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Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0141621, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495015


The rapid worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated research and development for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray was created containing full-length proteins, overlapping protein fragments of various lengths, and peptide libraries from SARS-CoV-2 and four other human coronaviruses. Sera from confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as unexposed individuals were applied to multicoronavirus arrays to identify specific antibody reactivity. High-level IgG, IgM, and IgA reactivity to structural proteins S, M, and N of SARS-CoV-2, as well as accessory proteins such as ORF3a and ORF7a, were observed that were specific to COVID-19 patients. Antibody reactivity against overlapping 100-, 50-, and 30-amino acid fragments of SARS-CoV-2 proteins was used to identify antigenic regions. Numerous proteins of SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the endemic human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 were also more reactive with IgG, IgM, and IgA in COVID-19 patient sera than in unexposed control sera, providing further evidence of immunologic cross-reactivity between these viruses. Whereas unexposed individuals had minimal reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins that poorly correlated with reactivity against HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 S2 and N proteins, COVID-19 patient sera had higher correlation between SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV responses, suggesting that de novo antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 cross-react with HCoV epitopes. Array responses were compared with validated spike protein-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), showing agreement between orthologous methods. SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers were low in the COVID-19 patient sera but correlated with array responses against S and N proteins. The multi-coronavirus protein microarray is a useful tool for mapping antibody reactivity in COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE With novel mutant SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on the rise, knowledge of immune specificities against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is increasingly important for understanding the impact of structural changes in antibody-reactive protein epitopes on naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity, as well as broader topics of cross-reactivity and viral evolution. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray used to map the binding of COVID-19 patient antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins and protein fragments as well as to the proteins of four other coronaviruses that infect humans has shown specific regions of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that are highly reactive with patient antibodies and revealed cross-reactivity of these antibodies with other human coronaviruses. These data and the multi-coronavirus protein microarray tool will help guide further studies of the antibody response to COVID-19 and to vaccination against this worldwide pandemic.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Array Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viroporin Proteins/immunology
mBio ; 12(3): e0122921, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286719


We sought to discover links between antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and patient clinical variables, cytokine profiles, and antibodies to endemic coronaviruses. Serum samples from 30 patients of younger (26 to 39 years) and older (69 to 83 years) age groups and with varying clinical severities ranging from outpatient to mechanically ventilated were collected and used to probe a novel multi-coronavirus protein microarray. This microarray contained variable-length overlapping fragments of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N), and open reading frame (ORF) proteins created through in vitro transcription and translation (IVTT). The array also contained SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43), and HCoV-NL63 proteins. IgG antibody responses to specific epitopes within the S1 protein region spanning amino acids (aa) 500 to 650 and within the N protein region spanning aa 201 to 300 were found to be significantly higher in older patients and further significantly elevated in those older patients who were ventilated. Additionally, there was a noticeable overlap between antigenic regions and known mutation locations in selected emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of current clinical consequence (B.1.1.7, B1.351, P.1, CAL20.C, and B.1.526). Moreover, the older age group displayed more consistent correlations of antibody reactivity with systemic cytokine and chemokine responses than the younger adult group. A subset of patients, however, had little or no response to SARS-CoV-2 antigens and disproportionately severe clinical outcomes. Further characterization of these slow-low-responding individuals with cytokine analysis revealed significantly higher interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-15, and interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10) levels and lower epidermal growth factor (EGF) and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) levels than those of seroreactive patients in the cohort. IMPORTANCE As numerous viral variants continue to emerge in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, determining antibody reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 epitopes becomes essential in discerning changes in the immune response to infection over time. This study enabled us to identify specific areas of antigenicity within the SARS-CoV-2 proteome, allowing us to detect correlations of epitopes with clinical metadata and immunological signals to gain holistic insight into SARS-CoV-2 infection. This work also emphasized the risk of mutation accumulation in viral variants and the potential for evasion of the adaptive immune responses in the event of reinfection. We additionally highlighted the correlation of antigenicity between structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and endemic HCoVs, raising the possibility of cross-protection between homologous lineages. Finally, we identified a subset of patients with minimal antibody reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 infection, prompting discussion of the potential consequences of this alternative immune response.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus NL63, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Array Analysis , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology