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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(24):16996, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2163407

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was reported as substantially increased in medical personnel and decreased in smokers after the first wave in spring 2020, including in our population-based Tirschenreuth Study (TiKoCo). However, it is unclear whether these associations were limited to the early pandemic and whether the decrease in smokers was due to reduced infection or antibody response. We evaluated the association of occupation and smoking with period-specific seropositivity: for the first wave until July 2020 (baseline, BL), the low infection period in summer (follow-up 1, FU1, November 2020), and the second/third wave (FU2, April 2021). We measured binding antibodies directed to SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (N), viral spike protein (S), and neutralizing antibodies at BL, FU1, and FU2. Previous infection, vaccination, smoking, and occupation were assessed by questionnaires. The 4181 participants (3513/3374 at FU1/FU2) included 6.5% medical personnel and 20.4% current smokers. At all three timepoints, new seropositivity was higher in medical personnel with ORs = 1.99 (95%-CI = 1.36-2.93), 1.41 (0.29-6.80), and 3.17 (1.92-5.24) at BL, FU1, and FU2, respectively, and nearly halved among current smokers with ORs = 0.47 (95%-CI = 0.33-0.66), 0.40 (0.09-1.81), and 0.56 (0.33-0.94). Current smokers compared to never-smokers had similar antibody levels after infection or vaccination and reduced odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 result among tested. Our data suggest that decreased seroprevalence among smokers results from fewer infections rather than reduced antibody response. The persistently higher infection risk of medical staff across infection waves, despite improved means of protection over time, underscores the burden for health care personnel.

2.
EBioMedicine ; 85: 104294, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines are an important means to overcome the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. They induce specific antibody and T-cell responses but it remains open how well vaccine-induced immunity is preserved over time following homologous and heterologous immunization regimens. Here, we compared the dynamics of humoral and cellular immune responses up to 180 days after homologous or heterologous vaccination with either ChAdOx1-nCoV-19 (ChAd) or BNT162b2 (BNT) or both. METHODS: Various tests were used to determine the humoral and cellular immune response. To quantify the antibody levels, we used the surrogate neutralization (sVNT) assay from YHLO, which we augmented with pseudo- and real virus neutralization tests (pVNT and rVNT). Antibody avidity was measured by a modified ELISA. To determine cellular reactivity, we used an IFN-γ Elispot, IFN-γ/IL Flurospot, and intracellular cytokine staining. FINDINGS: Antibody responses significantly waned after vaccination, irrespective of the regimen. The capacity to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 - including variants of concern such as Delta or Omicron - was superior after heterologous compared to homologous BNT vaccination, both of which resulted in longer-lasting humoral immunity than homologous ChAd immunization. All vaccination regimens induced stable, polyfunctional T-cell responses. INTERPRETATION: These findings demonstrate that heterologous vaccination with ChAd and BNT is a potent alternative to induce humoral and cellular immune protection in comparison to the homologous vaccination regimens. FUNDING: The study was funded by the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), the European Union's "Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme" under grant agreement No. 101037867 (VACCELERATE), the "Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst" for the CoVaKo-2021 and the For-COVID projects and the Helmholtz Association via the collaborative research program "CoViPa". Further support was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) through the "Netzwerk Universitätsmedizin", project "B-Fast" and "Cov-Immune". KS is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 01KI2013) and the Else Kröner-Stiftung (2020_EKEA.127).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Immunity, Cellular , Antibodies, Viral
3.
EBioMedicine ; 85:104294-104294, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046970

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccines are an important means to overcome the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. They induce specific antibody and T-cell responses but it remains open how well vaccine-induced immunity is preserved over time following homologous and heterologous immunization regimens. Here, we compared the dynamics of humoral and cellular immune responses up to 180 days after homologous or heterologous vaccination with either ChAdOx1-nCoV-19 (ChAd) or BNT162b2 (BNT) or both. Methods Various tests were used to determine the humoral and cellular immune response. To quantify the antibody levels, we used the surrogate neutralization (sVNT) assay from YHLO, which we augmented with pseudo- and real virus neutralization tests (pVNT and rVNT). Antibody avidity was measured by a modified ELISA. To determine cellular reactivity, we used an IFN-γ Elispot, IFN-γ/IL Flurospot, and intracellular cytokine staining. Findings Antibody responses significantly waned after vaccination, irrespective of the regimen. The capacity to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 – including variants of concern such as Delta or Omicron – was superior after heterologous compared to homologous BNT vaccination, both of which resulted in longer-lasting humoral immunity than homologous ChAd immunization. All vaccination regimens induced stable, polyfunctional T-cell responses. Interpretation These findings demonstrate that heterologous vaccination with ChAd and BNT is a potent alternative to induce humoral and cellular immune protection in comparison to the homologous vaccination regimens. Funding The study was funded by the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), the European Union's “Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme" under grant agreement No. 101037867 (VACCELERATE), the “Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst” for the CoVaKo-2021 and the For-COVID projects and the Helmholtz Association via the collaborative research program “CoViPa”. Further support was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) through the “Netzwerk Universitätsmedizin”, project “B-Fast” and “Cov-Immune”. KS is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 01KI2013) and the Else Kröner-Stiftung (2020_EKEA.127).

4.
Pilot Feasibility Stud ; 8(1): 134, 2022 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1974170

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Corona-Vakzin-Konsortium project (CoVaKo) analyses the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines in a real-world setting, as well as breakthrough infections in Bavaria, Germany. A subproject of CoVaKo aims to identify adverse reactions of the COVID-19 vaccine and compare these to adverse reactions of other vaccines in an online survey. In a preceding feasibility study, the study materials were tested for comprehensibility, visual design, and motivation to participate, as well as for their ability to be implemented and carried out in primary care practices and vaccination centres. METHODS: We used a mixed-methods research design. First, three focus groups consisting of general population participants were organised to evaluate the study materials and survey. Second, a test roll-out was conducted in vaccination centres and primary care practices that involved implementing and quantitatively evaluating the online survey. Third, interviews were conducted with participating general practitioners and heads of vaccination centres four weeks after the test roll-out. RESULTS: Parts of the information and registration form proved incomprehensible, specifically regarding the recruitment material and/or online survey. For example, headings were misleading given that, relative to other vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccination was overemphasised in the title. Participants requested additional information regarding the procedure and completion time. Within 31 days, 2199 participants, who received either a COVID-19 vaccination (99%) or at least one of the control vaccinations (1%), registered for the study. Participants (strongly) agreed that the registration process was easy to understand, that the completion time was reasonable, and that the technical setup was straightforward. Physicians and heads of the vaccination centres perceived the study as easy to integrate into their workflow. The majority expressed willingness to participate in the main study. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicated that identifying and documenting adverse reactions following vaccinations using an online survey is feasible. Testing materials and surveys provided valuable insight, enabling subsequent improvements. Participation from health professionals proved essential in ensuring the practicality of procedures. Lastly, adapting the study's organisation to external fluctuating structures and requirements confirmed necessary for a successful implementation, especially due to dynamic changes in the nation's COVID-19 vaccination strategies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was retrospectively registered at the "Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien" (DRKS-ID: DRKS00025881 ) on Oct 14, 2021.

5.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 504, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to safety signals after vaccination with COVID-19 vector vaccines, several states recommended to complete the primary immunization series in individuals having received one dose of ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca) with an mRNA vaccine. However, data on safety and reactogenicity of this heterologous regimen are still scarce. The aim of this study was therefore to compare the reactogenicity and the frequency of medical consultations after boost vaccination in a heterologous regimen with ChAdOx1 and mRNA-vaccines (BNT162b2, BioNTech/Pfizer or mRNA-1273, Moderna) to homologous regimens with ChAdOx1 or mRNA-vaccines, respectively. METHODS: In an observational cohort study reactogenicity and safety were assessed 14-19 days (short-term) and 40 to 56 days (long-term) after the boost vaccination using web-based surveys. In the short-term survey solicited and unsolicited reactions were assessed, while the long-term survey focussed on health problems leading to medical consultation after the vaccination, including those that were not suspected to be vaccine-related. RESULTS: In total, 9146 participants completed at least one of the surveys (ChAdOx1/ChAdOx1: n = 552, ChAdOx1/mRNA: n = 2382, mRNA/mRNA: n = 6212). In the short-term survey, 86% with ChAdOx1/mRNA regimen reported at least one reaction, in the ChAdOx1/ChAdOx1 and mRNA/mRNA cohorts 58% and 76%, respectively (age and sex adjusted p < 0.0001). In the long-term survey, comparable proportions of individuals reported medical consultation (ChAdOx1/ChAdOx1 vs. ChAdOx1/mRNA vs. mRNA/mRNA: 15% vs. 18% vs. 16%, age and sex adjusted p = 0.398). Female gender was associated with a higher reactogenicity and more medical consultations. Younger age was associated with a higher reactogenicity, whereas elderly people reported more medical consultations. CONCLUSION: Although the short-term reactogenicity was higher with the heterologous regimen than with the homologous regimens, other factors such as higher efficacy and limited resources during the pandemic may prevail in recommending specific regimens.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
6.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869821

ABSTRACT

Herein, we provide results from a prospective population-based longitudinal follow-up (FU) SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance study in Tirschenreuth, the county which was hit hardest in Germany in spring 2020 and early 2021. Of 4203 individuals aged 14 years or older enrolled at baseline (BL, June 2020), 3546 participated at FU1 (November 2020) and 3391 at FU2 (April 2021). Key metrics comprising standardized seroprevalence, surveillance detection ratio (SDR), infection fatality ratio (IFR) and success of the vaccination campaign were derived using the Roche N- and S-Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 test together with a self-administered questionnaire. N-seropositivity at BL was 9.2% (1st wave). While we observed a low new seropositivity between BL and FU1 (0.9%), the combined 2nd and 3rd wave accounted for 6.1% new N-seropositives between FU1 and FU2 (ever seropositives at FU2: 15.4%). The SDR decreased from 5.4 (BL) to 1.1 (FU2) highlighting the success of massively increased testing in the population. The IFR based on a combination of serology and registration data resulted in 3.3% between November 2020 and April 2021 compared to 2.3% until June 2020. Although IFRs were consistently higher at FU2 compared to BL across age-groups, highest among individuals aged 70+ (18.3% versus 10.7%, respectively), observed differences were within statistical uncertainty bounds. While municipalities with senior care homes showed a higher IFR at BL (3.0% with senior care home vs. 0.7% w/o), this effect diminished at FU2 (3.4% vs. 2.9%). In April 2021 (FU2), vaccination rate in the elderly was high (>77.4%, age-group 80+).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies
7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792354

ABSTRACT

At the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, healthcare workers had an increased risk of acquiring coronavirus disease (COVID)-19. As tertiary care hospitals are critical for the treatment of severely ill patients, the University Hospital Erlangen offered BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination against COVID-19 to all employees when the vaccine became available in Germany. Here, we performed a survey to assess the age- and sex-dependent reactogenicity and safety of BNT162b2 in a real-life setting with a special emphasis on the rate of vaccine-related incapacity to work amongst the employees. All vaccinated employees were invited to participate in the survey and received access to an electronic questionnaire between 31 March and 14 June 2021, which allowed them to report local and systemic adverse effects after the first or second vaccine dose. A total of 2372 employees completed the survey. After both the first and second dose, women had a higher risk than men for vaccine-related systemic side effects (odds ratio (OR) 1.48 (1.24-1.77) and 1.49 (1.23-1.81), respectively) and for inability to work (OR 1.63 (1.14-2.34) and 1.85 (1.52-2.25), respectively). Compared to employees ≥ 56 years of age, younger vaccinated participants had a higher risk of systemic reactions after the first (OR 1.35 (1.07-1.70)) and second vaccination (OR 2.08 (1.64-2.63)) and were more often unable to work after dose 2 (OR 2.20 (1.67-2.88)). We also recorded four anaphylactic reactions and received two reports of severe adverse effects indicative of vaccine complications. After the first and second vaccination, 7.9% and 34.7% of the survey participants, respectively, were temporarily unable to work, which added up to 1700 days of sick leave in this cohort. These real-life data extend previous results on the reactogenicity and safety of BNT162b2. Loss of working time due to vaccine-related adverse effects was substantial, but was outweighed by the potential benefit of prevented cases of COVID-19.

8.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702407

ABSTRACT

To assess vaccine immunogenicity in non-infected and previously infected individuals in a real-world scenario, SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were determined during follow-up 2 (April 2021) of the population-based Tirschenreuth COVID-19 cohort study comprising 3378 inhabitants of the Tirschenreuth county aged 14 years or older. Seronegative participants vaccinated once with Vaxzevria, Comirnaty, or Spikevax had median neutralizing antibody titers ranging from ID50 = 25 to 75. Individuals with two immunizations with Comirnaty or Spikevax had higher median ID50s (of 253 and 554, respectively). Regression analysis indicated that both increased age and increased time since vaccination independently decreased RBD binding and neutralizing antibody levels. Unvaccinated participants with detectable N-antibodies at baseline (June 2020) revealed a median ID50 of 72 at the April 2021 follow-up. Previously infected participants that received one dose of Vaxzevria or Comirnaty had median ID50 to 929 and 2502, respectively. Individuals with a second dose of Comirnaty given in a three-week interval after the first dose did not have higher median antibody levels than individuals with one dose. Prior infection also primed for high systemic IgA levels in response to one dose of Comirnaty that exceeded IgA levels observed after two doses of Comirnaty in previously uninfected participants. Neutralizing antibody levels targeting the spike protein of Beta and Delta variants were diminished compared to the wild type in vaccinated and infected participants.

9.
Nat Med ; 28(3): 496-503, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655606

ABSTRACT

Infection-neutralizing antibody responses after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination are an essential component of antiviral immunity. Antibody-mediated protection is challenged by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) with immune escape properties, such as omicron (B.1.1.529), which is rapidly spreading worldwide. Here we report neutralizing antibody dynamics in a longitudinal cohort of coronavirus disease 2019 convalescent and infection-naive individuals vaccinated with mRNA BNT162b2 by quantifying SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibodies and determining their avidity and neutralization capacity in serum. Using live-virus neutralization assays, we show that a superior infection-neutralizing capacity against all VoCs, including omicron, developed after either two vaccinations in convalescents or a third vaccination or breakthrough infection of twice-vaccinated, naive individuals. These three consecutive spike antigen exposures resulted in an increasing neutralization capacity per anti-spike antibody unit and were paralleled by stepwise increases in antibody avidity. We conclude that an infection-plus-vaccination-induced hybrid immunity or a triple immunization can induce high-quality antibodies with superior neutralization capacity against VoCs, including omicron.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
10.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463578

ABSTRACT

Antibody testing for determining the SARS-CoV-2 serostatus was rapidly introduced in early 2020 and since then has been gaining special emphasis regarding correlates of protection. With limited access to representative samples with known SARS-CoV-2 infection status during the initial period of test development and validation, spectrum bias has to be considered when moving from a "test establishment setting" to population-based settings, in which antibody testing is currently implemented. To provide insights into the presence and magnitude of spectrum bias and to estimate performance measures of antibody testing in a population-based environment, we compared SARS-CoV-2 neutralization to a battery of serological tests and latent class analyses (LCA) in a subgroup (n = 856) of the larger population based TiKoCo-19 cohort (n = 4185). Regarding spectrum bias, we could proof notable differences in test sensitivities and specificities when moving to a population-based setting, with larger effects visible in earlier registered tests. While in the population-based setting the two Roche ELECSYS anti-SARS-CoV-2 tests outperformed every other test and even LCA regarding sensitivity and specificity in dichotomous testing, they didn't provide satisfying quantitative correlation with neutralization capacity. In contrast, our in-house anti SARS-CoV-2-Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG-ELISA (enzyme-linked-immunosorbant assay) though inferior in dichotomous testing, provided satisfactory quantitative correlation and may thus represent a better correlate of protection. In summary, all tests, led by the two Roche tests, provided sufficient accuracy for dichotomous identification of neutralizing sera, with increasing spectrum bias visible in earlier registered tests, while the majority of tests, except the RBD-ELISA, didn't provide satisfactory quantitative correlations.

11.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(10)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438758

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), such as BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®), have proven to be highly immunogenic and efficient but also show marked reactogenicity, leading to adverse effects (AEs). Here, we analyzed whether the severity of AEs predicts the antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Healthcare workers without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, who received a prime-boost vaccination with BNT162b2, completed a standardized electronic questionnaire on the duration and severity of AEs. Serum specimens were collected two to four weeks after the boost vaccination and tested with the COVID-19 ELISA IgG (Vircell-IgG), the LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG CLIA (DiaSorin-IgG) and the iFlash-2019-nCoV NAb surrogate neutralization assay (Yhlo-NAb). A penalized linear regression model fitted by machine learning was used to correlate AEs with antibody levels. Eighty subjects were enrolled in the study. Systemic, but not local, AEs occurred more frequently after the boost vaccination. Elevated SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels were measured in 92.5% of subjects with Vircell-IgG and in all subjects with DiaSorin-IgG and Yhlo-NAb. Gender, age and BMI showed no association with the antibody levels or with the AEs. The linear regression model identified headache, malaise and nausea as AEs with the greatest variable importance for higher antibody levels (Vircell-IgG and DiaSorin-IgG). However, the model performance for predicting antibody levels from AEs was very low for Vircell-IgG (squared correlation coefficient r2 = 0.04) and DiaSorin-IgG (r2 = 0.06). AEs did not predict the surrogate neutralization (Yhlo-NAb) results. In conclusion, AEs correlate only weakly with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody levels after COVID-19 vaccination with BNT162b2 mRNA.

14.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264531

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality ratios (IFR) remain controversially discussed with implications for political measures. The German county of Tirschenreuth suffered a severe SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in spring 2020, with particularly high case fatality ratio (CFR). To estimate seroprevalence, underreported infections, and IFR for the Tirschenreuth population aged ≥14 years in June/July 2020, we conducted a population-based study including home visits for the elderly, and analyzed 4203 participants for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies via three antibody tests. Latent class analysis yielded 8.6% standardized county-wide seroprevalence, a factor of underreported infections of 5.0, and 2.5% overall IFR. Seroprevalence was two-fold higher among medical workers and one third among current smokers with similar proportions of registered infections. While seroprevalence did not show an age-trend, the factor of underreported infections was 12.2 in the young versus 1.7 for ≥85-year-old. Age-specific IFRs were <0.5% below 60 years of age, 1.0% for age 60-69, and 13.2% for age 70+. Senior care homes accounted for 45% of COVID-19-related deaths, reflected by an IFR of 7.5% among individuals aged 70+ and an overall IFR of 1.4% when excluding senior care home residents from our computation. Our data underscore senior care home infections as key determinant of IFR additionally to age, insufficient targeted testing in the young, and the need for further investigations on behavioral or molecular causes of the fewer infections among current smokers.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Population Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Seasons , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
15.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(9): 1983-1997, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263157

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays are used for epidemiological studies and for the assessment of vaccine responses in highly vulnerable patients. So far, data on cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays is limited. Here, we compared four enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs; Vircell SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgA and IgG, Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG) for detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 207 patients with COVID-19, 178 patients with serological evidence of different bacterial infections, 107 patients with confirmed viral respiratory disease, and 80 controls from the pre-COVID-19 era. In COVID-19 patients, the assays showed highest sensitivity in week 3 (Vircell-IgM/A and Euroimmun-IgA: 78.9% each) and after week 7 (Vircell-IgG: 97.9%; Euroimmun-IgG: 92.1%). The antibody indices were higher in patients with fatal disease. In general, IgM/IgA assays had only limited or no benefit over IgG assays. In patients with non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infections, IgG assays were more specific than IgM/IgA assays, and bacterial infections were associated with more false-positive results than viral infections. The specificities in bacterial and viral infections were 68.0 and 81.3% (Vircell-IgM/IgA), 84.8 and 96.3% (Euroimmun-IgA), 97.8 and 86.0% (Vircell-IgG), and 97.8 and 99.1% (Euroimmun-IgG), respectively. Sera from patients positive for antibodies against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, and Legionella pneumophila yielded particularly high rates of unspecific false-positive results in the IgM/IgA assays, which was revealed by applying a highly specific flow-cytometric assay using HEK 293 T cells expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Positive results obtained with anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgA ELISAs require careful interpretation, especially if there is evidence for prior bacterial respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bacterial Infections/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Antibodies, Bacterial/blood , Bacterial Infections/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Respiratory Tract Infections/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
Transfusion ; 61(2): 368-374, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894804

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The frequency of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNAemia in blood donors is uncertain. Thus, assays for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in blood, validated on commercially available polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems, are required to allow a good comparability of data. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The cobas SARS-CoV-2 dual-target reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assay, licensed for respiratory swab SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing, was validated for detection of viral RNA in blood. For the validation panel, SARS-CoV-2-positive plasma samples were prepared by spiking SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory specimens in negative human plasma. The 95% limit of detection (LOD95) was determined by probit analysis. For clinical validation, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent plasma (CCP) donors and patients with COVID-19 with a severe disease course treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) were included. RESULTS: The validation of the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay for blood demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity and intra- and inter-assay precision and efficiency. The LOD95 for SARS-CoV-2 RNA was 5.0 genome copies/mL (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.3-12 copies/mL) for target 1 and 4.3 genome copies/mL (95% CI, 2.9-10 copies/mL) for target 2. In a cohort of 39 CCP donors with 66 CCP donations no SARS-CoV-2 RNA in plasma was detected. Screening of 25 blood samples of 19 ICU patients with COVID-19 showed six positive results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in at least one target of the assay. CONCLUSION: The SARS-CoV-2 RNA assay, only licensed for respiratory swabs, performed on a PCR system for high-throughput testing, showed a good assay performance for blood testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Donors , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
18.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(4): 751-759, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880323

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a previously unknown zoonotic coronavirus that spread worldwide causing a serious pandemic. While reliable nucleic acid-based diagnostic assays were rapidly available, only a limited number of validated serological assays were available in the early phase of the pandemic. Here, we evaluated a novel flow cytometric approach to assess spike-specific antibody responses.HEK 293T cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in its natural confirmation on the surface were used to detect specific IgG and IgM antibody responses in patient sera by flow cytometry. A soluble angiotensin-converting-enzyme 2 (ACE-2) variant was developed as external standard to quantify spike-specific antibody responses on different assay platforms. Analyses of 201 pre-COVID-19 sera proved a high assay specificity in comparison to commercially available CLIA and ELISA systems, while also revealing the highest sensitivity in specimens from PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. The external standard allowed robust quantification of antibody responses among different assay platforms. In conclusion, our newly established flow cytometric assay allows sensitive and quantitative detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, which can be easily adopted in different laboratories and does not rely on external supply of assay kits. The flow cytometric assay also provides a blueprint for rapid development of serological tests to other emerging viral infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Flow Cytometry/methods , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
Euro Surveill ; 25(39)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808986

ABSTRACT

We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the nucleoprotein gene of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a patient interfered with detection in a widely used commercial assay. Some 0.2% of the isolates in the EpiCoV database contain this SNP. Although SARS-CoV-2 was still detected by the other probe in the assay, this underlines the necessity of targeting two independent essential regions of a pathogen for reliable detection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Nucleoproteins/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point Mutation , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Viral Proteins/genetics , Base Sequence , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Primers , Diagnostic Errors , False Negative Reactions , Female , Genes, Viral , Humans , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleoproteins/analysis , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Romania , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel-Related Illness , Viral Proteins/analysis
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