• Convergent antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in convalescent and vaccinated individuals

      Chen, E.C.; Gilchuk, P.; Zost, S.J.; Suryadevara, N.; Winkler, E.S.; Cabel, C.R.; Binshtein, E.; Chen, R.E.; Sutton, R.E.; Rodriguez, J.; et al. (Elsevier B.V., 2021)
      Unrelated individuals can produce genetically similar clones of antibodies, known as public clonotypes, which have been seen in responses to different infectious diseases, as well as healthy individuals. Here we identify 37 public clonotypes in memory B cells from convalescent survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or in plasmablasts from an individual after vaccination with mRNA-encoded spike protein. We identify 29 public clonotypes, including clones recognizing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein S1 subunit (including a neutralizing, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 [ACE2]-blocking clone that protects in vivo) and others recognizing non-RBD epitopes that bind the S2 domain. Germline-revertant forms of some public clonotypes bind efficiently to spike protein, suggesting these common germline-encoded antibodies are preconfigured for avid recognition. Identification of large numbers of public clonotypes provides insight into the molecular basis of efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and sheds light on the immune pressures driving the selection of common viral escape mutants. © 2021 The Author(s)
    • SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccine Development and Production: An Ethical Way Forward

      Iserson, Kenneth V.; Univ Arizona, Dept Emergency Med (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020-06-05)
      The world awaits a SARS-CoV-2 virus (i.e., COVID-19 disease) vaccine to keep the populace healthy, fully reopen their economies, and return their social and healthcare systems to “normal.” Vaccine safety and efficacy requires meticulous testing and oversight; this paper describes how despite grandiose public statements, the current vaccine development, testing, and production methods may prove to be ethically dubious, medically dangerous, and socially volatile. The basic moral concern is the potential danger to the health of human test subjects and, eventually, many vaccine recipients. This is further complicated by economic and political pressures to reduce government oversight on rushed vaccine testing and production, nationalistic distribution goals, and failure to plan for the widespread immunization needed to produce global herd immunity. As this paper asserts, the public must be better informed to assess promises about the novel vaccines being produced and to tolerate delays and uncertainty.