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1.
iScience ; 26(6): 106955, 2023 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328292

ABSTRACT

Several antibody therapeutics have been developed against SARS-CoV-2; however, they have attenuated neutralizing ability against variants. In this study, we generated multiple broadly neutralizing antibodies from B cells of convalescents, by using two types of receptor-binding domains, Wuhan strain and the Gamma variant as bait. From 172 antibodies generated, six antibodies neutralized all strains prior to the Omicron variant, and the five antibodies were able to neutralize some of the Omicron sub-strains. Structural analysis showed that these antibodies have a variety of characteristic binding modes, such as ACE2 mimicry. We subjected a representative antibody to the hamster infection model after introduction of the N297A modification, and observed a dose-dependent reduction of the lung viral titer, even at a dose of 2 mg/kg. These results demonstrated that our antibodies have certain antiviral activity as therapeutics, and highlighted the importance of initial cell-screening strategy for the efficient development of therapeutic antibodies.

2.
Int Immunol ; 35(5): 213-220, 2023 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317051

ABSTRACT

Vaccination for the prevention of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is considered the most promising approach to control the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although various COVID-19 vaccines have been developed worldwide using several modalities, the vaccines that have shown the highest efficacy to date are mRNA vaccines. Despite their extensive usage, the mechanisms that stimulate the immune responses associated with their immunogenicity and reactogenicity remain largely unknown. In this review, we summarize and discuss current knowledge on immune responses to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, including potential immune responses and correlating factors underlying the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of mRNA vaccines. We also describe recent trends in the optimization of lipid nanoparticles and vaccination routes. Further understanding of vaccine-elicited immune responses will guide the development of more effective and safe vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , RNA, Messenger/genetics , mRNA Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral
3.
iScience ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2300191

ABSTRACT

Evaluating the serum cross-neutralization responses after breakthrough infection with various SARS-CoV-2 variants provides valuable insight for developing variant-proof COVID-19 booster vaccines. However, fairly comparing the impact of breakthrough infections with distinct epidemic timing on cross-neutralization responses, influenced by the exposure interval between vaccination and infection, is challenging. To compare the impact of pre-Omicron to Omicron breakthrough infection, we estimated the effects on cross-neutralizing responses by the exposure interval using Bayesian hierarchical modeling. The saturation time required to generate saturated cross-neutralization responses differed by variant, with variants more antigenically distant from the ancestral strain requiring longer intervals of 2-4 months. The breadths of saturated cross-neutralization responses to Omicron lineages were comparable in pre-Omicron and Omicron breakthrough infections. Our results highlight the importance of vaccine dosage intervals of 4 months or longer, regardless of the antigenicity of the exposed antigen, to maximize the breadth of serum cross-neutralization covering SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineages. Graphical

4.
Global health & medicine ; 5(1):5-14, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2281170

ABSTRACT

Summary As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks in healthcare facilities are a serious public health concern, we performed a case-control study to investigate the risk of COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers. We collected data on participants' sociodemographic characteristics, contact behaviors, installation status of personal protective equipment, and polymerase chain reaction testing results. We also collected whole blood and assessed seropositivity using the electrochemiluminescence immunoassay and microneutralization assay. In total, 161 (8.5%) of 1,899 participants were seropositive between August 3 and November 13, 2020. Physical contact (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1-5.6) and aerosol-generating procedures (1.9, 1.1-3.2) were associated with seropositivity. Using goggles (0.2, 0.1-0.5) and N95 masks (0.3, 0.1-0.8) had a preventive effect. Seroprevalence was higher in the outbreak ward (18.6%) than in the COVID-19 dedicated ward (1.4%). Results showed certain specific risk behaviors of COVID-19;proper infection prevention practices reduced these risks.

5.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 1451, 2023 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283339

ABSTRACT

The immunogenicity of mRNA vaccines has not been well studied when compared to different vaccine modalities in the context of additional boosters. Here we show that longitudinal analysis reveals more sustained SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD)-binding IgG titers with the breadth to antigenically distinct variants by the S-268019-b spike protein booster compared to the BNT162b2 mRNA homologous booster. The durability and breadth of RBD-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) binding inhibitory antibodies are pronounced in the group without systemic adverse events (AEs) after the S-268019-b booster, leading to the elevated neutralizing activities against Omicron BA.1 and BA.5 variants in the stratified group. In contrast, BNT162b2 homologous booster elicited antibodies to spike N-terminal domain in proportion to the AE scores. High-dimensional immune profiling identifies early CD16+ natural killer cell dynamics with CCR3 upregulation, as one of the correlates for the distinct anti-RBD antibody responses by the S-268019-b booster. Our results illustrate the combinational effects of heterologous booster on the immune dynamics and the durability and breadth of recalled anti-RBD antibody responses against emerging virus variants.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(1)2022 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2246501

ABSTRACT

Peracetic acid (PAA) disinfectants are effective against a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Several studies have shown the efficacy of PAA against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); however, its efficacy in SARS-CoV-2 variants and the molecular mechanism of action of PAA against SARS-CoV-2 have not been investigated. SARS-CoV-2 infection depends on the recognition and binding of the cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) via the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Here, we demonstrated that PAA effectively suppressed pseudotyped virus infection in the Wuhan type and variants, including Delta and Omicron. Similarly, PAA reduced the authentic viral load of SARS-CoV-2. Computational analysis suggested that the hydroxyl radicals produced by PAA cleave the disulfide bridges in the RBD. Additionally, the PAA treatment decreased the abundance of the Wuhan- and variant-type spike proteins. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed direct inhibition of RBD-ACE2 interactions by PAA. In conclusion, the PAA treatment suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection, which was dependent on the inhibition of the interaction between the spike RBD and ACE2 by inducing spike protein destabilization. Our findings provide evidence of a potent disinfection strategy against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Peracetic Acid/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2 , Protein Binding
7.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 1935, 2023 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2221864

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread worldwide. Patients with COVID-19 show distinct clinical symptoms. Although many studies have reported various causes for the diversity of symptoms, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from COVID-19 patients were collected longitudinally, and single-cell transcriptome and T cell receptor repertoire analysis was performed. Comparison of molecular features and patients' clinical information revealed that the proportions of cells present, and gene expression profiles differed significantly between mild and severe cases; although even among severe cases, substantial differences were observed among the patients. In one severely-infected elderly patient, an effective antibody response seemed to have failed, which may have caused prolonged viral clearance. Naïve T cell depletion, low T cell receptor repertoire diversity, and aberrant hyperactivation of most immune cell subsets were observed during the acute phase in this patient. Through this study, we provided a better understanding of the diversity of immune landscapes and responses. The information obtained from this study can help medical professionals develop personalized optimal clinical treatment strategies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Japan/epidemiology , Single-Cell Analysis , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
9.
iScience ; 26(2): 105969, 2023 Feb 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2179844

ABSTRACT

The immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants in COVID-19 cases are influenced by various factors including pre-existing immunity via vaccination and prior infection. Elucidating the drivers for upgrading neutralizing activity to SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 cases with pre-existing immunity will aid in improving COVID-19 booster vaccines with enhanced cross-protection against antigenically distinct variants, including the Omicron sub-lineage BA.4/5. This study revealed that the magnitude and breadth of neutralization activity to SARS-CoV-2 variants after breakthrough infections are determined primarily by upper respiratory viral load and vaccination-infection time interval. Extensive neutralizing breadth, covering even the most antigenically distant BA.4/5, was observed in cases with higher viral load and longer time intervals. Antigenic cartography depicted a critical role of the time interval in expanding the breadth of neutralization to SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our results illustrate the importance of dosing interval optimization as well as antigen design in developing variant-proof booster vaccines.

10.
Inflamm Regen ; 43(1): 4, 2023 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196535

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is ongoing because of the repeated emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, highlighting the importance of developing vaccines for variants that may continue to emerge. In the present review, we discuss humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 with a focus on the antibody breadth to the variants. Recent studies have revealed that the temporal maturation of humoral immunity improves the antibody potency and breadth to the variants after infection or vaccination. Repeated vaccination or infection further accelerates the expansion of the antibody breadth. Memory B cells play a central role in this phenomenon, as the reactivity of the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) on memory B cells is a key determinant of the antibody potency and breadth recalled upon vaccination or infection. The evolution of memory B cells remarkably improves the reactivity of BCR to antigenically distinct Omicron variants, to which the host has never been exposed. Thus, the evolution of memory B cells toward the variants constitutes an immunological basis for the durable and broad control of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

11.
iScience ; 25(12): 105596, 2022 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120399

ABSTRACT

The use of therapeutic neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 infection has been highly effective. However, there remain few practical antibodies against viruses that are acquiring mutations. In this study, we created 494 monoclonal antibodies from patients with COVID-19-convalescent, and identified antibodies that exhibited the comparable neutralizing ability to clinically used antibodies in the neutralization assay using pseudovirus and authentic virus including variants of concerns. These antibodies have different profiles against various mutations, which were confirmed by cell-based assay and cryo-electron microscopy. To prevent antibody-dependent enhancement, N297A modification was introduced. Our antibodies showed a reduction of lung viral RNAs by therapeutic administration in a hamster model. In addition, an antibody cocktail consisting of three antibodies was also administered therapeutically to a macaque model, which resulted in reduced viral titers of swabs and lungs and reduced lung tissue damage scores. These results showed that our antibodies have sufficient antiviral activity as therapeutic candidates.

12.
iScience ; 25(9): 104959, 2022 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1983265

ABSTRACT

Determinants of memory T cell longevity following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection remain unknown. In addition, phenotypes associated with memory T cell longevity, antibody titers, and disease severity are incompletely understood. Here, we longitudinally analyzed SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell and antibody responses of a unique cohort with similar numbers of mild, moderate, and severe coronavirus disease 2019 cases. The half-lives of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were longer than those of antibody titers and showed no clear correlation with disease severity. When CD4+ T cells were divided into Th1-, Th2-, Th17-, and Tfh-like subsets, the Th17-like subset showed a longer half-life than other subsets, indicating that Th17-like cells are most closely correlated with T cell longevity. In contrast, Th2- and Tfh-like T cells were more closely correlated with antibody titers than other subsets. These results suggest that distinct CD4+ T cell subsets are associated with longevity and antibody responses.

13.
Med (N Y) ; 3(6): 406-421.e4, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926779

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Omicron variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified in Japan in November 2021. This variant contains up to 36 mutations in the spike protein, the target of neutralizing antibodies, and can escape vaccine-induced immunity. A booster vaccination campaign began with healthcare workers and high-risk groups. The safety and immunogenicity of the three-dose vaccination against Omicron remain unknown. METHODS: A total of 272 healthcare workers were initially evaluated for long-term vaccine safety and immunogenicity. We further established a vaccinee panel to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity against variants of concern (VOCs), including the Omicron variants, using a live virus microneutralization assay. FINDINGS: Two-dose vaccination induced robust anti-spike antibodies and neutralization titers (NTs) against the ancestral strain WK-521, whereas NTs against VOCs were significantly lower. Within 93-247 days of the second vaccine dose, NTs against Omicron were completely abolished in up to 80% of individuals in the vaccinee panel. Booster dose induced a robust increase in anti-spike antibodies and NTs against the WK-521, Delta, and Omicron variants. There were no significant differences in the neutralization ability of sera from boosted individuals among the Omicron subvariants BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2. Boosting increased the breadth of humoral immunity and cross-reactivity with Omicron without changes in cytokine signatures and adverse event rate. CONCLUSIONS: The third vaccination dose is safe and increases neutralization against Omicron variants. FUNDING: This study was supported by grants from AMED (grants JP21fk0108104 and JP21mk0102146).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Antibodies, Neutralizing , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Reactions , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
14.
Antiviral Res ; 205: 105372, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914151

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariant BA.2 has spread in many countries, replacing the earlier Omicron subvariant BA.1 and other variants. Here, using a cell culture infection assay, we quantified the intrinsic sensitivity of BA.2 and BA.1 compared with other variants of concern, Alpha, Gamma, and Delta, to five approved-neutralizing antibodies and antiviral drugs. Our assay revealed the diverse sensitivities of these variants to antibodies, including the loss of response of both BA.1 and BA.2 to casirivimab and of BA.1 to imdevimab. In contrast, EIDD-1931 and nirmatrelvir showed a more conserved activities to these variants. The viral response profile combined with mathematical analysis estimated differences in antiviral effects among variants in the clinical concentrations. These analyses provide essential evidence that gives insight into variant emergence's impact on choosing optimal drug treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(6): e1010590, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892333

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been transmitted across all over the world, in contrast to the limited epidemic of genetically- and virologically-related SARS-CoV. However, the molecular basis explaining the difference in the virological characteristics among SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV has been poorly defined. Here we identified that host sialoglycans play a significant role in the efficient spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection, while this was not the case with SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly inhibited by α2-6-linked sialic acid-containing compounds, but not by α2-3 analog, in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells. The α2-6-linked compound bound to SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 subunit to competitively inhibit SARS-CoV-2 attachment to cells. Enzymatic removal of cell surface sialic acids impaired the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 spike and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and suppressed the efficient spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection over time, in contrast to its least effect on SARS-CoV spread. Our study provides a novel molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 infection which illustrates the distinctive characteristics from SARS-CoV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
16.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834918

ABSTRACT

The effect of treatment with favipiravir, an antiviral purine nucleoside analog, for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the production and duration of neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 was explored. There were 17 age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched pairs of favipiravir treated versus control selected from a total of 99 patients recovered from moderate COVID-19. These subjects participated in the longitudinal (>6 months) analysis of (i) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein's receptor-binding domain IgG, (ii) virus neutralization assay using authentic virus, and (iii) neutralization potency against original (WT) SARS-CoV-2 and cross-neutralization against B.1.351 (beta) variant carrying triple mutations of K417N, E484K, and N501Y. The results demonstrate that the use of favipiravir: (1) significantly accelerated the elimination of SARS-CoV-2 in the case vs. control groups (p = 0.027), (2) preserved the generation and persistence of neutralizing antibodies in the host, and (3) did not interfere the maturation of neutralizing potency of anti-SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing breadth against SARS-CoV-2 variants. In conclusion, treatment of COVID-19 with favipiravir accelerates viral clearance and does not interfere the generation or maturation of neutralizing potency against both WT SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Amides/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Neutralization Tests , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(5): 100631, 2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799660

ABSTRACT

Two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine elicit robust severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-neutralizing antibodies with frequent adverse events. Here, by applying a high-dimensional immune profiling on 92 vaccinees, we identify six vaccine-induced immune dynamics that correlate with the amounts of neutralizing antibodies, the severity of adverse events, or both. The early dynamics of natural killer (NK)/monocyte subsets (CD16+ NK cells, CD56high NK cells, and non-classical monocytes), dendritic cell (DC) subsets (DC3s and CD11c- Axl+ Siglec-6+ [AS]-DCs), and NKT-like cells are revealed as the distinct cell correlates for neutralizing-antibody titers, severity of adverse events, and both, respectively. The cell correlates for neutralizing antibodies or adverse events are consistently associated with elevation of interferon gamma (IFN-γ)-inducible chemokines, but the chemokine receptors CCR2 and CXCR3 are expressed in distinct manners between the two correlates: vaccine-induced expression on the neutralizing-antibody correlate and constitutive expression on the adverse-event correlate. The finding may guide vaccine strategies that balance immunogenicity and reactogenicity.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/adverse effects , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/adverse effects , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , mRNA Vaccines/adverse effects , mRNA Vaccines/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/therapeutic use
18.
Med (N Y) ; 3(4): 249-261.e4, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783638

ABSTRACT

Background: The immune profile against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has dramatically diversified due to a complex combination of exposure to vaccines and infection by various lineages/variants, likely generating a heterogeneity in protective immunity in a given population. To further complicate this, the Omicron variant, with numerous spike mutations, has emerged. These circumstances have created the need to assess the potential of immune evasion by Omicron in individuals with various immune histories. Methods: The neutralization susceptibility of the variants, including Omicron and their ancestors, was comparably assessed using a panel of plasma/serum derived from individuals with divergent immune histories. Blood samples were collected from either mRNA vaccinees or from those who suffered from breakthrough infections of Alpha/Delta with multiple time intervals following vaccination. Findings: Omicron was highly resistant to neutralization in fully vaccinated individuals without a history of breakthrough infections. In contrast, robust cross-neutralization against Omicron was induced in vaccinees that experienced breakthrough infections. The time interval between vaccination and infection, rather than the variant types of infection, was significantly correlated with the magnitude and potency of Omicron-neutralizing antibodies. Conclusions: Immune histories with breakthrough infections can overcome the resistance to infection by Omicron, with the vaccination-infection interval being the key determinant of the magnitude and breadth of neutralization. The diverse exposure history in each individual warrants a tailored and cautious approach to understanding population immunity against Omicron and future variants. Funding: This study was supported by grants from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Postoperative Complications , Vaccination
19.
Clin Immunol ; 238: 108999, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778041

ABSTRACT

Many variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged, and decreased neutralizing antibodies after vaccination and breakthrough infections have become a problem. The importance of monitoring titers of neutralizing antibodies is getting higher. We enrolled 146 COVID-19 patients, who were thought to be infected with Wuhan-hu-1 or D614G strains, and examined the time course of neutralizing titers against six concerning strains (Wuhan-hu-1, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Kappa, and Delta) using newly developed ELISA. The acquisition of neutralizing titer was positively associated with disease severity. Immune evasions were observed approximately 20 to 30% for Alpha, Kappa, and Delta variant, and 40 to 45% for Beta and Gamma variant. The titers against all strains decreased over time, and interestingly, while titers against Wuhan-hu-1 decreased by 23%, those to Delta variant decreased by 70%. Our simple, cost-effective, and non-hazardous system will be applicable to process numerous samples, such as monitoring titers against prevalent strains after infection or vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Vaccination
20.
Viruses ; 14(4):670, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1762631

ABSTRACT

The effect of treatment with favipiravir, an antiviral purine nucleoside analog, for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the production and duration of neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 was explored. There were 17 age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched pairs of favipiravir treated versus control selected from a total of 99 patients recovered from moderate COVID-19. These subjects participated in the longitudinal (>6 months) analysis of (i) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein's receptor-binding domain IgG, (ii) virus neutralization assay using authentic virus, and (iii) neutralization potency against original (WT) SARS-CoV-2 and cross-neutralization against B.1.351 (beta) variant carrying triple mutations of K417N, E484K, and N501Y. The results demonstrate that the use of favipiravir: (1) significantly accelerated the elimination of SARS-CoV-2 in the case vs. control groups (p = 0.027), (2) preserved the generation and persistence of neutralizing antibodies in the host, and (3) did not interfere the maturation of neutralizing potency of anti-SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing breadth against SARS-CoV-2 variants. In conclusion, treatment of COVID-19 with favipiravir accelerates viral clearance and does not interfere the generation or maturation of neutralizing potency against both WT SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.

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