Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 23
Filter
1.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):120, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880030

ABSTRACT

Background: T cells have been shown to play a role in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Identification of T cell epitopes and a better understanding of the T cell repertoire will provide important insights into how T cells impact antiviral immunity. Here, we identified T cell epitopes within the Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N) and Membrane (M) proteins from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent individuals and performed TCR sequencing on epitope-specific T cells. Methods: Epitope mapping was performed by IFNγ ELISpot on PBMC from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patients with mild/moderate disease (n = 19 for S;n=15 for N and M), and minimum epitopes were determined using truncated peptides and ICS. TCR sequence analysis was performed on a subset of individuals (n=9 donors;2-3 epitopes/donor), with longitudinal samples for 7 donors (2-3 time points/donor;33 to 236 days post-symptom onset). T cells were stimulated with individual peptides for 6 hours and sorted based on the expression of activation markers (CD4+: CD69, CD40L;CD8+: CD69, CD107a, surface TNF). scRNAseq was performed on sorted cells for TCR repertoire and transcriptome analysis. Results: We identified several peptides recognized by multiple individuals, including S42 (amino acids 165-179;7/19 donors), S302 (a.a. 1205-1219;6/19 donors), N27 (a.a. 106-120;6/14 donors) and M45 (a.a. 177-191;10/14 donors). S42 elicited both CD4+ (n=5) and CD8+ (n=1) T cell responses, with one individual having both a CD4+ and CD8+ response. The minimum epitope for S42 was determined to be a 9mer (FEYVSQPFL) for both CD4+ and CD8+ cells. TCR sequencing of S42-specific T cells identified a dominant gene pairing for TCRα across multiple donors (TRAV35;TRAJ42) and for both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (Figure 1). In general, epitope-specific CD4+ responses (S42, M45) were more clonally diverse than CD8+ responses (S42, S302, N27). For both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, conserved TCR gene usage and gene pairings could be identified within multiple donors responding to the same epitope. Conclusion: These data suggest that in SARS-CoV-2 convalescent people, epitope-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells can differ in their clonal diversity and that related TCRs can be identified across multiple donors. S42-specific T cell studies are ongoing to determine their transcriptional profile and pMHC presentation. Ongoing longitudinal analysis will provide a better understanding of different epitope-specific TCR repertoires and T cell transcriptional profiles, and how they evolve after infection.

2.
Monoclon Antib Immunodiagn Immunother ; 41(3): 163-169, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878746

ABSTRACT

Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus) and golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) are important animal models of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, which affect several organs, including respiratory tract, lung, and kidney. Podoplanin (PDPN) is a marker of lung type I alveolar cells, kidney podocytes, and lymphatic endothelial cells. The development of anti-PDPN monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for these animals is essential to evaluate the pathogenesis by SARS-CoV-2 infections. Using the Cell-Based Immunization and Screening method, we previously developed an anti-Chinese hamster PDPN (ChamPDPN) mAb, PMab-281 (mouse IgG3, kappa), and further changed its subclass into IgG2a (281-mG2a-f), both of which can recognize not only ChamPDPN but also golden hamster PDPN (GhamPDPN) by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. In this study, we examined the critical epitope of 281-mG2a-f, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with synthesized peptides. First, we performed ELISA with peptides derived from ChamPDPN and GhamPDPN extracellular domain, and found that 281-mG2a-f reacted with the peptides, which commonly possess the KIPFEELxT sequence. Next, we analyzed the reaction with the alanine-substituted mutants, and revealed that 281-mG2a-f did not recognize the alanine-substituted peptides of I75A, F77A, and E79A of ChamPDPN. Furthermore, these peptides could not inhibit the recognition of 281-mG2a-f to ChamPDPN-expressing cells by flow cytometry. The results indicate that the binding epitope of 281-mG2a-f includes Ile75, Phe77, and Glu79 of ChamPDPN, which are shared with GhamPDPN.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells , Alanine , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibody Specificity , CHO Cells , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Epitope Mapping/methods , Epitopes , Immunoglobulin G , Membrane Glycoproteins , Mesocricetus , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors
3.
Embase; 2022.
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-334805

