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1.
Vaccines ; 10(5):639, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1792360

ABSTRACT

Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) is commonly used in national immunization programs. However, the immune response significantly declines within a few months. Our study assessed the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 after receiving booster shots of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 among health care workers who previously received CoronaVac as their primary immunization. Fifty-six participants who received ChAdOx1 and forty-two participants who received BNT162b2 were enrolled into this study, which evaluated immune responses, including anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike total antibodies (Elecsys®), surrogated viral neutralization test (sVNT) to ancestral strain (cPass™;GenScript), five variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) (Luminex;multiplex sVNT) and the ELISpot with spike (S1 and S2) peptide pool against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain. The samples were analyzed at baseline, 4, and 12 weeks after primary immunization, as well as 4 and 12 weeks after receiving the booster. This study showed a significant increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike total antibodies, sVNT, and T-cell immune response after the booster, including against the Omicron variant. Immune responses rapidly decreased in the booster group at 12 weeks after booster but were still higher than post-primary vaccination. A fourth dose or a second booster should be recommended, particularly in health care workers.

2.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-330621

ABSTRACT

Background: Waning antibody levels post-vaccination and the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) capable of evading protective immunity has raised the need for booster vaccinations. However, which combination of COVID-19 vaccines offers the strongest immune response against Omicron variant is unknown. Methods: This randomized, subject-blinded, controlled trial assess the reactogenicity and immunogenicity of different COVID-19 vaccine booster combinations. 100 BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to either homologous (BNT162b2+BNT162b2+BNT162b2;‘BBB’) or heterologous mRNA booster vaccine (BNT162b2+BNT162b2+mRNA-1273;‘BBM’). Primary endpoint was the level of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and VOCs at Day 28. Results: 51 participants were allocated to BBB and 49 to BBM;50 and 48 respectively were analyzed for safety and immunogenicity outcomes. At Day 28 post-boost, mean SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody titers were lower with BBB (22,382 IU/mL 95% CI, 18,210 to 27,517) vs BBM (29,751 IU/mL 95% CI, 25,281 to 35,011, p=0·034) as was the median level of neutralizing antibodies: BBB 99.0% (IQR 97·9 to 99·3%) vs BBM 99.3% (IQR 98·8 to 99·5%, p=0·021). On sub-group analysis, significant differences in mean spike antibody titer and live Omicron neutralization titer was only observed in older adults. Median surrogate neutralizing antibody level against all VOCs was also significantly higher with BBM in older adults, and against Omicron was BBB 72·8% (IQR 54·0 to 84·7%) vs BBM 84·3% (IQR 78·1 to 88·7%, p=0·0073). Both vaccines were well tolerated. Conclusions: Heterologous mRNA-1273 booster vaccination induced a stronger neutralizing response against the Omicron variant in older individuals compared with homologous BNT123b2.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 783975, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699418

ABSTRACT

Background: There is limited information on the functional neutralizing capabilities of breastmilk SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and the potential adulteration of breastmilk with vaccine mRNA after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of lactating healthcare workers who received the BNT162b2 vaccine and their infants. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, antibody isotypes (IgG, IgA, IgM) and intact mRNA in serum and breastmilk was evaluated at multiple time points using a surrogate neutralizing assay, ELISA, and PCR, over a 6 week period of the two-dose vaccination given 21 days apart. Results: Thirty-five lactating mothers, median age 34 years (IQR 32-36), were included. All had detectable neutralizing antibodies in the serum immediately before dose 2, with significant increase in neutralizing antibody levels 7 days after this dose [median 168.4 IU/ml (IQR 100.7-288.5) compared to 2753.0 IU/ml (IQR 1627.0-4712.0), p <0.001]. Through the two vaccine doses, all mothers had detectable IgG1, IgA and IgM isotypes in their serum, with a notable increase in all three antibody isotypes after dose 2, especially IgG1 levels. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in majority of breastmilk samples a week after dose 2 [median 13.4 IU/ml (IQR 7.0-28.7)], with persistence of these antibodies up to 3 weeks after. Post the second vaccine dose, all (35/35, 100%) mothers had detectable breastmilk SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD-specific IgG1 and IgA antibody and 32/35 (88.6%) mothers with IgM. Transient, low intact vaccine mRNA levels was detected in 20/74 (27%) serum samples from 21 mothers, and 5/309 (2%) breastmilk samples from 4 mothers within 1 weeks of vaccine dose. Five infants, median age 8 months (IQR 7-16), were also recruited - none had detectable neutralizing antibodies or vaccine mRNA in their serum. Conclusion: Majority of lactating mothers had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes and neutralizing antibodies in serum and breastmilk, especially after dose 2 of BNT162b2 vaccination. Transient, low levels of vaccine mRNA were detected in the serum of vaccinated mothers with occasional transfer to their breastmilk, but we did not detect evidence of infant sensitization. Importantly, the presence of breastmilk neutralising antibodies likely provides a foundation for passive immunisation of the breastmilk-fed infant.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Milk, Human/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /blood , Cohort Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/analysis , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Infant , Lactation , Milk, Human/chemistry , Prospective Studies
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313283

