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1.
mBio ; : e0084022, 2022 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901929

ABSTRACT

Global population immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is accumulating through heterogeneous combinations of infection and vaccination. Vaccine distribution in low- and middle-income countries has been variable and reliant on diverse vaccine platforms. We studied B-cell immunity in Mexico, a middle-income country where five different vaccines have been deployed to populations with high SARS-CoV-2 incidences. Levels of antibodies that bound a stabilized prefusion spike trimer, neutralizing antibody titers, and memory B-cell expansion correlated with each other across vaccine platforms. Nevertheless, the vaccines elicited variable levels of B-cell immunity, and the majority of recipients had undetectable neutralizing activity against the recently emergent omicron variant. SARS-CoV-2 infection, experienced before or after vaccination, potentiated B-cell immune responses and enabled the generation of neutralizing activity against omicron and SARS-CoV for all vaccines in nearly all individuals. These findings suggest that broad population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 will eventually be achieved but by heterogeneous paths. IMPORTANCE The majority of studies on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-elicited immunity and immune evasion have focused on single vaccines corresponding to those distributed in high-income countries. However, in low- and middle-income countries, vaccine deployment has been far less uniform. It is therefore important to determine the levels of immunity elicited by vaccines that have been deployed globally. Such data should help inform policy. Thus, this paper is very much a "real-world" study that focuses on a middle-income country, Mexico, in which five different vaccines based on mRNA, adenovirus, and inactivated-virus platforms have been extensively deployed, while (as documented in our study) SARS-CoV-2 variants with increasing degrees of immune evasiveness have propagated in the Mexican population, culminating in the recent emergence of B.1.1.529 (omicron).

2.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(7): e493-e502, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867962

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serological assays are being used to monitor antibody responses in individuals who had SARS-CoV-2 infection and those who received a COVID-19 vaccine. We aimed to determine whether such assays can predict neutralising antibody titres as antibody levels wane and viral variants emerge. METHODS: We measured antibody levels in serum samples from a cohort of 112 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection using ten high-throughput serological tests and functional neutralisation assays. Serum samples were taken at baseline and at up to four subsequent visits. We assessed the effects of time and spike protein sequence variation on the performance and predictive value of the various assays. We did correlation analyses for individual timepoints using non-parametric Spearman correlation, and differences between timepoints were determined by use of a two-tailed Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test. FINDINGS: Neutralising antibody titres decreased over the first few months post-infection but stabilised thereafter, at about 30% of the level observed shortly after infection. Serological assays commonly used to measure antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 displayed a range of sensitivities that declined to varying extents over time. Quantitative measurements generated by serological assays based on the spike protein were better at predicting neutralising antibody titres than those based on nucleocapsid, but performance was variable, and manufacturer positivity thresholds were not able to predict the presence or absence of detectable neutralising activity. Although we observed some deterioration in correlation between serological measurements and functional neutralisation activity, some assays maintained an ability to predict neutralising titres, even against variants of concern. INTERPRETATION: The ability of high-throughput serological assays to predict neutralising antibody titres is likely to be crucial for evaluation of immunity at the population scale. These data can facilitate the selection of the most suitable assays as surrogates of functional neutralising activity and suggest that such measurements might be useful in clinical practice. FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health and National Health Service Research Scotland BioResource.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , State Medicine
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337650

ABSTRACT

Viruses employ a variety of strategies to escape or counteract immune responses, including depletion of cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I), that would ordinarily present viral peptides to CD8+ cytotoxic T cells. As part of a screen to elucidate biological activities associated with individual SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, we found that ORF7a reduced cell surface MHC-I levels by approximately 5-fold. Nevertheless, in cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, surface MHC-I levels were reduced even in the absence of ORF7a, suggesting additional mechanisms of MHC-I downregulation. ORF7a proteins from a sample of sarbecoviruses varied in their ability to induce MHC-I downregulation and, unlike SARS-CoV-2, the ORF7a protein from SARS-CoV lacked MHC-I downregulating activity. A single-amino acid at position 59 (T/F) that is variable among sarbecovirus ORF7a proteins governed the difference in MHC-I downregulating activity. SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a physically associated with the MHC-I heavy chain and inhibited the presentation of expressed antigen to CD8+ T-cells. Speficially, ORF7a prevented the assembly of the MHC-I peptide loading complex and causing retention of MHC-I in the endoplasmic reticulum. The differential ability of ORF7a proteins to function in this way might affect sarbecovirus dissemination and persistence in human populations, particularly those with infection- or vaccine-elicited immunity.

4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327524

ABSTRACT

Global population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is accumulating through heterogenous combinations of infection and vaccination. Vaccine distribution in low- and middle-income countries has been variable and reliant on diverse vaccine platforms. We studied B-cell immunity in Mexico, a middle-income country where five different vaccines have been deployed to populations with high SARS-CoV-2 incidence. Levels of antibodies that bound a stabilized prefusion spike trimer, neutralizing antibody titers and memory B-cell expansion correlated with each other across vaccine platforms. Nevertheless, the vaccines elicited variable levels of B-cell immunity, and the majority of recipients had undetectable neutralizing activity against the recently emergent omicron variant. SARS-CoV-2 infection, experienced prior to or after vaccination potentiated B-cell immune responses and enabled the generation of neutralizing activity against omicron and SARS-CoV for all vaccines in nearly all individuals. These findings suggest that broad population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 will eventually be achieved, but by heterogenous paths

5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294471

ABSTRACT

Summary Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection produces B-cell responses that continue to evolve for at least one year. During that time, memory B cells express increasingly broad and potent antibodies that are resistant to mutations found in variants of concern 1 . As a result, vaccination of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines produces high levels of plasma neutralizing activity against all variants tested 1, 2 . Here, we examine memory B cell evolution 5 months after vaccination with either Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer- BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccines in a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals. Between prime and boost, memory B cells produce antibodies that evolve increased neutralizing activity, but there is no further increase in potency or breadth thereafter. Instead, memory B cells that emerge 5 months after vaccination of naïve individuals express antibodies that are similar to those that dominate the initial response. While individual memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination, the overall neutralizing potency of plasma is greater following vaccination. These results suggest that boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines will increase plasma neutralizing activity but may not produce antibodies with breadth equivalent to those obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.

6.
Nature ; 600(7889): 517-522, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454790

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection produces B cell responses that continue to evolve for at least a year. During that time, memory B cells express increasingly broad and potent antibodies that are resistant to mutations found in variants of concern1. As a result, vaccination of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines produces high levels of plasma neutralizing activity against all variants tested1,2. Here we examine memory B cell evolution five months after vaccination with either Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccine in a cohort of SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals. Between prime and boost, memory B cells produce antibodies that evolve increased neutralizing activity, but there is no further increase in potency or breadth thereafter. Instead, memory B cells that emerge five months after vaccination of naive individuals express antibodies that are similar to those that dominate the initial response. While individual memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination, the overall neutralizing potency of plasma is greater following vaccination. These results suggest that boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines will increase plasma neutralizing activity but may not produce antibodies with equivalent breadth to those obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Evolution, Molecular , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , /immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Cohort Studies , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
7.
Nature ; 600(7889): 512-516, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428879

ABSTRACT

The number and variability of the neutralizing epitopes targeted by polyclonal antibodies in individuals who are SARS-CoV-2 convalescent and vaccinated are key determinants of neutralization breadth and the genetic barrier to viral escape1-4. Using HIV-1 pseudotypes and plasma selection experiments with vesicular stomatitis virus/SARS-CoV-2 chimaeras5, here we show that multiple neutralizing epitopes, within and outside the receptor-binding domain, are variably targeted by human polyclonal antibodies. Antibody targets coincide with spike sequences that are enriched for diversity in natural SARS-CoV-2 populations. By combining plasma-selected spike substitutions, we generated synthetic 'polymutant' spike protein pseudotypes that resisted polyclonal antibody neutralization to a similar degree as circulating variants of concern. By aggregating variant of concern-associated and antibody-selected spike substitutions into a single polymutant spike protein, we show that 20 naturally occurring mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein are sufficient to generate pseudotypes with near-complete resistance to the polyclonal neutralizing antibodies generated by individuals who are convalescent or recipients who received an mRNA vaccine. However, plasma from individuals who had been infected and subsequently received mRNA vaccination neutralized pseudotypes bearing this highly resistant SARS-CoV-2 polymutant spike, or diverse sarbecovirus spike proteins. Thus, optimally elicited human polyclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 should be resilient to substantial future SARS-CoV-2 variation and may confer protection against potential future sarbecovirus pandemics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Immune Evasion , Immune Sera/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Convalescence , Cross Reactions , Humans , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Elife ; 92020 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895692

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibodies elicited by prior infection or vaccination are likely to be key for future protection of individuals and populations against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passively administered antibodies are among the most promising therapeutic and prophylactic anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. However, the degree to which SARS-CoV-2 will adapt to evade neutralizing antibodies is unclear. Using a recombinant chimeric VSV/SARS-CoV-2 reporter virus, we show that functional SARS-CoV-2 S protein variants with mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain that confer resistance to monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can be readily selected. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 S variants that resist commonly elicited neutralizing antibodies are now present at low frequencies in circulating SARS-CoV-2 populations. Finally, the emergence of antibody-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants that might limit the therapeutic usefulness of monoclonal antibodies can be mitigated by the use of antibody combinations that target distinct neutralizing epitopes.


The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, has had a serious worldwide impact on human health. The virus was virtually unknown at the beginning of 2020. Since then, intense research efforts have resulted in sequencing the coronavirus genome, identifying the structures of its proteins, and creating a wide range of tools to search for effective vaccines and therapies. Antibodies, which are immune molecules produced by the body that target specific segments of viral proteins can neutralize virus particles and trigger the immune system to kill cells infected with the virus. Several technologies are currently under development to exploit antibodies, including vaccines, blood plasma from patients who were previously infected, manufactured antibodies and more. The spike proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 are considered to be prime antibody targets as they are accessible and have an essential role in allowing the virus to attach to and infect host cells. Antibodies bind to spike proteins and some can block the virus' ability to infect new cells. But some viruses, such as HIV and influenza, are able to mutate their equivalent of the spike protein to evade antibodies. It is unknown whether SARS-CoV-2 is able to efficiently evolve to evade antibodies in the same way. Weisblum, Schmidt et al. addressed this question using an artificial system that mimics natural infection in human populations. Human cells grown in the laboratory were infected with a hybrid virus created by modifying an innocuous animal virus to contain the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and treated with either manufactured antibodies or antibodies present in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients. In this situation, only viruses that had mutated in a way that allowed them to escape the antibodies were able to survive. Several of the virus mutants that emerged had evolved spike proteins in which the segments targeted by the antibodies had changed, allowing these mutant viruses to remain undetected. An analysis of more than 50,000 real-life SARS-CoV-2 genomes isolated from patient samples further showed that most of these virus mutations were already circulating, albeit at very low levels in the infected human populations. These results show that SARS-CoV-2 can mutate its spike proteins to evade antibodies, and that these mutations are already present in some virus mutants circulating in the human population. This suggests that any vaccines that are deployed on a large scale should be designed to activate the strongest possible immune response against more than one target region on the spike protein. Additionally, antibody-based therapies that use two antibodies in combination should prevent the rise of viruses that are resistant to the antibodies and maintain the long-term effectiveness of vaccines and therapies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Base Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , Protein Isoforms/immunology , Reassortant Viruses/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Selection, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vesiculovirus/genetics , Virus Replication
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