ABSTRACT

Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 has rapidly surged globally, accounting for over 60% of recent SARS-CoV-2 infections. Newly acquired RBD mutations and high transmission advantage over BA.1 urge the investigation of BA.2's immune evasion capability. Here, we show that BA.2 causes strong neutralization resistance, comparable to BA.1, in vaccinated individuals' plasma. However, BA.2 displays more severe antibody evasion in BA.1 convalescents, and most prominently, in vaccinated SARS convalescents' plasma, suggesting a substantial antigenicity difference between BA.2 and BA.1. To specify, we determined the escaping mutation profiles1,2 of 714 SARS-CoV-2 RBD neutralizing antibodies, including 241 broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies isolated from SARS convalescents, and measured their neutralization efficacy against BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2. Importantly, BA.2 specifically induces large-scale escape of BA.1/BA.1.1effective broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies via novel mutations T376A, D405N, and R408S. These sites were highly conserved across sarbecoviruses, suggesting that Omicron BA.2 arose from immune pressure selection instead of zoonotic spillover. Moreover, BA.2 reduces the efficacy of S309 (Sotrovimab)3,4 and broad sarbecovirus neutralizing antibodies targeting the similar epitope region, including BD55-5840. Structural comparisons of BD55-5840 in complexes with BA.1 and BA.2 spike suggest that BA.2 could hinder antibody binding through S371F-induced N343-glycan displacement. Intriguingly, the absence of G446S mutation in BA.2 enabled a proportion of 440-449 linear epitope targeting antibodies to retain neutralizing efficacy, including COV2-2130 (Cilgavimab)5. Together, we showed that BA.2 exhibits distinct antigenicity compared to BA.1 and provided a comprehensive profile of SARS-CoV-2 antibody escaping mutations. Our study offers critical insights into the humoral immune evading mechanism of current and future variants.

4.
Rev Med Virol ; : e2347, 2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1782689

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This disease has currently affected more than 346 million people and resulted in more than 5.5 million deaths in many countries. Neutralising monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the SARS-CoV-2 virus could serve as prophylactic/therapeutic agents in COVID-19 infection by providing passive protection against the virus in individuals. Until now, no Food and Drug Administration/European Medicines Agency-approved neutralising MAb against SARS-CoV-2 virus exists in the market, though a number of MAbs have been authorised for emergency use. Therefore, there is an urgent need for development of efficient anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralising MAbs for use in the clinic. Moreover, neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 MAbs could be used as beneficial tools for designing epitope-based vaccines against the virus. Given that the target epitope of a MAb is a crucial feature influencing its neutralising potency, target epitopes of neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 MAbs already reported in the literature and reactivity of these MAbs with SARS-CoV-2 variants are reviewed herein.

5.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765948

ABSTRACT

The toxicity of mRNA-lipid nanoparticle (LNP) vaccines depends on the total mRNA-LNP dose. We established that the maximum tolerated dose of our trivalent mRNA-LNP genital herpes vaccine was 10 µg/immunization in mice. We then evaluated one of the mRNAs, gD2 mRNA-LNP, to determine how much of the 10 µg total dose to assign to this immunogen. We immunized mice with 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, or 10 µg of gD2 mRNA-LNP and measured serum IgG ELISA, neutralizing antibodies, and antibodies to six crucial gD2 epitopes involved in virus entry and spread. Antibodies to crucial gD2 epitopes peaked at 1 µg, while ELISA and neutralizing titers continued to increase at higher doses. The epitope results suggested no immunologic benefit above 1 µg of gD2 mRNA-LNP, while ELISA and neutralizing titers indicated higher doses may be useful. We challenged the gD2 mRNA-immunized mice intravaginally with HSV-2. The 1-µg dose provided total protection, confirming the epitope studies, and supported assigning less than one-third of the trivalent vaccine maximum dose of 10 µg to gD2 mRNA-LNP. Epitope mapping as performed in mice can also be accomplished in phase 1 human trials to help select the optimum dose of each immunogen in a multivalent vaccine.


