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1.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100321, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253745

ABSTRACT

The pathogenesis of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains poorly understood. While several studies suggest that immune dysregulation plays a central role, the key mediators of this process are yet to be defined. Here, we demonstrate that plasma from a high proportion (93%) of critically ill COVID-19 patients, but not healthy controls, contains broadly auto-reactive immunoglobulin M (IgM) and less frequently auto-reactive IgG or IgA. Importantly, these auto-IgMs preferentially recognize primary human lung cells in vitro, including pulmonary endothelial and epithelial cells. By using a combination of flow cytometry, analytical proteome microarray technology, and lactose dehydrogenase (LDH)-release cytotoxicity assays, we identify high-affinity, complement-fixing, auto-reactive IgM directed against 260 candidate autoantigens, including numerous molecules preferentially expressed on the cellular membranes of pulmonary, vascular, gastrointestinal, and renal tissues. These findings suggest that broad IgM-mediated autoimmune reactivity may be involved in the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19, thereby identifying a potential target for therapeutic interventions.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Complement C4/metabolism , Critical Illness , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Intensive Care Units , Lung/metabolism , Protein Array Analysis , Proteome/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201582

ABSTRACT

The emerging SARS-CoV-2 pandemic entails an urgent need for specific and sensitive high-throughput serological assays to assess SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology. We, therefore, aimed at developing a fluorescent-bead based SARS-CoV-2 multiplex serology assay for detection of antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 proteome. Proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome and protein N of SARS-CoV-1 and common cold Coronaviruses (ccCoVs) were recombinantly expressed in E. coli or HEK293 cells. Assay performance was assessed in a COVID-19 case cohort (n = 48 hospitalized patients from Heidelberg) as well as n = 85 age- and sex-matched pre-pandemic controls from the ESTHER study. Assay validation included comparison with home-made immunofluorescence and commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays. A sensitivity of 100% (95% CI: 86-100%) was achieved in COVID-19 patients 14 days post symptom onset with dual sero-positivity to SARS-CoV-2 N and the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. The specificity obtained with this algorithm was 100% (95% CI: 96-100%). Antibody responses to ccCoVs N were abundantly high and did not correlate with those to SARS-CoV-2 N. Inclusion of additional SARS-CoV-2 proteins as well as separate assessment of immunoglobulin (Ig) classes M, A, and G allowed for explorative analyses regarding disease progression and course of antibody response. This newly developed SARS-CoV-2 multiplex serology assay achieved high sensitivity and specificity to determine SARS-CoV-2 sero-positivity. Its high throughput ability allows epidemiologic SARS-CoV-2 research in large population-based studies. Inclusion of additional pathogens into the panel as well as separate assessment of Ig isotypes will furthermore allow addressing research questions beyond SARS-CoV-2 sero-prevalence.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Escherichia coli , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Open Reading Frames , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Proteome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
3.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178372

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). A better understanding of its immunogenicity can be important for the development of improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Here, we report the longitudinal analysis of three COVID-19 patients with moderate (#1) and mild disease (#2 and #3). Antibody serum responses were analyzed using spike glycoprotein enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), full-proteome peptide, and glycan microarrays. ELISA immunoglobulin A, G, and M (IgA, IgG, and IgM) signals increased over time for individuals #1 and #2, whereas #3 only showed no clear positive IgG and IgM result. In contrast, peptide microarrays showed increasing IgA/G signal intensity and epitope spread only in the moderate patient #1 over time, whereas early but transient IgA and stable IgG responses were observed in the two mild cases #2 and #3. Glycan arrays showed an interaction of antibodies to fragments of high-mannose and core N-glycans, present on the viral shield. In contrast to protein ELISA, microarrays allow for a deeper understanding of IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody responses to specific epitopes of the whole proteome and glycans of SARS-CoV-2 in parallel. In the future, this may help to better understand and to monitor vaccination programs and monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics.

4.
Allergy ; 76(2): 551-561, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The missing asymptomatic COVID-19 infections have been overlooked because of the imperfect sensitivity of the nucleic acid testing (NAT). Globally understanding the humoral immunity in asymptomatic carriers will provide scientific knowledge for developing serological tests, improving early identification, and implementing more rational control strategies against the pandemic. MEASURE: Utilizing both NAT and commercial kits for serum IgM and IgG antibodies, we extensively screened 11 766 epidemiologically suspected individuals on enrollment and 63 asymptomatic individuals were detected and recruited. Sixty-three healthy individuals and 51 mild patients without any preexisting conditions were set as controls. Serum IgM and IgG profiles were further probed using a SARS-CoV-2 proteome microarray, and neutralizing antibody was detected by a pseudotyped virus neutralization assay system. The dynamics of antibodies were analyzed with exposure time or symptoms onset. RESULTS: A combination test of NAT and serological testing for IgM antibody discovered 55.5% of the total of 63 asymptomatic infections, which significantly raises the detection sensitivity when compared with the NAT alone (19%). Serum proteome microarray analysis demonstrated that asymptomatics mainly produced IgM and IgG antibodies against S1 and N proteins out of 20 proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Different from strong and persistent N-specific antibodies, S1-specific IgM responses, which evolved in asymptomatic individuals as early as the seventh day after exposure, peaked on days from 17 days to 25 days, and then disappeared in two months, might be used as an early diagnostic biomarker. 11.8% (6/51) mild patients and 38.1% (24/63) asymptomatic individuals did not produce neutralizing antibody. In particular, neutralizing antibody in asymptomatics gradually vanished in two months. CONCLUSION: Our findings might have important implications for the definition of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections, diagnosis, serological survey, public health, and immunization strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Carrier State/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Carrier State/blood , Carrier State/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
5.
J Mol Liq ; 324: 114706, 2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912505

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging health concern due to its high mortality rate of 35%. At present, no vaccine is available to protect against MERS-CoV infections. Therefore, an in silico search for potential antigenic epitopes in the non-redundant proteome of MERS-CoV was performed herein. First, a subtractive proteome-based approach was employed to look for the surface exposed and host non-homologous proteins. Following, immunoinformatics analysis was performed to predict antigenic B and T cell epitopes that were used in the design of a multi-epitopes peptide. Molecular docking study was carried out to predict vaccine construct affinity of binding to Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and understand its binding conformation to extract ideas about its processing by the host immune system. We identified membrane protein, envelope small membrane protein, non-structural protein ORF3, non-structural protein ORF5, and spike glycoprotein as potential candidates for subunit vaccine designing. The designed multi-epitope peptide then linked to ß-defensin adjuvant is showing high antigenicity. Further, the sequence of the designed vaccine construct is optimized for maximum expression in the Escherichia coli expression system. A rich pattern of hydrogen and hydrophobic interactions of the construct was observed with the TLR3 allowing stable binding of the construct at the docked site as predicted by the molecular dynamics simulation and MM-PBSA binding energies. We expect that the panel of subunit vaccine candidates and the designed vaccine construct could be highly effective in immunizing populations from infections caused by MERS-CoV and could possible applied on the current pandemic COVID-19.

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