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1.
Vaccines ; 10(9):1459, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2010338

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines protect against severe disease and hospitalization. Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are a first-line defense mechanism, but protective NAb responses are variable. Currently, NAb testing is not widely available. This study employed a lateral flow assay for monitoring NAb levels postvaccination and natural infection, using a finger-stick drop of blood. We report longitudinal NAb data from BNT162b2 (Pfizer) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) recipients after second and third doses. Results demonstrate a third dose of mRNA vaccine elicits higher and more durable NAb titers than the second dose, independent of manufacturer, sex, and age. Our analyses also revealed that vaccinated individuals could be categorized as strong, moderate, and poorly neutralizing responders. After the second dose, 34% of subjects were classified as strong responders, compared to 79% after the third dose. The final months of this study coincided with the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and symptomatic breakthrough infections within our study population. Lastly, we show that NAb levels sufficient for protection from symptomatic infection with early SARS-CoV-2 variants were not protective against Omicron infection and disease. This work highlights the need for accessible vaccine response monitoring for use in healthcare, such that individuals, particularly those in vulnerable populations, can make informed vaccination decisions.

2.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 2: 85, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931498

ABSTRACT

Background: While evaluating COVID-19 vaccine responses using a rapid neutralizing antibody (NAb) test, we observed that 25% of mRNA vaccine recipients did not neutralize >50%. We termed this group "vaccine poor responders" (VPRs). The objective of this study was to determine if individuals who neutralized <50% would remain VPRs, or if a third dose would elicit high levels of NAbs. Methods: 269 healthy individuals ranging in age from 19 to 80 (Average age = 51; 165 females and 104 males) who received either BNT162b2 (Pfizer) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines were evaluated. NAb levels were measured: (i) 2-4 weeks after a second vaccine dose, (ii) 2-4 months after the second dose, (iii) within 1-2 weeks prior to a third dose and (iv) 2-4 weeks after a third mRNA vaccine dose. Results: Analysis of vaccine recipients reveals that 25% did not neutralize above 50% (Median neutralization = 21%, titers <1:80) within a month after their second dose. Twenty-three of these VPRs obtained a third dose of either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccine 1-8 months (average = 5 months) after their second dose. Within a month after their third dose, VPRs show an average 5.4-fold increase in NAb levels (range: 46-99%). Conclusions: The results suggest that VPRs are not permanently poor responders; they can generate high NAb levels with an additional vaccine dose. Although it is not known what levels of NAbs protect from infection or disease, those in high-risk professions may wish to keep peripheral NAb levels high, limiting infection, and potential transmission.

3.
J Clin Virol ; 145: 105024, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768294

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, most recipients want to know if they are protected from infection and for how long. Since neutralizing antibodies are a correlate of protection, we developed a lateral flow assay (LFA) that measures levels of neutralizing antibodies from a drop of blood. The LFA is based on the principle that neutralizing antibodies block binding of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). METHODS: The ability of the LFA was assessed to correctly measure neutralization of sera, plasma or whole blood from patients with COVID-19 using SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization assays. We also determined if the LFA distinguished patients with seasonal respiratory viruses from patients with COVID-19. To demonstrate the usefulness of the LFA, we tested previously infected and non-infected COVID-19 vaccine recipients at baseline and after first and second vaccine doses. RESULTS: The LFA compared favorably with SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization assays with an area under the ROC curve of 98%. Sera obtained from patients with seasonal coronaviruses did not show neutralizing activity in the LFA. After a single mRNA vaccine dose, 87% of previously infected individuals demonstrated high levels of neutralizing antibodies. However, if individuals were not previously infected, only 24% demonstrated high levels of neutralizing antibodies after one vaccine dose. A second dose boosted neutralizing antibody levels just 8% higher in previously infected individuals, but over 63% higher in non-infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: A rapid, semi-quantitative, highly portable and inexpensive neutralizing antibody test might be useful for monitoring rise and fall in vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Point-of-Care Testing , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329828

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines prevent hospitalization and severe disease caused by wildtype SARS-CoV-2 and several variants, and likely prevented infection when serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers were >1:160. Preventing infection limits viral replication resulting in mutation, which can lead to the emergence of additional variants. Methods During a longitudinal study to evaluate durability of a three-dose mRNA vaccine regimen (2 primary doses and a booster) using a rapid test that semi-quantitatively measures NAbs, the Omicron variant emerged and quickly spread globally. We evaluated NAb levels measured prior to symptomatic breakthrough infection, in groups infected prior to and after the emergence of Omicron. Results During the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant wave, 93% of breakthrough infections in our study occurred when serum NAb titers were <1:80. In contrast, after the emergence of Omicron, study participants with high NAb titers that had received booster vaccine doses became symptomatically infected. NAb titers prior to infection were ≥1:640 in 64% of the Omicron-infected population, ≥1:320 (14%), and ≥1:160 (21%). Discussion These results indicate that high titers of NAbs elicited by currently available mRNA vaccines do not protect against infection with the Omicron variant, and that mild to moderate symptomatic infections did occur in a vaccinated and boosted population, although did not require hospitalization.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293617

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Objective To determine if poor responders to COVID-19 RNA vaccines (<50% neutralisation) after two doses would remain poor responders, or if a third dose could elicit high levels of NAbs. Design Clinical follow-up study Setting Academic and medical institutions in USA Participants 269 healthy individuals ranging in age from 19 to 80 (Average age = 51;165 females and 104 males) who received either BNT162b2 (Pfizer) or mRNA1273 (Moderna) vaccines. Main Outcome Measures NAb levels were measured: i) 2-4 weeks after a second vaccine dose, ii) 2-4 months after the second dose, iii) within 1-2 weeks prior to a third dose and iv) 2-4 weeks after a third RNA vaccine dose. Results In 269 study participants, percent neutralisation ranged from 0% to 99% 2-4 weeks after a second vaccine dose. The majority of vaccine recipients (154/269, 57%) demonstrated NAb levels at ≥75% 2-4 weeks after their second dose. Our study also revealed that 25% of vaccine recipients did not neutralise above 50% (Median neutralisation = 21%, titers <1:80) within a month after their second dose. We called these individuals “vaccine poor responders” (VPRs). Twenty-three VPRs ranging in age from 31 to 79 (10 males, 13 females, average age = 62.5) independently obtained a third dose of either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccine 1-8 months (average = 5 months) after their second dose. Within a month after their third dose, poor responders showed an average 20-fold increase in NAb levels (range 46%-99%). Conclusions The results suggest that poor responders are not permanently poor responders;they can generate high NAb levels with an additional vaccine dose–independent of mRNA vaccine manufacturer. Previous reports indicate that NAb levels decline much more rapidly than clinical protection from hospitalisation and disease, but that does not account for vaccine recipients who never generated high levels of NAbs after two doses. It is possible that poor responders are a source of breakthrough infections. Although it is not known what levels of NAbs protect from infection or disease, many vaccine recipients in high-risk professions may wish to keep peripheral NAb levels high, limiting infection, asymptomatic viral replication, and potential transmission.

7.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(9): e0123121, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501537

ABSTRACT

Longitudinal studies assessing durability of the anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (anti-SARS-CoV-2) humoral immune response have generated conflicting results. This has been proposed to be due to differences in patient populations, the lack of standardized methodologies, and the use of assays that measure distinct aspects of the humoral response. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were serially measured in sera from a cohort of 44 well-characterized convalescent plasma donors over 120 days post-COVID-19 symptom onset, utilizing eight assays, which varied according to antigen source, the detected antibody isotype, and the activity measured (i.e., binding, blocking, or neutralizing). While the majority of assays demonstrated a gradual decline in antibody titers over the course of 120 days, the two electrochemiluminescence immunoassay Roche assays (Roche Diagnostics Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 [qualitative, nucleocapsid based] and Roche Diagnostics Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 S [semiquantitative, spike based]), which utilize dual-antigen binding for antibody detection, demonstrated stable and/or increasing antibody titers over the study period. This study is among the first to assess longitudinal, rather than cross-sectional, SARS-CoV-2 antibody profiles among convalescent COVID-19 patients, primarily using commercially available serologic assays with Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization. We show that SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection is dependent on the serologic method used, which has implications for future assay utilization and clinical value.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Kinetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
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