ABSTRACT

In order to support vaccine development, and to aid convalescent plasma therapy, it would be important to understand the kinetics, timing and persistence of SARS-CoV2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), and their association with clinical disease severity. Therefore, we used a surrogate viral neutralization test to evaluate their levels in patients with varying severity of illness, in those with prolonged shedding and those with mild/asymptomatic illness at various time points.Patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 illness had earlier appearance of NAbs at higher levels compared to those with mild or asymptomatic illness. Furthermore, those who had prolonged shedding of the virus, had NAbs appearing faster and at higher levels than those who cleared the virus earlier. During the first week of illness the NAb levels of those with mild illness was significantly less (p=0.01), compared to those with moderate and severe illness. At the end of 4 weeks (28 days), although 89% had Nabs, 38/76 (50%) in those with >90 days had a negative result for the presence of NAbs. The Ab levels significantly declined during convalescence (>90 days since onset of illness), compared to 4 to 8 weeks since onset of illness. Our data show that high levels of NAbs during early illness associated with clinical disease severity and that these antibodies declined in 50% of individuals after 3 months since onset of illness.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322456

ABSTRACT

At this critical moment of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is an urgent need for a robust serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Such a test is not only important for contact tracing, but for determining infection rate, herd immunity and predicted humoral protection. The current gold standard is a virus neuralization test (VNT) requiring live virus and a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory. On the other hand, the ELISA- or lateral flow-based assays are for the detection of binding antibodies, which does not directly correlate with their neutralizing ability. Here we report a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) that is designed to detect total neutralizing antibodies in an isotype- and species-independent manner. Our simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of virus-host interaction between the ACE2 receptor protein and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein. The test has been validated with two COVID-19 patient cohorts in two different countries, achieving 100% specificity and 95-100% sensitivity and is capable of differentiating antibody responses from other known human coronaviruses. Importantly, the sVNT does not require BSL3 containment, thereby making the test immediately accessible to the global community.

6.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1652390

ABSTRACT

Background There is limited information on the functional neutralizing capabilities of breastmilk SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and the potential adulteration of breastmilk with vaccine mRNA after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of lactating healthcare workers who received the BNT162b2 vaccine and their infants. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, antibody isotypes (IgG, IgA, IgM) and intact mRNA in serum and breastmilk was evaluated at multiple time points using a surrogate neutralizing assay, ELISA, and PCR, over a 6 week period of the two-dose vaccination given 21 days apart. Results Thirty-five lactating mothers, median age 34 years (IQR 32-36), were included. All had detectable neutralizing antibodies in the serum immediately before dose 2, with significant increase in neutralizing antibody levels 7 days after this dose [median 168.4 IU/ml (IQR 100.7-288.5) compared to 2753.0 IU/ml (IQR 1627.0-4712.0), p <0.001]. Through the two vaccine doses, all mothers had detectable IgG1, IgA and IgM isotypes in their serum, with a notable increase in all three antibody isotypes after dose 2, especially IgG1 levels. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in majority of breastmilk samples a week after dose 2 [median 13.4 IU/ml (IQR 7.0-28.7)], with persistence of these antibodies up to 3 weeks after. Post the second vaccine dose, all (35/35, 100%) mothers had detectable breastmilk SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD-specific IgG1 and IgA antibody and 32/35 (88.6%) mothers with IgM. Transient, low intact vaccine mRNA levels was detected in 20/74 (27%) serum samples from 21 mothers, and 5/309 (2%) breastmilk samples from 4 mothers within 1 weeks of vaccine dose. Five infants, median age 8 months (IQR 7-16), were also recruited - none had detectable neutralizing antibodies or vaccine mRNA in their serum. Conclusion Majority of lactating mothers had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes and neutralizing antibodies in serum and breastmilk, especially after dose 2 of BNT162b2 vaccination. Transient, low levels of vaccine mRNA were detected in the serum of vaccinated mothers with occasional transfer to their breastmilk, but we did not detect evidence of infant sensitization. Importantly, the presence of breastmilk neutralising antibodies likely provides a foundation for passive immunisation of the breastmilk-fed infant.

7.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(3): e15227, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643965

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is capable of infecting vaccinated persons. An open question remains as to whether deficiencies in specific vaccine-elicited immune responses result in susceptibility to vaccine breakthrough infection. We investigated 55 vaccine breakthrough infection cases (mostly Delta) in Singapore, comparing them against 86 vaccinated close contacts who did not contract infection. Vaccine breakthrough cases showed lower memory B cell frequencies against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Compared to plasma antibodies, antibodies secreted by memory B cells retained a higher fraction of neutralizing properties against the Delta variant. Inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß and TNF were lower in vaccine breakthrough infections than primary infection of similar disease severity, underscoring the usefulness of vaccination in preventing inflammation. This report highlights the importance of memory B cells against vaccine breakthrough and suggests that lower memory B cell levels may be a correlate of risk for Delta vaccine breakthrough infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
mBio ; : e0343621, 2022 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632479

ABSTRACT

The dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in COVID-19 patients are highly variable, with a subset of patients demonstrating prolonged virus shedding, which poses a significant challenge for disease management and transmission control. In this study, the long-term dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection were investigated using a human well-differentiated nasal epithelial cell (NEC) model of infection. NECs were observed to release SARS-CoV-2 virus onto the apical surface for up to 28 days postinfection (dpi), further corroborated by viral antigen staining. Single-cell transcriptome sequencing (sc-seq) was utilized to explore the host response from infected NECs after short-term (3-dpi) and long-term (28-dpi) infection. We identified a unique population of cells harboring high viral loads present at both 3 and 28 dpi, characterized by expression of cell stress-related genes DDIT3 and ATF3 and enriched for genes involved in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) signaling and apoptosis. Remarkably, this sc-seq analysis revealed an antiviral gene signature within all NEC cell types even at 28 dpi. We demonstrate increased replication of basal cells, absence of widespread cell death within the epithelial monolayer, and the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to replicate despite a continuous interferon response as factors likely contributing to SARS-CoV-2 persistence. This study provides a model system for development of therapeutics aimed at improving viral clearance in immunocompromised patients and implies a crucial role for immune cells in mediating viral clearance from infected epithelia. IMPORTANCE Increasing medical attention has been drawn to the persistence of symptoms (long-COVID syndrome) or live virus shedding from subsets of COVID-19 patients weeks to months after the initial onset of symptoms. In vitro approaches to model viral or symptom persistence are needed to fully dissect the complex and likely varied mechanisms underlying these clinical observations. We show that in vitro differentiated human NECs are persistently infected with SARS-CoV-2 for up to 28 dpi. This viral replication occurred despite the presence of an antiviral gene signature across all NEC cell types even at 28 dpi. This indicates that epithelial cell intrinsic antiviral responses are insufficient for the clearance of SARS-CoV-2, implying an essential role for tissue-resident and infiltrating immune cells for eventual viral clearance from infected airway tissue in COVID-19 patients.

9.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(4): 612.e1-612.e7, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604269

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Highly effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed but variants of concerns are worrisome, especially B.1.617.2 (Delta) which has rapidly spread across the world. We aim to study if vaccination alters virological and serological kinetics in breakthrough infections. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre retrospective cohort study of patients in Singapore who had received a licensed mRNA vaccine and been admitted to hospital with B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 infection. We compared clinical features, virological and serological kinetics (anti-nucleocapsid, anti-spike and surrogate virus neutralization titres) between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. RESULTS: Out of 218 individuals with B.1.617.2 infection, 84 received an mRNA vaccine of which 71 were fully vaccinated, 130 were unvaccinated and four received a non-mRNA vaccine. Despite significantly older age in the vaccine breakthrough group, only 2.8% (2/71) developed severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen supplementation compared with 53.1% (69/130) in the unvaccinated group (p < 0.001). Odds of severe COVID-19 following vaccination were significantly lower (adjusted odds ratio 0.07 95% CI 0.015-0.335, p 0.001). PCR cycle threshold values were similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups at diagnosis, but viral loads decreased faster in vaccinated individuals. Early, robust boosting of anti-spike protein antibodies was observed in vaccinated patients; however, these titres were significantly lower against B.1.617.2 than the wildtype vaccine strain. DISCUSSION: The mRNA vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic and severe COVID-19 associated with B.1.617.2 infection. Vaccination is associated with faster decline in viral RNA load and a robust serological response. Vaccination remains a key strategy for control of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Kinetics , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2932-e2942, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500989

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Key knowledge gaps remain in the understanding of viral dynamics and immune response of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: We evaluated these characteristics and established their association with clinical severity in a prospective observational cohort study of 100 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (mean age, 46 years; 56% male; 38% with comorbidities). Respiratory samples (n = 74) were collected for viral culture, serum samples for measurement of IgM/IgG levels (n = 30), and plasma samples for levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (n = 81). Disease severity was correlated with results from viral culture, serologic testing, and immune markers. RESULTS: Fifty-seven (57%) patients developed viral pneumonia, of whom 20 (20%) required supplemental oxygen, including 12 (12%) with invasive mechanical ventilation. Viral culture from respiratory samples was positive for 19 of 74 patients (26%). No virus was isolated when the PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value was >30 or >14 days after symptom onset. Seroconversion occurred at a median (IQR) of 12.5 (9-18) days for IgM and 15.0 (12-20) days for IgG; 54/62 patients (87.1%) sampled at day 14 or later seroconverted. Severe infections were associated with earlier seroconversion and higher peak IgM and IgG levels. Levels of IP-10, HGF, IL-6, MCP-1, MIP-1α, IL-12p70, IL-18, VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and IL-1RA significantly correlated with disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: We found virus viability was associated with lower PCR Ct value in early illness. A stronger antibody response was associated with disease severity. The overactive proinflammatory immune signatures offer targets for host-directed immunotherapy, which should be evaluated in randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
12.
mBio ; 12(5): e0234221, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494971

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence and spread of zoonotic viruses highlights that animal-sourced viruses are the biggest threat to global public health. Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is an HKU2-related bat coronavirus that was spilled over from Rhinolophus bats to swine, causing large-scale outbreaks of severe diarrhea disease in piglets in China. Unlike other porcine coronaviruses, SADS-CoV possesses broad species tissue tropism, including primary human cells, implying a significant risk of cross-species spillover. To explore host dependency factors for SADS-CoV as therapeutic targets, we employed genome-wide CRISPR knockout library screening in HeLa cells. Consistent with two independent screens, we identified the zinc finger DHHC-type palmitoyltransferase 17 (ZDHHC17 or ZD17) as an important host factor for SADS-CoV infection. Through truncation mutagenesis, we demonstrated that the DHHC domain of ZD17 that is involved in palmitoylation is important for SADS-CoV infection. Mechanistic studies revealed that ZD17 is required for SADS-CoV genomic RNA replication. Treatment of infected cells with the palmitoylation inhibitor 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP) significantly suppressed SADS-CoV infection. Our findings provide insight on SADS-CoV-host interactions and a potential therapeutic application. IMPORTANCE The recent emergence of deadly zoonotic viral diseases, including Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2, emphasizes the importance of pandemic preparedness for the animal-sourced viruses with potential risk of animal-to-human spillover. Over the last 2 decades, three significant coronaviruses of bat origin, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, have caused millions of deaths with significant economy and public health impacts. Lack of effective therapeutics against these coronaviruses was one of the contributing factors to such losses. Although SADS-CoV, another coronavirus of bat origin, was only known to cause fatal diarrhea disease in piglets, the ability to infect cells derived from multiple species, including human, highlights the potential risk of animal-to-human spillover. As part of our effort in pandemic preparedness, we explore SADS-CoV host dependency factors as targets for host-directed therapeutic development and found zinc finger DHHC-type palmitoyltransferase 17 is a promising drug target against SADS-CoV replication. We also demonstrated that a palmitoylation inhibitor, 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP), can be used as an inhibitor for SADS-CoV treatment.


