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1.
J Virol ; 96(15): e0055822, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962090

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve, several variants of concern (VOCs) have arisen which are defined by multiple mutations in their spike proteins. These VOCs have shown variable escape from antibody responses and have been shown to trigger qualitatively different antibody responses during infection. By studying plasma from individuals infected with either the original D614G, Beta, or Delta variants, we showed that the Beta and Delta variants elicit antibody responses that are overall more cross-reactive than those triggered by D614G. Patterns of cross-reactivity varied, and the Beta and Delta variants did not elicit cross-reactive responses to each other. However, Beta-elicited plasma was highly cross-reactive against Delta Plus (Delta+), which differs from Delta by a single K417N mutation in the receptor binding domain, suggesting that the plasma response targets the N417 residue. To probe this further, we isolated monoclonal antibodies from a Beta-infected individual with plasma responses against Beta, Delta+, and Omicron, which all possess the N417 residue. We isolated an N417-dependent antibody, 084-7D, which showed similar neutralization breadth to the plasma. The 084-7D MAb utilized the IGHV3-23*01 germ line gene and had somatic hypermutations similar to those of previously described public antibodies which target the 417 residue. Thus, we have identified a novel antibody which targets a shared epitope found on three distinct VOCs, enabling their cross-neutralization. Understanding antibodies targeting escape mutations, such as K417N, which repeatedly emerge through convergent evolution in SARS-CoV-2 variants, may aid in the development of next-generation antibody therapeutics and vaccines. IMPORTANCE The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in variants of concern (VOCs) with distinct spike mutations conferring various immune escape profiles. These variable mutations also influence the cross-reactivity of the antibody response mounted by individuals infected with each of these variants. This study sought to understand the antibody responses elicited by different SARS-CoV-2 variants and to define shared epitopes. We show that Beta and Delta infections resulted in antibody responses that were more cross-reactive than the original D614G variant, but they had differing patterns of cross-reactivity. We further isolated an antibody from Beta infection which targeted the N417 site, enabling cross-neutralization of Beta, Delta+, and Omicron, all of which possess this residue. The discovery of antibodies which target escape mutations common to multiple variants highlights conserved epitopes to target in future vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0025022, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769824

ABSTRACT

In late 2019, a novel coronavirus began circulating within humans in central China. It was designated SARS-CoV-2 because of its genetic similarities to the 2003 SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Now that SARS-CoV-2 has spread worldwide, there is a risk of it establishing new animal reservoirs and recombination with native circulating coronaviruses. To screen local animal populations in the United States for exposure to SARS-like coronaviruses, we developed a serological assay using the receptor binding domain (RBD) from SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2's RBD is antigenically distinct from common human and animal coronaviruses, allowing us to identify animals previously infected with SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. Using an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for SARS-CoV-2's RBD, we screened serum from wild and domestic animals for the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2's RBD. Surprisingly prepandemic feline serum samples submitted to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital were ∼50% positive for anti-SARS RBD antibodies. Some of these samples were serologically negative for feline coronavirus (FCoV), raising the question of the etiological agent generating anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD cross-reactivity. We also identified several white-tailed deer from South Carolina with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. These results are intriguing, as cross-reactive antibodies toward SARS-CoV-2 RBD have not been reported to date. The etiological agent responsible for seropositivity was not readily apparent, but finding seropositive cats prior to the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlights our lack of information about circulating coronaviruses in other species. IMPORTANCE We report cross-reactive antibodies from prepandemic cats and postpandemic South Carolina white-tailed deer that are specific for that SARS-CoV RBD. There are several potential explanations for this cross-reactivity, each with important implications to coronavirus disease surveillance. Perhaps the most intriguing possibility is the existence and transmission of an etiological agent (such as another coronavirus) with similarity to SARS-CoV-2's RBD region. However, we lack conclusive evidence of prepandemic transmission of a SARS-like virus. Our findings provide impetus for the adoption of a One Health Initiative focusing on infectious disease surveillance of multiple animal species to predict the next zoonotic transmission to humans and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Cats , Deer , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/veterinary , Cats/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Deer/virology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Zoonoses/diagnosis , Viral Zoonoses/virology
3.
Elife ; 112022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742932

ABSTRACT

Preexisting antibodies to endemic coronaviruses (CoV) that cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 have the potential to influence the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination and infection for better or worse. In this observational study of mucosal and systemic humoral immunity in acutely infected, convalescent, and vaccinated subjects, we tested for cross-reactivity against endemic CoV spike (S) protein at subdomain resolution. Elevated responses, particularly to the ß-CoV OC43, were observed in all natural infection cohorts tested and were correlated with the response to SARS-CoV-2. The kinetics of this response and isotypes involved suggest that infection boosts preexisting antibody lineages raised against prior endemic CoV exposure that cross-react. While further research is needed to discern whether this recalled response is desirable or detrimental, the boosted antibodies principally targeted the better-conserved S2 subdomain of the viral spike and were not associated with neutralization activity. In contrast, vaccination with a stabilized spike mRNA vaccine did not robustly boost cross-reactive antibodies, suggesting differing antigenicity and immunogenicity. In sum, this study provides evidence that antibodies targeting endemic CoV are robustly boosted in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection but not to vaccination with stabilized S, and that depending on conformation or other factors, the S2 subdomain of the spike protein triggers a rapidly recalled, IgG-dominated response that lacks neutralization activity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Reactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibody Specificity/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Vaccination
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742485

ABSTRACT

The B and T lymphocytes of the adaptive immune system are important for the control of most viral infections, including COVID-19. Identification of epitopes recognized by these cells is fundamental for understanding how the immune system detects and removes pathogens, and for antiviral vaccine design. Intriguingly, several cross-reactive T lymphocyte epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 with other betacoronaviruses responsible for the common cold have been identified. In addition, antibodies that cross-recognize the spike protein, but not the nucleoprotein (N protein), from different betacoronavirus have also been reported. Using a consensus of eight bioinformatic methods for predicting B-cell epitopes and the collection of experimentally detected epitopes for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, we identified four surface-exposed, conserved, and hypothetical antigenic regions that are exclusive of the N protein. These regions were analyzed using ELISA assays with two cohorts: SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and pre-COVID-19 samples. Here we describe four epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 N protein that are recognized by the humoral response from multiple individuals infected with COVID-19, and are conserved in other human coronaviruses. Three of these linear surface-exposed sequences and their peptide homologs in SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 were also recognized by antibodies from pre-COVID-19 serum samples, indicating cross-reactivity of antibodies against coronavirus N proteins. Different conserved human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cross-reactive B epitopes against SARS-CoV-2 N protein are detected in a significant fraction of individuals not exposed to this pandemic virus. These results have potential clinical implications.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitope Mapping/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cross Reactions/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(10): 375-377, 2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1737447

ABSTRACT

The diagnosis of dengue disease, caused by the dengue virus (DENV) (a flavivirus), often requires serologic testing during acute and early convalescent phases of the disease. Some symptoms of DENV infection, such as nonspecific fever, are similar to those caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In studies with few COVID-19 cases, positive DENV immunoglobulin M (IgM) results were reported with various serologic tests, indicating possible cross-reactivity in these tests for DENV and SARS-CoV-2 infections (1,2). DENV antibodies can cross-react with other flaviviruses, including Zika virus. To assess the potential cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2, DENV, and Zika virus IgM antibodies, serum specimens from 97 patients from Puerto Rico and 12 U.S.-based patients with confirmed COVID-19 were tested using the DENV Detect IgM Capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (InBios International).* In addition, 122 serum specimens from patients with confirmed dengue and 121 from patients with confirmed Zika virus disease (all from Puerto Rico) were tested using the SARS-CoV-2 pan-Ig Spike Protein ELISA (CDC).† Results obtained for DENV, Zika virus IgM, and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicated 98% test specificity and minimal levels of cross-reactivity between the two flaviviruses and SARS-CoV-2. These findings indicate that diagnoses of dengue or Zika virus diseases with the serological assays described in this report are not affected by COVID-19, nor do dengue or Zika virus diseases interfere with the diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Dengue Virus/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests , Zika Virus/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross Reactions/immunology , Dengue/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Puerto Rico , Sensitivity and Specificity , United States , Zika Virus Infection/diagnosis
6.
Brief Bioinform ; 23(2)2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713564

ABSTRACT

The development of autoimmune diseases following SARS-CoV-2 infection, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome, has been reported, and several mechanisms have been suggested, including molecular mimicry. We developed a scalable, comparative immunoinformatics pipeline called cross-reactive-epitope-search-using-structural-properties-of-proteins (CRESSP) to identify cross-reactive epitopes between a collection of SARS-CoV-2 proteomes and the human proteome using the structural properties of the proteins. Overall, by searching 4 911 245 proteins from 196 352 SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we identified 133 and 648 human proteins harboring potential cross-reactive B-cell and CD8+ T-cell epitopes, respectively. To demonstrate the robustness of our pipeline, we predicted the cross-reactive epitopes of coronavirus spike proteins, which were recognized by known cross-neutralizing antibodies. Using single-cell expression data, we identified PARP14 as a potential target of intermolecular epitope spreading between the virus and human proteins. Finally, we developed a web application (https://ahs2202.github.io/3M/) to interactively visualize our results. We also made our pipeline available as an open-source CRESSP package (https://pypi.org/project/cressp/), which can analyze any two proteomes of interest to identify potentially cross-reactive epitopes between the proteomes. Overall, our immunoinformatic resources provide a foundation for the investigation of molecular mimicry in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases following COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Software , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/immunology , Algorithms , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Models, Molecular , Molecular Mimicry , Neural Networks, Computer , Proteome , Proteomics/methods , Structure-Activity Relationship , Web Browser
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 812176, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662586

ABSTRACT

Although not being the first viral pandemic to affect humankind, we are now for the first time faced with a pandemic caused by a coronavirus. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused more than 4.5 million deaths worldwide. Despite unprecedented efforts, with vaccines being developed in a record time, SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread worldwide with new variants arising in different countries. Such persistent spread is in part enabled by public resistance to vaccination in some countries, and limited access to vaccines in other countries. The limited vaccination coverage, the continued risk for resistant variants, and the existence of natural reservoirs for coronaviruses, highlight the importance of developing additional therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. At the beginning of the pandemic it was suggested that countries with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination programs could be associated with a reduced number and/or severity of COVID-19 cases. Preliminary studies have provided evidence for this relationship and further investigation is being conducted in ongoing clinical trials. The protection against SARS-CoV-2 induced by BCG vaccination may be mediated by cross-reactive T cell lymphocytes, which recognize peptides displayed by class I Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA-I) on the surface of infected cells. In order to identify potential targets of T cell cross-reactivity, we implemented an in silico strategy combining sequence-based and structure-based methods to screen over 13,5 million possible cross-reactive peptide pairs from BCG and SARS-CoV-2. Our study produced (i) a list of immunogenic BCG-derived peptides that may prime T cell cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2, (ii) a large dataset of modeled peptide-HLA structures for the screened targets, and (iii) new computational methods for structure-based screenings that can be used by others in future studies. Our study expands the list of BCG peptides potentially involved in T cell cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides, and identifies multiple high-density "neighborhoods" of cross-reactive peptides which could be driving heterologous immunity induced by BCG vaccination, therefore providing insights for future vaccine development efforts.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Vaccination/methods
9.
Nature ; 603(7901): 493-496, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661970

ABSTRACT

The highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has been shown to evade a substantial fraction of neutralizing antibody responses elicited by current vaccines that encode the WA1/2020 spike protein1. Cellular immune responses, particularly CD8+ T cell responses, probably contribute to protection against severe SARS-CoV-2 infection2-6. Here we show that cellular immunity induced by current vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is highly conserved to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron spike protein. Individuals who received the Ad26.COV2.S or BNT162b2 vaccines demonstrated durable spike-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses, which showed extensive cross-reactivity against both the Delta and the Omicron variants, including in central and effector memory cellular subpopulations. Median Omicron spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses were 82-84% of the WA1/2020 spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses. These data provide immunological context for the observation that current vaccines still show robust protection against severe disease with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant despite the substantially reduced neutralizing antibody responses7,8.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
Nature ; 603(7901): 488-492, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661968

