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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14723, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317811

ABSTRACT

The source of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but the natural host of the progenitor sarbecovirus is thought to be Asian horseshoe (rhinolophid) bats. We identified and sequenced a novel sarbecovirus (RhGB01) from a British horseshoe bat, at the western extreme of the rhinolophid range. Our results extend both the geographic and species ranges of sarbecoviruses and suggest their presence throughout the horseshoe bat distribution. Within the spike protein receptor binding domain, but excluding the receptor binding motif, RhGB01 has a 77% (SARS-CoV-2) and 81% (SARS-CoV) amino acid homology. While apparently lacking hACE2 binding ability, and hence unlikely to be zoonotic without mutation, RhGB01 presents opportunity for SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecovirus homologous recombination. Our findings highlight that the natural distribution of sarbecoviruses and opportunities for recombination through intermediate host co-infection are underestimated. Preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to bats is critical with the current global mass vaccination campaign against this virus.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Chiroptera/virology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Europe , Genome, Viral , Metagenomics , Phylogeny , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
2.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(6)2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158099

ABSTRACT

LamPORE is a novel diagnostic platform for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA combining loop-mediated isothermal amplification with nanopore sequencing, which could potentially be used to analyze thousands of samples per day on a single instrument. We evaluated the performance of LamPORE against reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) using RNA extracted from spiked respiratory samples and stored nose and throat swabs collected at two UK hospitals. The limit of detection of LamPORE was 10 genome copies/µl of extracted RNA, which is above the limit achievable by RT-PCR, but was not associated with a significant reduction of sensitivity in clinical samples. Positive clinical specimens came mostly from patients with acute symptomatic infection, and among them, LamPORE had a diagnostic sensitivity of 99.1% (226/228; 95% confidence interval [CI], 96.9% to 99.9%). Among negative clinical specimens, including 153 with other respiratory pathogens detected, LamPORE had a diagnostic specificity of 99.6% (278/279; 98.0% to 100.0%). Overall, 1.4% (7/514; 0.5% to 2.9%) of samples produced an indeterminate result on first testing, and repeat LamPORE testing on the same RNA extract had a reproducibility of 96.8% (478/494; 94.8% to 98.1%). LamPORE has a similar performance as RT-PCR for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients and offers a promising approach to high-throughput testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanopore Sequencing , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 81, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007628

ABSTRACT

There is a vital need for authentic COVID-19 animal models to enable the pre-clinical evaluation of candidate vaccines and therapeutics. Here we report a dose titration study of SARS-CoV-2 in the ferret model. After a high (5 × 106 pfu) and medium (5 × 104 pfu) dose of virus is delivered, intranasally, viral RNA shedding in the upper respiratory tract (URT) is observed in 6/6 animals, however, only 1/6 ferrets show similar signs after low dose (5 × 102 pfu) challenge. Following sequential culls pathological signs of mild multifocal bronchopneumonia in approximately 5-15% of the lung is seen on day 3, in high and medium dosed groups. Ferrets re-challenged, after virus shedding ceased, are fully protected from acute lung pathology. The endpoints of URT viral RNA replication & distinct lung pathology are observed most consistently in the high dose group. This ferret model of SARS-CoV-2 infection presents a mild clinical disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Ferrets/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/immunology , Virus Shedding/drug effects , Virus Shedding/immunology
4.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-905965

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sequencing the viral genome as the outbreak progresses is important, particularly in the identification of emerging isolates with different pathogenic potential and to identify whether nucleotide changes in the genome will impair clinical diagnostic tools such as real-time PCR assays. Although single nucleotide polymorphisms and point mutations occur during the replication of coronaviruses, one of the biggest drivers in genetic change is recombination. This can manifest itself in insertions and/or deletions in the viral genome. Therefore, sequencing strategies that underpin molecular epidemiology and inform virus biology in patients should take these factors into account. A long amplicon/read length-based RT-PCR sequencing approach focused on the Oxford Nanopore MinION/GridION platforms was developed to identify and sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome in samples from patients with or suspected of COVID-19. The protocol, termed Rapid Sequencing Long Amplicons (RSLAs) used random primers to generate cDNA from RNA purified from a sample from a patient, followed by single or multiplex PCRs to generate longer amplicons of the viral genome. The base protocol was used to identify SARS-CoV-2 in a variety of clinical samples and proved sensitive in identifying viral RNA in samples from patients that had been declared negative using other nucleic acid-based assays (false negative). Sequencing the amplicons revealed that a number of patients had a proportion of viral genomes with deletions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , DNA, Complementary/analysis , DNA, Complementary/genetics , DNA, Viral/analysis , DNA, Viral/genetics , Genome, Viral , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis
5.
Viruses ; 12(10):1164, 2020.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-855539

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sequencing the viral genome as the outbreak progresses is important, particularly in the identification of emerging isolates with different pathogenic potential and to identify whether nucleotide changes in the genome will impair clinical diagnostic tools such as real-time PCR assays. Although single nucleotide polymorphisms and point mutations occur during the replication of coronaviruses, one of the biggest drivers in genetic change is recombination. This can manifest itself in insertions and/or deletions in the viral genome. Therefore, sequencing strategies that underpin molecular epidemiology and inform virus biology in patients should take these factors into account. A long amplicon/read length-based RT-PCR sequencing approach focused on the Oxford Nanopore MinION/GridION platforms was developed to identify and sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome in samples from patients with or suspected of COVID-19. The protocol, termed Rapid Sequencing Long Amplicons (RSLAs) used random primers to generate cDNA from RNA purified from a sample from a patient, followed by single or multiplex PCRs to generate longer amplicons of the viral genome. The base protocol was used to identify SARS-CoV-2 in a variety of clinical samples and proved sensitive in identifying viral RNA in samples from patients that had been declared negative using other nucleic acid-based assays (false negative). Sequencing the amplicons revealed that a number of patients had a proportion of viral genomes with deletions.

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