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2.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295804

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Treatment of COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma containing neutralising antibody to SARS-CoV-2 is under investigation as a means of reducing viral loads, ameliorating disease outcomes, and reducing mortality. However, its efficacy might be reduced in those infected with the emerging B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant. Here, we report the diverse virological characteristics of UK patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomised controlled trial. Methods SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was detected and quantified by real-time PCR in nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from study subjects within 48 hours of admission to intensive care unit. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 strain was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains by two novel typing methods detecting the B.1.1.7-associated D1118H mutation with allele-specific probes and by restriction site polymorphism (SfcI). Findings Of 1260 subjects, 90% were PCR-positive with viral loads in nasopharyngeal swabs ranging from 72 international units [IUs]/ml to 1.7×10 11 IU/ml. Median viral loads were 45-fold higher in those who were seronegative for IgG antibodies (n=314;28%) compared to seropositives (n=804;72%), reflecting in part the latter group’s possible later disease stage on enrolment. Frequencies of B.1.1.7 infection increased from early November (<1%) to December 2020 (>60%). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 seronegative individuals infected with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians of 1.2×10 6 and 3.4 ×10 4 IU/ml respectively;p=2×10 −9 ). However, viral load distributions were elevated in both seropositive and seronegative subjects infected with B.1.1.7 (13.4×10 6 and 7.6×10 6 IU/ml;p=0.18). Interpretation High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects are consistent with increased replication capacity and/or less effective clearance by innate or adaptive immune response of B.1.1.7 strain than wild-type. As viral genotype was associated with diverse virological and immunological phenotypes, metrics of viral load, antibody status and infecting strain should be used to define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.

3.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506513

ABSTRACT

We compared neutralising antibody titres of convalescent samples collected before and after the emergence of novel strains of SARS-CoV-2, against the wild-type virus (WT), Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants. Plasma collected in 2020 before emergence of variants showed reduced titres against the Alpha variants, and both sets of samples demonstrated significantly reduced titres against Beta. Comparison of microneutralisation titres to those obtained with pseudotype and HAT assays showed a good correlation of titres and effects of strain variation, supporting the use of these simpler assays for assessment of convalescent plasma potency against currently circulating and emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2.

4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5861, 2021 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454761

ABSTRACT

Several COVID-19 vaccines have shown good efficacy in clinical trials, but there remains uncertainty about the efficacy of vaccines against different variants. Here, we investigate the efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) against symptomatic COVID-19 in a post-hoc exploratory analysis of a Phase 3 randomised trial in Brazil (trial registration ISRCTN89951424). Nose and throat swabs were tested by PCR in symptomatic participants. Sequencing and genotyping of swabs were performed to determine the lineages of SARS-CoV-2 circulating during the study. Protection against any symptomatic COVID-19 caused by the Zeta (P.2) variant was assessed in 153 cases with vaccine efficacy (VE) of 69% (95% CI 55, 78). 49 cases of B.1.1.28 occurred and VE was 73% (46, 86). The Gamma (P.1) variant arose later in the trial and fewer cases (N = 18) were available for analysis. VE was 64% (-2, 87). ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 provided 95% protection (95% CI 61%, 99%) against hospitalisation due to COVID-19. In summary, we report that ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 protects against emerging variants in Brazil despite the presence of the spike protein mutation E484K.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil , Cohort Studies , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination , Viral Load/immunology , Young Adult
5.
Scand J Immunol ; 94(5): e13102, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434833

ABSTRACT

During COVID-19 infection, reduced function of natural killer (NK) cells can lead to both compromised viral clearance and dysregulation of the immune response. Such dysregulation leads to overproduction of cytokines, a raised neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and monocytosis. This in turn increases IL-6 expression, which promotes scar and thrombus formation. Excess IL-6 also leads to a further reduction in NK function through downregulation of perforin expression, therefore forming a pathogenic auto-inflammatory feedback loop. The perforin/granzyme system of cytotoxicity is the main mechanism through which NK cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes eliminate virally infected host cells, as well as being central to their role in regulating immune responses to microbial infection. Here, we present epidemiological evidence suggesting an association between perforin expression and resistance to COVID-19. In addition, we outline the manner in which a pathogenic auto-inflammatory feedback loop could operate and the relationship of this loop to genes associated with severe COVID-19. Such an auto-inflammatory loop may be amenable to synergistic multimodal therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Perforin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Autoimmunity/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/epidemiology , Disease Resistance , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/epidemiology , Perforin/genetics
6.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology ; n/a(n/a):e13102, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1410863

ABSTRACT

Abstract During Covid-19 infection, reduced function of natural killer (NK) cells can lead to both compromised viral clearance and dysregulation of the immune response. Such dysregulation leads to overproduction of cytokines, a raised neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and monocytosis. This in turn increases IL-6 expression, which promotes scar and thrombus formation. Excess IL-6 also leads to a further reduction in NK function through down-regulation of perforin expression, therefore forming a pathogenic auto-inflammatory feedback loop. The perforin/granzyme system of cytotoxicity is the main mechanism through which NK cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes eliminate virally infected host cells, as well as being central to their role in regulating immune responses to microbial infection. Here we present epidemiological evidence suggesting an association between perforin expression and resistance to Covid-19. In addition, we outline the manner in which a pathogenic auto-inflammatory feedback loop could operate and the relationship of this loop to genes associated with severe Covid-19. Such an autoinflammatory loop may be amenable to synergistic multimodal therapy.

7.
Trends Biochem Sci ; 2021 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401892

ABSTRACT

RNA viruses interact with a wide range of cellular RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) during their life cycle. The prevalence of these host-virus interactions has been highlighted by new methods that elucidate the composition of viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs). Applied to 11 viruses so far, these approaches have revealed hundreds of cellular RBPs that interact with viral (v)RNA in infected cells. However, consistency across methods is limited, raising questions about methodological considerations when designing and interpreting these studies. Here, we discuss these caveats and, through comparing available vRNA interactomes, describe RBPs that are consistently identified as vRNP components and outline their potential roles in infection. In summary, these novel approaches have uncovered a new universe of host-virus interactions holding great therapeutic potential.

8.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 595-605, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma containing neutralizing antibody to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is under investigation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment. We report diverse virological characteristics of UK intensive care patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomized controlled trial that potentially influence treatment outcomes. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected pretreatment was quantified by PCR. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains using allele-specific probes or restriction site polymorphism (SfcI) targeting D1118H. RESULTS: Of 1274 subjects, 90% were PCR positive with viral loads 118-1.7 × 1011IU/mL. Median viral loads were 40-fold higher in those IgG seronegative (n = 354; 28%) compared to seropositives (n = 939; 72%). Frequencies of B.1.1.7 increased from <1% in November 2020 to 82% of subjects in January 2021. Seronegative individuals with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians 5.8 × 106 and 2.0 × 105 IU/mL, respectively; P = 2 × 10-15). CONCLUSIONS: High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects and resistance to seroconversion indicate less effective clearance by innate and adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 strain, viral loads, and antibody status define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom
9.
J Glob Health ; 11: 05014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365810

ABSTRACT

Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic spread across Europe from February 2020. While robust SARS-CoV-2 serological assays were quickly developed, only limited information on applied serological testing is available. We describe the extent and nature of SARS-CoV-2 serological testing used in Europe and assess the links between epidemiology, mitigation strategies applied and seroprevalence. Methods: An online questionnaire on SARS-CoV-2 serology was sent to the European Society of Clinical Virology and European Non-Polio Enterovirus Network members in September 2020. Data were analysed by comparing mitigation approaches, serological methods and seroprevalance studies performed. Results: About 100 000 laboratory confirmed cases identified between March and June 2020 were reported by 36 participating laboratories from 20 countries. All responders experienced mitigation strategies including lockdowns and other closures. All except one participant had introduced serological testing; most had validated their assays (n = 29), but some had had difficulties in obtaining reference material. Most used commercial assays (n = 35), measuring IgG response against the spike antigen. Serology was used primarily for diagnostic purposes (n = 22) but also for convalescent plasma (n = 13) and research studies (n = 30). Seroprevalence studies targeted mainly health care workers (n = 20; seroprevalance 5% to 22%) and general population (n = 16; seroprevalance 0.88% to 5.6%). Basic demographic and clinical information were collected by most laboratories (n = 28), whereas data on long-term outcomes were rarely collected. Conclusions: This is first study gathering systematic information on serological testing approaches implemented during the first pandemic wave in Europe.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/therapy , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Seroepidemiologic Studies
10.
Transfusion ; 61(10): 2837-2843, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) provides virus-neutralizing antibodies that may ameliorate the outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. The effectiveness of CP likely depends on its antiviral neutralizing potency and is determined using in vitro neutralizing antibody assays. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We evaluated abilities of three immunoassays for anti-spike antibodies (EUROimmun, Ortho, Roche), a pseudotype-based neutralization assay, and two assays that quantify ACE2 binding of spike protein (GenScript and hemagglutination test [HAT]-based assay) to predict neutralizing antibody titers in 113 CP donations. Assay outputs were analyzed through linear regression and calculation of sensitivities and specificities by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. RESULTS: Median values of plasma samples containing neutralizing antibodies produced conversion factors for assay unitage of ×6.5 (pseudotype), ×19 (GenScript), ×3.4 (HAT assay), ×0.08 (EUROimmun), ×1.64 (Roche), and ×0.10 (Ortho). All selected assays were sufficient in identifying the high titer donations based on ROC analysis; area over curve ranged from 91.7% for HAT and GenScript assay to 95.6% for pseudotype assay. However, their ability to predict the actual neutralizing antibody levels varied substantially as shown by linear regression correlation values (from 0.27 for Ortho to 0.61 for pseudotype assay). DISCUSSION: Overall, the study data demonstrate that all selected assays were effective in identifying donations with high neutralizing antibody levels and are potentially suitable as surrogate assays for donation selection for CP therapy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16193, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351975

ABSTRACT

We have optimised a reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from extracted RNA for clinical application. We improved the stability and reliability of the RT-LAMP assay by the addition of a temperature-dependent switch oligonucleotide to reduce self- or off-target amplification. We then developed freeze-dried master mix for single step RT-LAMP reaction, simplifying the operation for end users and improving long-term storage and transportation. The assay can detect as low as 13 copies of SARS-CoV2 RNA per reaction (25-µL). Cross reactivity with other human coronaviruses was not observed. We have applied the new RT-LAMP assay for testing clinical extracted RNA samples extracted from swabs of 72 patients in the UK and 126 samples from Greece and demonstrated the overall sensitivity of 90.2% (95% CI 83.8-94.7%) and specificity of 92.4% (95% CI 83.2-97.5%). Among 115 positive samples which Ct values were less than 34, the RT-LAMP assay was able to detect 110 of them with 95.6% sensitivity. The specificity was 100% when RNA elution used RNase-free water. The outcome of RT-LAMP can be reported by both colorimetric detection and quantifiable fluorescent reading. Objective measures with a digitized reading data flow would allow for the sharing of results for local or national surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/standards , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/standards , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Euro Surveill ; 26(27)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304570

ABSTRACT

We compared the performance of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody testing between 12 European laboratories involved in convalescent plasma trials. Raw titres differed almost 100-fold differences between laboratories when blind-testing 15 plasma samples. Calibration of titres in relation to the reference reagent and standard curve obtained by testing a dilution series reduced the inter-laboratory variability ca 10-fold. The harmonisation of neutralising antibody quantification is a vital step towards determining the protective and therapeutic levels of neutralising antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Europe , Humans , Immunization, Passive
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(6): e1009596, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249581

ABSTRACT

The rapid evolution of RNA viruses has been long considered to result from a combination of high copying error frequencies during RNA replication, short generation times and the consequent extensive fixation of neutral or adaptive changes over short periods. While both the identities and sites of mutations are typically modelled as being random, recent investigations of sequence diversity of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have identified a preponderance of C->U transitions, proposed to be driven by an APOBEC-like RNA editing process. The current study investigated whether this phenomenon could be observed in datasets of other RNA viruses. Using a 5% divergence filter to infer directionality, 18 from 36 datasets of aligned coding region sequences from a diverse range of mammalian RNA viruses (including Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae, Matonaviridae, Caliciviridae and Coronaviridae) showed a >2-fold base composition normalised excess of C->U transitions compared to U->C (range 2.1x-7.5x), with a consistently observed favoured 5' U upstream context. The presence of genome scale RNA secondary structure (GORS) was the only other genomic or structural parameter significantly associated with C->U/U->C transition asymmetries by multivariable analysis (ANOVA), potentially reflecting RNA structure dependence of sites targeted for C->U mutations. Using the association index metric, C->U changes were specifically over-represented at phylogenetically uninformative sites, potentially paralleling extensive homoplasy of this transition reported in SARS-CoV-2. Although mechanisms remain to be functionally characterised, excess C->U substitutions accounted for 11-14% of standing sequence variability of structured viruses and may therefore represent a potent driver of their sequence diversification and longer-term evolution.


Subject(s)
Mammals/virology , Mutation , RNA Viruses/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , APOBEC Deaminases/metabolism , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Cytidine/genetics , DNA Damage/physiology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Phylogeny , RNA Editing/physiology , RNA Viruses/classification , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Uridine/genetics
14.
Science ; 372(6539)2021 04 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125076

ABSTRACT

Extensive global sampling and sequencing of the pandemic virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have enabled researchers to monitor its spread and to identify concerning new variants. Two important determinants of variant spread are how frequently they arise within individuals and how likely they are to be transmitted. To characterize within-host diversity and transmission, we deep-sequenced 1313 clinical samples from the United Kingdom. SARS-CoV-2 infections are characterized by low levels of within-host diversity when viral loads are high and by a narrow bottleneck at transmission. Most variants are either lost or occasionally fixed at the point of transmission, with minimal persistence of shared diversity, patterns that are readily observable on the phylogenetic tree. Our results suggest that transmission-enhancing and/or immune-escape SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to arise infrequently but could spread rapidly if successfully transmitted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Coinfection/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Family Characteristics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Selection, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , United Kingdom , Viral Load
15.
Virology ; 556: 62-72, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065649

ABSTRACT

Members of the APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases show antiviral activities in mammalian cells through lethal editing in the genomes of small DNA viruses, herpesviruses and retroviruses, and potentially those of RNA viruses such as coronaviruses. Consistent with the latter, APOBEC-like directional C→U transitions of genomic plus-strand RNA are greatly overrepresented in SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences of variants emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic. A C→U mutational process may leave evolutionary imprints on coronavirus genomes, including extensive homoplasy from editing and reversion at targeted sites and the occurrence of driven amino acid sequence changes in viral proteins. If sustained over longer periods, this process may account for the previously reported marked global depletion of C and excess of U bases in human seasonal coronavirus genomes. This review synthesizes the current knowledge on APOBEC evolution and function and the evidence of their role in APOBEC-mediated genome editing of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
APOBEC Deaminases/metabolism , Coronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral/genetics , RNA Editing , APOBEC Deaminases/chemistry , APOBEC Deaminases/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 181, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024793

ABSTRACT

Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. Methods: We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. Results: We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples; pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Conclusions: vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.

17.
J Gen Virol ; 102(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983875

ABSTRACT

Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is regarded as an acute, resolving infection followed by the development of protective immunity, recent systematic literature review documents evidence for often highly prolonged shedding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in respiratory and faecal samples, periodic recurrence of PCR positivity in a substantial proportion of individuals and increasingly documented instances of reinfection associated with a lack of protective immunity. This pattern of infection is quite distinct from the acute/resolving nature of other human pathogenic respiratory viruses, such as influenza A virus and respiratory syncytial virus. Prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 furthermore occurs irrespective of disease severity or development of virus-neutralizing antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 possesses an intensely structured RNA genome, an attribute shared with other human and veterinary coronaviruses and with other mammalian RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus. These are capable of long-term persistence, possibly through poorly understood RNA structure-mediated effects on innate and adaptive host immune responses. The assumption that resolution of COVID-19 and the appearance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies represents virus clearance and protection from reinfection, implicit for example in the susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) model used for epidemic prediction, should be rigorously re-evaluated.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Hepatitis C/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Models, Biological , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
18.
Transfus Med ; 31(3): 167-175, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979626

