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1.
Mol Immunol ; 141: 287-296, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559780

ABSTRACT

As the second wave of COVID-19 launched, various variants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged with a dramatic global spread amongst millions of people causing unprecedented case fatalities and economic shut-downs. That initiated a necessity for developing specific diagnostics and therapeutics along with vaccines to control such a pandemic. This endeavor describes generation of murine derived recombinant single-chain fragment variable (scFv) as a monoclonal antibody (MAb) platform targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. A specific synthesized RBD coding sequence was cloned and expressed in Baculovirus expression system. The recombinant RBD (rRBD) was ascertained to be at the proper encoding size of ∼ 600bp and expressed protein of the molecular weight of ∼ 21KDa. Purified rRBD was proved genuinely antigenic and immunogenic, exhibiting specific reactivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and inducing strong seroconversion in immunized mice. The scFv phage display library against rRBD was successfully constructed, revealing ∼ 90 % recombination frequency, and great enriching factor reaching 88 % and 25 % in polyclonal Ab-based and MAb-based ELISAs, respectively. Typically, three unique scFvs were generated, selected, purified and molecularly identified. That was manifested by their: accurate structure, close relation to the mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily, right anchored six complementarily-determining regions (CDRs) as three within variable heavy (vH) and variable light (vL) regions each, and proper configuration of the three-dimensional (3D) structure. Besides, their expression downstream in a non-suppressive amber codon of E. coli strain SS32 created a distinct protein band at an apparent molecular weight of ∼ 27KDa. Moreover, the purified scFvs showed authentic immunoreactivity and specificity to both rRBD and SARS-CoV-2 in western blot and ELISA. Accordingly, these developed scFvs platform might be a functional candidate for research, inexpensive diagnostics and therapeutics, mitigating spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Specificity , Baculoviridae , COVID-19/prevention & control , Escherichia coli , Female , Genetic Vectors , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Peptide Library , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Single-Chain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 767347, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528823

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 triggers the simultaneous activation of innate inflammatory pathways including the complement system and the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) generating in the process potent vasoactive peptides that contribute to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and multi-organ failure. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 encodes four major structural proteins - the spike (S) protein, nucleocapsid (N) protein, membrane (M) protein, and the envelope (E) protein. However, the role of these proteins in either binding to or activation of the complement system and/or the KKS is still incompletely understood. In these studies, we used: solid phase ELISA, hemolytic assay and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) techniques to examine if recombinant proteins corresponding to S1, N, M and E: (a) bind to C1q, gC1qR, FXII and high molecular weight kininogen (HK), and (b) activate complement and/or the KKS. Our data show that the viral proteins: (a) bind C1q and activate the classical pathway of complement, (b) bind FXII and HK, and activate the KKS in normal human plasma to generate bradykinin and (c) bind to gC1qR, the receptor for the globular heads of C1q (gC1q) which in turn could serve as a platform for the activation of both the complement system and KKS. Collectively, our data indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 viral particle can independently activate major innate inflammatory pathways for maximal damage and efficiency. Therefore, if efficient therapeutic modalities for the treatment of COVID-19 are to be designed, a strategy that includes blockade of the four major structural proteins may provide the best option.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement System Proteins/immunology , Kallikrein-Kinin System , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Structural Proteins/immunology , Carrier Proteins/genetics , Carrier Proteins/immunology , Hemolysis , Humans , Mitochondrial Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Viral Structural Proteins/genetics
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0257089, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523422

ABSTRACT

Recombinant production of viral proteins can be used to produce vaccine antigens or reagents to identify antibodies in patient serum. Minimally, these proteins must be correctly folded and have appropriate post-translation modifications. Here we report the production of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) in the green algae Chlamydomonas. RBD fused to a fluorescent reporter protein accumulates as an intact protein when targeted for ER-Golgi retention or secreted from the cell, while a chloroplast localized version is truncated. The ER-retained RBD fusion protein was able to bind the human ACE2 receptor, the host target of SARS-CoV-2, and was specifically out-competed by mammalian cell-produced recombinant RBD, suggesting that the algae produced proteins are sufficiently post-translationally modified to act as authentic SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Because algae can be grown at large scale very inexpensively, this recombinant protein may be a low cost alternative to other expression platforms.


Subject(s)
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/genetics , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/metabolism , Cloning, Molecular , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
4.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(10): 1275-1287, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476404

ABSTRACT

A new platform for creating anti-coronavirus epitope vaccines has been developed. Two loop-like epitopes with lengths of 22 and 42 amino acid residues were selected from the receptor-binding motif of the Spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that participate in a large number of protein-protein interactions in the complexes with ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies. Two types of hybrid proteins, including one of the two selected epitopes, were constructed. To fix conformation of the selected epitopes, an approach using protein scaffolds was used. The homologue of Rop protein from the Escherichia coli ColE1 plasmid containing helix-turn-helix motif was used as an epitope scaffold for the convergence of C- and N-termini of the loop-like epitopes. Loop epitopes were inserted into the turn region. The conformation was additionally fixed by a disulfide bond formed between the cysteine residues present within the epitopes. For the purpose of multimerization, either aldolase from Thermotoga maritima, which forms a trimer in solution, or alpha-helical trimerizer of the Spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, was attached to the epitopes incorporated into the Rop-like protein. To enable purification on the heparin-containing sorbents, a short fragment from the heparin-binding hemagglutinin of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was inserted at the C-terminus of the hybrid proteins. All the obtained proteins demonstrated high level of immunogenicity after triplicate parenteral administration to mice. Sera from the mice immunized with both aldolase-based hybrid proteins and the Spike protein SARS-CoV-2 trimerizer-based protein with a longer epitope interacted with both the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Spike protein receptor-binding domain at high titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Epitopes/pharmacology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 729189, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450809

ABSTRACT

Several SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have received EUAs, but many issues remain unresolved, including duration of conferred immunity and breadth of cross-protection. Adjuvants that enhance and shape adaptive immune responses that confer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants will be pivotal for long-term protection as drift variants continue to emerge. We developed an intranasal, rationally designed adjuvant integrating a nanoemulsion (NE) that activates TLRs and NLRP3 with an RNA agonist of RIG-I (IVT DI). The combination adjuvant with spike protein antigen elicited robust responses to SARS-CoV-2 in mice, with markedly enhanced TH1-biased cellular responses and high virus-neutralizing antibody titers towards both homologous SARS-CoV-2 and a variant harboring the N501Y mutation shared by B1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 variants. Furthermore, passive transfer of vaccination-induced antibodies protected naive mice against heterologous viral challenge. NE/IVT DI enables mucosal vaccination, and has the potential to improve the immune profile of a variety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates to provide effective cross-protection against future drift variants.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Protection/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58 , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Receptors, Immunologic/agonists , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Vero Cells
6.
MAbs ; 13(1): 1978130, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442969

ABSTRACT

Recent years have seen unparalleled development of microfluidic applications for antibody discovery in both academic and pharmaceutical research. Microfluidics can support native chain-paired library generation as well as direct screening of antibody secreting cells obtained by rodent immunization or from the human peripheral blood. While broad diversities of neutralizing antibodies against infectious diseases such as HIV, Ebola, or COVID-19 have been identified from convalescent individuals, microfluidics can expedite therapeutic antibody discovery for cancer or immunological disease indications. In this study, a commercially available microfluidic device, Cyto-Mine, was used for the rapid identification of natively paired antibodies from rodents or human donors screened for specific binding to recombinant antigens, for direct screening with cells expressing the target of interest, and, to our knowledge for the first time, for direct broad functional IgG antibody screening in droplets. The process time from cell preparation to confirmed recombinant antibodies was four weeks. Application of this or similar microfluidic devices and methodologies can accelerate and enhance pharmaceutical antibody hit discovery.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Immunoglobulin G/isolation & purification , Microfluidics/methods , Animals , Antibodies, Bacterial/immunology , Antibodies, Bacterial/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibody Specificity , Antigens/immunology , Antigens, Neoplasm/immunology , Blood Preservation , COVID-19/immunology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Humans , Hybridomas/immunology , Immunomagnetic Separation , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Mice , Microfluidics/instrumentation , Muromonab-CD3/immunology , Plasma Cells , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tetanus Toxoid/immunology , Vaccination
7.
Anal Biochem ; 632: 114384, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415148

ABSTRACT

Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a severe life-threatening condition. Diagnosis of fungal disease in general, and especially that caused by Aspergillus fumigatus is problematic. A. fumigatus secretes siderophores to acquire iron during infection, which are also essential for virulence. We describe the chemoacetylation of ferrated fusarinine C to diacetylated fusarinine C (DAFC), followed by protein conjugation, which facilitated triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC)-specific monoclonal antibody production with specific recognition of the ferrated form of TAFC. A single monoclonal antibody sequence was ultimately elucidated by a combinatorial strategy involving protein LC-MS/MS, cDNA sequencing and RNAseq. The resultant murine IgG2a monoclonal antibody was secreted in, and purified from, mammalian cell culture (5 mg) and demonstrated to be highly specific for TAFC detection by competitive ELISA (detection limit: 15 nM) and in a lateral flow test system (detection limit: 3 ng), using gold nanoparticle conjugated- DAFC-bovine serum albumin for competition. Overall, this work reveals for the first time a recombinant TAFC-specific monoclonal antibody with diagnostic potential for IPA diagnosis in traditional and emerging patient groups (e.g., COVID-19) and presents a useful strategy for murine Ig sequence determination, and expression in HEK293 cells, to overcome unexpected limitations associated with aberrant or deficient murine monoclonal antibody production.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Ferric Compounds/immunology , Hydroxamic Acids/immunology , Immunoconjugates/chemistry , Siderophores/chemistry , Animals , Aspergillosis/microbiology , Aspergillus fumigatus/chemistry , Aspergillus fumigatus/pathogenicity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Ferric Compounds/analysis , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Hydroxamic Acids/analysis , Mice , Recombinant Proteins/immunology
8.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 190: 409-416, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412931

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by a novel betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has been an ongoing global pandemic. Several vaccines have been developed to control the COVID-19, but the potential effectiveness of the mucosal vaccine remains to be documented. In this study, we constructed a recombinant L. plantarum LP18:RBD expressing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein via the surface anchoring route. The amount of the RBD protein was maximally expressed under the culture condition with 200 ng/mL of inducer at 33 °C for 6 h. Further, we evaluated the immune response in mice via the intranasal administration of LP18:RBD. The results showed that the LP18:RBD significantly elicited RBD-specific mucosal IgA antibodies in respiratory tract and intestinal tract. The percentages of CD3 + CD4+ T cells in spleens of mice administrated with the LP18:RBD were also significantly increased. This indicated that LP18:RBD could induce a humoral immune response at the mucosa, and it could be used as a mucosal vaccine candidate against the SARS-CoV-2 infection. We provided the first experimental evidence that the recombinant L. plantarum LP18:RBD could initiate immune response in vivo, which implies that the mucosal immunization using recombinant LAB system could be a promising vaccination strategy to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Lactobacillus plantarum , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Gene Expression , Lactobacillus plantarum/genetics , Lactobacillus plantarum/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
J Virol ; 95(22): e0112621, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398575

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged at the end of 2019 and has been responsible for the still ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Prophylactic vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of COVID-19. Identification of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is important to assess vaccine protection efficacy, including their ability to protect against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC). Here, we report the generation and use of a recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 USA/WA1/2020 (WA-1) strain expressing Venus and an rSARS-CoV-2 strain expressing mCherry and containing mutations K417N, E484K, and N501Y found in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) glycoprotein of the South African (SA) B.1.351 (beta [ß]) VoC in bifluorescent-based assays to rapidly and accurately identify human monoclonal antibodies (hMAbs) able to neutralize both viral infections in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, our bifluorescent-based system accurately recapitulated findings observed using individual viruses. Moreover, fluorescent-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 strain and the parental wild-type (WT) rSARS-CoV-2 WA-1 strain had similar viral fitness in vitro, as well as similar virulence and pathogenicity in vivo in the K18 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We demonstrate that these new fluorescent-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 can be used in vitro and in vivo to easily identify hMAbs that simultaneously neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 strains, including VoC, for the rapid assessment of vaccine efficacy or the identification of prophylactic and/or therapeutic broadly NAbs for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is responsible of the COVID-19 pandemic that has warped daily routines and socioeconomics. There is still an urgent need for prophylactics and therapeutics to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of using bifluorescent-based assays for the rapid identification of hMAbs with neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2, including VoC in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, results obtained with these bifluorescent-based assays recapitulate those observed with individual viruses, demonstrating their feasibility to rapidly advance our understanding of vaccine efficacy and to identify broadly protective human NAbs for the therapeutic treatment of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Luminescent Proteins/genetics , Luminescent Proteins/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Mice , Mutation , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 706186, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394759

ABSTRACT

Background: Sargramostim [recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhu GM-CSF)] was approved by US FDA in 1991 to accelerate bone marrow recovery in diverse settings of bone marrow failure and is designated on the list of FDA Essential Medicines, Medical Countermeasures, and Critical Inputs. Other important biological activities including accelerating tissue repair and modulating host immunity to infection and cancer via the innate and adaptive immune systems are reported in pre-clinical models but incompletely studied in humans. Objective: Assess safety and efficacy of sargramostim in cancer and other diverse experimental and clinical settings. Methods and Results: We systematically reviewed PubMed, Cochrane and TRIP databases for clinical data on sargramostim in cancer. In a variety of settings, sargramostim after exposure to bone marrow-suppressing agents accelerated hematologic recovery resulting in fewer infections, less therapy-related toxicity and sometimes improved survival. As an immune modulator, sargramostim also enhanced anti-cancer responses in solid cancers when combined with conventional therapies, for example with immune checkpoint inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Conclusions: Sargramostim accelerates hematologic recovery in diverse clinical settings and enhances anti-cancer responses with a favorable safety profile. Uses other than in hematologic recovery are less-well studied; more data are needed on immune-enhancing benefits. We envision significantly expanded use of sargramostim in varied immune settings. Sargramostim has the potential to reverse the immune suppression associated with sepsis, trauma, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19. Further, sargramostim therapy has been promising in the adjuvant setting with vaccines and for anti-microbial-resistant infections and treating autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis and gastrointestinal, peripheral arterial and neuro-inflammatory diseases. It also may be useful as an adjuvant in anti-cancer immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/drug therapy , COVID-19/drug therapy , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/immunology , Humans , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
11.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 18149, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387454

ABSTRACT

Antigens displayed on self-assembling nanoparticles can stimulate strong immune responses and have been playing an increasingly prominent role in structure-based vaccines. However, the development of such immunogens is often complicated by inefficiencies in their production. To alleviate this issue, we developed a plug-and-play platform using the spontaneous isopeptide-bond formation of the SpyTag:SpyCatcher system to display trimeric antigens on self-assembling nanoparticles, including the 60-subunit Aquifex aeolicus lumazine synthase (LuS) and the 24-subunit Helicobacter pylori ferritin. LuS and ferritin coupled to SpyTag expressed well in a mammalian expression system when an N-linked glycan was added to the nanoparticle surface. The respiratory syncytial virus fusion (F) glycoprotein trimer-stabilized in the prefusion conformation and fused with SpyCatcher-could be efficiently conjugated to LuS-SpyTag or ferritin-SpyTag, enabling multivalent display of F trimers with prefusion antigenicity. Similarly, F-glycoprotein trimers from human parainfluenza virus-type 3 and spike-glycoprotein trimers from SARS-CoV-2 could be displayed on LuS nanoparticles with decent yield and antigenicity. Notably, murine vaccination with 0.08 µg of SARS-CoV-2 spike-LuS nanoparticle elicited similar neutralizing responses as 2.0 µg of spike, which was ~ 25-fold higher on a weight-per-weight basis. The versatile platform described here thus allows for multivalent plug-and-play presentation on self-assembling nanoparticles of trimeric viral antigens, with SARS-CoV-2 spike-LuS nanoparticles inducing particularly potent neutralizing responses.


Subject(s)
Antigens/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigens/genetics , Antigens/metabolism , Aquifex , Bacteria/enzymology , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Ferritins/genetics , Helicobacter pylori/metabolism , Humans , Mice , Multienzyme Complexes/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Protein Multimerization , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surface Properties
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374427

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the causative agent of the COVID19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes for a small accessory protein termed Orf9b, which targets the mitochondrial outer membrane protein TOM70 in infected cells. TOM70 is involved in a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to the induction of type I interferons (IFN-I). This cascade depends on the recruitment of Hsp90-bound proteins to the N-terminal domain of TOM70. Binding of Orf9b to TOM70 decreases the expression of IFN-I; however, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We show that the binding of Orf9b to TOM70 inhibits the recruitment of Hsp90 and chaperone-associated proteins. We characterized the binding site of Orf9b within the C-terminal domain of TOM70 and found that a serine in position 53 of Orf9b and a glutamate in position 477 of TOM70 are crucial for the association of both proteins. A phosphomimetic variant Orf9bS53E showed drastically reduced binding to TOM70 and did not inhibit Hsp90 recruitment, suggesting that Orf9b-TOM70 complex formation is regulated by phosphorylation. Eventually, we identified the N-terminal TPR domain of TOM70 as a second binding site for Orf9b, which indicates a so far unobserved contribution of chaperones in the mitochondrial targeting of the viral protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/isolation & purification , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells
13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(9): 1257-1270, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371556

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: CoV2 preS dTM is a stabilised pre-fusion spike protein vaccine produced in a baculovirus expression system being developed against SARS-CoV-2. We present interim safety and immunogenicity results of the first-in-human study of the CoV2 preS dTM vaccine with two different adjuvant formulations. METHODS: This phase 1-2, randomised, double-blind study is being done in healthy, SARS-CoV-2-seronegative adults in ten clinical research centres in the USA. Participants were stratified by age (18-49 years and ≥50 years) and randomly assigned using an interactive response technology system with block randomisation (blocks of varying size) to receive one dose (on day 1) or two doses (on days 1 and 22) of placebo or candidate vaccine, containing low-dose (effective dose 1·3 µg) or high-dose (2·6 µg) antigen with adjuvant AF03 (Sanofi Pasteur) or AS03 (GlaxoSmithKline) or unadjuvanted high-dose antigen (18-49 years only). Primary endpoints were safety, assessed up to day 43, and immunogenicity, measured as SARS-C0V-2 neutralising antibodies (geometric mean titres), assessed on days 1, 22, and 36 serum samples. Safety was assessed according to treatment received in the safety analysis set, which included all randomly assigned participants who received at least one dose. Neutralising antibody titres were assessed in the per-protocol analysis set for immunogenicity, which included participants who received at least one dose, met all inclusion and exclusion criteria, had no protocol deviation, had negative results in the neutralisation test at baseline, and had at least one valid post-dose serology sample. This planned interim analysis reports data up to 43 days after the first vaccination; participants in the trial will be followed up for 12 months after the last study injection. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04537208, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between Sept 3 and Sept 29, 2020, 441 individuals (299 aged 18-49 years and 142 aged ≥50 years) were randomly assigned to one of the 11 treatment groups. The interim safety analyses included 439 (>99%) of 441 randomly assigned participants (299 aged 18-49 years and 140 aged ≥50 years). Neutralising antibody titres were analysed in 326 (74%) of 441 participants (235 [79%] of 299 aged 18-49 years and 91 [64%] of 142 aged ≥50 years). There were no vaccine-related unsolicited immediate adverse events, serious adverse events, medically attended adverse events classified as severe, or adverse events of special interest. Among all study participants, solicited local and systemic reactions of any grade after two vaccine doses were reported in 81% (95% CI 61-93; 21 of 26) of participants in the low-dose plus AF03 group, 93% (84-97; 74 of 80) in the low-dose plus AS03 group, 89% (70-98; 23 of 26) in the high-dose plus AF03 group, 95% (88-99; 81 of 85) in the high-dose plus AS03 group, 29% (10-56; five of 17) in the unadjuvanted high-dose group, and 21% (8-40; six of 29) in the placebo group. A single vaccine dose did not generate neutralising antibody titres above placebo levels in any group at days 22 or 36. Among participants aged 18-49 years, neutralising antibody titres after two vaccine doses were 13·1 (95% CI 6·40-26·9) in the low-dose plus AF03 group, 20·5 (13·1-32·1) in the low-dose plus AS03 group, 43·2 (20·6-90·4) in the high-dose plus AF03 group, 75·1 (50·5-112·0) in the high-dose plus AS03 group, 5·00 (not calculated) in the unadjuvanted high-dose group, and 5·00 (not calculated) in the placebo group. Among participants aged 50 years or older, neutralising antibody titres after two vaccine doses were 8·62 (1·90-39·0) in the low-dose plus AF03 group, 12·9 (7·09-23·4) in the low-dose plus AS03 group, 12·3 (4·35-35·0) in the high-dose plus AF03 group, 52·3 (25·3-108·0) in the high-dose plus AS03 group, and 5·00 (not calculated) in the placebo group. INTERPRETATION: The lower than expected immune responses, especially in the older age groups, and the high reactogenicity after dose two were probably due to higher than anticipated host-cell protein content and lower than planned antigen doses in the formulations tested, which was discovered during characterisation studies on the final bulk drug substance. Further development of the AS03-adjuvanted candidate vaccine will focus on identifying the optimal antigen formulation and dose. FUNDING: Sanofi Pasteur and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Recombinant Proteins/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/drug effects , Antibodies, Viral/drug effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , United States/epidemiology
14.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 76(10): 1775-1783, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358442

ABSTRACT

Aging and comorbidities make individuals at greatest risk of COVID-19 serious illness and mortality due to senescence-related events and deleterious inflammation. Long-living individuals (LLIs) are less susceptible to inflammation and develop more resiliency to COVID-19. As demonstrated, LLIs are characterized by high circulating levels of BPIFB4, a protein involved in homeostatic response to inflammatory stimuli. Also, LLIs show enrichment of homozygous genotype for the minor alleles of a 4 missense single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype (longevity-associated variant [LAV]) in BPIFB4, able to counteract progression of diseases in animal models. Thus, the present study was designed to assess the presence and significance of BPIFB4 level in COVID-19 patients and the potential therapeutic use of LAV-BPIFB4 in fighting COVID-19. BPIFB4 plasma concentration was found significantly higher in LLIs compared to old healthy controls while it significantly decreased in 64 COVID-19 patients. Further, the drop in BPIFB4 values correlated with disease severity. Accordingly to the LAV-BPIFB4 immunomodulatory role, while lysates of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells induced an inflammatory response in healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro, the co-treatment with recombinant protein (rh) LAV-BPIFB4 resulted in a protective and self-limiting reaction, culminating in the downregulation of CD69 activating-marker for T cells (both TCD4+ and TCD8+) and in MCP-1 reduction. On the contrary, rhLAV-BPIFB4 induced a rapid increase in IL-18 and IL-1b levels, shown largely protective during the early stages of the virus infection. This evidence, along with the ability of rhLAV-BPIFB4 to counteract the cytotoxicity induced by SARS-CoV-2 lysate in selected target cell lines, corroborates BPIFB4 prognostic value and open new therapeutic possibilities in more vulnerable people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins , Longevity/immunology , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokines/blood , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/drug effects , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/immunology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/blood , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/immunology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Prognosis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
15.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255796, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350170

ABSTRACT

Serological assays to detect antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might contribute to confirming the suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients not detected with molecular assays. Human antibodies that target the host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-binding domain of the viral spike protein are a target for serodiagnosis and therapeutics. This study aimed to characterize the classes and subclasses of antibody responses to a recombinant receptor-binding protein (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients and investigated the reactivity of these antibodies in patients with other tropical infections and healthy individuals in Thailand. ELISAs for IgM, IgA, IgG and IgG subclasses based on RBD antigen were developed and tested with time series of 27 serum samples from 15 patients with COVID-19 and 60 samples from pre-COVID-19 outbreaks including acute dengue fever, murine typhus, influenza, leptospirosis and healthy individuals. Both RBD-specific IgA and IgG were detected in only 21% of the COVID-19 patients in the acute phase. The median IgA and IgG levels were significantly higher in the convalescent serum sample compared to the acute serum sample (P < 0.05). We observed the highest correlation between levels of IgG and IgA (rho = 0. 92). IgG1 and IgG3 were the major IgG subclasses detected in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Only acute IgG3 level was negatively associated with viral detection based on RT-PCR of ORF1ab gene (rho = -0.57). The median IgA and IgG levels in convalescence sera of COVID-19 patients were significantly higher than healthy individuals and convalescent sera of other febrile infectious patients. The analyses of antibody classes and subclasses provide insights into human immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 during natural infection and interpretation of antibody assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/pathology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Domains/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thailand , Young Adult
16.
Structure ; 29(7): 655-663.e4, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263379

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, from the UK and South Africa, respectively, show decreased neutralization by monoclonal antibodies and convalescent or vaccinee sera raised against the original wild-type virus, and are thus of clinical concern. However, the neutralization potency of two antibodies, 1-57 and 2-7, which target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike, was unaffected by these emerging strains. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of 1-57 and 2-7 in complex with spike, revealing each of these antibodies to utilize a distinct mechanism to bypass or accommodate RBD mutations. Notably, each antibody represented an immune response with recognition distinct from those of frequent antibody classes. Moreover, many epitope residues recognized by 1-57 and 2-7 were outside hotspots of evolutionary pressure for ACE2 binding and neutralizing antibody escape. We suggest the therapeutic use of antibodies, such as 1-57 and 2-7, which target less prevalent epitopes, could ameliorate issues of monoclonal antibody escape.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cloning, Molecular , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Microbiol Immunol ; 64(1): 33-51, 2020 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262996

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of coronavirus, which binds to cellular receptors and mediates membrane fusion for cell entry, is a candidate vaccine target for blocking coronavirus infection. However, some animal studies have suggested that inadequate immunization against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) induces a lung eosinophilic immunopathology upon infection. The present study evaluated two kinds of vaccine adjuvants for use with recombinant S protein: gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which are expected to function as both an antigen carrier and an adjuvant in immunization; and Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, which have previously been shown to be an effective adjuvant in an ultraviolet-inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine. All the mice immunized with more than 0.5 µg S protein without adjuvant escaped from SARS after infection with mouse-adapted SARS-CoV; however, eosinophilic infiltrations were observed in the lungs of almost all the immunized mice. The AuNP-adjuvanted protein induced a strong IgG response but failed to improve vaccine efficacy or to reduce eosinophilic infiltration because of highly allergic inflammatory responses. Whereas similar virus titers were observed in the control animals and the animals immunized with S protein with or without AuNPs, Type 1 interferon and pro-inflammatory responses were moderate in the mice treated with S protein with and without AuNPs. On the other hand, the TLR agonist-adjuvanted vaccine induced highly protective antibodies without eosinophilic infiltrations, as well as Th1/17 cytokine responses. The findings of this study will support the development of vaccines against severe pneumonia-associated coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Gold/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/immunology , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Analysis of Variance , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunization , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Toll-Like Receptors , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , Vero Cells , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viral Vaccines/pharmacology , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use
18.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e140, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260913

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the causative agent of the 2020 worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Antibody testing is useful for diagnosing historic infections of a disease in a population. These tests are also a helpful epidemiological tool for predicting how the virus spreads in a community, relating antibody levels to immunity and for assessing herd immunity. In the present study, SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were recombinantly produced and used to analyse serum from individuals previously exposed, or not, to SARS-CoV-2. The nucleocapsid (Npro) and spike subunit 2 (S2Frag) proteins were identified as highly immunogenic, although responses to the former were generally greater. These two proteins were used to develop two quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) that when used in combination resulted in a highly reliable diagnostic test. Npro and S2Frag-ELISAs could detect at least 10% more true positive coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases than the commercially available ARCHITECT test (Abbott). Moreover, our quantitative ELISAs also show that specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins tend to wane rapidly even in patients who had developed severe disease. As antibody tests complement COVID-19 diagnosis and determine population-level surveillance during this pandemic, the alternative diagnostic we present in this study could play a role in controlling the spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
19.
Protein Expr Purif ; 186: 105908, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243167

ABSTRACT

The current standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19 is the nucleic acid test of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, however, virus antibody detection has the advantages of convenient sample collection, high throughout, and low cost. When combining detection with nucleic acid detection, antibody detection can effectively compensate for nucleic acid detection. Virus infection always induce high antibody titer against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N protein), which can be used to detect COVID-19 at both infected and convalescent patients. In this study we reported the expression and purification of N protein in E.coli from inclusion bodies by a combination of two cation exchange chromatography, and the yield of N protein was around 50 mg/L fermentation broth with more than 90% purity. A corresponding colloidal gold detection kit prepared with our purified N protein was used to verify the efficiency and accuracy our N protein in antibody detection method. Of the 58 COVID-19 PCR positive patients' inactivated serum samples, 40 samples were IgM positive (69.0%), and 42 samples were IgG positive (72.4%), and all 95 COVID-19 negative patients' inactivated serum samples were both IgM and IgG negative. Our results indicates that the refolded soluble N protein could be used for the preliminary detection of IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV- 2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Escherichia coli/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Inclusion Bodies , Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
mBio ; 12(3)2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234283

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has seen an unprecedented increase in the demand for rapid and reliable diagnostic tools, leaving many laboratories scrambling for resources. We present a fast and simple assay principle for antigen detection and demonstrate its functionality by detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigens in nasopharyngeal swabs. The method is based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (NP) and S protein (SP) via time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) with donor- and acceptor-labeled polyclonal anti-NP and -SP antibodies. Using recombinant proteins and cell culture-grown SARS-CoV-2, the limits of detection were established as 25 pg of NP or 20 infectious units (IU) and 875 pg of SP or 625 IU. Testing reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR)-positive (n = 48, with cycle threshold [CT ] values from 11 to 30) or -negative (n = 96) nasopharyngeal swabs demonstrated that the assay yielded positive results for all samples with CT values of <25 and for a single RT-PCR-negative sample. Virus isolation from the RT-PCR-positive nasopharyngeal swabs showed a strong association between the presence of infectious virus and a positive antigen test result. The NP-based assay showed 97.4% (37/38) sensitivity and 100% (10/10) specificity in comparison with virus isolation and 77.1% (37/48) sensitivity and 99.0% (95/96) specificity in comparison with SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. The assay is performed in a buffer that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, and the assay is relatively simple to set up as an "in-house" test. Here, SARS-CoV-2 served as the model pathogen, but the assay principle is applicable to other viral infections, and the test format could easily be adapted to high-throughput testing.IMPORTANCE PCR is currently the gold standard for the diagnosis of many acute infections. While PCR and its variants are highly sensitive and specific, the time from sampling to results is measured in hours at best. Antigen tests directly detect parts of the infectious agent, which may enable faster diagnosis but often at lower sensitivity and specificity. Here, we describe a technique for rapid antigen detection and demonstrate the test format's potential using SARS-CoV-2 as the model pathogen. The 10-min test, performed in a buffer that readily inactivates SARS-CoV-2, from nasopharyngeal samples identified 97.4% (37/38) of the samples from which we could isolate the virus. This suggests that the test performs well in identifying patients potentially shedding the virus. Although SARS-CoV-2 served as the model pathogen to demonstrate proof of concept, the test principle itself would be applicable to a wide variety of infectious and perhaps also noninfectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Proof of Concept Study , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
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