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Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572667


Pre-existing comorbidities such as obesity or metabolic diseases can adversely affect the clinical outcome of COVID-19. Chronic metabolic disorders are globally on the rise and often a consequence of an unhealthy diet, referred to as a Western Diet. For the first time in the Syrian hamster model, we demonstrate the detrimental impact of a continuous high-fat high-sugar diet on COVID-19 outcome. We observed increased weight loss and lung pathology, such as exudate, vasculitis, hemorrhage, fibrin, and edema, delayed viral clearance and functional lung recovery, and prolonged viral shedding. This was accompanied by an altered, but not significantly different, systemic IL-10 and IL-6 profile, as well as a dysregulated serum lipid response dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phosphatidylethanolamine, partially recapitulating cytokine and lipid responses associated with severe human COVID-19. Our data support the hamster model for testing restrictive or targeted diets and immunomodulatory therapies to mediate the adverse effects of metabolic disease on COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Diet, High-Fat/adverse effects , Dietary Carbohydrates/adverse effects , Lipid Metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Cytokines/blood , Disease Models, Animal , Edema , Fibrin , Hemorrhage , Humans , Interleukin-10 , Interleukin-6 , Lipidomics , Lipids/blood , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Male , Mesocricetus , Obesity , SARS-CoV-2 , Sugars , Vasculitis/pathology , Virus Shedding
Sci Adv ; 7(43): eabj3627, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483968


The emergence of several SARS-CoV-2 variants has caused global concerns about increased transmissibility, increased pathogenicity, and decreased efficacy of medical countermeasures. Animal models can be used to assess phenotypical changes in the absence of confounding factors. Here, we compared variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 to a recent B.1 SARS-CoV-2 isolate containing the D614G spike substitution in the rhesus macaque model. B.1.1.7 behaved similarly to D614G with respect to clinical disease and replication in the respiratory tract. Inoculation with B.1.351 resulted in lower clinical scores, lower lung virus titers, and less severe lung lesions. In bronchoalveolar lavages, cytokines and chemokines were up-regulated on day 4 in animals inoculated with D614G and B.1.1.7 but not with B.1.351. In nasal samples, cytokines and chemokines were up-regulated only in the B.1.1.7-inoculated animals. Together, our study suggests that circulation under diverse evolutionary pressures favors transmissibility and immune evasion rather than increased pathogenicity.

Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5868, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462005


We investigated ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 in Syrian hamsters. We previously showed protection against SARS-CoV-2 disease and pneumonia in hamsters vaccinated with a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Here, we observe a 9.5-fold reduction of virus neutralizing antibody titer in vaccinated hamster sera against B.1.351 compared to B.1.1.7. Vaccinated hamsters challenged with B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 do not lose weight compared to control animals. In contrast to control animals, the lungs of vaccinated animals do not show any gross lesions. Minimal to no viral subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) and no infectious virus can be detected in lungs of vaccinated animals. Histopathological evaluation shows extensive pulmonary pathology caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 replication in the control animals, but none in the vaccinated animals. These data demonstrate the effectiveness of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against clinical disease caused by B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 VOCs.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination