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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3840, 2022 Jul 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915272

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants raise questions about escape from previous immunity. As the population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has become more complex due to prior infections with different variants, vaccinations or the combination of both, understanding the antigenic relationship between variants is needed. Here, we have assessed neutralizing capacity of 120 blood specimens from convalescent individuals infected with ancestral SARS-CoV-2, Alpha, Beta, Gamma or Delta, double vaccinated individuals and patients after breakthrough infections with Delta or Omicron-BA.1. Neutralization against seven authentic SARS-CoV-2 isolates (B.1, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Zeta and Omicron-BA.1) determined by plaque-reduction neutralization assay allowed us to map the antigenic relationship of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Highest neutralization titers were observed against the homologous variant. Antigenic cartography identified Zeta and Omicron-BA.1 as separate antigenic clusters. Substantial immune escape in vaccinated individuals was detected for Omicron-BA.1 but not Zeta. Combined infection/vaccination derived immunity results in less Omicron-BA.1 immune escape. Last, breakthrough infections with Omicron-BA.1 lead to broadly neutralizing sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Vaccination
2.
J Clin Virol ; 152: 105191, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867336

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to develop a RT-PCR assay for the specific detection of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC) as a rapid alternative to sequencing. METHODS: A RT-PCR was designed in silico and then validated using characterised clinical samples containing Omicron (both BA.1 and BA.2 lineages) and the Omicron synthetic RNA genome. As negative controls, SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical samples collected in May 2020, and synthetic RNA genomes of the isolate Wuhan Hu-1 and of the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Kappa (B.1.617.1), Iota (B.1.526), Epsilon (B.1.429) and Delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 VOC were used. RESULTS: Experiments performed using as templates the synthetic RNA genomes demonstrate the high specificity of the PCR-method for the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron. Despite the synthetic RNAs were used at high copy numbers, specific signal was mainly detected with the Omicron synthetic genome. Only a non-specific late signal was detected using the Alpha variant genome, but these results were considered negligible as Alpha VOC has been replaced by the Delta and it is not circulating anymore in the world. Using our method, we confirmed the presence of Omicron on clinical samples containing this variant but not of other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. The method is highly sensitive and can detect up to 1 cp of the Omicron virus per µl. CONCLUSIONS: The method presented here, in combination with other methods in use for detection of SARS-CoV-2, can be used for an early identification of Omicron.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Nature ; 602(7896): 307-313, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585832

ABSTRACT

Emerging variants of concern (VOCs) are driving the COVID-19 pandemic1,2. Experimental assessments of replication and transmission of major VOCs and progenitors are needed to understand the mechanisms of replication and transmission of VOCs3. Here we show that the spike protein (S) from Alpha (also known as B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) VOCs had a greater affinity towards the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor than that of the progenitor variant S(D614G) in vitro. Progenitor variant virus expressing S(D614G) (wt-S614G) and the Alpha variant showed similar replication kinetics in human nasal airway epithelial cultures, whereas the Beta variant was outcompeted by both. In vivo, competition experiments showed a clear fitness advantage of Alpha over wt-S614G in ferrets and two mouse models-the substitutions in S were major drivers of the fitness advantage. In hamsters, which support high viral replication levels, Alpha and wt-S614G showed similar fitness. By contrast, Beta was outcompeted by Alpha and wt-S614G in hamsters and in mice expressing human ACE2. Our study highlights the importance of using multiple models to characterize fitness of VOCs and demonstrates that Alpha is adapted for replication in the upper respiratory tract and shows enhanced transmission in vivo in restrictive models, whereas Beta does not overcome Alpha or wt-S614G in naive animals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Animals, Laboratory/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Ferrets/virology , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virulence/genetics
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295344

ABSTRACT

We report a prospective epidemiological, virological and serological investigation of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a primary school, as part of a longitudinal, prospective, primary school-based surveillance study. It involved repeated testing of pupils and teachers and household members of participants who tested positive, with rapid antigen tests and/or RT-PCR (Day 0-2 and Day 5-7), serologies on dried capillary blood samples (Day 0-2 and Day 30), contact tracing interviews and SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing. This SARS-CoV-2 outbreak caused by the Alpha variant involved 20 children aged 4 to 6 years from 4 classes, 2 teachers and a total of 4 household members. Infection attack rates were between 11.8 and 62.0% among pupils from the 4 classes, 22.2% among teachers and 0% among non-teaching staff. Secondary attack rate among household members was 15.4%. Symptoms were reported by 63% of infected children, 100% of teachers and 50% of household members. All analysed sequences but one showed 100% identity. Serological tests detected 8 seroconversions unidentified by SARS-CoV-2 virological tests. This study confirmed child-to-child and child-to-adult transmission of the infection. Effective measures to limit transmission in schools have the potential to reduce the overall community circulation.

7.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 2021 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146230

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To report a case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection 6 months after the first infection in a young healthy female physician. Both episodes led to mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal specimens. Reinfection was confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Kinetics of total anti-S receptor binding domain immunoglobulins (Ig anti-S RBD), anti-nucleoprotein (anti-N) and neutralizing antibodies were determined in serial serum samples retrieved during both infection episodes. Memory B-cell responses were assessed at day 12 after reinfection. RESULTS: Whole-genome sequencing identified two different SARS-CoV-2 genomes both belonging to clade 20A, with only one nonsynonymous mutation in the spike protein and clustered with viruses circulating in Geneva (Switzerland) at the time of each of the corresponding episodes. Seroconversion was documented with low levels of total Ig anti-S RBD and anti-N antibodies at 1 month after the first infection, whereas neutralizing antibodies quickly declined after the first episode and then were boosted by the reinfection, with high titres detectable 4 days after symptom onset. A strong memory B-cell response was detected at day 12 after onset of symptoms during reinfection, indicating that the first episode elicited cellular memory responses. CONCLUSIONS: Rapid decline of neutralizing antibodies may put medical personnel at risk of reinfection, as shown in this case. However, reinfection leads to a significant boosting of previous immune responses. Larger cohorts of reinfected subjects with detailed descriptions of their immune responses are needed to define correlates of protection and their duration after infection.

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