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1.
Sensors (Basel) ; 20(11)2020 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374488

ABSTRACT

One of the key challenges of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to accurately estimate the number of infected individuals, particularly asymptomatic and/or early-stage patients. We herewith report the proof-of-concept development of a biosensor able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein expressed on the surface of the virus. The biosensor is based on membrane-engineered mammalian cells bearing the human chimeric spike S1 antibody. We demonstrate that the attachment of the protein to the membrane-bound antibodies resulted in a selective and considerable change in the cellular bioelectric properties measured by means of a Bioelectric Recognition Assay. The novel biosensor provided results in an ultra-rapid manner (3 min), with a detection limit of 1 fg/mL and a semi-linear range of response between 10 fg and 1 µg/mL. In addition, no cross-reactivity was observed against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. Furthermore, the biosensor was configured as a ready-to-use platform, including a portable read-out device operated via smartphone/tablet. In this way, we demonstrate that the novel biosensor can be potentially applied for the mass screening of SARS-CoV-2 surface antigens without prior sample processing, therefore offering a possible solution for the timely monitoring and eventual control of the global coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Smartphone , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
4.
J Clin Invest ; 130(12): 6366-6378, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112390

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDSerological assays are of critical importance to investigate correlates of response and protection in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to define previous exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in populations, and to verify the development of an adaptive immune response in infected individuals.METHODSWe studied 509 patients confirmed to have COVID-19 from the San Raffaele Hospital of Milan and 480 samples of prepandemic organ donor sera collected in 2010-2012. Using fluid-phase luciferase immune precipitation (LIPS) assays, we characterized IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD), S1+S2, nucleocapsid, and ORF6 to ORF10 of SARS-CoV-2, to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 betacoronaviruses spike S2, and the H1N1Ca2009 flu virus hemagglutinin. Sequential samples at 1 and 3 months after hospital discharge were also tested for SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies in 95 patients.RESULTSAntibodies developed rapidly against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens in 95% of patients by 4 weeks after symptom onset and IgG to the RBD increased until the third month of follow-up. We observed a major synchronous expansion of antibodies to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 spike S2. A likely coinfection with influenza was neither linked to a more severe presentation of the disease nor to a worse outcome. Of the measured antibody responses, positivity for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD was predictive of survival.CONCLUSIONThe measurement of antibodies to selected epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 antigens can offer a more accurate assessment of the humoral response in patients and its impact on survival. The presence of partially cross-reactive antibodies with other betacoronaviruses is likely to impact on serological assay specificity and interpretation.TRIAL REGISTRATIONCOVID-19 Patients Characterization, Biobank, Treatment Response and Outcome Predictor (COVID-BioB). ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04318366.FUNDINGIRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele and Università Vita Salute San Raffaele.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
5.
Front Immunol ; 11: 617089, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084436

ABSTRACT

We sought to determine whether immune reactivity occurs between anti-SARS-CoV-2 protein antibodies and human tissue antigens, and whether molecular mimicry between COVID-19 viral proteins and human tissues could be the cause. We applied both human monoclonal anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies (spike protein, nucleoprotein) and rabbit polyclonal anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies (envelope protein, membrane protein) to 55 different tissue antigens. We found that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies had reactions with 28 out of 55 tissue antigens, representing a diversity of tissue groups that included barrier proteins, gastrointestinal, thyroid and neural tissues, and more. We also did selective epitope mapping using BLAST and showed similarities and homology between spike, nucleoprotein, and many other SARS-CoV-2 proteins with the human tissue antigens mitochondria M2, F-actin and TPO. This extensive immune cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and different antigen groups may play a role in the multi-system disease process of COVID-19, influence the severity of the disease, precipitate the onset of autoimmunity in susceptible subgroups, and potentially exacerbate autoimmunity in subjects that have pre-existing autoimmune diseases. Very recently, human monoclonal antibodies were approved for use on patients with COVID-19. The human monoclonal antibodies used in this study are almost identical with these approved antibodies. Thus, our results can establish the potential risk for autoimmunity and multi-system disorders with COVID-19 that may come from cross-reactivity between our own human tissues and this dreaded virus, and thus ensure that the badly-needed vaccines and treatments being developed for it are truly safe to use against this disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Molecular Mimicry/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
Microorganisms ; 9(1)2020 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084114

ABSTRACT

The rapid detection of infections caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is necessary in the ongoing pandemic. Antigen-specific point-of-care tests (POCT) may be useful for this purpose. Here, such a POCT (SARS-CoV-2 NADAL® COVID-19 Ag) was compared to a laboratory-developed triplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) designed for the detection of viral nucleoprotein gene and two control targets. This RT-PCR served as a reference to investigate POCT sensitivity by re-testing upper respiratory tract (URT) samples (n = 124) exhibiting different SARS-CoV-2 loads in terms of RT-PCR threshold cycle (Ct) values. The optical intensities of the antigen bands were compared to the Ct values of the RT-PCR. The infectivity of various virus loads was estimated by inoculating Vero cells with URT samples (n = 64, Ct 17-34). POCT sensitivity varied from 100% (Ct < 25) to 73.1% (Ct ≤ 30); higher SARS-CoV-2 loads correlated with higher band intensities. All samples with a Ct > 30 were negative; among SARS-CoV-2 free samples (n = 10) no false-positives were detected. A head-to-head comparison with another POCT (Abbott, Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test) yielded similar results. Isolation of SARS-CoV-2 in cell-culture was successful up to a Ct value of 29. The POCT reliably detects high SARS-CoV-2 loads and rapidly identifies infectious individuals.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 8(4)2020 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024654

ABSTRACT

Various studies indicate that vaccination, especially with pneumococcal vaccines, protects against symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and death. This paper explores the possibility that pneumococcal vaccines in particular, but perhaps other vaccines as well, contain antigens that might be cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Comparison of the glycosylation structures of SARS-CoV-2 with the polysaccharide structures of pneumococcal vaccines yielded no obvious similarities. However, while pneumococcal vaccines are primarily composed of capsular polysaccharides, some are conjugated to cross-reacting material CRM197, a modified diphtheria toxin, and all contain about three percent protein contaminants, including the pneumococcal surface proteins PsaA, PspA and probably PspC. All of these proteins have very high degrees of similarity, using very stringent criteria, with several SARS-CoV-2 proteins including the spike protein, membrane protein and replicase 1a. CRM197 is also present in Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis vaccines. Equivalent similarities were found at lower rates, or were completely absent, among the proteins in diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and poliovirus vaccines. Notably, PspA and PspC are highly antigenic and new pneumococcal vaccines based on them are currently in human clinical trials so that their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 disease is easily testable.

8.
Sci Immunol ; 5(54)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999191

ABSTRACT

Understanding the nature of immunity following mild/asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to controlling the pandemic. We analyzed T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in 136 healthcare workers (HCW) 16-18 weeks after United Kingdom lockdown, 76 of whom had mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection captured by serial sampling. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were present in 89% of previously infected HCW. T cell responses tended to be lower following asymptomatic infection than in those reporting case-definition symptoms of COVID-19, while nAb titers were maintained irrespective of symptoms. T cell and antibody responses were sometimes discordant. Eleven percent lacked nAb and had undetectable T cell responses to spike protein but had T cells reactive with other SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our findings suggest that the majority of individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection carry nAb complemented by multispecific T cell responses at 16-18 weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 22387, 2020 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997948

ABSTRACT

In the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the 5'-terminus encodes a polyprotein, which is further cleaved into 15 non-structural proteins whereas the 3' terminus encodes four structural proteins and eight accessory proteins. Among these 27 proteins, the present study aimed to discover likely antigenic proteins and epitopes to be used for the development of a vaccine or serodiagnostic assay using an in silico approach. For this purpose, after the full genome analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan isolate and variant proteins that are detected frequently, surface proteins including spike, envelope, and membrane proteins as well as proteins with signal peptide were determined as probable vaccine candidates whereas the remaining were considered as possible antigens to be used during the development of serodiagnostic assays. According to results obtained, among 27 proteins, 26 of them were predicted as probable antigen. In 26 proteins, spike protein was selected as the best vaccine candidate because of having a signal peptide, negative GRAVY value, one transmembrane helix, moderate aliphatic index, a big molecular weight, a long-estimated half-life, beta wrap motifs as well as having stable, soluble and non-allergic features. In addition, orf7a, orf8, and nsp-10 proteins with signal peptide were considered as potential vaccine candidates. Nucleocapsid protein and a highly antigenic GGDGKMKD epitope were identified as ideal antigens to be used in the development of serodiagnostic assays. Moreover, considering MHC-I alleles, highly antigenic KLNDLCFTNV and ITLCFTLKRK epitopes can be used to develop an epitope-based peptide vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/immunology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
10.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 9(12): e1217, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-985994

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Assessment of the adaptive immune response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is crucial for studying long-term immunity and vaccine strategies. We quantified IFNγ-secreting T cells reactive against the main viral SARS-CoV-2 antigens using a standardised enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot). Methods: Overlapping peptide pools built from the sequences of M, N and S viral proteins and a mix (MNS) were used as antigens. Using IFNγ T-CoV-Spot assay, we assessed T-cell and antibody responses in mild, moderate and severe SARS-CoV-2 patients and in control samples collected before the outbreak. Results: Specific T cells were assessed in 60 consecutive patients (mild, n = 26; moderate, n = 10; and severe patients, n = 24) during their follow-up (median time from symptom onset [interquartile range]: 36 days [28;53]). T cells against M, N and S peptide pools were detected in n = 60 (100%), n = 56 (93.3%), n = 55 patients (91.7%), respectively. Using the MNS mix, IFNγ T-CoV-Spot assay showed a specificity of 96.7% (95% CI, 88.5-99.6%) and a specificity of 90.3% (75.2-98.0%). The frequency of reactive T cells observed with M, S and MNS mix pools correlated with severity and with levels of anti-S1 and anti-RBD serum antibodies. Conclusion: IFNγ T-CoV-Spot assay is a reliable method to explore specific T cells in large cohorts of patients. This test may become a useful tool to assess the long-lived memory T-cell response after vaccination. Our study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 patients developing a severe disease achieve a higher adaptive immune response.

11.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 10: 553837, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983733

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To develop a rapid detection reagent for SARS-CoV-2 antigen for the auxiliary diagnosis of new coronary pneumonia (COVID-19), and perform the methodological evaluation and clinical evaluation of the reagent. Method: SARS-CoV-2 N-protein test strip was created by combining fluorescent microsphere labeling technology and immunochromatographic technology, based on the principle of double antibody sandwich. Then we evaluated the analytical capability and clinical application of the strips. Result: The limit of detection of the strips for recombinant N protein was 100 ng/ml and for activated SARS -CoV-2 virus was 1 × 103 TCID50/ml. The strips also have high analytical specificity and anti-interference capability. According to the predetermined cut-off value, the specificity of the test strip in healthy controls and patients with other respiratory disease was 100.00 and 97.29%, the sensitivity in COVID-19 cases at progress stage and cured stage was 67.15 and 7.02%. The positive percentage agreement and negative percentage agreement of antigen strip to RNA test were 83.16 and 94.45%. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 fluorescence immunochromatographic test strip can achieve fast, sensitive and accurate detection, which can meet the clinical requirements for rapid detection of viruses on the spot.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Child , Child, Preschool , Chromatography, Affinity/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Female , Fluorescent Dyes , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Microspheres , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
12.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983008

ABSTRACT

Herd immunity is the most critical and essential prophylactic intervention that delivers protection against infectious diseases at both the individual and community level. This process of natural vaccination is immensely pertinent to the current context of a pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection around the globe. The conventional idea of herd immunity is based on efficient transmission of pathogens and developing natural immunity within a population. This is entirely encouraging while fighting against any disease in pandemic circumstances. A spatial community is occupied by people having variable resistance capacity against a pathogen. Protection efficacy against once very common diseases like smallpox, poliovirus or measles has been possible only because of either natural vaccination through contagious infections or expanded immunization programs among communities. This has led to achieving herd immunity in some cohorts. The microbiome plays an essential role in developing the body's immune cells for the emerging competent vaccination process, ensuring herd immunity. Frequency of interaction among microbiota, metabolic nutrients and individual immunity preserve the degree of vaccine effectiveness against several pathogens. Microbiome symbiosis regulates pathogen transmissibility and the success of vaccination among different age groups. Imbalance of nutrients perturbs microbiota and abrogates immunity. Thus, a particular population can become vulnerable to the infection. Intestinal dysbiosis leads to environmental enteropathy (EE). As a consequence, the generation of herd immunity can either be delayed or not start in a particular cohort. Moreover, disparities of the protective response of many vaccines in developing countries outside of developed countries are due to inconsistencies of healthy microbiota among the individuals. We suggested that pan-India poliovirus vaccination program, capable of inducing herd immunity among communities for the last 30 years, may also influence the inception of natural course of heterologous immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nonetheless, this anamnestic recall is somewhat counterintuitive, as antibody generation against original antigens of SARS-CoV-2 will be subdued due to original antigenic sin.


Subject(s)
Immunity, Herd , Microbiota , Virus Diseases/immunology , Virus Diseases/microbiology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/microbiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Dysbiosis/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Heterologous , Immunity, Innate , Microbiota/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/microbiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Virus Diseases/transmission
13.
mBio ; 11(6)2020 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975645

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19, an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) characterized by pulmonary edema, viral pneumonia, multiorgan dysfunction, coagulopathy, and inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors to infect and damage ciliated epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract. In alveoli, gas exchange occurs across an epithelial-endothelial barrier that ties respiration to endothelial cell (EC) regulation of edema, coagulation, and inflammation. How SARS-CoV-2 dysregulates vascular functions to cause ARDS in COVID-19 patients remains an enigma focused on dysregulated EC responses. Whether SARS-CoV-2 directly or indirectly affects functions of the endothelium remains to be resolved and is critical to understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and therapeutic targets. We demonstrate that primary human ECs lack ACE2 receptors at protein and RNA levels and that SARS-CoV-2 is incapable of directly infecting ECs derived from pulmonary, cardiac, brain, umbilical vein, or kidney tissues. In contrast, pulmonary ECs transduced with recombinant ACE2 receptors are infected by SARS-CoV-2 and result in high viral titers (∼1 × 107/ml), multinucleate syncytia, and EC lysis. SARS-CoV-2 infection of ACE2-expressing ECs elicits procoagulative and inflammatory responses observed in COVID-19 patients. The inability of SARS-CoV-2 to directly infect and lyse ECs without ACE2 expression explains the lack of vascular hemorrhage in COVID-19 patients and indicates that the endothelium is not a primary target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These findings are consistent with SARS-CoV-2 indirectly activating EC programs that regulate thrombosis and endotheliitis in COVID-19 patients and focus strategies on therapeutically targeting epithelial and inflammatory responses that activate the endothelium or initiate limited ACE2-independent EC infection.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 infects pulmonary epithelial cells through ACE2 receptors and causes ARDS. COVID-19 causes progressive respiratory failure resulting from diffuse alveolar damage and systemic coagulopathy, thrombosis, and capillary inflammation that tie alveolar responses to EC dysfunction. This has prompted theories that SARS-CoV-2 directly infects ECs through ACE2 receptors, yet SARS-CoV-2 antigen has not been colocalized with ECs and prior studies indicate that ACE2 colocalizes with alveolar epithelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, not ECs. Here, we demonstrate that primary human ECs derived from lung, kidney, heart, brain, and umbilical veins require expression of recombinant ACE2 receptors in order to be infected by SARS-CoV-2. However, SARS-CoV-2 lytically infects ACE2-ECs and elicits procoagulative and inflammatory responses observed in COVID-19 patients. These findings suggest a novel mechanism of COVID-19 pathogenesis resulting from indirect EC activation, or infection of a small subset of ECs by an ACE2-independent mechanism, that transforms rationales and targets for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Factors , Endothelial Cells/virology , Inflammation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Recombinant Proteins , Vero Cells
14.
J Clin Invest ; 130(12): 6232-6234, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970640

ABSTRACT

Human antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) hold intense interest, with research efforts directed at optimizing antibody-based interventions and monitoring immune status. By relating individual variations in antibody response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity, beneficial antiviral immune responses may be identified in detail. In this issue of the JCI, Secchi and collaborators describe antibody response profiles in 509 patients with COVID-19 from Italy during the 2020 pandemic. The research team found that multiple antibody types to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens developed over four weeks. Notably, IgG against the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) was predictive of survival and IgA against the viral spike protein (S protein) associated with rapid virologic clearance. These results may help guide selection of convalescent plasma, hyperimmune products, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
15.
Microorganisms ; 8(12)2020 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948911

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the antibody responses in 259 potential convalescent plasma donors for Covid-19 patients. Different assays were used: a commercial ELISA detecting antibodies against the recombinant spike protein (S1); a multiplex assay detecting total and specific antibody isotypes against three SARS-CoV-2 antigens (S1, basic nucleocapsid (N) protein and receptor-binding domain (RBD)); and an in-house ELISA detecting antibodies to complete spike, RBD and N in 60 of these donors. Neutralizing antibodies (NAb) were also evaluated in these 60 donors. Analyzed samples were collected at a median time of 62 (14-104) days from the day of first symptoms or positive PCR (for asymptomatic patients). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in 88% and 87.8% of donors using the ELISA and the multiplex assay, respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that age ≥50 years (p < 0.001) and need for hospitalization (p < 0.001) correlated with higher antibody titers, while asymptomatic status (p < 0.001) and testing >60 days after symptom onset (p = 0.001) correlated with lower titers. Interestingly, pseudotype virus-neutralizing antibodies (PsNAbs) significantly correlated with spike and with RBD antibodies by ELISA. Sera with high PsNAb also showed a strong ability to neutralize active SARS-CoV-2 virus, with hospitalized patients showing higher titers. Therefore, convalescent plasma donors can be selected based on the presence of high RBD antibody titers.

16.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 173: 112817, 2020 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-935459

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has evolved into a global pandemic. Early and rapid detection is crucial to control of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission. While representing the gold standard for early diagnosis, nucleic acid tests for SARS-CoV-2 are often complicated and time-consuming. Serological rapid antibody tests are characterized by high rates of false-negative diagnoses, especially during early infection. Here, we developed a novel nanozyme-based chemiluminescence paper assay for rapid and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen, which integrates nanozyme and enzymatic chemiluminescence immunoassay with the lateral flow strip. The core of our paper test is a robust Co-Fe@hemin-peroxidase nanozyme that catalyzes chemiluminescence comparable with natural peroxidase HRP and thus amplifies immune reaction signal. The detection limit for recombinant spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 was 0.1 ng/mL, with a linear range of 0.2-100 ng/mL. Moreover, the sensitivity of test for pseudovirus could reach 360 TCID50/mL, which was comparable with ELISA method. The strip recognized SARS-CoV-2 antigen specifically, and there was no cross reaction with other coronaviruses or influenza A subtypes. This testing can be completed within 16 min, much shorter compared to the usual 1-2 h required for currently used nucleic acid tests. Furthermore, signal detection is feasible using the camera of a standard smartphone. Ingredients for nanozyme synthesis are simple and readily available, considerably lowering the overall cost. In conclusion, our paper test provides a high-sensitive point-of-care testing (POCT) approach for SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection, which should greatly facilitate early screening of SARS-CoV-2 infections, and considerably lower the financial burden on national healthcare resources.

17.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 8(4)2020 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927786

ABSTRACT

To optimize the public health response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we must first understand the antibody response to individual proteins on the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the antibody's cross reactivity to other coronaviruses. Using a panel of 37 convalescent COVID-19 human serum samples, we showed that the magnitude and specificity of responses varied across individuals, independent of their reactivity to seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoVs). These data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will elicit primary humoral immune responses in naïve individuals and variable responses in those previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Unlike the limited cross-coronavirus reactivities in humans, serum samples from 96 dogs and 10 cats showed SARS-CoV-2 protein-specific responses focused on non-S1 proteins. The correlation of this response with those to other coronaviruses suggests that the antibodies are cross-reactive and generated to endemic viruses within these hosts, which must be considered in seroepidemiologic studies. We conclude that substantial variation in antibody generation against coronavirus proteins will influence interpretations of serologic data in the clinical and veterinary settings.

18.
EClinicalMedicine ; 28: 100597, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912161

ABSTRACT

Background: We investigated six London care homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak and found high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents and staff. Here we report follow-up investigations including antibody testing in the same care homes five weeks later. Methods: Residents and staff in the initial investigation had a repeat nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and a blood test for SARS CoV-2 antibodies using ELISA based on SARS-CoV-2 native viral antigens derived from infected cells and virus neutralisation. Findings: Of the 518 residents and staff in the initial investigation, 186/241 (77.2%) surviving residents and 208/254 (81.9%) staff underwent serological testing. Almost all SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive residents and staff were seropositive five weeks later, whether symptomatic (residents 35/35, 100%; staff, 22/22, 100%) or asymptomatic (residents 32/33, 97.0%; staff 21/22, 95.5%). Symptomatic but SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR negative residents and staff also had high seropositivity rates (residents 23/27, 85.2%; staff 18/21, 85.7%), as did asymptomatic RT-PCR negative individuals (residents 61/91, 67.0%; staff 95/143, 66.4%). Neutralising antibody was detected in 118/132 (89.4%) seropositive individuals and was not associated with age or symptoms. Ten residents (10/79 re-tested, 12.7%) remained RT-PCR positive but with higher RT-PCR cycle threshold values; 7/10 had serological testing and all were seropositive. New infections were detected in three residents and one staff. Interpretation: RT-PCR provides a point prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection but significantly underestimates total exposure in outbreak settings. In care homes experiencing large COVID-19 outbreaks, most residents and staff had neutralising SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which was not associated with age or symptoms. Funding: PHE.

19.
Anal Chem ; 92(20): 13813-13821, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-884803

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for robust and high-throughput methods for SARS-CoV-2 detection in suspected patient samples to facilitate disease management, surveillance, and control. Although nucleic acid detection methods such as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are the gold standard, during the current pandemic, the deployment of RT-PCR tests has been extremely slow, and key reagents such as PCR primers and RNA extraction kits are at critical shortages. Rapid point-of-care viral antigen detection methods have been previously employed for the diagnosis of respiratory viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses. Therefore, the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens in patient samples could also be used for diagnosis of active infection, and alternative methodologies for specific and sensitive viral protein detection should be explored. Targeted mass spectrometry techniques have enabled the identification and quantitation of a defined subset of proteins/peptides at single amino acid resolution with attomole level sensitivity and high reproducibility. Herein, we report a targeted mass spectrometry assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleoprotein in a relevant biological matrix. Recombinant full-length spike protein and nucleoprotein were digested and proteotypic peptides were selected for parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) quantitation using a high-resolution Orbitrap instrument. A spectral library, which contained seven proteotypic peptides (four from spike protein and three from nucleoprotein) and the top three to four transitions, was generated and evaluated. From the original spectral library, we selected two best performing peptides for the final PRM assay. The assay was evaluated using mock test samples containing inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virions, added to in vitro derived mucus. The PRM assay provided a limit of detection of ∼200 attomoles and a limit of quantitation of ∼ 390 attomoles. Extrapolating from the test samples, the projected titer of virus particles necessary for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleoprotein detection was approximately 2 × 105 viral particles/mL, making it an attractive alternative to RT-PCR assays. Potentially, mass spectrometry-based methods for viral antigen detection may deliver higher throughput and could serve as a complementary diagnostic tool to RT-PCR. Furthermore, this assay could be used to evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in archived or recently collected biological fluids, in vitro-derived research materials, and wastewater samples.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Amino Acid Sequence , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nanotechnology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
20.
Science ; 370(6520): 1089-1094, 2020 11 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883301

ABSTRACT

Vaccine efforts to combat the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, are focused on SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, the primary target for neutralizing antibodies. We performed cryo-election microscopy and site-specific glycan analysis of one of the leading subunit vaccine candidates from Novavax, which is based on a full-length spike protein formulated in polysorbate 80 detergent. Our studies reveal a stable prefusion conformation of the spike immunogen with slight differences in the S1 subunit compared with published spike ectodomain structures. We also observed interactions between the spike trimers, allowing formation of higher-order spike complexes. This study confirms the structural integrity of the full-length spike protein immunogen and provides a basis for interpreting immune responses to this multivalent nanoparticle immunogen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization
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