Subject(s)
Herpes Genitalis , Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Herpes Genitalis/prevention & control , Herpesvirus 2, Human/genetics , Liposomes , Mice , Nanoparticles , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
6.
Protein Eng Des Sel ; 352022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692166

ABSTRACT

Quantification of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response has proven to be a prominent diagnostic tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. Antibody measurements have aided in the determination of humoral protection following infection or vaccination and will likely be essential for predicting the prevalence of population level immunity over the next several years. Despite widespread use, current tests remain limited in part, because antibody capture is accomplished through the use of complete spike and nucleocapsid proteins that contain significant regions of overlap with common circulating coronaviruses. To address this limitation, a unique epitope display platform utilizing monovalent display and protease-driven capture of peptide epitopes was used to select high affinity peptides. A single round of selection using this strategy with COVID-19 positive patient plasma samples revealed surprising differences and specific patterns in the antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 proteins, especially the spike protein. Putative epitopes were assayed for specificity with convalescent and control samples, and the individual binding kinetics of peptides were also determined. A subset of prioritized peptides was used to develop an antibody diagnostic assay that showed low cross reactivity while detecting 37% more positive antibody cases than a gold standard FDA EUA test. Finally, a subset of peptides were compared with serum neutralization activity to establish a 2 peptide assay that strongly correlates with neutralization. Together, these data demonstrate a novel phage display method that is capable of comprehensively and rapidly mapping patient viral antibody responses and selecting high affinity public epitopes for the diagnosis of humoral immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Humans , Pandemics , Peptides , Serologic Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674871

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 surface spike protein mediates the viral entry into the host cell and represents the primary immunological target of COVID-19 vaccines as well as post-exposure immunotherapy. Establishment of the highly immunogenic B-cell epitope profile of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in general, and that of the spike protein in particular, may contribute to the development of sensitive diagnostic tools and identification of vaccine` candidate targets. In the current study, the anti-viral antibody response in transgenic K18-hACE-2 mice was examined by implementing an immunodominant epitope mapping approach of the SARS-CoV-2 spike. Serum samples for probing an epitope array covering the entire spike protein were collected from mice following infection with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain as well as the B.1.1.7 Alpha and B.1.351 Beta genetic variants of concern. The analysis resulted in distinction of six linear epitopes common to the humoral response against all virus variants inspected at a frequency of more than 20% of the serum samples. Finally, the universality of the response was probed by cross-protective in vitro experiments using plaque-reducing neutralization tests. The data presented here has important implications for prediction of the efficacy of immune countermeasures against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

8.
Oncology Research and Treatment ; 44(SUPPL 2):288, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1623610

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the world, leading to a global effort to develop vaccines and treatments. Despite extensive progress, there remains a need for treatments to bolster the immune responses in infected immunocompromised individuals, such as patients after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Immunological protection against COVID-19 is mediated by both shortlived neutralising antibodies and long-lasting virus-reactive T cells. Therefore, we propose that T cell therapy may augment efficacy of current treatments. For the greatest efficacy with minimal adverse effects, it is important that any cellular therapy is designed to be as specific and directed as possible. Methods: Activation of CD4+ T cells from 18 COVID-19 patients was determined by flow cytometry, both ex vivo and after in vitro restimulation with SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Nucleocapsid antigens. Immunodominant, 15-mer peptides were identified using epitope mapping. T cells clones specific for these epitopes were further chararacterised for the sensitivity and polarisation of their cytokine responses after in vitro restimulation, by ELISA and cytometric assay. Next-generation sequencing revealed fulllength, paired T Cell Receptor (TCR) αβ sequences. Results: We identified three patients with strong CD4+ T cells to SARSCoV- 2 antigens. From these patients, 81 T cell clones specific for a selection of 9 immunodominant epitopes (7 Spike and 2 Nucleocapsid epitopes) were generated. Cytokine analysis showed that the sensitivity and polarisation of T cell responses varied depending on the specific epitope. Moreover, TCRαβ sequences revealed an epitope-dependent difference in the level of clonality. Conclusions: We provide detailed information on SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells, including their antigen-specificity, the nature of their cytokine responses and the full sequence of their TCRαβ. These cells have the potential to direct an effective immune response in COVID-19 patients. Our results form a crucial first step towards T cell therapy. Efforts are underway to develop transgenic CD4+ T cells that express the SARS-CoV- 2-specific TCRs identified.