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has multiple spike protein mutations1,2 that contribute to viral escape from antibody neutralization3-6 and reduce vaccine protection from infection7,8. The extent to which other components of the adaptive response such as T cells may still target Omicron and contribute to protection from severe outcomes is unknown. Here we assessed the ability of T cells to react to Omicron spike protein in participants who were vaccinated with Ad26.CoV2.S or BNT162b2, or unvaccinated convalescent COVID-19 patients (n = 70). Between 70% and 80% of the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response to spike was maintained across study groups. Moreover, the magnitude of Omicron cross-reactive T cells was similar for Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants, despite Omicron harbouring considerably more mutations. In patients who were hospitalized with Omicron infections (n = 19), there were comparable T cell responses to ancestral spike, nucleocapsid and membrane proteins to those in patients hospitalized in previous waves dominated by the ancestral, Beta or Delta variants (n = 49). Thus, despite extensive mutations and reduced susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies of Omicron, the majority of T cell responses induced by vaccination or infection cross-recognize the variant. It remains to be determined whether well-preserved T cell immunity to Omicron contributes to protection from severe COVID-19 and is linked to early clinical observations from South Africa and elsewhere9-12.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Convalescence , Hospitalization , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification
11.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(1): 83-96.e4, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634725

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes diverse outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to respiratory distress and death. A major unresolved question is whether prior immunity to endemic, human common cold coronaviruses (hCCCoVs) impacts susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or immunity following infection and vaccination. Therefore, we analyzed samples from the same individuals before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. We found hCCCoV antibody levels increase after SARS-CoV-2 exposure, demonstrating cross-reactivity. However, a case-control study indicates that baseline hCCCoV antibody levels are not associated with protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Rather, higher magnitudes of pre-existing betacoronavirus antibodies correlate with more SARS-CoV-2 antibodies following infection, an indicator of greater disease severity. Additionally, immunization with hCCCoV spike proteins before SARS-CoV-2 immunization impedes the generation of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in mice. Together, these data suggest that pre-existing hCCCoV antibodies hinder SARS-CoV-2 antibody-based immunity following infection and provide insight on how pre-existing coronavirus immunity impacts SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is critical considering emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Common Cold/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cell Line , Common Cold/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
12.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(1): 69-82.e10, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638702

ABSTRACT

A fraction of COVID-19 convalescent individuals mount a potent antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 with cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-1. To uncover their humoral response in detail, we performed single B cell analysis from 10 SARS-CoV-2 elite neutralizers. We isolated and analyzed 126 monoclonal antibodies, many of which were sarbecovirus cross-reactive, with some displaying merbecovirus- and embecovirus-reactivity. Several isolated broadly neutralizing antibodies were effective against B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.429, B.1.617, and B.1.617.2 variants and 19 prominent potential escape sites. Furthermore, assembly of 716,806 SARS-CoV-2 sequences predicted emerging escape variants, which were also effectively neutralized. One of these broadly neutralizing potent antibodies, R40-1G8, is a IGHV3-53 RBD-class-1 antibody. Remarkably, cryo-EM analysis revealed that R40-1G8 has a flexible binding mode, targeting both "up" and "down" conformations of the RBD. Given the threat of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, we demonstrate that elite neutralizers are a valuable source for isolating ultrapotent antibody candidates to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
13.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 80, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616982

ABSTRACT

Cross-reactive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 have been observed in pre-pandemic cohorts and proposed to contribute to host protection. Here we assess 52 COVID-19 household contacts to capture immune responses at the earliest timepoints after SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Using a dual cytokine FLISpot assay on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we enumerate the frequency of T cells specific for spike, nucleocapsid, membrane, envelope and ORF1 SARS-CoV-2 epitopes that cross-react with human endemic coronaviruses. We observe higher frequencies of cross-reactive (p = 0.0139), and nucleocapsid-specific (p = 0.0355) IL-2-secreting memory T cells in contacts who remained PCR-negative despite exposure (n = 26), when compared with those who convert to PCR-positive (n = 26); no significant difference in the frequency of responses to spike is observed, hinting at a limited protective function of spike-cross-reactive T cells. Our results are thus consistent with pre-existing non-spike cross-reactive memory T cells protecting SARS-CoV-2-naïve contacts from infection, thereby supporting the inclusion of non-spike antigens in second-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Contact Tracing/methods , Cross Reactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus/physiology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , /virology , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Young Adult
14.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 128, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616978

ABSTRACT

The quality and persistence of children's humoral immune response following SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown but will be crucial to guide pediatric SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programs. Here, we examine 548 children and 717 adults within 328 households with at least one member with a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assess serological response at 3-4 months and 11-12 months after infection using a bead-based multiplex immunoassay for 23 human coronavirus antigens including SARS-CoV-2 and its Variants of Concern (VOC) and endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs), and additionally by three commercial SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. Neutralization against wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the Delta VOC are analysed in a pseudotyped virus assay. Children, compared to adults, are five times more likely to be asymptomatic, and have higher specific antibody levels which persist longer (96.2% versus 82.9% still seropositive 11-12 months post infection). Of note, symptomatic and asymptomatic infections induce similar humoral responses in all age groups. SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs independent of HCoV serostatus. Neutralization responses of children and adults are similar, although neutralization is reduced for both against the Delta VOC. Overall, the long-term humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is of longer duration than in adults even after asymptomatic infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
15.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110169, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616407

ABSTRACT

The importance of pre-existing immune responses to seasonal endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs) for the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the course of COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Recent studies postulate that immune responses to previous HCoV infections can either have a slightly protective or no effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and, consequently, be neglected for COVID-19 risk stratification. Challenging this notion, we provide evidence that pre-existing, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies against endemic α-coronaviruses and S2 domain-specific anti-spike antibodies against ß-coronavirus HCoV-OC43 are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic donors. This finding is particularly pronounced in males and in critically ill patients. Longitudinal evaluation reveals that antibody cross-reactivity or polyclonal stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to be confounders. Thus, specific pre-existing immunity to seasonal coronaviruses may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and predispose individuals to an adverse COVID-19 outcome, guiding risk management and supporting the development of universal coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
Immunity ; 55(2): 355-365.e4, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611777

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines confer robust protection against COVID-19, but the emergence of variants has generated concerns regarding the protective efficacy of the currently approved vaccines, which lose neutralizing potency against some variants. Emerging data suggest that antibody functions beyond neutralization may contribute to protection from the disease, but little is known about SARS-CoV-2 antibody effector functions. Here, we profiled the binding and functional capacity of convalescent antibodies and Moderna mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibodies across SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). Although the neutralizing responses to VOCs decreased in both groups, the Fc-mediated responses were distinct. In convalescent individuals, although antibodies exhibited robust binding to VOCs, they showed compromised interactions with Fc-receptors. Conversely, vaccine-induced antibodies also bound robustly to VOCs but continued to interact with Fc-receptors and mediate antibody effector functions. These data point to a resilience in the mRNA-vaccine-induced humoral immune response that may continue to offer protection from SARS-CoV-2 VOCs independent of neutralization.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Receptors, Fc/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /administration & dosage , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
17.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110167, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596401

ABSTRACT

Cross-reactivity and direct killing of target cells remain underexplored for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific CD8+ T cells. Isolation of T cell receptors (TCRs) and overexpression in allogeneic cells allows for extensive T cell reactivity profiling. We identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp/NSP12) as highly conserved, likely due to its critical role in the virus life cycle. We perform single-cell TCRαß sequencing in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A∗02:01-restricted, RdRp-specific T cells from SARS-CoV-2-unexposed individuals. Human T cells expressing these TCRαß constructs kill target cell lines engineered to express full-length RdRp. Three TCR constructs recognize homologous epitopes from common cold coronaviruses, indicating CD8+ T cells can recognize evolutionarily diverse coronaviruses. Analysis of individual TCR clones may help define vaccine epitopes that can induce long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Culture Techniques , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A Antigens/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/genetics , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
19.
Cell Rep ; 38(2): 110214, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588141

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is crucial for control of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and has been studied widely on a quantitative level. However, the quality of responses, in particular of CD8+ T cells, has only been investigated marginally so far. Here, we isolate T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires specific for immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 epitopes restricted to common human Leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules in convalescent individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells are detected up to 12 months after infection. TCR repertoires are diverse, with heterogeneous functional avidity and cytotoxicity toward virus-infected cells, as demonstrated for TCR-engineered T cells. High TCR functionality correlates with gene signatures that, remarkably, could be retrieved for each epitope:HLA combination analyzed. Overall, our data demonstrate that polyclonal and highly functional CD8+ TCRs-classic features of protective immunity-are recruited upon mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, providing tools to assess the quality of and potentially restore functional CD8+ T cell immunity.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Cells, Cultured , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
20.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 40-49, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585824

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear. Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3-11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults. Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses. Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months. Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein. These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Protection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans
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