 0.15 [95% CI, .11-.19], 0.66 [95% CI, .54-.82], and 0.12 [95% CI, .09-.16], respectively), and 68.33% of HCWs had seroreverted for IgM, 3.08% for IgG, and 24.29% for IgA. The most frequent subclass responses were IgG1 (highest levels) and IgG2, followed by IgG3, and only IgA1 but no IgA2 was detected. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous and improved surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCWs remains critical, particularly in high-risk groups. The observed fast decay of IgA and IgM levels has implications for seroprevalence studies using these isotypes.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Seroconversion , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology
10.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3500, 2020 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635939

ABSTRACT

Health care workers (HCW) are a high-risk population to acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection from patients or other fellow HCW. This study aims at estimating the seroprevalence against SARS-CoV-2 in a random sample of HCW from a large hospital in Spain. Of the 578 participants recruited from 28 March to 9 April 2020, 54 (9.3%, 95% CI: 7.1-12.0) were seropositive for IgM and/or IgG and/or IgA against SARS-CoV-2. The cumulative prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (presence of antibodies or past or current positive rRT-PCR) was 11.2% (65/578, 95% CI: 8.8-14.1). Among those with evidence of past or current infection, 40.0% (26/65) had not been previously diagnosed with COVID-19. Here we report a relatively low seroprevalence of antibodies among HCW at the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Spain. A large proportion of HCW with past or present infection had not been previously diagnosed with COVID-19, which calls for active periodic rRT-PCR testing in hospital settings.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/blood , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology
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