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1.
Scientific Reports ; 12(1):7168-7168, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1821604

ABSTRACT

As global vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 proceed, there is particular interest in the longevity of immune protection, especially with regard to increasingly infectious virus variants. Neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 are promising correlates of protective immunity and have been successfully used for prevention and therapy. As SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) are known to affect binding to the ACE2 receptor and by extension neutralizing activity, we developed a bead-based multiplex ACE2-RBD inhibition assay (RBDCoV-ACE2) as a highly scalable, time-, cost-, and material-saving alternative to infectious live-virus neutralization tests. By mimicking the interaction between ACE2 and the RBD, this serological multiplex assay allows the simultaneous analysis of ACE2 binding inhibition to the RBDs of all SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs) in a single well. Following validation against a classical virus neutralization test and comparison of performance against a commercially available assay, we analyzed 266 serum samples from 168 COVID-19 patients of varying severity. ACE2 binding inhibition was reduced for ten out of eleven variants examined compared to wild-type, especially for those displaying the E484K mutation such as VOCs beta and gamma. ACE2 binding inhibition, while highly individualistic, positively correlated with IgG levels. ACE2 binding inhibition also correlated with disease severity up to WHO grade 7, after which it reduced.

2.
Blood ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1759684

ABSTRACT

Life threatening thrombotic events at unusual sites have been reported after vector-based vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2. This phenomenon is now termed as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Pathophysiology of VITT is similar to that of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), and associated with platelet-activating antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4). Therefore, current guidelines suggest non-heparin anticoagulants to treat VITT patients. In this study, we investigated the interactions of heparin, danaparoid, fondaparinux and argatroban with VITT-Ab/PF4 complexes using ex vivo model for thrombus formation as well as in vitro assays to analyze antibody binding and platelet activation. We found that IgGs from VITT patients induce increased adherent platelets/thrombus formation in comparison to IgGs from healthy controls. In this ex vivo flow-based model, the procoagulant activity of VITT IgGs was effectively inhibited with danaparoid, argatroban but also by heparin. Interestingly, heparin and danaparoid not only inhibited IgG binding to PF4 but were also able to effectively dissociate the preformed PF4/IgG complexes. Fondaparinux reduced the in vitro generation of procoagulant platelets and thrombus formation, however it did not affect platelet aggregation. In contrast, argatroban showed no effect on procoagulant platelets and aggregation, but significantly inhibited VITT-mediated thrombus formation. Taken together, our data indicate that negatively charged anticoagulants can disrupt VITT-Ab/PF4 interactions, which might serve as an approach to reduce antibody-mediated complications in VITT. Our results should be confirmed, however, in a clinical setting before a recommendation regarding the selection of anticoagulants in VITT patients could be made.

3.
EMBO Rep ; 23(2): e53865, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579708

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) requires continued development of effective therapeutics. Recently, we identified high-affinity neutralizing nanobodies (Nbs) specific for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. Taking advantage of detailed epitope mapping, we generate two biparatopic Nbs (bipNbs) targeting a conserved epitope outside and two different epitopes inside the RBD:ACE2 interface. Both bipNbs bind all currently circulating VOCs with high affinities and are capable to neutralize cellular infection with VOC B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) in vitro. To assess if the bipNbs NM1267 and NM1268 confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo, human ACE2 transgenic mice are treated intranasally before infection with a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2 B.1, B.1.351 (Beta) or B.1.617.2 (Delta). Nb-treated mice show significantly reduced disease progression and increased survival rates. Histopathological analyses further reveal a drastically reduced viral load and inflammatory response in lungs. These data suggest that both bipNbs are broadly active against a variety of emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and represent easily applicable drug candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3109, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243298

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is evolving with mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) being of particular concern. It is important to know how much cross-protection is offered between strains following vaccination or infection. Here, we obtain serum and saliva samples from groups of vaccinated (Pfizer BNT-162b2), infected and uninfected individuals and characterize the antibody response to RBD mutant strains. Vaccinated individuals have a robust humoral response after the second dose and have high IgG antibody titers in the saliva. Antibody responses however show considerable differences in binding to RBD mutants of emerging variants of concern and substantial reduction in RBD binding and neutralization is observed against a patient-isolated South African variant. Taken together our data reinforce the importance of the second dose of Pfizer BNT-162b2 to acquire high levels of neutralizing antibodies and high antibody titers in saliva suggest that vaccinated individuals may have reduced transmission potential. Substantially reduced neutralization for the South African variant further highlights the importance of surveillance strategies to detect new variants and targeting these in future vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/blood , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/immunology , Saliva/virology
5.
EMBO Rep ; 22(5): e52325, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1204402

ABSTRACT

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an ongoing need for diagnostic tools to monitor the immune status of large patient cohorts and the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. Here, we present 11 unique nanobodies (Nbs) specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD), of which 8 Nbs potently inhibit the interaction of RBD with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the major viral docking site. Following detailed epitope mapping and structural analysis, we select two inhibitory Nbs, one of which binds an epitope inside and one of which binds an epitope outside the RBD:ACE2 interface. Based on these, we generate a biparatopic nanobody (bipNb) with viral neutralization efficacy in the picomolar range. Using bipNb as a surrogate, we establish a competitive multiplex binding assay ("NeutrobodyPlex") for detailed analysis of the presence and performance of neutralizing RBD-binding antibodies in serum of convalescent or vaccinated patients. We demonstrate that NeutrobodyPlex enables high-throughput screening and detailed analysis of neutralizing immune responses in infected or vaccinated individuals, to monitor immune status or to guide vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Humans , Immunity , Pandemics , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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