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1.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2231, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574317

ABSTRACT

The Spike protein is the target of both antibody-based therapeutics (convalescent plasma, polyclonal serum, monoclonal antibodies) and vaccines. Mutations in Spike could affect efficacy of those treatments. Hence, monitoring of mutations is necessary to forecast and readapt the inventory of therapeutics. Different phylogenetic nomenclatures have been used for the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 clades. The Spike protein has different hotspots of mutation and deletion, the most dangerous for immune escape being the ones within the receptor binding domain (RBD), such as K417N/T, N439K, L452R, Y453F, S477N, E484K, and N501Y. Convergent evolution has led to different combinations of mutations among different clades. In this review we focus on the main variants of concern, that is, the so-called UK (B.1.1.7), South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (P.1) strains.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Gene Expression , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive/methods , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Clin Microbiol Rev ; 34(3)2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501524

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a rapidly evolving pandemic worldwide with at least 68 million COVID-19-positive cases and a mortality rate of about 2.2%, as of 10 December 2020. About 20% of COVID-19 patients exhibit moderate to severe symptoms. Severe COVID-19 manifests as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with elevated plasma proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10/IP10), macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha (MIP-1α), and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), with low levels of interferon type I (IFN-I) in the early stage and elevated levels of IFN-I during the advanced stage of COVID-19. Most of the severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients have had preexisting comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. These conditions are known to perturb the levels of cytokines, chemokines, and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), an essential receptor involved in SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host cells. ACE2 downregulation during SARS-CoV-2 infection activates the angiotensin II/angiotensin receptor (AT1R)-mediated hypercytokinemia and hyperinflammatory syndrome. However, several SARS-CoV-2 proteins, including open reading frame 3b (ORF3b), ORF6, ORF7, ORF8, and the nucleocapsid (N) protein, can inhibit IFN type I and II (IFN-I and -II) production. Thus, hyperinflammation, in combination with the lack of IFN responses against SARS-CoV-2 early on during infection, makes the patients succumb rapidly to COVID-19. Therefore, therapeutic approaches involving anti-cytokine/anti-cytokine-signaling and IFN therapy would favor the disease prognosis in COVID-19. This review describes critical host and viral factors underpinning the inflammatory "cytokine storm" induction and IFN antagonism during COVID-19 pathogenesis. Therapeutic approaches to reduce hyperinflammation and their limitations are also discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Interferon Type I/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-6/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
J Clin Invest ; 131(20)2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCOVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has been considered a treatment option for COVID-19. This trial assessed the efficacy of a neutralizing antibody containing high-dose CCP in hospitalized adults with COVID-19 requiring respiratory support or intensive care treatment.METHODSPatients (n = 105) were randomized 1:1 to either receive standard treatment and 3 units of CCP or standard treatment alone. Control group patients with progress on day 14 could cross over to the CCP group. The primary outcome was a dichotomous composite outcome of survival and no longer fulfilling criteria for severe COVID-19 on day 21.ResultsThe primary outcome occurred in 43.4% of patients in the CCP group and 32.7% in the control group (P = 0.32). The median time to clinical improvement was 26 days in the CCP group and 66 days in the control group (P = 0.27). The median time to discharge from the hospital was 31 days in the CCP group and 51 days in the control group (P = 0.24). In the subgroup that received a higher cumulative amount of neutralizing antibodies, the primary outcome occurred in 56.0% of the patients (vs. 32.1%), with significantly shorter intervals to clinical improvement (20 vs. 66 days, P < 0.05) and to hospital discharge (21 vs. 51 days, P = 0.03) and better survival (day-60 probability of survival 91.6% vs. 68.1%, P = 0.02) in comparison with the control group.ConclusionCCP added to standard treatment was not associated with a significant improvement in the primary and secondary outcomes. A predefined subgroup analysis showed a significant benefit of CCP among patients who received a larger amount of neutralizing antibodies.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov NCT04433910.FundingBundesministerium für Gesundheit (German Federal Ministry of Health): ZMVI1-2520COR802.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Combined Modality Therapy , Cross-Over Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , Immunization, Passive/methods , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
6.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 1196, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467140

ABSTRACT

Emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2 cause several waves of COVID-19 pandemic. Here we investigate the infectivity and antigenicity of ten emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants-B.1.1.298, B.1.1.7(Alpha), B.1.351(Beta), P.1(Gamma), P.2(Zeta), B.1.429(Epsilon), B.1.525(Eta), B.1.526-1(Iota), B.1.526-2(Iota), B.1.1.318-and seven corresponding single amino acid mutations in the receptor-binding domain using SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus. The results indicate that the pseudovirus of most of the SARS-CoV-2 variants (except B.1.1.298) display slightly increased infectivity in human and monkey cell lines, especially B.1.351, B.1.525 and B.1.526 in Calu-3 cells. The K417N/T, N501Y, or E484K-carrying variants exhibit significantly increased abilities to infect mouse ACE2-overexpressing cells. The activities of furin, TMPRSS2, and cathepsin L are increased against most of the variants. RBD amino acid mutations comprising K417T/N, L452R, Y453F, S477N, E484K, and N501Y cause significant immune escape from 11 of 13 monoclonal antibodies. However, the resistance to neutralization by convalescent serum or vaccines elicited serum is mainly caused by the E484K mutation. The convalescent serum from B.1.1.7- and B.1.351-infected patients neutralized the variants themselves better than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our study provides insights regarding therapeutic antibodies and vaccines, and highlights the importance of E484K mutation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Mammals/immunology , Mice , Mutation , Pandemics , Primates/immunology , Protein Binding , Tropism/genetics
7.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463842

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has been considered internationally as a treatment option for COVID-19. CCP refers to plasma collected from donors who have recovered from and made antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. To date, convalescent plasma has not been collected in South Africa. As other investigational therapies and vaccination were not widely accessible, there was an urgent need to implement a CCP manufacture programme to service South Africans. METHODS: The South African National Blood Service and the Western Cape Blood Service implemented a CCP programme that included CCP collection, processing, testing and storage. CCP units were tested for SARS-CoV-2 Spike ELISA and neutralising antibodies and routine blood transfusion parameters. CCP units from previously pregnant females were tested for anti-HLA and anti-HNA antibodies. RESULTS: A total of 987 CCP units were collected from 243 donors, with a median of three donations per donor. Half of the CCP units had neutralising antibody titres of >1:160. One CCP unit was positive on the TPHA serology. All CCP units tested for anti-HLA antibodies were positive. CONCLUSION: Within three months of the first COVID-19 diagnosis in South Africa, a fully operational CCP programme was set up across South Africa. The infrastructure and skills implemented will likely benefit South Africans in this and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Component Removal/methods , Blood Donors , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , South Africa , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
8.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463833

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved rapidly, leading to viral lineages characterized by multiple mutations in the spike protein, which could potentially confer to the virus the ability to avoid the vaccine-induced immune response, making the vaccines less effective or ineffective. Here, we initially evaluated the neutralization capabilities in vitro by serum neutralization (SN) of six serum samples collected from recipients of the BNT162b2 vaccine against 11 SARS-CoV-2 isolates belonging to the major SARS-CoV-2 lineages that had been circulating in Italy. Then, we considered 30 additional serum samples by SN assay against the dominant B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. A B.1 lineage isolate was used as a reference. In the first analysis, significant differences when compared with the reference strain (p > 0.05) were not evidenced; instead, when the panel of 30 sera was tested against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, a significant (p = 0.0015) 2.38-fold reduction in neutralizing titres compared with the reference after the first vaccine dose was demonstrated. After the second vaccine dose, the reduction was not significant (p = 0.1835). This study highlights that the BNT162b2 vaccine stimulates a humoral response able to neutralize all tested SARS-CoV-2 variants, thus suggesting a prominent role in mitigating the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in real-world conditions. Long-term follow-up is currently ongoing.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Italy , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vero Cells
9.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol ; 21(6): 553-558, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440658

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an update of the current state of antibody therapy for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 infection that has progressed immensely in a very short time period. RECENT FINDINGS: Limited clinical effect of classical passive immunotherapy (plasma therapy, hyperimmune immunoglobulin [IgG] preparations) whereas monoclonal antibody therapy, if initiated early in the disease process, shows promising results. SUMMARY: Although antibody therapy still remains to be fully explored in patients with COVID-19, a combination of IgG monoclonal antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein currently appears to provide the best form of antibody therapy, Immunoglobulin A dimers and Immunoglobulin M pentamers also show promising preliminary therapeutic results.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin A/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin M/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5652, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440473

ABSTRACT

The emergence of numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has presented new challenges to the global efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we obtain two cross-neutralizing antibodies (7D6 and 6D6) that target Sarbecoviruses' receptor-binding domain (RBD) with sub-picomolar affinities and potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structures show that both antibodies bind a cryptic site different from that recognized by existing antibodies and highly conserved across Sarbecovirus isolates. Binding of these two antibodies to the RBD clashes with the adjacent N-terminal domain and disrupts the viral spike. Both antibodies confer good resistance to mutations in the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, our results have direct relevance to public health as options for passive antibody therapeutics and even active prophylactics. They can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/administration & dosage , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/isolation & purification , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , CHO Cells , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
11.
Cell Rep ; 37(2): 109825, 2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439920

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), B.1.617.2, emerged in India and has spread to over 80 countries. B.1.617.2 replaced B.1.1.7 as the dominant virus in the United Kingdom, resulting in a steep increase in new infections, and a similar development is expected for other countries. Effective countermeasures require information on susceptibility of B.1.617.2 to control by antibodies elicited by vaccines and used for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) therapy. We show, using pseudotyping, that B.1.617.2 evades control by antibodies induced upon infection and BNT162b2 vaccination, although to a lesser extent as compared to B.1.351. We find that B.1.617.2 is resistant against bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody with emergency use authorization for COVID-19 therapy. Finally, we show increased Calu-3 lung cell entry and enhanced cell-to-cell fusion of B.1.617.2, which may contribute to augmented transmissibility and pathogenicity of this variant. These results identify B.1.617.2 as an immune evasion variant with increased capacity to enter and fuse lung cells.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Evasion/physiology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
12.
Int J Med Sci ; 18(15): 3389-3394, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409697

ABSTRACT

Current standard vaccine testing protocols take approximately 10-24 months of testing before a vaccine can be declared successful. Sometimes by the time a successful vaccine is out for public use, the outbreak may already be over. With no vaccine or antiviral drug available to treat the infected, we are left with the age-old methods of isolation, quarantine, and rest, to arrest such a viral outbreak. Convalescent blood therapy and covalent plasma therapy have often proved effective in reducing mortality, however, the role of innate and adaptive immune cells in these therapies have been overlooked. Antigen presenting cells (APCs), CD4+ T memory cells, CD8+ T memory cells, and memory B-Cells all play a vital role in sustainable defense and subsequent recovery. This report incorporates all these aspects by suggesting a novel treatment therapy called selective convalescent leukapheresis and transfusion (SCLT) and also highlights its potential in vaccination. The anticipated advantages of the proposed technique outweigh the cost, time, and efficiency of other available transfusion and vaccination processes. It is envisioned that in the future this new approach could serve as a rapid emergency response to subdue a pathogen outbreak and to stop it from becoming an epidemic, or pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Immunotherapy/methods , Antigen-Presenting Cells/cytology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Blood Transfusion , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunologic Factors , Leukapheresis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 95(9): 1813-1815, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1382662
15.
Trials ; 21(1): 828, 2020 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388814

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Primary objectives • To assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary objectives • To assess overall survival, and the overall survival rate at 28 56 and 84 days. • To assess SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • To assess the percentage of patients that required mechanical ventilation. • To assess time from randomisation until discharge. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomised, open-label, multicenter phase II trial, designed to assess the clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 disease in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) following treatment with anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma or standard of care. PARTICIPANTS: High-risk patients >18 years of age hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in 10-15 university medical centres will be included. High-risk is defined as SARS-CoV-2 positive infection with Oxygen saturation at ≤ 94% at ambient air with additional risk features as categorised in 4 groups: • Group 1, pre-existing or concurrent hematological malignancy and/or active cancer therapy (incl. chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) within the last 24 months or less. • Group 2, chronic immunosuppression not meeting the criteria of group 1. • Group 3, age ≥ 50 - 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2 and at least one of these criteria: Lymphopenia < 0.8 x G/l and/or D-dimer > 1µg/mL. • Group 4, age ≥ 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2. Observation time for all patients is expected to be at least 3 months after entry into the study. Patients receive convalescent plasma for two days (day 1 and day 2) or standard of care. For patients in the standard arm, cross over is allowed from day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. Nose/throat swabs for determination of viral load are collected at day 0 and day 1 (before first CP administration) and subsequently at day 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 28 or until discharge. Serum for SARS-Cov-2 diagnostic is collected at baseline and subsequently at day 3, 7, 14 and once during the follow-up period (between day 35 and day 84). There is a regular follow-up of 3 months. All discharged patients are followed by regular phone calls. All visits, time points and study assessments are summarized in the Trial Schedule (see full protocol Table 1). All participating trial sites will be supplied with study specific visit worksheets that list all assessments and procedures to be completed at each visit. All findings including clinical and laboratory data are documented by the investigator or an authorized member of the study team in the patient's medical record and in the electronic case report forms (eCRFs). INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: This trial will analyze the effects of convalescent plasma from recovered subjects with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in high-risk patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients at high risk for a poor outcome due to underlying disease, age or condition as listed above are eligible for enrollment. In addition, eligible patients have a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and O2 saturation ≤ 94% while breathing ambient air. Patients are randomised to receive (experimental arm) or not receive (standard arm) convalescent plasma in two bags (238 - 337 ml plasma each) from different donors (day 1, day 2). A cross over from the standard arm into the experimental arm is possible after day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary endpoints: The main purpose of the study is to assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven-point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary endpoints: • Overall survival, defined as the time from randomisation until death from any cause 28-day, 56-day and 84-day overall survival rates. • SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • Requirement mechanical ventilation at any time during hospital stay (yes/no). • Time until discharge from randomisation. • Viral load, changes in antibody titers and cytokine profiles are analysed in an exploratory manner using paired non-parametric tests (before - after treatment). RANDOMISATION: Upon confirmation of eligibility (patients must meet all inclusion criteria and must not meet exclusion criteria described in section 5.3 and 5.4 of the full protocol), the clinical site must contact a centralized internet randomization system ( https://randomizer.at/ ). Patients are randomized using block randomisation to one of the two arms, experimental arm or standard arm, in a 1:1 ratio considering a stratification according to the 4 risk groups (see Participants). BLINDING (MASKING): The study is open-label, no blinding will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total number of 174 patients is required for the entire trial, n=87 per group. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.2 dated 09/07/2020. A recruitment period of approximately 9 months and an overall study duration of approximately 12 months is anticipated. Recruitment of patients starts in the third quarter of 2020. The study duration of an individual patient is planned to be 3 months. After finishing all study-relevant procedures, therapy, and follow-up period, the patient is followed in terms of routine care and treated if necessary. Total trial duration: 18 months Duration of the clinical phase: 12 months First patient first visit (FPFV): 3rd Quarter 2020 Last patient first visit (LPFV): 2nd Quarter 2021 Last patient last visit (LPLV): 3rd Quarter 2021 Trial Report completed: 4th Quarter 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number: 2020-001632-10, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2020-001632-10/DE , registered on 04/04/2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2). The eCRF is attached (Additional file 3).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Plasma/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk Adjustment , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
16.
mSphere ; 6(4): e0027521, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371850

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has now caused over 2 million deaths worldwide and continues to expand. Currently, much is unknown about functionally neutralizing human antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2 months after infection or the reason for the discrepancy in COVID-19 disease and sex. Using convalescent-phase sera collected from 101 COVID-19-recovered individuals 21 to 212 days after symptom onset with 48 additional longitudinal samples, we measured functionality and durability of serum antibodies. We also evaluated associations of individual demographic and clinical parameters with functional neutralizing antibody responses to COVID-19. We found robust antibody durability out to 6 months, as well as significant positive associations with the magnitude of the neutralizing antibody response and male sex and in individuals with cardiometabolic comorbidities. IMPORTANCE In this study, we found that neutralizing antibody responses in COVID-19-convalescent individuals vary in magnitude but are durable and correlate well with receptor binding domain (RBD) Ig binding antibody levels compared to other SARS-CoV-2 antigen responses. In our cohort, higher neutralizing antibody titers are independently and significantly associated with male sex compared to female sex. We also show for the first time that higher convalescent antibody titers in male donors are associated with increased age and symptom grade. Furthermore, cardiometabolic comorbidities are associated with higher antibody titers independently of sex. Here, we present an in-depth evaluation of serologic, demographic, and clinical correlates of functional antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2 which supports the growing literature on sex discrepancies regarding COVID-19 disease morbidity and mortality, as well as functional neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
17.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 565-574, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to significant morbidity and mortality. While most suffer from mild symptoms, some patients progress to severe disease with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and associated systemic hyperinflammation. METHODS: First, to characterize key cytokines and their dynamics in this hyperinflammatory condition, we assessed abundance and correlative expression of a panel of 48 cytokines in patients progressing to ARDS as compared to patients with mild disease. Then, in an ongoing randomized controlled trial of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), we analyzed rapid effects of CPT on the systemic cytokine dynamics as a correlate for the level of hypoxia experienced by the patients. RESULTS: We identified an anti-inflammatory role of CPT independent of its neutralizing antibody content. CONCLUSIONS: Neutralizing antibodies, as well as reductions in circulating interleukin-6 and interferon-γ-inducible protein 10, contributed to marked rapid reductions in hypoxia in response to CPT. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY OF INDIA: CTRI/2020/05/025209. http://www.ctri.nic.in/.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
18.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(10): 2478-2484, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340251

ABSTRACT

Treatment with convalescent plasma has been shown to be safe in coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) infection, although efficacy reported in immunocompetent patients varies. Nevertheless, neutralizing antibodies are a key requisite in the fight against viral infections. Patients depleted of antibody-producing B cells, such as those treated with rituximab (anti-CD20) for hematological malignancies, lack a fundamental part of their adaptive immunity. Treatment with convalescent plasma appears to be of general benefit in this particularly vulnerable cohort. We analyzed clinical course and inflammation markers of three B-cell-depleted patients suffering from COVID-19 who were treated with convalescent plasma. In addition, we measured serum antibody levels as well as peripheral blood CD38/HLA-DR-positive T-cells ex vivo and CD137-positive T-cells after in vitro stimulation with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived peptides in these patients. We observed that therapy with convalescent plasma was effective in all three patients and analysis of CD137-positive T-cells after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 peptides showed an increase in peptide-specific T-cells after application of convalescent plasma. In conclusion, we here demonstrate efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in three B-cell-depleted patients and present data that suggest that while application of convalescent plasma elevates systemic antibody levels only transiently, it may also boost specific T-cell responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocyte Depletion , Lymphoma, B-Cell/drug therapy , Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy , Rituximab/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9/metabolism
19.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254453, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329135

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Limited therapeutic options exist for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is a potential therapeutic, but there is limited data for patients with moderate-to-severe disease. RESEARCH QUESTION: What are outcomes associated with administration of CCP in patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 infection? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a propensity score-matched analysis of patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19. The primary endpoints were in-hospital mortality. Secondary endpoints were number of days alive and ventilator-free at 30 days; length of hospital stay; and change in WHO scores from CCP administration (or index date) to discharge. Of 151 patients who received CCP, 132 had complete follow-up data. Patients were transfused after a median of 6 hospital days; thus, we investigated the effect of convalescent plasma before and after this timepoint with 77 early (within 6 days) and 55 late (after 6 days) recipients. Among 3,217 inpatients who did not receive CCP, 2,551 were available for matching. RESULTS: Early CCP recipients, of whom 31 (40%) were on mechanical ventilation, had lower 14-day (15% vs 23%) and 30-day (38% vs 49%) mortality compared to a matched unexposed cohort, with nearly 50% lower likelihood of in-hospital mortality (HR 0.52, [95% CI 0.28-0.96]; P = 0.036). Early plasma recipients had more days alive and ventilator-free at 30 days (+3.3 days, [95% CI 0.2 to 6.3 days]; P = 0.04) and improved WHO scores at 7 days (-0.8, [95% CI: -1.2 to -0.4]; P = 0.0003) and hospital discharge (-0.9, [95% CI: -1.5 to -0.3]; P = 0.004) compared to the matched unexposed cohort. No clinical differences were observed in late plasma recipients. INTERPRETATION: Early administration of CCP improves outcomes in patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, while improvement was not observed with late CCP administration. The importance of timing of administration should be addressed in specifically designed trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Connecticut/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Inpatients , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Propensity Score , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Treatment Outcome
20.
mSphere ; 6(4): e0024421, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329039

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have shown that persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections in immunocompromised patients can trigger the accumulation of an unusual high number of mutations with potential relevance at both biological and epidemiological levels. Here, we report a case of an immunocompromised patient (non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient under immunosuppressive therapy) with a persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection (marked by intermittent positivity) over at least 6 months. Viral genome sequencing was performed at days 1, 164, and 171 to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Among the 15 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (11 leading to amino acid alterations) and 3 deletions accumulated during this long-term infection, four amino acid changes (V3G, S50L, N87S, and A222V) and two deletions (18-30del and 141-144del) occurred in the virus Spike protein. Although no convalescent plasma therapy was administered, some of the detected mutations have been independently reported in other chronically infected individuals, which supports a scenario of convergent adaptive evolution. This study shows that it is of the utmost relevance to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 evolution in immunocompromised individuals, not only to identify novel potentially adaptive mutations, but also to mitigate the risk of introducing "hyper-evolved" variants in the community. IMPORTANCE Tracking the within-patient evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is key to understanding how this pandemic virus shapes its genome toward immune evasion and survival. In the present study, by monitoring a long-term COVID-19 immunocompromised patient, we observed the concurrent emergence of mutations potentially associated with immune evasion and/or enhanced transmission, mostly targeting the SARS-CoV-2 key host-interacting protein and antigen. These findings show that the frequent oscillation in the immune status in immunocompromised individuals can trigger an accelerated virus evolution, thus consolidating this study model as an accelerated pathway to better understand SARS-CoV-2 adaptive traits and anticipate the emergence of variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acids/genetics , Amino Acids/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genome, Viral/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/virology , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Mutation/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
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