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Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430978


Genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is crucial and mainly achieved by amplicon sequencing protocols. Overlapping tiled-amplicons are generated to establish contiguous SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, which enable the precise resolution of infection chains and outbreaks. We investigated a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a local hospital and used nanopore sequencing with a modified ARTIC protocol employing 1200 bp long amplicons. We detected a long deletion of 168 nucleotides in the ORF8 gene in 76 samples from the hospital outbreak. This deletion is difficult to identify with the classical amplicon sequencing procedures since it removes two amplicon primer-binding sites. We analyzed public SARS-CoV-2 sequences and sequencing read data from ENA and identified the same deletion in over 100 genomes belonging to different lineages of SARS-CoV-2, pointing to a mutation hotspot or to positive selection. In almost all cases, the deletion was not represented in the virus genome sequence after consensus building. Additionally, further database searches point to other deletions in the ORF8 coding region that have never been reported by the standard data analysis pipelines. These findings and the fact that ORF8 is especially prone to deletions, make a clear case for the urgent necessity of public availability of the raw data for this and other large deletions that might change the physiology of the virus towards endemism.

COVID-19/virology , Genes, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion , Genetic Variation , Humans , Nanopore Sequencing , Open Reading Frames , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Whole Genome Sequencing
Cell ; 182(6): 1419-1440.e23, 2020 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694631


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a mild to moderate respiratory tract infection, however, a subset of patients progress to severe disease and respiratory failure. The mechanism of protective immunity in mild forms and the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 associated with increased neutrophil counts and dysregulated immune responses remain unclear. In a dual-center, two-cohort study, we combined single-cell RNA-sequencing and single-cell proteomics of whole-blood and peripheral-blood mononuclear cells to determine changes in immune cell composition and activation in mild versus severe COVID-19 (242 samples from 109 individuals) over time. HLA-DRhiCD11chi inflammatory monocytes with an interferon-stimulated gene signature were elevated in mild COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 was marked by occurrence of neutrophil precursors, as evidence of emergency myelopoiesis, dysfunctional mature neutrophils, and HLA-DRlo monocytes. Our study provides detailed insights into the systemic immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and reveals profound alterations in the myeloid cell compartment associated with severe COVID-19.

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Myelopoiesis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , CD11 Antigens/genetics , CD11 Antigens/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/genetics , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid Cells/cytology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Proteome/genetics , Proteome/metabolism , Proteomics , Single-Cell Analysis