Measuring immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection: comparing assays and animal models.
ABSTRACT: The rapid scale-up of research on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spawned a large number of potential vaccines and immunotherapies, accompanied by a commensurately large number of in vitro assays and in vivo models to measure their effectiveness. These assays broadly have the same end-goal - to predict the clinical efficacy of prophylactic and therapeutic interventions in humans. However, the apparent potency of different interventions can vary considerably between assays and animal models, leading to very different predictions of clinical efficacy. Complete harmonization of experimental methods may be intractable at the current pace of research. However, here we analyse a selection of existing assays for measuring antibody-mediated virus neutralization and animal models of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and provide a framework for comparing results between studies and reconciling observed differences in the effects of interventions. Finally, we propose how we might optimize these assays for better comparison of results from in vitro and animal studies to accelerate progress.
Project description:In this article, we review the current evidence for the cellular and molecular mechanisms of AKI, focusing on epithelial cell pathobiology and related cell-cell interactions, using ischemic AKI as a model. Highlighted are the clinical relevance of cellular and molecular targets that have been investigated in experimental models of ischemic AKI and how such models might be improved to optimize translation into successful clinical trials. In particular, development of more context-specific animal models with greater relevance to human AKI is urgently needed. Comorbidities that could alter patient susceptibility to AKI, such as underlying diabetes, aging, obesity, cancer, and CKD, should also be considered in developing these models. Finally, harmonization between academia and industry for more clinically relevant preclinical testing of potential therapeutic targets and better translational clinical trial design is also needed to achieve the goal of developing effective interventions for AKI.
Project description:Efforts towards developing a vaccine for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have yielded promising results. Utilizing a variety of platforms, several vaccine approaches have shown efficacy in animal models and begun to enter clinical trials. In this review, we summarize the current progress towards a MERS-CoV vaccine and highlight potential roadblocks identified from previous attempts to generate coronavirus vaccines.
Project description:Over 25 years, the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention has entered some 800 agents into a chemopreventive agent testing program. Two critical steps involve: 1) in vitro/in vivo morphologic assays and 2) animal tumor assays (incidence/multiplicity reduction). We sought to determine how accurately the earlier-stage (morphologic) assays predict efficacy in the later-stage (animal tumor) assays.Focusing on 210 agents tested in both morphologic and animal tumor assays, we carried out statistical modeling of how well the six most commonly used morphologic assays predicted drug efficacy in animal tumor assays. Using multimodel inference, three statistical models were generated to evaluate the ability of these six morphologic assays to predict tumor outcomes in three different sets of animal tumor assays: 1) all tumor types, 2) mammary cancer only, and 3) colon cancer only. Using this statistical modeling approach, each morphologic assay was assigned a value reflecting how strongly it predicted outcomes in each of the three different sets of animal tumor assays.We demonstrated differences in the predictive value of specific morphologic assays for positive animal tumor assay results. Some of the morphologic assays were strongly predictive of meaningful positive efficacy outcomes in animal tumor assays representing specific cancer types, particularly the aberrant crypt focus (ACF) assay for colon cancer. Moreover, less strongly predictive assays can be combined and sequenced, resulting in enhanced composite predictive ability.Predictive models such as these could be used to guide selection of preventive agents as well as morphologic and animal tumor assays, thereby improving the efficiency of our approach to chemopreventive agent development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The widespread threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to human life has spawned challenges to develop fast and accurate analytical methods for its early diagnosis and to create a safe antiviral vaccine for preventive use. Consequently, we thoroughly investigated the immunoreactivities with patient sera of a series of synthesized peptides from SARS-coronavirus structural proteins. METHODS:We synthesized 41 peptides ranging in size from 16 to 25 amino acid residues of relatively high hydrophilicity. The immunoreactivities of the peptides with SARS patient sera were determined by ELISA. RESULTS:Four epitopic sites, S599, M137, N66, and N371-404, located in the SARS-coronavirus S, M, and N proteins, respectively, were detected by screening synthesized peptides. Notably, N371 and N385, located at the COOH terminus of the N protein, inhibited binding of antibodies to SARS-coronavirus lysate and bound to antibodies in >94% of samples from SARS study patients. N385 had the highest affinity for forming peptide-antibody complexes with SARS serum. CONCLUSIONS:Five peptides from SARS structural proteins, especially two from the COOH terminus of the N protein, appear to be highly immunogenic and may be useful for serologic assays. The identification of these antigenic peptides contributes to the understanding of the immunogenicity and persistence of SARS coronavirus.
Project description:Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a new member in the lineage C of ?-coronavirus (?-CoV). The increased human cases and high mortality rate of MERS-CoV infection make it essential to develop safe and effective vaccines. In this review, the current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS vaccines, particularly subunit vaccines based on MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), are discussed. How to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines through novel adjuvant formulations and routes of administration as well as currently available animal models for evaluating the in vivo efficacy of MERS-CoV vaccines are also addressed. Overall, these strategies may have important implications for the development of effective and safe vaccines for MERS-CoV in the future.