9.
Res Vet Sci ; 143: 81-87, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586571

ABSTRACT

Since the initial emergence in December 2019, the novel Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported in over 200 countries, representing an unprecedented challenge related to disease control worldwide. In this context, cases of human to animal transmission have been reported, raising concern about the potential role of companion animals in the pandemic and stressing the need for reliable animal testing. In the study, a detailed epitope mapping of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein, using both human and pet sera, allowed the identification of the most antigenic region in the C-terminus domain of the protein, which was used to develop an experimental double antigen-based ELISA. A panel of pre-pandemic sera and sera of animals immunized against (or naturally infected with) related coronaviruses was used to assess assay specificity at 99.5%. Positive sera belonging to animals housed with COVID-19 patients were confirmed with the experimental double-antigen ELISA using Plaque Reduction Neutralization test (PRNT) test as gold standard. The availability of a serological assay that targets a highly specific viral antigen represents a valuable tool for multispecies monitoring of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in susceptible animals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Dog Diseases , Epitope Mapping , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs , Epitope Mapping/veterinary , Humans , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Cell Stress Chaperones ; 27(1): 37-43, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509338

ABSTRACT

The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is known to have protective effects not only against tuberculosis but also against other unrelated infectious diseases caused by different pathogens. Several epidemiological studies have also documented the beneficial influence of BCG vaccine in reducing both susceptibility to and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The protective, non-specific effects of BCG vaccination would be related to an antigen-independent enhancement of the innate immunity, termed trained immunity. However, the knowledge that heat shock protein (HSP)65 is the main antigen of Mycobacterium bovis BCG prompted us to verify whether sequence similarity existed between HSP65 and SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nuclear (N) proteins that could support an antigen-driven immune protection of BCG vaccine. The results of the in silico investigation showed an extensive sequence similarity of HSP65 with both the viral proteins, especially SARS-CoV-2 S, that also involved the regions comprising immunodominant epitopes. The finding that the predicted B cell and CD4+ T cell epitopes of HSP65 shared strong similarity with the predicted B and T cell epitopes of both SARS-CoV-2 S and N would support the possibility of a cross-immune reaction of HSP65 of BCG with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Heat-Shock Proteins/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Mycobacterium bovis/virology , BCG Vaccine/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Mycobacterium bovis/immunology , Nuclear Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
11.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502369

ABSTRACT

During the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dissemination of Mucorales has been reported globally, with elevated rates of infection in India, and because of the high rate of mortality and morbidity, designing an effective vaccine against mucormycosis is a major health priority, especially for immunocompromised patients. In the current study, we studied shared Mucorales proteins, which have been reported as virulence factors, and after analysis of several virulent proteins for their antigenicity and subcellular localization, we selected spore coat (CotH) and serine protease (SP) proteins as the targets of epitope mapping. The current study proposes a vaccine constructed based on top-ranking cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL), helper T lymphocyte (HTL), and B cell lymphocyte (BCL) epitopes from filtered proteins. In addition to the selected epitopes, ß-defensins adjuvant and PADRE peptide were included in the constructed vaccine to improve the stimulated immune response. Computational tools were used to estimate the physicochemical and immunological features of the proposed vaccine and validate its binding with TLR-2, where the output data of these assessments potentiate the probability of the constructed vaccine to stimulate a specific immune response against mucormycosis. Here, we demonstrate the approach of potential vaccine construction and assessment through computational tools, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of a proposed vaccine against mucormycosis based on the immunoinformatics approach.


Subject(s)
Fungal Vaccines/chemistry , Fungal Vaccines/immunology , Mucormycosis/prevention & control , Rhizopus/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antigens, Fungal/immunology , Computational Biology , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mucorales/immunology , Protein Conformation , Toll-Like Receptor 2/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
12.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0129821, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476403

ABSTRACT

Wide-scale assessment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific antibodies is critical to understanding population seroprevalence, correlates of protection, and the longevity of vaccine-elicited responses. Most SARS-CoV-2 studies characterize antibody responses in plasma/sera. While reliable and broadly used, these samples pose several logistical restrictions, such as requiring venipuncture for collection and a cold chain for transportation and storage. Dried blood spots (DBS) overcome these barriers as they can be self-collected by fingerstick and mailed and stored at ambient temperature. Here, we evaluate the suitability of DBS for SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays by comparing several antibody responses between paired plasma and DBS from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent and vaccinated individuals. We found that DBS not only reflected plasma antibody binding by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and epitope profiles using phage display, but also yielded SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers that highly correlated with paired plasma. Neutralization measurement was further streamlined by adapting assays to a high-throughput 384-well format. This study supports the adoption of DBS for numerous SARS-CoV-2 binding and neutralization assays. IMPORTANCE Plasma and sera isolated from venous blood represent conventional sample types used for the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses after infection or vaccination. However, collection of these samples is invasive and requires trained personnel and equipment for immediate processing. Once collected, plasma and sera must be stored and shipped at cold temperatures. To define the risk of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and the longevity of immune responses to natural infection and vaccination, it will be necessary to measure various antibody features in populations around the world, including in resource-limited areas. A sampling method that is compatible with these settings and is suitable for a variety of SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays is therefore needed to continue to understand and curb the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitope Mapping/methods , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 679841, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369665

ABSTRACT

Understanding the course of the antibody response directed to individual epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 proteins is crucial for serological assays and establishment of vaccines. Twenty-one synthetic peptides were synthesized that have ten amino acids overlap and cover the complete membrane (M) protein. Plasma samples from 32 patients having acute disease and 30 patients from the convalescent phase were studied. Only peptide M01 (aa 1-20) and to a lesser extent peptide M21 (aa 201-222) showed specific reactivity as compared to historical control plasma samples. Peptide M01 was recognized by IgM- (71.9%) and IgG-specific antibodies (43.8%) during the acute phase as early as day 8 PIO. In a longitudinal analysis, a higher reactivity was observed for the IgM response directed to peptide M01 following day 20 PIO as compared to earlier time points of the acute phase. In the convalescent phase, antibody reactivity to the two M-specific peptides was significantly lower (<30% seropositivity). A fusion protein encoding major parts of RBD also showed higher rates of recognition during acute (50.0%) and lower rates in the convalescent phase (23.3%). Taken together, our results suggest that during the acute phase of COVID-19 antibodies are raised to two linear epitopes of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein, located at the very N- and C-termini, showing almost similar levels of reactivity as immunodominant linear epitopes derived from the spike and nucleocapsid protein. Anti-M is also present in the convalescent phase of COVID-19 patients, however at lower levels, with the N-terminus of the M protein as a preferred target.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Peptide Fragments/immunology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics
14.
Virus Res ; 304: 198508, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331289

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a serious threat to public health. An explicit investigation of COVID-19 immune responses, particularly the host immunity in recovered subjects, will lay a foundation for the rational design of therapeutics and/or vaccines against future coronaviral outbreaks. Here, we examined virus-specific T cell responses and identified T cell epitopes using peptides spanning SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins. These peptides were used to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) derived from COVID-19-recovered subjects, followed by an analysis of IFN-γ-secreting T cells by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot). We also evaluated virus-specific CD4 or CD8 T cell activation by flow cytometry assay. By screening 52 matrix pools (comprised of 315 peptides) of the spike (S) glycoprotein and 21 matrix pools (comprised of 102 peptides) spanning the nucleocapsid (N) protein, we identified 28 peptides from S protein and 5 peptides from N protein as immunodominant epitopes. The immunogenicity of these epitopes was confirmed by a second ELISpot using single peptide stimulation in memory T cells, and they were mapped by HLA restrictions. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses positively correlated with B cell IgG and neutralizing antibody responses to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S protein. Our results demonstrate that defined levels of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses are generated in some, but not all, COVID-19-recovered subjects, fostering hope for the protection of a proportion of COVID-19-exposed individuals against reinfection. These results also suggest that these virus-specific T cell responses may induce protective immunity in unexposed individuals upon vaccination, using vaccines generated based on the immune epitopes identified in this study. However, SARS-CoV-2 S and N peptides are not potently immunogenic, and none of the single peptides could universally induce robust T cell responses, suggesting the necessity of using a multi-epitope strategy for COVID-19 vaccine design.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 691715, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278397

