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Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0079221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526452


A wastewater surveillance program targeting a university residence hall was implemented during the spring semester 2021 as a proactive measure to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. Over a period of 7 weeks from early February through late March 2021, wastewater originating from the residence hall was collected as grab samples 3 times per week. During this time, there was no detection of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in the residence hall wastewater stream. Aiming to obtain a sample more representative of the residence hall community, a decision was made to use passive samplers beginning in late March onwards. Adopting a Moore swab approach, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in wastewater samples just 2 days after passive samplers were deployed. These samples also tested positive for the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant of concern (VOC) using RT-qPCR. The positive result triggered a public health case-finding response, including a mobile testing unit deployed to the residence hall the following day, with testing of nearly 200 students and staff, which identified two laboratory-confirmed cases of Alpha variant COVID-19. These individuals were relocated to a separate quarantine facility, averting an outbreak on campus. Aggregating wastewater and clinical data, the campus wastewater surveillance program has yielded the first estimates of fecal shedding rates of the Alpha VOC of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals from a nonclinical setting. IMPORTANCE Among early adopters of wastewater monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 have been colleges and universities throughout North America, many of whom are using this approach to monitor congregate living facilities for early evidence of COVID-19 infection as an integral component of campus screening programs. Yet, while there have been numerous examples where wastewater monitoring on a university campus has detected evidence for infection among community members, there are few examples where this monitoring triggered a public health response that may have averted an actual outbreak. This report details a wastewater-testing program targeting a residence hall on a university campus during spring 2021, when there was mounting concern globally over the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, reported to be more transmissible than the wild-type Wuhan strain. In this communication, we present a clear example of how wastewater monitoring resulted in actionable responses by university administration and public health, which averted an outbreak of COVID-19 on a university campus.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Universities , Waste Water/virology , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mass Screening , Ontario , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; : 1-11, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510746


Pathogenic RNA viruses are emerging as one of the major threats and posing challenges to human community. RNA viruses have an exceptionally shorter generation time and easy to adapt in host cells. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2, a long RNA virus, has shown us how difficult it is to overcome this kind of pandemic without understanding the viral infection and replication mechanisms. It is essential to comprehend replications of the viral genome, including RNA polymerization and the final capping process. The mRNAs of SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses are protected at their 5'-ends by cap structure. The cap-like system plays a significant role in viral translational process, viral RNA stability, and scatting in detecting innate immune recognition in host cells. Two coronavirus enzymes, Nsp14 and Nsp16, critically help in the formation of capping and are considered as potential drug targets for antiviral therapy. Natural and herbal medicines have a past record of treating various acute respiratory diseases. In this work, we have exploited 56000 natural compounds to screen potential inhibitors against NSP16. In silico virtual screening, docking and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation studies were performed to understand how these potential inhibitors are bound to NSP16. We observed that the most highly screened compound binds to protein molecules with a high dock score, primarily through hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding, as previously reported for NSP16. Compound-13 (2-hydroxy-N-({1-[2-hydroxy-1-(hydroxymethyl)ethyl]piperidin-3-yl}methyl)-5-methylbenzamide) and compound-51 (N-(2-isobutoxybenzyl)-N,2-dimethyl-2,8-diazaspiro[4.5]decane-3-carboxamide) occupied in active site along with good pharmokinetices properties. In conclusion, the selected compounds could be used as a novel therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.