The Effect of Vaccine Type and SARS-CoV-2 Lineage on Commercial SARS-CoV-2 Serologic and Pseudotype Neutralization Assays in mRNA Vaccine Recipients.

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The use of anti-spike (S) serologic assays as surrogate measurements of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine induced immunity will be an important clinical and epidemiological tool. The characteristics of a commercially available anti-S antibody assay (Roche Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 S) were evaluated in a cohort of vaccine recipients. Levels were correlated with pseudotype neutralizing antibodies (NAb) across SARS-CoV-2 variants. We recruited adults receiving a two-dose series of mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2 and collected serum at scheduled intervals up to 8 months post-first vaccination. Anti-S and NAb levels were measured, and correlation was evaluated by (i) vaccine type and (ii) SARS-CoV-2 variant (wild-type, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and three constructs Day 146*, Day 152*, and RBM-2). Forty-six mRNA vaccine recipients were enrolled. mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients had higher peak anti-S and NAb levels compared with BNT162b2 ( < 0.001 for anti-S levels;  < 0.05 for NAb levels). When anti-S and NAb levels were compared, there was good correlation (all values ≥ 0.85) in both BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients across all evaluated variants; however, these correlations were nonlinear in nature. Lower correlation was identified between anti-S and NAb for the Beta variant (= 0.88) compared with the wild-type (WT) strain (= 0.94). Finally, the degree of neutralizing activity at any given anti-S level was lower for each variant compared with that of the WT strain, ( < 0.001). Although the Roche anti-S assay correlates well with NAb levels, this association is affected by vaccine type and SARS-CoV-2 variant. These variables must be considered when interpreting anti-S levels. We evaluated anti-spike antibody concentrations in healthy mRNA vaccinated individuals and compared these concentrations to values obtained from pseudotype neutralization assays targeting SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern to determine how well anti-spike antibodies correlate with neutralizing titers, which have been used as a marker of immunity from COVID-19 infection. We found high peak anti-spike concentrations in these individuals, with significantly higher levels seen in mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients. When we compared anti-spike and pseudotype neuralization titers, we identified good correlation; however, this correlation was affected by both vaccine type and variant, illustrating the difficulty of applying a "one size fits all" approach to anti-spike result interpretation. Our results support CDC recommendations to discourage anti-spike antibody testing to assess for immunity after vaccination and cautions providers in their interpretations of these results as a surrogate of protection in COVID-vaccinated individuals.

Microbiol Spectr
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The Effect of Vaccine Type and SARS-CoV-2 Lineage on Commercial SARS-CoV-2 Serologic and Pseudotype Neutralization Assays in mRNA Vaccine Recipients.
Tolan NV, Sherman AC, Zhou G, Nabel KG, Desjardins M, Melanson S, Kanjilal S, Moheed S, Kupelian J, Kaufman RM, Ryan ET, LaRocque RC, Branda JA, Dighe AS, Abraham J, Baden LR, Charles RC, Turbett SE