CHOP Researchers Find COVID-19 Vaccination Leads to Higher Antibody Levels than Natural Infection in Both Pregnant People and their Babies

Pregnant people who received one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines had 10-fold higher antibody concentrations than those who were naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2, a finding that was also observed in their babies, according to a new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published today in JAMA Network Open, also found that vaccine timing played an important role in maximizing the transfer of antibodies, with antibodies detected as early as 15 days after the first vaccine dose and increasing for several weeks after.

Vaccinating women infected with COVID during pregnancy prior to delivery provides antibodies to newborns

FINDINGS Women with COVID in pregnancy who are subsequently vaccinated after recovery, but prior to delivery, are more likely to pass antibodies on to the child than similarly infected but unvaccinated mothers are. Researchers who studied a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated mothers found that 78% of their infants tested at birth had antibodies.

Clever COVID-19

As new Omicron subvariants of COVID-19 continue to sweep across the United States, researchers at the University of Missouri have identified specific mutations within the virus’ spike protein that help Omicron subvariants evade existing antibodies humans have from either vaccines or previous COVID-19 infections.

Milk boost: Research shows how breastfeeding offers immune benefits

When infants breastfeed, they receive an immune boost that helps them fight off infectious diseases, according to recent research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Broadly neutralizing antibodies could provide immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants

Two broadly neutralizing antibodies show great promise to provide long-acting immunity against COVID-19 in immunocompromised populations according to a paper published June 15 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM). The antibodies were effective against all SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern tested and could be used alone or in an antibody cocktail to diminish the risk of infection.

Mount Sinai Researchers Develop a Rapid Test to Measure Immunity to COVID-19

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a rapid blood assay that measures the magnitude and duration of someone’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test will allow large-scale monitoring of the population’s immunity and the effectiveness of current vaccines to help design revaccination strategies for vulnerable immunosuppressed individuals, according to a study published in Nature Biotechnology in June.

Why Breakthrough COVID? Antibodies Fighting Original Virus May Be Weaker Against Omicron

If you’re wondering why after two vaccination doses and a booster shot, you still got sick from the omicron strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, one possible answer may have been found in a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Some cases of long COVID-19 may be caused by an abnormally suppressed immune system, UCLA-led research suggests

Researchers studying the effect of the monoclonal antibody Leronlimab on long COVID-19 may have found a surprising clue to the baffling syndrome, one that contradicts their initial hypothesis. An abnormally suppressed immune system may be to blame, not a persistently hyperactive one as they had suspected.

From Alpha to Epsilon: Consortium study illuminates surfaces of Spike most resistant to antibody escape

Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have published a detailed map of where human antibodies bind to SARS-CoV-2, a map that was generated by a global collaboration comparing nearly all leading clinical candidates. The new research will guide the development of more effective COVID-19 antibody therapies and help scientists develop effective vaccines to address emerging viral variants.

UTHealth researcher awarded CPRIT grant to test potential large-molecule cancer drugs at preclinical development core facility

A preclinical development core where researchers can test the effectiveness of large molecule drug candidates for novel cancer treatments, led by Qingyun Liu, PhD, has been awarded a nearly $4 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

$1.3 million in NIH grants to enable research into antibody-mediated drug delivery technology

Two National Institute of Health (NIH) grants totaling over $1.3 million will enable research into antibody-mediated drug delivery technology for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disorders. L. Nathan Tumey, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is the Principal Investigator on both grants — $1.2 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and $150,000 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Surveillance study finds disparities, high proportion of past COVID-19 infections among adults and children in Santa Ana

In a large-scale, population-based surveillance conducted in partnership with the City of Santa Ana, researchers at the University of California, Irvine’s Program in Public Health found 27% positivity of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among participating Santa Ana residents. This unique study was one of the first to examine household transmission of COVID-19 and to include a pediatric population (ages 5+).

World-first COVID vaccine booster randomized clinical trial in transplant patients proves third shot is very effective

The study enrolled 120 transplant patients between May 25th and June 3rd. None of them had COVID previously and all of them had received two doses of the Moderna vaccine. Half of the participants received a third shot of the vaccine (at the 2-month mark after their second dose) and the other half received placebo.
The primary outcome was based on antibody level greater than 100 U/ml against the spike protein of the virus. In the placebo group – after three doses (where the third dose was placebo), the response rate was only 18% whereas in the Moderna three-dose group, the response rate was 55%.

Hopkins Med News Update

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

– COVID-19 NEWS: Johns Hopkins Medicine Study Shows Vaccine Likely Protects People with HIV
– Johns Hopkins Medicine Documents Stroke Risk in Cardiac Assist Device
– CBD Products May Help People with Epilepsy Better Tolerate Anti-Seizure Medications

Novel autoantibody adds fuel to COVID-19 “firestorm” of inflammation, blood clots

Researchers at Michigan Medicine have discovered another functional autoantibody in COVID-19 patients that contributes to the disease’s development and the “firestorm” of blood clots and inflammation it induces. The autoantibody makes it harder for the body to degrade neutrophil extracellular traps, the toxic webs of DNA and proteins produced by overactive immune cells at heightened levels in COVID patients.

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

-Physician and Musician: Johns Hopkins Doctor Brings Passion for Music to Medicine During Pandemic
-Rapid, At-Home Blood Test Could Confirm COVID-19 Vaccination in Minutes
-What to Expect and Prepare for As You Return to Regular Health Care Appointments
-Study Suggests Sudden Hearing Loss Not Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination
-Vaccination May Not Rid COVID-19 Risk for Those with Rheumatic, Musculoskeletal Diseases

Preclinical research reveals that new IgM antibodies administered intranasally to fight COVID-19 more potent than commonly used ones

A nasal therapy, built upon on the application of a new engineered IgM antibody therapy for COVID-19, was more effective than commonly used IgG antibodies at neutralizing the COVID-19 virus in animal models, according to research recently published by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB Health), the University of Houston, and IGM Biosciences, Inc.

Low on Antibodies, Blood Cancer Patients Can Fight off COVID-19 with T Cells

Antibodies aren’t the only immune cells needed to fight off COVID-19 — T cells are equally important and can step up to do the job when antibodies are depleted, suggests a new Penn Medicine study of blood cancer patients with COVID-19 published in Nature Medicine.

MAJORITY OF CANCER PATIENTS WITH COVID-19 HAVE SIMILAR IMMUNE RESPONSE TO PEOPLE WITHOUT CANCER

Most people with cancer who are infected by the novel coronavirus produce antibodies at a rate comparable to the rest of the population—but their ability to do so depends on their type of cancer and the treatments they’ve received, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The findings, published online today in Nature Cancer, may lead to better care for cancer patients, who face a heightened risk of dying from COVID-19, and suggests that cancer patients should respond well to COVID-19 vaccines.

New Study Shows How Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Allow the Virus to Evade Immune System Defenses

Research reveals how mutated SARS-CoV-2 evades immune system defenses

In lab-dish experiments, the mutant virus escaped antibodies from the plasma of

COVID-19 survivors as well as pharmaceutical-grade antibodies

Mutations arose in an immunocompromised patient with chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Patient-derived virus harbored structural changes now seen cropping up independently in samples across the globe

Findings underscore the need for better genomic surveillance to keep track of emerging variants

Results highlight importance of therapies aimed at multiple targets on SARS-CoV-2 to minimize risk of resistance

New evidence COVID-19 antibodies, vaccines less effective against variants

New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 can evade antibodies that work against the original form of the virus that sparked the pandemic, potentially undermining the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody-based drugs now being used to prevent or treat COVID-19.

More than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Protein 3D Structures Available

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available from the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The data bank reached the milestone this week, with 1,018 proteins as…

Federal COVID-19 response taps UCI Health as a model for delivering monoclonal antibody therapy

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 9, 2021 — Monoclonal antibodies are showing promise for improving outcomes for COVID-19 patients, but when a hospital is already beyond capacity, administering them can be a challenge. As hospitalizations soared across California, clinicians with UCI Health created a system for delivering monoclonal antibodies that is keeping hospital beds available for patients with the greatest need.

Retrained generic antibodies can recognize SARS-CoV-2

An alternative approach to train the immunity response is offered by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago and California State University at Sacramento who have developed a novel strategy that redirects antibodies for other diseases existing in humans to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

Recruiting Starts at University of Miami Health System for NIH Study of COVID-19 Immunity

The University of Miami Health System is one of five sites nationally and the only one in the Southeast U.S. chosen to participate in a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) study looking at people who have had COVID-19 or have had a COVID-19 vaccine to examine the durability and robustness of participants’ antibody and T-cell responses to the virus.