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1.
Genome Med ; 14(1): 90, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993379

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genomic surveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the only approach to rapidly monitor and tackle emerging variants of concern (VOC) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such scrutiny is crucial to limit the spread of VOC that might escape the immune protection conferred by vaccination strategies or previous virus exposure. It is also becoming clear now that efficient genomic surveillance would require monitoring of the host gene expression to identify prognostic biomarkers of treatment efficacy and disease progression. Here we propose an integrative workflow to both generate thousands of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences per week and analyze host gene expression upon infection. METHODS: In this study we applied an integrated workflow for RNA extracted from nasal swabs to obtain in parallel the full genome of SARS-CoV-2 and transcriptome of host respiratory epithelium. The RNA extracted from each sample was reverse transcribed and the viral genome was specifically enriched through an amplicon-based approach. The very same RNA was then used for patient transcriptome analysis. Samples were collected in the Campania region, Italy, for viral genome sequencing. Patient transcriptome analysis was performed on about 700 samples divided into two cohorts of patients, depending on the viral variant detected (B.1 or delta). RESULTS: We sequenced over 20,000 viral genomes since the beginning of the pandemic, producing the highest number of sequences in Italy. We thus reconstructed the pandemic dynamics in the regional territory from March 2020 to December 2021. In addition, we have matured and applied novel proof-of-principle approaches to prioritize possible gain-of-function mutations by leveraging patients' metadata and isolated patient-specific signatures of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This allowed us to (i) identify three new viral variants that specifically originated in the Campania region, (ii) map SARS-CoV-2 intrahost variability during long-term infections and in one case identify an increase in the number of mutations in the viral genome, and (iii) identify host gene expression signatures correlated with viral load in upper respiratory ways. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we have successfully generated an optimized and cost-effective strategy to monitor SARS-CoV-2 genetic variability, without the need of automation. Thus, our approach is suitable for any lab with a benchtop sequencer and a limited budget, allowing an integrated genomic surveillance on premises. Finally, we have also identified a gene expression signature defining SARS-CoV-2 infection in real-world patients' upper respiratory ways.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , RNA , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanita ; 58(2):81-84, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1904403

ABSTRACT

Besides the timely detection of different SARS-CoV-2 variants through surveillance systems, functional and modelling studies are essential to better inform public health response and preparedness. Here, an overview on the knowledge available so far on SARS-CoV-2 variants are discussed by different expertises.

3.
Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 58(2): 81-84, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903735

ABSTRACT

Besides the timely detection of different SARS-CoV-2 variants through surveillance systems, functional and modelling studies are essential to better inform public health response and preparedness. Here, the knowledge available so far on SARS-CoV-2 variants is discussed from different perspectives, in order to highlight the relevance of a multidisciplinary approach in countering the threat posed by this insidious virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6610, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521737

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 typically manifests as a respiratory illness, but several clinical reports have described gastrointestinal symptoms. This is particularly true in children in whom gastrointestinal symptoms are frequent and viral shedding outlasts viral clearance from the respiratory system. These observations raise the question of whether the virus can replicate within the stomach. Here we generate gastric organoids from fetal, pediatric, and adult biopsies as in vitro models of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To facilitate infection, we induce reverse polarity in the gastric organoids. We find that the pediatric and late fetal gastric organoids are susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, while viral replication is significantly lower in undifferentiated organoids of early fetal and adult origin. We demonstrate that adult gastric organoids are more susceptible to infection following differentiation. We perform transcriptomic analysis to reveal a moderate innate antiviral response and a lack of differentially expressed genes belonging to the interferon family. Collectively, we show that the virus can efficiently infect the gastric epithelium, suggesting that the stomach might have an active role in fecal-oral SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stomach/virology , Virus Replication/physiology , Aborted Fetus , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Child , Child, Preschool , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Infant , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Middle Aged , Organoids/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stomach/pathology
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