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1.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 64: 103937, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946098

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with MS treated with anti-CD20 therapies and fingolimod often have attenuated responses to initial COVID-19 vaccination. However, uncertainties remain about the benefit of a 3rd (booster) COVID-19 vaccine in this group. METHODS: PwMS without a detectable IgG response following COVID-19 vaccines 1&2 were invited to participate. Participants provided a dried blood spot +/- venous blood sample 2-12 weeks following COVID-19 vaccine 3. Humoral and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid antigen were measured. RESULTS: Of 81 participants, 79 provided a dried blood spot sample, of whom 38 also provided a whole blood sample; 2 provided only whole blood. Anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike IgG seroconversion post-COVID-19 vaccine 3 occurred in 26/79 (33%) participants; 26/40 (65%) had positive T-cell responses. Overall, 31/40 (78%) demonstrated either humoral or cellular immune response post-COVID-19 vaccine 3. There was no association between laboratory evidence of prior COVID-19 and seroconversion following vaccine 3. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one third of pwMS who were seronegative after initial COVID-19 vaccination seroconverted after booster (third) vaccination, supporting the use of boosters in this group. Almost 8 out of 10 had a measurable immune response following 3rd COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
2.
Curr Opin Neurol ; 34(3): 286-294, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895869

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Using highly effective (HE) compounds right from the beginning of disease-modifying immunotherapy (DMT) in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) has gained popularity among clinicians and pwMS alike. We discuss the most recent evidence supporting this approach, and whether any of the associated risks should stop us adopting it as a default strategy. RECENT FINDINGS: With the addition of injectable ofatumumab, and the two oral sphingosine one phosphate modulators siponimod and ozanimod, ten HE DMTs are now available for pwMS, though variation in licensing status and cost may limit their use in some healthcare environments. Real World evidence based on large MS registry data suggests the superiority of early HE DMT over a slow treatment escalation approach; delaying HE DMT leads to more rapid and often irreversible disability accrual. Mechanistically, B-cell depletion, particularly memory B-cell suppression, is a common denominator closely associated with DMT efficacy. SUMMARY: The concept that HE DMTs are necessarily associated with a high risk of adverse effects, is no longer supported by the evidence. The rather predictable and manageable risk profile of most HE DMTs should lower the threshold for clinicians to discuss such treatment with pwMS as a first line approach.


Subject(s)
Multiple Sclerosis , Administration, Oral , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Treatment Outcome
3.
Anal Chem ; 94(23): 8105-8109, 2022 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873391

ABSTRACT

New platforms for the rapid and sensitive detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern are urgently needed. Here we report the development of a nanomechanical sensor based on the deflection of a microcantilever capable of detecting the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein antigen using computationally designed multivalent minibinders immobilized on a microcantilever surface. The sensor exhibits rapid (<5 min) detection of the target antigens down to concentrations of 0.05 ng/mL (362 fM) and is more than an order of magnitude more sensitive than an antibody-based cantilever sensor. Validation of the sensor with clinical samples from 33 patients, including 9 patients infected with the Omicron (BA.1) variant observed detection of antigen from nasopharyngeal swabs with cycle threshold (Ct) values as high as 39, suggesting a limit of detection similar to that of the quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Our findings demonstrate the use of minibinders and nanomechanical sensors for the rapid and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other disease markers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337635

ABSTRACT

Undergraduate research experiences can improve student success in graduate education and STEM careers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, undergraduate researchers at our institution and many others lost their work-study research positions due to interruption of in-person research activities. This imposed a financial burden on the students and eliminated an important learning opportunity. To address these challenges, we created a paid, fully-remote, cohort-based research curriculum in computational protein design. Our curriculum used existing protein design methods as a platform to first educate and train undergraduate students and then to test research hypotheses. In the first phase, students learned computational methods to assess the stability of designed protein assemblies. In the second phase, students used a larger dataset to identify factors that could improve the accuracy of current protein design algorithms. This cohort-based program created valuable new research opportunities for undergraduates at our institute and enhanced the undergraduates’ feeling of connection with the lab. Students learned transferable and useful skills such as literature review, programming basics, data analysis, hypothesis testing, and scientific communication. Our program provides a model of structured computational research training opportunities for undergraduate researchers in any field for organizations looking to expand educational access. Graphical Abstract

5.
Nat Biotechnol ; 2022 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815566

ABSTRACT

We designed a protein biosensor that uses thermodynamic coupling for sensitive and rapid detection of neutralizing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants in serum. The biosensor is a switchable, caged luciferase-receptor-binding domain (RBD) construct that detects serum-antibody interference with the binding of virus RBD to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) as a proxy for neutralization. Our coupling approach does not require target modification and can better distinguish sample-to-sample differences in analyte binding affinity and abundance than traditional competition-based assays.

6.
Tegally, Houriiyah, San, James, Cotten, Matthew, Tegomoh, Bryan, Mboowa, Gerald, Martin, Darren, Baxter, Cheryl, Moir, Monika, Lambisia, Arnold, Diallo, Amadou, Amoako, Daniel, Diagne, Moussa, Sisay, Abay, Zekri, Abdel-Rahman, Barakat, Abdelhamid, Gueye, Abdou Salam, Sangare, Abdoul, Ouedraogo, Abdoul-Salam, Sow, Abdourahmane, Musa, Abdualmoniem, Sesay, Abdul, Lagare, Adamou, Kemi, Adedotun-Sulaiman, Abar, Aden Elmi, Johnson, Adeniji, Fowotade, Adeola, Olubusuyi, Adewumi, Oluwapelumi, Adeyemi, Amuri, Adrienne, Juru, Agnes, Ramadan, Ahmad Mabrouk, Kandeil, Ahmed, Mostafa, Ahmed, Rebai, Ahmed, Sayed, Ahmed, Kazeem, Akano, Balde, Aladje, Christoffels, Alan, Trotter, Alexander, Campbell, Allan, Keita, Alpha Kabinet, Kone, Amadou, Bouzid, Amal, Souissi, Amal, Agweyu, Ambrose, Gutierrez, Ana, Page, Andrew, Yadouleton, Anges, Vinze, Anika, Happi, Anise, Chouikha, Anissa, Iranzadeh, Arash, Maharaj, Arisha, Batchi-Bouyou, Armel Landry, Ismail, Arshad, Sylverken, Augustina, Goba, Augustine, Femi, Ayoade, Sijuwola, Ayotunde Elijah, Ibrahimi, Azeddine, Marycelin, Baba, Salako, Babatunde Lawal, Oderinde, Bamidele, Bolajoko, Bankole, Dhaala, Beatrice, Herring, Belinda, Tsofa, Benjamin, Mvula, Bernard, Njanpop-Lafourcade, Berthe-Marie, Marondera, Blessing, Khaireh, Bouh Abdi, Kouriba, Bourema, Adu, Bright, Pool, Brigitte, McInnis, Bronwyn, Brook, Cara, Williamson, Carolyn, Anscombe, Catherine, Pratt, Catherine, Scheepers, Cathrine, Akoua-Koffi, Chantal, Agoti, Charles, Loucoubar, Cheikh, Onwuamah, Chika Kingsley, Ihekweazu, Chikwe, Malaka, Christian Noël, Peyrefitte, Christophe, Omoruyi, Chukwuma Ewean, Rafaï, Clotaire Donatien, Morang’a, Collins, Nokes, James, Lule, Daniel Bugembe, Bridges, Daniel, Mukadi-Bamuleka, Daniel, Park, Danny, Baker, David, Doolabh, Deelan, Ssemwanga, Deogratius, Tshiabuila, Derek, Bassirou, Diarra, Amuzu, Dominic S. Y.; Goedhals, Dominique, Grant, Donald, Omuoyo, Donwilliams, Maruapula, Dorcas, Wanjohi, Dorcas Waruguru, Foster-Nyarko, Ebenezer, Lusamaki, Eddy, Simulundu, Edgar, Ong’era, Edidah, Ngabana, Edith, Abworo, Edward, Otieno, Edward, Shumba, Edwin, Barasa, Edwine, Ahmed, El Bara, Kampira, Elizabeth, Fahime, Elmostafa El, Lokilo, Emmanuel, Mukantwari, Enatha, Cyril, Erameh, Philomena, Eromon, Belarbi, Essia, Simon-Loriere, Etienne, Anoh, Etilé, Leendertz, Fabian, Taweh, Fahn, Wasfi, Fares, Abdelmoula, Fatma, Takawira, Faustinos, Derrar, Fawzi, Ajogbasile, Fehintola, Treurnicht, Florette, Onikepe, Folarin, Ntoumi, Francine, Muyembe, Francisca, Ngiambudulu, Francisco, Zongo Ragomzingba, Frank Edgard, Dratibi, Fred Athanasius, Iyanu, Fred-Akintunwa, Mbunsu, Gabriel, Thilliez, Gaetan, Kay, Gemma, Akpede, George, George, Uwem, van Zyl, Gert, Awandare, Gordon, Schubert, Grit, Maphalala, Gugu, Ranaivoson, Hafaliana, Lemriss, Hajar, Omunakwe, Hannah, Onywera, Harris, Abe, Haruka, Karray, Hela, Nansumba, Hellen, Triki, Henda, Adje Kadjo, Herve Albéric, Elgahzaly, Hesham, Gumbo, Hlanai, mathieu, Hota, Kavunga-Membo, Hugo, Smeti, Ibtihel, Olawoye, Idowu, Adetifa, Ifedayo, Odia, Ikponmwosa, Boubaker, Ilhem Boutiba-Ben, Ssewanyana, Isaac, Wurie, Isatta, Konstantinus, Iyaloo, Afiwa Halatoko, Jacqueline Wemboo, Ayei, James, Sonoo, Janaki, Lekana-Douki, Jean Bernard, Makangara, Jean-Claude, Tamfum, Jean-Jacques, Heraud, Jean-Michel, Shaffer, Jeffrey, Giandhari, Jennifer, Musyoki, Jennifer, Uwanibe, Jessica, Bhiman, Jinal, Yasuda, Jiro, Morais, Joana, Mends, Joana, Kiconco, Jocelyn, Sandi, John Demby, Huddleston, John, Odoom, John Kofi, Morobe, John, Gyapong, John, Kayiwa, John, Okolie, Johnson, Xavier, Joicymara Santos, Gyamfi, Jones, Kofi Bonney, Joseph Humphrey, Nyandwi, Joseph, Everatt, Josie, Farah, Jouali, Nakaseegu, Joweria, Ngoi, Joyce, Namulondo, Joyce, Oguzie, Judith, Andeko, Julia, Lutwama, Julius, O’Grady, Justin, Siddle, Katherine, Victoir, Kathleen, Adeyemi, Kayode, Tumedi, Kefentse, Carvalho, Kevin Sanders, Mohammed, Khadija Said, Musonda, Kunda, Duedu, Kwabena, Belyamani, Lahcen, Fki-Berrajah, Lamia, Singh, Lavanya, Biscornet, Leon, Le.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334191

ABSTRACT

Investment in Africa over the past year with regards to SARS-CoV-2 genotyping has led to a massive increase in the number of sequences, exceeding 100,000 genomes generated to track the pandemic on the continent. Our results show an increase in the number of African countries able to sequence within their own borders, coupled with a decrease in sequencing turnaround time. Findings from this genomic surveillance underscores the heterogeneous nature of the pandemic but we observe repeated dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 variants within the continent. Sustained investment for genomic surveillance in Africa is needed as the virus continues to evolve, particularly in the low vaccination landscape. These investments are very crucial for preparedness and response for future pathogen outbreaks. One-Sentence Summary Expanding Africa SARS-CoV-2 sequencing capacity in a fast evolving pandemic.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332884

ABSTRACT

Prolonged infections in immunocompromised individuals may be a source for novel SARS-CoV-2 variants, particularly when both the immune system and antiviral therapy fail to clear the infection, thereby promoting adaptation. Here we describe an approximately 16-month case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in an immunocompromised individual. Following monotherapy with the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, the individual's virus was resistant to this antibody via a globally unique Spike amino acid variant (E484T) that evolved from E484A earlier in infection. With the emergence and spread of the Omicron Variant of Concern, which also contains Spike E484A, E484T may arise again as an antibody-resistant derivative of E484A.

8.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(646): eabn1252, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784766

ABSTRACT

New variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to arise and prolong the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we used a cell-free expression workflow to rapidly screen and optimize constructs containing multiple computationally designed miniprotein inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. We found the broadest efficacy was achieved with a homotrimeric version of the 75-residue angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mimic AHB2 (TRI2-2) designed to geometrically match the trimeric spike architecture. Consistent with the design model, in the cryo-electron microscopy structure TRI2-2 forms a tripod at the apex of the spike protein that engaged all three receptor binding domains simultaneously. TRI2-2 neutralized Omicron (B.1.1.529), Delta (B.1.617.2), and all other variants tested with greater potency than the monoclonal antibodies used clinically for the treatment of COVID-19. TRI2-2 also conferred prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge when administered intranasally in mice. Designed miniprotein receptor mimics geometrically arrayed to match pathogen receptor binding sites could be a widely applicable antiviral therapeutic strategy with advantages over antibodies in greater resistance to viral escape and antigenic drift, and advantages over native receptor traps in lower chances of autoimmune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330333

ABSTRACT

Background Uncertainties remain about the benefit of a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine for people with attenuated response to earlier vaccines. This is of particular relevance for people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) treated with anti-CD20 therapies and fingolimod, who have substantially reduced antibody responses to initial vaccine course. Methods PwMS taking part in a seroprevalence study without a detectable IgG response following COVID-19 vaccines 1&2 were invited to participate. Participants provided a dried blood spot +/-venous blood sample 2-12 weeks following COVID-19 vaccine 3. Humoral and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid antigen were measured. The relationship between evidence of prior COVID-19 infection and immune response to COVID-19 vaccine 3 was evaluated using Fishers exact test. Results Of 81 participants, 79 provided a dried blood spot sample, of whom 38 also provided a whole blood sample;2 provided only whole blood. Anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike IgG seroconversion post-COVID-19 vaccine 3 occurred in 26/79 (33%) participants;26/40 (65%) had positive T-cell responses. Overall, 31/40 (78%) demonstrated either humoral or cellular immune response post-COVID-19 vaccine 3. There no association between laboratory evidence of prior COVID-19 infection and anti-spike seroconversion following COVID-19 vaccine 3. Conclusions Approximately one third of pwMS who were seronegative after initial COVID-19 vaccination seroconverted after booster (third) vaccination, supporting the use of boosters in this group. Almost 8 out of 10 had a measurable immune response following 3rd COVID-19 vaccine. Key messages What is already known The benefits of COVID vaccination are well described. It is unknown whether there is additional benefit afforded from a third COVID-19 vaccination in those people who have failed to mount a serological response to their initial vaccine course. What this study adds Approximately one third of people with MS in our study, all of whom had failed to response to initial vaccine course, developed anti-spike antibodies following a third COVID-19 vaccine. Two-thirds of participants had T cell response to vaccination. No people taking fingolimod appeared to mount a T cell response to vaccination. How this study might influence practice These findings highlight potential benefits of booster vaccinations to a substantial proportion of immunosuppressed people who have failed to respond to initial vaccination course. The clinical correlates of antibody and T-cell responses to COVID-19 remain uncertain but they are almost certainly associated with milder subsequent disease in the general population.

10.
Hum Antibodies ; 29(4): 255-262, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626159

ABSTRACT

Multiple sclerosis is the major demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Relapsing MS can be treated by a number of approved monoclonal antibodies that currently target: CD20, CD25 (withdrawn), CD49d and CD52. These all target potentially pathogenic memory B cell subsets and perhaps functionally inhibit pathogenic T cell function. These consist of chimeric, humanized and fully human antibodies. However, despite humanization it is evident that all of these monoclonal antibodies can induce binding and neutralizing antibodies ranging from < 1% to over 80% within a year of treatment. Importantly, it is evident that monitoring these allow prediction of future treatment-failure in some individuals and treatment cessation and switching therefore potentially limiting disease breakthrough and disability accumulation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to avoid hospitals, shortened infusion times and extended dose intervals have been implemented, importantly, subcutaneous delivery of alternative treatments or formulations have been developed to allow for home treatment. Therefore, hospital-based and remote monitoring of ADA could therefore be advantageous to optimize patient responses in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 2021 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621553

ABSTRACT

Although there is an ever-increasing number of disease-modifying treatments for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), few appear to influence COVID-19 severity. There is concern about the use of anti-CD20-depleting monoclonal antibodies, due to the apparent increased risk of severe disease following SARS-CoV-2 infection and inhibition of protective anti-COVID-19 vaccine responses. These antibodies are given as maintenance infusions/injections and cause persistent depletion of CD20+ B cells, notably memory B cell populations that may be instrumental in the control of relapsing MS. However, they also continuously deplete immature and mature/naïve B cells that form the precursors for infection-protective antibody responses, thus blunting vaccine responses. Seroconversion and maintained SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody levels provide protection from COVID-19. However, it is evident that poor-seroconversion occurs in the majority of individuals following initial and booster COVID-19 vaccinations, based on standard 6-monthly dosing intervals. Seroconversion may be optimized in the anti-CD20-treated population by vaccinating prior to treatment-onset or using extended/delayed interval dosing (3-6 month extension to dosing interval) in those established on therapy, with B cell monitoring until (1-3%) B cell repopulation occurs prior to vaccination. Some people will take more than a year to replete and therefore protection may depend on either the vaccine-induced T cell responses that typically occur or may require prophylactic, or rapid post-infection therapeutic, antibody or small molecule anti-viral treatment to optimise protection against COVID-19. Further studies are warranted to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of such approaches and whether or not immunity wanes prematurely as has been observed in the other populations.

12.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 57: 103448, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549997

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ocrelizumab maintains B-cell depletion via six-monthly dosing. Whilst this controls relapsing multiple sclerosis, it also inhibits seroconversion following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination unlike that seen following alemtuzumab and cladribine treatment. Emerging reports suggest that 1-3% B-cell repopulation facilitates seroconversion after CD20-depletion. OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of B-cell repopulation levels during and after ocrelizumab treatment. METHODS: Relapse data, lymphocyte and CD19 B-cell numbers were obtained following requests to clinical trial data-repositories. Information was extracted from the phase II ocrelizumab extension (NCT00676715) trial and the phase III cladribine tablet (NCT00213135) and alemtuzumab (NCT00530348/NCT00548405) trials obtained clinical trial data requests RESULTS: Only 3-5% of people with MS exhibit 1% B-cells at 6 months after the last infusion following 3-4 cycles of ocrelizumab, compared to 50-55% at 9 months, and 85-90% at 12 months. During this time relapses occurred at consistent disease-breakthrough rates compared to people during standard therapy. In contrast most people (90-100%) exhibited more than 1% B-cells during treatment with either cladribine or alemtuzumab. CONCLUSIONS: Most people demonstrate B cell repletion within 3 months of the last treatment of alemtuzumab and cladribine. However, few people repopulate peripheral B-cells with standard ocrelizumab dosing. Controlled studies are warranted to examine a view that delaying the dosing interval by 3-6 months may allow more people to potentially seroconvert after vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting , Multiple Sclerosis , Alemtuzumab/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cladribine , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
13.
Microb Genom ; 7(11)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541626

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to expand globally, with case numbers rising in many areas of the world, including the Indian sub-continent. Pakistan has one of the world's largest populations, of over 200 million people and is experiencing a severe third wave of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 that began in March 2021. In Pakistan, during the third wave until now only 12 SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been collected and among these nine are from Islamabad. This highlights the need for more genome sequencing to allow surveillance of variants in circulation. In fact, more genomes are available among travellers with a travel history from Pakistan, than from within the country itself. We thus aimed to provide a snapshot assessment of circulating lineages in Lahore and surrounding areas with a combined population of 11.1 million. Within a week of April 2021, 102 samples were sequenced. The samples were randomly collected from two hospitals with a diagnostic PCR cutoff value of less than 25 cycles. Analysis of the lineages shows that the Alpha variant of concern (first identified in the UK) dominates, accounting for 97.9 % (97/99) of cases, with the Beta variant of concern (first identified in South Africa) accounting for 2.0 % (2/99) of cases. No other lineages were observed. In depth analysis of the Alpha lineages indicated multiple separate introductions and subsequent establishment within the region. Eight samples were identical to genomes observed in Europe (seven UK, one Switzerland), indicating recent transmission. Genomes of other samples show evidence that these have evolved, indicating sustained transmission over a period of time either within Pakistan or other countries with low-density genome sequencing. Vaccines remain effective against Alpha, however, the low level of Beta against which some vaccines are less effective demonstrates the requirement for continued prospective genomic surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Young Adult
14.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292754

ABSTRACT

We used two approaches to design proteins with shape and chemical complementarity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein near the binding site for the human ACE2 receptor. Scaffolds were built around an ACE2 helix that interacts with the RBD, or de novo designed scaffolds were docked against the RBD to identify new binding modes. In both cases, designed sequences were optimized first in silico and then experimentally for target binding, folding and stability. Nine designs bound the RBD with affinities ranging from 100pM to 10nM, and blocked bona fide SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero E6 cells with IC (50) values ranging from 35 pM to 35 nM;the most potent of these - 56 and 64 residue hyperstable proteins made using the second approach - are roughly six times more potent on a per mass basis (IC (50) ~ 0.23 ng/ml) than the best monoclonal antibodies reported thus far. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the SARS-CoV-2 spike ectodomain trimer in complex with the two most potent minibinders show that the structures of the designs and their binding interactions with the RBD are nearly identical to the computational models, and that all three RBDs in a single Spike protein can be engaged simultaneously. These hyperstable minibinders provide promising starting points for new SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics, and illustrate the power of computational protein design for rapidly generating potential therapeutic candidates against pandemic threats.

15.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750514

ABSTRACT

Evidence-based public health approaches that minimize the introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters are urgently needed in the United States and other countries struggling with expanding epidemics. Here we analyze 247 full-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences from two nearby communities in Wisconsin, USA, and find surprisingly distinct patterns of viral spread. Dane County had the 12th known introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, but this did not lead to descendant community spread. Instead, the Dane County outbreak was seeded by multiple later introductions, followed by limited community spread. In contrast, relatively few introductions in Milwaukee County led to extensive community spread. We present evidence for reduced viral spread in both counties, and limited viral transmission between counties, following the statewide Safer-at-Home public health order, which went into effect 25 March 2020. Our results suggest that early containment efforts suppressed the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within Wisconsin.

16.
Ann Neurol ; 91(1): 89-100, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479378

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of disease modifying therapies on immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: Four hundred seventy-three people with MS provided one or more dried blood spot samples. Information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and vaccine history, medical, and drug history were extracted from questionnaires and medical records. Dried blood spots were eluted and tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Antibody titers were partitioned into tertiles with people on no disease modifying therapy as a reference. We calculated the odds ratio of seroconversion (univariate logistic regression) and compared quantitative vaccine response (Kruskal Wallis) following the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine according to disease modifying therapy. We used regression modeling to explore the effect of vaccine timing, treatment duration, age, vaccine type, and lymphocyte count on vaccine response. RESULTS: Compared to no disease modifying therapy, the use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (odds ratio = 0.03, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.01-0.06, p < 0.001) and fingolimod (odds ratio = 0.04; 95% CI = 0.01-0.12) were associated with lower seroconversion following the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. All other drugs did not differ significantly from the untreated cohort. Both time since last anti-CD20 treatment and total time on treatment were significantly associated with the response to the vaccination. The vaccine type significantly predicted seroconversion, but not in those on anti-CD20 medications. Preliminary data on cellular T-cell immunity showed 40% of seronegative subjects had measurable anti-SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses. INTERPRETATION: Some disease modifying therapies convey risk of attenuated serological response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in people with MS. We provide recommendations for the practical management of this patient group. ANN NEUROL 20219999:n/a-n/a.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Seroconversion/drug effects , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/drug effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
17.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(12): e1658-e1666, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Advances in SARS-CoV-2 sequencing have enabled identification of new variants, tracking of its evolution, and monitoring of its spread. We aimed to use whole genome sequencing to describe the molecular epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and to inform the implementation of effective public health interventions for control in Zimbabwe. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of nasopharyngeal samples collected from nine laboratories in Zimbabwe between March 20 and Oct 16, 2020. Samples were taken as a result of quarantine procedures for international arrivals or to test for infection in people who were symptomatic or close contacts of positive cases. Samples that had a cycle threshold of less than 30 in the diagnostic PCR test were processed for sequencing. We began our analysis in July, 2020 (120 days since the first case), with a follow-up in October, 2020 (at 210 days since the first case). The phylogenetic relationship of the genome sequences within Zimbabwe and global samples was established using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. FINDINGS: Of 92 299 nasopharyngeal samples collected during the study period, 8099 were PCR-positive and 328 were available for sequencing, with 156 passing sequence quality control. 83 (53%) of 156 were from female participants. At least 26 independent introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Zimbabwe in the first 210 days were associated with 12 global lineages. 151 (97%) of 156 had the Asp614Gly mutation in the spike protein. Most cases, 93 (60%), were imported from outside Zimbabwe. Community transmission was reported 6 days after the onset of the outbreak. INTERPRETATION: Initial public health interventions delayed onset of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission after the introduction of the virus from international and regional migration in Zimbabwe. Global whole genome sequence data are essential to reveal major routes of spread and guide intervention strategies. FUNDING: WHO, Africa CDC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and Genome Research Limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , Genome, Viral , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Travel-Related Illness , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(6): e1329-e1336, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411883

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at increased risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We posit that current infection control guidelines generally protect HCP from SARS-CoV-2 infection in a healthcare setting. METHODS: In this retrospective case series, we used viral genomics to investigate the likely source of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCP at a major academic medical institution in the Upper Midwest of the United States between 25 March and 27 December 2020. We obtained limited epidemiological data through informal interviews and review of the electronic health record and combined this information with healthcare-associated viral sequences and viral sequences collected in the broader community to infer the most likely source of infection in HCP. RESULTS: We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection clusters involving 95 HCP and 137 possible patient contact sequences. The majority of HCP infections could not be linked to a patient or coworker (55 of 95 [57.9%]) and were genetically similar to viruses circulating concurrently in the community. We found that 10.5% of HCP infections (10 of 95) could be traced to a coworker. Strikingly, only 4.2% (4 of 95) could be traced to a patient source. CONCLUSIONS: Infections among HCP add further strain to the healthcare system and put patients, HCP, and communities at risk. We found no evidence for healthcare-associated transmission in the majority of HCP infections evaluated. Although we cannot rule out the possibility of cryptic healthcare-associated transmission, it appears that HCP most commonly become infected with SARS-CoV-2 via community exposure. This emphasizes the ongoing importance of mask wearing, physical distancing, robust testing programs, and rapid distribution of vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
20.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(8): e1009849, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369568

ABSTRACT

The emergence of divergent SARS-CoV-2 lineages has raised concern that novel variants eliciting immune escape or the ability to displace circulating lineages could emerge within individual hosts. Though growing evidence suggests that novel variants arise during prolonged infections, most infections are acute. Understanding how efficiently variants emerge and transmit among acutely-infected hosts is therefore critical for predicting the pace of long-term SARS-CoV-2 evolution. To characterize how within-host diversity is generated and propagated, we combine extensive laboratory and bioinformatic controls with metrics of within- and between-host diversity to 133 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from acutely-infected individuals. We find that within-host diversity is low and transmission bottlenecks are narrow, with very few viruses founding most infections. Within-host variants are rarely transmitted, even among individuals within the same household, and are rarely detected along phylogenetically linked infections in the broader community. These findings suggest that most variation generated within-host is lost during transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Acute Disease , COVID-19/transmission , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Time Factors
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