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Longitudinal humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in a population-based cohort in Zurich, Switzerland between March and June 2022 - evidence for protection against Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infection by neutralizing antibodies and spike-specific T-cell responses


Zens, Kyra Denise; Llanas-Cornejo, Daniel; Menges, Dominik; Fehr, Jan Sven; Münz, Christian; Puhan, Milo Alan; Frei, Anja (2023). Longitudinal humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in a population-based cohort in Zurich, Switzerland between March and June 2022 - evidence for protection against Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infection by neutralizing antibodies and spike-specific T-cell responses. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 133:18-26.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The correlate(s) of protection against SARS-CoV-2 remain incompletely defined. Additional information regarding the combinations of antibody and T cell-mediated immunity which can protect against (re)infection is needed.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based, longitudinal cohort study including 1044 individuals of varying SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and infection statuses. We assessed spike (S)- and nucleocapsid (N)-immunoglobulin(Ig)G and wildtype, Delta, and Omicron-neutralizing antibody (N-Ab) activity. In a subset of 328 individuals, we evaluated S, membrane (M), and N-specific T cells. Three months later, we reassessed Ab (n = 964) and T cell (n = 141) responses and evaluated factors associated with protection from (re)infection.

RESULTS: At the study start, >98% of participants were S-IgG seropositive. N-IgG and M/N-T-cell responses increased over time, indicating viral (re)exposure, despite existing S-IgG. Compared to N-IgG, M/N-T cells were a more sensitive measure of viral exposure. High N-IgG titers, Omicron-N-Ab activity, and S-specific-T-cell responses were all associated with a reduced likelihood of (re)infection over time.

CONCLUSION: Population-level SARS-CoV-2 immunity is S-IgG-dominated, but heterogeneous. M/N-T-cell responses can distinguish previous infection from vaccination, and monitoring a combination of N-IgG, Omicron-N-Ab, and S-T-cell responses may help estimate protection against SARS-CoV-2 (re)infection.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The correlate(s) of protection against SARS-CoV-2 remain incompletely defined. Additional information regarding the combinations of antibody and T cell-mediated immunity which can protect against (re)infection is needed.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based, longitudinal cohort study including 1044 individuals of varying SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and infection statuses. We assessed spike (S)- and nucleocapsid (N)-immunoglobulin(Ig)G and wildtype, Delta, and Omicron-neutralizing antibody (N-Ab) activity. In a subset of 328 individuals, we evaluated S, membrane (M), and N-specific T cells. Three months later, we reassessed Ab (n = 964) and T cell (n = 141) responses and evaluated factors associated with protection from (re)infection.

RESULTS: At the study start, >98% of participants were S-IgG seropositive. N-IgG and M/N-T-cell responses increased over time, indicating viral (re)exposure, despite existing S-IgG. Compared to N-IgG, M/N-T cells were a more sensitive measure of viral exposure. High N-IgG titers, Omicron-N-Ab activity, and S-specific-T-cell responses were all associated with a reduced likelihood of (re)infection over time.

CONCLUSION: Population-level SARS-CoV-2 immunity is S-IgG-dominated, but heterogeneous. M/N-T-cell responses can distinguish previous infection from vaccination, and monitoring a combination of N-IgG, Omicron-N-Ab, and S-T-cell responses may help estimate protection against SARS-CoV-2 (re)infection.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Experimental Immunology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hybrid immunity; Interferon-gamma release assay; Neutralizing antibodies; SARS-CoV-2; Seroprevalence; T cell responses
Language:English
Date:August 2023
Deposited On:15 Jan 2024 17:40
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 03:42
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1201-9712
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2023.04.407
PubMed ID:37149211
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)