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1.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1162, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091489

ABSTRACT

The durability of infection-induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity has major implications for reinfection and vaccine development. Here, we show a comprehensive profile of antibody, B cell and T cell dynamics over time in a cohort of patients who have recovered from mild-moderate COVID-19. Binding and neutralising antibody responses, together with individual serum clonotypes, decay over the first 4 months post-infection. A similar decline in Spike-specific CD4+ and circulating T follicular helper frequencies occurs. By contrast, S-specific IgG+ memory B cells consistently accumulate over time, eventually comprising a substantial fraction of circulating the memory B cell pool. Modelling of the concomitant immune kinetics predicts maintenance of serological neutralising activity above a titre of 1:40 in 50% of convalescent participants to 74 days, although there is probably additive protection from B cell and T cell immunity. This study indicates that SARS-CoV-2 immunity after infection might be transiently protective at a population level. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 vaccines might require greater immunogenicity and durability than natural infection to drive long-term protection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , Immunity, Cellular , Immunologic Memory , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Models, Theoretical , Neutralization Tests , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology
2.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0246864, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083475

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is an indicator of protective immunity for most viral infections. A newly developed surrogate viral neutralization assay (sVNT) offers the ability to detect total receptor binding domain-targeting NAbs in an isotype-independent manner, increasing the test sensitivity. Thus, specimens with low IgM/ IgG antibody levels showed strong neutralization activity in sVNT. METHODS: This study aimed to measure the %inhibition of NAbs measured by sVNT in PCR-confirmed COVID-19 patients. The sensitivity of sVNT for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its kinetics were determined. RESULTS: Ninety-seven patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in this study. Majority of the patients were 21-40 years old (67%) and 63% had mild symptoms. The sensitivity of sVNT for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 99% (95% confidence interval (CI) 94.4-100%) and the specificity was 100% (95% CI 98.3-100%). The negative predictive value of sVNT from the samples collected before and after 7 days of symptom onset was 99.5% (95% CI 97.4-100%) and 100% (95% CI 93.8-100%), respectively. The level of inhibition at days 8-14 were significantly higher than days 0-7 (p<0.001). The median %inhibition values by severity of COVID-19 symptoms were 79.9% (interquartile range (IQR) 49.7-91.8%); 89.0% (IQR 71.2-92.4%); and 86.6% (IQR 69.5-92.8%), for mild, moderate and severe/critical symptoms respectively. The median level of sVNT %inhibition of severe was significantly higher than the mild group (p = 0.05). CONCLUSION: The sVNT is a practical and robust serological test for SARS-CoV-2 infection and does not require specialized biosafety containment. It can be used clinically to aid diagnosis in both early and late infection especially in cases when the real-time RT-PCR results in weakly negative or weakly positive, and to determine the protective immune response from SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , /diagnosis , Neutralization Tests/methods , /physiology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Thailand , Young Adult
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 972, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075220

ABSTRACT

Among the many questions unanswered for the COVID-19 pandemic are the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the potential role of intermediate animal host(s) in the early animal-to-human transmission. The discovery of RaTG13 bat coronavirus in China suggested a high probability of a bat origin. Here we report molecular and serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs) actively circulating in bats in Southeast Asia. Whole genome sequences were obtained from five independent bats (Rhinolophus acuminatus) in a Thai cave yielding a single isolate (named RacCS203) which is most related to the RmYN02 isolate found in Rhinolophus malayanus in Yunnan, China. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies were also detected in bats of the same colony and in a pangolin at a wildlife checkpoint in Southern Thailand. Antisera raised against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of RmYN02 was able to cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2 despite the fact that the RBD of RacCS203 or RmYN02 failed to bind ACE2. Although the origin of the virus remains unresolved, our study extended the geographic distribution of genetically diverse SC2r-CoVs from Japan and China to Thailand over a 4800-km range. Cross-border surveillance is urgently needed to find the immediate progenitor virus of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , /physiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Asia, Southeastern , Chiroptera/blood , Geography , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , Protein Domains , Receptors, Cell Surface/chemistry , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism
4.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e44, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075129

ABSTRACT

Much of our current understanding about novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) comes from hospitalised patients. However, the spectrum of mild and subclinical disease has implications for population-level screening and control. Forty-nine participants were recruited from a group of 99 adults repatriated from a cruise ship with a high incidence of COVID-19. Respiratory and rectal swabs were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Sera were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and microneutralisation assay. Symptoms, viral shedding and antibody response were examined. Forty-five participants (92%) were considered cases based on either positive PCR or positive ELISA for immunoglobulin G. Forty-two percent of cases were asymptomatic. Only 15% of symptomatic cases reported fever. Serial respiratory and rectal swabs were positive for 10% and 5% of participants respectively about 3 weeks after median symptom onset. Cycle threshold values were high (range 31-45). Attempts to isolate live virus were unsuccessful. The presence of symptoms was not associated with demographics, comorbidities or antibody response. In closed settings, incidence of COVID-19 could be almost double that suggested by symptom-based screening. Serology may be useful in diagnosis of mild disease and in aiding public health investigations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , /virology , Ships , Symptom Assessment , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Tourism , Uruguay , Victoria/epidemiology
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3318, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069119

ABSTRACT

Despite unprecedented global efforts to rapidly develop SARS-CoV-2 treatments, in order to reduce the burden placed on health systems, the situation remains critical. Effective diagnosis, treatment, and prophylactic measures are urgently required to meet global demand: recombinant antibodies fulfill these requirements and have marked clinical potential. Here, we describe the fast-tracked development of an alpaca Nanobody specific for the receptor-binding-domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein with potential therapeutic applicability. We present a rapid method for nanobody isolation that includes an optimized immunization regimen coupled with VHH library E. coli surface display, which allows single-step selection of Nanobodies using a simple density gradient centrifugation of the bacterial library. The selected single and monomeric Nanobody, W25, binds to the SARS-CoV-2 S RBD with sub-nanomolar affinity and efficiently competes with ACE-2 receptor binding. Furthermore, W25 potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 wild type and the D614G variant with IC50 values in the nanomolar range, demonstrating its potential as antiviral agent.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity/genetics , /immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Camelids, New World/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , HeLa Cells , Humans , Immunization , Male , Neutralization Tests , Peptide Library , Protein Binding/genetics , /isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transfection
6.
Science ; 371(6530): 735-741, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066809

ABSTRACT

Protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-related emergent zoonotic coronaviruses is urgently needed. We made homotypic nanoparticles displaying the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 or co-displaying SARS-CoV-2 RBD along with RBDs from animal betacoronaviruses that represent threats to humans (mosaic nanoparticles with four to eight distinct RBDs). Mice immunized with RBD nanoparticles, but not soluble antigen, elicited cross-reactive binding and neutralization responses. Mosaic RBD nanoparticles elicited antibodies with superior cross-reactive recognition of heterologous RBDs relative to sera from immunizations with homotypic SARS-CoV-2-RBD nanoparticles or COVID-19 convalescent human plasmas. Moreover, after priming, sera from mosaic RBD-immunized mice neutralized heterologous pseudotyped coronaviruses as well as or better than sera from homotypic SARS-CoV-2-RBD nanoparticle immunizations, demonstrating no loss of immunogenicity against particular RBDs resulting from co-display. A single immunization with mosaic RBD nanoparticles provides a potential strategy to simultaneously protect against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging zoonotic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Nanoparticles , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Immune Sera/immunology , Immunization , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , /virology
7.
Sci Adv ; 7(6)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066792

ABSTRACT

The profound consequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mandate urgent development of effective vaccines. Here, we evaluated an Amphiphile (AMP) vaccine adjuvant, AMP-CpG, composed of diacyl lipid-modified CpG, admixed with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike-2 receptor binding domain protein as a candidate vaccine (ELI-005) in mice. AMP modification efficiently delivers CpG to lymph nodes, where innate and adaptive immune responses are generated. Compared to alum, immunization with AMP-CpG induced >25-fold higher antigen-specific T cells that produced multiple T helper 1 (TH1) cytokines and trafficked into lung parenchyma. Antibody responses favored TH1 isotypes (IgG2c and IgG3) and potently neutralized Spike-2-ACE2 receptor binding, with titers 265-fold higher than natural convalescent patient COVID-19 responses; T cell and antibody responses were maintained despite 10-fold dose reduction in Spike antigen. Both cellular and humoral immune responses were preserved in aged mice. These advantages merit clinical translation to SARS-CoV-2 and other protein subunit vaccines.


Subject(s)
/administration & dosage , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Lymph Nodes/immunology , Surface-Active Agents/administration & dosage , Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , /immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutralization Tests , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/administration & dosage , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/immunology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
8.
Viruses ; 13(2)2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063429

ABSTRACT

Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies provides important research and diagnostic information relating to COVID-19 prevalence, incidence and host immune response. A greater understanding of the relationship between functionally neutralising antibodies detected using microneutralisation assays and binding antibodies detected using scalable enzyme immunoassays (EIA) is needed in order to address protective immunity post-infection or vaccination, and assess EIA suitability as a surrogate test for screening of convalescent plasma donors. We assessed whether neutralising antibody titres correlated with signal cut-off ratios in five commercially available EIAs, and one in-house assay based on expressed spike protein targets. Sera from recovered patients or convalescent plasma donors who reported laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 200), and negative control sera collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 100), were assessed in parallel. Performance was assessed by calculating EIA sensitivity and specificity with reference to microneutralisation. Neutralising antibodies were detected in 166 (83%) samples. Compared with this, the most sensitive EIAs were the Cobas Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (98%) and Vitros Immunodiagnostic Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (100%), which detect total antibody targeting the N and S1 antigens, respectively. The assay with the best quantitative relationship with microneutralisation was the Euroimmun IgG. These results suggest the marker used (total Ab vs. IgG vs. IgA) and the target antigen are important determinants of assay performance. The strong correlation between microneutralisation and some commercially available assays demonstrates their potential for clinical and research use in assessing protection following infection or vaccination, and use as a surrogate test to assess donor suitability for convalescent plasma donation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Neutralization Tests , /immunology , /diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , ROC Curve , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , /blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
10.
J Nanobiotechnology ; 19(1): 33, 2021 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054825

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak and pandemic of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 caused significant threaten to global public health and economic consequences. It is extremely urgent that global people must take actions to develop safe and effective preventions and therapeutics. Nanobodies, which are derived from single­chain camelid antibodies, had shown antiviral properties in various challenge viruses. In this study, multivalent nanobodies with high affinity blocking SARS-CoV-2 spike interaction with ACE2 protein were developed. RESULTS: Totally, four specific nanobodies against spike protein and its RBD domain were screened from a naïve VHH library. Among them, Nb91-hFc and Nb3-hFc demonstrated antiviral activity by neutralizing spike pseudotyped viruses in vitro. Subsequently, multivalent nanobodies were constructed to improve the neutralizing capacity. As a result, heterodimer nanobody Nb91-Nb3-hFc exhibited the strongest RBD-binding affinity and neutralizing ability against SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses with an IC50 value at approximately 1.54 nM. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicated that naïve VHH library could be used as a potential resource for rapid acquisition and exploitation of antiviral nanobodies. Heterodimer nanobody Nb91-Nb3-hFc may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors
11.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 129, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054066

ABSTRACT

Development of antibody protection during SARS-CoV-2 infection is a pressing question for public health and for vaccine development. We developed highly sensitive SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody and neutralization assays. SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein or Nucleocapsid protein specific IgG antibodies at titers more than 1:100,000 were detectable in all PCR+ subjects (n = 115) and were absent in the negative controls. Other isotype antibodies (IgA, IgG1-4) were also detected. SARS-CoV-2 neutralization was determined in COVID-19 and convalescent plasma at up to 10,000-fold dilution, using Spike protein pseudotyped lentiviruses, which were also blocked by neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). Hospitalized patients had up to 3000-fold higher antibody and neutralization titers compared to outpatients or convalescent plasma donors. Interestingly, some COVID-19 patients also possessed NAbs against SARS-CoV Spike protein pseudovirus. Together these results demonstrate the high specificity and sensitivity of our assays, which may impact understanding the quality or duration of the antibody response during COVID-19 and in determining the effectiveness of potential vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , /chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Adult , /immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , /virology , Convalescence , /metabolism , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , Female , Genetic Vectors/chemistry , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immunity, Humoral , Lentivirus/genetics , Lentivirus/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , /pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Survival Analysis
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 2062, 2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042516

ABSTRACT

In order to support vaccine development, and to aid convalescent plasma therapy, it would be important to understand the kinetics, timing and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), and their association with clinical disease severity. Therefore, we used a surrogate viral neutralization test to evaluate their levels in patients with varying severity of illness, in those with prolonged shedding and those with mild/asymptomatic illness at various time points. Patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 illness had earlier appearance of NAbs at higher levels compared to those with mild or asymptomatic illness. Furthermore, those who had prolonged shedding of the virus, had NAbs appearing faster and at higher levels than those who cleared the virus earlier. During the first week of illness the NAb levels of those with mild illness was significantly less (p = 0.01), compared to those with moderate and severe illness. At the end of 4 weeks (28 days), although 89% had NAbs, 38/76 (50%) in those with > 90 days had a negative result for the presence of NAbs. The Ab levels significantly declined during convalescence (> 90 days since onset of illness), compared to 4 to 8 weeks since onset of illness. Our data show that high levels of NAbs during early illness associated with clinical disease severity and that these antibodies declined in 50% of individuals after 3 months since onset of illness.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , /immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , /therapy , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests/methods , Severity of Illness Index , Sri Lanka/epidemiology
13.
Nat Biotechnol ; 38(9): 1073-1078, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023948

ABSTRACT

A robust serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed to determine not only the infection rate, herd immunity and predicted humoral protection, but also vaccine efficacy during clinical trials and after large-scale vaccination. The current gold standard is the conventional virus neutralization test requiring live pathogen and a biosafety level 3 laboratory. Here, we report a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test that detects total immunodominant neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain in an isotype- and species-independent manner. Our simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of the interaction between the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor protein and the receptor-binding domain. The test, which has been validated with two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 in two different countries, achieves 99.93% specificity and 95-100% sensitivity, and differentiates antibody responses to several human coronaviruses. The surrogate virus neutralization test does not require biosafety level 3 containment, making it broadly accessible to the wider community for both research and clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
14.
Viruses ; 13(1)2021 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011630

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), employs host-cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for cell entry. Genetic analyses of ACE2 have identified several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) specific to different human populations. Molecular dynamics simulations have indicated that several of these SNPs could affect interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2, thereby providing a partial explanation for the regional differences observed in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and severity. However, the significance of population-specific ACE2 SNPs in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity is unknown, as no in vitro validation studies have been performed. Here, we analyzed the impact of eight SNPs found in specific populations on receptor binding and cell entry in vitro. Except for a SNP causing a nonsense mutation that reduced ACE2 expression, none of the selected SNPs markedly altered the interaction between ACE2 and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (SARS-2-S), which is responsible for receptor recognition and cell entry, or the efficiency of viral cell entry mediated by SARS-2-S. Our findings indicate that ACE2 polymorphisms have limited impact on the ACE2-dependent cell entry of SARS-CoV-2 and underscore the importance of future studies on the involvement of population-specific SNPs of other host genes in susceptibility toward SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
/genetics , /virology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , /physiology , Amino Acid Substitution , Genetics, Population , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutagenesis , Neutralization Tests , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
15.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(3): 485-494, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009150

ABSTRACT

Whether antibody levels measured by commercially available enzyme or chemiluminescent immunoassays targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein can act as a proxy for serum neutralizing activity remains to be established for many of these assays. We evaluated the degree of correlation between neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and SARS-CoV-2-S-IgG levels measured by four commercial immunoassays in sera drawn from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Ninety sera from 51 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were tested by a pseudotyped virus neutralization assay, the LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG, the Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA, the MAGLUMI 2019-nCoV IgG, and the COVID-19 ELISA IgG assays. Overall, the results obtained with the COVID-19 ELISA IgG test showed the highest agreement with the NtAb assay (κ, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.63-1). The most sensitive tests were the pseudotyped virus NtAb assay and the COVID-19 ELISA IgG assay (92.2% for both). Overall, the degree correlation between antibody titers resulting in 50% virus neutralization (NtAb50) in the pseudotyped virus assay and SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels was strong for the Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA (rho = 0.73) and moderate for the remaining assays (rho = 0.48 to 0.59). The kinetic profile of serum NtAb50 titers could not be reliably predicted by any of the SARS-CoV-2 IgG immunoassays. The suitability of SARS-CoV-2-S-IgG commercial immunoassays for inferring neutralizing activity of sera from hospitalized COVID-19 patients varies widely across tests and is influenced by the time of sera collection after the onset of symptoms.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , /diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007633

ABSTRACT

The current practice for diagnosis of COVID-19, based on SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of pharyngeal or respiratory specimens in a symptomatic patient at high epidemiologic risk, likely underestimates the true prevalence of infection. Serologic methods can more accurately estimate the disease burden by detecting infections missed by the limited testing performed to date. Here, we describe the validation of a coronavirus antigen microarray containing immunologically significant antigens from SARS-CoV-2, in addition to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, common human coronavirus strains, and other common respiratory viruses. A comparison of antibody profiles detected on the array from control sera collected prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic versus convalescent blood specimens from virologically confirmed COVID-19 cases demonstrates near complete discrimination of these two groups, with improved performance from use of antigen combinations that include both spike protein and nucleoprotein. This array can be used as a diagnostic tool, as an epidemiologic tool to more accurately estimate the disease burden of COVID-19, and as a research tool to correlate antibody responses with clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/blood , /immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , /diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Microarray Analysis/methods , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 63, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007631

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic poses the greatest global public health challenge in a century. Neutralizing antibody is a correlate of protection and data on kinetics of virus neutralizing antibody responses are needed. We tested 293 sera from an observational cohort of 195 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections collected from 0 to 209 days after onset of symptoms. Of 115 sera collected ≥61 days after onset of illness tested using plaque reduction neutralization (PRNT) assays, 99.1% remained seropositive for both 90% (PRNT90) and 50% (PRNT50) neutralization endpoints. We estimate that it takes at least 372, 416 and 133 days for PRNT50 titres to drop to the detection limit of a titre of 1:10 for severe, mild and asymptomatic patients, respectively. At day 90 after onset of symptoms (or initial RT-PCR detection in asymptomatic infections), it took 69, 87 and 31 days for PRNT50 antibody titres to decrease by half (T1/2) in severe, mild and asymptomatic infections, respectively. Patients with severe disease had higher peak PRNT90 and PRNT50 antibody titres than patients with mild or asymptomatic infections. Age did not appear to compromise antibody responses, even after accounting for severity. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits robust neutralizing antibody titres in most individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , /immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /epidemiology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Vero Cells , Young Adult
18.
Virol J ; 18(1): 1, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007159

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virus neutralization by antibodies is an important prognostic factor in many viral diseases. To easily and rapidly measure titers of neutralizing antibodies in serum or plasma, we developed pseudovirion particles composed of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 incorporated onto murine leukemia virus capsids and a modified minimal murine leukemia virus genome encoding firefly luciferase. This assay design is intended for use in laboratories with biocontainment level 2 and therefore circumvents the need for the biocontainment level 3 that would be required for replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 virus. To validate the pseudovirion assay, we set up comparisons with other available antibody tests including those from Abbott, Euroimmun and Siemens, using archived, known samples. RESULTS: 11 out of 12 SARS-CoV-2-infected patient serum samples showed neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2-spike pseudotyped MLV viruses, with neutralizing titers-50 (NT50) that ranged from 1:25 to 1:1,417. Five historical samples from patients hospitalized for severe influenza infection in 2016 tested negative in the neutralization assay (NT50 < 25). Three serum samples with high neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2/MLV pseudoviruses showed no detectable neutralizing activity (NT50 < 25) against SARS-CoV-1/MLV pseudovirions. We also compared the semiquantitative Siemens SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, which measures binding of IgG to recombinantly expressed receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein with the neutralization titers obtained in the pseudovirion assay and the results show high concordance between the two tests (R2 = 0.9344). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 spike/MLV pseudovirions provide a practical means of assessing neutralizing activity of antibodies in serum or plasma from infected patients under laboratory conditions consistent with biocontainment level 2. This assay offers promise also in evaluating immunogenicity of spike glycoprotein-based candidate vaccines in the near future.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Leukemia/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virion/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice
19.
Virol Sin ; 35(6): 713-724, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006336

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), reminiscent of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, has been a tragic disaster to people all over the world. As there is no specific drug for COVID-19, neutralizing antibodies are attracting more and more attention as one of the most effective means to combat the pandemic. Here, we introduced the etiological and serological characteristics of COVID-19, discussed the current stage of development of human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and summarized the antigenic epitopes in the S glycoprotein, which may deepen the understanding of the profile of immune recognition and response against SARS-CoV-2 and provide insight for the design of effective vaccines and antibody-based therapies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , /immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
20.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243967, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992705

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic emerged in December 2019. Convalescent plasma represents a promising COVID-19 treatment. Here, we report on the manufacturing of a plasma-based product containing antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 obtained from recently recovered COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma donors were screened as follows: 1) previously confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (by real-time PCR (RT-PCR)); 2) a subsequent negative PCR test followed by a 2-week waiting period; 3) an additional negative PCR test prior to plasmapheresis; and 4) confirmation of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. Convalescent plasma was stored fresh (2-6°C) for up to 5 days or frozen (-30°C) for long-term storage. Donor peripheral blood and final plasma product were assayed for binding antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) and their titers measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We performed 72 plasmaphereses resulting in 248 final products. Convalescent plasma contained an RBD-specific antibody titer (IgG) ranging from 1:100 to 1:3200 (median 1:800). The titer was congruent to the titer of the blood (n = 34) before collection (1:100-1:6400, median 1:800). Levels of IL-8 and LBP of donors were slightly increased. Therapeutic products derived from a human origin must undergo rigorous testing to ensure uniform quality and patient safety. Whilst previous publications recommended RBD-specific binding antibody titers of ≥ 1:320, we selected a minimum titer of 1:800 in order to maximize antibody delivery. Production of highly standardized convalescent plasma was safe, feasible and was readily implemented in the treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , /therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , /epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Plasma/immunology , Plasma/virology , Plasmapheresis/methods , Tissue Donors , Young Adult
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