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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 793953, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572289

ABSTRACT

Durability of SARS-CoV-2 Spike antibody responses after infection provides information relevant to understanding protection against COVID-19 in humans. We report the results of a sequential evaluation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in convalescent patients with a median follow-up of 14 months (range 12.4-15.4) post first symptom onset. We report persistence of antibodies for all four specificities tested [Spike, Spike Receptor Binding Domain (Spike-RBD), Nucleocapsid, Nucleocapsid RNA Binding Domain (N-RBD)]. Anti-Spike antibodies persist better than anti-Nucleocapsid antibodies. The durability analysis supports a bi-phasic antibody decay with longer half-lives of antibodies after 6 months and antibody persistence for up to 14 months. Patients infected with the Wuhan (WA1) strain maintained strong cross-reactive recognition of Alpha and Delta Spike-RBD but significantly reduced binding to Beta and Mu Spike-RBD. Sixty percent of convalescent patients with detectable WA1-specific NAb also showed strong neutralization of the Delta variant, the prevalent strain of the present pandemic. These data show that convalescent patients maintain functional antibody responses for more than one year after infection, suggesting a strong long-lasting response after symptomatic disease that may offer a prolonged protection against re-infection. One patient from this cohort showed strong increase of both Spike and Nucleocapsid antibodies at 14 months post-infection indicating SARS-CoV-2 re-exposure. These antibodies showed stronger cross-reactivity to a panel of Spike-RBD including Beta, Delta and Mu and neutralization of a panel of Spike variants including Beta and Gamma. This patient provides an example of strong anti-Spike recall immunity able to control infection at an asymptomatic level. Together, the antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patients persist over 14 months and continue to maintain cross-reactivity to the current variants of concern and show strong functional properties.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests/methods , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Nucleocapsid/metabolism , Protein Binding/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Time Factors
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20323, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467136

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to develop a highly sensitive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay using the single molecule array (Simoa) technology and compare it with real time RT-PCR as used in routine clinical practice with the ambition to achieve a comparative technical and clinical sensitivity. Samples were available from 148 SARS-CoV-2 real time RT-PCR positive and 73 SARS-CoV-2 real time RT-PCR negative oropharyngeal swabs. For determination of technical sensitivity SARS-CoV-2 virus culture material was used. The samples were treated with lysis buffer and analyzed using both an in-house and a pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay on Simoa. Both nucleocapsid antigen assays have a technical sensitivity corresponding to around 100 SARS-CoV-2 RNA molecules/mL. Using a cut-off at 0.1 pg/mL the pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay had a sensitivity of 96% (95% CI 91.4-98.5%) and specificity of 100% (95% CI 95.1-100%). In comparison the in-house nucleocapsid antigen assay had sensitivity of 95% (95% CI 89.3-98.1%) and a specificity of 100% (95% CI 95.1-100%) using a cut-off at 0.01 pg/mL. The two SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assays correlated with r = 0.91 (P < 0.0001). The in-house and the pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay demonstrated technical and clinical sensitivity comparable to real-time RT-PCR methods for identifying SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and thus can be used clinically as well as serve as a reference method for antigen Point of Care Testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Denmark , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleocapsid/analysis , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Virion/chemistry
3.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257743, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435621

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence studies bridge the gap left from case detection, to estimate the true burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. While multiple anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays are available, no gold standard exists. METHODS: This serial cross-sectional study was conducted using plasma samples from 8999 healthy blood donors between April-September 2020. Each sample was tested by four assays: Abbott SARS-Cov-2 IgG assay, targeting nucleocapsid (Abbott-NP) and three in-house IgG ELISA assays (targeting spike glycoprotein, receptor binding domain, and nucleocapsid). Seroprevalence rates were compared using multiple composite reference standards and by a series of Bayesian Latent Class Models. RESULT: We found 13 unique diagnostic phenotypes; only 32 samples (0.4%) were positive by all assays. None of the individual assays resulted in seroprevalence increasing monotonically over time. In contrast, by using the results from all assays, the Bayesian Latent Class Model with informative priors predicted seroprevalence increased from 0.7% (95% credible interval (95% CrI); 0.4, 1.0%) in April/May to 0.7% (95% CrI 0.5, 1.1%) in June/July to 0.9% (95% CrI 0.5, 1.3) in August/September. Assay characteristics varied over time. Overall Spike had the highest sensitivity (93.5% (95% CrI 88.7, 97.3%), while the sensitivity of the Abbott-NP assay waned from 77.3% (95% CrI 58.7, 92.5%) in April/May to 64.4% (95% CrI 45.6, 83.0) by August/September. DISCUSSION: Our results confirmed very low seroprevalence after the first wave in Canada. Given the dynamic nature of this pandemic, Bayesian Latent Class Models can be used to correct for imperfect test characteristics and waning IgG antibody signals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Bayes Theorem , Blood Donors , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
4.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411088

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. Despite meticulous research, only dexamethasone has shown consistent mortality reduction. Convalescent plasma (CP) infusion might also develop into a safe and effective treatment modality on the basis of recent studies and meta-analyses; however, little is known regarding the kinetics of antibodies in CP recipients. To evaluate the kinetics, we followed 31 CP recipients longitudinally enrolled at a median of 3 days post symptom onset for changes in binding and neutralizing antibody titers and viral loads. Antibodies against the complete trimeric Spike protein and the receptor-binding domain (Spike-RBD), as well as against the complete Nucleocapsid protein and the RNA binding domain (N-RBD) were determined at baseline and weekly following CP infusion. Neutralizing antibody (pseudotype NAb) titers were determined at the same time points. Viral loads were determined semi-quantitatively by SARS-CoV-2 PCR. Patients with low humoral responses at entry showed a robust increase of antibodies to all SARS-CoV-2 proteins and Nab, reaching peak levels within 2 weeks. The rapid increase in binding and neutralizing antibodies was paralleled by a concomitant clearance of the virus within the same timeframe. Patients with high humoral responses at entry demonstrated low or no further increases; however, virus clearance followed the same trajectory as in patients with low antibody response at baseline. Together, the sequential immunological and virological analysis of this well-defined cohort of patients early in infection shows the presence of high levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies and potent clearance of the virus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged
6.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0255208, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332001

ABSTRACT

Serologic assays developed for SARS-CoV-2 detect different antibody subtypes and are based on different target antigens. Comparison of the performance of a SARS-CoV-2 Spike-Protein ELISA and the nucleocapsid-based Abbott ArchitectTM SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay indicated that the assays had high concordance, with rare paired discordant tests results.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
7.
JCI Insight ; 6(13)2021 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301767

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDThe role of humoral immunity in COVID-19 is not fully understood, owing, in large part, to the complexity of antibodies produced in response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is a pressing need for serology tests to assess patient-specific antibody response and predict clinical outcome.METHODSUsing SARS-CoV-2 proteome and peptide microarrays, we screened 146 COVID-19 patients' plasma samples to identify antigens and epitopes. This enabled us to develop a master epitope array and an epitope-specific agglutination assay to gauge antibody responses systematically and with high resolution.RESULTSWe identified linear epitopes from the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins and showed that the epitopes enabled higher resolution antibody profiling than the S or N protein antigen. Specifically, we found that antibody responses to the S-811-825, S-881-895, and N-156-170 epitopes negatively or positively correlated with clinical severity or patient survival. Moreover, we found that the P681H and S235F mutations associated with the coronavirus variant of concern B.1.1.7 altered the specificity of the corresponding epitopes.CONCLUSIONEpitope-resolved antibody testing not only affords a high-resolution alternative to conventional immunoassays to delineate the complex humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and differentiate between neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies, but it also may potentially be used to predict clinical outcome. The epitope peptides can be readily modified to detect antibodies against variants of concern in both the peptide array and latex agglutination formats.FUNDINGOntario Research Fund (ORF) COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute, London Health Sciences Foundation, and Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario (AMOSO) Innovation Fund.


Subject(s)
Agglutination Tests/methods , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Specificity/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Microarray Analysis/methods , Nucleocapsid/chemistry , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
J Appl Lab Med ; 6(4): 1005-1011, 2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 serologic assays are becoming increasingly available and may serve as a diagnostic aid in a multitude of settings relating to past infection status. However, there is limited literature detailing the longitudinal performance of EUA-cleared serologic assays in US populations, particularly in cohorts with a remote history of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (e.g., >2 months). METHODS: We evaluated the diagnostic sensitivities and specificities of the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (anti-N) and Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S (anti-S1-RBD) assays, using 174 residual clinical samples up to 267 days post-PCR diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 154) and a subset of samples obtained prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as negative controls (n = 20). RESULTS: The calculated diagnostic sensitivities for the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays were 89% and 93%, respectively. Of the 154 samples in the SARS-CoV-2-positive cohort, there were 6 discrepant results between the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays, 5 of which were specimens collected ≥200 days post-PCR positivity and only had detectable levels of anti-S1-RBD antibodies. When only considering specimens collected ≥100 days post-PCR positivity (n = 41), the sensitivities for the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays were 85% and 98%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The anti-S1-RBD assay demonstrated superior sensitivity at time points more remote to the PCR detection date, with 6 more specimens from the SARS-CoV-2-positive cohort detected, 5 of which were collected more than 200 days post-PCR positivity. While analytical differences and reagent lot-to-lot variability are possible, this may indicate that, in some instances, anti-S1-RBD antibodies may persist longer in vivo and may be a better target for detecting remote SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Europe , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Predictive Value of Tests , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , United States
9.
Biotechniques ; 71(1): 370-375, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278249

ABSTRACT

Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 virus is necessary to mitigate risk but may interfere with diagnostic assay performance. We examined the effect of heat inactivation on a prototype SARS-CoV-2 antigen immunoassay run on the ARCHITECT automated analyzer. Recombinant full-length SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and virus lysate detection was reduced by 66 and 31%, respectively. Several nonionic detergents were assessed as inactivation alternatives based on infectivity in cultured Vero CCL81 cells. Incubation of SARS-CoV-2 in 0.1% Tergitol 15-S-9 for 10 min significantly reduced infectivity and increased the immunoassay signal for cultured lysate and patient specimens. Tergitol 15-S-9 can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 while preserving epitopes on the nucleocapsid protein for enhanced detection by immunoassay antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , Poloxalene/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Inactivation/drug effects , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/drug effects , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoassay/standards , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Surface-Active Agents/pharmacology , Vero Cells
11.
Clin Biochem ; 95: 77-80, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265657

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Commercially available serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 detect antibodies to either the nucleocapsid or spike protein. Here we compare the performance of the Beckman-Coulter SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG assay to that of the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid IgG and Roche Anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid total antibody assays. In addition, we document the trend in nucleocapsid and spike antibodies in sequential samples collected from convalescent plasma donors. METHODS: Plasma or serum samples from 20 individual SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive inpatients (n = 172), 20 individual convalescent donors with a previous RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 20), were deemed positive SARS-CoV-2 samples. RT-PCR-negative inpatients (n = 24), and 109 pre-SARS-CoV-2 samples were determined to be SARS-CoV-2 negative. Samples were assayed by the Abbott, Roche, and Beckman assays. RESULTS: All three assays demonstrated 100% specificity. Abbott, Beckman, and Roche platforms had sensitivities of 98%, 93%, and 90% respectively, with the difference in sensitivity attributed primarily to samples from immunocompromised patients. After the exclusion of samples immunocompromised patients, all assays exhibited ≥ 95% sensitivity. In sequential samples collected from the same individuals, the Roche nucleocapsid antibody assay demonstrated continually increasing signal intensity, with maximal values observed at the last time point examined. In contrast, the Beckman spike IgG antibody signal peaked between 14 and 28 days post positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR and steadily declined in subsequent samples. Subsequent collections 51-200 days (median of 139 days) post positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR from five inpatients and five convalescent donors revealed that spike and nucleocapsid antibodies remained detectable for several months after confirmed infection. CONCLUSIONS: The three assays are sensitive and specific for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Nucleocapsid and spike antibodies were detectable for up to 200 days post-positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR but demonstrated markedly different trends in signal intensity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Nucleocapsid/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Longitudinal Studies , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
mSphere ; 6(2)2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207481

ABSTRACT

Effective methods for predicting COVID-19 disease trajectories are urgently needed. Here, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and coronavirus antigen microarray (COVAM) analysis mapped antibody epitopes in the plasma of COVID-19 patients (n = 86) experiencing a wide range of disease states. The experiments identified antibodies to a 21-residue epitope from nucleocapsid (termed Ep9) associated with severe disease, including admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), requirement for ventilators, or death. Importantly, anti-Ep9 antibodies can be detected within 6 days post-symptom onset and sometimes within 1 day. Furthermore, anti-Ep9 antibodies correlate with various comorbidities and hallmarks of immune hyperactivity. We introduce a simple-to-calculate, disease risk factor score to quantitate each patient's comorbidities and age. For patients with anti-Ep9 antibodies, scores above 3.0 predict more severe disease outcomes with a 13.42 likelihood ratio (96.7% specificity). The results lay the groundwork for a new type of COVID-19 prognostic to allow early identification and triage of high-risk patients. Such information could guide more effective therapeutic intervention.IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over two million deaths worldwide. Despite efforts to fight the virus, the disease continues to overwhelm hospitals with severely ill patients. Diagnosis of COVID-19 is readily accomplished through a multitude of reliable testing platforms; however, prognostic prediction remains elusive. To this end, we identified a short epitope from the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and also a disease risk factor score based upon comorbidities and age. The presence of antibodies specifically binding to this epitope plus a score cutoff can predict severe COVID-19 outcomes with 96.7% specificity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/blood , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Prognosis , Risk Factors
13.
J Appl Lab Med ; 6(4): 1005-1011, 2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171306

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 serologic assays are becoming increasingly available and may serve as a diagnostic aid in a multitude of settings relating to past infection status. However, there is limited literature detailing the longitudinal performance of EUA-cleared serologic assays in US populations, particularly in cohorts with a remote history of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (e.g., >2 months). METHODS: We evaluated the diagnostic sensitivities and specificities of the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (anti-N) and Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S (anti-S1-RBD) assays, using 174 residual clinical samples up to 267 days post-PCR diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 154) and a subset of samples obtained prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as negative controls (n = 20). RESULTS: The calculated diagnostic sensitivities for the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays were 89% and 93%, respectively. Of the 154 samples in the SARS-CoV-2-positive cohort, there were 6 discrepant results between the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays, 5 of which were specimens collected ≥200 days post-PCR positivity and only had detectable levels of anti-S1-RBD antibodies. When only considering specimens collected ≥100 days post-PCR positivity (n = 41), the sensitivities for the anti-N and anti-S1-RBD assays were 85% and 98%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The anti-S1-RBD assay demonstrated superior sensitivity at time points more remote to the PCR detection date, with 6 more specimens from the SARS-CoV-2-positive cohort detected, 5 of which were collected more than 200 days post-PCR positivity. While analytical differences and reagent lot-to-lot variability are possible, this may indicate that, in some instances, anti-S1-RBD antibodies may persist longer in vivo and may be a better target for detecting remote SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Europe , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Predictive Value of Tests , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , United States
15.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248729, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As COVID-19 vaccines become available, screening individuals for prior COVID-19 infection and vaccine response in point-of-care (POC) settings has renewed interest. We prospectively screened at-risk individuals for SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid protein antibodies in a POC setting to determine if it was a feasible method to identify antibody from prior infection. METHODS: Three EUA-approved lateral flow antibody assays were performed on POC finger-stick blood and compared with serum and a CLIA nucleocapsid antibody immunoassay. Variables including antibody class, time since PCR, and the assay antigen used were evaluated. RESULTS: 512 subjects enrolled, of which 104 had a COVID-19 history and positive PCR. Only three PCR-positive subjects required hospitalization, with one requiring mechanical ventilation. The POC results correlated well with the immunoassay (93-97% sensitivity) and using serum did not improve the sensitivity or specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Finger-stick, POC COVID-19 antibody testing was highly effective in identifying antibody resulting from prior infections in mildly symptomatic subjects. Using high-complexity serum immunoassays did not improve the screening outcome. Almost all individuals with COVID-19 infection produced detectable antibodies to the virus. POC antibody testing is useful as a screen for prior COVID-19 infection, and should be useful in assessing vaccine response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Systems , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
16.
Clin Chem ; 67(7): 977-986, 2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Laboratory-based methods for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection vary widely in performance. However, there are limited prospectively-collected data on assay performance, and minimal clinical information to guide interpretation of discrepant results. METHODS: Over a 2-week period, 1080 consecutive plasma samples submitted for clinical SARS-CoV-2 IgG testing were tested in parallel for anti-nucleocapsid IgG (anti-N, Abbott) and anti-spike IgG (anti-S1, EUROIMMUN). Chart review was conducted for samples testing positive or borderline on either assay, and for an age/sex-matched cohort of samples negative by both assays. CDC surveillance case definitions were used to determine clinical sensitivity/specificity and conduct receiver operating characteristics curve analysis. RESULTS: There were 52 samples positive by both methods, 2 positive for anti-N only, 34 positive for anti-S1 only, and 27 borderline for anti-S1. Of the 34 individuals positive for anti-S1 alone, 8 (24%) had confirmed COVID-19. No anti-S1 borderline cases were positive for anti-N or had confirmed/probable COVID-19. The anti-N assay was less sensitive (84.2% [95% CI 72.1-92.5%] vs 94.7% [95% CI 85.4-98.9%]) but more specific (99.2% [95% CI 95.5-100%] vs 86.9% [95% CI 79.6-92.3%]) than anti-S1. Abbott anti-N sensitivity could be improved to 96.5% with minimal effect on specificity if the index threshold was lowered from 1.4 to 0.6. CONCLUSION: Real-world concordance between different serologic assays may be lower than previously described in retrospective studies. These findings have implications for the interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 IgG results, especially with the advent of spike antigen-targeted vaccination, as a subset of patients with true infection are anti-N negative and anti-S1 positive.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , ROC Curve , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(2): e1009352, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105835

ABSTRACT

Serological and plasmablast responses and plasmablast-derived IgG monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been analysed in three COVID-19 patients with different clinical severities. Potent humoral responses were detected within 3 weeks of onset of illness in all patients and the serological titre was elicited soon after or concomitantly with peripheral plasmablast response. An average of 13.7% and 3.5% of plasmablast-derived MAbs were reactive with virus spike glycoprotein or nucleocapsid, respectively. A subset of anti-spike (10 of 32) antibodies cross-reacted with other betacoronaviruses tested and harboured extensive somatic mutations, indicative of an expansion of memory B cells upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fourteen of 32 anti-spike MAbs, including five anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD), three anti-non-RBD S1 and six anti-S2, neutralised wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in independent assays. Anti-RBD MAbs were further grouped into four cross-inhibiting clusters, of which six antibodies from three separate clusters blocked the binding of RBD to ACE2 and five were neutralising. All ACE2-blocking anti-RBD antibodies were isolated from two recovered patients with prolonged fever, which is compatible with substantial ACE2-blocking response in their sera. Finally, the identification of non-competing pairs of neutralising antibodies would offer potential templates for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody-Producing Cells/immunology , Binding Sites , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
mSphere ; 6(1)2021 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102156

ABSTRACT

The majority of infections with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or mild without the necessity of hospitalization. It is of importance to reveal if these patients develop an antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 and to define which antibodies confer virus neutralization. We conducted a comprehensive serological survey of 49 patients with a mild course of disease and quantified neutralizing antibody responses against a clinical SARS-CoV-2 isolate employing human cells as targets. Four patients (8%), even though symptomatic, did not develop antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and two other patients (4%) were positive in only one of the six serological assays employed. For the remaining 88%, antibody response against the S protein correlated with serum neutralization whereas antibodies against the nucleocapsid were poor predictors of virus neutralization. None of the sera enhanced infection of human cells with SARS-CoV-2 at any dilution, arguing against antibody-dependent enhancement of infection in our system. Regarding neutralization, only six patients (12%) could be classified as high neutralizers. Furthermore, sera from several individuals with fairly high antibody levels had only poor neutralizing activity. In addition, employing a novel serological Western blot system to characterize antibody responses against seasonal coronaviruses, we found that antibodies against the seasonal coronavirus 229E might contribute to SARS-CoV-2 neutralization. Altogether, we show that there is a wide breadth of antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in patients that differentially correlate with virus neutralization. This highlights the difficulty to define reliable surrogate markers for immunity against SARS-CoV-2.IMPORTANCE There is strong interest in the nature of the neutralizing antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 in infected individuals. For vaccine development, it is especially important which antibodies confer protection against SARS-CoV-2, if there is a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection, and if there is cross-protection by antibodies directed against seasonal coronaviruses. We addressed these questions and found in accordance with other studies that neutralization is mediated mainly by antibodies directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in general and the receptor binding site in particular. In our test system, utilizing human cells for infection experiments, we did not detect ADE. However, using a novel diagnostic test we found that antibodies against the coronavirus 229E might be involved in cross-protection to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibody-Dependent Enhancement/immunology , Binding Sites/immunology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Neutralization Tests/methods , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Seasons , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccines/immunology
19.
J Clin Virol ; 136: 104765, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most SARS-CoV-2 infected patients develop IgG antibodies within 2-3 weeks after symptom onset. Antibody levels have been shown to gradually decrease in the first months after infection, but few data are available at six months or later. METHODS: A retrospective multi-center study was performed using 652 samples of 236 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected patients from 2 Belgian University hospitals. Patients were included if at least two samples were available (range 2-7 samples); including at least one sample collected 30 days or later after first positive PCR (range 0-240 days). Of those 236 patients, 19.1 % were classified as mild/asymptomatic (mild) and 80.9 % as moderate to critical (severe). IgG anti-nucleocapsid antibodies (anti-N) were measured using the Abbott Architect immunoassay. RESULTS: 22.2 % of mild and 2.6 % of severe COVID-19 cases never seroconverted (p < 0.001). Of the mild patients who seroconverted 0-59 days after PCR; 18.8 %, 40.0 % and 61.1 % were seronegative in the windows 60-119 days, 120-179 days and 180-240 days after PCR, respectively. In severe patients, these numbers were 1.9 %, 10.8 % and 29.4 % respectively (p < 0.05 each). Antibody levels were significantly higher in severe patients compared to mild patients in each 60 day window (p < 0.001 each). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG antibody levels steadily decreased after 2 months up to 8 months post PCR. Of severe COVID-19 patients, 70.6 % remained positive up to eight months after infection. Antibody levels were significantly lower in mild SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and 61.1 % became seronegative within 6 months after the first positive PCR.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors
20.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0237828, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927720

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for an accurate antibody test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We have developed 3 ELISA methods, trimer spike IgA, trimer spike IgG, and nucleocapsid IgG, for detecting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We evaluated their performance along with four commercial ELISAs, EDI™ Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 ELISA IgG and IgM, Euroimmun Anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA IgG and IgA, and one lateral flow assay, DPP® COVID-19 IgM/IgG System (Chembio). Both sensitivity and specificity were evaluated and the probable causes of false-positive reactions were determined. The assays were evaluated using 300 pre-epidemic samples and 100 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 samples. The sensitivities and specificities of the assays were as follows: 90%/100% (in-house trimer spike IgA), 90%/99.3% (in-house trimer spike IgG), 89%/98.3% (in-house nucleocapsid IgG), 73.7%/100% (EDI nucleocapsid IgM), 84.5%/95.1% (EDI nucleocapsid IgG), 95%/93.7% (Euroimmun S1 IgA), 82.8%/99.7% (Euroimmun S1 IgG), 82.0%/91.7% (Chembio nucleocapsid IgM), 92%/93.3% (Chembio nucleocapsid IgG). The presumed causes of false positive results from pre-epidemic samples in commercial and in-house assays were mixed. In some cases, assays lacked reproducibility. In other cases, reactivity was abrogated by competitive inhibition (spiking the sample with the same antigen that was used for coating ELISAs prior to performing the assay), suggesting positive reaction could be attributed to the presence of antibodies against these antigens. In other cases, reactivity was consistently detected but not abrogated by the spiking, suggesting positive reaction was not attributed to the presence of antibodies against these antigens. Overall, there was wide variability in assay performance using our samples, with in-house tests exhibiting the highest combined sensitivity and specificity. The causes of "false positivity" in pre-epidemic samples may be due to plasma antibodies apparently reacting with the corresponding antigen, or spurious reactivity may be directed against non-specific components in the assay system. Identification of these targets will be essential to improving assay performance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Area Under Curve , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , ROC Curve , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
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