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The lack of approved specific therapeutic agents to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has led to the rapid implementation of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) trials in many countries, including the United Kingdom. Effective CPT is likely to require high titres of neutralising antibody (nAb) in convalescent donations. Understanding the relationship between functional neutralising antibodies and antibody levels to specific SARS-CoV-2 proteins in scalable assays will be crucial for the success of a large-scale collection. We assessed whether neutralising antibody titres correlated with reactivity in a range of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) targeting the spike (S) protein, the main target for human immune response. METHODS: Blood samples were collected from 52 individuals with a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. These were assayed for SARS-CoV-2 nAbs by microneutralisation and pseudo-type assays and for antibodies by four different ELISAs. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to further identify sensitivity and specificity of selected assays to identify samples containing high nAb levels. RESULTS: All samples contained SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, whereas neutralising antibody titres of greater than 1:20 were detected in 43 samples (83% of those tested) and >1:100 in 22 samples (42%). The best correlations were observed with EUROimmun immunoglobulin G (IgG) reactivity (Spearman Rho correlation coefficient 0.88; p < 0.001). Based on ROC analysis, EUROimmun would detect 60% of samples with titres of >1:100 with 100% specificity using a reactivity index of 9.1 (13/22). DISCUSSION: Robust associations between nAb titres and reactivity in several ELISA-based antibody tests demonstrate their possible utility for scaled-up production of convalescent plasma containing potentially therapeutic levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , ROC Curve , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
Nat Immunol ; 21(11): 1336-1345, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889210

ABSTRACT

The development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines and therapeutics will depend on understanding viral immunity. We studied T cell memory in 42 patients following recovery from COVID-19 (28 with mild disease and 14 with severe disease) and 16 unexposed donors, using interferon-γ-based assays with peptides spanning SARS-CoV-2 except ORF1. The breadth and magnitude of T cell responses were significantly higher in severe as compared with mild cases. Total and spike-specific T cell responses correlated with spike-specific antibody responses. We identified 41 peptides containing CD4+ and/or CD8+ epitopes, including six immunodominant regions. Six optimized CD8+ epitopes were defined, with peptide-MHC pentamer-positive cells displaying the central and effector memory phenotype. In mild cases, higher proportions of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells were observed. The identification of T cell responses associated with milder disease will support an understanding of protective immunity and highlights the potential of including non-spike proteins within future COVID-19 vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom , Viral Vaccines/immunology
20.
Euro Surveill ; 25(42)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-886128

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe progression and geographical distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere is unknown because typically only symptomatic individuals are diagnosed. We performed a serological study of blood donors in Scotland in the spring of 2020 to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as a marker of past infection and epidemic progression.AimOur objective was to determine if sera from blood bank donors can be used to track the emergence and progression of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.MethodsA pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay was used to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The study comprised samples from 3,500 blood donors collected in Scotland between 17 March and 18 May 2020. Controls were collected from 100 donors in Scotland during 2019.ResultsAll samples collected on 17 March 2020 (n = 500) were negative in the pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay. Neutralising antibodies were detected in six of 500 donors from 23 to 26 March. The number of samples containing neutralising antibodies did not significantly rise after 5-6 April until the end of the study on 18 May. We found that infections were concentrated in certain postcodes, indicating that outbreaks of infection were extremely localised. In contrast, other areas remained comparatively untouched by the epidemic.ConclusionAlthough blood donors are not representative of the overall population, we demonstrated that serosurveys of blood banks can serve as a useful tool for tracking the emergence and progression of an epidemic such as the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , Adult , COVID-19 , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Geography, Medical , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Male , Models, Immunological , Neutralization Tests , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Urban Population
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