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1.
Dokl Biochem Biophys ; 503(1): 90-92, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832372

ABSTRACT

Seven amino acid sequences of antibody mimetics molecules, monobodies, capable of interacting with the nucleocapsid protein of the SARS-CoV virus, were taken from the literature. Nucleotide sequences of monobody genes were obtained by gene synthesis, which were expressed in E. coli and isolated using Ni-NTA chromatography. It was shown by thermophoresis that three of the seven selected antibody-like molecules can interact with high affinity (dissociation constant of tens of nM) with the nucleocapsid protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the remaining four monobodies, only low affinity binding with a dissociation constant of several µM was found.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Escherichia coli/genetics , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics
2.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 822599, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822354

ABSTRACT

For the clinical application of semi-quantitative anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, the analytical performance and titer correlation of the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) need to be investigated. We evaluated the analytical performance and PRNT titer-correlation of one surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) kit and three chemiluminescent assays. We measured the total antibodies for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein, total antibodies for the nucleocapsid protein (NP), and IgG antibodies for the RBD. All three chemiluminescent assays showed high analytical performance for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a sensitivity ≥ 98% and specificity ≥ 99%; those of the sVNT were slightly lower. The representativeness of the neutralizing activity of PRNT ND50 ≥ 20 was comparable among the four immunoassays (Cohen's kappa ≈ 0.80). Quantitative titer correlation for high PRNT titers of ND50 ≥ 50, 200, and 1,000 was investigated with new cut-off values; the anti-RBD IgG antibody kit showed the best performance. It also showed the best linear correlation with PRNT titer in both the acute and convalescent phases (Pearson's R 0.81 and 0.72, respectively). Due to the slowly waning titer of anti-NP antibodies, the correlation with PRNT titer at the convalescent phase was poor. In conclusion, semi-quantitative immunoassay kits targeting the RBD showed neutralizing activity that was correlated by titer; measurement of anti-NP antibodies would be useful for determining past infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoassay , Neutralization Tests , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810315

ABSTRACT

Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) mainly causes severe diarrhea and intestinal pathological damage in piglets and poses a serious threat to pig farms. Currently, no effective reagents or vaccines are available to control PDCoV infection. Single-chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies can effectively inhibit virus infection and may be a potential therapeutic reagent for PDCoV treatment. In this study, a porcine phage display antibody library from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of piglets infected with PDCoV was constructed and used to select PDCoV-specific scFv. The library was screened with four rounds of biopanning using the PDCoV N protein, and the colony with the highest affinity to the PDCoV N protein was obtained (namely, N53). Then, the N53-scFv gene fragment was cloned into plasmid pFUSE-hIgG-Fc2 and expressed in HEK-293T cells. The scFv-Fc antibody N53 (namely, scFv N53) was purified using Protein A-sepharose. The reactive activity of the purified antibody with the PDCoV N protein was confirmed by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blot and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Finally, the antigenic epitopes that the scFv N53 recognized were identified by a series of truncated PDCoV N proteins. The amino acid residues 82GELPPNDTPATTRVT96 of the PDCoV N protein were verified as the minimal epitope that can be recognized by the scFv-Fc antibody N53. In addition, the interaction between the scFv-Fc antibody N53 and the PDCoV N protein was further analyzed by molecule docking. In conclusion, our research provides some references for the treatment and prevention of PDCoV.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , Coronavirus Infections , Single-Chain Antibodies , Swine Diseases , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , Deltacoronavirus , Epitopes , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Single-Chain Antibodies/genetics , Swine , Technology
4.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786061

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic have led to the development of various diagnostic tests. The OraSure InteliSwab™ COVID-19 Rapid Test is a recently developed and FDA emergency use-authorized rapid antigen-detecting test that functions as a lateral flow device targeting the nucleocapsid protein. Due to SARS-CoV-2 evolution, there is a need to evaluate the sensitivity of rapid antigen-detecting tests for new variants, especially variants of concern such as Omicron. In this study, the sensitivity of the OraSure InteliSwab™ Test was investigated using cultured strains of the known variants of concern (VOCs, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) and the ancestral lineage (lineage A). Based on dilution series in cell culture medium, an approximate limit of detection for each variant was determined. The OraSure InteliSwab™ Test showed an overall comparable performance using recombinant nucleocapsid protein and different cultured variants, with recorded limits of detection ranging between 3.77 × 105 and 9.13 × 105 RNA copies/mL. Finally, the sensitivity was evaluated using oropharyngeal swabs from Syrian golden hamsters inoculated with the six VOCs. Ultimately, the OraSure InteliSwab™ COVID-19 Rapid Test showed no decrease in sensitivity between the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain and any VOCs including Omicron.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
J Virol ; 96(9): e0038922, 2022 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784769

ABSTRACT

Increasing cases of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections from immunization with current spike protein-based COVID-19 vaccines highlight the need to develop alternative vaccines using different platforms and/or antigens. In this study, we expressed SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins based on a novel vaccinia virus (VACV) ACAM2000 platform (rACAM2000). In this platform, the vaccinia virus host range and immunoregulatory gene E3L was deleted to make the virus attenuated and to enhance innate immune responses, and another host range gene, K3L, was replaced with a poxvirus ortholog gene, taterapox virus 037 (TATV037), to make virus replication competent in both hamster and human cells. Following a single intramuscular immunization, the rACAM2000 coexpressing the spike and nucleocapsid proteins induced significantly improved protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in comparison to rACAM2000 expressing the individual proteins in a hamster model, as shown by reduced weight loss and shorter recovery time. The protection was associated with reduced viral loads, increased neutralizing antibody titer, and reduced neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. Thus, our study demonstrates that rACAM2000 expressing a combination of the spike and nucleocapsid antigens is a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and further studies will investigate if the rACAM2000 vaccine candidate can induce a long-lasting immunity against infection by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. IMPORTANCE Continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants which cause breakthrough infection from the immunity induced by current spike protein-based COVID-19 vaccines highlights the need for new generations of vaccines that will induce long-lasting immunity against a wide range of the variants. To this end, we investigated the protective efficacy of the recombinant COVID-19 vaccine candidates based on a novel VACV ACAM2000 platform, in which an immunoregulatory gene, E3L, was deleted and both the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens were expressed. Thus, it is expected that the vaccine candidate we constructed should be more immunogenic and safer. In the initial study described in this work, we demonstrated that the vaccine candidate expressing both the S and N proteins is superior to the constructs expressing an individual protein (S or N) in protecting hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 challenge after a single-dose immunization, and further investigation against different SARS-CoV-2 variants will warrant future clinical evaluations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Smallpox Vaccine , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccinia virus
6.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 209: 114222, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778011

ABSTRACT

The 21st century has already brought us a plethora of new threats related to viruses that emerge in humans after zoonotic transmission or drastically change their geographic distribution or prevalence. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first spotted at the end of 2019 to rapidly spread in southwest Asia and later cause a global pandemic, which paralyzes the world since then. We have designed novel immunosensors targeting conserved protein sequences of the N protein of SARS-CoV-2 based on lab-produced and purified anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies that are densely grafted onto various surfaces (diamond/gold/glassy carbon). Titration of antibodies shows very strong reactions up to 1:72 900 dilution. Next, we showed the mechanism of interactions of our immunoassay with nucleocapsid N protein revealing molecular recognition by impedimetric measurements supported by hybrid modeling results with both density functional theory and molecular dynamics methods. Biosensors allowed for a fast (in less than 10 min) detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a limit of detection from 0.227 ng/ml through 0.334 ng/ml to 0.362 ng/ml for glassy carbon, boron-doped diamond, and gold surfaces, respectively. For all tested surfaces, we obtained a wide linear range of concentrations from 4.4 ng/ml to 4.4 pg/ml. Furthermore, our sensor leads to a highly specific response to SARS-CoV-2 clinical samples versus other upper respiratory tract viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, or Epstein-Barr virus. All clinical samples were tested simultaneously on biosensors and real-time polymerase chain reactions.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections , Antibodies, Viral , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Boron , COVID-19/diagnosis , Carbon , Diamond , Gold , Herpesvirus 4, Human , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Nucleocapsid , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Front Immunol ; 13: 835333, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775667

ABSTRACT

Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) is the coronavirus most associated with "common colds", infections of the upper respiratory tract. Previously, we reported that direct interactions of nucleocapsid (N) protein and C-terminal domain of Spike protein (Spike CD) are essential for replication of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Thus, we developed a novel ELISA-based strategy targeting these specific interactions to detect SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Here, we investigated whether the same principles apply to HCoV-OC43. We discovered that the S protein of HCoV-OC43 interacts with N protein and that cell penetrating Spike CD peptide inhibits virus protein expression and replication of HCoV-OC43. The interaction between HCoV-OC43 S and N proteins were recapitulated with a recombinant HCoV-OC43 Spike CD fusion protein and a recombinant HCoV-OC43 N fusion protein in vitro. By producing an anti-HCoV-OC43 N protein-specific monoclonal antibody, we established a virus detection system based on the interaction between recombinant Spike CD and N protein of HCoV-OC43. We suggest that the interaction between Spike CD and N protein is conserved in coronaviruses and therefore could be a target for therapeutics against both novel coronavirus and its variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
8.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 97(4): 754-760, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773638

ABSTRACT

Most SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays cannot distinguish between antibodies that developed after natural infection and those that developed after vaccination. We assessed the accuracy of a nucleocapsid-containing assay in identifying natural infection among vaccinated individuals. A longitudinal cohort composed of health care workers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was enrolled. Two rounds of seroprevalence studies separated by 1 month were conducted from November 2020 to January 2021 among 81 participants. Capillary blood from rounds 1 and 2 was tested for IgG antibodies against spike proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (spike-only assay). During round 2, IgGs reactive to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (nucleocapsid-containing assay) were assessed. Vaccination status at round 2 was determined by self-report. Area under the curve was computed to determine the discriminatory ability of the nucleocapsid-containing assay for identification of recent infection. Participants had a mean age of 40 years (range, 23 to 66 years); 83% were female. Round 1 seroprevalence was 9.5%. Before round 2 testing, 46% reported vaccination. Among those not recently infected, in comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated individuals, elevated levels of spike 1 (P<.001) and spike 2 (P=.01) were observed, whereas nucleocapsid levels were not statistically significantly different (P=.90). Among all participants, nucleocapsid response predicted recent infection with an area under the curve of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.88 to 0.99). Among individuals vaccinated more than 10 days before antibody testing, the specificity of the nucleocapsid-containing assay was 92%, whereas the specificity of the spike-only assay was 0%. An IgG assay identifying reactivity to nucleocapsid protein is an accurate predictor of natural infection among a partially vaccinated population, whereas a spike-only assay performed poorly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
9.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5320, 2022 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768843

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires treatments with rapid clinical translatability. Here we develop a multi-target and multi-ligand virtual screening method to identify FDA-approved drugs with potential activity against SARS-CoV-2 at traditional and understudied viral targets. 1,268 FDA-approved small molecule drugs were docked to 47 putative binding sites across 23 SARS-CoV-2 proteins. We compared drugs between binding sites and filtered out compounds that had no reported activity in an in vitro screen against SARS-CoV-2 infection of human liver (Huh-7) cells. This identified 17 "high-confidence", and 97 "medium-confidence" drug-site pairs. The "high-confidence" group was subjected to molecular dynamics simulations to yield six compounds with stable binding poses at their optimal target proteins. Three drugs-amprenavir, levomefolic acid, and calcipotriol-were predicted to bind to 3 different sites on the spike protein, domperidone to the Mac1 domain of the non-structural protein (Nsp) 3, avanafil to Nsp15, and nintedanib to the nucleocapsid protein involved in packaging the viral RNA. Our "two-way" virtual docking screen also provides a framework to prioritize drugs for testing in future emergencies requiring rapidly available clinical drugs and/or treating diseases where a moderate number of targets are known.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors
10.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(3): e173-e183, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758019

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of two recombinant DNA vaccines for COVID-19: GX-19 containing plasmid DNA encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and GX-19N containing plasmid DNA encoding the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) foldon, nucleocapsid protein, and plasmid DNA encoding the spike protein. METHODS: Two open-label non-randomised phase 1 trials, one of GX-19 and the other of GX-19N were done at two hospitals in South Korea. We enrolled healthy adults aged 19-49 years for the GX-19 trial and healthy adults aged 19-54 years for the GX-19N trial. Participants who tested positive by serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 were excluded. At 4-week intervals, the GX-19 trial participants received two vaccine doses (either 1·5 mg or 3·0 mg), and the GX-19N trial participants received two 3·0 mg doses. The vaccines were delivered intramuscularly using an electroporator. The participants were followed up for 52 weeks after first vaccination. Data collected up to day 57 after first vaccination were analysed in this interim analysis. The primary outcome was safety within 28 days after each vaccination measured in the intention-to-treat population. The secondary outcome was vaccine immunogenicity using blood samples collected on day 43 or 57 after first vaccination measured in the intention-to-treat population. The GX-19 (NCT044445389) and GX-19N (NCT04715997) trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. FINDINGS: Between June 17 and July 30, 2020, we screened 97 individuals, of whom 40 (41%) participants were enrolled in the GX-19 trial (20 [50%] in the 1·5 mg group and 20 [50%] in the 3·0 mg group). Between Dec 28 and 31, 2020, we screened 23 participants, of whom 21 (91%) participants were enrolled on the GX-19N trial. 32 (52%) of 61 participants reported 80 treatment-emergent adverse events after vaccination. All solicited adverse events were mild except one (2%) case of moderate fatigue in the 1·5 mg GX-19 group; no serious vaccine-related adverse events were detected. Binding antibody responses increased after second dose of vaccination in all groups (p=0·0002 in the 1·5 mg GX-19 group; p<0·0001 in the 3·0 mg GX-19; and p=0·0004 for the spike protein and p=0·0001 for the RBD in the 3·0 mg GX-19N group). INTERPRETATION: GX-19 and GX-19N are safe and well tolerated. GX-19N induces humoral and broad SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses. GX-19N shows lower neutralising antibody responses and needs improvement to enhance immunogenicity. FUNDING: The Korea Drug Development Fund, funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, and Ministry of Health and Welfare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , DNA, Recombinant , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, DNA/adverse effects
11.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 284, 2022 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759709

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need to expand testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens as the global community struggles to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Current diagnostic methods can be affected by supply chain bottlenecks and require the assistance of medical professionals, impeding the implementation of large-scale testing. Self-collection of saliva may solve these problems, as it can be completed without specialized training and uses generic materials. METHODS: We observed 30 individuals who self-collected saliva using four different collection devices and analyzed their feedback. Two of these devices, a funnel and bulb pipette, were used to evaluate at-home saliva collection by 60 individuals. SARS-CoV-2-spiked saliva samples were subjected to temperature cycles designed to simulate the conditions the samples might be exposed to during the summer and winter seasons and sensitivity of detection was evaluated. RESULTS: All devices enabled the safe, unsupervised self-collection of saliva. The quantity and quality of the samples received were acceptable for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, as determined by human RNase P detection. There was no significant difference in SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N1) detection between the freshly spiked samples and those incubated with the summer and winter profiles. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate inexpensive, generic, buffer free collection devices suitable for unsupervised and home saliva self-collection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Pandemics , Saliva
12.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753695

ABSTRACT

Rapid antigen detection (RAD) tests are commonly used for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, with the continuous emergence of new variants of concern (VOC), presenting various mutations potentially affecting the nucleocapsid protein, the analytical performances of these assays should be frequently reevaluated. One hundred and twenty samples were selected and tested with both RT-qPCR and six commercial RAD tests that are commonly sold in Belgian pharmacies. Of these, direct whole-genome sequencing identified the strains present in 116 samples, of which 70 were Delta and 46 were Omicron (BA.1 and BA.1.1 sub-lineages, respectively). The sensitivity across a wide range of Ct values (13.5 to 35.7; median = 21.3) ranged from 70.0% to 92.9% for Delta strains and from 69.6% to 78.3% for Omicron strains. When taking swabs with a low viral load (Ct > 25, corresponding to <4.9 log10 copies/mL), only the Roche RAD test showed acceptable performances for the Delta strains (80.0%), while poor performances were observed for the other RAD tests (20.0% to 40.0%). All the tested devices had poor performances for the Omicron samples with a low viral load (0.0% to 23.1%). The poor performances observed with low viral loads, particularly for the Omicron strain, is an important limitation of RAD tests, which is not sufficiently highlighted in the instructions for use of these devices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
13.
Virol J ; 19(1): 50, 2022 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745445

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has triggered the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Serological assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infections are important to understand the immune response in patients and to obtain epidemiological data about the number of infected people, especially to identify asymptomatic persons not aware of a past infection. METHODS: We recombinantly produced SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N)-protein in Escherichia coli. We used the purified protein to develop an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. This ELISA method was optimized and validated with serum samples collected from 113 patients with RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections including hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 1500 control sera mostly collected before 2015 with different clinical background. RESULTS: The optimized N-protein-ELISA provided a sensitivity of 89.7% (n = 68) for samples collected from patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and mild to severe symptoms more than 14 days after symptom onset or a positive PCR test. The antibody levels remained low for serum samples collected in the first six days (n = 23) and increased in the second week (n = 22) post symptom onset or PCR confirmation. At this early phase, the ELISA provided a sensitivity of 39.1% and 86.4%, respectively, reflecting the time of an IgG immune response against pathogens. The assay specificity was 99.3% (n = 1500; 95% CI 0.995-0.999). Serum samples from persons with confirmed antibody titers against human immunodeficiency viruses 1/2, parvovirus B19, hepatitis A/B virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus, and herpes simplex virus were tested negative. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the N-protein-based ELISA developed here is well suited for the sensitive and specific serological detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in human serum for symptomatic infections. It may also prove useful to identify previous SARS-CoV-2 infections in vaccinated people, as all currently approved vaccines rely on the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-) protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Herpesvirus 4, Human , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Viral Immunol ; 35(3): 254-258, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740746

ABSTRACT

Data on the human immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins have been applied to vaccine development and diagnosing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but little research has been done on the relationship between the human immune response and COVID-19 severity. We herein sought to determine whether there is a correlation between the immunoglobulin level and COVID-19 severity. Clinical samples were collected from 102 patients with COVID-19. Of these, 65 and 37 patients had mild and severe symptoms, respectively. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein, spike (S) protein, and synthetic peptides covering N and S as antigens was performed to measure the IgM and IgG levels. The correlation between the immunoglobulin level and COVID-19 severity was then analyzed. A significant difference in the level of IgG antibodies against N and of IgM antibodies against the receptor binding domain of the S protein was observed between patients with nonsevere and severe COVID-19 symptoms, and the level of IgG antibodies against N was found to be higher in patients with severe symptoms whereas the level of IgM antibodies against the S peptides was higher in patients with nonsevere symptoms. The level of specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins might correlate with COVID-19 severity. If so, this fact may be useful for predicting the prognosis of the disease and in determining the appropriate treatment with greater precision.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Peptides , Recombinant Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Anal Chem ; 94(11): 4712-4719, 2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735180

ABSTRACT

Point-of-care (POC) methods currently available for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections still lack accuracy. Here, we report the development of a highly sensitive electrochemical immunoassay capable of quantitatively detecting the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in patient nasopharyngeal samples using stencil-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs) functionalized with capture antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N protein). Samples are added to the electrode surface, followed by horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated detection antibodies also targeting the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. The concentration of the virus in samples is quantified using chronoamperometry in the presence of 3,3'5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine. Limits of detection equivalent to less than 50 plaque forming units/mL (PFU/mL) were determined with virus sample volumes of 20 µL. No cross-reactivity was detected with the influenza virus and other coronavirus N proteins. Patient nasopharyngeal samples were tested as part of a proof-of-concept clinical study where samples were also tested using the gold-standard real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) method. Preliminary results from a data set of 22 samples demonstrated a clinical specificity of 100% (n = 9 negative samples according to RT-qPCR) and a clinical sensitivity of 70% for samples with RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values under 30 (n = 10) and 100% for samples with Ct values under 25 (n = 5), which complies with the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for POC COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Our functionalized SPCEs were also validated against standard plaque assays, and very good agreement was found between both methods (R2 = 0.9993, n = 6), suggesting that our assay could be used to assess patient infectivity. The assay currently takes 70 min from sampling to results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 191, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1733659

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) has been dramatic on global scale as older age and comorbidities pose an increased risk of severe disease and death. METHODS: Aim of this study was to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific IgG (S-IgG) antibody titers in 478 residents and 649 health care workers of a large Italian long-term care facility two months after complete vaccination with BNT162b2. Associations among resident-related factors and predictors of humoral response were investigated. RESULTS: By stratifying levels of humoral responses, we found that 62.1%, 21.6%, 12.1% and 4.2% of residents had high (>1,000 BAU/ml), medium (101-1,000), low (1-100) and null (<1 BAU/mL) S-IgG titers, respectively. Residents with documented previous COVID-19 and those with SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid-specific IgG (N-IgG) positive serology showed higher level of serological response, while significant associations were observed for cancer with suboptimal response (p = 0.005) and the administration of corticosteroid for suboptimal response (p = 0.028) and a null one (p = 0.039). According to multivariate logistic regression, predictors of an increased risk of null response were advanced age (Odd ratio, OR: 2.630; Confidence interval, CI: 1.13-6.14; p = 0.025), corticosteroid therapy (OR: 4.964; CI: 1.06-23.52; p = 0.042) and diabetes mellitus (OR:3.415; CI:1.08-10.8; p = 0.037). In contrast, previous diagnosis of COVID-19 was strongly associated with a reduced risk of null response to vaccination (OR:0.126; CI:0.02-0.23; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in elderly individuals should be consider when deciding the need of a third dose of vaccine for prevention of reinfections in LTCFs despite the maintenance of barrier measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Long-Term Care , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Protein J ; 39(3): 198-216, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718840

ABSTRACT

The devastating effects of the recent global pandemic (termed COVID-19 for "coronavirus disease 2019") caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) are paramount with new cases and deaths growing at an exponential rate. In order to provide a better understanding of SARS CoV-2, this article will review the proteins found in the SARS CoV-2 that caused this global pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Drug Discovery/methods , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Polyproteins , Protein Interaction Maps/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Viroporin Proteins
18.
Anal Chem ; 94(10): 4446-4454, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713092

ABSTRACT

The enrichment of co-reactants is one of the keys to improving the sensitivity of electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection. This work developed a novel hydrophobic localized enrichment strategy of co-reactants utilizing the inner hydrophobic cavity of ß-cyclodextrin (ß-CD). Pt nanoparticles (Pt NPs) were grown in situ on the coordination sites for metal ions of ß-CD to prepare the ß-CD-Pt nanocomposite, which could not only enrich co-reactant 3-(dibutylamino) propylamine (TDBA) highly efficiently through its hydrophobic cavity but also immobilize TDBA via the Pt-N bond. Meanwhile, the carboxyl-functionalized poly[2,5-dioctyl-1,4-phenylene] (PDP) polymer nanoparticles (PNPs) were developed as excellent ECL luminophores. With SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (ncovNP) as a model protein, the TDBA-ß-CD-Pt nanocomposite combined PDP PNPs to construct a biosensor for ncovNP determination. The PDP PNPs were modified onto the surface of a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) to capture the first antibody (Ab1) and further capture antigen and secondary antibody complexes (TDBA-ß-CD-Pt@Ab2). The resultant biosensor with a sandwich structure achieved a highly sensitive detection of ncovNP with a detection limit of 22 fg/mL. TDBA-ß-CD-Pt shared with an inspiration in hydrophobic localized enrichment of co-reactants for improving the sensitivity of ECL detection. The luminophore PDP PNPs integrated TDBA-ß-CD-Pt to provide a promising and sensitive ECL platform, offering a new method for ncovNP detection.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Metal Nanoparticles , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Humans , Limit of Detection , Luminescent Measurements/methods , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Polymers/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Lett Appl Microbiol ; 74(6): 863-872, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685383

ABSTRACT

Flow cytometry has emerged as a promising technique for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In this study, we developed an innovative strategy for simultaneous detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM and IgA. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein was covalently bound to functional beads surface applying sulpho-SMCC chemistry. BUV395 anti-IgG, BB515 anti-IgM, biotinylated anti-IgA1/IgA2 and BV421 streptavidin were used as fluorophore conjugated secondary antibodies. Serum and antibodies reaction conditions were optimized for each antibody isotype detection and a multiplexed detection assay was developed. This new cell-free assay efficiently discriminate COVID-19 negative and positive samples. The simultaneous detection of IgG, IgM and IgA showed a sensitivity of 88·5-96·2% and specificity of 100%. This novel strategy opens a new avenue for flow cytometry-based diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667340

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is characterized by symptoms such as fever, fatigue, a sore throat, diarrhea, and coughing. Although various new vaccines against COVID-19 have been developed, early diagnostics, isolation, and prevention remain important due to virus mutations resulting in rapid and high disease transmission. Amino acid substitutions in the major diagnostic target antigens of SARS-CoV-2 may lower the sensitivity for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. For this reason, we developed specific monoclonal antibodies that bind to epitope peptides as antigens for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 NP. The binding affinity between antigenic peptides and monoclonal antibodies was investigated, and a sandwich pair for capture and detection was employed to develop a rapid biosensor for SARS-CoV-2 NP. The rapid biosensor, based on a monoclonal antibody pair binding to conserved epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 NP, detected cultured virus samples of SARS-CoV-2 (1.4 × 103 TCID50/reaction) and recombinant NP (1 ng/mL). Laboratory confirmation of the rapid biosensor was performed with clinical specimens (n = 16) from COVID-19 patients and other pathogens. The rapid biosensor consisting of a monoclonal antibody pair (75E12 for capture and the 54G6/54G10 combination for detection) binding to conserved epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 NP could assist in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 NP under the circumstance of spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Epitopes/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/immunology
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