Project description:Robust and well-established immunological assays and firm immune correlates of protection that can predict disease outcome and/or vaccine efficacy are essential to adequately assess human immune responses to infection and vaccination. The availability of reagents and calibrated controls is also critically important to standardize assays and generate comparable results among different laboratories. The workshop "Human Immune Responses against Shigella and ETEC: Current Advances and the Path Forward" held during the VASE meeting provided an opportunity to disseminate and discuss recent advances in the field of Shigella and ETEC immunology, identify research needs, and propose collaborative activities to advance the field. Four presentations featured current knowledge on humoral and cellular immune responses to Shigella and ETEC during infection and vaccination. A discussion followed on immunological methods relevant for clinical studies, immune parameters associated with protection, harmonization of assays among laboratories, and availability of reagents and standards. Specific recommendations proposed to facilitate "the path forward" included supporting communication among scientists, harmonization of assays and sharing of protocols, the creation of a repository of reagents and calibrated controls and distribution of such material to the research community, and expansion of exploratory studies to better understand the interactions between these pathogens and the human immune system and the ensuing responses.
Project description:The novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV), formally named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a novel human infectious coronavirus. The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is named COVID-19. Development and manufacturing of specific therapeutics and vaccines to treat COVID-19 are time-consuming processes. At this time, using available conventional therapeutics along with other treatment options may be useful to fight COVID-19. In different clinical trials, efficacy of remdesivir (GS-5734) against Ebola virus has been demonstrated. Moreover, remdesivir may be an effective therapy in vitro and in animal models infected by SARS and MERS coronaviruses. Hence, the drug may be theoretically effective against SARS-CoV-2. Remdesivir is a phosphoramidate prodrug of an adenosine C-nucleoside. By entrance into respiratory epithelial cells in human, the prodrug is metabolized to a nucleoside triphosphate as the active form. The nucleoside analog inhibits the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) by competing with the usual counterpart adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The nucleoside analog is incorporated into the generating RNA strand and causes a delayed stop in the viral replication process. Knowledge about the potential efficacy of remdesivir against coronaviruses has been restricted to in vitro studies and animal models. However, information related to COVID-19 is rapidly growing. Several clinical trials are ongoing for the management of COVID-19 using remdesivir. In this study, characteristics of remdesivir and its usage for treatment of COVID-19 are reviewed based on an electronic search using PubMed and Google Scholar.
Project description:The rapid emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, and its dissemination globally has caused an unprecedented strain on public health. Animal models are urgently being developed for SARS-CoV-2 to aid rational design of vaccines and therapeutics. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation techniques that facilitate reliable and reproducible detection of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viral products in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens would be of great utility. A selection of commercial antibodies generated against SARS-CoV spike protein and nucleoprotein, double stranded RNA, and RNA probe for spike genes were evaluated for the ability to detect FFPE infected cells. We also tested both heat- and enzymatic-mediated virus antigen retrieval methods to determine the optimal virus antigen recovery as well as identifying alternative retrieval methods to enable flexibility of IHC methods. In addition to using native virus infected cells as positive control material, the evaluation of non-infected cells expressing coronavirus (SARS, MERS) spike as a biosecure alternative to assays involving live virus was undertaken. Optimized protocols were successfully applied to experimental animal-derived tissues. The diverse techniques for virus detection and control material generation demonstrated in this study can be applied to investigations of coronavirus pathogenesis and therapeutic research in animal models.
Project description:While animal experimentations have spearheaded numerous breakthroughs in biomedicine, they also have spawned many logistical concerns in providing toxicity screening for copious new materials. Their prioritization is premised on performing cellular-level screening in vitro. Among the screening assays, secretomic assay with high sensitivity, analytical throughput, and simplicity is of prime importance. Here, we build on the over 3-decade-long progress on transistor biosensing and develop the holistic assay platform and procedure called semiconductor electronic label-free assay (SELFA). We demonstrate that SELFA, which incorporates an amplifying nanowire field-effect transistor biosensor, is able to offer superior sensitivity, similar selectivity, and shorter turnaround time compared to standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We deploy SELFA secretomics to predict the inflammatory potential of eleven engineered nanomaterials in vitro, and validate the results with confocal microscopy in vitro and confirmatory animal experiment in vivo. This work provides a foundation for high-sensitivity label-free assay utility in predictive toxicology.
Project description:To identify statistical methods for harmonization, the procedures aimed at achieving the comparability of previously collected data, which could be used in the context of summary data and individual participant data meta-analysis of cognitive measures.Environmental scan methods were used to conduct two reviews to identify (1) studies that quantitatively combined data on cognition and (2) general literature on statistical methods for data harmonization. Search results were rapidly screened to identify articles of relevance.All 33 meta-analyses combining cognition measures either restricted their analyses to a subset of studies using a common measure or combined standardized effect sizes across studies; none reported their harmonization steps before producing summary effects. In the second scan, three general classes of statistical harmonization models were identified (1) standardization methods, (2) latent variable models, and (3) multiple imputation models; few publications compared methods.Although it is an implicit part of conducting a meta-analysis or pooled analysis, the methods used to assess inferential equivalence of complex constructs are rarely reported or discussed. Progress in this area will be supported by guidelines for the conduct and reporting of the data harmonization and integration and by evaluating and developing statistical approaches to harmonization.