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1.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0135221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526454

ABSTRACT

The emerging new lineages of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have marked a new phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding the recognition mechanisms of potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NAbs) against the spike protein is pivotal for developing new vaccines and antibody drugs. Here, we isolated several monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) from the B cell receptor repertoires of a SARS-CoV-2 convalescent. Among these MAbs, the antibody nCoV617 demonstrates the most potent neutralizing activity against authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as prophylactic and therapeutic efficacies against the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mouse model in vivo. The crystal structure of S-RBD in complex with nCoV617 reveals that nCoV617 mainly binds to the back of the "ridge" of RBD and shares limited binding residues with ACE2. Under the background of the S-trimer model, it potentially binds to both "up" and "down" conformations of S-RBD. In vitro mutagenesis assays show that mutant residues found in the emerging new lineage B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 do not affect nCoV617 binding to the S-RBD. These results provide a new human-sourced neutralizing antibody against the S-RBD and assist vaccine development. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to global health and the economy, so it is necessary to find safe and effective antibody drugs and treatments. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is responsible for binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. It contains a variety of dominant neutralizing epitopes and is an important antigen for the development of new coronavirus antibodies. The significance of our research lies in the determination of new epitopes, the discovery of antibodies against RBD, and the evaluation of the antibodies' neutralizing effect. The identified antibodies here may be drug candidates for the development of clinical interventions for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects
2.
Nat Med ; 27(10): 1744-1751, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526090

ABSTRACT

CoronaVac, an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, has been approved for emergency use in several countries. However, its immunogenicity in immunocompromised individuals has not been well established. We initiated a prospective phase 4 controlled trial (no. NCT04754698, CoronavRheum) in 910 adults with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD) and 182 age- and sex-frequency-matched healthy adults (control group, CG), who received two doses of CoronaVac. The primary outcomes were reduction of ≥15% in both anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion (SC) and neutralizing antibody (NAb) positivity 6 weeks (day 69 (D69)) after the second dose in the ARD group compared with that in the CG. Secondary outcomes were IgG SC and NAb positivity at D28, IgG titers and neutralizing activity at D28 and D69 and vaccine safety. Prespecified endpoints were met, with lower anti-SARS-Cov-2 IgG SC (70.4 versus 95.5%, P < 0.001) and NAb positivity (56.3 versus 79.3%, P < 0.001) at D69 in the ARD group than in the CG. Moreover, IgG titers (12.1 versus 29.7, P < 0.001) and median neutralization activity (58.7 versus 64.5%, P = 0.013) were also lower at D69 in patients with ARD. At D28, patients with ARD presented with lower IgG frequency (18.7 versus 34.6%, P < 0.001) and NAb positivity (20.6 versus 36.3%, P < 0.001) than that of the CG. There were no moderate/severe adverse events. These data support the use of CoronaVac in patients with ARD, suggesting reduced but acceptable short-term immunogenicity. The trial is still ongoing to evaluate the long-term effectiveness/immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 754127, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518487

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 presentations range from mild to moderate through severe disease but also manifest with persistent illness or viral recrudescence. We hypothesized that the spectrum of COVID-19 disease manifestations was a consequence of SARS-CoV-2-mediated delay in the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) response, including dampened type I interferon signaling, thereby shifting the balance of the immune response to be dominated by damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) signaling. To test the hypothesis, we constructed a parsimonious mechanistic mathematical model. After calibration of the model for initial viral load and then by varying a few key parameters, we show that the core model generates four distinct viral load, immune response and associated disease trajectories termed "patient archetypes", whose temporal dynamics are reflected in clinical data from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The model also accounts for responses to corticosteroid therapy and predicts that vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies and cellular memory will be protective, including from severe COVID-19 disease. This generalizable modeling framework could be used to analyze protective and pathogenic immune responses to diverse viral infections.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Viral Load
4.
Cell Rep ; 37(3): 109838, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517083

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads, variants with enhanced virulence and transmissibility have emerged. Although in vitro systems allow rapid characterization, they do not fully recapitulate the dynamic interaction of virions and neutralizing antibodies in the airway. Here, we demonstrate that the N501Y variant permits respiratory infection in unmodified mice. We utilize N501Y to survey in vivo pseudovirus infection dynamics and susceptibility to reinfection with the L452R (Los Angeles), K417N + E484K (South Africa), and L452R + K417N + E484Q (India) variants. Human coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)+ or vaccinated antibody isotypes, titers, variant receptor binding domain (RBD) binding, and neutralization potential are studied, revealing numerous significant correlations. Immune escape of the K417N + E484K variant is observed because infection can be appreciated in the nasopharynx, but not lungs, of mice transferred with low-antibody-tier plasma. Conversely, near-complete protection is observed in animals receiving high-antibody-tier plasma, a phenomenon that can only be appreciated in vivo.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Genetic Variation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune System , Immunization, Passive/methods , In Vitro Techniques , Mice , Mutation , Nasopharynx/virology , Protein Binding , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Cell Transplant ; 30: 9636897211054481, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511642

ABSTRACT

Biological and cellular interleukin-6 (IL-6)-related therapies have been used to treat severe COVID-19 pneumonia with hyperinflammatory syndrome and acute respiratory failure, which prompted further exploration of the role of IL-6 in human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (hUCMSC) therapy. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were responders cocultured with hUCMSCs or exogenous IL-6. A PBMC suppression assay was used to analyze the anti-inflammatory effects via MTT assay. The IL-6 concentration in the supernatant was measured using ELISA. The correlation between the anti-inflammatory effect of hUCMSCs and IL-6 levels and the relevant roles of IL-6 and IL-6 mRNA expression was analyzed using the MetaCore functional network constructed from gene microarray data. The location of IL-6 and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) expression was further evaluated. We reported that hUCMSCs did not initially exert any inhibitory effect on PHA-stimulated proliferation; however, a potent inhibitory effect on PHA-stimulated proliferation was observed, and the IL-6 concentration reached approximately 1000 ng/mL after 72 hours. Exogenous 1000 ng/mL IL-6 inhibited PHA-stimulated inflammation but less so than hUCMSCs. The inhibitory effects of hUCMSCs on PHA-stimulated PBMCs disappeared after adding an IL-6 neutralizing antibody or pretreatment with tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6R antagonist. hUCMSCs exert excellent anti-inflammatory effects by inducing higher IL-6 levels, which is different from TCZ. High concentration of IL-6 cytokine secretion plays an important role in the anti-inflammatory effect of hUCMSC therapy. Initial hUCMSC therapy, followed by TCZ, seems to optimize the therapeutic potential to treat COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Interleukin-6/biosynthesis , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Coculture Techniques , Combined Modality Therapy , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/pharmacology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/cytology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/drug effects , Phytohemagglutinins/pharmacology , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Interleukin-6/biosynthesis , Receptors, Interleukin-6/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Umbilical Cord/cytology
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 689065, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502324

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infectious disease caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The US FDA has approved several therapeutics and vaccines worldwide through the emergency use authorization in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the efficacies of these treatments are being challenged by viral escape mutations. There is an urgent need to develop effective treatments protecting against SARS-CoV-2 infection and to establish a stable effect-screening model to test potential drugs. Polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) have an intrinsic advantage in such developments because they can target rapidly mutating viral strains as a result of the complexity of their binding epitopes. In this study, we generated anti-receptor-binding domain (anti-RBD) pAbs from rabbit serum and tested their safety and efficacy in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection both in vivo and ex vivo. Primary human bronchial epithelial two-dimensional (2-D) organoids were cultured and differentiated to a mature morphology and subsequently employed for SARS-CoV-2 infection and drug screening. The pAbs protected the airway organoids from viral infection and tissue damage. Potential side effects were tested in mouse models for both inhalation and vein injection. The pAbs displayed effective viral neutralization effects without significant side effects. Thus, the use of animal immune serum-derived pAbs might be a potential therapy for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the strategy developed to produce these pAbs providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory tract infections, especially for infections with viruses undergoing rapid mutation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Binding Sites , Bronchi/cytology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Epithelial Cells , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mice , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Organoids , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
J Virol ; 95(14): e0040421, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501539

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern that overcome natural and vaccine-induced immunity threaten to exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing evidence suggests that neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses are a primary mechanism of protection against infection. However, little is known about the extent and mechanisms by which natural immunity acquired during the early COVID-19 pandemic confers cross-neutralization of emerging variants. In this study, we investigated cross-neutralization of the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variants in a well-characterized cohort of early pandemic convalescent subjects. We observed modestly decreased cross-neutralization of B.1.1.7 but a substantial 4.8-fold reduction in cross-neutralization of B.1.351. Correlates of cross-neutralization included receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD) binding antibodies, homologous NAb titers, and membrane-directed T cell responses. These data shed light on the cross-neutralization of emerging variants by early pandemic convalescent immune responses. IMPORTANCE Widespread immunity to SARS-CoV-2 will be necessary to end the COVID-19 pandemic. NAb responses are a critical component of immunity that can be stimulated by natural infection as well as vaccines. However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are emerging that contain mutations in the spike gene that promote evasion from NAb responses. These variants may therefore delay control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We studied whether NAb responses from early COVID-19 convalescent patients are effective against the two SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. We observed that the B.1.351 variant demonstrates significantly reduced susceptibility to early pandemic NAb responses. We additionally characterized virological, immunological, and clinical features that correlate with cross-neutralization. These studies increase our understanding of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Cross Reactions , Humans , Male
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6304, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500462

ABSTRACT

Accumulating mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein can increase the possibility of immune escape, challenging the present COVID-19 prophylaxis and clinical interventions. Here, 3 receptor binding domain (RBD) specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), 58G6, 510A5 and 13G9, with high neutralizing potency blocking authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus display remarkable efficacy against authentic B.1.351 virus. Surprisingly, structural analysis has revealed that 58G6 and 13G9 both recognize the steric region S470-495 on the RBD, overlapping the E484K mutation presented in B.1.351. Also, 58G6 directly binds to another region S450-458 in the RBD. Significantly, 58G6 and 510A5 both demonstrate prophylactic efficacy against authentic SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.351 viruses in the transgenic mice expressing human ACE2 (hACE2), protecting weight loss and reducing virus loads. Together, we have evidenced 2 potent neutralizing Abs with unique mechanism targeting authentic SARS-CoV-2 mutants, which can be promising candidates to fulfill the urgent needs for the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects , Weight Loss/drug effects
9.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 378, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500450

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has heavily burdened the global public health system and may keep simmering for years. The frequent emergence of immune escape variants have spurred the search for prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic antibodies that confer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here we show that the bivalency of an affinity maturated fully human single-domain antibody (n3113.1-Fc) exhibits exquisite neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, and confers effective prophylactic and therapeutic protection against authentic SARS-CoV-2 in the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) humanized mice. The crystal structure of n3113 in complex with the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, combined with the cryo-EM structures of n3113 and spike ecto-domain, reveals that n3113 binds to the side surface of up-state RBD with no competition with ACE2. The binding of n3113 to this novel epitope stabilizes spike in up-state conformations but inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S mediated membrane fusion, expanding our recognition of neutralization by antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Binding assay and pseudovirus neutralization assay show no evasion of recently prevalent SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) for n3113.1-Fc with Y58L mutation, demonstrating the potential of n3113.1-Fc (Y58L) as a promising candidate for clinical development to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single-Chain Antibodies/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/therapeutic use
10.
Transplantation ; 105(11): e234-e243, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494154

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data about SARS-CoV-2 vaccines efficacy in renal transplant recipients (RTR) are lacking. METHODS: To reveal predictors for humoral response to BNT162b2 vaccine among RTR, patients were divided into positive (N = 42) and negative (N = 78) response groups based on receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) ≥1.1 and neutralizing antibodies (NA) ≥16 dilution versus RBD IgG <1.1 or NA <16, respectively. NA were detected using a SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus. RESULTS: NA were detected in only 42 of 120 (35%) of RTR versus 197 of 202 (97.5%) immunocompetent controls (P < 0.001). NA geometric mean titers in RTR were significantly lower versus the control group {83.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.5-138.8) versus 482 (95% CI, 411-566), P < 0.001}. In a multivariable analysis, mycophenolic acid (MPA) dose and hemoglobin level were found to be independent predictors for antibody response in RTR. A positive response rate of 27% versus 63% was observed in patients on and off MPA, respectively. An increase in MPA dose by 1 mg/kg weight reduced the odds for a positive response by 17% (odds ratio = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.75-0.92; P < 0.001). Geometric mean titers for RBD IgG were significantly reduced as MPA daily dose increased. Hemoglobin blood level <13 g/dL reduced the antibody response by 63% (P = 0.04). Pain at the injection site after the second vaccine dose was significantly higher in the responders versus nonresponders (20.5% versus 5.5%, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Only 35% of RTR develop NA to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. MPA is a major suppressor of antibody response in RTR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/drug effects , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Graft Rejection/immunology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Mycophenolic Acid/administration & dosage , Mycophenolic Acid/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(44)2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493344

