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1.
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
2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262591, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968842

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid (N) is the most abundant viral protein expressed in host samples and is an important antigen for diagnosis. N is a 45 kDa protein that does not present disulfide bonds. Intending to avoid non-specific binding of SARS-CoV-2 N to antibodies from patients who previously had different coronaviruses, a 35 kDa fragment of N was expressed without a conserved motif in E. coli as inclusion bodies (N122-419-IB). Culture media and IB washing conditions were chosen to obtain N122-419-IB with high yield (370 mg/L bacterial culture) and protein purity (90%). High pressure solubilizes protein aggregates by weakening hydrophobic and ionic interactions and alkaline pH promotes solubilization by electrostatic repulsion. The association of pH 9.0 and 2.4 kbar promoted efficient solubilization of N122-419-IB without loss of native-like tertiary structure that N presents in IB. N122-419 was refolded with a yield of 85% (326 mg/L culture) and 95% purity. The refolding process takes only 2 hours and the protein is ready for use after pH adjustment, avoiding the necessity of dialysis or purification. Antibody binding of COVID-19-positive patients sera to N122-419 was confirmed by Western blotting. ELISA using N122-419 is effective in distinguishing between sera presenting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 from those who do not. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed condition for IB solubilization is one of the mildest described. It is possible that the refolding process can be extended to a wide range of proteins with high yields and purity, even those that are sensible to very alkaline pH.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Inclusion Bodies/chemistry , Protein Refolding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Hydrostatic Pressure , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Solubility
3.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 104(3): 115763, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis-reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)- is expensive and often slow to yield results whereas lateral flow tests can lack sensitivity. METHODS: We tested a rapid, lateral flow antigen (LFA) assay with artificial intelligence read (LFAIR) in subjects from COVID-19 treatment trials (N = 37; daily tests for 5 days) and from a population-based study (N = 88; single test). LFAIR was compared to RT-PCR from same-day samples. RESULTS: Using each participant's first sample, LFAIR showed 86.2% sensitivity (95% CI 73.6%-98.8) and 94.3% specificity (88.8%-99.7%) compared to RT-PCR. Adjusting for days since symptom onset and repeat testing, sensitivity was 97.8% (89.9%-99.5%) on the first symptomatic day and decreased with each additional day. Sensitivity improved with artificial intelligence (AI) read (86.2%) compared to the human eye (71.4%). CONCLUSION: LFAIR showed improved accuracy compared to LFA alone. particularly early in infection.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral , Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911357

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is driving the current COVID-19 epidemic, has been detected in wastewater and is being utilized as a surveillance tool to establish an early warning system to aid in the management and prevention of future pandemics. qPCR is the method usually used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. There has been no study using an immunoassay that is less laboratory-intensive than qPCR with a shorter turnaround time. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the performance of an automated chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA) for SARS-CoV-2 antigen in wastewater. The CLEIA assay achieved 100% sensitivity and 66.7% specificity in a field-captured wastewater sample compared to the gold standard RT-qPCR. Our early findings suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 antigen can be identified in wastewater samples using an automated CLEIA, reducing the turnaround time and improving the performance of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunoenzyme Techniques , SARS-CoV-2 , Waste Water , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques/methods , Luminescent Measurements , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Waste Water/virology , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
5.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0253638, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910476

ABSTRACT

Population immunity (herd immunity) to SARS-CoV-2 derives from two sources: vaccinations or cases of infection with the virus. Infections can be diagnosed as COVID-19 and registered, or they can be asymptomatic, oligosymptomatic, or even full-blown but undiagnosed and unregistered when patients recovered at home. Estimation of population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is difficult and remains a subject of speculations. Here we present a population screening for SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and IgA antibodies in Polish citizens (N = 501) who had never been positively diagnosed with or vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Serum samples were collected in Wroclaw (Lower Silesia) on 15th and 22nd May 2021. Sera from hospitalized COVID-19 patients (N = 22) or from vaccinated citizens (N = 14) served as positive controls. Sera were tested with Microblot-Array COVID-19 IgG and IgA (quantitative) that contain specific SARS-CoV-2 antigens: NCP, RBD, Spike S2, E, ACE2, PLPro protein, and antigens for exclusion cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses: MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, HCoV 229E Np, HCoV NL63 Np. Within the investigated population of healthy individuals who had never been positively diagnosed with or vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, we found that 35.5% (178 out of 501) were positive for SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and 52.3% (262 out of 501) were positive for SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA; 21.2% of the investigated population developed virus-specific IgG or IgA while being asymptomatic. Anti-RBD IgG, which represents virus-neutralizing potential, was found in 25.6% of individuals (128 out of 501). These patients, though positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, cannot be identified in the public health system as convalescents due to undiagnosed infections, and they are considered unaffected by SARS-CoV-2. Their contribution to population immunity against COVID-19 should however be considered in predictions and modeling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, the majority of the investigated population still lacked anti-RBD IgG protection (74.4%); thus vaccination against COVID-19 is still of the most importance for controlling the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Poland/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 861050, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785349

ABSTRACT

It has been reported that multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta can reduce neutralization by antibodies, resulting in vaccine breakthrough infections. Virus-antiserum neutralization assays are typically performed to monitor potential vaccine breakthrough strains. However, experiment-based methods took several weeks whether newly emerging variants can break through current vaccines or therapeutic antibodies. To address this, we sought to establish a computational model to predict the antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants by sequence alone. In this study, we firstly identified the relationship between the antigenic difference transformed from the amino acid sequence and the antigenic distance from the neutralization titers. Based on this correlation, we obtained a computational model for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein to predict the fold decrease in virus-antiserum neutralization titers with high accuracy (~0.79). Our predicted results were comparable to experimental neutralization titers of variants, including Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Epsilon, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda, as well as SARS-CoV. Here, we predicted the fold of decrease of Omicron as 17.4-fold less susceptible to neutralization. We visualized all 1,521 SARS-CoV-2 lineages to indicate variants including Mu, B.1.630, B.1.633, B.1.649, and C.1.2, which can induce vaccine breakthrough infections in addition to reported VOCs Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. Our study offers a quick approach to predict the antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants as soon as they emerge. Furthermore, this approach can facilitate future vaccine updates to cover all major variants. An online version can be accessed at http://jdlab.online.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immune Sera , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
J Immunol ; 208(8): 1989-1997, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776403

ABSTRACT

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for regulating immunopathogenic responses in a variety of infections, including infection of mice with JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV), a neurotropic coronavirus that causes immune-mediated demyelinating disease. Although virus-specific Tregs are known to mitigate disease in this infection by suppressing pathogenic effector T cell responses of the same specificity, it is unclear whether these virus-specific Tregs form memory populations and persist similar to their conventional T cell counterparts of the same epitope specificity. Using congenically labeled JHMV-specific Tregs, we found that virus-specific Tregs persist long-term after murine infection, through at least 180 d postinfection and stably maintain Foxp3 expression. We additionally demonstrate that these cells are better able to proliferate and inhibit virus-specific T cell responses postinfection than naive Tregs of the same specificity, further suggesting that these cells differentiate into memory Tregs upon encountering cognate Ag. Taken together, these data suggest that virus-specific Tregs are able to persist long-term in the absence of viral Ag as memory Tregs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Murine hepatitis virus , Animals , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Mice , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
8.
Science ; 375(6585): 1127-1132, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736001

ABSTRACT

A diverse array of successful, first-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have played a huge role in efforts to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, even though inequitable distribution still leaves many vulnerable. Additional challenges loom for the next phase. These include optimizing the immunological rationale for boosting-how often and with what-and the best approaches for building a future-proofed, durable immune repertoire to protect against oncoming viral variants, including in children. The landscape of vaccine producers and technologies is likely to become even more heterogeneous. There is a need now for appraisal of future approaches: While some favor frequent boosting with the first-generation, ancestral spike vaccines, others propose frequent readjustment using current variant sequences, polyvalent vaccines, or pan-coronavirus strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization, Secondary , Adult , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mass Vaccination , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
9.
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726021

ABSTRACT

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) signals an urgent need for an expansion in treatment options. In this study, we investigated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities of 22 antiviral agents with known broad-spectrum antiviral activities against coronaviruses and/or other viruses. They were first evaluated in our primary screening in VeroE6 cells and then the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral agents were further evaluated using viral antigen expression, viral load reduction, and plaque reduction assays. In addition to remdesivir, lopinavir, and chloroquine, our primary screening additionally identified types I and II recombinant interferons, 25-hydroxycholesterol, and AM580 as the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents among the 22 antiviral agents. Betaferon (interferon-ß1b) exhibited the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in viral antigen expression, viral load reduction, and plaque reduction assays among the recombinant interferons. The lipogenesis modulators 25-hydroxycholesterol and AM580 exhibited EC50 at low micromolar levels and selectivity indices of >10.0. Combinational use of these host-based antiviral agents with virus-based antivirals to target different processes of the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle should be evaluated in animal models and/or clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Lipogenesis/drug effects , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
Front Immunol ; 13: 790334, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715001

ABSTRACT

The capacity of pre-existing immunity to human common coronaviruses (HCoV) to cross-protect against de novo COVID-19is yet unknown. In this work, we studied the sera of 175 COVID-19 patients, 76 healthy donors and 3 intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) batches. We found that most COVID-19 patients developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies before IgM. Moreover, the capacity of their IgGs to react to beta-HCoV, was present in the early sera of most patients before the appearance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG. This implied that a recall-type antibody response was generated. In comparison, the patients that mounted an anti-SARS-COV2 IgM response, prior to IgG responses had lower titres of anti-beta-HCoV IgG antibodies. This indicated that pre-existing immunity to beta-HCoV was conducive to the generation of memory type responses to SARS-COV-2. Finally, we also found that pre-COVID-19-era sera and IVIG cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 antigens without neutralising SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in vitro. Put together, these results indicate that whilst pre-existing immunity to HCoV is responsible for recall-type IgG responses to SARS-CoV-2, it does not lead to cross-protection against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19/immunology , Common Cold/immunology , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunity, Heterologous , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Immunoglobulin M/metabolism , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , Survival Analysis
12.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258819, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706233

ABSTRACT

Inexpensive, simple, rapid diagnostics are necessary for efficient detection, treatment, and mitigation of COVID-19. Assays for SARS-CoV2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) offer good sensitivity and excellent specificity, but are expensive, slowed by transport to centralized testing laboratories, and often unavailable. Antigen-based assays are inexpensive and can be rapidly mass-produced and deployed at point-of-care, with lateral flow assays (LFAs) being the most common format. While various manufacturers have produced commercially available SARS-Cov2 antigen LFAs, access to validated tests remains difficult or cost prohibitive in low-and middle-income countries. Herein, we present a visually read open-access LFA (OA-LFA) using commercially-available antibodies and materials for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The LFA yielded a Limit of Detection (LOD) of 4 TCID50/swab of gamma irradiated SARS-CoV-2 virus, meeting the acceptable analytical sensitivity outlined by in World Health Organization target product profile. The open-source architecture presented in this manuscript provides a template for manufacturers around the globe to rapidly design a SARS-CoV2 antigen test.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(8): 10844-10855, 2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692677

ABSTRACT

The widespread and long-lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has called attention to the significance of technological advances in the rapid diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This study reports the use of a highly stable buffer-based zinc oxide/reduced graphene oxide (bbZnO/rGO) nanocomposite coated on carbon screen-printed electrodes for electrochemical immuno-biosensing of SARS-CoV-2 nuelocapsid (N-) protein antigens in spiked and clinical samples. The incorporation of a salt-based (ionic) matrix for uniform dispersion of the nanomixture eliminates multistep nanomaterial synthesis on the surface of the electrode and enables a stable single-step sensor nanocoating. The immuno-biosensor provides a limit of detection of 21 fg/mL over a linear range of 1-10 000 pg/mL and exhibits a sensitivity of 32.07 ohms·mL/pg·mm2 for detection of N-protein in spiked samples. The N-protein biosensor is successful in discriminating positive and negative clinical samples within 15 min, demonstrating its proof of concept used as a COVID-19 rapid antigen test.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Graphite/chemistry , Nanocomposites/chemistry , Zinc Oxide/chemistry , Antibodies, Immobilized/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Electrochemical Techniques/instrumentation , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Electrodes , Humans , Immunoassay/instrumentation , Immunoassay/methods , Limit of Detection , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Proof of Concept Study , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
14.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0245521, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691400

ABSTRACT

Containment measures employed during the COVID-19 pandemic included prompt recognition of cases, isolation, and contact tracing. Bilateral nasal (NA) swabs applied to a commercial antigen-based rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDT) offer a simpler and more comfortable alternative to nasopharyngeal (NP) collection; however, little is known about the sensitivity of this method in an asymptomatic population. Participants in community-based asymptomatic testing sites were screened for SARS-CoV-2 using an Ag-RDT with NP sampling. Positive individuals returned for confirmatory molecular testing and consented to repeating the Ag-RDT using a bilateral NA swab for comparison. Residual test buffer (RTB) from Ag-RDTs was subjected to real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Of 123,617 asymptomatic individuals, 197 NP Ag-RDT-positive participants were included, with 175 confirmed positive by RT-PCR. Of these cases, 154 were identified from the NA swab collection with Ag-RDT, with a sensitivity of 88.0% compared to the NP swab collection. Stratifying results by RT-PCR cycle threshold demonstrated that sensitivity of the nasal collection method varied based on the cycle threshold (CT) value of the paired RT-PCR sample. RT-PCR testing on the RTB from the Ag-RDT using NP and NA swab collections resulted in 100.0% and 98.7% sensitivity, respectively. NA swabs provide an adequate alternative to NP swab collection for use with Ag-RDT, with the recognition that the test is most sensitive in specimens with high viral loads. With the high sensitivity of RT-PCR testing on RTB from Ag-RDT, a more streamlined approach to confirmatory testing is possible without recollection or use of paired collections strategies. IMPORTANCE Nasal swabbing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) comes with many benefits but is slightly less sensitive than traditional nasopharyngeal swabbing; however, confirmatory lab-based testing could be performed directly from the residual buffer from either sample type.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/virology , Nasopharynx/virology , Nose/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262399, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686095

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which started in December 2019, has been posing significant challenges to the health care system worldwide. As the pandemic spreads with rapidly increasing number of positive cases, early diagnosis of infected patients is crucial to successfully limit the spread of the virus. Although the real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is the recommended laboratory method to diagnose COVID-19 infection, many factors such as availability of laboratory equipment, reagents and trained personnel affect the use of time-consuming molecular techniques. To facilitate on-the-spot diagnosis of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests were developed by several different manufacturers. The evaluation of such rapid tests is particularly important due to the recent unanimous agreement by the European Commission Member States on a recommendation setting out a framework for the use of antigen rapid tests that contains a list of the mutually recognized assays and the basis of independent validation protocols. To evaluate the on-field performance of ten commercially available SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid tests (CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, GenBody COVID-19 Antigen Test, GENEDIA W COVID-19 Ag Test, Healgen Coronavirus Antigen Rapid Test, Humasis COVID-19 Ag Test, VivaDiag SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test, Helix i-SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test, Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test, Abbot COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test and Vazyme SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Detection Kit) and compare with RT-qPCR as a reference method, the Hungarian National Public Health Center provided 1,597 antigen rapid tests to the National Ambulance Service, COVID-testing trucks and two hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were determined by performing the rapid test directly from nasopharyngeal swab samples of symptomatic individuals. For strongly positive samples (Ct < 25) sensitivities ranged between 66.7% and 100%, while for positive samples (Ct < 30) they gave a maximum sensitivity of 87.5%. The specificity of the tests was ranging between 79% to 100%. The results presented here are of high importance to the European Commission and also help governmental decision-making regarding the application of the proper rapid tests for screening different at-risk populations. Nonetheless, SARS-Cov-2 rapid tests play an important role in early and on-the-spot diagnosis of potentially infected individuals.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Probability , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling , Young Adult
16.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 42, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683981

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants have evolved a variety of critical mutations, leading to antigenicity changes and immune escape. The recent emerging SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant attracted global attention due to its significant resistance to current antibody therapies and vaccines. Here, we profiled the mutations of Omicron and other various circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in parallel by computational interface analysis and in vitro experimental assays. We identified critical mutations that lead to antigenicity changes and diminished neutralization efficiency of a panel of 14 antibodies due to diverse molecular mechanisms influencing the antigen-antibody interaction. Our study identified that Omicron exhibited extraordinary potency in immune escape compared to the other variants of concern, and explores the application of computational interface analysis in SARS-CoV-2 mutation surveillance and demonstrates its potential for the early identification of concerning variants, providing preliminary guidance for neutralizing antibody therapy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
17.
Cell ; 185(4): 614-629.e21, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676664

ABSTRACT

Activation of the innate immune system via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is key to generate lasting adaptive immunity. PRRs detect unique chemical patterns associated with invading microorganisms, but whether and how the physical properties of PRR ligands influence the development of the immune response remains unknown. Through the study of fungal mannans, we show that the physical form of PRR ligands dictates the immune response. Soluble mannans are immunosilent in the periphery but elicit a potent pro-inflammatory response in the draining lymph node (dLN). By modulating the physical form of mannans, we developed a formulation that targets both the periphery and the dLN. When combined with viral glycoprotein antigens, this mannan formulation broadens epitope recognition, elicits potent antigen-specific neutralizing antibodies, and confers protection against viral infections of the lung. Thus, the physical properties of microbial ligands determine the outcome of the immune response and can be harnessed for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Candida albicans/chemistry , Mannans/immunology , Aluminum Hydroxide/chemistry , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibody Specificity/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epitopes/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Immunization , Inflammation/pathology , Interferons/metabolism , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Ligands , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lymph Nodes/immunology , Lymph Nodes/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Paranasal Sinuses/metabolism , Protein Subunits/metabolism , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/metabolism , Solubility , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Transcription Factor RelB/metabolism , Vero Cells , beta-Glucans/metabolism
18.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674825

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cell immunity is expected to counteract viral variants in both efficient and durable ways. We recently described a way to induce a potent SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T immune response through the generation of engineered extracellular vesicles (EVs) emerging from muscle cells. This method relies on intramuscular injection of DNA vectors expressing different SARS-CoV-2 antigens fused at their N-terminus with the Nefmut protein, i.e., a very efficient EV-anchoring protein. However, quality, tissue distribution, and efficacy of these SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells remained uninvestigated. To fill the gaps, antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes induced by the immunization through the Nefmut-based method were characterized in terms of their polyfunctionality and localization at lung airways, i.e., the primary targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that injection of vectors expressing Nefmut/S1 and Nefmut/N generated polyfunctional CD8+ T lymphocytes in both spleens and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALFs). When immunized mice were infected with 4.4 lethal doses of 50% of SARS-CoV-2, all S1-immunized mice succumbed, whereas those developing the highest percentages of N-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes resisted the lethal challenge. We also provide evidence that the N-specific immunization coupled with the development of antigen-specific CD8+ T-resident memory cells in lungs, supporting the idea that the Nefmut-based immunization can confer a long-lasting, lung-specific immune memory. In view of the limitations of current anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in terms of antibody waning and efficiency against variants, our CD8+ T cell-based platform could be considered for a new combination prophylactic strategy.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Extracellular Vesicles/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antigens, Viral/administration & dosage , Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Genetic Vectors/administration & dosage , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Vaccination
19.
Nat Immunol ; 23(2): 186-193, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671600

ABSTRACT

The adaptive immune response is a major determinant of the clinical outcome after SARS-CoV-2 infection and underpins vaccine efficacy. T cell responses develop early and correlate with protection but are relatively impaired in severe disease and are associated with intense activation and lymphopenia. A subset of T cells primed against seasonal coronaviruses cross reacts with SARS-CoV-2 and may contribute to clinical protection, particularly in early life. T cell memory encompasses broad recognition of viral proteins, estimated at around 30 epitopes within each individual, and seems to be well sustained so far. This breadth of recognition can limit the impact of individual viral mutations and is likely to underpin protection against severe disease from viral variants, including Omicron. Current COVID-19 vaccines elicit robust T cell responses that likely contribute to remarkable protection against hospitalization or death, and novel or heterologous regimens offer the potential to further enhance cellular responses. T cell immunity plays a central role in the control of SARS-CoV-2 and its importance may have been relatively underestimated thus far.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Lymphocyte Activation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
20.
Sci Immunol ; 7(68): eabn8014, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651046

ABSTRACT

Current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines effectively reduce overall morbidity and mortality and are vitally important to controlling the pandemic. Individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 have enhanced immune responses after vaccination (hybrid immunity) compared with their naïve-vaccinated peers; however, the effects of post-vaccination breakthrough infections on humoral immune response remain to be determined. Here, we measure neutralizing antibody responses from 104 vaccinated individuals, including those with breakthrough infections, hybrid immunity, and no infection history. We find that human immune sera after breakthrough infection and vaccination after natural infection broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2) variants to a similar degree. Although age negatively correlates with antibody response after vaccination alone, no correlation with age was found in breakthrough or hybrid immune groups. Together, our data suggest that the additional antigen exposure from natural infection substantially boosts the quantity, quality, and breadth of humoral immune response regardless of whether it occurs before or after vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Middle Aged , Phagocytosis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , THP-1 Cells , Time Factors , Vero Cells , Viral Load
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