Subject(s)
Acyltransferases/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Alphacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Acyltransferases/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , HeLa Cells , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics , Palmitates/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Swine
13.
N Engl J Med ; 385(15): 1401-1406, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361670

ABSTRACT

Emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern pose a challenge to the effectiveness of current vaccines. A vaccine that could prevent infection caused by known and future variants of concern as well as infection with pre-emergent sarbecoviruses (i.e., those with potential to cause disease in humans in the future) would be ideal. Here we provide data showing that potent cross-clade pan-sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies are induced in survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) infection who have been immunized with the BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. The antibodies are high-level and broad-spectrum, capable of neutralizing not only known variants of concern but also sarbecoviruses that have been identified in bats and pangolins and that have the potential to cause human infection. These findings show the feasibility of a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine strategy. (Funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation and National Medical Research Council.).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , B-Lymphocytes , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Phylogeny , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Survivors
14.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(6): e240-e249, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155679

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies have found different waning rates of neutralising antibodies compared with binding antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The impact of neutralising antibody waning rate at the individual patient level on the longevity of immunity remains unknown. We aimed to investigate the peak levels and dynamics of neutralising antibody waning and IgG avidity maturation over time, and correlate this with clinical parameters, cytokines, and T-cell responses. METHODS: We did a longitudinal study of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 up to day 180 post-symptom onset by monitoring changes in neutralising antibody levels using a previously validated surrogate virus neutralisation test. Changes in antibody avidities and other immune markers at different convalescent stages were determined and correlated with clinical features. Using a machine learning algorithm, temporal change in neutralising antibody levels was classified into five groups and used to predict the longevity of neutralising antibody-mediated immunity. FINDINGS: We approached 517 patients for participation in the study, of whom 288 consented for outpatient follow-up and collection of serial blood samples. 164 patients were followed up and had adequate blood samples collected for analysis, with a total of 546 serum samples collected, including 128 blood samples taken up to 180 days post-symptom onset. We identified five distinctive patterns of neutralising antibody dynamics as follows: negative, individuals who did not, at our intervals of sampling, develop neutralising antibodies at the 30% inhibition level (19 [12%] of 164 patients); rapid waning, individuals who had varying levels of neutralising antibodies from around 20 days after symptom onset, but seroreverted in less than 180 days (44 [27%] of 164 patients); slow waning, individuals who remained neutralising antibody-positive at 180 days post-symptom onset (46 [28%] of 164 patients); persistent, although with varying peak neutralising antibody levels, these individuals had minimal neutralising antibody decay (52 [32%] of 164 patients); and delayed response, a small group that showed an unexpected increase of neutralising antibodies during late convalescence (at 90 or 180 days after symptom onset; three [2%] of 164 patients). Persistence of neutralising antibodies was associated with disease severity and sustained level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. By contrast, T-cell responses were similar among the different neutralising antibody dynamics groups. On the basis of the different decay dynamics, we established a prediction algorithm that revealed a wide range of neutralising antibody longevity, varying from around 40 days to many decades. INTERPRETATION: Neutralising antibody response dynamics in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 vary greatly, and prediction of immune longevity can only be accurately determined at the individual level. Our findings emphasise the importance of public health and social measures in the ongoing pandemic outbreak response, and might have implications for longevity of immunity after vaccination. FUNDING: National Medical Research Council, Biomedical Research Council, and A*STAR, Singapore.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cytokines , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
16.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0246864, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083475

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is an indicator of protective immunity for most viral infections. A newly developed surrogate viral neutralization assay (sVNT) offers the ability to detect total receptor binding domain-targeting NAbs in an isotype-independent manner, increasing the test sensitivity. Thus, specimens with low IgM/ IgG antibody levels showed strong neutralization activity in sVNT. METHODS: This study aimed to measure the %inhibition of NAbs measured by sVNT in PCR-confirmed COVID-19 patients. The sensitivity of sVNT for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its kinetics were determined. RESULTS: Ninety-seven patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in this study. Majority of the patients were 21-40 years old (67%) and 63% had mild symptoms. The sensitivity of sVNT for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 99% (95% confidence interval (CI) 94.4-100%) and the specificity was 100% (95% CI 98.3-100%). The negative predictive value of sVNT from the samples collected before and after 7 days of symptom onset was 99.5% (95% CI 97.4-100%) and 100% (95% CI 93.8-100%), respectively. The level of inhibition at days 8-14 were significantly higher than days 0-7 (p<0.001). The median %inhibition values by severity of COVID-19 symptoms were 79.9% (interquartile range (IQR) 49.7-91.8%); 89.0% (IQR 71.2-92.4%); and 86.6% (IQR 69.5-92.8%), for mild, moderate and severe/critical symptoms respectively. The median level of sVNT %inhibition of severe was significantly higher than the mild group (p = 0.05). CONCLUSION: The sVNT is a practical and robust serological test for SARS-CoV-2 infection and does not require specialized biosafety containment. It can be used clinically to aid diagnosis in both early and late infection especially in cases when the real-time RT-PCR results in weakly negative or weakly positive, and to determine the protective immune response from SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Thailand , Young Adult
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 972, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075220

