Spike-Dependent Opsonization Indicates Both Dose-Dependent Inhibition of Phagocytosis and That Non-Neutralizing Antibodies Can Confer Protection to SARS-CoV-2

Posted on 14.01.2022 - 11:38

Spike-specific antibodies are central to effective COVID19 immunity. Research efforts have focused on antibodies that neutralize the ACE2-Spike interaction but not on non-neutralizing antibodies. Antibody-dependent phagocytosis is an immune mechanism enhanced by opsonization, where typically, more bound antibodies trigger a stronger phagocyte response. Here, we show that Spike-specific antibodies, dependent on concentration, can either enhance or reduce Spike-bead phagocytosis by monocytes independently of the antibody neutralization potential. Surprisingly, we find that both convalescent patient plasma and patient-derived monoclonal antibodies lead to maximum opsonization already at low levels of bound antibodies and is reduced as antibody binding to Spike protein increases. Moreover, we show that this Spike-dependent modulation of opsonization correlate with the outcome in an experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection model. These results suggest that the levels of anti-Spike antibodies could influence monocyte-mediated immune functions and propose that non-neutralizing antibodies could confer protection to SARS-CoV-2 infection by mediating phagocytosis.

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Bahnan, Wael; Wrighton, Sebastian; Sundwall, Martin; Bläckberg, Anna; Larsson, Olivia; Höglund, Urban; et al. (2022): Spike-Dependent Opsonization Indicates Both Dose-Dependent Inhibition of Phagocytosis and That Non-Neutralizing Antibodies Can Confer Protection to SARS-CoV-2. Frontiers. Collection. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.808932
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