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medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.01.19.21249921


Antibody tests are essential tools to investigate humoral immunity following SARS-CoV-2 infection. While first-generation antibody tests have primarily provided qualitative results with low specificity, accurate seroprevalence studies and tracking of antibody levels over time require highly specific, sensitive and quantitative test setups. Here, we describe two quantitative ELISA antibody tests based on the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain and the nucleocapsid protein. Comparative expression in bacterial, insect, mammalian and plant-based platforms enabled the identification of new antigen designs with superior quality and high suitability as diagnostic reagents. Both tests scored excellently in clinical validations with multi-centric specificity and sensitivity cohorts and showed unprecedented correlation with SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers. Orthogonal testing increased assay specificity to 99.8%, thereby enabling robust serodiagnosis in low-prevalence settings. The inclusion of a calibrator permits accurate quantitative monitoring of antibody concentrations in samples collected at different time points during the acute and convalescent phase of COVID-19.

biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.01.19.427373


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emergent coronavirus that has caused a worldwide pandemic. Although human disease is often asymptomatic, some develop severe illnesses such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death. There is an urgent need for a vaccine to prevent its rapid spread as asymptomatic infections accounting for up to 40% of transmission events. Here we further evaluated an inactivated rabies vectored SARS-CoV-2 S1 vaccine CORAVAX in a Syrian hamster model. CORAVAX adjuvanted with MPLA-AddaVax, a TRL4 agonist, induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies and generated a strong Th1-biased immune response. Vaccinated hamsters were protected from weight loss and viral replication in the lungs and nasal turbinates three days after challenge with SARS-CoV-2. CORAVAX also prevented lung disease, as indicated by the significant reduction in lung pathology. This study highlights CORAVAX as a safe, immunogenic, and efficacious vaccine that warrants further assessment in human trials.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Pneumonia , Lung Diseases , Death , Respiratory Insufficiency , Weight Loss