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2.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0011822, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992935

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has mutated frequently since its first emergence in 2019. Numerous variants, including the currently emerging Omicron variant, have demonstrated high transmissibility or increased disease severity, posing serious threats to global public health. This study describes the identification of an immunodominant non-neutralizing epitope on SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). A subunit vaccine against this mutant RBD, constructed by masking this epitope with a glycan probe, did not significantly affect RBD's receptor-binding affinity or antibody-binding affinity, or its ability to induce antibody production. However, this vaccine enhanced the neutralizing activity of this RBD and its protective efficacy in immunized mice. Specifically, this vaccine elicited significantly higher-titer neutralizing antibodies than the prototypic RBD protein against Alpha (B.1.1.7 lineage), Beta (B.1.351 lineage), Gamma (P.1 lineage), and Epsilon (B.1.427 or B.1.429 lineage) variant pseudoviruses containing single or combined mutations in the spike (S) protein, albeit the neutralizing antibody titers against some variants were slightly lower than against original SARS-CoV-2. This vaccine also significantly improved the neutralizing activity of the prototypic RBD against pseudotyped and authentic Delta (B.1.617.2 lineage) and Omicron (B.1.1.529 lineage) variants, although the neutralizing antibody titers were lower than against original SARS-CoV-2. In contrast to the prototypic RBD, the mutant RBD completely protected human ACE2 (hACE2)-transgenic mice from lethal challenge with a prototype SARS-CoV-2 strain and a Delta variant without weight loss. Overall, these findings indicate that this RBD vaccine has broad-spectrum activity against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as the potential to be effective and have improved efficacy against Omicron and other pandemic variants. IMPORTANCE Several SARS-CoV-2 variants have shown increased transmissibility, calling for a need to develop effective vaccines with broadly neutralizing activity against multiple variants. This study identified a non-neutralizing epitope on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and further shielded it with a glycan probe. A subunit vaccine based on this mutant RBD significantly enhanced the ability of prototypic RBD against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta and Omicron strains, although the neutralizing antibody titers against some of these variants were lower than those against original SARS-CoV-2. This mutant vaccine also enhanced the protective efficacy of the prototypic RBD vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunized animals. In conclusion, this study identified an engineered RBD vaccine against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants that induced stronger neutralizing antibodies and protection than the original RBD vaccine. It also highlights the need to improve the effectiveness of current COVID-19 vaccines to prevent pandemic SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes , Glycosylation , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
3.
Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis ; 14(1): e2022050, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1988182

ABSTRACT

Background and Objective: In patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and at high risk of progression, casirivimab/imdevimab and bamlanivimab/etesivimab were utilized in Umbria from late April to November 2021. This period was characterized by an initial prevalence of alpha (B1.1.1.7) and its progressive substitution with the delta variant (B1.617.2). Many delta infections occurred in patients already recently vaccinated.Our study aimed to observe the clinical outcome of patients treated with mAbs associations in a subgroup in which viral isolation was obtained, the pre and post-infusion neutralizing antibody activity against their viral isolate. Methods: In this retrospective observational study, the clinical outcome before and 30 days after infusion, the baseline neutralizing activity of sera against their viral isolate, and the titers of neutralizing antibodies (NAbTs) one-hour post-infusion relative to the type of mAbs associations were evaluated. Results: Better efficacy of the mAbs combinations relative to monotherapy regarding global hospitalization (p = 0.021) and 30 days symptoms (p<0.001) were seen. Infections after vaccination mostly occurred in the absence of neutralizing antibody titers (NAbT). SARS-CoV-2 delta variants were isolated within 2-4 months from vaccinations without NAbTs, or in the presence of high specific neutralizing activity after 5-6 months. NAbTs were higher after casirivimab/imdevimab infusion (p=0.001). Conclusions: Alpha infections occurred prevalently in unvaccinated patients or after 5-6 months, while delta infections prevailed in vaccinated ones. A poor neutralizing activity in most of these patients was seen. A higher NAbT after infusion of casirivimab/imdevimab was observed.

