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Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-468472


Remarkable progress has been made in developing intramuscular vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); however, they are limited with respect to eliciting local immunity in the respiratory tract, which is the primary infection site for SARS-CoV-2. To overcome the limitations of intramuscular vaccines, we constructed a nasal vaccine candidate based on an influenza vector by inserting a gene encoding the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, named CA4-dNS1-nCoV-RBD (dNS1-RBD). A preclinical study showed that in hamsters challenged 1 day and 7 days after single-dose vaccination or 6 months after booster vaccination, dNS1-RBD largely mitigated lung pathology, with no loss of body weight, caused by either the prototype-like strain or beta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Lasted data showed that the animals could be well protected against beta variant challenge 9 months after vaccination. Notably, the weight loss and lung pathological changes of hamsters could still be significantly reduced when the hamster was vaccinated 24 h after challenge. Moreover, such cellular immunity is relatively unimpaired for the most concerning SARS-CoV-2 variants. The protective immune mechanism of dNS1-RBD could be attributed to the innate immune response in the nasal epithelium, local RBD-specific T cell response in the lung, and RBD-specific IgA and IgG response. Thus, this study demonstrates that the intranasally delivered dNS1-RBD vaccine candidate may offer an important addition to fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, compensating limitations of current intramuscular vaccines, particularly at the start of an outbreak.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20153106


ObjectivesThe prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 among blood donors in China remains unknown. To reveal the missing information, we investigated the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among blood donors in the cities of Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Shijiazhuang of China. DesignCross-sectional study SettingThree blood centers, located in the central, south and north China, respectively, recruiting from January to April 2020. Participants38,144 healthy blood donors donated in Wuhan, Shenzhen and Shijiazhuang were enrolled, who were all met the criteria for blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Main outcome measuresSpecific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 including total antibody (TAb), IgG antibody against receptor-binding domain of spike protein (IgG-RBD) and nucleoprotein (IgG-N), and IgM. Pseudotype lentivirus-based neutralization test was performed on all TAb-positive samples. In addition, anonymous personal demographic information, including gender, age, ethnicity, occupation and educational level, and blood type were collected. ResultsA total of 519 samples from 410 donors were confirmed by neutralization tests. The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among blood donors was 2.29% (407/17,794, 95%CI: 2.08% to 2.52%) in Wuhan, 0.029% (2/6,810, 95%CI: 0.0081% to 0.11%) in Shenzhen, and 0.0074% (1/13,540, 95%CI: 0.0013% to 0.042%) in Shijiazhuang, respectively. The earliest emergence of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in blood donors was identified on January 20, 2020 in Wuhan. The weekly prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Wuhans blood donors changed dynamically and were 0.08% (95%CI: 0.02% to 0.28%) during January 15 to 22 (before city lockdown), 3.08% (95%CI: 2.67% to 3.55%) during January 23 to April 7 (city quarantine period) and 2.33% (95%CI: 2.06% to 2.63%) during April 8 to 30 (after lockdown easing). Female and older-age were identified to be independent risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity among donors in Wuhan. ConclusionsThe prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 among blood donors in China was low, even in Wuhan city. According to our data, the earliest emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhans donors should not earlier than January, 2020. As most of the population of China remained uninfected during the early wave of COVID-19 pandemic, effective public health measures are still certainly required to block viral spread before a vaccine is widely available.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20041707


BackgroundTimely diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the prerequisite for treatment and preventive quarantine. The serology characteristics and complement diagnosis value of antibody test to RNA test needs to be demonstrated. MethodA patient cohort study was conducted at the first affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University, China. Serial plasma of COVID-19 patients and were collected and total antibody (Ab), IgM and IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2 were detected. The antibody dynamics during the infection were described. ResultsThe seroconversion rate for Ab, IgM and IgG in COVID-19 patients was 98.8% (79/80), 93.8% (75/80) and 93.8% (75/80), respectively. The first detectible serology marker is total antibody and followed by IgM and IgG, with a median seroconversion time of 15, 18 and 20 day post exposure (d.p.e) or 9, 10 and 12 days post onset, separately. The antibody levels increased rapidly since 6 d.p.o and accompanied with the decline of viral load. For patients in the early stage of illness (0-7d.p.o),Ab showed the highest sensitivity (64.1%) compared to the IgM and IgG (33.3% for both, p<0.001). The sensitivities of Ab, IgM and IgG detection increased to 100%, 96.7% and 93.3% two weeks later, respectively. ConclusionsTypical acute antibody response is induced during the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The serology testing provides important complementation to RNA test for pathogenic specific diagnosis and helpful information to evaluate the adapted immunity status of patient. It should be strongly recommended to apply well-validated antibody tests in the clinical management and public health practice to improve the control of COVID-19 infection. Take-Home MessageAntibody responses are induced after SARS-CoV-2 infection and complement diagnosis value of antibody test to RNA test was observed. Antibody tests are critical tools in clinical management and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20030189


BackgroundThe novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging virus. The antibody response in infected patient remains largely unknown, and the clinical values of antibody testing have not been fully demonstrated. MethodsA total of 173 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled. Their serial plasma samples (n = 535) collected during the hospitalization period were tested for total antibodies (Ab), IgM and IgG against SARS-CoV-2 using immunoassays. The dynamics of antibodies with the progress and severity of disease was analyzed. ResultsAmong 173 patients, the seroconversion rate for Ab, IgM and IgG was 93.1% (161/173), 82.7% (143/173) and 64.7% (112/173), respectively. Twelve patients who had not seroconverted were those only blood samples at the early stage of illness were collected. The seroconversion sequentially appeared for Ab, IgM and then IgG, with a median time of 11, 12 and 14 days, respectively. The presence of antibodies was < 40% among patients in the first 7 days of illness, and then rapidly increased to 100.0%, 94.3% and 79.8% for Ab, IgM and IgG respectively since day 15 after onset. In contrast, the positive rate of RNA decreased from 66.7% (58/87) in samples collected before day 7 to 45.5% (25/55) during days 15 to 39. Combining RNA and antibody detections significantly improved the sensitivity of pathogenic diagnosis for COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001), even in early phase of 1-week since onset (p = 0.007). Moreover, a higher titer of Ab was independently associated with a worse clinical classification (p = 0.006). ConclusionsThe antibody detection offers vital clinical information during the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings provide strong empirical support for the routine application of serological testing in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients.