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Front Public Health ; 10: 818545, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731870


We report here a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kozhikode district of Kerala state, India, which had caused fatal encephalitis in a 12-year-old boy and the outbreak response, which led to the successful containment of the disease and the related investigations. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, ELISA-based antibody detection, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were performed to confirm the NiV infection. Contacts of the index case were traced and isolated based on risk categorization. Bats from the areas near the epicenter of the outbreak were sampled for throat swabs, rectal swabs, and blood samples for NiV screening by real-time RT-PCR and anti-NiV bat immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA. A plaque reduction neutralization test was performed for the detection of neutralizing antibodies. Nipah viral RNA could be detected from blood, bronchial wash, endotracheal (ET) secretion, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and anti-NiV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies from the serum sample of the index case. Rapid establishment of an onsite NiV diagnostic facility and contact tracing helped in quick containment of the outbreak. NiV sequences retrieved from the clinical specimen of the index case formed a sub-cluster with the earlier reported Nipah I genotype sequences from India with more than 95% similarity. Anti-NiV IgG positivity could be detected in 21% of Pteropus medius (P. medius) and 37.73% of Rousettus leschenaultia (R. leschenaultia). Neutralizing antibodies against NiV could be detected in P. medius. Stringent surveillance and awareness campaigns need to be implemented in the area to reduce human-bat interactions and minimize spillover events, which can lead to sporadic outbreaks of NiV.

COVID-19 , Nipah Virus , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Male , Nipah Virus/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
J Infect Public Health ; 15(2): 164-171, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587224


BACKGROUND: Considering the potential threat from emerging Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the rising COVID-19 cases, SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance is ongoing in India. We report herewith the isolation of the P.2 variant (B. from international travelers and further its pathogenicity evaluation and comparison with D614G variant (B.1) in hamster model. METHODS: Virus isolation was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterization by next generation sequencing. The pathogenicity and host immune response of the isolate was assessed in Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant. RESULTS: B. variant was isolated from nasal/throat swabs of international travelers returned to India from United Kingdom and Brazil. The B. variant induced body weight loss, viral replication in the respiratory tract and caused severe lung pathology in infected Syrian hamster model in comparison, with B.1 variant infected hamsters. The sera from B. infected hamsters efficiently neutralized the D614G variant virus whereas 6-fold reduction in the neutralization was seen in case of D614G variant infected hamsters' sera with the B. variant. CONCLUSIONS: B. lineage variant could be successfully isolated and characterization could be performed. Pathogenicity of the isolate was demonstrated in Syrian hamster model and the findings of neutralization reduction is of great concern and point towards the need for screening the vaccines for efficacy.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung , Virulence
Pathogens ; 10(12)2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554938


The emergence of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) has been a global concern. The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS CoV-2 is reported to cause higher transmission. The study investigates the replication cycle and transcriptional pattern of the B.1.1.7 to hypothesis the possible role of different genes in viral replication. It was observed that the B.1.1.7 variant required a longer maturation time. The transcriptional response demonstrated higher expression of ORF6 and ORF8 compared to nucleocapsid transcript till the eclipse period which might influence higher viral replication. The number of infectious viruses titer is higher in the B.1.1.7, despite a lesser copy number than B.1, indicating higher transmissibility. The experimental evidence published linked ORF6 and ORF8 to play important role in replication and we also observed their higher expression. This leads us to hypothesis the possible role of ORF6 and ORF8 in B.1.1.7 higher replication which causes higher transmission.