4.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 948014, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963409

ABSTRACT

With the emergence and rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Delta and Omicron variants, escaping vaccine-induced immunity is a concern. Three vaccination schedules, homologous or heterologous, have been initially applied due to an insufficient supply of vaccines in Korea. We investigated neutralizing activities against Omicron and Delta variants in each schedule. Three schedules using three doses of the BNT162b2 (BNT) or the ChAdOx1 (ChAd) vaccines include ChAd-ChAd-BNT, ChAd-BNT-BNT, and BNT-BNT-BNT. Neutralizing activities were evaluated using plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT) against wild type (WT) SARS-CoV-2, Delta variant, and Omicron variant. A total of 170 sera from 75 participants were tested, and the baseline characteristics of participants were not significantly different between groups. After the 2nd vaccine dose, geometric mean titers of PRNT ND50 against WT, Delta, and Omicron were highest after ChAd-BNT vaccination (2,463, 1,097, and 107) followed by BNT-BNT (2,364, 674, and 38) and ChAd-ChAd (449, 163, and 25). After the 3rd dose of BNT, the increase of PRNT ND50 against WT, Delta, and Omicron was most robust in ChAd-ChAd-BNT (4,632, 988, and 260), while the BNT-BNT-BNT group showed the most augmented neutralizing activity against Delta and Omicron variants (2,315 and 628). ChAd-BNT-BNT showed a slight increase of PRNT ND50 against WT, Delta, and Omicron (2,757, 1,279, and 230) compared to the 2nd dose. The results suggest that a 3rd BNT booster dose induced strengthened neutralizing activity against Delta and Omicron variants. The waning of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies after the 3rd dose and the need for additional boosting should be further investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
5.
J Biol Rhythms ; 37(5): 562-566, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902252

ABSTRACT

To examine whether immunization time affects the immune responses elicited by the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine, we investigated the possible association between total SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (TAbs-RBD) and neutralizing (NAbs-RBD) antibodies with vaccination time. A cohort of 468 healthcare workers (mean age [±SD]: 48 [±13] years), were included in the study. One month after the second dose, healthcare workers who were vaccinated between 1500-2200 h had higher TAbs-RBD compared to 0700-1100 h and 1100-1500 h (p = 0.006). One month after the third dose, healthcare workers who were vaccinated between 0700-1100 h and 1500-2200 h had significantly higher TAbs-RBD compared to 1100-1500 h (p = 0.034). However, no association of NAbs-RBD with vaccination time was detected after each of the 3 doses (p > 0.4). Despite the possible effect of BNT162b2 vaccination time in TAbs-RBD levels, possibly due to rhythmic expression of clock genes, neutralizing activity was not associated with vaccination time and, therefore, further investigation is required.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Circadian Rhythm , Adult , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
6.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884384

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Our aim is the evaluation of the neutralizing activity of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine-induced antibodies in different in vitro cellular models, as this still represents one of the surrogates of protection against SARS-CoV-2 viral variants. (2) Methods: The entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 in three cell lines (Vero E6, Vero E6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3) were evaluated with both pseudoviruses and whole virus particles. The neutralizing capability of sera collected from vaccinated subjects was characterized through cytopathic effects and Real-Time RT PCR. (3) Results: In contrast to Vero E6 and Vero E6/TMPRSS2, Calu-3 allowed the evaluation of both viral entry mechanisms, resembling what occurs during natural infection. The choice of an appropriate cellular model can decisively influence the determination of the neutralizing activity of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Indeed, the lack of correlation between neutralizing data in Calu-3 and Vero E6 demonstrated that testing the antibody inhibitory activity by using a single cell model possibly results in an inaccurate characterization. (4) Conclusions: Cellular systems allowing only one of the two viral entry pathways may not fully reflect the neutralizing activity of vaccine-induced antibodies moving increasingly further away from possible correlates of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Vaccines, Synthetic , Vero Cells , mRNA Vaccines
7.
J Clin Lab Anal ; 36(7): e24545, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1881421

