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1.
J Clin Microbiol ; 60(7): e0037622, 2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874498

ABSTRACT

Measuring SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies after vaccination or natural infection remains a priority in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to determine immunity, especially against newly emerging variants. The gold standard for assessing antibody-mediated immunity against SARS-CoV-2 are cell-based live virus neutralization assays. These assays usually take several days, thereby limiting test capacities and the availability of rapid results. In this study, therefore, we developed a faster live virus assay, which detects neutralizing antibodies through the early measurement of antibody-mediated intracellular virus reduction by SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR. In our assay, Vero E6 cells are infected with virus isolates preincubated with patient sera and controls. After 24 h, the intracellular viral load is determined by qRT-PCR using a standard curve to calculate percent neutralization. Utilizing COVID-19 convalescent-phase sera, we show that our novel assay generates results with high sensitivity and specificity as we detected antiviral activity for all tested convalescent-phase sera, but no antiviral activity in prepandemic sera. The assay showed a strong correlation with a conventional virus neutralization assay (rS = 0.8910), a receptor-binding domain ELISA (rS = 0.8485), and a surrogate neutralization assay (rS = 0.8373), proving that quantifying intracellular viral RNA can be used to measure seroneutralization. Our assay can be adapted easily to new variants, as demonstrated by our cross-neutralization experiments. This characteristic is key for rapidly determining immunity against newly emerging variants. Taken together, the novel assay presented here reduces turnaround time significantly while making use of a highly standardized and sensitive SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR method as a readout.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
EBioMedicine ; 80: 104073, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864550

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved. The mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty, BNT162b2; BNT) and the vector vaccine from AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, ChAdOx1; AZ) have been widely used. mRNA vaccines induce high antibody and T cell responses, also to SARS-CoV-2 variants, but are costlier and less stable than the slightly less effective vector vaccines. For vector vaccines, heterologous vaccination schedules have generally proven more effective than homologous schedules. METHODS: In the HEVACC three-arm, single-blinded, adaptive design study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04907331), participants between 18 and 65 years with no prior history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and a first dose of AZ or BNT were included. The AZ/AZ and the AZ/BNT arms were randomized (in a 1:1 ratio stratified by sex and trial site) and single-blinded, the third arm (BNT/BNT) was observational. We compared the reactogenicity between the study arms and hypothesized that immunogenicity was higher for the heterologous AZ/BNT compared to the homologous AZ/AZ regimen using neutralizing antibody titers as primary endpoint. FINDINGS: This interim analysis was conducted after 234 participants had been randomized and 254 immunized (N=109 AZ/AZ, N=115 AZ/BNZ, N=30 BNT/BNT). Heterologous AZ/BNT vaccination was well tolerated without study-related severe adverse events. Neutralizing antibody titers on day 30 were statistically significant higher in the AZ/BNT and the BNT/BNT groups than in the AZ/AZ group, for B.1.617.2 (Delta) AZ/AZ median reciprocal titer 75.9 (99.9% CI 58.0 - 132.5), AZ/BNT 571.5 (99.9% CI 396.6 - 733.1), and BNT/BNT 404.5 (99.9% CI 68.3 - 1024). Similarly, the frequency and multifunctionality of spike-specific T cell responses was comparable between the AZ/BNT and the BNT/BNT groups, but lower in the AZ/AZ vaccinees. INTERPRETATION: This study clearly shows the immunogenicity and safety of heterologous AZ/BNT vaccination and encourages further studies on heterologous vaccination schedules. FUNDING: This work was supported by the Medical University of Innsbruck, and partially funded by NIAID contracts No. 75N9301900065, 75N93021C00016, and 75N93019C00051.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immunity , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336887

ABSTRACT

Background Several studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 BA.1 omicron is an immune escape variant and current vaccines and infection with pre-omicron variants provide limited protection against BA.1. Meanwhile, however, omicron BA.2 has become the dominant variant in many countries and has replaced BA.1. As BA.2 has several mutations especially in the receptor binding and the N terminal domain compared to BA.1, we analyzed whether BA.2 shows further immune escape relative to BA.1. Methods We characterized neutralization profiles against the new BA.2 omicron variant in plasma samples from a variety of individuals with different numbers of exposures to infection/vaccination, including samples from previously virus-naïve, BA.2 omicron-infected individuals. To illustrate antigenic differences of the two omicron sub-variants and pre-omicron variants we performed antigenic cartography and generated antibody landscapes. Results Unvaccinated individuals after a single exposure to BA.2 had limited cross-neutralizing antibodies to pre-omicron variants and to BA.1. Consequently, our antigenic map, which included all Variants of Concern and both BA.1 and BA.2 omicron sub-variants, showed that both omicron sub-variants are distinct to pre-omicron variants, but that the two omicron variant are also antigenically distinct from each other. The antibody landscapes illustrate that cross-neutralizing antibodies against the whole antigenic space, as described in our maps, are generated only after three or more exposures to antigenically close variants but also after two exposures to antigenically distinct variants. Conclusions Here, we describe the antigenic space inhabited by the relevant SARS-CoV-2 variants, the understanding of which will have important implications for further vaccine strain adaptations.

4.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 391, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815611

ABSTRACT

Protease inhibitors are among the most powerful antiviral drugs. However, for SARS-CoV-2 only a small number of protease inhibitors have been identified thus far and there is still a great need for assays that efficiently report protease activity and inhibition in living cells. Here, we engineer a safe VSV-based system to report both gain- and loss-of-function of coronavirus main protease (Mpro/3CLpro/Nsp5) activity in living cells. We use SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in this system to confirm susceptibility to known inhibitors (boceprevir, GC376, PF-00835231, and PF-07321332/nirmatrelvir) and reevaluate other reported inhibitors (baicalein, ebselen, carmofur, ethacridine, ivermectin, masitinib, darunavir, and atazanavir). Moreover, we show that the system can be adapted to report both the function and the chemical inhibition of proteases from different coronavirus species as well as from distantly related viruses. Together with the fact that live cell assays also reflect compound permeability and toxicity, we anticipate that this system will be useful for both identification and optimization of additional coronavirus protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cysteine Endopeptidases , Humans , Indoles , Lactams , Leucine , Nitriles , Peptide Hydrolases , Proline , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrrolidinones , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1293-1307, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788441

ABSTRACT

N-chlorotaurine (NCT) a long-lived oxidant generated by leukocytes, can be synthesized chemically and applied topically as an anti-infective to different body sites, including the lung via inhalation. Here, we demonstrate the activity of NCT against viruses causing acute respiratory tract infections, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Virucidal activity of NCT was tested in plaque assays, confirmed by RT-qPCR assays. Attack on virus proteins was investigated by mass spectrometry. NCT revealed broad virucidal activity against all viruses tested at 37°C and pH 7. A significant reduction in infectious particles of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from early 2020 by 1 log10 was detected after 15 min of incubation in 1% NCT. Proteinaceous material simulating body fluids enhanced this activity by transchlorination mechanisms (1 -2 log10 reduction within 1-10 min). Tested SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (Alpha) und B.1.351 (Beta) showed a similar susceptibility. Influenza virus infectious particles were reduced by 3 log10 (H3N2) to 5 log10 (H1N1pdm), RSV by 4 log10 within a few min. Mass spectrometry of NCT-treated SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and 3C-like protease, influenza virus haemagglutinin and neuraminidase, and RSV fusion glycoprotein disclosed multiple sites of chlorination and oxidation as the molecular mechanism of action. Application of 1.0% NCT as a prophylactic and therapeutic strategy against acute viral respiratory tract infections deserves comprehensive clinical investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Taurine/analogs & derivatives
7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327347

ABSTRACT

Recently, the Omicron variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been described as immune escape variant. Here, we analyzed samples from BA.1 (Omicron) convalescent patients with different constellations of prior SARS-CoV-2 immunity regarding vaccination and previous infection with a non-Omicron variant and determined titers of neutralizing antibodies against different SARS-CoV-2 variants (D614G, Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Omicron). We found high neutralizing antibody titers against all variants for vaccinated individuals after BA.1 breakthrough infection or for individuals after infection with a pre-omicron variant followed by BA.1 infection. In contrast, samples from naive unvaccinated individuals after BA.1 infection mainly contained neutralizing antibodies against BA.1 but only occasionally against the other variants.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318555

ABSTRACT

We studied the real-life effect of an unprecedented rapid mass vaccination campaign. Following a large outbreak of B.1.351 and B.1.1.7/E484K in the district of Schwaz/Austria, 100,000 BNT162b2 doses were procured to mass vaccinate the entire adult population (16+) of the district between the 11th and 16th of March 2021. This made the district the first widely inoculated region in Europe. We examined the effect of this unique campaign on the number of infections including VoCs, hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. We compared Schwaz with (i) a control group of highly similar districts, and (ii) with populations residing in municipalities along the border of Schwaz which were just excluded from the campaign. We find large and significant decreases for all outcomes after the campaign, including VoCs cases. The reduction relative to the control regions was largest for younger age cohorts, which were mostly non-vaccinated in the rest of the country due to the age-gradient in the national vaccination plan. Our results demonstrate that rapid population-wide mass vaccination can be an effective tool to curb overall infections as well as VoCs.

9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 612, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671555

ABSTRACT

We study the real-life effect of an unprecedented rapid mass vaccination campaign. Following a large outbreak of the Beta variant in the district of Schwaz/Austria, 100,000 doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) were procured to mass vaccinate the entire adult population of the district between the 11th and 16th of March 2021. This made the district the first widely inoculated region in Europe. We examine the effect of this campaign on the number of infections, cases of variants of concern, hospital and ICU admissions. We compare Schwaz with (i) a control group of highly similar districts, and (ii) with populations residing in municipalities along the border of Schwaz which were just excluded from the campaign. We find large and significant decreases for all outcomes after the campaign. Our results suggest that rapid mass vaccination is an effective tool to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Mass Vaccination , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
11.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580420

ABSTRACT

Rapid molecular surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein variants leading to immune escape and/or increased infectivity is of utmost importance. Among global bottlenecks for variant monitoring in diagnostic settings are sequencing and bioinformatics capacities. In this study, we aimed to establish a rapid and user-friendly protocol for high-throughput S-gene sequencing and subsequent automated identification of variants. We designed two new primer pairs to amplify only the immunodominant part of the S-gene for nanopore sequencing. Furthermore, we developed an automated "S-Protein-Typer" tool that analyzes and reports S-protein mutations on the amino acid level including a variant of concern indicator. Validation of our primer panel using SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory specimens covering a broad Ct range showed successful amplification for 29/30 samples. Restriction to the region of interest freed sequencing capacity by a factor of 12-13, compared with whole-genome sequencing. Using either the MinION or Flongle flow cell, our sequencing strategy reduced the time required to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants accordingly. The S-Protein-Typer tool identified all mutations correctly when challenged with our sequenced samples and 50 deposited sequences covering all VOCs (December 2021). Our proposed S-protein variant screening offers a simple, more rapid, and low-cost entry into NGS-based SARS-CoV-2 analysis, compared with current whole-genome approaches.


Subject(s)
High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Nanopore Sequencing/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genotype , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
12.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 1(1): 4, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In early March 2020, a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the ski resort Ischgl in Austria initiated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 throughout Austria and Northern Europe. METHODS: Between April 21st and 27th 2020, a cross-sectional epidemiologic study targeting the full population of Ischgl (n = 1867), of which 79% could be included (n = 1473, incl. 214 children), was performed. For each individual, the study involved a SARS-CoV-2 PCR, antibody testing and structured questionnaires. A mathematical model was used to help understand the influence of the determined seroprevalence on virus transmission. RESULTS: The seroprevalence was 42.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 39.8-44.7). Individuals under 18 showed a significantly lower seroprevalence of 27.1% (95% CI 21.3-33.6) than adults (45%; 95% CI 42.2-47.7; OR of 0.455, 95% CI 0.356-0.682, p < 0.001). Of the seropositive individuals, 83.7% had not been diagnosed to have had SARS-CoV-2 infection previously. The clinical course was generally mild. Over the previous two months, two COVID-19-related deaths had been recorded, corresponding to an infection fatality rate of 0.25% (95% CI 0.03-0.91). Only 8 (0.5 %) individuals were newly diagnosed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 during this study. CONCLUSIONS: Ischgl was hit early and hard by SARS-CoV-2 leading to a high local seroprevalence of 42.4%, which was lower in individuals below the age of 18 than in adults. Mathematical modeling suggests that a drastic decline of newly infected individuals in Ischgl by the end of April occurred due to the dual impact from the non-pharmacological interventions and a high immunization of the Ischgl population.

13.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e194, 2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467027

ABSTRACT

Estimating the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection in communities is critical. We surveyed 2244 stratified random sample community members of the Gardena valley, a winter touristic area, amidst the first expansion phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. We measured agreement between Diasorin and Abbott serum bioassay outputs and the Abbott optimal discriminant threshold of serum neutralisation titres with recursive receiver operating characteristic curve. We analytically adjusted serum antibody tests for unbiased seroprevalence estimate and analysed the determinants of infection with non-response weighted multiple logistic regression. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 26.9% (95% CI 25.2-28.6) by June 2020. The bioassays had a modest agreement with each other. At a lower threshold than the manufacturer's recommended level, the Abbott assay reflected greater discrimination of serum neutralisation capacity. Seropositivity was associated with place and economic activity, not with sex or age. Symptoms like fever and weakness were age-dependent. SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies should account for context in high prevalence areas.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Neutralization Tests , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
14.
J Infect Dis ; 224(5): 764-770, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413436

ABSTRACT

The kinetics of immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity maturation during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection obtained from 217 participants of the Ischgl cohort, Austria, was studied 0.5-1.5 months (baseline) and 7-8 months (follow-up) after infection. The IgG avidity assay, using a modified IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and 5.5 M urea, revealed that old age does not diminish the increase in avidity, detected in all participants positive at both time points, from 18% to 42%. High avidity was associated with a marked residual neutralization capacity in 97.2.% of participants (211/217), which was even higher in the older age group, revealing an important role of avidity assays as easy and cheap surrogate tests for assessing the maturation of the immune system conveying potential protection against further SARS-CoV-2 infections without necessitating expensive and laborious neutralization assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Austria , Cohort Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
15.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 5: 100086, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of schools in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is much debated. We aimed to quantify reliably the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections at schools detected with reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-qPCR). METHODS: This nationwide prospective cohort study monitors a representative sample of pupils (grade 1-8) and teachers at Austrian schools throughout the school year 2020/2021. We repeatedly test participants for SARS-CoV-2 infection using a gargling solution and RT-qPCR. We herein report on the first two rounds of examinations. We used mixed-effects logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and robust 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). FINDINGS: We analysed data on 10,734 participants from 245 schools (9465 pupils, 1269 teachers). Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection increased from 0·39% at round 1 (95% CI 028-0·55%, 28 September-22 October 2020) to 1·39% at round 2 (95% CI 1·04-1·85%, 10-16 November). Odds ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection were 2·26 (95% CI 1·25-4·12, P = 0·007) in regions with >500 vs. ≤500 inhabitants/km2, 1·67 (95% CI 1·42-1·97, P<0·001) per two-fold higher regional 7-day community incidence, and 2·78 (95% CI 1·73-4·48, P<0·001) in pupils at schools with high/very high vs. low/moderate social deprivation. Associations of regional community incidence and social deprivation persisted in a multivariable adjusted model. Prevalence did not differ by average number of pupils per class nor between age groups, sexes, pupils vs. teachers, or primary (grade 1-4) vs. secondary schools (grade 5-8). INTERPRETATION: This monitoring study in Austrian schools revealed SARS-CoV-2 infection in 0·39%-1·39% of participants and identified associations of regional community incidence and social deprivation with higher prevalence. FUNDING: BMBWF Austria.

16.
Euro Surveill ; 26(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376683

ABSTRACT

This study evaluates the performance of the antigen-based anterior nasal screening programme implemented in all Austrian schools to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections. We combined nationwide antigen-based screening data obtained in March 2021 from 5,370 schools (Grade 1-8) with an RT-qPCR-based prospective cohort study comprising a representative sample of 244 schools. Considering a range of assumptions, only a subset of infected individuals are detected with the programme (low to moderate sensitivity) and non-infected individuals mainly tested negative (very high specificity).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Austria , Humans , Prospective Studies , Schools , Self-Testing
17.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103534, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356204

ABSTRACT

Background In early March 2020, a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the ski resort Ischgl in Austria triggered the spread of SARS-CoV-2 throughout Austria and Northern Europe. In a previous study, we found that the seroprevalence in the adult population of Ischgl had reached 45% by the end of April, representing an exceptionally high level of local seropositivity in Europe. We performed a follow-up study in Ischgl, which is the first to show persistence of immunity and protection against SARS-CoV-2 and some of its variants at a community level. Methods Of the 1259 adults that participated in the baseline study, 801 have been included in the follow-up in November 2020. The study involved the analysis of binding and neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses. In addition, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in Ischgl was compared to the incidence in similar municipalities in Tyrol until April 2021. Findings For the 801 individuals that participated in both studies, the seroprevalence declined from 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 47.9-54.9) to 45.4% (95% CI 42.0-49.0). Median antibody concentrations dropped considerably (5.345, 95% CI 4.833 - 6.123 to 2.298, 95% CI 2.141 - 2.527) but antibody avidity increased (17.02, 95% CI 16.49 - 17.94 to 42.46, 95% CI 41.06 - 46.26). Only one person had lost detectable antibodies and T cell responses. In parallel to this persistent immunity, we observed that Ischgl was relatively spared, compared to similar municipalities, from the prominent second COVID-19 wave that hit Austria in November 2020. In addition, we used sequencing data to show that the local immunity acquired from wild-type infections also helped to curb infections from variants of SARS-CoV-2 which spread in Austria since January 2021. Interpretation The relatively high level of seroprevalence (40-45%) in Ischgl persisted and might have been associated with the observed protection of Ischgl residents against virus infection during the second COVID-19 wave as well as against variant spread in 2021. Funding Funding was provided by the government of Tyrol and the FWF Austrian Science Fund.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Austria , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Europe , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Seroepidemiologic Studies
18.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259645

ABSTRACT

Serological assays that simultaneously detect antibodies to multiple targets of SARS-CoV-2 and to other structurally related coronaviruses provide a holistic picture of antibody response patterns. Well-validated multiplex immunoassays are scarce. Here, we evaluated the performance of an 11-plex serological assay capable of detecting antibodies directed to four antigenic targets of SARS-CoV-2 and to S1 proteins of other human pathogenic coronaviruses. We used 620 well-characterized sera (n = 458 seropositive and n = 110 seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 in the pre-SARS-CoV-2 era and n = 52 seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 in the era of SARS-CoV-2) as positive and negative standards. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, as well as positive and negative predictive values, including a 95% confidence interval. The difference in mean fluorescence intensity (95% CI) was used to assess a potential cross-reaction between antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and the other coronaviruses. The sensitivity (95% CI) of detecting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to four antigenic targets ranged from 83.4% (76.7-86.7) to 93.7% (91.0-95.7) and the specificity from 98.2% (93.6-99.8) to 100% (96.7-100). We observed no obvious cross-reaction between anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and antibodies to the other coronaviruses except for SARS-CoV-1. The high sensitivity and specificity warrant a reliable utilization of the assay in population-based seroprevalence surveys or vaccine efficacy studies.

19.
J Infect Dis ; 224(5): 764-770, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258782

ABSTRACT

The kinetics of immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity maturation during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection obtained from 217 participants of the Ischgl cohort, Austria, was studied 0.5-1.5 months (baseline) and 7-8 months (follow-up) after infection. The IgG avidity assay, using a modified IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and 5.5 M urea, revealed that old age does not diminish the increase in avidity, detected in all participants positive at both time points, from 18% to 42%. High avidity was associated with a marked residual neutralization capacity in 97.2.% of participants (211/217), which was even higher in the older age group, revealing an important role of avidity assays as easy and cheap surrogate tests for assessing the maturation of the immune system conveying potential protection against further SARS-CoV-2 infections without necessitating expensive and laborious neutralization assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Austria , Cohort Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4243, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091458

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic to severe with lingering symptomatology in some. This prompted investigation of whether or not asymptomatic disease results in measurable immune activation post-infection. Immune activation following asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was characterized through a comparative investigation of the immune cell transcriptomes from 43 asymptomatic seropositive and 52 highly exposed seronegative individuals from the same community 4-6 weeks following a superspreading event. Few of the 95 individuals had underlying health issues. One seropositive individual reported Cystic Fibrosis and one individual reported Incontinentia pigmenti. No evidence of immune activation was found in asymptomatic seropositive individuals with the exception of the Cystic Fibrosis patient. There were no statistically significant differences in immune transcriptomes between asymptomatic seropositive and highly exposed seronegative individuals. Four positive controls, mildly symptomatic seropositive individuals whose blood was examined 3 weeks following infection, showed immune activation. Negative controls were four seronegative individuals from neighboring communities without COVID-19. All individuals remained in their usual state of health through a five-month follow-up after sample collection. In summary, whole blood transcriptomes identified individual immune profiles within a community population and showed that asymptomatic infection within a super-spreading event was not associated with enduring immunological activation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Asymptomatic Infections , Austria , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Seq/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
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