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1.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 11(8): e1410, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1976704

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Potential differences in the breadth, distribution and magnitude of CD4+ T-cell responses directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein between vaccinees, COVID-19 patients and subjects who experienced both ways of immunisation have not been comprehensively compared on a peptide level. Methods: Following virus-specific in vitro cultivation, we determined the T-cell responses directed against 253 individual overlapping 15-mer peptides covering the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein using IFN-γ ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining. In vitro HLA binding was determined for selected peptides. Results: We mapped 955 single peptide-specific CD4+ T-cell responses in a cohort of COVID-19 patients (n = 8), uninfected vaccinees (n = 16) and individuals who experienced both infection and vaccination (n = 11). Patients and vaccinees (two-time and three-time vaccinees alike) had a comparable number of CD4+ T-cell responses (median 26 vs. 29, P = 0.7289). Most of these specificities were conserved in B.1.1.529 and the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages. The highest magnitude of these in vitro IFN-γ CD4+ T-cell responses was observed in COVID-19 patients (median 0.35%), and three-time vaccinees showed a higher magnitude than two-time vaccinees (median 0.091% vs. 0.175%, P < 0.0001). Twelve peptide specificities were each detected in at least 40% of subjects. In vitro HLA binding showed promiscuous presentation by DRB1 molecules for several peptides. Conclusion: Both SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination prime broadly directed T-cell responses directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. This comprehensive high-resolution analysis of spike peptide specificities will be a useful resource for further investigation of spike-specific T-cell responses.

2.
Cell ; 185(5): 847-859.e11, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650711

ABSTRACT

We address whether T cell responses induced by different vaccine platforms (mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, Ad26.COV2.S, and NVX-CoV2373) cross-recognize early SARS-CoV-2 variants. T cell responses to early variants were preserved across vaccine platforms. By contrast, significant overall decreases were observed for memory B cells and neutralizing antibodies. In subjects ∼6 months post-vaccination, 90% (CD4+) and 87% (CD8+) of memory T cell responses were preserved against variants on average by AIM assay, and 84% (CD4+) and 85% (CD8+) preserved against Omicron. Omicron RBD memory B cell recognition was substantially reduced to 42% compared with other variants. T cell epitope repertoire analysis revealed a median of 11 and 10 spike epitopes recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, with average preservation > 80% for Omicron. Functional preservation of the majority of T cell responses may play an important role as a second-level defense against diverse variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Memory B Cells/immunology , Memory T Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Ad26COVS1/administration & dosage , Ad26COVS1/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Memory B Cells/metabolism , Memory T Cells/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
4.
Vaccine ; 40(2): 239-246, 2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586281

ABSTRACT

Over the last few decades, several emerging or reemerging viral diseases with no readily available vaccines have ravaged the world. A platform to fastly generate vaccines inducing potent and durable neutralizing antibody and T cell responses is sorely needed. Bioinformatically identified epitope-based vaccines can focus on immunodominant T cell epitopes and induce more potent immune responses than a whole antigen vaccine and may be deployed more rapidly and less costly than whole-gene vaccines. Increasing evidence has shown the importance of the CD4+ T cell response in protection against HIV and other viral infections. The previously described DNA vaccine HIVBr18 encodes 18 conserved, promiscuous epitopes binding to multiple HLA-DR-binding HIV epitopes amply recognized by HIV-1-infected patients. HIVBr18 elicited broad, polyfunctional, and durable CD4+and CD8+ T cell responses in BALB/c and mice transgenic to HLA class II alleles, showing cross-species promiscuity. To fully delineate the promiscuity of the HLA class II vaccine epitopes, we assessed their binding to 34 human class II (HLA-DR, DQ, and -DP) molecules, and immunized nonhuman primates. Results ascertained redundant 100% coverage of the human population for multiple peptides. We then immunized Rhesus macaques with HIVBr18 under in vivo electroporation. The immunization induced strong, predominantly polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses in all animals to 13 out of the 18 epitopes; T cells from each animal recognized 7-11 epitopes. Our results provide a preliminary proof of concept that immunization with a vaccine encoding epitopes with high and redundant coverage of the human population can elicit potent T cell responses to multiple epitopes, across species and MHC barriers. This approach may facilitate the rapid deployment of immunogens eliciting cellular immunity against emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
AIDS Vaccines , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , AIDS Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Genes, MHC Class II , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic
5.
J Reprod Immunol ; 149: 103464, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561228

ABSTRACT

We studied the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 spike and non-spike peptide epitopes in eight convalescent pregnant women together with the immune monitoring that included innate tolerogenic dendritic cell populations important to maintain the immunological mother/fetus interface to address a potential risk for the antiviral cellular response in the outcome of pregnancy. Four subjects had pre-existing chronic inflammatory conditions that could have potentially affected the SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response. Seven of eight subjects responded to SARS-CoV-2 peptides with differences within CD4+ T helper (Th) and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells (CTL). SARS-CoV-2-specific inducible regulatory T cells (iTreg) were numerous in circulation. CD4+ T cell memory included central memory T cells (TCM) and effector memory (TEM). As far as the CD8+ memory repertoire, TCM and TEM were very low or absent in eight of eight subjects and only effector cells that revert to CD45RA+, defined as TEMRA were measurable in circulation. T cells were in the normal range in all subjects regardless of pre-existing inflammatory conditions. The immune phenotype indicated the expansion and activation of tolerogenic myeloid dendritic cells including CD14+ cDC2 and CD4+ ILT-4+ tmDC. In summary, SARS-CoV-2 infection induced a physiological anti-viral T cell response in pregnant women that included SARS-CoV-2-specific iTreg with no negative effects on the tolerogenic innate dendritic cell repertoire relevant to the immune homeostasis of the maternal-fetal interface. All eight subjects studied delivered full-term, healthy infants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Placenta/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Adult , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies
6.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750601

ABSTRACT

Effective countermeasures against the recent emergence and rapid expansion of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) require the development of data and tools to understand and monitor viral spread and immune responses. However, little information about the targets of immune responses to 2019-nCoV is available. We used the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB) resource to catalog available data related to other coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV, which has high sequence similarity to 2019-nCoV, and is the best-characterized coronavirus in terms of epitope responses. We identified multiple specific regions in 2019-nCoV that have high homology to SARS virus. Parallel bionformatic predictions identified a priori potential B and T cell epitopes for 2019-nCoV. The independent identification of the same regions using two approaches reflects the high probability that these regions are targets for immune recognition of 2019-nCoV.

7.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(1): 123-137, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441963

ABSTRACT

The immunopathogenesis of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children that may follow exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is incompletely understood. Here, we studied SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in MIS-C, Kawasaki disease (KD), and SARS-CoV-2 convalescent controls using peptide pools derived from SARS-CoV-2 spike or nonspike proteins, and common cold coronaviruses (CCC). Coordinated CD4+ and CD8+ SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detected in five MIS-C subjects with cross-reactivity to CCC. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses alone were documented in three and one subjects, respectively. T-cell specificities in MIS-C did not correlate with disease severity and were similar to SARS-CoV-2 convalescent controls. T-cell memory and cross-reactivity to CCC in MIS-C and SARS-CoV-2 convalescent controls were also similar. The chemokine receptor CCR6, but not CCR9, was highly expressed on SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ but not on CD8+ T cells. Only two of 10 KD subjects showed a T-cell response to CCC. Enumeration of myeloid APCs revealed low cell precursors in MIS-C subjects compared to KD. In summary, children with MIS-C mount a normal T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 with no apparent relationship to antecedent CCC exposure. Low numbers of tolerogenic myeloid DCs may impair their anti-inflammatory response.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Immunity, Cellular , Immunologic Memory , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Adolescent , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/complications , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/immunology
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009842, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416911

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to define the breadth and specificity of dominant SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell epitopes using a comprehensive set of 135 overlapping 15-mer peptides covering the SARS-CoV-2 envelope (E), membrane (M) and nucleoprotein (N) in a cohort of 34 individuals with acute (n = 10) and resolved (n = 24) COVID-19. Following short-term virus-specific in vitro cultivation, the single peptide-specific CD4+ T cell response of each patient was screened using enzyme linked immuno spot assay (ELISpot) and confirmed by single-peptide intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) for interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production. 97% (n = 33) of patients elicited one or more N, M or E-specific CD4+ T cell responses and each patient targeted on average 21.7 (range 0-79) peptide specificities. Overall, we identified 10 N, M or E-specific peptides that showed a response frequency of more than 36% and five of them showed high binding affinity to multiple HLA class II binders in subsequent in vitro HLA binding assays. Three peptides elicited CD4+ T cell responses in more than 55% of all patients, namely Mem_P30 (aa146-160), Mem_P36 (aa176-190), both located within the M protein, and Ncl_P18 (aa86-100) located within the N protein. These peptides were further defined in terms of length and HLA restriction. Based on this epitope and restriction data we developed a novel DRB*11 tetramer (Mem_aa145-164) and examined the ex vivo phenotype of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells in one patient. This detailed characterization of single T cell peptide responses demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 infection universally primes a broad T cell response directed against multiple specificities located within the N, M and E structural protein.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Survivors , T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology
9.
Pathog Immun ; 6(2): 27-49, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399715

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genetic variations across the SARS-CoV-2 genome may influence transmissibility of the virus and the host's anti-viral immune response, in turn affecting the frequency of variants over time. In this study, we examined the adjacent amino acid polymorphisms in the nucleocapsid (R203K/G204R) of SARS-CoV-2 that arose on the background of the spike D614G change and describe how strains harboring these changes became dominant circulating strains globally. METHODS: Deep-sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2 from public databases and from clinical samples were analyzed to identify and map genetic variants and sub-genomic RNA transcripts across the genome. Results: Sequence analysis suggests that the 3 adjacent nucleotide changes that result in the K203/R204 variant have arisen by homologous recombination from the core sequence of the leader transcription-regulating sequence (TRS) rather than by stepwise mutation. The resulting sequence changes generate a novel sub-genomic RNA transcript for the C-terminal dimerization domain of nucleocapsid. Deep-sequencing data from 981 clinical samples confirmed the presence of the novel TRS-CS-dimerization domain RNA in individuals with the K203/R204 variant. Quantification of sub-genomic RNA indicates that viruses with the K203/R204 variant may also have increased expression of sub-genomic RNA from other open reading frames. CONCLUSIONS: The finding that homologous recombination from the TRS may have occurred since the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, resulting in both coding changes and novel sub-genomic RNA transcripts, suggests this as a mechanism for diversification and adaptation within its new host.

10.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(7): 100355, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294298

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with evidence of antibody escape highlight the importance of addressing whether the total CD4+ and CD8+ T cell recognition is also affected. Here, we compare SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells against the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and CAL.20C lineages in COVID-19 convalescents and in recipients of the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccines. The total reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 variants is similar in terms of magnitude and frequency of response, with decreases in the 10%-22% range observed in some assay/VOC combinations. A total of 7% and 3% of previously identified CD4+ and CD8+ T cell epitopes, respectively, are affected by mutations in the various VOCs. Thus, the SARS-CoV-2 variants analyzed here do not significantly disrupt the total SARS-CoV-2 T cell reactivity; however, the decreases observed highlight the importance for active monitoring of T cell reactivity in the context of SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
11.
Cell ; 184(15): 3962-3980.e17, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252549

ABSTRACT

T cell-mediated immunity plays an important role in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the repertoire of naturally processed and presented viral epitopes on class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA-I) remains uncharacterized. Here, we report the first HLA-I immunopeptidome of SARS-CoV-2 in two cell lines at different times post infection using mass spectrometry. We found HLA-I peptides derived not only from canonical open reading frames (ORFs) but also from internal out-of-frame ORFs in spike and nucleocapsid not captured by current vaccines. Some peptides from out-of-frame ORFs elicited T cell responses in a humanized mouse model and individuals with COVID-19 that exceeded responses to canonical peptides, including some of the strongest epitopes reported to date. Whole-proteome analysis of infected cells revealed that early expressed viral proteins contribute more to HLA-I presentation and immunogenicity. These biological insights, as well as the discovery of out-of-frame ORF epitopes, will facilitate selection of peptides for immune monitoring and vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Peptides/immunology , Proteome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Alleles , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antigen Presentation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Kinetics , Male , Mice , Peptides/chemistry , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
12.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(7): 1076-1092, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240230

ABSTRACT

Over the past year, numerous studies in the peer reviewed and preprint literature have reported on the virological, epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. To date, 25 studies have investigated and identified SARS-CoV-2-derived T cell epitopes in humans. Here, we review these recent studies, how they were performed, and their findings. We review how epitopes identified throughout the SARS-CoV2 proteome reveal significant correlation between number of epitopes defined and size of the antigen provenance. We also report additional analysis of SARS-CoV-2 human CD4 and CD8 T cell epitope data compiled from these studies, identifying 1,400 different reported SARS-CoV-2 epitopes and revealing discrete immunodominant regions of the virus and epitopes that are more prevalently recognized. This remarkable breadth of epitope repertoire has implications for vaccine design, cross-reactivity, and immune escape by SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes
13.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(2): 100204, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057492

ABSTRACT

T cells are involved in control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To establish the patterns of immunodominance of different SARS-CoV-2 antigens and precisely measure virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, we study epitope-specific T cell responses of 99 convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The SARS-CoV-2 proteome is probed using 1,925 peptides spanning the entire genome, ensuring an unbiased coverage of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles for class II responses. For HLA class I, we study an additional 5,600 predicted binding epitopes for 28 prominent HLA class I alleles, accounting for wide global coverage. We identify several hundred HLA-restricted SARS-CoV-2-derived epitopes. Distinct patterns of immunodominance are observed, which differ for CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and antibodies. The class I and class II epitopes are combined into epitope megapools to facilitate identification and quantification of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.

14.
Science ; 370(6512): 89-94, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695026

ABSTRACT

Many unknowns exist about human immune responses to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells have been reported in unexposed individuals, suggesting preexisting cross-reactive T cell memory in 20 to 50% of people. However, the source of those T cells has been speculative. Using human blood samples derived before the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered in 2019, we mapped 142 T cell epitopes across the SARS-CoV-2 genome to facilitate precise interrogation of the SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell repertoire. We demonstrate a range of preexisting memory CD4+ T cells that are cross-reactive with comparable affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses human coronavirus (HCoV)-OC43, HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-HKU1. Thus, variegated T cell memory to coronaviruses that cause the common cold may underlie at least some of the extensive heterogeneity observed in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Open Reading Frames , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Homology
15.
SSRN ; : 3541361, 2020 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-679323

ABSTRACT

Effective countermeasures against the recent emergence and rapid expansion of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) require the development of data and tools to understand and monitor viral spread and immune responses. However, little information about the targets of immune responses to 2019-nCoV is available. We used the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB) resource to catalog available data related to other coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV, which has high sequence similarity to 2019-nCoV, and is the best-characterized coronavirus in terms of epitope responses. We identified multiple specific regions in 2019-nCoV that have high homology to SARS virus. Parallel bionformatic predictions identified a priori potential B and T cell epitopes for 2019-nCoV. The independent identification of the same regions using two approaches reflects the high probability that these regions are targets for immune recognition of 2019-nCoV.

16.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(4): 671-680.e2, 2020 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-8785

ABSTRACT

Effective countermeasures against the recent emergence and rapid expansion of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) require the development of data and tools to understand and monitor its spread and immune responses to it. However, little information is available about the targets of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. We used the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB) to catalog available data related to other coronaviruses. This includes SARS-CoV, which has high sequence similarity to SARS-CoV-2 and is the best-characterized coronavirus in terms of epitope responses. We identified multiple specific regions in SARS-CoV-2 that have high homology to the SARS-CoV virus. Parallel bioinformatic predictions identified a priori potential B and T cell epitopes for SARS-CoV-2. The independent identification of the same regions using two approaches reflects the high probability that these regions are promising targets for immune recognition of SARS-CoV-2. These predictions can facilitate effective vaccine design against this virus of high priority.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , COVID-19 , Databases, Protein , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Homology
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