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Publication Detail
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine induces robust broadly cross-reactive antibody responses in Malawian adults previously infected with SARS-CoV-2
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Chibwana MG, Moyo-Gwete T, Kwatra G, Mandolo J, Hermanaus T, Motlou T, Mzindle N, Ayres F, Chaponda M, Tembo G, Mwenechanya P, Mitole N, Jassi C, Kamng’ona R, Afran L, Mzinza D, Mwandumba HC, Gordon SB, Jere K, Madhi S, Moore PL, Heyderman RS, Jambo KC
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    BMC Medicine
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Article number:
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  • Status:
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  • Keywords:
    Antibodies, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, RBD, SARS-CoV-2, Spike, VOC, Antibody Formation, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Humans, Immunization, Passive, Prospective Studies, SARS-CoV-2, Viral Vaccines
  • Notes:
    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Background: Binding and neutralising anti-Spike antibodies play a key role in immune defence against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since it is known that antibodies wane with time and new immune-evasive variants are emerging, we aimed to assess the dynamics of anti-Spike antibodies in an African adult population with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and to determine the effect of subsequent COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: Using a prospective cohort design, we recruited adults with prior laboratory-confirmed mild/moderate COVID-19 in Blantyre, Malawi, and followed them up for 270 days (n = 52). A subset of whom subsequently received a single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx nCov-19) (n = 12). We measured the serum concentrations of anti-Spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG antibodies using a Luminex-based assay. Anti-RBD antibody cross-reactivity across SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) was measured using a haemagglutination test. A pseudovirus neutralisation assay was used to measure neutralisation titres across VOCs. Ordinary or repeated measures one-way ANOVA was used to compare log10 transformed data, with p value adjusted for multiple comparison using Šídák's or Holm-Šídák's test. Results: We show that neutralising antibodies wane within 6 months post mild/moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection (30–60 days vs. 210–270 days; Log ID50 6.8 vs. 5.3, p = 0.0093). High levels of binding anti-Spike or anti-RBD antibodies in convalescent serum were associated with potent neutralisation activity against the homologous infecting strain (p < 0.0001). A single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following mild/moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection induced a 2 to 3-fold increase in anti-Spike and -RBD IgG levels 30 days post-vaccination (both, p < 0.0001). The anti-RBD IgG antibodies from these vaccinated individuals were broadly cross-reactive against multiple VOCs and had neutralisation potency against original D614G, beta, and delta variants. Conclusions: These findings show that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is an effective booster for waning cross-variant antibody immunity after initial priming with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The potency of hybrid immunity and its potential to maximise the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines needs to be taken into consideration when formulating vaccination policies in sub-Saharan Africa, where there is still limited access to vaccine doses.
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