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1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(1)2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637917

ABSTRACT

With increasing numbers of vaccine-breakthrough infections worldwide, assessing the immunogenicity of vaccinated health-care workers that are frequently exposed to SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals is important. In this study, neutralization titers against SARS-CoV-2 were assessed one month after completed prime-boost vaccine regimens in health-care workers vaccinated with either mRNA-mRNA (Comirnaty®, BioNTech-Pfzier, Mainz, Germany/New York, NY, USA, n = 98) or vector-based (Vaxzevria®, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) followed by mRNA-based (Comirnaty® or Spikevax®, Moderna, Cambridge, MA, USA) vaccines (n = 16). Vaccine-induced neutralization titers were compared to time-matched, unvaccinated individuals that were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and presented with mild symptoms (n = 38). Significantly higher neutralizing titers were found in both the mRNA-mRNA (ID50: 2525, IQR: 1667-4313) and vector-mRNA (ID50: 4978, IQR: 3364-7508) prime-boost vaccine regimens when compared to SARS-CoV-2 infection (ID50: 401, IQR: 271-792) (p < 0.0001). However, infection with SARS-CoV-2 induced higher titers when compared to a single dose of Vaxzevria® (p = 0.0072). Between mRNA-mRNA and vector-mRNA prime-boost regimens, the vector-mRNA vaccine regimen induced higher neutralization titers (p = 0.0054). Demographically, both age and time between vaccination doses were associated with vaccine-induced neutralization titers (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). This warrants further investigation into the optimal time to administer booster vaccination for optimized induction of neutralizing responses. Although anecdotal (n = 3), those with exposure to SARS-CoV-2, either before or after vaccination, demonstrated superior neutralizing titers, which is suggestive of further boosting through viral exposure.

2.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 65(7): e0009721, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486469

ABSTRACT

Efforts to mitigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic include the screening of existing antiviral molecules that could be repurposed to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Although SARS-CoV-2 replicates and propagates efficiently in African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells, antivirals such as nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUCs) often show decreased activity in these cells due to inefficient metabolization. SARS-CoV-2 exhibits low viability in human cells in culture. Here, serial passages of a SARS-CoV-2 isolate (original-SARS2) in the human hepatoma cell clone Huh7.5 led to the selection of a variant (adapted-SARS2) with significantly improved infectivity in human liver (Huh7 and Huh7.5) and lung cancer (unmodified Calu-1 and A549) cells. The adapted virus exhibited mutations in the spike protein, including a 9-amino-acid deletion and 3 amino acid changes (E484D, P812R, and Q954H). E484D also emerged in Vero E6-cultured viruses that became viable in A549 cells. Original and adapted viruses were susceptible to scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1) receptor blocking, and adapted-SARS2 exhibited significantly less dependence on ACE2. Both variants were similarly neutralized by COVID-19 convalescent-phase plasma, but adapted-SARS2 exhibited increased susceptibility to exogenous type I interferon. Remdesivir inhibited original- and adapted-SARS2 similarly, demonstrating the utility of the system for the screening of NUCs. Among the tested NUCs, only remdesivir, molnupiravir, and, to a limited extent, galidesivir showed antiviral effects across human cell lines, whereas sofosbuvir, ribavirin, and favipiravir had no apparent activity. Analogously to the emergence of spike mutations in vivo, the spike protein is under intense adaptive selection pressure in cell culture. Our results indicate that the emergence of spike mutations will most likely not affect the activity of remdesivir.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Replication
3.
EBioMedicine ; 71: 103519, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the importance of neutralising antibodies in protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is critical to assess neutralisation persistence long-term following recovery. This study investigated neutralisation titres against SARS-CoV-2 up to 6 months post-symptom onset in individuals with mild COVID-19. METHODS: Plasma neutralisation titres in convalescent COVID-19 individuals were determined at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset using a cell culture infectious SARS-CoV-2 assay. Total SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and IgA binding was measured using a lectin capture ELISA and compared between timepoints and correlated to neutralising titres. FINDINGS: All 48 convalescent COVID-19 individuals were found to have detectable SARS-CoV-2 50% inhibitory dilution neutralisation titres (ID50) at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset with mean ID50 of 1/943 and 1/411, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation titres peaked within 1-2 months post-symptom onset. However, 50% of individuals showed comparable ID50 at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset. Both SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and IgA levels correlated well with neutralising titres. IgG binding was found to be sustained up to 6 months post-symptom onset, whereas IgA levels declined. INTERPRETATION: This study demonstrates durability of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and neutralisation responses following recovery from mild COVID-19. Thus, all subjects included in this study might potentially have protective levels of neutralising antibodies 6 months post-symptom onset. This study also demonstrates a relationship between spike-specific IgA and neutralisation decline, with implications for long-term protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. FUNDING: Novo Nordisk Foundation, Independent Research Fund Denmark and Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
4.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 698944, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305659

ABSTRACT

In addition to humans, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can transmit to animals that include hamsters, cats, dogs, mink, ferrets, tigers, lions, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, and treeshrew. Among these, mink are particularly susceptible. Indeed, 10 countries in Europe and North America reported SARS-CoV-2 infection among mink on fur farms. In Denmark, SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly among mink farms and spilled-over back into humans, acquiring mutations/deletions with unknown consequences for virulence and antigenicity. Here we describe a mink-associated SARS-CoV-2 variant (Cluster 5) characterized by 11 amino acid substitutions and four amino acid deletions relative to Wuhan-Hu-1. Temporal virus titration, together with genomic and subgenomic viral RNA quantitation, demonstrated a modest in vitro fitness attenuation of the Cluster 5 virus in the Vero-E6 cell line. Potential alterations in antigenicity conferred by amino acid changes in the spike protein that include three substitutions (Y453F, I692V, and M1229I) and a loss of two amino acid residues 69 and 70 (ΔH69/V70), were evaluated in a virus microneutralization assay. Compared to a reference strain, the Cluster 5 variant showed reduced neutralization in a proportion of convalescent human COVID-19 samples. The findings underscore the need for active surveillance SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus evolution in susceptible animal hosts.

5.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 65(7): e0009721, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203931

ABSTRACT

Efforts to mitigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic include the screening of existing antiviral molecules that could be repurposed to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Although SARS-CoV-2 replicates and propagates efficiently in African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells, antivirals such as nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUCs) often show decreased activity in these cells due to inefficient metabolization. SARS-CoV-2 exhibits low viability in human cells in culture. Here, serial passages of a SARS-CoV-2 isolate (original-SARS2) in the human hepatoma cell clone Huh7.5 led to the selection of a variant (adapted-SARS2) with significantly improved infectivity in human liver (Huh7 and Huh7.5) and lung cancer (unmodified Calu-1 and A549) cells. The adapted virus exhibited mutations in the spike protein, including a 9-amino-acid deletion and 3 amino acid changes (E484D, P812R, and Q954H). E484D also emerged in Vero E6-cultured viruses that became viable in A549 cells. Original and adapted viruses were susceptible to scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1) receptor blocking, and adapted-SARS2 exhibited significantly less dependence on ACE2. Both variants were similarly neutralized by COVID-19 convalescent-phase plasma, but adapted-SARS2 exhibited increased susceptibility to exogenous type I interferon. Remdesivir inhibited original- and adapted-SARS2 similarly, demonstrating the utility of the system for the screening of NUCs. Among the tested NUCs, only remdesivir, molnupiravir, and, to a limited extent, galidesivir showed antiviral effects across human cell lines, whereas sofosbuvir, ribavirin, and favipiravir had no apparent activity. Analogously to the emergence of spike mutations in vivo, the spike protein is under intense adaptive selection pressure in cell culture. Our results indicate that the emergence of spike mutations will most likely not affect the activity of remdesivir.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Replication
6.
J Gen Virol ; 102(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910292

ABSTRACT

Great strides have been made in understanding and treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) thanks to the development of various experimental systems including cell-culture-proficient HCV, the HCV pseudoparticle system and soluble envelope glycoproteins. The HCV pseudoparticle (HCVpp) system is a platform used extensively in studies of cell entry, screening of novel entry inhibitors, assessing the phenotypes of clinically observed E1 and E2 glycoproteins and, most pertinently, in characterizing neutralizing antibody breadth induced upon vaccination and natural infection in patients. Nonetheless, some patient-derived clones produce pseudoparticles that are either non-infectious or exhibit infectivity too low for meaningful phenotyping. The mechanisms governing whether any particular clone produces infectious pseudoparticles are poorly understood. Here we show that endogenous expression of CD81, an HCV receptor and a cognate-binding partner of E2, in producer HEK 293T cells is detrimental to the infectivity of recovered HCVpp for most strains. Many HCVpp clones exhibited increased infectivity or had their infectivity rescued when they were produced in 293T cells CRISPR/Cas9 engineered to ablate CD81 expression (293TCD81KO). Clones made in 293TCD81KO cells were antigenically very similar to their matched counterparts made parental cells and appear to honour the accepted HCV entry pathway. Deletion of CD81 did not appreciably increase the recovered titres of soluble E2 (sE2). However, we did, unexpectedly, find that monomeric sE2 made in 293T cells and Freestyle 293-F (293-F) cells exhibit important differences. We found that 293-F-produced sE2 harbours mostly complex-type glycans whilst 293T-produced sE2 displays a heterogeneous mixture of both complex-type glycans and high-mannose or hybrid-type glycans. Moreover, sE2 produced in 293T cells is antigenically superior; exhibiting increased binding to conformational antibodies and the large extracellular loop of CD81. In summary, this work describes an optimal cell line for the production of HCVpp and reveals that sE2 made in 293T and 293-F cells are not antigenic equals. Our findings have implications for functional studies of E1E2 and the production of candidate immunogens.


Subject(s)
Hepacivirus/physiology , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Antibody Affinity , Gene Knockdown Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Hepacivirus/immunology , Hepatitis C/virology , Hepatitis C Antibodies/immunology , Hepatitis C Antigens/immunology , Hepatitis C Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Mannose/chemistry , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Tetraspanin 28/genetics , Tetraspanin 28/metabolism , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology
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