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SAR-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) that is responsible for short and long-term disease, as well as death, in susceptible hosts. The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein binds to cell surface angiotensin converting enzyme type-II (ACE2) to initiate viral attachment and ultimately viral pathogenesis. The SARS-CoV-2 S RBD is a major target of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that block RBD - ACE2 interactions. In this report, NAb-RBD binding epitopes in the protein databank were classified as C1, C1D, C2, C3, or C4, using a RBD binding profile (BP), based on NAb-specific RBD buried surface area and used to predict the binding epitopes of a series of uncharacterized NAbs. Naturally occurring SARS-CoV-2 RBD sequence variation was also quantified to predict NAb binding sensitivities to the RBD-variants. NAb and ACE2 binding studies confirmed the NAb classifications and determined whether the RBD variants enhanced ACE2 binding to promote viral infectivity, and/or disrupted NAb binding to evade the host immune response. Of 9 single RBD mutants evaluated, K417T, E484K, and N501Y disrupted binding of 65% of the NAbs evaluated, consistent with the assignment of the SARS-CoV-2 P.1 Japan/Brazil strain as a variant of concern (VoC). RBD variants E484K and N501Y exhibited ACE2 binding equivalent to a Wuhan-1 reference SARS-CoV-2 RBD. While slightly less disruptive to NAb binding, L452R enhanced ACE2 binding affinity. Thus, the L452R mutant, associated with the SARS-CoV-2 California VoC (B.1.427/B.1.429-California), has evolved to enhance ACE2 binding, while simultaneously disrupting C1 and C2 NAb classes. The analysis also identified a non-overlapping antibody pair (1213H7 and 1215D1) that bound to all SARS-CoV-2 RBD variants evaluated, representing an excellent therapeutic option for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 WT and VoC strains.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Binding Sites, Antibody , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Humans , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
Cell ; 184(11): 2927-2938.e11, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213071

ABSTRACT

Defining long-term protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is one of the most pressing questions of our time and will require a detailed understanding of potential ways this virus can evolve to escape immune protection. Immune protection will most likely be mediated by antibodies that bind to the viral entry protein, spike (S). Here, we used Phage-DMS, an approach that comprehensively interrogates the effect of all possible mutations on binding to a protein of interest, to define the profile of antibody escape to the SARS-CoV-2 S protein using coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent plasma. Antibody binding was common in two regions, the fusion peptide and the linker region upstream of the heptad repeat region 2. However, escape mutations were variable within these immunodominant regions. There was also individual variation in less commonly targeted epitopes. This study provides a granular view of potential antibody escape pathways and suggests there will be individual variation in antibody-mediated virus evolution.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Algorithms , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Gene Library , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Software , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
mSphere ; 6(2)2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207481

ABSTRACT

Effective methods for predicting COVID-19 disease trajectories are urgently needed. Here, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and coronavirus antigen microarray (COVAM) analysis mapped antibody epitopes in the plasma of COVID-19 patients (n = 86) experiencing a wide range of disease states. The experiments identified antibodies to a 21-residue epitope from nucleocapsid (termed Ep9) associated with severe disease, including admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), requirement for ventilators, or death. Importantly, anti-Ep9 antibodies can be detected within 6 days post-symptom onset and sometimes within 1 day. Furthermore, anti-Ep9 antibodies correlate with various comorbidities and hallmarks of immune hyperactivity. We introduce a simple-to-calculate, disease risk factor score to quantitate each patient's comorbidities and age. For patients with anti-Ep9 antibodies, scores above 3.0 predict more severe disease outcomes with a 13.42 likelihood ratio (96.7% specificity). The results lay the groundwork for a new type of COVID-19 prognostic to allow early identification and triage of high-risk patients. Such information could guide more effective therapeutic intervention.IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over two million deaths worldwide. Despite efforts to fight the virus, the disease continues to overwhelm hospitals with severely ill patients. Diagnosis of COVID-19 is readily accomplished through a multitude of reliable testing platforms; however, prognostic prediction remains elusive. To this end, we identified a short epitope from the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and also a disease risk factor score based upon comorbidities and age. The presence of antibodies specifically binding to this epitope plus a score cutoff can predict severe COVID-19 outcomes with 96.7% specificity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/blood , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Prognosis , Risk Factors
18.
Infect Genet Evol ; 89: 104712, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196742

ABSTRACT

An immunoinformatics-based approach was used to identify potential multivalent subunit CTL vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2. Criteria for computational screening included antigen processing, antigenicity, allergenicity, and toxicity. A total of 2604 epitopes were found to be strong binders to MHC class I molecules when analyzed using IEDB tools. Further testing for antigen processing yielded 826 peptides of which 451 were 9-mers that were analyzed for potential antigenicity. Antigenic properties were predicted for 102 of the 451 peptides. Further assessment for potential allergenicity and toxicity narrowed the number of candidate CTL epitopes to 50 peptide sequences, 45 of which were present in all strains of SARS-CoV-2 that were tested. The predicted CTL epitopes were then tested to eliminate those with MHC class II binding potential, a property that could induce hyperinflammatory responses mediated by TH2 cells in immunized hosts. Eighteen of the 50 epitopes did not show class II binding potential. To our knowledge this is the first comprehensive analysis on the proteome of SARS-CoV-2 for prediction of CTL epitopes lacking binding properties that could stimulate unwanted TH2 responses. Future studies will be needed to assess these epitopes as multivalent subunit vaccine candidates which stimulate protective CTL responses against SARS-COV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Vaccines, Combined/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Proteomics/methods , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(5)2021 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129735

ABSTRACT

We observed substantial differences in predicted Major Histocompatibility Complex II (MHCII) epitope presentation of SARS-CoV-2 proteins for different populations but only minor differences in predicted MHCI epitope presentation. A comparison of this predicted epitope MHC-coverage revealed for the early phase of infection spread (till day 15 after reaching 128 observed infection cases) highly significant negative correlations with the case fatality rate. Specifically, this was observed in different populations for MHC class II presentation of the viral spike protein (p-value: 0.0733 for linear regression), the envelope protein (p-value: 0.023), and the membrane protein (p-value: 0.00053), indicating that the high case fatality rates of COVID-19 observed in some countries seem to be related with poor MHC class II presentation and hence weak adaptive immune response against these viral envelope proteins. Our results highlight the general importance of the SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in immunological control in early infection spread looking at a global census in various countries and taking case fatality rate into account. Other factors such as health system and control measures become more important after the early spread. Our study should encourage further studies on MHCII alleles as potential risk factors in COVID-19 including assessment of local populations and specific allele distributions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Structural Proteins/chemistry , Adaptive Immunity , Alleles , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Computational Biology/methods , Correlation of Data , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Humans , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Structural Proteins/immunology
20.
Mol Cell Proteomics ; 20: 100059, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087559

ABSTRACT

Antibodies play essential roles in both diagnostics and therapeutics. Epitope mapping is essential to understand how an antibody works and to protect intellectual property. Given the millions of antibodies for which epitope information is lacking, there is a need for high-throughput epitope mapping. To address this, we developed a strategy, Antibody binding epitope Mapping (AbMap), by combining a phage displayed peptide library with next-generation sequencing. Using AbMap, profiles of the peptides bound by 202 antibodies were determined in a single test, and linear epitopes were identified for >50% of the antibodies. Using spike protein (S1 and S2)-enriched antibodies from the convalescent serum of one COVID-19 patient as the input, both linear and potentially conformational epitopes of spike protein specific antibodies were identified. We defined peptide-binding profile of an antibody as the binding capacity (BiC). Conceptually, the BiC could serve as a systematic and functional descriptor of any antibody. Requiring at least one order of magnitude less time and money to map linear epitopes than traditional technologies, AbMap allows for high-throughput epitope mapping and creates many possibilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitope Mapping/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/metabolism , Escherichia coli Proteins/immunology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immune Sera/blood , Immune Sera/immunology , Peptide Library
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL