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Are SARS-CoV-2 Specific Antibodies a Correlate for Protection? (ImmCoV)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04469634
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : July 14, 2020
Last Update Posted : December 8, 2021
Jessa Hospital
University Hospital, Antwerp
Universiteit Antwerpen
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium

Brief Summary:
The objectives of this study are (1) to determine the ex vivo neutralizing capacity and the longevity of SARS-CoV-2-specific Ab responses and (2) to measure the memory B-cell responses in a cohort of health care workers (HCW) recovering from severe, mild or asymptomatic infection. By focusing on HCW, a population that is at risk for re-infection during a second epidemic wave, the correlation between nAb levels and protection is investigated.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
SARS-CoV2 COVID-19 Diagnostic Test: Assessing antibody responses, neutralizing capacity and memory B-cell function Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
SARS-CoV-2 has spread at an unprecedented speed and scale since January 2020. Since then, Belgium has been confronted with >60.000 diagnosed cases and likely many more undiagnosed with mild or no symptoms. The true seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Belgian population is not known, yet increasing confidence about the performance of several serological assays paves the way to large-scale serosurveys. These studies will be crucial in assessing population immunity and evaluating the risk of re-infection. The first, smaller-scaled, antibody surveys report a range of seroprevalences, i.e. Germany (14%), The Netherlands (4%), USA (2.49-4.16%) and Belgium (4.7-6.9%). These studies suffer from conceptual and technical flaws yet are used for easing lockdown measures. A major limitation is that antibody (Ab) capture assays measure exposure to SARS-CoV-2, rather than subsequent protection, which requires assessment of the quality of the Abs including their capacity to neutralize the virus. Also the Ab levels required for protection and their duration are yet unknown. The proposed project aims to address these pertinent questions in a population at risk of re-infection during a second epidemic wave. Sero-neutralisation assays are regarded the gold standard method to measure ex vivo Ab neutralising activity against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. A recent Chinese study, using a pseudovirus neutralisation assay, found that nAbs are detected from day 10-15 after onset of disease and that younger patients typically have lower levels of nAbs compared to middle-aged and elderly patients. Importantly, in about 1 out of 3 patients the nAb titers were low and in 10 young patients nAbs were absent. A pseudovirus is an imperfect model for SARS-CoV-2 because of the non-natural embedding of Spike protein in the pseudovirions and differences in glycosylation. In this study, a whole virus neutralisation assay will be used that was recently validated using a panel of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent sera in the lab of the Principal Investigator. Preliminary results of the study team show a rapid decline in nAb titer within 15-36d after diagnosis in 4/11 patients, while IgG and IgA remain steady and high in ELISA. Older studies with SARS-CoV-1 showed declining IgM and IgA antibody titers within 6 months, declining IgG titers after 1y, and a complete lack of antigen-specific peripheral memory B-cell (MBC) responses after recovery. Measuring only circulating Abs can be misleading as it excludes the detection of the MBC pool, which can exist in the absence of detectable serum Ab levels and is a pre-requisite to maintain protective immunity in the long term. Upon re-encounter with the antigen, MBC can rapidly differentiate to produce Abs. So far, little is known about humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and their contribution to protection.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 150 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Are SARS-CoV-2 Specific Antibodies a Correlate for Protection?
Actual Study Start Date : July 31, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Memory

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: antibody response and memory B-cell
Regular blood draws to measure antibody responses and memory B-cell responses Regular swab collection to test for re-infection
Diagnostic Test: Assessing antibody responses, neutralizing capacity and memory B-cell function
Assessing antibody responses, neutralizing capacity and memory B-cell function and their contribution to protection against re-infection

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Antibody levels over time [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  2. Antibody neutralizing capacity [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  3. Memory B-cell function [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  4. Antibody-dependent enhancement [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Re-infection with SARS-CoV2 [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 99 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be diagnosed (PCR+) with COVID-19 between March-May 2020
  • Be a permanent employee (HCW: nurse, physician, paramedical) of the study hospital
  • Agree to complete a short questionnaire and be sampled 4 tubes of heparin whole blood every 3 months over a one-year period
  • Have given their informed consent to participate

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Persons in serious clinical condition, incompatible with the informed consent procedure
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons that have not been diagnosed with COVID-19

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04469634

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University Hospital Antwerp
Antwerpen, Belgium, 2000
Jessa Hospital
Hasselt, Belgium
Sponsors and Collaborators
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
Jessa Hospital
University Hospital, Antwerp
Universiteit Antwerpen
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Principal Investigator: Kevin K. Ariën, PhD Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
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Responsible Party: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04469634    
Other Study ID Numbers: 1412/20
First Posted: July 14, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 8, 2021
Last Verified: December 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs