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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.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317400

ABSTRACT

Possible mother-to-child transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy is still a matter of debate. We studied the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on 56 complete households, including 27 newborns whose mothers were pregnant when exposed to the virus. Three perinatal SARS-CoV-2 transmissions with mild symptoms in affected neonates were recorded (two cases confirmed by PCR, the third one based on clinical findings). In addition, we observed a severe eye malformation (unilateral microphthalmia, optic nerve hypoplasia, and congenital retinopathy) associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in weeks 5 and 6 of embryonic development. This embryopathy could not be explained by other infectious agents, genetic factors, or drug use during pregnancy. Eight other women with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to gestational week 12, however, delivered healthy infants. Conclusion: The repeated occurrence of mother-to-child transmission in our cohort with risks that remain incompletely understood, such as long-term effects and the possibility of an embryopathy, should sensitize researchers and stimulate further studies as well as strongly support COVID19 vaccination recommendations for pregnant women. Trial registration number: NCT04741412 Date of registration: November 18, 2020

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312282

ABSTRACT

Background: Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) is a group of genodermatoses in which deficient ectodysplasin A signalling leads to maldevelopment of skin appendages, various eccrine glands, and teeth. Individuals with HED often have disrupted epithelial barriers and, therefore, were suspected to be more susceptible to coronavirus infection. Methods 56 households with at least one member who had coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) were enrolled in a longitudinal study to compare the course of illness, immune responses, and long-term consequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in HED patients (n = 15, age 9–52 years) and control subjects of the same age group (n = 149). Results In 14 HED patients, mild or moderate typical COVID-19 symptoms were observed that lasted for 4–45 days. Fever during the first days sometimes required external cooling measures. The course of COVID-19 was similar to that in control subjects if patients developed antibodies blocking the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Five out of six HED patients with completely abrogated ectodysplasin A signalling (83%) suffered from chronic, in two cases very severe fatigue following COVID-19, while only 25% of HED patients with residual activity of this pathway and 21% of control subjects recovering from COVID-19 experienced postinfectious fatigue. Hair loss after COVID-19 was also more frequent among HED patients (64%) than in the control group (13%). Conclusions HED appears to be associated with an increased risk of long-term consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Preventive vaccination against COVID-19 should be recommended for individuals affected by this rare genetic disorder.

4.
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.

5.
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
6.
Orphanet J Rare Dis ; 16(1): 373, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388786

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) is a group of genodermatoses in which deficient ectodysplasin A signalling leads to maldevelopment of skin appendages, various eccrine glands, and teeth. Individuals with HED often have disrupted epithelial barriers and, therefore, were suspected to be more susceptible to coronavirus infection. METHODS: 56 households with at least one member who had coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) were enrolled in a longitudinal study to compare the course of illness, immune responses, and long-term consequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in HED patients (n = 15, age 9-52 years) and control subjects of the same age group (n = 149). RESULTS: In 14 HED patients, mild or moderate typical COVID-19 symptoms were observed that lasted for 4-45 days. Fever during the first days sometimes required external cooling measures. The course of COVID-19 was similar to that in control subjects if patients developed antibodies blocking the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Five out of six HED patients with completely abrogated ectodysplasin A signalling (83%) suffered from chronic, in two cases very severe fatigue following COVID-19, while only 25% of HED patients with residual activity of this pathway and 21% of control subjects recovering from COVID-19 experienced postinfectious fatigue. Hair loss after COVID-19 was also more frequent among HED patients (64%) than in the control group (13%). CONCLUSIONS: HED appears to be associated with an increased risk of long-term consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Preventive vaccination against COVID-19 should be recommended for individuals affected by this rare genetic disorder.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ectodermal Dysplasia 1, Anhidrotic , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic , Adolescent , Adult , Alopecia , Child , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Young Adult
7.
Eur J Pediatr ; 181(1): 413-418, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345122

ABSTRACT

The risk and potential consequences of mother-to-child transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy are still a matter of debate. We studied the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on 56 complete households, including 27 newborns whose mothers were pregnant when exposed to the virus. Two PCR-confirmed perinatal SARS-CoV-2 transmissions with mild symptoms in affected neonates were recorded. In addition, we observed a severe eye malformation (unilateral microphthalmia, optic nerve hypoplasia, and congenital retinopathy) associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in weeks 5 and 6 of embryonic development. This embryopathy could not be explained by other infectious agents, genetic factors, drug use, or maternal disease during pregnancy. Eight other women with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to gestational week 12, however, delivered healthy infants.Conclusion: The repeated occurrence of mother-to-child transmission in our cohort with risks that remain incompletely understood, such as long-term effects and the possibility of an embryopathy, should sensitize researchers and stimulate further studies as well as support COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for pregnant women. Trial registration number: NCT04741412. Date of registration: November 18, 2020 What is Known: •Materno-fetal transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy has rarely been reported so far, but was demonstrated in isolated cases. What is New: •In a study of complete households with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, including a cohort of pregnant women, we observed perinatal coronavirus transmission at a higher frequency than expected. •We also describe a newborn boy with an eye malformation reminiscent of rubella embryopathy but associated with early gestation SARS-CoV-2 infection of his mother. •A coronavirus-related embryopathy, reported here for the first time, is a finding that requires further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome , SARS-CoV-2
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