Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 29
Filter
1.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(2): e0018222, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752768

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 transcribes a set of subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) essential for the translation of structural and accessory proteins to sustain its life cycle. We applied RNA-seq on 375 respiratory samples from individual COVID-19 patients and revealed that the majority of the sgRNAs were canonical transcripts with N being the most abundant (36.2%), followed by S (11.6%), open reading frame 7a (ORF7a; 10.3%), M (8.4%), ORF3a (7.9%), ORF8 (6.0%), E (4.6%), ORF6 (2.5%), and ORF7b (0.3%); but ORF10 was not detected. The profile of most sgRNAs, except N, showed an independent association with viral load, time of specimen collection after onset, age of the patient, and S-614D/G variant with ORF7b and then ORF6 being the most sensitive to changes in these characteristics. Monitoring of 124 serial samples from 10 patients using sgRNA-specific real-time RT-PCR revealed a potential of adopting sgRNA as a marker of viral activity. Respiratory samples harboring a full set of canonical sgRNAs were mainly collected early within 1 to 2 weeks from onset, and most of the stool samples (90%) were negative for sgRNAs despite testing positive by diagnostic PCR targeting genomic RNA. ORF7b was the first to become undetectable and again being the most sensitive surrogate marker for a full set of canonical sgRNAs in clinical samples. The potential of using sgRNA to monitor viral activity and progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and hence as one of the objective indicators to triage patients for isolation and treatment should be considered. IMPORTANCE Attempts to use subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) of SARS-CoV-2 to identify active infection of COVID-19 have produced diverse results. In this work, we applied next-generation sequencing and RT-PCR to profile the full spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 sgRNAs in a large cohort of respiratory and stool samples collected throughout infection. Numerous known and novel discontinuous transcription events potentially encoding full-length, deleted and frameshift proteins were observed. In particular, the expression profile of canonical sgRNAs was associated with genomic RNA level and clinical characteristics. Our study found sgRNAs as potential biomarkers for monitoring infectivity and progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which provides an alternative target for the management and treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Open Reading Frames , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325537

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from faecal samples and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. Methods: : We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had faecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial faecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the faecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. Results: : Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in faecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Faecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harboured more stress-, inflammation- and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, Pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age;5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. Conclusions: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19.

3.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(3): 338-342, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a major public health threat. This study aims to evaluate the effect of virus mutation activities and policy interventions on COVID-19 transmissibility in Hong Kong. METHODS: In this study, we integrated the genetic activities of multiple proteins, and quantified the effect of government interventions and mutation activities against the time-varying effective reproduction number Rt. FINDINGS: We found a significantly positive relationship between Rt and mutation activities and a significantly negative relationship between Rt and government interventions. The results showed that the mutations that contributed most to the increase of Rt were from the spike, nucleocapsid and ORF1b genes. Policy of prohibition on group gathering was estimated to have the largest impact on mitigating virus transmissibility. The model explained 63.2% of the Rt variability with the R2. CONCLUSION: Our study provided a convenient framework to estimate the effect of genetic contribution and government interventions on pathogen transmissibility. We showed that the S, N and ORF1b protein had significant contribution to the increase of transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong, while restrictions of public gathering and suspension of face-to-face class are the most effective government interventions strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Government , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 2(1): 100062, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616571

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Little is known whether differences exist in virus shedding, immune and inflammatory response related to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH). We assessed viral RNA and cytokine profiles of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection in Hong Kong. Methods: PLWH hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong were included, compared with age-matched and disease severity-matched SARS-CoV-2 infected controls (ratio of 1:5) from February 1st 2020 to July 31st 2020. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by public health laboratory and virus concentration was quantified by an in-house real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A panel of cytokines and chemokines were performed. Results: HIV patients had a similar respiratory shedding profile compared to controls. Duration of faecal shedding of patient A, B, C and D were at least 9, 10, 33, and 11 days, respectively. HIV patients had lower plasma levels of IL-10 and NT-pro-BNP. All 4 PLWH cases showed seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 with anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies detected in serum collected between day 18 and 30 after symptom onset. Conclusions: PLWH behaves similarly with HIV-negative controls in respiratory viral load, but with decrease in IL-10 and NT-proBNP. PLWH may have a lower risk of immunostimulatory effect due to lower IL-10.

5.
Public Health Genomics ; : 1-4, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606251

ABSTRACT

During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the genetic mutations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurred frequently. Some mutations in the spike protein are considered to promote transmissibility of the virus, while the mutation patterns in other proteins are less studied and may also be important in understanding the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2. We used the sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2 strains in California to investigate the time-varying patterns of the evolutionary genetic distance. The accumulative genetic distances were quantified across different time periods and in different viral proteins. The increasing trends of genetic distance were observed in spike protein (S protein), the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) region and nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3) of open reading frame 1 (ORF1), and nucleocapsid protein (N protein). The genetic distances in ORF3a, ORF8, and nsp2 of ORF1 started to diverge from their original variants after September 2020. By contrast, mutations in other proteins appeared transiently, and no evident increasing trend was observed in the genetic distance to the original variants. This study presents distinct patterns of the SARS-CoV-2 mutations across multiple proteins from the aspect of genetic distance. Future investigation shall be conducted to study the effects of accumulative mutations on epidemics characteristics.

6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 763292, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581338

ABSTRACT

The cytokine release syndrome has been proposed as the driver of inflammation in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, studies on longitudinal cytokine profiles in patients across the whole severity spectrum of COVID-19 are lacking. In this prospective observational study on adult COVID-19 patients admitted to two Hong Kong public hospitals, cytokine profiling was performed on blood samples taken during early phase (within 7 days of symptom onset) and late phase (8 to 12 days of symptom onset). The primary objective was to evaluate the difference in early and late cytokine profiles among patient groups with different disease severity. The secondary objective was to assess the associations between cytokines and clinical endpoints in critically ill patients. A total of 40 adult patients (mild = 8, moderate = 15, severe/critical = 17) hospitalized with COVID-19 were included in this study. We found 22 cytokines which were correlated with disease severity, as proinflammatory Th1-related cytokines (interleukin (IL)-18, interferon-induced protein-10 (IP-10), monokine-induced by gamma interferon (MIG), and IL-10) and ARDS-associated cytokines (IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), and IL-8) were progressively elevated with increasing disease severity. Furthermore, 11 cytokines were consistently different in both early and late phases, including seven (growth-regulated oncogene-alpha (GRO-α), IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IP-10, and MIG) that increased and four (FGF-2, IL-5, macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), and MIP-1α) that decreased from mild to severe/critical patients. IL-8, followed by IP-10 and MDC were the best performing early biomarkers to predict disease severity. Among critically ill patients, MCP-1 predicted the duration of mechanical ventilation, highest norepinephrine dose administered, and length of intensive care stay.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
7.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294372

ABSTRACT

Timely evaluation of the protective effects of COVID-19 vaccines is challenging but urgently needed to inform the pandemic control planning. Based on vaccine efficacy/effectiveness (VE) data of 11 vaccine products and 297,055 SARS-CoV-2 sequences collected in 20 regions, we analyzed the relationship between genetic mismatch of circulating viruses against the vaccine strain and VE. Variations from technology platforms are controlled by a mixed-effects model. We found that the genetic mismatch measured on the RBD is highly predictive for vaccine protection and accounted for 72.0% ( p -value < 0.01) of the VE change. The NTD and S protein also demonstrate significant but weaker per amino acid substitution association with VE ( p -values < 0.01). The model is applied to predict vaccine protection of existing vaccines against new genetic variants and is validated by independent cohort studies. The estimated VE against the delta variant is 79.3% (95% prediction interval: 67.0 – 92.1) using the mRNA platform, and an independent survey reported a close match of 83.0%;against the beta variant (B.1.351) the predicted VE is 53.8% (95% prediction interval: 39.9 – 67.4) using the viral-vector vaccines, and an observational study reported a close match of 48.0%. Genetic mismatch provides an accurate prediction for vaccine protection and offers a rapid evaluation method against novel variants to facilitate vaccine deployment and public health responses.

8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2132923, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516695

ABSTRACT

Importance: Seroprevalence studies inform the extent of infection and assist evaluation of mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population of Hong Kong. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in Hong Kong after each major wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 21 to July 7, 2020; September 29 to November 23, 2020; and January 15 to April 18, 2021). Adults (age ≥18 years) who had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 were recruited during each period, and their sociodemographic information, symptoms, travel, contact, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing history were collected. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on spike (S1/S2) protein, followed by confirmation with a commercial electrochemiluminescence immunoassay based on the receptor binding domain of spike protein. Results: The study enrolled 4198 participants (2539 [60%] female; median age, 50 years [IQR, 25 years]), including 903 (22%), 1046 (25%), and 2249 (53%) during April 21 to July 7, 2020; during September 29 to November 23, 2020; and during January 15 to April 18, 2021, respectively. The numbers of participants aged 18 to 39 years, 40 to 59 years, and 60 years or older were 1328 (32%), 1645 (39%), and 1225 (29%), respectively. Among the participants, 2444 (58%) stayed in Hong Kong since November 2019 and 2094 (50%) had negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA test results. Only 170 (4%) reported ever having contact with individuals with confirmed cases, and 5% had been isolated or quarantined. Most (2803 [67%]) did not recall any illnesses, whereas 737 (18%), 212 (5%), and 385 (9%) had experienced respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, or both, respectively, before testing. Six participants were confirmed to be positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG; the adjusted prevalence of unidentified infection was 0.15% (95% CI, 0.06%-0.32%). Extrapolating these findings to the whole population, there were fewer than 1.9 unidentified infections for every recorded confirmed case. The overall prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong before the roll out of vaccination was less than 0.45%. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of participants from the general public in Hong Kong, the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection was low after 3 major waves of the pandemic, suggesting the success of the pandemic mitigation by stringent isolation and quarantine policies even without complete city lockdown. More than 99.5% of the general population of Hong Kong remain naive to SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the urgent need to achieve high vaccine coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
9.
mBio ; 12(5): e0268721, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494975

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus with emerging mutations, especially on the Spike glycoprotein (S protein). To delineate the genomic diversity in association with geographic dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 variant lineages, we collected 939,591 complete S protein sequences deposited in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) from December 2019 to April 2021. An exponential emergence of S protein variants was observed since October 2020 when the four major variants of concern (VOCs), namely, alpha (α) (B.1.1.7), beta (ß) (B.1.351), gamma (γ) (P.1), and delta (δ) (B.1.617), started to circulate in various communities. We found that residues 452, 477, 484, and 501, the 4 key amino acids located in the hACE2 binding domain of S protein, were under positive selection. Through in silico protein structure prediction and immunoinformatics tools, we discovered D614G is the key determinant to S protein conformational change, while variations of N439K, T478I, E484K, and N501Y in S1-RBD also had an impact on S protein binding affinity to hACE2 and antigenicity. Finally, we predicted that the yet-to-be-identified hypothetical N439S, T478S, and N501K mutations could confer an even greater binding affinity to hACE2 and evade host immune surveillance more efficiently than the respective native variants. This study documented the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 S protein over the first 16 months of the pandemic and identified several key amino acid changes that are predicted to confer a substantial impact on transmission and immunological recognition. These findings convey crucial information to sequence-based surveillance programs and the design of next-generation vaccines. IMPORTANCE Our study showed the global distribution of SARS-CoV-2 S protein variants from January 2020 to the end of April 2021. We highlighted the key amino acids of S protein subjected to positive selection. Using computer-aided approaches, we predicted the impact of the amino acid variations in S protein on viral infectivity and antigenicity. We also predicted the potential amino acid mutations that could arise in favor of SARS-CoV-2 virulence. These findings are vital for vaccine designing and anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug discovery in an effort to combat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virulence
10.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1039, 2021 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455943

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic poses serious threats to global health, and the emerging mutation in SARS-CoV-2 genomes, e.g., the D614G substitution, is one of the major challenges of disease control. Characterizing the role of the mutation activities is of importance to understand how the evolution of pathogen shapes the epidemiological outcomes at population scale. METHODS: We developed a statistical framework to reconstruct variant-specific reproduction numbers and estimate transmission advantage associated with the mutation activities marked by single substitution empirically. Using likelihood-based approach, the model is exemplified with the COVID-19 surveillance data from January 1 to June 30, 2020 in California, USA. We explore the potential of this framework to generate early warning signals for detecting transmission advantage on a real-time basis. RESULTS: The modelling framework in this study links together the mutation activity at molecular scale and COVID-19 transmissibility at population scale. We find a significant transmission advantage of COVID-19 associated with the D614G substitution, which increases the infectivity by 54% (95%CI: 36, 72). For the early alarming potentials, the analytical framework is demonstrated to detect this transmission advantage, before the mutation reaches dominance, on a real-time basis. CONCLUSIONS: We reported an evidence of transmission advantage associated with D614G substitution, and highlighted the real-time estimating potentials of modelling framework.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
11.
R Soc Open Sci ; 8(9): 201867, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429382

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide and threatened human life. Diagnosis is crucial to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections and save lives. Diagnostic tests for COVID-19 have varying sensitivity and specificity, and the false-negative results would have substantial consequences to patient treatment and pandemic control. To detect all suspected infections, multiple testing is widely used. However, it may be challenging to build an assertion when the testing results are inconsistent. Considering the situation where there is more than one diagnostic outcome for each subject, we proposed a Bayesian probabilistic framework based on the sensitivity and specificity of each diagnostic method to synthesize a posterior probability of being infected by SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrated that the synthesized posterior outcome outperformed each individual testing outcome. A user-friendly web application was developed to implement our analytic framework with free access via http://www2.ccrb.cuhk.edu.hk/statgene/COVID_19/. The web application enables the real-time display of the integrated outcome incorporating two or more tests and calculated based on Bayesian posterior probability. A simulation-based assessment demonstrated higher accuracy and precision of the Bayesian probabilistic model compared with a single-test outcome. The online tool developed in this study can assist physicians in making clinical evaluations by effectively integrating multiple COVID-19 tests.

14.
Microbiome ; 9(1): 91, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183579

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from fecal samples, and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. METHODS: We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had fecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial fecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the fecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in fecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Fecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harbored more stress-, inflammation-, and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells, and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age; 5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether, our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19. Video Abstract.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Child, Preschool , DNA , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Virome
15.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178428

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 is posing a serious threat to global health, the emerging mutation in SARS-CoV-2 genomes, for example, N501Y substitution, is one of the major challenges against control of the pandemic. Characterizing the relationship between mutation activities and the risk of severe clinical outcomes is of public health importance for informing the healthcare decision-making process. Using a likelihood-based approach, we developed a statistical framework to reconstruct a time-varying and variant-specific case fatality ratio (CFR), and to estimate changes in CFR associated with a single mutation empirically. For illustration, the statistical framework is implemented to the COVID-19 surveillance data in the United Kingdom (UK). The reconstructed instantaneous CFR gradually increased from 1.0% in September to 2.2% in November 2020 and stabilized at this level thereafter, which monitors the mortality risk of COVID-19 on a real-time basis. We identified a link between the SARS-CoV-2 mutation activity at molecular scale and COVID-19 mortality risk at population scale, and found that the 501Y variants may slightly but not significantly increase 18% of fatality risk than the preceding 501N variants. We found no statistically significant evidence of change in COVID-19 mortality risk associated with 501Y variants, and highlighted the real-time estimating potentials of the modelling framework.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Public Health , United Kingdom/epidemiology
16.
Theor Biol Med Model ; 18(1): 10, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127712

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to global health, and pathogenic mutations are a major challenge to disease control. We developed a statistical framework to explore the association between molecular-level mutation activity of SARS-CoV-2 and population-level disease transmissibility of COVID-19. METHODS: We estimated the instantaneous transmissibility of COVID-19 by using the time-varying reproduction number (Rt). The mutation activity in SARS-CoV-2 is quantified empirically depending on (i) the prevalence of emerged amino acid substitutions and (ii) the frequency of these substitutions in the whole sequence. Using the likelihood-based approach, a statistical framework is developed to examine the association between mutation activity and Rt. We adopted the COVID-19 surveillance data in California as an example for demonstration. RESULTS: We found a significant positive association between population-level COVID-19 transmissibility and the D614G substitution on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We estimate that a per 0.01 increase in the prevalence of glycine (G) on codon 614 is positively associated with a 0.49% (95% CI: 0.39 to 0.59) increase in Rt, which explains 61% of the Rt variation after accounting for the control measures. We remark that the modeling framework can be extended to study other infectious pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show a link between the molecular-level mutation activity of SARS-CoV-2 and population-level transmission of COVID-19 to provide further evidence for a positive association between the D614G substitution and Rt. Future studies exploring the mechanism between SARS-CoV-2 mutations and COVID-19 infectivity are warranted.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/transmission , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , California/epidemiology , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Pandemics
18.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 2021 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095918

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant replacement in association with containment capacity and changes in case fatality at country level. METHODS: Altogether, 69 571 full SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected globally within the first 6 months of the pandemic were examined. The correlation between variant replacement and containment capacity was examined by logistic regression models using the WHO International Health Regulation (IHR) score, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) and the vulnerability index INFORM as proxies, while correlation with changes in monthly crude case fatality ratios was examined by a mixed effect model. RESULTS: At the global level, variant lineage G∗, characterized by the S-D614G mutation, replaced the older lineages L and S in March 2020. European countries-including Finland, France and Italy-were the first to reach a 50% increment of G∗, whereas only Singapore and South Korea had non-G∗ persisting throughout the first 6 months. Countries with higher IHR scores (ß-coefficient -0.001, 95%CI -0.016, -0.001; p 0.034) and higher stringency indexes (OxCGRT) (ß-coefficient -0.011, 95%CI -0.020, -0.001; p 0.035) were associated with lower levels of G∗ replacement, whereas higher vulnerability indexes (INFORM) (ß-coefficient 0.049, 95%CI 0.001, 0.097; p 0.044) were associated with higher replacement levels. Crude case fatality ratio showed a positive correlation with G∗ replacement (ß-coefficient: 0.034, 95%CI 0.011, 0.058; p 0.004), even after adjusting for testing capacity and other country-specific characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 variant lineage G∗ (S-D614G) replaced older lineages more efficiently in countries with lower containment capacity, and its possible association with increased disease severity deserves further investigation.

19.
J Virol Methods ; 289: 114032, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081048

ABSTRACT

Three highly pathogenic human coronaviruses can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV). Although phylogenetic analyses have indicated ancient origin of human coronaviruses from animal relatives, their evolutionary history remains to be established. Using phylogenetics and "high order genomic structures" including trimer spectrums, codon usage and dinucleotide suppression, we observed distinct clustering of all human coronaviruses that formed phylogenetic clades with their closest animal relatives, indicating they have encompassed long evolutionary histories within specific ecological niches before jumping species barrier to infect humans. The close relationships between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 imply similar evolutionary origin. However, a lower Effective Codon Number (ENC) pattern and CpG dinucleotide suppression in SARS-CoV-2 genomes compared to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV may imply a better host fitness, and thus their success in sustaining a pandemic. Characterization of coronavirus heterogeneity via complementary approaches enriches our understanding on the evolution and virus-host interaction of these emerging human pathogens while the underlying mechanistic basis in pathogenicity warrants further investigation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Computational Biology , Databases, Genetic , Humans , Phylogeny
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL