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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 946318, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141971

ABSTRACT

Background and Methods: The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant is the antigenically most distinct variant to date. As the heavily mutated spike protein enables neutralization escape, we studied serum-neutralizing activities of naïve and vaccinated individuals after Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 sub-lineage infections in live virus neutralization tests with Omicron BA.1, Omicron BA.2, wildtype (WT, B1.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) strains. Serum samples obtained after WT infections and three-dose mRNA vaccinations with and without prior infection were included as controls. Results: Primary BA.1 infections yielded reduced neutralizing antibody levels against WT, Delta, and Omicron BA.2, while samples from BA.2-infected individuals showed almost no cross-neutralization against the other variants. Serum neutralization of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants was detectable after three-dose mRNA vaccinations, but with reduced titers. Vaccination-breakthrough infections with either Omicron BA.1 or BA.2, however, generated equal cross-neutralizing antibody levels against all SARS-CoV-2 variants tested. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that although Omicron variants are able to enhance cross-neutralizing antibody levels in pre-immune individuals, primary infections with BA.1 or BA.2 induced mostly variant-specific neutralizing antibodies, emphasizing the differently shaped humoral immunity induced by the two Omicron variants. These data thus contribute substantially to the understanding of antibody responses induced by primary Omicron infections or multiple exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and are of particular importance for developing vaccination strategies in the light of future emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Messenger , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins
2.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(11)2022 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082066

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma (CP) has been in use for the treatment of numerous infectious diseases for more than a century, recently also for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A major challenge for this treatment is identifying suitable donors with sufficient levels of functional antibodies and to determine the optimal time span for CP donation. In this retrospective study, we analyzed 189 CP donations of 66 donors regarding anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG antibody levels. We found a significant correlation between the semi-quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG ratio values and in vitro antibody functionality. A time-to-event analysis allowed us to predict the optimal time span of COVID-19 CP donor suitability. We found that high IgG ratio values, which significantly correlate with high in vitro antibody functionality, were suitable for CP donation for a median of 134 days after the first CP donation. Donors with lower IgG ratios were suitable for a median of 53 days. Our data support plasma collection centers to determine optimal points in time for CP donation by means of widely used semi-quantitative laboratory IgG ratio values.

3.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(5): e0212922, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2019796

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is characterized by substantial changes in the antigenic structure of the Spike (S) protein. Therefore, antibodies induced by primary Omicron infection lack neutralizing activity against earlier variants. In this study, we analyzed whether these antigenic changes impact the sensitivity of commercial anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. Sera from 37 unvaccinated, convalescent individuals after putative primary Omicron infection were tested with a panel of 20 commercial anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays. As controls, we used samples from 43 individuals after primary infection with the SARS-CoV-2 ancestral wild-type strain. In addition, variant-specific live-virus neutralization assays were used as a reference for the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in the samples. Notably, in Omicron convalescents, there was a statistically significant reduction in the sensitivity of all antibody assays containing S or its receptor-binding-domain (RBD) as antigens. Furthermore, antibody levels quantified by these assays displayed a weaker correlation with Omicron-specific neutralizing antibody titers than with those against the wild type. In contrast, the sensitivity of nucleocapsid-protein-specific immunoassays was similar in wild-type and Omicron-infected subjects. In summary, the antigenic changes in the Omicron S lead to reduced immunoreactivity in the current commercial S- and RBD-specific antibody assays, impairing their diagnostic performance. IMPORTANCE This study demonstrates that the antigenic changes of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant affect test results from commercial Spike- and RBD-specific antibody assays, significantly diminishing their sensitivities and diagnostic abilities to assess neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Membrane Glycoproteins/chemistry , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
4.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1970687

ABSTRACT

Background and Methods The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant is the antigenically most distinct variant to date. As the heavily mutated spike protein enables neutralization escape, we studied serum-neutralizing activities of naïve and vaccinated individuals after Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 sub-lineage infections in live virus neutralization tests with Omicron BA.1, Omicron BA.2, wildtype (WT, B1.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) strains. Serum samples obtained after WT infections and three-dose mRNA vaccinations with and without prior infection were included as controls. Results Primary BA.1 infections yielded reduced neutralizing antibody levels against WT, Delta, and Omicron BA.2, while samples from BA.2-infected individuals showed almost no cross-neutralization against the other variants. Serum neutralization of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants was detectable after three-dose mRNA vaccinations, but with reduced titers. Vaccination-breakthrough infections with either Omicron BA.1 or BA.2, however, generated equal cross-neutralizing antibody levels against all SARS-CoV-2 variants tested. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that although Omicron variants are able to enhance cross-neutralizing antibody levels in pre-immune individuals, primary infections with BA.1 or BA.2 induced mostly variant-specific neutralizing antibodies, emphasizing the differently shaped humoral immunity induced by the two Omicron variants. These data thus contribute substantially to the understanding of antibody responses induced by primary Omicron infections or multiple exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and are of particular importance for developing vaccination strategies in the light of future emerging variants.

5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 882456, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933667

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is effectively controlled by humoral and cellular immune responses. However, the durability of immunity in children as well as the ability to neutralize variants of concern are unclear. Here, we assessed T cell and antibody responses in a longitudinal cohort of children after asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 over a 12-month period. Antigen-specific CD4 T cells remained stable over time, while CD8 T cells declined. SARS-CoV-2 infection induced long-lived neutralizing antibodies against ancestral SARS-CoV-2 (D614G isolate), but with poor cross-neutralization of omicron. Importantly, recall responses to vaccination in children with pre-existing immunity yielded neutralizing antibody activities against D614G and omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants that were 3.9-fold, 9.9-fold and 14-fold higher than primary vaccine responses in seronegative children. Together, our findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection in children induces robust memory T cells and antibodies that persist for more than 12 months, but lack neutralizing activity against omicron. Vaccination of pre-immune children, however, substantially improves the omicron-neutralizing capacity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Humans
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 888794, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896684

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) with different resistance levels to existing immunity have recently emerged. Antibodies that recognize the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and exhibit neutralizing activities are considered the best correlate of protection and an understanding of humoral immunity is crucial for controlling the pandemic. We thus analyzed such antibodies in individuals recovered from infection in 2020 as well as vaccinees after two doses of an mRNA vaccine. Methods: Neutralizing antibody responses against three SARS-CoV-2 variants (D614G, VOCs Beta and Delta) were determined in serum samples from 54 infected individuals (24 non-hospitalized, 30 hospitalized) and 34 vaccinees shortly after symptom onset or second vaccination, respectively, as well as six months later. In addition, the effect of the S sequence of the infecting strain on neutralization was studied. Results: Non-hospitalized patients had the lowest neutralization titers against all variants, while those of hospitalized patients equaled or exceeded those of vaccinees. Neutralizing activity was lower against the two VOCs and declined significantly in all cohorts after six months. This decrease was more pronounced in hospitalized and vaccinated individuals than in non-hospitalized patients. Of note, the specific neutralizing activity (NT titer/ELISA value ratio) was higher in the infected cohorts than in vaccinees and did not differ between non-hospitalized and hospitalized patients. Patients infected with viral strains carrying mutations in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein were impaired in Beta VOC neutralization. Conclusions: Specific neutralizing activities were higher in infected than in vaccinated individuals, and no difference in the quality of these antibodies was observed between hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, despite significantly lower titers in the latter group. Additionally, antibody responses of infected individuals showed greater heterogeneity than those of vaccinees, which was associated with mutations in the spike protein of the infecting strain. Overall, our findings yielded novel insights into SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies, evolving differently after virus infection and COVID-19 vaccination, which is an important issue to consider in ongoing vaccine strategy improvements.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , Viral Envelope Proteins , mRNA Vaccines
7.
Front Immunol ; 13: 889138, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875415

ABSTRACT

Background: Individuals with secondary immunodeficiencies belong to the most vulnerable groups to succumb to COVID-19 and thus are prioritized for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. However, knowledge about the persistence and anamnestic responses following SARS-CoV-2-mRNA vaccinations is limited in these patients. Methods: In a prospective, open-label, phase four trial we analyzed S1-specific IgG, neutralizing antibodies and cytokine responses in previously non-infected patients with cancer or autoimmune disease during primary mRNA vaccination and up to one month after booster. Results: 263 patients with solid tumors (SOT, n=63), multiple myeloma (MM, n=70), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD, n=130) and 66 controls were analyzed. One month after the two-dose primary vaccination the highest non-responder rate was associated with lower CD19+ B-cell counts and was found in MM patients (17%). S1-specific IgG levels correlated with IL-2 and IFN-γ responses in controls and IBD patients, but not in cancer patients. Six months after the second dose, 18% of patients with MM, 10% with SOT and 4% with IBD became seronegative; no one from the control group became negative. However, in IBD patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors, antibody levels declined more rapidly than in controls. Overall, vaccination with mRNA-1273 led to higher antibody levels than with BNT162b2. Importantly, booster vaccination increased antibody levels >8-fold in seroresponders and induced anamnestic responses even in those with undetectable pre-booster antibody levels. Nevertheless, in IBD patients with TNF-α inhibitors even after booster vaccination, antibody levels were lower than in untreated IBD patients and controls. Conclusion: Immunomonitoring of vaccine-specific antibody and cellular responses seems advisable to identify vaccination failures and consequently establishing personalized vaccination schedules, including shorter booster intervals, and helps to improve vaccine effectiveness in all patients with secondary immunodeficiencies. Trial registration: EudraCT Number: 2021-000291-11.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Multiple Myeloma , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunocompromised Host , Immunoglobulin G , Immunologic Memory , Multiple Myeloma/therapy , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Vaccination
8.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33(2): e13737, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While children usually experience a mild course of COVID-19, and a severe disease is more common in adults, the features, specificities, and functionality of the SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody response in the pediatric population are of interest. METHODS: We performed a detailed analysis of IgG antibodies specific for SARS-CoV-2-derived antigens S and RBD by ELISA in 26 SARS-CoV-2 seropositive schoolchildren with mild or asymptomatic disease course, and in an equally sized, age- and gender-matched control group. Furthermore, a detailed mapping of IgG reactivity to a panel of microarrayed SARS-CoV-2 proteins and S-derived peptides was performed by microarray technology. The capacity of the antibody response to block RBD-ACE2 binding and virus neutralization were assessed. Results were compared with those obtained in an adult COVID-19 convalescent population. RESULTS: After mild COVID-19, anti-S and RBD-specific IgG antibodies were developed by 100% and 84.6% of pediatric subjects, respectively. No difference was observed in regards to symptoms and gender. Mounted antibodies recognized conformational epitopes of the spike protein and were capable to neutralize the virus up to a titer of ≥80 and to inhibit the ACE2-RBD interaction by up to 65%. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG responses in children were comparable to mildly affected adult patients. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic and mildly affected pediatric patients develop a SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody response, which is comparable regarding antigen, epitope recognition, and the ability to inhibit the RBD-ACE2 interaction to that observed in adult patients after mild COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Child , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
9.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 134(9-10): 335-343, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680842

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To increase knowledge of discrete symptoms shall help to avoid misinterpretation of test results and to gain better understanding of associations between early symptoms and severe disease to provide additional criteria for targeted early interventions. DESIGN: Retrospective observational study. SETTING: Austrian GP practices in the year 2020, patients above 18 years were included. PARTICIPANTS: We recruited 25 practices which included 295 participants with a positive SARS-CoV­2 test. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data collection comprised basic demographic data, risk factors and the recording of symptoms at several points in time in the course of the illness. Descriptive analyses for possible associations between demographics and symptoms were conducted by means of cross tabulation. Group differences (hospitalized yes/no) were assessed using Fisher's exact test. The significance level was set to 0.05; due to the observational character of the study, no adjustment for multiplicity was performed. RESULTS: Only one third of patients report symptoms generally understood to be typical for COVID­19. Most patients presented with unspecific complaints. We found symptoms indicating complicated disease, depending on when they appear. The number of symptoms may be a predictor for the need of hospital care. More than 50% of patients still experience symptoms 14 days after onset. CONCLUSION: Unspecific symptoms are valuable indicators in the detection of early COVID­19 disease that practitioners and the general public should be aware of also in the interpretation of low sensitivity tests. Monitoring patients using the indicators we identified may help to identify patients who are likely to profit from early intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Primary Health Care , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
10.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(2): 165-171, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589288

ABSTRACT

Importance: Fewer than 50% of kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) develop antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Preliminary data suggest that a heterologous vaccination, combining mRNA and viral vector vaccines, may increase immunogenicity. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a third dose of an mRNA vs a vector vaccine in KTRs who did not have antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a single center, single-blinded, 1:1 randomized clinical trial of a third dose of vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, conducted from June 15 to August 16, 2021, in 201 KTRs who had not developed SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibodies after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine. Data analyses were performed from August 17 to August 31, 2021. Interventions: mRNA (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) or vector (Ad26COVS1) as a third dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary study end point was seroconversion after 4 weeks (29-42 days) following the third vaccine dose. Secondary end points included neutralizing antibodies and T-cell response assessed by interferon-γ release assays (IGRA). In addition, the association of patient characteristics and vaccine response was assessed using logistic regression, and the reactogenicity of the vaccines was compared. Results: Among the study population of 197 kidney transplant recipients (mean [SD] age, 61.2 [12.4] years; 82 [42%] women), 39% developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after the third vaccine. There was no statistically significant difference between groups, with an antibody response rate of 35% and 42% for the mRNA and vector vaccines, respectively. Only 22% of seroconverted patients had neutralizing antibodies. Similarly, T-cell response assessed by IGRA was low with only 17 patients showing a positive response after the third vaccination. Receiving nontriple immunosuppression (odds ratio [OR], 3.59; 95% CI, 1.33-10.75), longer time after kidney transplant (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.15-1.83, per doubling of years), and torque teno virus plasma levels (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88-0.96, per doubling of levels) were associated with vaccine response. The third dose of an mRNA vaccine was associated with a higher frequency of local pain at the injection site compared with the vector vaccine, while systemic symptoms were comparable between groups. Conclusions and Relevance: This randomized clinical trial found that 39% of KTRs without an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 after 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 4 weeks after a third dose of an mRNA or a vector vaccine. The heterologous vaccination strategy with a vector-based vaccine was well tolerated and safe but not significantly better than the homologous mRNA-based strategy. Trial Registration: EudraCT Identifier: 2021-002927-39.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Transplant Recipients , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Female , Humans , Kidney Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged
11.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: grc-750451

ABSTRACT

397 primary- and secondary-care physicians were tested for the presence of IgG (and IgA) antibodies against SARS-coronavirus-2 with a commercially available ELISA. In 19 of 20 individuals with PCR-proven infection and only mild to moderate symptoms not requiring hospitalization positive IgG levels occurred within two to three weeks. Among the remaining 377 persons without clear-cut evidence of infection, unequivocally positive IgG antibodies were found in only one, showing a surprisingly low prevalence (0.3%, 95% CI: 0.01-1.5) in physicians with likely contacts with infected patients in a region highly affected by the pandemic (Tyrol, Austria).

13.
J Clin Med ; 10(9)2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335105

ABSTRACT

Despite being located close to the European epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, Austria has managed to control the first wave. In Austria, the largest health insurance fund covers 7 million people and has 12,000 employees, including 3700 healthcare workers (HCW). For patient and staff safety, transmission control measures were implemented and mass testing of employees for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was conducted. An IgG SARS-CoV-2 rapid test on fingerstick blood was used as a screening test (ST), followed by serologic studies with 3 different immunoassays and confirmatory testing by a neutralization test (NT). Among 7858 employees, 144 had a positive ST and 88 were confirmed by a NT (1.12%, CI: 0.9-1.38%). The positive predictive value (PPV) of the ST was 69.3% (CI: 60.5-77.2). Interestingly, 40% of the NT positive serum samples were tested negative in all 3 immunoassays. Of the total sample, 2242 HCW (28.5%) were identified. Unexpectedly, there was no difference in the prevalence of NT positives in HCW compared to non-HCW (23/2242 vs. 65/5301, p = 0.53). SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence was not increased among HCW. Although HCW are at potentially increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, transmission control measures in healthcare facilities appear sufficient to limit transmission of infection.

14.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(11): 820-829, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269478

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) containing antibodies derived from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors has been proposed as a promising therapeutic option for severe COVID-19. METHODS: In our intensive care unit (ICU), 55 patients (46 male, median age 61 years) with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 (35 = 63.6% on mechanical ventilation, 7 = 14.5% on high-flow nasal oxygen, 12 = 20% on non-invasive ventilation, 1 = 1.8% without respiratory support) were treated with high-titre CP (200 mL per dose, range 1-6 doses, median 3 doses per patient, minimum titre > 1:100, Wantai test). 139 COVID-19 patients treated in the same ICU who did not receive CP served as control group. In 27 patients, the effect of CP on the individual levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies was assessed by ELISA in serum sample pairs collected before and after CP transfusion. RESULTS: The first CP dose was administered at a median of 8 days after symptom onset. 13 patients in the plasma cohort died (28-day mortality 24.1%), compared to 42 (30.2%) in the cohort who did not receive CP (p = 0.5, Pearson Chi-squared test). Out of the 27 individuals investigated for the presence of IgG antibodies, 8 did not have detectable IgG levels before the first CP transfusion. In this subpopulation, 3 patients (37.5%) died. Not a single confirmed adverse reaction to CP was noted. CONCLUSIONS: While adjunctive treatment with CP for severe and life-threatening COVID-19 was a very safe intervention, we did not observe any effect on mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10158, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226443

ABSTRACT

We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in a large, well-described representative Viennese cohort after an early governmental lockdown with respect to the occurrence of symptoms and household transmission. Participants of the LEAD Study, a population-based cohort study from Vienna, Austria, were invited along with their household members (April 20th to May20th 2020). Sera were analyzed using anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay including a neutralization test as a confirmatory assay. A total of 12,419 individuals participated (5984 LEAD participants; 6435 household members), 163 (1.31%; 59 LEAD cohort members) of whom were SARS-CoV-2 antibody positive. The estimated number of COVID-19 cases projected from our findings by age and sex for Vienna was 21,504 (1.13%). Cumulative number of positively tested cases in Vienna until May 20th 2020 was 3020, hence 7.1 times (95% confidence interval 5.5-9.1) lower than projected. Relative risk (RR) of seropositivity by age was highest for children aged 6-9 years [RR compared to age group 20-49: 1.21 (CI 0.37-4.01)], lowest for ≥ 65 years [RR 0.47 (CI 0.21-1.03)]. Half of the positive individuals developed no or mild symptoms. In a multivariate analysis, taste and smell disturbances were most strongly related to SARS-CoV-2 positivity. Infection probability within households with one confirmed SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody-positive person was 31%. Although seroprevalence was very low (1.13%) for a central European capital city, due to an early governmental lockdown, SARS-CoV-2 infections were more prevalent than officially reported polymerase chain reaction-positive cases. Of note, seroprevalence was highest in young children. Half of SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positive subjects had no or only mild symptoms. Taste and smell disturbances were most prominent, possibly guiding clinicians in diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
16.
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology ; 32(4):762-770, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1209466

ABSTRACT

BackgroundChildren are discussed as hidden SARS‐CoV‐2 virus reservoir because of predominantly mild or even asymptomatic course of disease. The objective of this cross‐sectional study in May‐July 2020 was to assess the prevalence of SARS‐CoV‐2 antibodies and virus RNA in schoolchildren, consistent with previous infection by contact tracing.MethodsSchool authorities approached parents for voluntary participation. Interested families were contacted by the study team. A nasal and oropharyngeal swab, a blood sample, and a questionnaire were employed. Primary endpoint was the frequency of SARS‐CoV‐2 real‐time PCR (RT‐PCR) and antibody‐positive children. Antibody positivity was assessed by a highly sensitive first‐line ELISA, and a neutralization assay and two other immunoassays as confirmatory assays.ResultsOf 2069 children (median age 13 years, IQR 10‐15), 2 cases (0.1%) tested positive for SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA and 26 cases (1.3%) tested positive for specific antibodies. SARS‐CoV‐2‐specific antibodies exhibited detectable virus‐neutralizing activity in 92% (24 of 26 samples). Seropositivity was associated with a history of mild clinical symptoms in 14 children (53.8%), while 12 children (46.2%) remained asymptomatic. Among 13 seropositive children being tested concomitantly with their siblings, only one pair of siblings was seropositive. Contact tracing revealed adult family members and school teachers as potential index cases.ConclusionIn schoolchildren, the infection rate with SARS‐CoV‐2 is low and associated with a mild or asymptomatic course of disease. Virus spreading seemed to occur more likely in intergenerational contacts than among siblings in the same household. The presence of neutralizing SARS‐CoV‐2 antibodies in children may reflect protective adaptive immunity.

17.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(5)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195818

ABSTRACT

In this study, we comprehensively analyzed multispecific antibody kinetics of different immunoglobulins in hospitalized patients with acute severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Three hundred fifty-four blood samples longitudinally obtained from 81 IgG-seroconverting progressed coronavirus disease 2019 (CoVID-19) patients were quantified for spike 1 (S1), S2, and nucleocapsid protein (NCP)-specific IgM, IgA, IgG, and total Ig antibodies using a microarray, 11 different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs)/chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIAs), and 1 rapid test by seven manufacturers. The assays' specificity was assessed in 130 non-CoVID-19 pneumonia patients. Using the microarray, NCP-specific IgA and IgG antibodies continuously displayed higher detection rates during acute CoVID-19 than S1- and S2-specific ones. S1-specific IgG antibodies, however, reached higher peak values. Until the 26th day post-symptom onset, all patients developed IgG responses against S1, S2, and NCP. Although detection rates by ELISAs/CLIAs generally resembled those of the microarray, corresponding to the target antigen, sensitivities and specificities varied among all tests. Notably, patients with more severe CoVID-19 displayed higher IgG and IgA levels, but this difference was mainly observed with S1-specific immunoassays. In patients with high SARS-CoV-2 levels in the lower respiratory tract, we observed high detection rates of IgG and total Ig immunoassays with a particular rise of S1-specific IgG antibodies when viral concentrations in the tracheal aspirate subsequently declined over time. In summary, our study demonstrates that differences in sensitivity among commercial immunoassays during acute SARS-CoV-2 infection are only partly related to the target antigen. Importantly, our data indicate that NCP-specific IgA and IgG antibodies are detected earlier, while higher S1-specific IgA antibody levels occur in severely ill patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoassay/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Kinetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186958