ABSTRACT

Here, we expressed two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (Abs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; H4 and B38) in three formats: IgG1, IgA1 monomers (m), and IgA1 dimers (d) in glycoengineered Nicotiana benthamiana plants. All six Ab variants assembled properly and exhibited a largely homogeneous glycosylation profile. Despite modest variation in antigen binding between Ab formats, SARS-CoV-2 neutralization (NT) potency significantly increased in the following manner: IgG1 < IgA1-m < IgA1-d, with an up to 240-fold NT increase of dimers compared to corresponding monomers. Our results underscore that both IgA's structural features and multivalency positively impact NT potency. In addition, they emphasize the versatile use of plants for the rapid expression of complex human proteins.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Immunoglobulin A/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21308, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493219

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to present and evaluate novel oral vaccines, based on self-amplifying RNA lipid nanparticles (saRNA LNPs), saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum, to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) variants alpha and delta. After invitro evaluation of the oral vaccines on HEK293T/17 cells, we found that saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum could express S-protein at both mRNA and protein levels. In the next step, BALB/c mice were orally vaccinated with saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum at weeks 1 and 3. Importantly, a high titer of IgG and IgA was observed by all of them, sharply in week 6 (P < 0.05). In all study groups, their ratio of IgG2a/IgG1 was upper 1, indicating Th1-biased responses. Wild-type viral neutralization assay showed that the secreted antibodies in vaccinated mice and recovered COVID-19 patients could neutralize SARS-COV-2 variants alpha and delta. After oral administration of oral vaccines, biodistribution assay was done. It was found that all of them had the same biodistribution pattern. The highest concentration of S-protein was seen in the small intestine, followed by the large intestine and liver.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lactobacillus plantarum/genetics , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transfection/methods , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Administration, Oral , Adult , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacokinetics , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Intestine, Small/metabolism , Lactobacillus plantarum/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Models, Animal , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution
13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6277, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493102

ABSTRACT

Several COVID-19 vaccines have now been deployed to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, most of them based on messenger RNA or adenovirus vectors.The duration of protection afforded by these vaccines is unknown, as well as their capacity to protect from emerging new variants. To provide sufficient coverage for the world population, additional strategies need to be tested. The live pediatric measles vaccine (MV) is an attractive approach, given its extensive safety and efficacy history, along with its established large-scale manufacturing capacity. We develop an MV-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine expressing the prefusion-stabilized, membrane-anchored full-length S antigen, which proves to be efficient at eliciting strong Th1-dominant T-cell responses and high neutralizing antibody titers. In both mouse and golden Syrian hamster models, these responses protect the animals from intranasal infectious challenge. Additionally, the elicited antibodies efficiently neutralize in vitro the three currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Genetic Vectors , Immunity , Adenoviridae , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cricetinae , Cytokines , Female , Immunization , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Measles Vaccine/immunology , Mesocricetus , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
J Virol ; 95(19): e0068521, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486511

