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JCI Insight ; 7(10)2022 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794308


BACKGROUNDMeasuring the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 enables assessment of past infection and protective immunity. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces humoral and T cell responses, but these responses vary with disease severity and individual characteristics.METHODSA T cell receptor (TCR) immunosequencing assay was conducted using small-volume blood samples from 302 individuals recovered from COVID-19. Correlations between the magnitude of the T cell response and neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers or indicators of disease severity were evaluated. Sensitivity of T cell testing was assessed and compared with serologic testing.RESULTSSARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses were significantly correlated with nAb titers and clinical indicators of disease severity, including hospitalization, fever, and difficulty breathing. Despite modest declines in depth and breadth of T cell responses during convalescence, high sensitivity was observed until at least 6 months after infection, with overall sensitivity ~5% greater than serology tests for identifying prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improved performance of T cell testing was most apparent in recovered, nonhospitalized individuals sampled > 150 days after initial illness, suggesting greater sensitivity than serology at later time points and in individuals with less severe disease. T cell testing identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in 68% (55 of 81) of samples with undetectable nAb titers (<1:40) and in 37% (13 of 35) of samples classified as negative by 3 antibody assays.CONCLUSIONThese results support TCR-based testing as a scalable, reliable measure of past SARS-CoV-2 infection with clinical value beyond serology.TRIAL REGISTRATIONSpecimens were accrued under trial NCT04338360 accessible at work was funded by Adaptive Biotechnologies, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, NIAID, Fred Hutchinson Joel Meyers Endowment, Fast Grants, and American Society for Transplantation and Cell Therapy.

COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , United States
JCI Insight ; 7(6)2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673605


SARS-CoV-2 provokes a robust T cell response. Peptide-based studies exclude antigen processing and presentation biology, which may influence T cell detection studies. To focus on responses to whole virus and complex antigens, we used intact SARS-CoV-2 and full-length proteins with DCs to activate CD8 and CD4 T cells from convalescent people. T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing showed partial repertoire preservation after expansion. Resultant CD8 T cells recognize SARS-CoV-2-infected respiratory tract cells, and CD4 T cells detect inactivated whole viral antigen. Specificity scans with proteome-covering protein/peptide arrays show that CD8 T cells are oligospecific per subject and that CD4 T cell breadth is higher. Some CD4 T cell lines enriched using SARS-CoV-2 cross-recognize whole seasonal coronavirus (sCoV) antigens, with protein, peptide, and HLA restriction validation. Conversely, recognition of some epitopes is eliminated for SARS-CoV-2 variants, including spike (S) epitopes in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variant lineages.

J Clin Invest ; 131(3)2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124908


BACKGROUNDSARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies may protect from reinfection and disease, providing rationale for administration of plasma containing SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) as a treatment for COVID-19. Clinical factors and laboratory assays to streamline plasma donor selection, and the durability of nAb responses, are incompletely understood.METHODSPotential convalescent plasma donors with virologically documented SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested for serum IgG against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 domain and against nucleoprotein (NP), and for nAb.RESULTSAmong 250 consecutive persons, including 27 (11%) requiring hospitalization, who were studied a median of 67 days since symptom onset, 97% were seropositive on 1 or more assays. Sixty percent of donors had nAb titers ≥1:80. Correlates of higher nAb titers included older age (adjusted OR [AOR] 1.03 per year of age, 95% CI 1.00-1.06), male sex (AOR 2.08, 95% CI 1.13-3.82), fever during illness (AOR 2.73, 95% CI 1.25-5.97), and disease severity represented by hospitalization (AOR 6.59, 95% CI 1.32-32.96). Receiver operating characteristic analyses of anti-S1 and anti-NP antibody results yielded cutoffs that corresponded well with nAb titers, with the anti-S1 assay being slightly more predictive. nAb titers declined in 37 of 41 paired specimens collected a median of 98 days (range 77-120) apart (P < 0.001). Seven individuals (2.8%) were persistently seronegative and lacked T cell responses.CONCLUSIONnAb titers correlated with COVID-19 severity, age, and sex. SARS-CoV-2 IgG results can serve as useful surrogates for nAb testing. Functional nAb levels declined, and a small proportion of convalescent individuals lacked adaptive immune responses.FUNDINGThe project was supported by the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research with support from the NIAID under contract number 75N91019D00024, and was supported by the Fred Hutchinson Joel Meyers Endowment, Fast-Grants, a New Investigator award from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, and NIH contracts 75N93019C0063, 75N91019D00024, and HHSN272201800013C, and NIH grants T32-AI118690, T32-AI007044, K08-AI119142, and K23-AI140918.

Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , COVID-19/therapy , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism