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1.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1118523, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253825

ABSTRACT

The accelerated development of the first generation COVID-19 vaccines has saved millions of lives, and potentially more from the long-term sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most successful vaccine candidates have used the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as an immunogen. As expected of RNA viruses, new variants have evolved and quickly replaced the original wild-type SARS-CoV-2, leading to escape from natural infection or vaccine induced immunity provided by the original SARS-CoV-2 spike sequence. Next generation vaccines that confer specific and targeted immunity to broadly neutralising epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein against different variants of concern (VOC) offer an advance on current booster shots of previously used vaccines. Here, we present a targeted approach to elicit antibodies that neutralise both the ancestral SARS-CoV-2, and the VOCs, by introducing a specific glycosylation site on a non-neutralising epitope of the RBD. The addition of a specific glycosylation site in the RBD based vaccine candidate focused the immune response towards other broadly neutralising epitopes on the RBD. We further observed enhanced cross-neutralisation and cross-binding using a DNA-MVA CR19 prime-boost regime, thus demonstrating the superiority of the glycan engineered RBD vaccine candidate across two platforms and a promising candidate as a broad variant booster vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Epitopes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Polysaccharides , Antibodies, Neutralizing
2.
NPJ Vaccines ; 8(1): 22, 2023 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272208

ABSTRACT

Vaccines have been a key tool in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid development of effective vaccines against COVID-19, together with their regulatory approval and wide scale distribution has been achieved in an impressively short period thanks to the intense efforts of many. In parallel to vaccine development, the EU considered it important to prepare for the independent control of the COVID-19 vaccines, including testing, to help ensure that only vaccines that comply with the approved quality requirements reach the public and to help improve/increase public confidence in the vaccines. The existing EU Official Control Authority Batch Release (OCABR) system, co-ordinated by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM), was able to effectively respond to the need, through rapid co-ordination, work-sharing, advance planning and early interaction with manufacturers, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and regulatory authorities. The Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCLs) involved in the OCABR activity, using the strength of the established system in the OCABR network and adaptations to the crisis conditions, were ready to release the first COVID-19 vaccine batches, after protocol review and testing, at the time of the conditional marketing authorisation for each of the COVID-19 vaccines, with no delay for batches reaching the public. Thanks to the dedication of resources by the EU and national authorities as well as by the EDQM, this was done without impacting the release of the other vaccines and human blood and plasma derived medicinal products, essential for public health. Transparency and communication of practices were important factors to support reliance on the OCABR outcome in non-EU countries, with the goal to improve access to vaccines in Europe and beyond. An overview of the process, legal background, challenges and successes of OCABR for COVID-19 vaccines as well as a look at the international perspective and lessons learned is provided.

3.
Frontiers in immunology ; 14, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2253824

ABSTRACT

The accelerated development of the first generation COVID-19 vaccines has saved millions of lives, and potentially more from the long-term sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most successful vaccine candidates have used the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as an immunogen. As expected of RNA viruses, new variants have evolved and quickly replaced the original wild-type SARS-CoV-2, leading to escape from natural infection or vaccine induced immunity provided by the original SARS-CoV-2 spike sequence. Next generation vaccines that confer specific and targeted immunity to broadly neutralising epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein against different variants of concern (VOC) offer an advance on current booster shots of previously used vaccines. Here, we present a targeted approach to elicit antibodies that neutralise both the ancestral SARS-CoV-2, and the VOCs, by introducing a specific glycosylation site on a non-neutralising epitope of the RBD. The addition of a specific glycosylation site in the RBD based vaccine candidate focused the immune response towards other broadly neutralising epitopes on the RBD. We further observed enhanced cross-neutralisation and cross-binding using a DNA-MVA CR19 prime-boost regime, thus demonstrating the superiority of the glycan engineered RBD vaccine candidate across two platforms and a promising candidate as a broad variant booster vaccine.

4.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 65(12): 1244-1250, 2022 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280369

ABSTRACT

The Paul-Ehrlich Institute (PEI) plays a central role in the release of vaccines in Germany as well as Europe. The experimental testing and release of each vaccine batch is carried out according to the procedures and regulations of the Official Control Authority Batch Release (OCABR) and the German medicine act paragraph 32. The independent testing aims to demonstrate the conformity of quality criteria set in the marketing authorization for each lot produced. This article illustrates both the batch release procedure in general and specifically for the newly developed and approved COVID-19 vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Germany , COVID-19 Vaccines , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccines/therapeutic use
5.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 415(8): 1421-1435, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235938

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 caused an increased interest in neutralizing antibody tests to determine the immune status of the population. Standard live-virus-based neutralization assays such as plaque-reduction assays or pseudovirus neutralization tests cannot be adapted to the point-of-care (POC). Accordingly, tests quantifying competitive binding inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 by neutralizing antibodies have been developed. Here, we present a new platform using sulforhodamine B encapsulating liposomes decorated with RBD as foundation for the development of both a fluorescent, highly feasible high-throughput (HTS) and a POC-ready neutralizing antibody assay. RBD-conjugated liposomes are incubated with serum and subsequently immobilized in an ACE2-coated plate or mixed with biotinylated ACE2 and used in test strip with streptavidin test line, respectively. Polyclonal neutralizing human antibodies were shown to cause complete binding inhibition, while S309 and CR3022 human monoclonal antibodies only caused partial inhibition, proving the functionality of the assay. Both formats, the HTS and POC assay, were then tested using 20 sera containing varying titers of neutralizing antibodies, and a control panel of sera including prepandemic sera and reconvalescent sera from respiratory infections other than SARS-CoV-2. Both assays correlated well with a standard pseudovirus neutralization test (r = 0.847 for HTS and r = 0.614 for POC format). Furthermore, excellent correlation (r = 0.868) between HTS and POC formats was observed. The flexibility afforded by liposomes as signaling agents using different dyes and sizes can hence be utilized in the future for a broad range of multianalyte neutralizing antibody diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Liposomes , Antibodies, Viral , Point-of-Care Systems , COVID-19/diagnosis , Antibodies, Neutralizing
7.
Cell Reports Physical Science ; 4(1):101237, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2184479

ABSTRACT

Summary Virus-enveloping macromolecular shells or tilings can prevent viruses from entering cells. Here, we describe the design and assembly of a cone-shaped DNA origami higher-order assembly that can engulf and tile the surface of pleomorphic virus samples larger than 100 nm. We determine the structures of subunits and of complete cone assemblies using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) and establish stabilization treatments to enable usage in in vivo conditions. We use the cones exemplarily to engulf influenza A virus particles and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), chikungunya, and Zika virus-like particles. Depending on the relative dimensions of cone to virus particles, multiple virus particles may be trapped per single cone, and multiple cones can also tile and adapt to the surface of aspherical virus particles. The cone assemblies form with high yields, require little purification, and are amenable for mass production, which is a key requirement for future real-world uses including as a potential antiviral agent.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(24)2022 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2163407

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was reported as substantially increased in medical personnel and decreased in smokers after the first wave in spring 2020, including in our population-based Tirschenreuth Study (TiKoCo). However, it is unclear whether these associations were limited to the early pandemic and whether the decrease in smokers was due to reduced infection or antibody response. We evaluated the association of occupation and smoking with period-specific seropositivity: for the first wave until July 2020 (baseline, BL), the low infection period in summer (follow-up 1, FU1, November 2020), and the second/third wave (FU2, April 2021). We measured binding antibodies directed to SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (N), viral spike protein (S), and neutralizing antibodies at BL, FU1, and FU2. Previous infection, vaccination, smoking, and occupation were assessed by questionnaires. The 4181 participants (3513/3374 at FU1/FU2) included 6.5% medical personnel and 20.4% current smokers. At all three timepoints, new seropositivity was higher in medical personnel with ORs = 1.99 (95%-CI = 1.36-2.93), 1.41 (0.29-6.80), and 3.17 (1.92-5.24) at BL, FU1, and FU2, respectively, and nearly halved among current smokers with ORs = 0.47 (95%-CI = 0.33-0.66), 0.40 (0.09-1.81), and 0.56 (0.33-0.94). Current smokers compared to never-smokers had similar antibody levels after infection or vaccination and reduced odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 result among tested. Our data suggest that decreased seroprevalence among smokers results from fewer infections rather than reduced antibody response. The persistently higher infection risk of medical staff across infection waves, despite improved means of protection over time, underscores the burden for health care personnel.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Smokers , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Longitudinal Studies , Antibodies, Viral
9.
Infection ; 50(6): 1475-1481, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2129444

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immune response to COVID-19-vaccination differs between naïve vaccinees and those who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Longitudinal quantitative and qualitative serological differences in these two distinct immunological subgroups in response to vaccination are currently not well studied. METHODS: We investigate a cohort of SARS-CoV-2-naïve and COVID-19-convalescent individuals immediately after vaccination and 6 months later. We use different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) variants and a surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) to measure IgG serum titers, IgA serum reactivity, IgG serum avidity and neutralization capacity by ACE2 receptor competition. RESULTS: Anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody titers decline over time in dually vaccinated COVID-19 naïves whereas titers in single dose vaccinated COVID-19 convalescents are higher and more durable. Similarly, antibody avidity is considerably higher among boosted COVID-19 convalescent subjects as compared to dually vaccinated COVID-19-naïve subjects. Furthermore, sera from boosted convalescents inhibited the binding of spike-protein to ACE2 more efficiently than sera from dually vaccinated COVID-19-naïve subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term humoral immunity differs substantially between dually vaccinated SARS-CoV-2-naïve and COVID-19-convalescent individuals. Booster vaccination after COVID-19 induces a more durable humoral immune response in terms of magnitude and quality as compared to two-dose vaccination in a SARS-CoV-2-naïve background.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(10)2022 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2044046

ABSTRACT

In a previous study, we described a highly significant association between reactogenicity and SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG titers and wild-type neutralization capacity in males after basic vaccination with BNT162b2. The objective of this study was to assess whether this benefit was long lasting and also evident after BNT162b2 booster vaccination. Reactogenicity was classified into three groups: no or minor injection site symptoms, moderate (not further classified) and severe adverse reactions (defined as any symptom(s) resulting in sick leave). We initially compared 76 non-immunocompromised individuals who reported either no or minor injection site symptoms or severe adverse reactions after second vaccination. In total, 65 of them took part in another blood sampling and 47 were evaluated after booster vaccination. 26 weeks after second vaccination, men who reported severe adverse reactions after second vaccination had 1.7-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG titers (p = 0.025) and a 2.5-fold better neutralization capacity (p = 0.006) than men with no or only minor injection site symptoms. Again, no association was found in women. Reactogenicity of BNT162b2 booster vaccination was different from second vaccination according to our classification and was no longer associated with SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG titers or wild-type neutralization capacity. To conclude, after BNT162b2 basic vaccination, the association between reactogenicity and humoral immune response in men persisted over time but was no longer detectable after BNT162b2 booster vaccination.

11.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869821

ABSTRACT

Herein, we provide results from a prospective population-based longitudinal follow-up (FU) SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance study in Tirschenreuth, the county which was hit hardest in Germany in spring 2020 and early 2021. Of 4203 individuals aged 14 years or older enrolled at baseline (BL, June 2020), 3546 participated at FU1 (November 2020) and 3391 at FU2 (April 2021). Key metrics comprising standardized seroprevalence, surveillance detection ratio (SDR), infection fatality ratio (IFR) and success of the vaccination campaign were derived using the Roche N- and S-Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 test together with a self-administered questionnaire. N-seropositivity at BL was 9.2% (1st wave). While we observed a low new seropositivity between BL and FU1 (0.9%), the combined 2nd and 3rd wave accounted for 6.1% new N-seropositives between FU1 and FU2 (ever seropositives at FU2: 15.4%). The SDR decreased from 5.4 (BL) to 1.1 (FU2) highlighting the success of massively increased testing in the population. The IFR based on a combination of serology and registration data resulted in 3.3% between November 2020 and April 2021 compared to 2.3% until June 2020. Although IFRs were consistently higher at FU2 compared to BL across age-groups, highest among individuals aged 70+ (18.3% versus 10.7%, respectively), observed differences were within statistical uncertainty bounds. While municipalities with senior care homes showed a higher IFR at BL (3.0% with senior care home vs. 0.7% w/o), this effect diminished at FU2 (3.4% vs. 2.9%). In April 2021 (FU2), vaccination rate in the elderly was high (>77.4%, age-group 80+).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755572

ABSTRACT

The rise of SARS-CoV-2 variants has made the pursuit to define correlates of protection more troublesome, despite the availability of the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin sera, a key reagent used to standardise laboratory findings into an international unitage. Using pseudotyped virus, we examine the capacity of convalescent sera, from a well-defined cohort of healthcare workers (HCW) and Patients infected during the first wave from a national critical care centre in the UK to neutralise B.1.1.298, variants of interest (VOI) B.1.617.1 (Kappa), and four VOCs, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617.2 (Delta), including the B.1.617.2 K417N, informally known as Delta Plus. We utilised the WHO International Standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin to report neutralisation antibody levels in International Units per mL. Our data demonstrate a significant reduction in the ability of first wave convalescent sera to neutralise the VOCs. Patients and HCWs with more severe COVID-19 were found to have higher antibody titres and to neutralise the VOCs more effectively than individuals with milder symptoms. Using an estimated threshold for 50% protection, 54 IU/mL, we found most asymptomatic and mild cases did not produce titres above this threshold.

13.
iScience ; 25(4): 104076, 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739821

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron is the first pandemic variant of concern exhibiting an abrupt accumulation of mutations particularly in the receptor-binding domain that is a critical target of vaccination induced and therapeutic antibodies. Omicron's mutations did only marginally affect the binding of ACE2, and the two antibodies Sotrovimab and CR3022 but strongly impaired the binding of Casirivimab and Imdevimab. Moreover, as compared with Wuhan, there is reduced serum reactivity and a pronounced loss of competitive surrogate virus neutralization (sVN) against Omicron in naïve vaccinees and in COVID-19 convalescents after infection and subsequent vaccination. Finally, although the booster vaccination response conferred higher titers and better sVN, the effect was nonetheless significantly lower compared with responses against Wuhan. Overall, our data suggest that the antigenicity of Omicrons receptor binding motive has largely changed but antibodies such as Sotrovimab targeting other conserved sites maintain binding and therefore hold potential in prophylaxis and treatment of Omicron-induced COVID-19.

14.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702407

ABSTRACT

To assess vaccine immunogenicity in non-infected and previously infected individuals in a real-world scenario, SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were determined during follow-up 2 (April 2021) of the population-based Tirschenreuth COVID-19 cohort study comprising 3378 inhabitants of the Tirschenreuth county aged 14 years or older. Seronegative participants vaccinated once with Vaxzevria, Comirnaty, or Spikevax had median neutralizing antibody titers ranging from ID50 = 25 to 75. Individuals with two immunizations with Comirnaty or Spikevax had higher median ID50s (of 253 and 554, respectively). Regression analysis indicated that both increased age and increased time since vaccination independently decreased RBD binding and neutralizing antibody levels. Unvaccinated participants with detectable N-antibodies at baseline (June 2020) revealed a median ID50 of 72 at the April 2021 follow-up. Previously infected participants that received one dose of Vaxzevria or Comirnaty had median ID50 to 929 and 2502, respectively. Individuals with a second dose of Comirnaty given in a three-week interval after the first dose did not have higher median antibody levels than individuals with one dose. Prior infection also primed for high systemic IgA levels in response to one dose of Comirnaty that exceeded IgA levels observed after two doses of Comirnaty in previously uninfected participants. Neutralizing antibody levels targeting the spike protein of Beta and Delta variants were diminished compared to the wild type in vaccinated and infected participants.

15.
iScience ; 25(2): 103694, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591609

ABSTRACT

Heterologous SARS-CoV-2 vaccine approaches with a second mRNA-based vaccine have been favored in the recommendations of many countries over homologous vector-based ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination after reports of thromboembolic events and lower efficacy of this regimen. In the middle of 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant of concern (VoC) has become predominant in many countries worldwide. Data addressing the neutralization capacity of a heterologous ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/mRNA-based vaccination approach against the Delta VoC in comparison to the widely used homologous mRNA-based vaccine regimen are limited. Here, we compare serological immune responses of a cohort of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/BNT162b2-vaccinated participants with those of BNT162b2/BNT162b2 vaccinated ones and show that neutralization capacity against the Delta VoC is significantly increased in sera of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/BNT162b2-vaccinated participants. This overall effect can be attributed to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/BNT162b2-vaccinated women, especially those with more severe adverse effects leading to sick leave following second immunization.

16.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(5): 770-783, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589126

ABSTRACT

TRIANNI mice carry an entire set of human immunoglobulin V region gene segments and are a powerful tool to rapidly isolate human monoclonal antibodies. After immunizing these mice with DNA encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and boosting with spike protein, we identified 29 hybridoma antibodies that reacted with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Nine antibodies neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infection at IC50 values in the subnanomolar range. ELISA-binding studies and DNA sequence analyses revealed one cluster of three clonally related neutralizing antibodies that target the receptor-binding domain and compete with the cellular receptor hACE2. A second cluster of six clonally related neutralizing antibodies bind to the N-terminal domain of the spike protein without competing with the binding of hACE2 or cluster 1 antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 mutants selected for resistance to an antibody from one cluster are still neutralized by an antibody from the other cluster. Antibodies from both clusters markedly reduced viral spread in mice transgenic for human ACE2 and protected the animals from SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss. The two clusters of potent noncompeting SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies provide potential candidates for therapy and prophylaxis of COVID-19. The study further supports transgenic animals with a human immunoglobulin gene repertoire as a powerful platform in pandemic preparedness initiatives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(50)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559358

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created an urgent need for new technologies to treat COVID-19. Here we report a 2'-fluoro protected RNA aptamer that binds with high affinity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, thereby preventing its interaction with the host receptor ACE2. A trimerized version of the RNA aptamer matching the three RBDs in each spike complex enhances binding affinity down to the low picomolar range. Binding mode and specificity for the aptamer-spike interaction is supported by biolayer interferometry, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, and flow-induced dispersion analysis in vitro. Cell culture experiments using virus-like particles and live SARS-CoV-2 show that the aptamer and, to a larger extent, the trimeric aptamer can efficiently block viral infection at low concentration. Finally, the aptamer maintains its high binding affinity to spike from other circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains, suggesting that it could find widespread use for the detection and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Humans , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748291, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555236

ABSTRACT

Precision monitoring of antibody responses during the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly important during large scale vaccine rollout and rise in prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC). Equally important is defining Correlates of Protection (CoP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. Data from epidemiological studies and vaccine trials identified virus neutralising antibodies (Nab) and SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific (notably RBD and S) binding antibodies as candidate CoP. In this study, we used the World Health Organisation (WHO) international standard to benchmark neutralising antibody responses and a large panel of binding antibody assays to compare convalescent sera obtained from: a) COVID-19 patients; b) SARS-CoV-2 seropositive healthcare workers (HCW) and c) seronegative HCW. The ultimate aim of this study is to identify biomarkers of humoral immunity that could be used to differentiate severe from mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Some of these biomarkers could be used to define CoP in further serological studies using samples from vaccination breakthrough and/or re-infection cases. Whenever suitable, the antibody levels of the samples studied were expressed in International Units (IU) for virus neutralisation assays or in Binding Antibody Units (BAU) for ELISA tests. In this work we used commercial and non-commercial antibody binding assays; a lateral flow test for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG/IgM; a high throughput multiplexed particle flow cytometry assay for SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N) and Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) proteins); a multiplex antigen semi-automated immuno-blotting assay measuring IgM, IgA and IgG; a pseudotyped microneutralisation test (pMN) and an electroporation-dependent neutralisation assay (EDNA). Our results indicate that overall, severe COVID-19 patients showed statistically significantly higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralising antibodies (average 1029 IU/ml) than those observed in seropositive HCW with mild or asymptomatic infections (379 IU/ml) and that clinical severity scoring, based on WHO guidelines was tightly correlated with neutralisation and RBD/S antibodies. In addition, there was a positive correlation between severity, N-antibody assays and intracellular virus neutralisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Calibration , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Reference Standards , Severity of Illness Index
19.
J Clin Invest ; 131(22)2021 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518200

ABSTRACT

Metabolic pathways regulate immune responses and disrupted metabolism leads to immune dysfunction and disease. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is driven by imbalanced immune responses, yet the role of immunometabolism in COVID-19 pathogenesis remains unclear. By investigating 87 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, 6 critically ill non-COVID-19 patients, and 47 uninfected controls, we found an immunometabolic dysregulation in patients with progressed COVID-19. Specifically, T cells, monocytes, and granulocytes exhibited increased mitochondrial mass, yet only T cells accumulated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), were metabolically quiescent, and showed a disrupted mitochondrial architecture. During recovery, T cell ROS decreased to match the uninfected controls. Transcriptionally, T cells from severe/critical COVID-19 patients showed an induction of ROS-responsive genes as well as genes related to mitochondrial function and the basigin network. Basigin (CD147) ligands cyclophilin A and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein triggered ROS production in T cells in vitro. In line with this, only PCR-positive patients showed increased ROS levels. Dexamethasone treatment resulted in a downregulation of ROS in vitro and T cells from dexamethasone-treated patients exhibited low ROS and basigin levels. This was reflected by changes in the transcriptional landscape. Our findings provide evidence of an immunometabolic dysregulation in COVID-19 that can be mitigated by dexamethasone treatment.


Subject(s)
Basigin/physiology , COVID-19/immunology , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Adult , COVID-19/metabolism , Cyclophilin A/physiology , Fatty Acids/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/pathology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
20.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 678937, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477849

ABSTRACT

Background: Children and youth are affected rather mildly in the acute phase of COVID-19 and thus, SARS-CoV-2 infection infection may easily be overlooked. In the light of current discussions on the vaccinations of children it seems necessary to better identify children who are immune against SARS-CoV-2 due to a previous infection and to better understand COVID-19 related immune reactions in children. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, children aged 1-17 were recruited through primary care pediatricians for the study (a) randomly, if they had an appointment for a regular health check-up or (b) if parents and children volunteered and actively wanted to participate in the study. Symptoms were recorded and two antibody tests were performed in parallel directed against S (in house test) and N (Roche Elecsys) viral proteins. In children with antibody response in either test, neutralization activity was determined. Results: We identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 162 of 2,832 eligible children (5.7%) between end of May and end of July 2020 in three, in part strongly affected regions of Bavaria in the first wave of the pandemic. Approximately 60% of antibody positive children (n = 97) showed high levels (>97th percentile) of antibodies against N-protein, and for the S-protein, similar results were found. Sufficient neutralizing activity was detected for only 135 antibody positive children (86%), irrespective of age and sex. Initial COVID-19 symptoms were unspecific in children except for the loss of smell and taste and unrelated to antibody responses or neutralization capacity. Approximately 30% of PCR positive children did not show seroconversion in our small subsample in which PCR tests were performed. Conclusions: Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infections are unspecific in children and antibody responses show a dichotomous structure with strong responses in many and no detectable antibodies in PCR positive children and missing neutralization activity in a relevant proportion of the young population.

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