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a global pandemic even after vaccination. We aimed to identify immunological heterogeneity over time in vaccinated healthcare workers using neutralization antibodies and neutralizing activity tests. METHODS: Serum samples were collected from 214 healthcare workers before vaccination (pre) and on days 22, 90, and 180 after receiving the first dose of BNT162b2 vaccine (day 0). Neutralization antibody (NAb, SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD IgM/IgG) titers and two kinds of surrogate virus neutralization tests (sVNTs) were analyzed (UMIN000043851). RESULTS: The NAb (SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD IgG) titer peaked on day 90 after vaccination (30,808.0 µg/ml ± 35,211; p < 0.0001) and declined on day 180 (11,678.0 µg/ml ± 33,770.0; p < 0.0001). The neutralizing activity also peaked on day 90 and declined with larger individual differences than those of IgG titer on day 180 (88.9% ± 15.0%, 64.8% ± 23.7%, p < 0.0001). We also found that the results of POCT-sVNT (immunochromatography) were highly correlated with those of conventional sVNT (ELISA). CONCLUSIONS: Neutralizing activity is the gold standard for vaccine efficacy evaluation. Our results using conventional sVNT showed large individual differences in neutralizing activity reduction on day 180 (64.8% ± 23.7%), suggesting an association with the difference in vaccine efficacy. POCT-sVNT is rapid and user-friendly; it might be used for triage in homes, isolation facilities, and event venues without restrictions on the medical testing environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Neutralization Tests , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 211(2-3): 79-103, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844367

ABSTRACT

An ongoing pandemic of newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 has puzzled many scientists and health care policymakers around the globe. The appearance of the virus was accompanied by several distinct antigenic changes, specifically spike protein which is a key element for host cell entry of virus and major target of currently developing vaccines. Some of these mutations enable the virus to attach to receptors more firmly and easily. Moreover, a growing number of trials are demonstrating higher transmissibility and, in some of them, potentially more serious forms of illness related to novel variants. Some of these lineages, especially the Beta variant of concern, were reported to diminish the neutralizing activity of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies present in both convalescent and vaccine sera. This could imply that these independently emerged variants could make antiviral strategies prone to serious threats. The rapid changes in the mutational profile of new clades, especially escape mutations, suggest the convergent evolution of the virus due to immune pressure. Nevertheless, great international efforts have been dedicated to producing efficacious vaccines with cutting-edge technologies. Despite the partial decrease in vaccines efficacy against worrisome clades, most current vaccines are still effective at preventing mild to severe forms of disease and hospital admission or death due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we summarize existing evidence about newly emerged variants of SARS-CoV-2 and, notably, how well vaccines work against targeting new variants and modifications of highly flexible mRNA vaccines that might be required in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccine Efficacy
9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820447

ABSTRACT

Several COVID-19 platforms have been licensed across the world thus far, but vaccine platform research that can lead to effective antigen delivery is still ongoing. Here, we constructed AdCLD-CoV19 that could modulate humoral immunity by harboring SARS-CoV-2 antigens onto a chimeric adenovirus 5/35 platform that was effective in cellular immunity. By replacing the S1/S2 furin cleavage sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein mounted on AdCLD-CoV19 with the linker sequence, high antigen expression was confirmed in various cell lines. The high levels of antigen expression contributed to antigen-specific antibody activity in mice and non-human primates (NHPs) with a single vaccination of AdCLD-CoV19. Furthermore, the adenovirus-induced Th1 immune response was specifically raised for the S protein, and these immune responses protected the NHP against live viruses. While AdCLD-CoV19 maintained neutralizing antibody activity against various SARS-CoV-2 variants, it was reduced to single vaccination for ß and ο variants, and the reduced neutralizing antibody activity was restored with booster shots. Hence, AdCLD-CoV19 can prevent SARS-CoV-2 with a single vaccination, and the new vaccine administration strategy that responds to various variants can maintain the efficacy of the vaccine.

10.
Antiviral Res ; 201: 105297, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814106

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a promising option for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and a cocktail of antibodies (REGN-COV) has been administered to infected patients with a favorable outcome. However, it is necessary to continue generating novel sets of monoclonal antibodies with neutralizing activity because viral variants can emerge that show resistance to the currently utilized antibodies. Here, we isolated a new cocktail of antibodies, EV053273 and EV053286, from peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from convalescent patients infected with wild-type SARS-CoV-2. EV053273 exerted potent antiviral activity against the Wuhan wild-type virus as well as the Alpha and Delta variants in vitro, whereas the antiviral activity of EV053286 was moderate, but it had a wide-range of suppressive activity on the wild-type virus as well as the Alpha, Beta, Delta, Kappa, Omicron BA.1, and BA.2 variants. With the combined use of EV053273 and EV053286, we observed similar inhibitory effects on viral replication as with REGN-COV in vitro. We further assessed their activity in vivo by using a mouse model infected with a recently established viral strain with adopted infectious activity in mice. Independent experiments revealed that the combined use of EV053273 and EV053286 or the single use of each monoclonal antibody efficiently blocked infection in vivo. Together with data showing that these two monoclonal antibodies could neutralize REGN-COV escape variants and the Omicron variant, our findings suggest that the EV053273 and EV053286 monoclonal antibody cocktail is a novel clinically applicable therapeutic candidate for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Combinations , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
J Med Virol ; 94(8): 3791-3800, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802449

ABSTRACT

The emerging coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has become a severe threat to global public health and local economies. In this study, several single-chain antibody fragments that bind to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein were identified and used to construct human-mouse chimeric antibodies and humanized antibodies. These antibodies exhibited strong binding to RBD and neutralization activity towards a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus. Moreover, these antibodies recognize different RBD epitopes and exhibit synergistic neutralizing activity. These provide candidate to combination use or bispecific antibody to potential clinical therapy for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Humans , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
12.
Front Immunol ; 13: 820250, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775664

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 transmission mainly occurs through exposure of the upper airway mucosa to infected secretions such as saliva, which are excreted by an infected person. Thus, oral mucosal immunity plays a central role in the prevention of and early defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although virus-specific antibody response has been extensively investigated in blood samples of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and vaccinees, local humoral immunity in the oral cavity and its relationship to systemic antibody levels needs to be further addressed. Material and Methods: We fine-tuned a virus neutralization assay (vNTA) to measure the neutralizing activity (NA) of plasma and saliva samples from 20 SARS-CoV-2-infected (SI), 40 SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated (SV), and 28 SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated subjects with a history of infection (SIV) using the "wild type" SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1 (EU) and the Delta (B.1.617.2) strains. To validate the vNTA results, the presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) was evaluated with an ELISA assay. Results: NA to SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1 (EU) was present in plasma samples from all the tested subjects, with higher titers in SIV compared to both SI and SV. Conversely, NA was detected in saliva samples from 10.3% SV, 45% SI, and 92.6% SIV, with significantly lower titers in SV compared to both SI and SIV. The detection of NAbs in saliva reflected its reduced NA in SV. Discussion: The difference in NA of plasma vs. saliva was confirmed in a vNTA where the SARS-CoV-2 B.1 and Delta strains were tested head-to-head, which also revealed a reduced NA of both specimens compared to the B.1 variant. Conclusions: The administration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines was associated with limited virus NA in the oral cavity, as measured in saliva and in comparison to plasma. This difference was more evident in vaccinees without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, possibly highlighting the importance of local exposure at the site of virus acquisition to effectively prevent the infection and block its spread. Nevertheless, the presence of immune escape mutations as possibly represented by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant negatively affects both local and systemic efficacy of NA associated with vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Saliva , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
13.
J Infect Dis ; 226(6): 975-978, 2022 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752117

ABSTRACT

A prospective cohort study was conducted for adults with a diagnosis of with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Convalescent blood samples were obtained 4, 6, and 11 months after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The seropositivity of anti-spike antibody was maintained in all patients (100%) until 11 months after COVID-19 diagnosis. Neutralizing antibody levels against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 gradually decreased but remained positive in >50% of patients 11 months after diagnosis: in 98.5% (67 of 68) at 4 months, 86.8% (46 of 53) at 6 months, and 58.8% (40 of 68) at 11 months. However, cross-neutralizing activity against the Beta and Delta variants was attenuated 2.53-fold and 2.93-fold, respectively, compared with the wild-type strain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , NAV1.2 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel , Neutralization Tests , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708485

ABSTRACT

Despite the fact that a range of vaccines against COVID-19 have already been created and are used for mass vaccination, the development of effective, safe, technological, and affordable vaccines continues. We have designed a vaccine that combines the recombinant protein and DNA vaccine approaches in a self-assembled particle. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was conjugated to polyglucin:spermidine and mixed with DNA vaccine (pVAXrbd), which led to the formation of particles of combined coronavirus vaccine (CCV-RBD) that contain the DNA vaccine inside and RBD protein on the surface. CCV-RBD particles were characterized with gel filtration, electron microscopy, and biolayer interferometry. To investigate the immunogenicity of the combined vaccine and its components, mice were immunized with the DNA vaccine pVAXrbd or RBD protein as well as CCV-RBD particles. The highest antigen-specific IgG and neutralizing activity were induced by CCV-RBD, and the level of antibodies induced by DNA or RBD alone was significantly lower. The cellular immune response was detected only in the case of DNA or CCV-RBD vaccination. These results demonstrate that a combination of DNA vaccine and RBD protein in one construct synergistically increases the humoral response to RBD protein in mice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dextrans/chemistry , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spermidine/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacology , Vero Cells
16.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699480

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused massive health and economic disasters worldwide. Although several vaccines have effectively slowed the spread of the virus, their long-term protection and effectiveness against viral variants are still uncertain. To address these potential shortcomings, this study proposes a peptide-based vaccine to prevent COVID-19. A total of 15 B cell epitopes of the wild-type severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein were selected, and their HLA affinities predicted in silico. Peptides were divided into two groups and tested in C57BL/6 mice with either QS21 or Al(OH)3 as the adjuvant. Our results demonstrated that the peptide-based vaccine stimulated high and durable antibody responses in mice, with the T and B cell responses differing based on the type of adjuvant employed. Using epitope mapping, we showed that our peptide-based vaccine produced antibody patterns similar to those in COVID-19 convalescent individuals. Moreover, plasma from vaccinated mice and recovered COVID-19 humans had the same neutralizing activity when tested with a pseudo particle assay. Our data indicate that this adjuvant peptide-based vaccine can generate sustainable and effective B and T cell responses. Thus, we believe that our peptide-based vaccine can be a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19, particularly because of the flexibility of including new peptides to prevent emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and avoiding unwanted autoimmune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Peptides , SARS-CoV-2
17.
BMC Microbiol ; 22(1): 42, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Quantitative point-of-care testing assay for detecting antibodies is critical to COVID-19 control. In this study, we established an up-conversion phosphor technology-based point-of-care testing (UPT-POCT), a lateral flow assay, for rapid COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as prediction of seral neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity and protective effects. METHODS: UPT-POCT was developed targeting total antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Using ELISA as a contrast method, we evaluated the quantitation accuracy with NAb and serum samples. Cutoff for serum samples was determined through 70 healthy and 140 COVID-19 patients. We evaluated the cross-reactions with antibodies against other viruses. Then, we performed multi-center clinical trials of UPT-POCT, including 782 patients with 387 clinically confirmed COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, RBD-specific antibody levels were detected using UPT-POCT and microneutralization assay for samples from both patients and vaccinees. Specifically, the antibodies of recovered patients with recurrent positive (RP) reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test results were discussed. RESULTS: The ratios of signal intensities between the test and control bands on the lateral flow strip, namely, T/C ratios, was defined as the results of UPT-POCT. T/C ratios had excellent correlations with concentrations of NAb, as well as OD values of ELISA for serum samples. The sensitivity and specificity of UPT-POCT were 89.15% and 99.75% for 782 cases in seven hospitals in China, respectively. We evaluated RBD-specific antibodies for 528 seral samples from 213 recovered and 99 RP COVID-19 patients, along with 35 seral samples from inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccinees, and we discovered that the total RBD-specific antibody level indicated by T/C ratios of UPT-POCT was significantly related to the NAb titers in both COVID-19 patients (r = 0.9404, n = 527; ρ = 0.6836, n = 528) and the vaccinees (r = 0.9063, ρ = 0.7642, n = 35), and it was highly relevant to the protection rate against RP (r = 0.9886, n = 312). CONCLUSION: This study reveals that the UPT-POCT for quantitative detection of total RBD-specific antibody could be employed as a surrogate method for rapid COVID-19 diagnosis and prediction of protective effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , China , Cross Reactions , Humans , Immunoassay , Limit of Detection , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
18.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667345

