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1.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(22): 5619-5632, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2174032

ABSTRACT

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for rapid serological tests that allow multiplexing emerged, as antibody seropositivity can instruct about individual immunity after an infection with SARS-CoV-2 or after vaccination. As many commercial antibody tests are either time-consuming or tend to produce false negative or false positive results when only one antigen is considered, we developed an automated, flow-based chemiluminescence microarray immunoassay (CL-MIA) that allows for the detection of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD), spike protein (S1 fragment), and nucleocapsid protein (N) in human serum and plasma in less than 8 min. The CoVRapid CL-MIA was tested with a set of 65 SARS-CoV-2 serology positive or negative samples, resulting in 100% diagnostic specificity and 100% diagnostic sensitivity, thus even outcompeting commercial tests run on the same sample set. Additionally, the prospect of future quantitative assessments (i.e., quantifying the level of antibodies) was demonstrated. Due to the fully automated process, the test can easily be operated in hospitals, medical practices, or vaccination centers, offering a valuable tool for COVID-19 serosurveillance. Graphical abstract.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Automation, Laboratory , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immobilized Proteins/chemistry , Immobilized Proteins/immunology , Immune Sera , Immunoassay/instrumentation , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Luminescent Measurements , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
2.
Nature ; 593(7857): 136-141, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2114170

ABSTRACT

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is uncontrolled in many parts of the world; control is compounded in some areas by the higher transmission potential of the B.1.1.7 variant1, which has now been reported in 94 countries. It is unclear whether the response of the virus to vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 on the basis of the prototypic strain will be affected by the mutations found in B.1.1.7. Here we assess the immune responses of individuals after vaccination with the mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b22. We measured neutralizing antibody responses after the first and second immunizations using pseudoviruses that expressed the wild-type spike protein or a mutated spike protein that contained the eight amino acid changes found in the B.1.1.7 variant. The sera from individuals who received the vaccine exhibited a broad range of neutralizing titres against the wild-type pseudoviruses that were modestly reduced against the B.1.1.7 variant. This reduction was also evident in sera from some patients who had recovered from COVID-19. Decreased neutralization of the B.1.1.7 variant was also observed for monoclonal antibodies that target the N-terminal domain (9 out of 10) and the receptor-binding motif (5 out of 31), but not for monoclonal antibodies that recognize the receptor-binding domain that bind outside the receptor-binding motif. Introduction of the mutation that encodes the E484K substitution in the B.1.1.7 background to reflect a newly emerged variant of concern (VOC 202102/02) led to a more-substantial loss of neutralizing activity by vaccine-elicited antibodies and monoclonal antibodies (19 out of 31) compared with the loss of neutralizing activity conferred by the mutations in B.1.1.7 alone. The emergence of the E484K substitution in a B.1.1.7 background represents a threat to the efficacy of the BNT162b2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage
3.
Science ; 378(6622): eabo2523, 2022 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088384

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has highlighted the need for vaccines that not only prevent disease but also prevent transmission. Parenteral vaccines induce robust systemic immunity but poor immunity at the respiratory mucosa. We developed a vaccine strategy that we call "prime and spike," which leverages existing immunity generated by primary vaccination (prime) to elicit mucosal immune memory within the respiratory tract by using unadjuvanted intranasal spike boosters (spike). We show that prime and spike induces robust resident memory B and T cell responses, induces immunoglobulin A at the respiratory mucosa, boosts systemic immunity, and completely protects mice with partial immunity from lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using divergent spike proteins, prime and spike enables the induction of cross-reactive immunity against sarbecoviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunologic Memory , Memory B Cells , Memory T Cells , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Mice , Administration, Intranasal , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunoglobulin A , Memory B Cells/immunology , Memory T Cells/immunology
4.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(11): 1302-1310, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062196

ABSTRACT

Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) have enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion with respect to current vaccines and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). How naturally occurring spike mutations affect the infectivity and antigenicity of VOCs remains to be investigated. The entry efficiency of individual spike mutations was determined in vitro using pseudotyped viruses. BALB/c mice were immunized with 2-dose DNA vaccines encoding B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.1.529  and their single mutations. Cellular and humoral immune responses were then compared to determine the impact of individual mutations on immunogenicity. In the B.1.1.7 lineage, Del69-70 and Del 144 in NTD, A570D and P681H in SD1 and S982A and D1118H in S2 significantly increased viral entry, whereas T716I resulted in a decrease. In the B.1.351 lineage, L18F and Del 242-244 in the NTD, K417N in the RBD and A701V in S2 also increased viral entry. S982A weakened the generation of binding antibodies. All sera showed reduced cross-neutralization activity against B.1.351, B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron BA.1). S982A, L18F, and Del 242-244 hindered the induction of cross-NAbs, whereas Del 69-70, Del144, R246I, and K417N showed the opposite effects. B.1.351 elicited adequate broad cross-NAbs against both B.1.351 and B.1.617.2. All immunogens tested, however, showed low neutralization against circulating B.1.1.529. In addition, T-cell responses were unlikely affected by mutations tested in the spike. We conclude that individual spike mutations influence viral infectivity and vaccine immunogenicity. Designing VOC-targeted vaccines is likely necessary to overcome immune evasion from current vaccines and neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Humans , Mice , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 15612, 2022 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036890

ABSTRACT

Many therapeutic antibodies (Abs) and mRNA vaccines, both targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S-protein), have been developed and approved in order to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In consideration of these developments, a common concern has been the potential for Ab-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection caused by inoculated or induced Abs. Although the preventive and therapeutic effects of these Abs are obvious, little attention has been paid to the influence of the remaining and dwindling anti-S-protein Abs in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that certain monoclonal Abs (mAbs) approved as therapeutic neutralizing anti-S-protein mAbs for human usage have the potential to cause ADE in a narrow range of Ab concentrations. Although sera collected from mRNA-vaccinated individuals exhibited neutralizing activity, some sera gradually exhibited dominance of ADE activity in a time-dependent manner. None of the sera examined exhibited neutralizing activity against infection with the Omicron strain. Rather, some ADE of Omicron infection was observed in some sera. These results suggest the possible emergence of adverse effects caused by these Abs in addition to the therapeutic or preventive effect.


Subject(s)
Antibody-Dependent Enhancement , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immune Sera , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Allergy Asthma Proc ; 43(5): 419-430, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022489

ABSTRACT

Background: Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) plays an important role in antiviral protective immunity. Although salivary testing has been used for many viral infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), its use has not yet been well established with the SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Quantification of salivary IgA and IgG antibodies can elucidate mucosal and systemic immune responses after natural infection or vaccination. Here, we report the development and validation of a rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for anti-SARS-CoV-2 salivary IgA and serum IgG antibodies, and present quantitative results for immunized subjects both prior to or following COVID-19 infections. Objective: Total and serum SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG responses were compared with salivary spike-specific IgA and IgG responses in samples obtained from patients recently infected with SARS-CoV-2 and from subjects recently immunized with COVID-19 vaccines. Methods: A total of 52 paired saliva and serum samples were collected from 26 study participants: 7 subjects after COVID-19 infection and 19 subjects who were uninfected. The ELISA results from these samples were compared with five prepandemic control serum samples. Total IgG and SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG in the serum samples from the subjects who were infected and vaccinated were also measured in a commercial laboratory with an enzyme immunoassay. Results: A wide variation in antibody responses was seen in salivary and serum samples measured by both methods. Three groups of serum total and IgG spike-specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were observed: (1) low, (2) intermediate, and (3) high antibody responders. A correlational analysis of salivary IgA (sIgA) responses with serum IgG concentrations showed a statistical correlation in the low and intermediate antibody responder groups but not in the high group (which we believe was a result of saturation). Conclusion: These preliminary findings suggest measuring salivary and serum IgG and IgA merit further investigation as markers of current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunization , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin A, Secretory , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Saliva/chemistry , Saliva/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
8.
J Virol ; 96(18): e0133722, 2022 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2019728

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 and influenza are both highly contagious respiratory diseases that have been serious threats to global public health. It is necessary to develop a bivalent vaccine to control these two infectious diseases simultaneously. In this study, we generated three attenuated replicating recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based vaccine candidates against both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. These rVSV-based vaccines coexpress SARS-CoV-2 Delta spike protein (SP) bearing the C-terminal 17 amino acid (aa) deletion (SPΔC) and I742A point mutation, or the SPΔC with a deletion of S2 domain, or the RBD domain, and a tandem repeat harboring four copies of the highly conserved influenza M2 ectodomain (M2e) that fused with the Ebola glycoprotein DC-targeting/activation domain. Animal immunization studies have shown that these rVSV bivalent vaccines induced efficient humoral and cellular immune responses against both SARS-CoV-2 SP and influenza M2 protein, including high levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Delta and other variant SP-pseudovirus infections. Importantly, immunization of the rVSV bivalent vaccines effectively protected hamsters or mice against the challenges of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and lethal H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses and significantly reduced respiratory viral loads. Overall, this study provides convincing evidence for the high efficacy of this bivalent vaccine platform to be used and/or easily adapted to produce new vaccines against new or reemerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and influenza A virus infections. IMPORTANCE Given that both COVID-19 and influenza are preferably transmitted through respiratory droplets during the same seasons, it is highly advantageous to develop a bivalent vaccine that could simultaneously protect against both COVID-19 and influenza. In this study, we generated the attenuated replicating recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based vaccine candidates that target both spike protein of SARS-Cov-2 Delta variant and the conserved influenza M2 domain. Importantly, these vaccine candidates effectively protected hamsters or mice against the challenges of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and lethal H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses and significantly reduced respiratory viral loads.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Vaccines, Combined , Vesicular Stomatitis , Amino Acids/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Glycoproteins/genetics , Glycoproteins/immunology , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Combined/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vesiculovirus/immunology
9.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 709, 2022 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021252

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare the changes in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody titres based on age group and sex using paired blood sampling after vaccination in association with the presence of nucleocapsid protein antibody. METHODS: All participants were healthcare workers at Yao Municipal Hospital in Osaka who voluntarily provided peripheral blood samples (n = 636, men/women 151/485, mean age 45 years). We investigated the serial changes in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody titres at 1 and 7 months after the second vaccination regarding their relationship with sex and age group. At 7 months, we also examined anti-nucleocapsid assays. Antibody titres were shown as logarithmic values and the differences were assessed using a paired or unpaired student's t-test as appropriate. RESULTS: Among participants younger than 30 years, the antibody titres of spike protein were significantly higher in women one (p = 0.005) and seven (p = 0.038) months after vaccination. However, among those aged 30-49 years, the antibody titres were not different between the sexes at either follow-up time point. In contrast, among those aged 50-59 years, between-sex differences in antibody titres were observed only at 7 months, which was associated with a significant reduction in men. A significant negative correlation was observed between the antibody titres for spike protein at both time points in participants with positive nucleocapsid protein antibody at 7 months (r = - 0.467, p = 0.043), although a significant positive correlation was observed in those with negative results (r = 0.645, p < 0.001), CONCLUSIONS: Between-sex differences in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody titres by paired blood sampling at different time points after vaccination depended on age group. The presence of nucleocapsid protein antibody was associated with changes in spike protein antibody titres after vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
10.
Cell Death Dis ; 13(8): 741, 2022 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016669

ABSTRACT

In addition to an inflammatory reaction, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected patients present lymphopenia, which we recently reported as being related to abnormal programmed cell death. As an efficient humoral response requires CD4 T-cell help, we hypothesized that the propensity of CD4 T cells to die may impact the quantity and quality of the humoral response in acutely infected individuals. In addition to specific immunoglobulins (Ig)A, IgM, and IgG against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N), membrane (M), and spike (S1) proteins, we assessed the quality of IgG response by measuring the avidity index. Because the S protein represents the main target for neutralization and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity responses, we also analyzed anti-S-specific IgG using S-transfected cells (S-Flow). Our results demonstrated that most COVID-19 patients have a predominant IgA anti-N humoral response during the early phase of infection. This specific humoral response preceded the anti-S1 in time and magnitude. The avidity index of anti-S1 IgG was low in acutely infected individuals compared to convalescent patients. We showed that the percentage of apoptotic CD4 T cells is inversely correlated with the levels of specific IgG antibodies. These lower levels were also correlated positively with plasma levels of CXCL10, a marker of disease severity, and soluble Fas ligand that contributes to T-cell death. Finally, we found lower S-Flow responses in patients with higher CD4 T-cell apoptosis. Altogether, these results demonstrate that individuals with high levels of CD4 T-cell apoptosis and CXCL10 have a poor ability to build an efficient anti-S response. Consequently, preventing CD4 T-cell death might be a strategy for improving humoral response during the acute phase, thereby reducing COVID-19 pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Apoptosis , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Monoclon Antib Immunodiagn Immunother ; 41(4): 173-180, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008502

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, are the important tools both for the diagnosis and therapeutics of this infectious disease. The high-performance antibody against spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is expected to inhibit the binding of viruses to their receptors on the surface of their target cells. In this study, we propose the novel screening method for mAbs against the pathogenic infectious virus using exosome. By this method, the exosome that artificially expresses SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was purified and used as a virus-like vesicle, which could bind to the viral receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). As a result, seven mAbs that could bind to the spike protein were obtained and six of these clones could strongly inhibit the binding to ACE2 of both the protein corresponding to the receptor binding domain (RBD) and the exosome expressing the spike protein. Interestingly, some of these antibodies seemed to share their epitopes in RBD, suggesting that highly antigenic sites exist in the spike protein. In view of the neutralizing activities on infection, five clones of these antibodies could inhibit the internalization of vesicular stomatitis virus-based pseudo viruses expressing various types of spike proteins derived from SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition, these antibodies inhibited the infection of SARS-CoV-2 to cultured mammalian cells. These antibodies are expected to be utilized for both diagnosis and therapeutics of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , COVID-19 , Exosomes , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Proteins
12.
Front Immunol ; 13: 945021, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2005871

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies to multiple targets are found during acute COVID-19. Whether all, or some, persist after 6 months, and their correlation with sustained anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity, is still controversial. Herein, we measured antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens (Wuhan-Hu-1 nucleoprotein (NP), whole spike (S), spike subunits (S1, S2 and receptor binding domain (RBD)) and Omicron spike) and 102 human proteins with known autoimmune associations, in plasma from healthcare workers 8 months post-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (n=31 with confirmed COVID-19 disease and n=21 uninfected controls (PCR and anti-SARS-CoV-2 negative) at baseline). IgG antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 antigens were significantly higher in the convalescent cohort than the healthy cohort, highlighting lasting antibody responses up to 8 months post-infection. These were also shown to be cross-reactive to the Omicron variant spike protein at a similar level to lasting anti-RBD antibodies (correlation r=0.89). Individuals post COVID-19 infection recognised a common set of autoantigens, specific to this group in comparison to the healthy controls. Moreover, the long-term level of anti-Spike IgG was associated with the breadth of autoreactivity post-COVID-19. There were further moderate positive correlations between anti-SARS-CoV-2 responses and 11 specific autoantigens. The most commonly recognised autoantigens were found in the COVID-19 convalescent cohort. Although there was no overall correlation in self-reported symptom severity and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, anti-calprotectin antibodies were associated with return to healthy normal life 8 months post infection. Calprotectin was also the most common target for autoantibodies, recognized by 22.6% of the overall convalescent cohort. Future studies may address whether, counter-intuitively, such autoantibodies may play a protective role in the pathology of long-COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantigens , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0114022, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2001778

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants were first detected in November 2021, and several Omicron lineages (BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5) have since rapidly emerged. Studies characterizing the mechanisms of Omicron variant infection and sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies induced upon vaccination are ongoing by several groups. In the present study, we used pseudoviruses to show that the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) enhances infection of BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3 Omicron variants to a lesser extent than ancestral D614G. We further show that Omicron variants have higher sensitivity to inhibition by soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the endosomal inhibitor chloroquine compared to D614G. The Omicron variants also more efficiently used ACE2 receptors from 9 out of 10 animal species tested, and unlike the D614G variant, used mouse ACE2 due to the Q493R and Q498R spike substitutions. Finally, neutralization of the Omicron variants by antibodies induced by three doses of Pfizer/BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was 7- to 8-fold less potent than the D614G. These results provide insights into the transmissibility and immune evasion capacity of the emerging Omicron variants to curb their ongoing spread. IMPORTANCE The ongoing emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants with an extensive number of spike mutations poses a significant public health and zoonotic concern due to enhanced transmission fitness and escape from neutralizing antibodies. We studied three Omicron lineage variants (BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3) and found that transmembrane serine protease 2 has less influence on Omicron entry into cells than on D614G, and Omicron exhibits greater sensitivity to endosomal entry inhibition compared to D614G. In addition, Omicron displays more efficient usage of diverse animal species ACE2 receptors than D614G. Furthermore, due to Q493R/Q498R substitutions in spike, Omicron, but not D614G, can use the mouse ACE2 receptor. Finally, three doses of Pfizer/BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination elicit high neutralization titers against Omicron variants, although the neutralization titers are still 7- to 8-fold lower those that against D614G. These results may give insights into the transmissibility and immune evasion capacity of the emerging Omicron variants to curb their ongoing spread.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(35): e2110105119, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000999

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the main target for neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). The S protein trimer is anchored in the virion membrane in its prefusion (preS) but metastable form. The preS protein has been stabilized by introducing two or six proline substitutions, to generate stabilized, soluble 2P or HexaPro (6P) preS proteins. Currently, it is not known which form is the most immunogenic. Here, we generated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) expressing preS-2P, preS-HexaPro, and native full-length S, and compared their immunogenicity in mice and hamsters. The rVSV-preS-HexaPro produced and secreted significantly more preS protein compared to rVSV-preS-2P. Importantly, rVSV-preS-HexaPro triggered significantly more preS-specific serum IgG antibody than rVSV-preS-2P in both mice and hamsters. Antibodies induced by preS-HexaPro neutralized the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.427, and B.1.617.2 variants approximately two to four times better than those induced by preS-2P. Furthermore, preS-HexaPro induced a more robust Th1-biased cellular immune response than preS-2P. A single dose (104 pfu) immunization with rVSV-preS-HexaPro and rVSV-preS-2P provided complete protection against challenge with mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.617.2 variant, whereas rVSV-S only conferred partial protection. When the immunization dose was lowered to 103 pfu, rVSV-preS-HexaPro induced two- to sixfold higher antibody responses than rVSV-preS-2P in hamsters. In addition, rVSV-preS-HexaPro conferred 70% protection against lung infection whereas only 30% protection was observed in the rVSV-preS-2P. Collectively, our data demonstrate that both preS-2P and preS-HexaPro are highly efficacious but preS-HexaPro is more immunogenic and protective, highlighting the advantages of using preS-HexaPro in the next generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.


Subject(s)
Proline , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccine Development , Vesicular Stomatitis , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Proline/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular Stomatitis/immunology , Vesicular Stomatitis/prevention & control , Vesicular Stomatitis/virology , Vesiculovirus/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology
15.
Intern Med ; 61(13): 1953-1958, 2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993648

ABSTRACT

Objective To investigate the serum total antibody (immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G) titre against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein receptor-binding domain following BNT162b2 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in Japanese rheumatic disease patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. Methods The serum antibody titre against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was analysed in 123 outpatients with rheumatic diseases at Kagawa University Hospital and 43 healthy volunteers who had received 2 doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine with at least 14 days elapsing since the second dose. Results The antibody titre in rheumatic disease patients was significantly lower than that in healthy subjects (p<0.0001). The antibody titres of the 41 patients who received biologics or Janus kinase inhibitors and the 47 patients who received conventional immunosuppressive agents were significantly lower than those of the 35 patients who did not receive immunosuppressive agents (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively). In addition, the mean antibody titre of the 43 patients on methotrexate was significantly lower than that of the 80 patients not on methotrexate (p=0.0017). Conclusion Immunogenicity to the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in rheumatic disease patients was found to be reduced under immunosuppressive treatment. In particular, methotrexate seems to be associated with a decreased antibody response.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Rheumatic Diseases , Antibodies, Viral/blood , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunosuppression Therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Neutralization Tests , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(30): e2203659119, 2022 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991766

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed whole blood samples (n = 56) retrieved from 30 patients at 1 to 21 (median 9) mo after verified COVID-19 to determine the polarity and duration of antigen-specific T cell reactivity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-derived antigens. Multimeric peptides spanning the entire nucleocapsid protein triggered strikingly synchronous formation of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-12, IL-13, and IL-17 ex vivo until ∼70 d after confirmed infection, whereafter this reactivity was no longer inducible. In contrast, levels of nucleocapsid-induced IL-2 and interferon-γ remained stable and highly correlated at 3 to 21 mo after infection. Similar cytokine dynamics were observed in unvaccinated, convalescent patients using whole-blood samples stimulated with peptides spanning the N-terminal portion of the spike 1 protein. These results unravel two phases of T cell reactivity following natural COVID-19: an early, synchronous response indicating transient presence of multipolar, antigen-specific T helper (TH) cells followed by an equally synchronous and durable TH1-like reactivity reflecting long-lasting T cell memory.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Interferon-gamma/blood , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology
17.
Allergy ; 77(8): 2431-2445, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1985600

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. One possibility to control the pandemic is to induce sterilizing immunity through the induction and maintenance of neutralizing antibodies preventing SARS-CoV-2 from entering human cells to replicate in. METHODS: We report the construction and in vitro and in vivo characterization of a SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine (PreS-RBD) based on a structurally folded recombinant fusion protein consisting of two SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor-binding domains (RBD) fused to the N- and C-terminus of hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen PreS to enable the two unrelated proteins serving as immunologic carriers for each other. RESULTS: PreS-RBD, but not RBD alone, induced a robust and uniform RBD-specific IgG response in rabbits. Currently available genetic SARS-CoV-2 vaccines induce mainly transient IgG1 responses in vaccinated subjects whereas the PreS-RBD vaccine induced RBD-specific IgG antibodies consisting of an early IgG1 and sustained IgG4 antibody response in a SARS-CoV-2 naive subject. PreS-RBD-specific IgG antibodies were detected in serum and mucosal secretions, reacted with SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the omicron variant of concern and the HBV receptor-binding sites on PreS of currently known HBV genotypes. PreS-RBD-specific antibodies of the immunized subject more potently inhibited the interaction of RBD with its human receptor ACE2 and their virus-neutralizing titers (VNTs) were higher than median VNTs in a random sample of healthy subjects fully immunized with registered SARS-CoV-2 vaccines or in COVID-19 convalescent subjects. CONCLUSION: The PreS-RBD vaccine has the potential to serve as a combination vaccine for inducing sterilizing immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and HBV by stopping viral replication through the inhibition of cellular virus entry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rabbits , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Euro Surveill ; 27(31)2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987417

ABSTRACT

Functional immunity (defined here as serum neutralising capacity) critically contributes to conferring protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. This cross-sectional analysis of a prospective, population-based cohort study included 1,894 randomly-selected 16 to 99-year-old participants from two Swiss cantons in March 2022. Of these, 97.6% (95% CI: 96.8-98.2%) had anti-spike IgG antibodies, and neutralising capacity was respectively observed for 94%, 92% and 88% against wild-type SARS-CoV-2, Delta and Omicron variants. Studying functional immunity to inform and monitor vaccination campaigns is crucial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunization Programs , Immunization, Secondary , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Switzerland/epidemiology , Young Adult
19.
Cell Rep ; 36(8): 109591, 2021 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370154

ABSTRACT

The relationship between B cells and CD4 T cells has been carefully studied, revealing a collaborative effort in which B cells promote the activation, differentiation, and expansion of CD4 T cells while the so-called "helper" cells provide signals to B cells, influencing their class switching and fate. Interactions between B cells and CD8 T cells are not as well studied, although CD8 T cells exhibit an accelerated contraction after certain infections in B-cell-deficient mice. Here, we find that B cells significantly enhance primary CD8 T cell responses after vaccination. Moreover, memory CD8 numbers and function are impaired in B-cell-deficient animals, leading to increased susceptibility to bacterial challenge. We also show that interleukin-27 production by B cells contributes to their impact on primary, but not memory, CD8 responses. Better understanding of the interactions between CD8 T cells and B cells may aid in the design of more effective future vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Interleukin-27/immunology , Interleukin-27/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
20.
Theranostics ; 12(12): 5522-5536, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1975299

ABSTRACT

Objective: Nobody knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will end or when and where the next coronavirus will outbreak. Therefore, it is still necessary to develop SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors for different variants or even the new coronavirus. Since SARS-CoV-2 uses its surface spike-protein to recognize hACE2, mediating its entry into cells, ligands that can specifically recognize the spike-protein have the potential to prevent infection. Methods: We have recently discovered DNA aptamers against the S2-domain of the WT spike-protein by exploiting the selection process called SELEX. After optimization, among all candidates, the aptamer S2A2C1 has the shortest sequence and the best binding affinity toward the S2-protein. More importantly, the S2A2C1 aptamer does not bind to the RBD of the spike-protein, but it efficiently blocks the spike-protein/hACE2 interaction, suggesting an RBD-independent inhibition approach. To further improve its performance, we conjugated the S2A2C1 aptamer with a reported anti-RBD aptamer, S1B6C3, using various linkers and constructed hetero-bivalent fusion aptamers. Binding affinities of mono and fusion aptamers against the spike-proteins were measured. The inhibition efficacies of mono and fusion aptamers to prevent the hACE2/spike-protein interaction were determined using ELISA. Results: Anti-spike-protein aptamers, including S2A2C1 and S1B6C3-A5-S2A2C1, maintained high binding affinity toward the WT, Delta, and Omicron spike-proteins and high inhibition efficacies to prevent them from binding to hACE2, rendering them well-suited as diagnostic and therapeutic molecular tools to target SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Conclusions: Overall, we discovered the anti-S2 aptamer, S2A2C1, which inhibits the hACE2/spike-protein interaction via an RBD-independent approach. The anti-S2 and anti-RBD aptamers were conjugated to obtain the fusion aptamer, S1B6C3-A5-S2A2C1, which recognizes the spike-protein by an RBD-dependent approach. Our strategies, which discovered aptamer inhibitors targeting the highly conserved S2-protein, as well as the design of fusion aptamers, can be used to target new coronaviruses as they emerge.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Aptamers, Nucleotide , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Aptamers, Nucleotide/immunology , Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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