Event Title

Immune Response to Variant Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS CoV-2 Spike Protein

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Pariya Yousefi

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Tampa

Mentor Information

Dr. John Adams

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The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which emerged in late 2019 rapidly developed into the Covid-19 pandemic. This highly contagious disease rapidly became a major global threat to human health and public safety leading to 5.7 million deaths so far. Despite the development of vaccines, which have greatly reduced disease morbidity and mortality, the rapid emergence of new variants is a major challenge to vaccine efficacy and long-term immunity. We hypothesize that the emergence of mutations in the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) will affect vaccine induced or naturally acquired immune response to currently circulating variants of concern (VOC). To test this hypothesis, vaccination induced or naturally acquired serum antibodies to the original Wuhan strain of the spike RBD will be screened by ELISA for reactivity with recombinantly produced spike RBD from two major VOCs (Delta and Omicron). Recombinant spike RBD produced from the Wuhan strain of SARS CoV-2 will be used as control. Knowledge of immune response to emerging variants of the virus will provide information essential for future vaccine design, taking these variants into consideration. The recombinant proteins produced will also serve as reagents for population screening to identify individuals with antibodies to SARS CoV-2.

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Immune Response to Variant Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS CoV-2 Spike Protein

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which emerged in late 2019 rapidly developed into the Covid-19 pandemic. This highly contagious disease rapidly became a major global threat to human health and public safety leading to 5.7 million deaths so far. Despite the development of vaccines, which have greatly reduced disease morbidity and mortality, the rapid emergence of new variants is a major challenge to vaccine efficacy and long-term immunity. We hypothesize that the emergence of mutations in the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) will affect vaccine induced or naturally acquired immune response to currently circulating variants of concern (VOC). To test this hypothesis, vaccination induced or naturally acquired serum antibodies to the original Wuhan strain of the spike RBD will be screened by ELISA for reactivity with recombinantly produced spike RBD from two major VOCs (Delta and Omicron). Recombinant spike RBD produced from the Wuhan strain of SARS CoV-2 will be used as control. Knowledge of immune response to emerging variants of the virus will provide information essential for future vaccine design, taking these variants into consideration. The recombinant proteins produced will also serve as reagents for population screening to identify individuals with antibodies to SARS CoV-2.