ABSTRACT

This study compared the immunogenicity of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines between people living with HIV (PLWH) and HIV-negative individuals. We recruited 120 PLWH and 53 HIV-negative individuals aged 18-59 years who had received an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in two Chinese cities between April and June 2021. Blood samples were tested for immunogenicity of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The prevalence and severity of adverse events associated with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were similar between PLWH and HIV-negative individuals. The seropositivity of neutralizing activity against authentic SARS-CoV-2, of the total amount of antibody (total antibody) and of S-IgG were 71.3%, 81.9%, and 92.6%, respectively, among fully vaccinated PLWH. Among all participants, PLWH had lower neutralizing activity, total antibody, S-IgG, and T-cell-specific immune response levels, compared to HIV-negative individuals, after controlling for types of vaccine, time interval between first and second dose, time after receiving the second dose, and sociodemographic factors. PLWH with a longer interval since HIV diagnosis, who received their second dose 15-28 days prior to study commencement, and who had an interval of ≥21 days between first and second dose had higher neutralizing activity levels. The immunogenicity of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines was lower among PLWH as compared to HIV-negative individuals. Vaccination guideline specific for PLWH should be developed.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Young Adult
19.
Intern Med ; 60(23): 3827-3831, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547076

ABSTRACT

A 73-year-old man previously treated with rituximab for his mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma suffered a suboptimal humoral immune response against an acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection. A detailed serological description revealed discrepant antigen-specific humoral immune responses. The titer of spike-targeting, "viral-neutralizing" antibodies remained below the detection level, in contrast to the anti-nucleocapsid, "binding" antibody response, which was comparable in both magnitude and kinetics. Accordingly, viral neutralizability and clearance was delayed, leading to prolonged RNAemia and persistent pneumonia. The present case highlights the need to closely monitor this unique population of recipients of B-cell-targeted therapies for their neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Humans , Male , Rituximab/therapeutic use , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
20.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(10): ofab430, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462455

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As of March 2021, Japan is facing a fourth wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. To prevent further spread of infection, sera cross-neutralizing activity of patients previously infected with conventional SARS-CoV-2 against novel variants is important but has not been firmly established. METHODS: We investigated the neutralizing potency of 81 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients' sera from the first to fourth waves of the pandemic against SARS-CoV-2 D614G, B.1.1.7, P.1, and B.1.351 variants using their authentic viruses. RESULTS: Most sera had neutralizing activity against all variants, showing similar activity against B.1.1.7 and D614G, but lower activity especially against B.1.351. In the fourth wave, sera-neutralizing activity against B.1.1.7 was significantly higher than that against any other variants, including D614G. The sera-neutralizing activity in less severe patients was lower than that of more severe patients for all variants. CONCLUSIONS: The cross-neutralizing activity of convalescent sera was effective against all variants but was potentially weaker for B.1.351. The high neutralizing activity specific to B.1.1.7 in the fourth wave suggests that mutations in the virus might cause conformational change of its spike protein, which affects immune recognition of D614G. Our results indicate that individuals who recover from COVID-19 could be protected from the severity caused by infection with newly emerging variants.

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