ABSTRACT

Among the many questions unanswered for the COVID-19 pandemic are the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the potential role of intermediate animal host(s) in the early animal-to-human transmission. The discovery of RaTG13 bat coronavirus in China suggested a high probability of a bat origin. Here we report molecular and serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs) actively circulating in bats in Southeast Asia. Whole genome sequences were obtained from five independent bats (Rhinolophus acuminatus) in a Thai cave yielding a single isolate (named RacCS203) which is most related to the RmYN02 isolate found in Rhinolophus malayanus in Yunnan, China. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies were also detected in bats of the same colony and in a pangolin at a wildlife checkpoint in Southern Thailand. Antisera raised against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of RmYN02 was able to cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2 despite the fact that the RBD of RacCS203 or RmYN02 failed to bind ACE2. Although the origin of the virus remains unresolved, our study extended the geographic distribution of genetically diverse SC2r-CoVs from Japan and China to Thailand over a 4800-km range. Cross-border surveillance is urgently needed to find the immediate progenitor virus of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Pangolins/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Asia, Southeastern , COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/blood , Geography , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , Protein Domains , Receptors, Cell Surface/chemistry , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 2062, 2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042516

ABSTRACT

In order to support vaccine development, and to aid convalescent plasma therapy, it would be important to understand the kinetics, timing and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), and their association with clinical disease severity. Therefore, we used a surrogate viral neutralization test to evaluate their levels in patients with varying severity of illness, in those with prolonged shedding and those with mild/asymptomatic illness at various time points. Patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 illness had earlier appearance of NAbs at higher levels compared to those with mild or asymptomatic illness. Furthermore, those who had prolonged shedding of the virus, had NAbs appearing faster and at higher levels than those who cleared the virus earlier. During the first week of illness the NAb levels of those with mild illness was significantly less (p = 0.01), compared to those with moderate and severe illness. At the end of 4 weeks (28 days), although 89% had NAbs, 38/76 (50%) in those with > 90 days had a negative result for the presence of NAbs. The Ab levels significantly declined during convalescence (> 90 days since onset of illness), compared to 4 to 8 weeks since onset of illness. Our data show that high levels of NAbs during early illness associated with clinical disease severity and that these antibodies declined in 50% of individuals after 3 months since onset of illness.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests/methods , Severity of Illness Index , Sri Lanka/epidemiology
19.
Cell Rep ; 34(6): 108728, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039309

ABSTRACT

Virus-specific humoral and cellular immunity act synergistically to protect the host from viral infection. We interrogate the dynamic changes of virological and immunological parameters in 12 patients with symptomatic acute SARS-CoV-2 infection from disease onset to convalescence or death. We quantify SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the respiratory tract in parallel with antibodies and circulating T cells specific for various structural (nucleoprotein [NP], membrane [M], ORF3a, and spike) and non-structural (ORF7/8, NSP7, and NSP13) proteins. Although rapid induction and quantity of humoral responses associate with an increase in disease severity, early induction of interferon (IFN)-γ-secreting SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells is present in patients with mild disease and accelerated viral clearance. These findings provide support for the prognostic value of early functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells with important implications in vaccine design and immune monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes , Acute-Phase Reaction , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Convalescence , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
20.
Nat Biotechnol ; 38(9): 1073-1078, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023948

ABSTRACT

A robust serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed to determine not only the infection rate, herd immunity and predicted humoral protection, but also vaccine efficacy during clinical trials and after large-scale vaccination. The current gold standard is the conventional virus neutralization test requiring live pathogen and a biosafety level 3 laboratory. Here, we report a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test that detects total immunodominant neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain in an isotype- and species-independent manner. Our simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of the interaction between the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor protein and the receptor-binding domain. The test, which has been validated with two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 in two different countries, achieves 99.93% specificity and 95-100% sensitivity, and differentiates antibody responses to several human coronaviruses. The surrogate virus neutralization test does not require biosafety level 3 containment, making it broadly accessible to the wider community for both research and clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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