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Low Levels of Natural Anti-α-N-Acetylgalactosamine (Tn) Antibodies Are Associated With COVID-19

Abstract : Human serum contains large amounts of anti-carbohydrate antibodies, some of which may recognize epitopes on viral glycans. Here, we tested the hypothesis that such antibodies may confer protection against COVID-19 so that patients would be preferentially found among people with low amounts of specific anti-carbohydrate antibodies since individual repertoires vary considerably. After selecting glycan epitopes commonly represented in the human anti-carbohydrate antibody repertoire that may also be expressed on viral glycans, plasma levels of the corresponding antibodies were determined by ELISA in 88 SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, including 13 asymptomatic, and in 82 non-infected controls. We observed that anti-Tn antibodies levels were significantly lower in patients as compared to non-infected individuals. This was not observed for any of the other tested carbohydrate epitopes, including anti-αGal antibodies used as a negative control since the epitope cannot be synthesized by humans. Owing to structural homologies with blood groups A and B antigens, we also observed that anti-Tn and anti-αGal antibodies levels were lower in blood group A and B, respectively. Analyses of correlations between anti-Tn and the other anticarbohydrates tested revealed divergent patterns of correlations between patients and controls, suggesting qualitative differences in addition to the quantitative difference. Furthermore, anti-Tn levels correlated with anti-S protein levels in the patients' group, suggesting that anti-Tn might contribute to the development of the specific antiviral response. Overall, this first analysis allows to hypothesize that natural anti-Tn antibodies might be protective against COVID-19.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 2:22:29 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:53:10 AM


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Adrien Breiman, Nathalie Ruvoën-Clouet, Marie Deleers, Tiffany Beauvais, Nicolas Jouand, et al.. Low Levels of Natural Anti-α-N-Acetylgalactosamine (Tn) Antibodies Are Associated With COVID-19. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2021, 12, pp.641460. ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2021.641460⟩. ⟨inserm-03677004⟩



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