ABSTRACT

The human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 acts as the host cell receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and the other members of the Coronaviridae family SARS-CoV-1 and HCoV-NL63. Here, we report the biophysical properties of the SARS-CoV-2 spike variants D614G, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 with affinities to the ACE2 receptor and infectivity capacity, revealing weaknesses in the developed neutralizing antibody approaches. Furthermore, we report a preclinical characterization package for a soluble receptor decoy engineered to be catalytically inactive and immunologically inert, with broad neutralization capacity, that represents an attractive therapeutic alternative in light of the mutational landscape of COVID-19. This construct efficiently neutralized four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. The decoy also displays antibody-like biophysical properties and manufacturability, strengthening its suitability as a first-line treatment option in prophylaxis or therapeutic regimens for COVID-19 and related viral infections. IMPORTANCE Mutational drift of SARS-CoV-2 risks rendering both therapeutics and vaccines less effective. Receptor decoy strategies utilizing soluble human ACE2 may overcome the risk of viral mutational escape since mutations disrupting viral interaction with the ACE2 decoy will by necessity decrease virulence, thereby preventing meaningful escape. The solution described here of a soluble ACE2 receptor decoy is significant for the following reasons: while previous ACE2-based therapeutics have been described, ours has novel features, including (i) mutations within ACE2 to remove catalytical activity and systemic interference with the renin/angiotensin system, (ii) abrogated FcγR engagement, reduced risk of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection, and reduced risk of hyperinflammation, and (iii) streamlined antibody-like purification process and scale-up manufacturability indicating that this receptor decoy could be produced quickly and easily at scale. Finally, we demonstrate that ACE2-based therapeutics confer a broad-spectrum neutralization potency for ACE2-tropic viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in contrast to therapeutic MAb.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibody-Dependent Enhancement , COVID-19/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Kinetics , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009704, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484866

ABSTRACT

Development of effective therapeutics for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic is a pressing global need. Neutralizing antibodies are known to be effective antivirals, as they can be rapidly deployed to prevent disease progression and can accelerate patient recovery without the need for fully developed host immunity. Here, we report the generation and characterization of a series of chimeric antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. Some of these antibodies exhibit exceptionally potent neutralization activities in vitro and in vivo, and the most potent of our antibodies target three distinct non-overlapping epitopes within the RBD. Cryo-electron microscopy analyses of two highly potent antibodies in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein suggested they may be particularly useful when combined in a cocktail therapy. The efficacy of this antibody cocktail was confirmed in SARS-CoV-2-infected mouse and hamster models as prophylactic and post-infection treatments. With the emergence of more contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2, cocktail antibody therapies hold great promise to control disease and prevent drug resistance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Male , Mice
16.
JCI Insight ; 6(20)2021 10 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484165

ABSTRACT

Longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine antibody response under real-world conditions. This longitudinal study investigated the quantity and quality of SARS-CoV-2 antibody response in 846 specimens from 350 patients, comparing BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals (19 previously diagnosed with COVID-19, termed RecoVax; and 49 never diagnosed, termed NaiveVax) with 122 hospitalized unvaccinated (HospNoVax) and 160 outpatient unvaccinated (OutPtNoVax) COVID-19 patients. NaiveVax experienced delay in generating SARS-CoV-2 total antibodies (TAb) and surrogate neutralizing antibodies (SNAb) after the first vaccine dose (D1) but rapid increase in antibody levels after the second dose (D2). However, these never reached RecoVax's robust levels. In fact, NaiveVax TAb and SNAb levels decreased 4 weeks after D2. For the most part, RecoVax TAb persisted, after reaching maximal levels 2 weeks after D2, but SNAb decreased significantly about 6 months after D1. Although NaiveVax avidity lagged behind that of RecoVax for most of the follow-up periods, NaiveVax did reach similar avidity by about 6 months after D1. These data suggest that 1 vaccine dose elicits maximal antibody response in RecoVax and may be sufficient. Also, despite decreasing levels in TAb and SNAb over time, long-term avidity may be a measure worth evaluating and possibly correlating to vaccine efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
17.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(11): 2665-2676, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482126

ABSTRACT

To monitor infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and successful vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the kinetics of neutralizing or blocking anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers need to be assessed. Here, we report the development of a quick and inexpensive surrogate SARS-CoV-2 blocking assay (SUBA) using immobilized recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) and human cells expressing the native form of surface SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Spike protein-expressing cells bound to hACE2 in the absence or presence of blocking antibodies were quantified by measuring the optical density of cell-associated crystal violet in a spectrophotometer. The advantages are that SUBA is a fast and inexpensive assay, which does not require biosafety level 2- or 3-approved laboratories. Most importantly, SUBA detects blocking antibodies against the native trimeric cell-bound SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and can be rapidly adjusted to quickly pre-screen already approved therapeutic antibodies or sera from vaccinated individuals for their ACE2 blocking activities against any emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Blocking/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Flow Cytometry/methods , Antibodies, Blocking/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481014

ABSTRACT

The H1N1 pandemic of 2009-2010, MERS epidemic of 2012, Ebola epidemics of 2013-2016 and 2018-2020, Zika epidemic of 2015-2016, and COVID-19 pandemic of 2019-2021, are recent examples in the long history of epidemics that demonstrate the enormous global impact of viral infection. The rapid development of safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics has proven vital to reducing morbidity and mortality from newly emerging viruses. Structural biology methods can be used to determine how antibodies elicited during infection or vaccination target viral proteins and identify viral epitopes that correlate with potent neutralization. Here we review how structural and molecular biology approaches have contributed to our understanding of antibody recognition of pathogenic viruses, specifically HIV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and Zika. Determining structural correlates of neutralization of viruses has guided the design of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecule inhibitors in response to the global threat of viral epidemics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Zika Virus/immunology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/immunology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Zika Virus Infection/immunology , Zika Virus Infection/prevention & control
19.
J Hematol Oncol ; 14(1): 174, 2021 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473657

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Factors affecting response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) recipients remain to be elucidated. METHODS: Forty allo-HCT recipients were included in a study of immunization with BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine at days 0 and 21. Binding antibodies (Ab) to SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) were assessed at days 0, 21, 28, and 49 while neutralizing Ab against SARS-CoV-2 wild type (NT50) were assessed at days 0 and 49. Results observed in allo-HCT patients were compared to those obtained in 40 healthy adults naive of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Flow cytometry analysis of peripheral blood cells was performed before vaccination to identify potential predictors of Ab responses. RESULTS: Three patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab before vaccination. Among the 37 SARS-CoV-2 naive patients, 20 (54%) and 32 (86%) patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab 21 days and 49 days postvaccination. Comparing anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients and healthy adults, we observed significantly lower anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients at days 21, 28 and 49. Further, 49% of allo-HCT patients versus 88% of healthy adults had detectable NT50 Ab at day 49 while allo-HCT recipients had significantly lower NT50 Ab titers than healthy adults (P = 0.0004). Ongoing moderate/severe chronic GVHD (P < 0.01) as well as rituximab administration in the year prior to vaccination (P < 0.05) correlated with low anti-RBD and NT50 Ab titers at 49 days after the first vaccination in multivariate analyses. Compared to healthy adults, allo-HCT patients without chronic GVHD or rituximab therapy had comparable anti-RBD Ab levels and NT50 Ab titers at day 49. Flow cytometry analyses before vaccination indicated that Ab responses in allo-HCT patients were strongly correlated with the number of memory B cells and of naive CD4+ T cells (r > 0.5, P < 0.01) and more weakly with the number of follicular helper T cells (r = 0.4, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Chronic GVHD and rituximab administration in allo-HCT recipients are associated with reduced Ab responses to BNT162b2 vaccination. Immunological markers could help identify allo-HCT patients at risk of poor Ab response to mRNA vaccination. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered at clinicaltrialsregister.eu on 11 March 2021 (EudractCT # 2021-000673-83).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Middle Aged , Transplantation Conditioning , Transplantation Immunology , Transplantation, Homologous
20.
Front Immunol ; 12: 727850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477821

ABSTRACT

Mass SARS-Cov-2 vaccination campaign represents the only strategy to defeat the global pandemic we are facing. Immunocompromised patients represent a vulnerable population at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 and thus should be prioritized in the vaccination programs and in the study of the vaccine efficacy. Nevertheless, most data on efficacy and safety of the available vaccines derive from trials conducted on healthy individuals; hence, studies on immunogenicity of SARS-CoV2 vaccines in such populations are deeply needed. Here, we perform an observational longitudinal study analyzing the humoral and cellular response following the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of patients affected by inborn errors of immunity (IEI) compared to healthy controls (HC). We show that both IEI and HC groups experienced a significant increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 Abs 1 week after the second scheduled dose as well as an overall statistically significant expansion of the Ag-specific CD4+CD40L+ T cells in both HC and IEI. Five IEI patients did not develop any specific CD4+CD40L+ T cellular response, with one of these patients unable to also mount any humoral response. These data raise immunologic concerns about using Ab response as a sole metric of protective immunity following vaccination for SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, these findings suggest that evaluation of vaccine-induced immunity in this subpopulation should also include quantification of Ag-specific T cells.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination , Young Adult
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