Cross-reactive antibodies against human coronaviruses and the animal coronavirome suggest diagnostics for future zoonotic spillovers release_5cktcxlik5hsxlknnjn6ysrg6m

by Shelley Klompus, Sigal Leviatan, Thomas Vogl, Roei Mazor, Iris Kalka, liat stoler-barak, Nachum Nathan, Ayelet Peres, Lihee Moss, Anastasia Godneva, Sharon Kagan Ben Tikva, Eilat Shinar (+8 others)

Published in Science immunology by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

2021   Volume 6, Issue 61, eabe9950


The spillover of animal coronaviruses (aCoVs) to humans has caused SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. While antibody responses displaying cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal/common cold human coronaviruses (hCoVs) have been reported, potential cross-reactivity with aCoVs and the diagnostic implications are incompletely understood. Here, we probed for antibody binding against all seven hCoVs and 49 aCoVs represented as 12,924 peptides within a phage-displayed antigen library. Antibody repertoires of 269 recovered COVID-19 patients showed distinct changes compared to 260 unexposed pre-pandemic controls, not limited to binding of SARS-CoV-2 antigens but including binding to antigens from hCoVs and aCoVs with shared motifs to SARS-CoV-2. We isolated broadly reactive monoclonal antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients that bind a shared motif of SARS-CoV-2, hCoV-OC43, hCoV-HKU1, and several aCoVs, demonstrating that interspecies cross-reactivity can be mediated by a single immunoglobulin. Employing antibody binding data against the entire CoV antigen library allowed accurate discrimination of recovered COVID-19 patients from unexposed individuals by machine learning. Leaving out SARS-CoV-2 antigens and relying solely on antibody binding to other hCoVs and aCoVs achieved equally accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection without knowledge of its unique antigens solely from cross-reactive antibody responses against other hCoVs and aCoVs suggests a potential diagnostic strategy for the early stage of future pandemics. Creating regularly updated antigen libraries representing the animal coronavirome can provide the basis for a serological assay already poised to identify infected individuals following a future zoonotic transmission event.
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Date   2021-07-29
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