ABSTRACT

Personal protective equipment and adherence to disinfection protocols are essential to prevent nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. Here, we evaluated infection control measures in a prospective longitudinal single-center study at the Vienna General Hospital, the biggest tertiary care center in Austria, with a structurally planned low SARS-CoV-2 exposure. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were assessed by Abbott ARCHITECT chemiluminescent assay (CLIA) in 599 health care workers (HCWs) at the start of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in early April and two months later. Neutralization assay confirmed CLIA-positive samples. A structured questionnaire was completed at both visits assessing demographic parameters, family situation, travel history, occupational coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure, and personal protective equipment handling. At the first visit, 6 of 599 participants (1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. The seroprevalence increased to 1.5% (8/553) at the second visit and did not differ depending on the working environment. Unprotected SARS-CoV-2 exposure (p = 0.003), positively tested family members (p = 0.04), and travel history (p = 0.09) were more frequently reported by positively tested HCWs. Odds for COVID-19 related symptoms were highest for congestion or runny nose (p = 0.002) and altered taste or smell (p < 0.001). In conclusion, prevention strategies proved feasible in reducing the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from patients and among HCWs in a low incidence hospital, not exceeding the one described in the general population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Austria , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
19.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 33(3): 443-447, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057900

ABSTRACT

The course of coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) might be determined by certain comorbidities (e.g. diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases) and advanced age. Because the impact of immunosuppression on disease severity is not entirely clear, management of patients under immunosuppressive treatment remains controversial. Six cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients with COVID-19 on immunosuppressive medication are presented. The aim of this study was to describe patients' clinical manifestation and chronologic development of virus-specific antibodies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection before and after restart with immunosuppressive/biological therapy as an indicator for a specific immune response. All patients were tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2-RNA with PCR, were in clinical remission prior to COVID-19 and only one patient continued his immunosuppressive treatment during the COVID-19 infection. Initial symptoms of COVID-19 were pyrexia, diarrhea, cephalea, and dysgeusia and anosmia. No patient needed admission to hospital or ICU. The SARS-CoV-2 antibody development was described to be late in three of the six patients. Late antibody development seems to be more frequent in older patients and in patients with combined immunosuppressive treatment. In this scenario, SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing could be useful prior to restarting immunosuppressive therapy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Colitis, Ulcerative/drug therapy , Crohn Disease/drug therapy , Immunity, Humoral , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Colitis, Ulcerative/diagnosis , Colitis, Ulcerative/immunology , Crohn Disease/diagnosis , Crohn Disease/immunology , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , Young Adult
20.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 32(4): 762-770, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children are discussed as hidden SARS-CoV-2 virus reservoir because of predominantly mild or even asymptomatic course of disease. The objective of this cross-sectional study in May-July 2020 was to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and virus RNA in schoolchildren, consistent with previous infection by contact tracing. METHODS: School authorities approached parents for voluntary participation. Interested families were contacted by the study team. A nasal and oropharyngeal swab, a blood sample, and a questionnaire were employed. Primary endpoint was the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and antibody-positive children. Antibody positivity was assessed by a highly sensitive first-line ELISA, and a neutralization assay and two other immunoassays as confirmatory assays. RESULTS: Of 2069 children (median age 13 years, IQR 10-15), 2 cases (0.1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and 26 cases (1.3%) tested positive for specific antibodies. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies exhibited detectable virus-neutralizing activity in 92% (24 of 26 samples). Seropositivity was associated with a history of mild clinical symptoms in 14 children (53.8%), while 12 children (46.2%) remained asymptomatic. Among 13 seropositive children being tested concomitantly with their siblings, only one pair of siblings was seropositive. Contact tracing revealed adult family members and school teachers as potential index cases. CONCLUSION: In schoolchildren, the infection rate with SARS-CoV-2 is low and associated with a mild or asymptomatic course of disease. Virus spreading seemed to occur more likely in intergenerational contacts than among siblings in the same household. The presence of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in children may reflect protective adaptive immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
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