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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922215

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immune response to COVID-19 vaccination is inferior in kidney transplant recipients (KTR), and to a lesser extent in patients on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We assessed the immune response 6 months after mRNA-1273 vaccination in kidney patients and compared this to controls. METHODS: 152 participants with CKD stages G4/5 (eGFR <30  mL/min/1.73m2), 145 participants on dialysis, 267 KTR, and 181 controls were included. SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1-specific IgG antibodies were measured by fluorescent bead-based multiplex-immunoassay, neutralizing antibodies to ancestral, Delta and Omicron (BA.1) variants by plaque reduction, and T-cell responses by IFN-γ release assay. RESULTS: At 6 months after vaccination S1-specific antibodies were detected in 100% of controls, 98.7% of CKD G4/5 patients, 95.1% of dialysis patients, and 56.6% of KTR. These figures were comparable to the response rates at 28 days, but antibody levels waned significantly. Neutralization of the ancestral and Delta variant was detected in most participants, whereas neutralization of Omicron was mostly absent. S-specific T-cell responses were detected 6 months in 75.0% of controls, 69.4% of CKD G4/5 patients, 52.6% of dialysis patients, and 12.9% of KTR. T-cell responses at 6 months were significantly lower than responses at 28 days. CONCLUSIONS: Although seropositivity rates at 6 months were comparable to that at 28 days after vaccination, significantly decreased antibody levels and T-cell responses were observed. The combination of low antibody levels, reduced T-cell responses, and absent neutralization of the newly-emerging variants indicates the need for additional boosts or alternative vaccination strategies in KTR.

2.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1778-1786, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915483

ABSTRACT

The Omicron BA.1 (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 variant is characterized by a high number of mutations in the viral genome, associated with immune escape and increased viral spread. It remains unclear whether milder COVID-19 disease progression observed after infection with Omicron BA.1 in humans is due to reduced pathogenicity of the virus or due to pre-existing immunity from vaccination or previous infection. Here, we inoculated hamsters with Omicron BA.1 to evaluate pathogenicity and kinetics of viral shedding, compared to Delta (B.1.617.2) and to animals re-challenged with Omicron BA.1 after previous SARS-CoV-2 614G infection. Omicron BA.1 infected animals showed reduced clinical signs, pathological changes, and viral shedding, compared to Delta-infected animals, but still showed gross- and histopathological evidence of pneumonia. Pre-existing immunity reduced viral shedding and protected against pneumonia. Our data indicate that the observed decrease of disease severity is in part due to intrinsic properties of the Omicron BA.1 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901150

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants raised questions regarding the durability of immune responses after homologous or heterologous booster vaccination after Ad26.COV2.S priming. We found that SARS-CoV-2-specific binding antibodies, neutralizing antibodies and T-cells are detectable 5 months after boosting, although waning of antibodies and limited cross-reactivity with Omicron BA.1 was observed.

4.
mBio ; 13(3): e0124922, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891739

ABSTRACT

The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to evolve in response to selective pressures poses a challenge to vaccine and antiviral efficacy. The S1 subunit of the spike (S) protein contains the receptor-binding domain and is therefore under selective pressure to evade neutralizing antibodies elicited by vaccination or infection. In contrast, the S2 subunit of S is only transiently exposed after receptor binding, which makes it a less efficient target for antibodies. As a result, S2 has a lower mutational frequency than S1. We recently described monomeric and dimeric SARS-CoV-2 fusion-inhibitory lipopeptides that block viral infection by interfering with S2 conformational rearrangements during viral entry. Importantly, a dimeric lipopeptide was shown to block SARS-CoV-2 transmission between ferrets in vivo. Because the S2 subunit is relatively conserved in newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), we hypothesize that fusion-inhibitory lipopeptides are cross-protective against infection with VOCs. Here, we directly compared the in vitro efficacies of two fusion-inhibitory lipopeptides against VOC, in comparison with a set of seven postvaccination sera (two doses) and a commercial monoclonal antibody preparation. For the beta, delta, and omicron VOCs, it has been reported that convalescent and postvaccination sera are less potent in virus neutralization assays. Both fusion-inhibitory lipopeptides were equally effective against all five VOCs compared to ancestral virus, whereas postvaccination sera and therapeutic monoclonal antibody lost potency to newer VOCs, in particular to omicron BA.1 and BA.2. The neutralizing activity of the lipopeptides is consistent, and they can be expected to neutralize future VOCs based on their mechanism of action. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, continues to spread globally, with waves resulting from new variants that evade immunity generated by vaccines and previous strains and escape available monoclonal antibody therapy. Fusion-inhibitory peptides may provide an intervention strategy that is not similarly affected by this viral evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ferrets , Humans , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
5.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869826

ABSTRACT

Measles virus (MV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus responsible for outbreaks associated with significant morbidity and mortality among children and young adults. Although safe and effective measles vaccines are available, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in vaccination coverage gaps that may lead to the resurgence of measles when restrictions are lifted. This puts individuals who cannot be vaccinated, such as young infants and immunocompromised individuals, at risk. Therapeutic interventions are complicated by the long incubation time of measles, resulting in a narrow treatment window. At present, the only available WHO-advised option is treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins, although this is not approved as standard of care. Antivirals against measles may contribute to intervention strategies to limit the impact of future outbreaks. Here, we review previously described antivirals and antiviral assays, evaluate the antiviral efficacy of a number of compounds to inhibit MV dissemination in vitro, and discuss potential application in specific target populations. We conclude that broadly reactive antivirals could strengthen existing intervention strategies to limit the impact of measles outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Measles , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Child , Humans , Measles Vaccine , Measles virus , Pandemics , Vaccination
6.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-331736

ABSTRACT

Background: The i mmune response to COVID-19 vaccination is inferior in kidney transplant recipients (KTR), and to a lesser extent in patients on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We assessed the immune response 6 months after mRNA-1273 vaccination in kidney patients and compared this to controls. Methods: 152 participants with CKD stages G4/5 (eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73m 2 ), 145 participants on dialysis, 267 KTR, and 181 controls were included. SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1-specific IgG antibodies were measured by fluorescent bead-based multiplex-immunoassay, neutralizing antibodies to ancestral, Delta and Omicron (BA.1) variants by plaque reduction, and T-cell responses by IFN-γ release assay. Findings: At 6 months after vaccination S1-specific antibodies were detected in 100% of controls, 98.7% of CKD G4/5 patients, 95.1% of dialysis patients, and 56.6% of KTR. These figures were comparable to the response rates at 28 days, but antibody levels waned significantly. Neutralization of the ancestral and Delta variant was detected in most participants, whereas neutralization of Omicron was mostly absent. S-specific T-cell responses were detected 6 months in 75.0% of controls, 69.4% of CKD G4/5 patients, 52.6% of dialysis patients, and 12.9% of KTR. T-cell responses at 6 months were significantly lower than responses at 28 days. Interpretation: Although seropositivity rates at 6 months were comparable to that at 28 days after vaccination, significantly decreased antibody levels and T-cell responses were observed. The combination of low antibody levels, reduced T-cell responses, and absent neutralization of the newly-emerging variants indicates the need for additional boosts or alternative vaccination strategies in KTR.

7.
Sci Immunol ; 7(69): eabo2202, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673343

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, even in vaccinated individuals, raising concerns about immune escape. Here, we studied neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses targeting SARS-CoV-2 D614G [wild type (WT)] and the Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants of concern in a cohort of 60 health care workers after immunization with ChAdOx-1 S, Ad26.COV2.S, mRNA-1273, or BNT162b2. High binding antibody levels against WT SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) were detected 28 days after vaccination with both mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2), which substantially decreased after 6 months. In contrast, antibody levels were lower after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination but did not wane. Neutralization assays showed consistent cross-neutralization of the Beta and Delta variants, but neutralization of Omicron was significantly lower or absent. BNT162b2 booster vaccination after either two mRNA-1273 immunizations or Ad26.COV2 priming partially restored neutralization of the Omicron variant, but responses were still up to 17-fold decreased compared with WT. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected up to 6 months after all vaccination regimens, with more consistent detection of specific CD4+ than CD8+ T cells. No significant differences were detected between WT- and variant-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cell responses, including Omicron, indicating minimal escape at the T cell level. This study shows that vaccinated individuals retain T cell immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, potentially balancing the lack of neutralizing antibodies in preventing or limiting severe COVID-19. Booster vaccinations are needed to further restore Omicron cross-neutralization by antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans
8.
N Engl J Med ; 386(10): 951-963, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642068

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, which was approved as a single-shot immunization regimen, has been shown to be effective against severe coronavirus disease 2019. However, this vaccine induces lower severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (S)-specific antibody levels than those induced by messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines. The immunogenicity and reactogenicity of a homologous or heterologous booster in persons who have received an Ad26.COV2.S priming dose are unclear. METHODS: In this single-blind, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial involving health care workers who had received a priming dose of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, we assessed immunogenicity and reactogenicity 28 days after a homologous or heterologous booster vaccination. The participants were assigned to receive no booster, an Ad26.COV2.S booster, an mRNA-1273 booster, or a BNT162b2 booster. The primary end point was the level of S-specific binding antibodies, and the secondary end points were the levels of neutralizing antibodies, S-specific T-cell responses, and reactogenicity. A post hoc analysis was performed to compare mRNA-1273 boosting with BNT162b2 boosting. RESULTS: Homologous or heterologous booster vaccination resulted in higher levels of S-specific binding antibodies, neutralizing antibodies, and T-cell responses than a single Ad26.COV2.S vaccination. The increase in binding antibodies was significantly larger with heterologous regimens that included mRNA-based vaccines than with the homologous booster. The mRNA-1273 booster was most immunogenic and was associated with higher reactogenicity than the BNT162b2 and Ad26.COV2.S boosters. Local and systemic reactions were generally mild to moderate in the first 2 days after booster administration. CONCLUSIONS: The Ad26.COV2.S and mRNA boosters had an acceptable safety profile and were immunogenic in health care workers who had received a priming dose of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. The strongest responses occurred after boosting with mRNA-based vaccines. Boosting with any available vaccine was better than not boosting. (Funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ZonMw; SWITCH ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04927936.).


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , /immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
9.
Thromb Res ; 210: 6-11, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634248

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many patients who are diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffer from venous thromboembolic complications despite the use of stringent anticoagulant prophylaxis. Studies on the exact mechanism(s) underlying thrombosis in COVID-19 are limited as animal models commonly used to study venous thrombosis pathophysiology (i.e. rats and mice) are naturally not susceptible to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Ferrets are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, successfully used to study virus transmission, and have been previously used to study activation of coagulation and thrombosis during influenza virus infection. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the use of (heat-inactivated) plasma and lung material from SARS-CoV-2-inoculated ferrets studying COVID-19-associated changes in coagulation and thrombosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Histology and longitudinal plasma profiling using mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach was performed. RESULTS: Lungs of ferrets inoculated intranasally with SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated alveolar septa that were mildly expanded by macrophages, and diffuse interstitial histiocytic pneumonia. However, no macroscopical or microscopical evidence of vascular thrombosis in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-inoculated ferrets was found. Longitudinal plasma profiling revealed minor differences in plasma protein profiles in SARS-CoV-2-inoculated ferrets up to 2 weeks post-infection. The majority of plasma coagulation factors were stable and demonstrated a low coefficient of variation. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that while ferrets are an essential and well-suited animal model to study SARS-CoV-2 transmission, their use to study SARS-CoV-2-related changes relevant to thrombotic disease is limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Venous Thrombosis , Animals , Blood Proteins , Ferrets , Humans , Lung , Mice , Rats , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Science ; 371(6536): 1379-1382, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476374

ABSTRACT

Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, which is mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed lipopeptide fusion inhibitors that block this critical first step of infection and, on the basis of in vitro efficacy and in vivo biodistribution, selected a dimeric form for evaluation in an animal model. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour cohousing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and thus may readily translate into safe and effective intranasal prophylaxis to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Lipopeptides/administration & dosage , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Ferrets , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacokinetics , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Mice , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacology
11.
Sci Immunol ; 6(59)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243688

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations in the spike (S) protein has raised concern about potential immune escape. Here, we studied humoral and cellular immune responses to wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern in a cohort of 121 BNT162b2 mRNA-vaccinated health care workers (HCW). Twenty-three HCW recovered from mild COVID-19 disease and exhibited a recall response with high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific functional antibodies and virus-specific T cells after a single vaccination. Specific immune responses were also detected in seronegative HCW after one vaccination, but a second dose was required to reach high levels of functional antibodies and cellular immune responses in all individuals. Vaccination-induced antibodies cross-neutralized the variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, but the neutralizing capacity and Fc-mediated functionality against B.1.351 was consistently 2- to 4-fold lower than to the homologous virus. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with peptide pools spanning the mutated S regions of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 to detect cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells with variants. Importantly, we observed no differences in CD4+ T-cell activation in response to variant antigens, indicating that the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 S proteins do not escape T-cell-mediated immunity elicited by the wild type S protein. In conclusion, this study shows that some variants can partially escape humoral immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection or BNT162b2 vaccination, but S-specific CD4+ T-cell activation is not affected by the mutations in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
12.
Science ; 371(6536): 1379-1382, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088184

ABSTRACT

Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, which is mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed lipopeptide fusion inhibitors that block this critical first step of infection and, on the basis of in vitro efficacy and in vivo biodistribution, selected a dimeric form for evaluation in an animal model. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour cohousing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and thus may readily translate into safe and effective intranasal prophylaxis to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Lipopeptides/administration & dosage , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Ferrets , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacokinetics , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Mice , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacology
13.
Sci Immunol ; 5(48)2020 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617063

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the causative agent of a global outbreak of respiratory tract disease (COVID-19). In some patients the infection results in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. High serum levels of IL-6, IL-10 and an immune hyperresponsiveness referred to as a 'cytokine storm' have been associated with poor clinical outcome. Despite the large numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, information on the phenotype and kinetics of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells is limited. Here, we studied 10 COVID-19 patients who required admission to an intensive care unit and detected SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in 10 out of 10 and 8 out of 10 patients, respectively. We also detected low levels of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in 2 out of 10 healthy controls not previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, which is indicative of cross-reactivity due to past infection with 'common cold' coronaviruses. The strongest T-cell responses were directed to the spike (S) surface glycoprotein, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells predominantly produced effector and Th1 cytokines, although Th2 and Th17 cytokines were also detected. Furthermore, we studied T-cell kinetics and showed that SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are present relatively early and increase over time. Collectively, these data shed light on the potential variations in T-cell responses as a function of disease severity, an issue that is key to understanding the potential role of immunopathology in the disease, and also inform vaccine design and evaluation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Aged , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Kinetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load/immunology
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