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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3921, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921607

ABSTRACT

Due to differences in human and murine angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, initially available SARS-CoV-2 isolates could not infect mice. Here we show that serial passaging of USA-WA1/2020 strain in mouse lungs results in "mouse-adapted" SARS-CoV-2 (MA-SARS-CoV-2) with mutations in S, M, and N genes, and a twelve-nucleotide insertion in the S gene. MA-SARS-CoV-2 infection causes mild disease, with more pronounced morbidity depending on genetic background and in aged and obese mice. Two mutations in the S gene associated with mouse adaptation (N501Y, H655Y) are present in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs). N501Y in the receptor binding domain of viruses of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.1.529 lineages (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Omicron variants) is associated with high transmissibility and allows VoCs to infect wild type mice. We further show that S protein mutations of MA-SARS-CoV-2 do not affect neutralization efficiency by human convalescent and post vaccination sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Sera , Mice , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(3): 373-387.e7, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767977

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 lineages have diverged into highly prevalent variants termed "variants of concern" (VOCs). Here, we characterized emerging SARS-CoV-2 spike polymorphisms in vitro and in vivo to understand their impact on transmissibility and virus pathogenicity and fitness. We demonstrate that the substitution S:655Y, represented in the gamma and omicron VOCs, enhances viral replication and spike protein cleavage. The S:655Y substitution was transmitted more efficiently than its ancestor S:655H in the hamster infection model and was able to outcompete S:655H in the hamster model and in a human primary airway system. Finally, we analyzed a set of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to investigate how different sets of mutations may impact spike processing. All VOCs tested exhibited increased spike cleavage and fusogenic capacity. Taken together, our study demonstrates that the spike mutations present in VOCs that become epidemiologically prevalent in humans are linked to an increase in spike processing and virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 662-675, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665836

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for a global pandemic that has had significant impacts on human health and economies worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible and the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 in humans. A wide range of animal species have also been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 by experimental and/or natural infections. Sheep are a commonly farmed domestic ruminant that have not been thoroughly investigated for their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, we performed in vitro and in vivo studies which consisted of infection of ruminant-derived cells and experimental challenge of sheep to investigate their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Our results showed that sheep-derived kidney cells support SARS-CoV-2 replication. Furthermore, the experimental challenge of sheep demonstrated limited infection with viral RNA shed in nasal and oral swabs at 1 and 3-days post challenge (DPC); viral RNA was also detected in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues at 4 and 8 DPC. Sero-reactivity was observed in some of the principal infected sheep but not the contact sentinels, indicating that transmission to co-mingled naïve sheep was not highly efficient; however, viral RNA was detected in respiratory tract tissues of sentinel animals at 21 DPC. Furthermore, we used a challenge inoculum consisting of a mixture of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A and the B.1.1.7-like alpha variant of concern, to study competition of the two virus strains. Our results indicate that sheep show low susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and that the alpha variant outcompeted the lineage A strain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Sheep/virology , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Coinfection/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2
4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294511

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, a novel Betacoronavirus , was first reported circulating in human populations in December 2019 and has since become a global pandemic. Recent history involving SARS-like coronavirus outbreaks (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) have demonstrated the significant role of intermediate and reservoir hosts in viral maintenance and transmission cycles. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and experimental infections of a wide variety of animal species has been demonstrated, and in silico and in vitro studies have indicated that deer are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) are amongst the most abundant, densely populated, and geographically widespread wild ruminant species in the United States. Human interaction with white-tailed deer has resulted in the occurrence of disease in human populations in the past. Recently, white-tailed deer fawns were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we investigated the susceptibility and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in adult white-tailed deer. In addition, we examined the competition of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A (SARS-CoV-2/human/USA/WA1/2020) and the alpha variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (SARS-CoV-2/human/USA/CA_CDC_5574/2020), through co-infection of white-tailed deer. Next-generation sequencing was used to determine the presence and transmission of each strain in the co-infected and contact sentinel animals. Our results demonstrate that adult white-tailed deer are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can transmit the virus through direct contact as well as vertically from doe to fetus. Additionally, we determined that the alpha VOC B.1.1.7 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 outcompetes the ancestral lineage A isolate in white-tailed deer, as demonstrated by the genome of the virus shed from nasal and oral cavities from principal infected and contact animals, and from virus present in tissues of principal infected deer, fetuses and contact animals.

5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 95-112, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541489

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACTSARS-CoV-2 was first reported circulating in human populations in December 2019 and has since become a global pandemic. Recent history involving SARS-like coronavirus outbreaks have demonstrated the significant role of intermediate hosts in viral maintenance and transmission. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and experimental infections of a wide variety of animal species has been demonstrated, and in silico and in vitro studies have indicated that deer are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. White-tailed deer (WTD) are amongst the most abundant and geographically widespread wild ruminant species in the US. Recently, WTD fawns were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we investigated the susceptibility and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in adult WTD. In addition, we examined the competition of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A and the alpha variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 through co-infection of WTD. Next-generation sequencing was used to determine the presence and transmission of each strain in the co-infected and contact sentinel animals. Our results demonstrate that adult WTD are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can transmit the virus through direct contact as well as vertically from doe to fetus. Additionally, we determined that the alpha VOC B.1.1.7 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 outcompetes the ancestral lineage A isolate in WTD, as demonstrated by the genome of the virus shed from nasal and oral cavities from principal infected and contact animals, and from the genome of virus present in tissues of principal infected deer, fetuses and contact animals.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/epidemiology , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animal Diseases/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Deer , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Disease Susceptibility , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Organ Specificity , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Shedding
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292924

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for a global pandemic that has had significant impacts on human health and economies worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible and the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. A wide range of animal species have also been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection by experimental and/or natural infections. Domestic and large cats, mink, ferrets, hamsters, deer mice, white-tailed deer, and non-human primates have been shown to be highly susceptible, whereas other species such as mice, dogs, pigs, and cattle appear to be refractory to infection or have very limited susceptibility. Sheep (Ovis aries) are a commonly farmed domestic ruminant that have not previously been thoroughly investigated for their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, we performed in vitro and in vivo studies which consisted of infection of ruminant-derived cell cultures and experimental challenge of sheep to investigate their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Our results showed that sheep-derived cell cultures support SARS-CoV-2 replication. Furthermore, experimental challenge of sheep demonstrated limited infection with viral RNA shed in nasal and oral swabs primarily at 1-day post challenge (DPC), and also detected in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues at 4 and 8 DPC. Sero-reactivity was also observed in some of the principal infected sheep but not the contact sentinels, indicating that transmission to co-mingled naive sheep was not highly efficient;hovewer, viral RNA was detected in some of the respiratory tract tissues of sentinel animals at 21 DPC. Furthermore, we used challenge inoculum consisting of a mixture of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A and the B.1.1.7-like alpha variant of concern (VOC), to study competition of the two virus strains. Our results indicate that sheep show low susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the alpha VOC outcompeted the ancestral lineage A strain.

7.
Parasit Vectors ; 14(1): 214, 2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195926

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recently emerged coronavirus that is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 in humans is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that range from asymptomatic to mild or severe illness including death. SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and is transmitted via the oral-nasal route through droplets and aerosols, or through contact with contaminated fomites. House flies are known to transmit bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases to humans and animals as mechanical vectors. Previous studies have shown that house flies can mechanically transmit coronaviruses, such as turkey coronavirus; however, the house fly's role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has not yet been explored. The goal of this work was to investigate the potential of house flies to mechanically transmit SARS-CoV-2. For this purpose, it was determined whether house flies can acquire SARS-CoV-2, harbor live virus and mechanically transmit the virus to naive substrates and surfaces. METHODS: Two independent studies were performed to address the study objectives. In the first study, house flies were tested for infectivity after exposure to SARS-CoV-2-spiked medium or milk. In the second study, environmental samples were tested for infectivity after contact with SARS-CoV-2-exposed flies. During both studies, samples were collected at various time points post-exposure and evaluated by SARS-CoV-2-specific RT-qPCR and virus isolation. RESULTS: All flies exposed to SARS-CoV-2-spiked media or milk substrates were positive for viral RNA at 4 h and 24 h post-exposure. Infectious virus was isolated only from the flies exposed to virus-spiked milk but not from those exposed to virus-spiked medium. Moreover, viral RNA was detected in environmental samples after contact with SARS-CoV-2 exposed flies, although no infectious virus was recovered from these samples. CONCLUSIONS: Under laboratory conditions, house flies acquired and harbored infectious SARS-CoV-2 for up to 24 h post-exposure. In addition, house flies were able to mechanically transmit SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA to the surrounding environment up to 24 h post-exposure. Further studies are warranted to determine if house fly transmission occurs naturally and the potential public health implications of such events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Houseflies/virology , Insect Vectors/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Vero Cells
8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 638-650, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127285

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19 and responsible for the current global pandemic. We and others have previously demonstrated that cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can efficiently transmit the virus to naïve cats. Here, we address whether cats previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2 can be re-infected with SARS-CoV-2. In two independent studies, SARS-CoV-2-infected cats were re-challenged with SARS-CoV-2 at 21 days post primary challenge (DPC) and necropsies performed at 4, 7 and 14 days post-secondary challenge (DP2C). Sentinels were co-mingled with the re-challenged cats at 1 DP2C. Clinical signs were recorded, and nasal, oropharyngeal, and rectal swabs, blood, and serum were collected and tissues examined for histologic lesions. Viral RNA was transiently shed via the nasal, oropharyngeal and rectal cavities of the re-challenged cats. Viral RNA was detected in various tissues of re-challenged cats euthanized at 4 DP2C, mainly in the upper respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues, but less frequently and at lower levels in the lower respiratory tract when compared to primary SARS-CoV-2 challenged cats at 4 DPC. Viral RNA and antigen detected in the respiratory tract of the primary SARS-CoV-2 infected cats at early DPCs were absent in the re-challenged cats. Naïve sentinels co-housed with the re-challenged cats did not shed virus or seroconvert. Together, our results indicate that cats previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 can be experimentally re-infected with SARS-CoV-2; however, the levels of virus shed was insufficient for transmission to co-housed naïve sentinels. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats induces immune responses that provide partial, non-sterilizing immune protection against re-infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Susceptibility/immunology , Reinfection/veterinary , Virus Shedding , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/veterinary , Cats , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Load
9.
J Med Entomol ; 58(4): 1948-1951, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123316

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a recently emerged, highly contagious virus and the cause of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is a zoonotic virus, although its animal origin is not clear yet. Person-to-person transmission occurs by inhalation of infected droplets and aerosols, or by direct contact with contaminated fomites. Arthropods transmit numerous viral, parasitic, and bacterial diseases; however, the potential role of arthropods in SARS-CoV-2 transmission is not fully understood. Thus far, a few studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 replication is not supported in cells from certain insect species nor in certain species of mosquitoes after intrathoracic inoculation. In this study, we expanded the work of SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility to biting insects after ingesting a SARS-CoV-2-infected bloodmeal. Species tested included Culicoides sonorensis (Wirth & Jones) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges, as well as Culex tarsalis (Coquillett) and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), all known biological vectors for numerous RNA viruses. Arthropods were allowed to feed on SARS-CoV-2-spiked blood and at a time point postinfection analyzed for the presence of viral RNA and infectious virus. Additionally, cell lines derived from C. sonorensis (W8a), Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Culicidae) (C6/36), Cx. quinquefasciatus (HSU), and Cx. tarsalis (CxTrR2) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility. Our results indicate that none of the biting insects, nor the insect cell lines evaluated support SARS-CoV-2 replication, suggesting that these species are unable to be biological vectors of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Ceratopogonidae/virology , Culicidae/virology , Mosquito Vectors/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions
10.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2322-2332, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-838603

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and responsible for the current pandemic. Recent SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility studies in cats show that the virus can replicate in these companion animals and transmit to other cats. Here, we present an in-depth study of SARS-CoV-2 infection, disease and transmission in domestic cats. Cats were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 via intranasal and oral routes. One day post challenge (DPC), two sentinel cats were introduced. Animals were monitored for clinical signs, clinicopathological abnormalities and viral shedding. Postmortem examinations were performed at 4, 7 and 21 DPC. Viral RNA was not detected in blood but transiently in nasal, oropharyngeal and rectal swabs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid as well as various tissues. Tracheobronchoadenitis of submucosal glands with the presence of viral RNA and antigen was observed in airways of the infected cats. Serology showed that both, principals and sentinels, developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. All animals were clinically asymptomatic during the course of the study and capable of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to sentinels. The results of this study are critical for understanding the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 in a naturally susceptible host species, and for risk assessment.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Cat Diseases/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Disease Susceptibility , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , COVID-19 , Cat Diseases/pathology , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
11.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2278-2288, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-811383

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in an ongoing global pandemic with significant morbidity, mortality, and economic consequences. The susceptibility of different animal species to SARS-CoV-2 is of concern due to the potential for interspecies transmission, and the requirement for pre-clinical animal models to develop effective countermeasures. In the current study, we determined the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to (i) replicate in porcine cell lines, (ii) establish infection in domestic pigs via experimental oral/intranasal/intratracheal inoculation, and (iii) transmit to co-housed naïve sentinel pigs. SARS-CoV-2 was able to replicate in two different porcine cell lines with cytopathic effects. Interestingly, none of the SARS-CoV-2-inoculated pigs showed evidence of clinical signs, viral replication or SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses. Moreover, none of the sentinel pigs displayed markers of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data indicate that although different porcine cell lines are permissive to SARS-CoV-2, five-week old pigs are not susceptible to infection via oral/intranasal/intratracheal challenge. Pigs are therefore unlikely to be significant carriers of SARS-CoV-2 and are not a suitable pre-clinical animal model to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis or efficacy of respective vaccines or therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Swine Diseases/virology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Reservoirs , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , RNA, Viral/blood , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2 , Swine , Swine Diseases/immunology , Swine Diseases/pathology , Swine Diseases/transmission , Virus Cultivation , Virus Replication , Whole Exome Sequencing
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