SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination

A special issue of Antibodies (ISSN 2073-4468). This special issue belongs to the section "Humoral Immunity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2024) | Viewed by 8688

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare, Milan, Italy
Interests: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; viral infection; vesicles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has inflicted a massive burden on health and the global economy. The infection begins by binding its spike protein S1 region containing the receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) and the N-terminal domain (NTD) to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2). Thus, the SARS-CoV-2 S protein became the target for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, which can generate antibodies with potent neutralizing capability. Immunity against SARS-CoV-2 provides protection against infection or, when infection occurs, defense against severe disease.

As with other pathogens, mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 occur spontaneously during replication, producing novel variants that are selected for relevance based on their cellular infectivity, host-to-host transmissibility, or a failure of existing vaccines. Moreover, the viral signals can evade the immune protection conferred by vaccines and natural infection. As a result, the effectiveness of the immune system response to SARS-CoV-2 depends on the strength and breadth of specific antibody and T-cell responses.

Transmission rates and severity of new infections due to COVID-19 decreased post-vaccination. However, the degree, breadth, and durability of protection provided by vaccines remain unclear.

Dr. Elisa Pesce
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • immune response
  • vaccines
  • vaccine-induced immunity
  • natural immunity
  • cellular immunity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1557 KiB  
Article
Pre-Pandemic Cross-Reactive Immunity against SARS-CoV-2 among Siberian Populations
by Olga N. Shaprova, Daniil V. Shanshin, Evgeniia A. Kolosova, Sophia S. Borisevich, Artem A. Soroka, Iuliia A. Merkuleva, Artem O. Nikitin, Ekaterina A. Volosnikova, Nikita D. Ushkalenko, Anna V. Zaykovskaya, Oleg V. Pyankov, Svetlana A. Elchaninova, Dmitry N. Shcherbakov and Tatiana N. Ilyicheva
Antibodies 2023, 12(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib12040082 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1754
Abstract
In December 2019, a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was found to in Wuhan, China. Cases of infection were subsequently detected in other countries in a short period of time, resulting in the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was found to in Wuhan, China. Cases of infection were subsequently detected in other countries in a short period of time, resulting in the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. Questions about the impact of herd immunity of pre-existing immune reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 on COVID-19 severity, associated with the immunity to seasonal manifestation, are still to be resolved and may be useful for understanding some processes that precede the emergence of a pandemic virus. Perhaps this will contribute to understanding some of the processes that precede the emergence of a pandemic virus. We assessed the specificity and virus-neutralizing capacity of antibodies reacting with the nucleocapsid and spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in a set of serum samples collected in October and November 2019, before the first COVID-19 cases were documented in this region. Blood serum samples from 799 residents of several regions of Siberia, Russia, (the Altai Territory, Irkutsk, Kemerovo and Novosibirsk regions, the Republic of Altai, Buryatia, and Khakassia) were analyzed. Sera of non-infected donors were collected within a study of seasonal influenza in the Russian Federation. The sample collection sites were located near the flyways and breeding grounds of wild waterfowl. The performance of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the collected sera included the usage of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 protein antigens: full-length nucleocapsid protein (CoVN), receptor binding domain (RBD) of S-protein and infection fragment of the S protein (S5-6). There were 183 (22.9%) sera reactive to the S5-6, 270 (33.8%) sera corresponding to the full-length N protein and 128 (16.2%) sera simultaneously reactive to both these proteins. Only 5 out of 799 sera had IgG antibodies reactive to the RBD. None of the sera exhibited neutralizing activity against the nCoV/Victoria/1/2020 SARS-CoV-2 strain in Vero E6 cell culture. The data obtained in this study suggest that some of the population of the analyzed regions of Russia had cross-reactive humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Moreover, among individuals from relatively isolated regions, there were significantly fewer reliably cross-reactive sera. The possible significance of these data and impact of cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 on the prevalence and mortality of COVID-19 needs further assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination)
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12 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Evaluated by Antibody Response in a Sample of Workers from the Emilia-Romagna Region, Northern Italy
by Stefania Paduano, Michele Granata, Sara Turchi, Alberto Modenese, Pasquale Galante, Alessandro Poggi, Isabella Marchesi, Giuseppina Frezza, Giulia Dervishaj, Roberto Vivoli, Sara Verri, Simona Marchetti, Fabriziomaria Gobba and Annalisa Bargellini
Antibodies 2023, 12(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib12040077 - 01 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection risk are still debated. This case–control study aims to investigate the possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection, evaluated through antibody response, and the main sociodemographic, occupational, clinical-anamnestic, and biochemical factors in a population of Modena province (Northern Italy), mainly [...] Read more.
Factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection risk are still debated. This case–control study aims to investigate the possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection, evaluated through antibody response, and the main sociodemographic, occupational, clinical-anamnestic, and biochemical factors in a population of Modena province (Northern Italy), mainly workers. Both workers who voluntarily joined the screening campaign proposed by companies and self-referred individuals who underwent serological testing were enrolled. Subjects with antibody positivity were recruited as cases (n = 166) and subjects tested negative (n = 239) as controls. A questionnaire on sociodemographic, occupational, and clinical data was administered through telephone interviews. Serum zinc/iron/copper/chromium/nickel, vitamins D/B12, folates, triglycerides, and LDL/HDL/total cholesterol were measured. Cases lived more often in urban areas (61.8% vs. 57%). Cases and controls did not differ significantly by working macrocategories, but the percentage of workers in the ceramic sector was higher among cases. Low adherence to preventive measures in the workplace was more frequent among seropositives. Folate concentration was significantly lower among cases. Therefore, adequate folate levels, living in rural areas, and good adherence to preventive strategies seem protective against infection. Workers in the ceramic sector seem to be at greater risk; specific factors involved are not defined, but preventive interventions are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination)
13 pages, 2948 KiB  
Article
Neutralizing Activity of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Patients with COVID-19 and Vaccinated Individuals
by Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek, Vladimir Stevanovic, Snjezana Kovac, Ema Borko, Maja Bogdanic, Gorana Miletic, Zeljka Hruskar, Thomas Ferenc, Ivona Coric, Mateja Vujica Ferenc, Ljiljana Milasincic, Ljiljana Antolasic and Ljubo Barbic
Antibodies 2023, 12(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib12040061 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Background: Serological diagnosis of COVID-19 is complex due to the emergence of different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Methods: 164 serum samples from (I) patients who recovered from COVID-19 (n = 62) as well as (II) vaccinated individuals (n = 52) and (III) vaccinated [...] Read more.
Background: Serological diagnosis of COVID-19 is complex due to the emergence of different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Methods: 164 serum samples from (I) patients who recovered from COVID-19 (n = 62) as well as (II) vaccinated individuals (n = 52) and (III) vaccinated individuals who were infected with different SARS-CoV-2 variants after vaccination (n = 50) were included. All samples were tested using EIA (binding antibodies) and a virus neutralization test (VNT) using the Wuhan strain (NT antibodies). Group III was further tested with a VNT using the Alpha/Delta/Omicron strains. Results: The highest antibody index (AI) was observed in vaccinated individuals infected with COVID-19 (median AI = 50, IQR = 27–71) and the lowest in vaccinated individuals (median AI = 19, IQR = 8–48). Similarly, NT antibody titer was highest in vaccinated individuals infected with COVID-19 (median 128; IQR = 32–256) compared to vaccinated individuals (median 32, IQR = 4–128) and patients with COVID-19 (median 32, IQR = 8–64). The correlation between AI and NT titer was strongly positive in vaccinated individuals and moderately positive in patients with COVID-19. No significant correlation was observed in vaccinated individuals infected with COVID-19. In patients infected with Alpha and Delta, the lowest VNT positivity rate was for the Omicron variant (85.0%/83.3%). Patients infected with the Alpha variant showed the lowest NT titer for the Omicron variant (median titer 32) compared to the Wuhan/Delta variants (64/128). Patients infected with the Delta variant had the lowest NT titer to the Omicron variant (median 32), compared to the Wuhan/Alpha variants (64/128). Patients infected with the Omicron variant showed similar titers to the Delta/Wuhan variants (128) and higher to the Alpha variant (256). Conclusions: The cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is lowest for the Omicron variant compared to the Alpha/Delta variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination)
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9 pages, 985 KiB  
Communication
Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies: Comparison of Enzyme Immunoassay, Surrogate Neutralization and Virus Neutralization Test
by Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek, Maja Bogdanic, Ema Borko, Zeljka Hruskar, Denis Zilic, Thomas Ferenc, Irena Tabain, Ljubo Barbic, Mateja Vujica Ferenc, Ivana Ferencak and Vladimir Stevanovic
Antibodies 2023, 12(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib12020035 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Background: Since sensitivity and specificity vary widely between tests, SARS-CoV-2 serology results should be interpreted with caution. Methods: The study included serum samples from patients who had recovered from COVID-19 (n = 71), individuals vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (n = 84), and [...] Read more.
Background: Since sensitivity and specificity vary widely between tests, SARS-CoV-2 serology results should be interpreted with caution. Methods: The study included serum samples from patients who had recovered from COVID-19 (n = 71), individuals vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (n = 84), and asymptomatic individuals (n = 33). All samples were tested for the presence of binding antibodies (enzyme immunoassay; EIA), neutralizing (NT) antibodies (virus neutralization test; VNT), and surrogate NT (sNT) antibodies (surrogate virus neutralization test; sVNT) of SARS-CoV-2. Results: SARS-CoV-2-binding antibodies were detected in 71 (100%) COVID-19 patients, 77 (91.6%) vaccinated individuals, and 4 (12.1%) control subjects. Among EIA-positive samples, VNT was positive (titer ≥ 8) in 100% of COVID-19 patients and 63 (75.0%) of the vaccinated individuals, while sVNT was positive (>30% inhibition) in 62 (87.3%) patients and 59 (70.2%) vaccinated individuals. The analysis of antibody levels showed a significant moderate positive correlation between EIA and VNT, a moderate positive correlation between EIA and sVNT, and a strong positive correlation between VNT and sVNT. The proportion of positive sVNT detection rate was associated with VNT titer. The lowest positivity (72.4%/70.8%) was detected in samples with low NT titers (8/16) and increased progressively from 88.2% in samples with titer 32 to 100% in samples with titer 256. Conclusions: sVNT appeared to be a reliable method for the assessment COVID-19 serology in patients with high antibody levels, while false-negative results were frequently observed in patients with low NT titers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination)
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Review

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17 pages, 1342 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2: A Glance at the Innate Immune Response Elicited by Infection and Vaccination
by Nicola Manfrini, Samuele Notarbartolo, Renata Grifantini and Elisa Pesce
Antibodies 2024, 13(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib13010013 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1712
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to almost seven million deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 causes infection through respiratory transmission and can occur either without any symptoms or with clinical manifestations which can be mild, severe or, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to almost seven million deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 causes infection through respiratory transmission and can occur either without any symptoms or with clinical manifestations which can be mild, severe or, in some cases, even fatal. Innate immunity provides the initial defense against the virus by sensing pathogen-associated molecular patterns and triggering signaling pathways that activate the antiviral and inflammatory responses, which limit viral replication and help the identification and removal of infected cells. However, temporally dysregulated and excessive activation of the innate immune response is deleterious for the host and associates with severe COVID-19. In addition to its defensive role, innate immunity is pivotal in priming the adaptive immune response and polarizing its effector function. This capacity is relevant in the context of both SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and COVID-19 vaccination. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the innate immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2: Immune Response Elicited by Infection or Vaccination)
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